Friday, May 18, 2012

FLASH FACTORY FRIDAY #4

Happy Friday everyone!  

Today's judge, and last week's winner is Ray! 

Here are Ray's answer to my 'getting to know the judge' questions: 

If you are currently querying right now, please tell us about your book. (If its a WIP, tell us about it too!)

Well, first off I am for the moment just an aspiring author. So, like many out there, I have no less than ten WIPs going on at the moment, hehe. The one I’m really pushing myself to focus on though is a story about a seventeen-year-old boy, his kid sister, a ghost, and a dark witch that wishes to steal the little girl’s soul for his own nefarious purposes. I wish I could say more about it, but I’m a discovery writer, so I’m learning more and more about my own book as it unfolds before me. The ending is awesome though. I love my ending.

How long have you been writing?
I started writing when I was thirteen, after I’d confiscated my older brother’s Dragonlance books. I remember my first story being about our world and an old world merging together, with elves and humans mingling. I’m pretty sure there were draconians in there somewhere, so it was plagiarism at its finest. I think I wrote a whole two chapters! After that I moved on to poetry, where I bled out my angst for a few years. Finally, here I am, with a passion larger than my head, burning a hole in gloves I don’t wear, aching to finish my first novel.

Tell us about your writing style. Are you a plotter/outliner, or do you fly by the seat of your pants?
Oh man. I’ve tried so hard to be an outliner. I would love to have everything laid out before me. Sadly, aside from some major events, whenever I sit down to plot things out farther away than a chapter, it’s like I run into a brick wall. So, I write, and it comes to me. Sometimes I write and things come to me that I need to change to make something awesome. And then, sometimes my crit partner or other people I torture with my prose suggests something that just clicks, and I run with it.

What is one piece of advice you would give new writers?
Well, being a new writer myself, one thing I will advise is… write. I know, everyone says that. If you don’t know what to write, can’t think of what to write about, then Flash Fiction is your best friend, your closest lover, and that old blanket you just can’t sleep without. Seriously. Doing Flash is such a great way to not only get those juices flowing, but also to generate ideas. The book I am currently writing came out of a 100 word flash fiction piece over at another blog. I liked it so much, that I dropped what I’d been sloughing through and here I am. Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. About anything. 


FLASH FACTORY FRIDAY #4

5/17/12


YOU MUST CHOOSE ONE PICTURE AND USE BOTH WORDS! 


For the prompt, Ray has chosen two of his own photos (aren't they spooky! They remind me of Chernobyl! Am I slightly obsessed with Chernobyl right now? Possibly.) AND two words. 

PICTURE PROMPT:



***Extra points go to anyone who can guess WHERE the photos were taken (I don't mean city or state). HINT: Its somewhere very common.
PS. There really aren't any extra points, but try to guess anyway! ;-) 



WORD PROMPT: 
Along with the photos, you must use the following word prompts: 
secret and watch (or any of its variants, watched, watches, watching, watcher)

THANKS RAY!!!  

And good luck to all who enter!
*Remember, the winner of this week gets to judge next week AND pick the prompt(s)!


REMEMBER: THIS WEEK YOU MUST CHOOSE ONE PICTURE AND USE BOTH WORDS. 

Ready ... set ... FLASH!  




To Review:
Word or picture prompt (OR BOTH!)
50 word minimum / 350 word limit
24 hours
The detailed rules are HERE


GO!


*Remember, post your entry right here in the comments, please!  Don't forget word count and Twitter handle!  (Or another way for me to reach the winner!) 

11 comments:

  1. This was the last place I saw her. Wires were still bent where the crowds struggled to escape. Walls were still colored where their blood was spilled.
    It was supposed to be a safe house.
    “Her body isn’t here.” Travis’s voice was muffled by the mask he wore covering the stench of decay.
    It gave me hope; knowing she was possibly out there, alive.
    “Are any of them still alive?” I adjusted my rifle and watched for any spies.
    “No.”
    “Let’s move on to the next evacuation area.”
    The virus didn’t seem to affect men but we didn’t know that for sure until after most of the women were murdered. I just hoped Savannah survived perhaps leaving a secret clue only I could find.
    It was supposed to be a safe house.
    A place for a cure.
    Turned into the end of the human race; unless we can find the ones who escaped the massacre.

    155 words
    @theglitterlady

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  2. We're different. That's why mama says they're afraid of us.

    But I know the truth. They're afraid of us because we're dangerous. We hid for thousands of years, but a secret like ours couldn't stay buried forever.

    Mama and I shuffle around the double-fenced exercise yard. I count time with my steps. We pass by the red lamp post. It provides the only color in this tiny, gray world. They call it a "camp," tell us it's for our own protection. I know this truth, too: it's a prison. Our crime was being born.

    I know this because I was born here. Twelve years ago, today. And I got my very special twelfth birthday present this morning. It's a surprise, because there's no way of telling which one we'll get. And mine is rare; the kind of gift they won't let us have here.

    Huge guns cradled by huger men watch us from the perimeter.

    The guns don't scare me. The fear on the men's faces always has. Until today. Soon, they will have a reason to be afraid.

    "Two minutes!" calls the only guard who ever speaks to us. I don't know his name. We're not permitted to know their names.

    It's time.

    Mama and I move toward the talking guard, like we're ready to go back in.

    "Sir, please," I say. "I have a question."

    The sound of forty guns being re-trained on me makes me want to smile, but I swallow it.

    "So sorry," mama says, her eyes on the dirt. "She's just a little girl. She doesn't know any better." She doesn't make a move to pull me away, though. She knows her part.

    "Sir, please," I plead. "It's my birthday; won't you sing me a song?"

    His eyes grow wide. The barrel of his gun points straight at the spot between my eyes. "Which birthday?"

    I grin. "I'm twelve, sir."

    I tell his mind to turn the gun on himself before his own mind can tell his finger to pull the trigger.

    A bang. A thud.

    Then thirty-nine echoes of the same sweet melody.

    349 words
    @sarah_nicolas

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    Replies
    1. Rebekah PostupakMay 19, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      Love the voice, love the tightly constructed plot and hint of creepiness. Really nicely done.

      Delete
    2. thanks so much! I'm so glad you liked it. I don't usually write anything close to dark, so it was a fun experiment.

      Delete
  3. There was almost no getting away from The Watch. Once they’ve set their eyes on you, decided you were a threat, you are done. Dead. Finito. Unless you knew someone who knows someone who can hide you.

    I happen to know a few people. They told me to meet under the red lamp post at 1800. At 1753 I was still several blocks away and a Watch member was quickly closing in, mate black cudgel tapping his knee.

    I walked faster, my trench coat kicking my shins in solid thwacks. He walked faster. I jogged. He…well, I took off running, so I don’t know what he did. Until the cudgel caught the back of my head. Then, he was on me. It was 1757. I jabbed back with my elbow as hard as I could and caught teeth. I gave him the coat and sprinted for the lamp post, side tearing, head throbbing. 1801 saw me panting under the dim lamp light. I was late. There was no one to be seen.

    Could I really have missed the only escape?

    180
    @J_M_Blackman

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  4. “Want to know a secret?” Ed said.

    “What,” Manny said.

    “Watch that lamp post.”

    A red lamp post stuck out in contrast to the gray and bleak background of barren trees and concrete. A beacon in a wasteland. The two stood at the fence of the prison camp staring at it. Waiting.

    “What am I looking for?” Manny asked. Then the light post disappeared.

    “Wait for it,” Ed said looking at his watch.

    The lamp post returned. Unchanged.

    “Every day at the same time for exactly one second, that lamp post disappears,” Ed told him.

    “What did I just see?” Manny asked.

    “I'm surprised no one else has noticed it yet, the post sticks out a little. I stumbled across it a few weeks ago. Since then I've shown up every day to watch. At first I thought I was going crazy, but now I think someone is trying to tell us something.”

    “Who would be trying to tell us and what?”

    “I don't know, but I'm watching now,” Ed said, leading Manny away from the fence so as not to draw attention. Don't want the guards to get suspicious.

    Two days later the lamp post appeared inside the camp fence for a second then returned to it's rightful place. Ed and Manny watched the whole thing silently without drawing attention then moved on.

    A day later they stood at the fence waiting for the lamp post to move again but this time nothing happened. They waited and when the guards came to move them along Ed stood his ground.

    “Manny, I might not have been entirely honest with you,” Ed said with a smirk.

    The guards were growing in numbers and surrounding them both. Then they disappeared. No flash or explosion or noise, just gone. More came and they disappeared too.

    “No one was trying to tell us anything with the lamp post. I was practicing and showing off a little.” Ed said.

    Then the fence disappeared and so did Ed.

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  6. We huddled along the wall in the burnt out yard.
    “Why do we have to do these stupid evacuation drills? Hasn’t that ship sailed?”
    Glory looked at me with her silencing stare that work on everyone else, but not me.
    “Jada, we have to. What if they come back?”
    “Last time they came and attacked right here in this little yard. Don’t you remember the flowers that used to grow here? This isn’t safe.”
    She nodded in a sad way, eyes slightly hooded, as if she might cry.
    We said nothing else as the drill continued. One minute. Three. Ten. Thirty minutes later we were finally ok’d to return to class.
    As we walked to our lockers, Glory leaned close, “Want to know a secret?”
    I wasn’t sure I did. “Of course.” I said with a conspiratorial smile that masked my fear.
    “Dean is watching you. He likes you. But he’s one of them.”
    My heart soared for two seconds before plummeting to the ground. “One of them?”
    She nodded in her sage way. “He’s not the only one who has been watching.”
    As stealthily as I could manage I look over my shoulder at him. Our eyes met with a spark and then I saw them cloud with a filmy cover that somehow still shone for the briefest of seconds. He smiled. I shook.
    “Come on Glory. We have to get away.”
    If one was here, we didn’t have long.

    243 words
    @angiNicole722

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  7. Rebekah PostupakMay 19, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    The Drill

    My skin itched.

    Every day at 10:14 and again at 3:37 our teachers marched us out into the charcoal-covered evacuation yard and lined us up as neatly as subtraction problems.

    “We’re practicing for everyone’s safety,” they said in boredom surpassing ours. “Take this drill seriously.”

    We kids squinted our eyes toward the shadowed forest, and we hand-shaded our eyes staring up into cloudy skies until our heads ached, but we never saw the enemy. Both sky and forest remained dark and silent as ever, and we trudged back inside the grey school house trailed by flickers of disappointment.

    Except for both one-minute-long skin itches, nothing ever happened. No boogeyman; no soldiers; nothing but dull threats of detention.

    We’d whisper about it behind the teachers’ backs, of course. Maybe we could rush the fence en masse, bust through, just to see what would happen. Maybe some of us could hide in utility closets and avoid the drill—would we be missed? What would the teachers do?

    One day, in a crescendo of bravado, we did it. The kids chose me (“teachers’ pet!”), and at 3:36, while the teachers rolled their eyes, muttering and willing the clocks to move faster, I dashed through the fence gate.

    The outside world was more than I’d ever imagined. My skin twitched with life and freedom. Rainbows of color exploded everywhere I looked, greens—blues—(the sky was *blue*??)—the eager yellow of our young sun.—“Oh! So beautiful!” I wept, and the children rushed after me, crying out in longing wonder.

    Clock hands crawled to 3:37.

    A lone teacher stood trembling at the fenceline, her horror mirroring mine as the world plunged to its end in a single, monstrous roll of thunder.

    “It was never to keep an enemy out,” she whispered as she fell.

    300 words
    @postupak

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  8. Rebekah Postupak, the SequelMay 19, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    --And now, just for fun, here's my entry WITH THE PROMPT WORDS included. --

    The Drill

    My skin itched.

    Every day at 10:14 and again at 3:37 our teachers marched us out into the charcoal-covered evacuation yard and lined us up as neatly as subtraction problems.

    “We’re practicing for everyone’s safety,” they said in boredom surpassing ours. “Take this drill seriously.”

    We kids squinted our eyes toward the shadowed forest, and we hand-shaded our eyes staring up into cloudy skies until our heads ached, but we never saw the enemy. Both sky and forest remained dark and silent as ever, and we trudged back inside the grey school house trailed by flickers of disappointment.

    Except for both one-minute-long skin itches, nothing ever happened. No boogeyman; no soldiers; nothing but dull threats of detention.

    We’d whisper about it behind the teachers’ backs, of course. Maybe we could rush the fence en masse, bust through, just to see what would happen. Maybe some could secret themselves in utility closets and avoid the drill—would we be missed? What would the teachers do?

    One day, in a crescendo of bravado, we did it. The kids chose me (“teachers’ pet!”), and at 3:36, while the watching teachers rolled their eyes, muttering and willing the clocks to move faster, I dashed through the fence gate.

    The outside world was more than I’d ever imagined. My skin twitched with life and freedom. Rainbows of color exploded everywhere I looked, greens—blues—(the sky was *blue*??)—the eager yellow of our young sun.—“Oh! So beautiful!” I wept, and the children rushed after me, crying out in longing wonder.

    Clock hands crawled to 3:37.

    A lone teacher stood trembling at the fenceline, her horror mirroring mine as the world plunged to its end in a single, monstrous roll of thunder.

    “It was never to keep an enemy out,” she whispered as she fell.

    still 300 words
    @postupak

    ReplyDelete