Tuesday, December 6, 2011


The prompt:
"Today we are going to work on a sense I learned from taking the free writers course on F2K. The sense of the unknown.
We are going to keep this one short, 300 word count. Focus on a conflict and a resolution, but give us a sense of the unknown. Like wondering what's behind that closed door, if your character doesn't know, neither should we. What lurks in the dark? Who is hiding in the closet? What will their husband do on their anniversary this year - provide a sense of the unknown!"

300 words doesn't leave any wiggle room; I'm normally fairly verbose... almost to the point of being purple. ;P All I had to start myself off with this was one word that popped into my head while I stared at the blank doc.  

The stagnant night air clung to sweating bodies milling in confusion at the sudden darkness. Outside, the inconstant wind ruffled the snapping canvas, weaving that fabric’s musty scent with too strong perfume, perspiration and something else that smelled off.

“Jamie!” I shouted above the loud swell of panic that jostled me from all sides.

My heart beat a fierce tempo. My stomach twisted in knots. On the other side of the huge vendor’s tent, a piercing scream cut through the rising chaos.

For a moment, dead silence. Not breath, nor movement. Nothing for that eternal instant.

Then hell happened.

A tsunami of flesh pushed against me. I stumbled, caught myself on a tangle of limbs and clawed my way back upright. A body went down. Another. Lost under a hundred trampling feet. A scream tore from my throat as I was carried forward.

I choked on air so thick I could almost swallow it. The press of slick skin crushed my bones and the heat held under the thick lid of canvas turned us all into the contents of a giant pressure cooker.

Then I was out. Spilling onto the ground as the ones behind spurted from the narrow, cut slit as I had. I crawled from under heavy bodies and stomping feet. Struggled until I somehow pulled myself away, off to the side.

Flat on my back, I stared up at the midnight sky so perfectly clear in the absence of light. Grim sounds of terror faded away into the distance. Breath stuttered as I drew it in. Tears flowed into my hair.

I learned later that Jamie went down with the first surge. It could’ve been me. Should’ve been.

They say a transformer blew. I’m not sure what I believe anymore. I still hear that scream on quiet nights when sleep eludes me.

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