Tuesday, October 18, 2011

3rd Campaigner Challenge: Flash Fiction

This is my entry for the Third Campaigner Challenge. Here are the rules:
Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:

• that it’s morning,

• that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach

• that the MC (main character) is bored

• that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting

• that something surprising happens.

Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec," "wastopaneer," and "tacise." (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them).

And here is my entry:
 
 
Survivor: Honeymoon
 
     Paul trails along like a beachcomber. His feet sink in the sand. Tiny waves race to fill the footprints he leaves behind. They glisten like gold in the morning sunlight all the way up the beach, and I play join the dots in my head and resist the urge to look at my watch.  
   
     It’s broken anyway. I should have got a Synbatec like Paul’s.

     Honey, look! He shoved it in my face that first night. Not even scratched!

     I write swirls in the damp sand with my finger, and ignore the stench behind me. Paul was going to bury that fish head, wasn’t he, or use it as bait or something? I wasn’t really listening when he told me. I watched his mouth move, but I was hearing a different conversation: Of course I can sail a yacht, honey! It’ll be a great honeymoon, I promise!

     The Wastopaneer juts up out of the brilliant blue ocean, wedged on the reef, mast snapped.

     Time passes. The waves whisper back and forth on the beach. Paul’s got a stick in one hand and his shirt in the other. God only knows what he thinks he’s doing, and how showing off his pecs will help.

     I’ve got the GPS beacon here somewhere! If I can just find it, we’ll be set!

     I lick my lips and taste the tacise sting of salt.

     I could have married Lionel. Lionel’s a nice guy. Not rich, but nice. Nice is nice.

     My fingers close around the cylindrical object buried in the sand. The GPS beacon.

     The fish head behind me belongs to a puffer fish.

     Want some breakfast, honey? Paul beamed with pride.

     I demurred with a regretful smile.

     I’ll activate the beacon this afternoon. Maybe Lionel will comfort me when I’m back in civilisation.


***

If you like my entry, please vote for it at Rach Writes.
My entry is # 25.

82 comments:

  1. I love it when we get the bad guy's pov :-)

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  2. Oh man! She's gonna kill her husband over a little thing like a shipwreck? lol! Good job :)

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  3. Nice scene. You always build great tension in such short excerpts. And you wove those crazy made-up words in just right. Well done.

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  4. Thanks Christy and Sarah!

    @ JA, she's not going to kill him, but she's also didn't stop him from eating a poisonous fish. It's a handy legal distinction! :)

    @ LG, it's the long scenes that stuff me!

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  5. romeo in the side pocket
    too bad, but great story!

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  6. Love this!! Makes me want to read the rest of the story!

    (I'm entry #5)

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  7. Now that's a wastopaneer of a story.

    Love how it starts off as a romantic honeymoon on the beach and then the reader slowly connects the dots.

    And on second reading, I like how right at the start she resists the urge to look at her watch. Like waiting for the fish to do its work.

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  8. "Nice is nice"--that is actually profound! I loved this. Great use of the made up words, very creative. Well done.

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  9. Oh, this is great! Lots of behind the scenes intrigue :)

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  10. That was brilliant! I love how much backstory there is with so few words.

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  11. Love this slightly sinister twist on the challenge. I really want her to get back and see Lionel too. Nice IS Nice :D

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  12. Really good use of the challenge words, and I enjoyed your sensory images so much. Great job.
    Mine is #35 if you want to check it out.

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  13. Nice use of words, and I loved the twist. I would so read this. Great work, Jen! :D

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  14. This is so my kind of story. Love it. Good job!

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  15. Ooh, great twist. Loved it. Poor guy, he should have made sure he knew what he was getting into.

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  16. Not a good way to start out a marriage! ; )

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  17. lol! I loved this -a tremendous deal. This just made me chuckle:

    "I could have married Lionel. Lionel’s a nice guy. Not rich, but nice. Nice is nice."

    Says it all really, the annoyance just shines through. Lovely!

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  18. Ugh, a fish head!
    The twist at the end was great!

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  19. Shipwrecked on your honeymoon that stinks! Great twist in the ending.

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  20. Very clever piece, loved it! Nice job...definitely gets a vote from me :)

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  21. The best part was reading this a second time and seeing all the clues jump out even better. Fantastic!

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  22. I've been selected as a judge for the final challenge in the Third Platform Building Campaign - and I'm happy to announce that your entry has been chosen to advance to the next phase of judging as a quarter-finalist.

    Well done and congratulations!

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  23. This is a real story here compressed into 300 words. It deserves to be developed into a longer fiction.

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  24. Thanks for the comments, everyone!

    I love reading all the entries to a challenge like this -- it always amazes me how we all come up with such wonderfully different scenes!

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  25. I love this. Very clever and you used those words well. Great job.

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  26. I think this is my favorite use of the word "Wastopaneer" so far, as it requires no further explanation and slides right into the piece. Also, the fact that they're shipwrecked at the end took me quite by surprise -- I didn't expect it given the first portion!

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  27. Great entry, Jen! I agree with Rance, way cool use of wastopaneer!

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  28. Great entry, Jen! I agree with Rance, way cool use of wastopaneer!

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  29. Very smart with lots of behind-the-scenes-intrigue and who knows what else?
    I have a new-found respect for the word "nice".

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  30. That's really funny. I enjoyed this one a lot. Mine is #56

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  31. The name of the yacht is awesome! And so is the entirety of your entry. Once again, great job! :)

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  32. Well you certainly 'showed' her true feelings towards her husband and I also appreciated the subtlety regarding the puffer fish being poisonous. well done and thank you for having found mine.

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  33. Wow. I sure hope Lionel stays nice or who knows what she'll let happen to him. ;) This piece has such a great voice. I want to hate her, but I just can't. Well done.

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  34. Thanks for all your comments, everyone! I had a lot of fun with this challenge!

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  35. love the twisty ending and that even after we know what she's up to, we still like her. good job!

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  36. Good one! Poor Lionel better watch out... :)

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  37. I like that! The words fit in very well and your main character! Wow!

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  38. Great - love the puffer fish (but glad you clarified, I thought for a moment that he was trying to kill her!). My son keeps going on about wanting to eat puffer fish (some days I want to give him one!). But great story and atmosphere in a short piece.

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  39. Oooh, nice twist at the end! Great job!

    I'm entry #69 :)

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  40. Great tension and I would read more of this. You have my vote.

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  41. Whoa. Just whoa. I'm off to vote....

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  42. Great story. That first paragraph was really visual and drew me in. Loved it!

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  43. Nice is nice, LOL! Loved your entry - great job! I'm #65.

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  44. Love how you make it look so easy, *sigh*, I always battle with Show not Tell.

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  45. Love how you make it look so easy, *sigh*, I always battle with Show not Tell.

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  46. Shipwrecked on your honeymoon. Great pacing and tension, great scene setting for us. Excellent post!

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  47. A pufferfish? Ooo, she is subtle. Poor Lionel doesn't know what he's in for when she gets back. :)

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  48. Aloha Jen,

    I agree, Lionel is in for a wake-up call (from the Synbatec?) when she makes it back home!

    PS... heading over to read your post on "How do people with kids write." I read the first few lines and was laughing already!

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  49. You deserve to win but I didn't catch the third word. However I do like the way you snuck in the other two. (Snuck is spelled wrong but I didn't know how else to spell it.) Sounds sneakier anyway.

    Congrats for the win!:)

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  50. Oh man. Poor guy. =) Great job and nice twist.

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  51. Thanks for all the comments, guys!

    @ Clarbojahn -- "tacise" is hidden about 3/4 of the way down! :)

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  52. Great job. I want to keep reading.

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  53. Poor Paul. He sounds so boyish, sincere... and utterly clueless.

    Loved it.

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  54. This is awesome! Very visual and one of my favorites. You've got my vote. :) Great job.

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  55. Thankyou! This was a lot of fun to write!

    @ natz, I kind of feel sorry for Paul as well. But he's an idiot!

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  56. Very visual! Liked how you used the three words, especilly the boat name and brand of watch. Very clever. -- Patricia

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  57. You did a great job with this! Terrific.

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  58. Loved this. I could feel your MC's tension and see her sitting on a deserted beach watching her husband flounder around trying to save the day. It made me laugh. Well done.

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  59. Sounds like a honeymoon to remember. lol. Great job.

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  60. "Nice is nice" <-- That was awesome. And I loved how you showed the character was bored. Your writing pretty much just hijacked my thoughts :) Going to vote...

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  61. Sooo many great lines in this! "...and I play join the dots in my head and resist the urge to look at my watch," "Nice is nice," --I could go one, but you wrote it, so I guess I shouldn't (lol). Fab job!

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  62. *grin* I like this story.
    Why did she marry him in the first place? Was it only the money?

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  63. @ Jes, thanks! :)

    @ Cat, hi! I think she didn't realise just how unbearable marriage to Paul would be until he shipwrecked them. Lots of time for contemplation on a deserted beach!

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  64. Loved how you used the nonsense words. They completely fit in.

    I'm wondering why she married him if she's so sick of him already on the honeymoon. Would love to read more, and maybe find out. :)

    You've already visited mine, thanks for the nice comments!

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  65. Great story. What a wicked mc! Paul may be rather fumbling, but it makes him endearing, not despicable!

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  66. I like the "nice is nice" in reference to choosing that right man. I giggled.

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  67. Hi Jen! Love the humor in this piece! Just wanted to let you know that you've made it to the second phase of judging!

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