For the first time, I'm officially taking part in Rach Writes' Campaigner Challenge. This week's challenge is to write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. We are to begin the story with the words, “shadows crept across the wall." These five words will be included in the word count.
As an additional (optional) challenge, we could do one or more of the following: (I did them all.)
- end the story with the words: "everything faded." (also included in the word count)
- include the word "orange" in the story
- write in the same genre I normally write
- make the story 200 words exactly!
Let me know what you think!
The Stroke of Heat
Shadows crept across the wall. Sunset exploded molten orange, then burned crimson. Betta heard Papa’s voice, “Red sun at night, sailor’s delight.” Tomorrow would dawn fine and clear. It’s funny how after a person died, they tried to convince you he still lived, though she supposed, in this way, Papa did. His maxims had bobbed through her brain like a brook running downstream since the funeral. Universal truths from the bible of Michael Foster. When she was little, she thought he’d painted the sun red, that he was in charge of the world.
Mama’s muttered chant, her perpetual rosary, tiptoed up from below. “Never let the sun set on your anger,” Papa said, when she and Mama battled. Betta gulped from the glass in her hand. Whiskey heat pooled at her core, mingling with rage. Mama, who hated the hold the vineyard had on her beloved husband, had given it all to the church—the fields, the grapevines, the house. For the first time in 35 years, Bella disobeyed her father. Tonight, fury survived the sunset. Purple strings of twilight layered the horizon. Swallowing her drink, she stared at the disappearing land she loved, until dusk deepened and everything faded.
To read more campaigner's entries, click here. If you like this, I'd be grateful if you would go to the campaigner page and vote for me. I'm number 112.