The following flash fiction is based on rules devised by David Atkinson on his David’s Musings on Writing blog. You can check out his own crack at it by following the above link. Here are the rules:
1) Write a short story of 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can also be a poem.
2) Begin with these words—Shadows crept across the wall
According to David, for an added challenge, do the following:
3) End the story with these words—everything faded.
4) Include the word orange
5) write in the same genre you normally write
6) Make your story exactly 200 words
What follows is my attempt at all six rules. I even mentioned a lawn mower, which appears in David’s own flash fiction piece.
I learned of David’s challenge via a tweet by @kindlbookreview. As mentioned above, David’s twitter handle is @dla1950.
Shadows crept across the wall as Paz entered the lonely room. She set the antique lamp on the table, its orange glow a ward against the gathering gloom, then sat down and sighed.
Sleepy yet determined, she picked up the book, her gaze falling on what looked like a lawn mower motor, when a ding emitted from her laptop.
A chat window opened. It was her mother, Paloma, wondering how she was. Paz reported that she was fine, albeit tired, and still struggling with the changes taking place in her. Paloma told her to get some rest and to embrace who she was becoming.
Before Paz could answer, something else opened—a video chat window. Instead of another person, however, the view was of Paz’s back, as it would be seen from the bay window behind her.
Startled, she stood and waved her hand at the glass, looking over her shoulder to watch the motion on the screen.
Heart pounding, Paz sat back down and typed, “Mom, something’s wrong!”
“Fool! Your mother cannot save you! Darkness always triumphs over light!” came the reply.
No! Not now!
Abruptly, the lamp shattered, flame snuffed out. Soundlessly, Paz screamed, and then everything faded.