Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Campaigner Challenge - Flash Fiction!

Here is my entry for the first Campaigner Challenge! It's 200 words, it starts with "The door swung open", and (because I'm in the Dystopia group) it's a bit of a tribute to the best Dystopian novel ever - Nineteen Eighty-Four.




Aftermath 

The door swung open.

Where did you get this book?

Just an old hardcover book with a faded green cover. The title had worn off.

Matt’s hands shook, rattling the cuffs against the metal table; his body’s delayed reaction to the bombing. He was sweating, nauseous. He could still smell the blood, still see where Carter finished and that red, screaming thing began, and they were showing him a book.

Where did you get this book?

A book. Matt looked at the book, at the men in suits, at the blacked-out windows and the water-stained ceiling. Every time he blinked he saw how the vehicle in front of his had landed crumpled, burning, on the side of the road.

Where did you get this book?

Shh, Elodie had whispered when she’d slipped the book into his shirt, but Matt didn’t understand. He couldn’t hold his fractured thoughts together. He couldn’t stop shaking. He watched his fingers twitch like spiders’ legs across the table.

Elodie, he murmured, his secret incantation, his strength and consolation, his now and always. Her name on his lips was only ever worship: Elodie.

Realisation came too late.

The men thanked him.

Elodie.

The door swung shut.


*** 
You can view all the entries in the first challenge via Rachael's blog here: Rach Writes

42 comments:

  1. That's some kick-ass writing.

    Like how you introduced so much backstory so effortlessly, and with such mystery, drawing us right in.

    And you not only nailed the narrator's emotional state, but used that in the plot, when he reaches to the one he loves and accidentally betrays her.

    So yeah, just superb.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh man, that made my heart clench up. Very reminiscent of 1984, indeed! Which is also my favorite dystopian of all time, btw. So gutting and sad.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh cripes, poor guy! This was really excellent description and amazing tension. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've only a sketchy idea of what 1984 is about, but this is a really nice piece and I agree, wholeheartedly with Maine on the way the mystery draws a reader in.

    Poor Matt.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That was great. What a heartbreaking twist.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Can't believe no one has said this yet, but: Doubleplus good.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with the doubleplus good. What a twisty, sad, awesome ending!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Okay. When can we read some more? I'm hooked!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The tension and suspense are extreme! Well done. Is there a sequel?

    Fire and Cross

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh this is wonderful, you have such a gorgeous style!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great job! You definitely imbued your 200 words with a stark dystopian atmosphere.

    I'm about to read 1984 as soon as I can reach a library. I've heard very creepy and depressing things about it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yeah, what everyone else said. Really good stuff. You've got it, girl.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oooo that was chilling! It made me want to keep reading!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for all the kind words, guys!

    And T.B., LOL at the doubleplus good!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow . . . really great! Loved it - and was totally pulled in!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sinister and chilling. Excellent! Poor Matt!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Jen! I want to read more, so good!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Congratulations, Jen. Your entry has been forwarded to Michael Offutt for advancement into the second round of judging.

    Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Intense! I love the spider fingers bit. Some good writing right there:)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yes! 'Orwellian' indeed. This is another great challenge entry. You write so well! ~ Nadja

    ReplyDelete
  21. I absolutely loved the tension in this. Denise

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sad and tense and really great! :D

    ReplyDelete
  23. Excellent job giving information without info dumping!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Very good, I want to know more. mine is #72

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh, that gave me chills. The horror this guy had just been through and then the accidental betrayal of Elodie. Nice!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh no! He gave away Elodie (one of my favorite names, btw). Dang, you did a great job with this! I loved it, and want to hear more!! Fantastic :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh wow, I love this! Super intense and lovely writing.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh No! This scene was so beautiful! So well written! I'm a little bit jealous :P

    Definitely getting a vote from me! :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Nice!

    I'm filled with dystopian pride! ^_^
    (though, I will have to throw out there that The Handmaid's Tale would be a contender as "best" dystopian tale...) ;)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for all the kind words, everyone!

    @ lizakane: Hmm. Nineteen Eighty-Four versus The Handmaid's Tale? That's a choice I don't want to have to make!

    @ Rachel: For some reason the name Elodie had been rattling around in my head for a few days. I think I saw it on a movie a few weeks ago, and it's such a pretty name I had to use it somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Powerful tension you've created with this piece! I love the name Elodie, too. Great job, Jen! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know about advancing on to stage 2. :))

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow, that was fabulous... I loved how you managed to get a disconnected feeling, yet at the same time, everything flowed smoothly. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Please, can I have more? :D This was really great.

    I loved this--> "his fingers twitch like spiders’ legs across the table."

    ReplyDelete
  34. Very masterful. Entirely the opposite of mine, based on very different mostly much older stories. Hope you enjoy it too. http://sherahart.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  35. Really great suspense. The story has an energy all it's own. Nicely done! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Creepy and a marvelous tribute to one of my favorite novels of all time.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow, very well done! The end made my chest clinch. How terrible! Great writing. (Sorry this is so delayed...still working on getting around!!)

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...