This post is for the Miniature Writing Challenge run by An Artist At Heart. This challenge gives a picture and a short story prompt and asks that you write either a mini short story (50 – 150 words), a tiny poem or a haiku (3 lines, 17 syllables). To read the full rules, go here. The short story prompt is given at the beginning of my story in italics.
He woke up alone on the shore of an unfamiliar beach…
The incoming tide swirled around his ankles as he lay, staring at the dawn-lit sky. He ought to move – he knew he should as each wave swept higher – but his brain felt too fogged to command movement. Confusion swept through him, his thoughts seeming tangled with treacle.
He had no idea where he was.
He tried to think back, tried to recall preceding events but there was nothing. Memories drifted out of reach. Even the inclination to know soon faded and he returned his attention to the sky.
Water washed over his hands.
The thought sluggishly encroached that he really should move. His fingers twitched, curling into wet sand. The thought floated away.
It was such a beautiful morning. The sky was stained in pink and lilac whilst pale new light caressed his face. Water lapped at his chin.
It was peaceful. So peaceful.
He could rest here forever.
Word Count: 149
I spent all of yesterday trying to wrestle an idea for FFfAW into shape but the story just wasn’t working. It probably didn’t help that I wasn’t feeling well and just wanted to curl up by the fire and read! Before I went to bed last night, though, I thought I’d have a flick through a few other prompts to see whether anything inspired me. As you can probably tell, this one did. This story insisted on being written before I could go to sleep! I decided to leave it until this morning to post as I thought I’d probably have quite a few edits to make but, other than taking out a line break I felt wasn’t necessary, this is unchanged from the words that flowed out of my head last night.
I always remember a quote on writing by David Eddings, one of my favourite fantasy authors back in my teens:
“When it’s going well, it’s like reaching up into heaven and pulling down fire. It’s better than any dope you can buy. When it’s not going well, it’s much like giving birth to a baby elephant.”
Yesterday was a day of both of these extremes.
One thing I was tempted to do was to add a final line to the story giving a hint of rescue – maybe someone saying, “Oi, Mister – you all right?” or the sound of footsteps crunching on sand. After all, the photo prompt does show a person on their feet. I finally decided, though, that it worked better as it was.
I’d love to know what everyone else thinks.
Colette O'Neill... Environmentalist, Author, Publisher, Photographer. Creator of Goddess Permaculture.
Creating a Meaningful Life
Exploring our connection to the wider world
Wrangling literary arts for writers: words for people!
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