Thursday, September 8, 2011

Challenge Accepted!

I have a hard time backing down from challenges. I have a competitive nature, you see, but not in the usual way. I don't care about beating others, I care about outdoing myself. So whenever anyone issues me a challenge, I have a hard time turning it down. Even when, intellectually, I know that I should. That competitive part of me gnaws away at my resolve until I give in.

So it is that even though I said to myself, I'm not going to care about getting EXACTLY 200 words for the first Campaigner Challenge... it bothered me. I told myself, I'm not going to fuss too much over word count. I'm going to focus on the story. (I mean, do you have any idea how hard writing a story in 200 words is?) Still, I couldn't let it go. So the following flash fiction piece meets all three of the first Campaigner Challenge criteria, the mandatory and the optional. It begins with "The door swung open" it ends with "The door swung shut" and it is EXACTLY 200 words.

It also ties into the story of my Apotheosis Cycle (see the page above to find out more about that) since I really can't afford to spend time writing side projects these days. It will probably (in slightly longer form) find its way into a short story. Without further ado...

The door swung open silently on well oiled hinges. Sollon ducked into the sanctuary. Crouching just inside the lightless room, he waited a moment for his eyes to adjust to the blackness. He crept with obsessive care toward the darkling recesses of the sanctuary. Here was the secret place that the priests refused to let him see. Slowly out of the gloom a shape appeared, a chamber within the chamber, Sollon realized, with doors of pure gold.

As he approached it, the air thickened around him. His hand paused inches from the golden doors. It had become difficult to breathe. Sweat stung his eyes, but he pushed through the barrier around the naos and flung the doors open.

There lay the statue of the god, robed in cloth of gold, a sun disk above his head. A pulse of energy emanated from the statue threw Sollon onto his back. White hot pain erupted from his spine. The energy of the god coursed over him, sending him tumbling toward the sanctuary’s entrance until he lay sprawled in the outer chamber.

He could not move. He could not speak. He prayed. Re, forgive me, don’t let me die!

The door swung shut.

31 comments:

  1. Sarah -- Great story. Enjoyed the tension and the suspense. I love fantasy.

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  2. Curiosity did what to the cat? Yep. He landed in a mess. Great details, Sarah! :)

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  3. Just so you know, as a member of The Rule of Three Writers Challenge, I've mentioned your blog and passed on (if you want it) the Versatile Bloggers Award. You can find the information here: http://wp.me/p1mecg-ek

    Thanks for joining, and Welcome to Renaissance!

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  4. You managed to pack a lot into a short space! no easy feat, nice job. :-)

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  5. That was fantastic! A lot of tension and I could feel myself there with Sollon.

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  6. Really nice buildup in that passage.

    Also, you are a winner! You'll get a map for your work-- email me at sb.stolk(at)gmail(dot)com for details.

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  7. It's amazin you packed such suspense into 200 words, and I'm still left wondering, what happened to him?

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  8. Great tension here. I was chewing my lip. Very detailed. I hope he didn't die!

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  9. Hah! I second David's comment. Nice work! :)

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  10. Thanks so much for the positive responses, everyone! It always feels great to get that kind of feedback.

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  11. Punishment for going into the forbidden - great story

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  12. Heh, sometimes you are refused things for a reason!! Nice piece!

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  13. Love! Poor guy, getting a little too inquisitive and curious for his own good. You do a great job with description, and I love the tension as Sollon is pushing open the doors, sweat dripping down his forehead, etc.

    Great job!

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  14. Very nice! Love the Egyptian influences too :) Gonna have to get in on these platform shenanigans :)

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  15. Interesting that so many of the doors in this challenge lead to death and disaster. Great job. Mine is #279

    And btw, welcome to the Rule of Three Blogfest!

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  16. You've built some great tension in this flash. Nice work.

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  17. So that's what goes on in the Scientology Center.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino

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  18. Interesting. Thanks for the peek into your book.

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  19. Wait, what happened! Was the god annoyed with him for sneaking into the sanctuary? Or was it something else entirely?

    You've pulled me in, that's for sure. Great writing!

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  20. You're just like me, can't stray from the current MS :-) I do hope he lives through this!

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  21. Amazing piece. So much in 200 words. I wonder what happens to him next.

    I'm a new follower from the campaign. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  22. Very fun- it's never wise to anger the gods

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  23. Excellent job with the tension. I really got a feel for the setting, which is hard with such a short piece. Nice work.

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  24. Thanks so much for all the wonderful feedback! I'm so glad to story, as short as it is, is so effective.

    For the record, he does live though his deed will not pass without consequences.

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  25. Hi there, I'm finally making it to your blog on my ginormous list!

    Great job on the challenge piece, I want to read more! It has a very Egyptian feel to it ;)

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  26. An element of mystery. Good lead in to intriguing the audience.

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  27. Uh oh!! Poor guy! My curiosity lands me in trouble too...lucky for me I haven't come across any gold, irritable gods. ;)

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  28. Oh, I like this one. I haven't read anything else you've done so I don't know if you've outdone yourself, but this is really good!

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  29. Thanks for sharing, but the story isn't done at this point! (I know, I'm one to talk about unfinished flash stories.)

    I'm in your Campaigner Fantasy group, so hopefully we'll run into each other again soon down the Campaign trail.

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