First Campaigner Challenge

Rachel put us to the test. Can we really write? We’ll see.

Goethe once wrote: “Sorry for the long letter. I didn’t have time for a short one.” And he was right: writing short is much more difficult than writing long.

Rachel asked us to write a flash story of 200 words max. (Mine is exactly 200 words, I chose the added difficulty; why simple if I can make it harder on myself, right?) Do you like it? Comments are welcome (as always). If you do like it, please vote for me here (I’m number 186).

The door swung open. My foster daughter stomped in, arms akimbo. Sweat ran from her heavy breasts over her lithe body.
“You promised to wait.”
“I only prepared the herbs.” I placed the last dried twig on the white linen on the ground.
Juma flopped down beside me. “What if it doesn’t work?”
“Are you still a virgin?”
She nodded.
“Then, take heart.”
“Tamdar will marry me if it works.” She doesn’t look at me.
She had been pining for his love, but what could the village witch’s daughter offer the chief’s son?
Juma rubbed ochre into the dark brown skin of her face; I drew the Pattern whispering Mother Earth’s secret names. Together, we sang the matrimonial songs of Sky and Earth. The air around us sizzled. Heat-daemon Mubuntu opposed us.
Energy surged though me and I reached for the sky. Juma did the same. A halo of blue light surrounded her, and Mother Earth’s light tingled on my wrinkled skin too.
“Rain!” We shouted in unison. Magic raced through a hole in the roof into the sky.
Fat drops soaked the scorched ground. Juma’s eyes shone like diamonds as she ran to greet the rain … and Tamdar.

P.S. Also, I’ve got my first ever award for this blog. Thank you Liz. Please check out her blog.

I pass the award on to
1. Sophia Marten because I like her eBooks,
2. Brenda Sills because she’s got an incredibly talented daughter,
3. Daniel R. Marvello because his avatar is sooo spooky and because his entry to the Campaign Challenge is marvelous.

35 thoughts on “First Campaigner Challenge”

  1. William says:

    Excellent. Imagery is very strong. And that you chose to do this in exactly 200 words speaks volumes about your discipline. Kudos.

    1. Cat says:

      *blush* thank you so much for the nice words.

  2. Yes, writing short like that is very challenging for me, too. But I think that the more I do it, the better I’ll get at it! <3

    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

    1. Cat says:

      I believe that writing flash fiction is the most challenging sort of writing anyone can do. Every single word counts and you have to nail the meaning of each one exactly (especially challenging for me since I’m from Germany and there are so many nuances to every English word that I’m not aware of).

  3. Laila says:

    Hey there fellow Fantasy writer. I’ve just discovered you on the Campaign. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m now following you. And congrats on the liebster.

    1. Cat says:

      Great to read you here too.

  4. Elaine says:

    Loved this.
    You created a world in few words. I was intrigued by the the word foster daughter and their belief in the presence of the Heat-daemon – I sensed significant back story and a lot more that could be developed.

    1. Cat says:

      I might, once I finish some other projects I’m currently working on. Glad you liked it.

  5. Tessa Conte says:

    Hi there!
    Love what you did with the story – I agree with Daniel, you’ve got a lot of world in so few words and it has me fascinated. Also, thank you for popping in on my blog!


    1. Cat says:

      No problem. I liked it there. 😉

  6. Interesting. I wonder if it will work.

    1. Cat says:

      Well, Juma has to be a virgin to call the rain…

  7. Brianna says:

    I love the name Juma! Unusual and appropriate!
    This was a very pretty story! Great job.

    1. Cat says:

      Thank you. I have got a goddaughter in Kenia whose name is Juma, and I thought it fit perfectly.

  8. I loved this little scene! Great imagery and tension 🙂

    1. Cat says:

      Thank you so much. I am glad people like it. Maybe I should write more flash fiction pieces as blog posts. 😉

  9. Great imagery Cat and all this whole magical world created in so few words.

    1. Cat says:

      People always tell me there is so much world in my stories when all I do is trying to get the pictures from my mind onto paper. As you might know yourself, I’m never satisfied.

  10. Hi, Cat,

    Well, I finally made it to your blog. I was on vacation since the campaign started, so I am a bit late visiting my group. It’s nice to meet you.

    Your challenge is full of mysticism and intrigue. Nice tension and description. I felt as if I was a moon beam witnessing the event.

    1. Cat says:

      Glad you liked it.

  11. I really enjoyed this. Lots of atmosphere!

  12. I loved that! Great visualization and characterization throughout!

    Great job, Cat! Following. 🙂

  13. Hello again, Cat!

    Thanks for the award. It’s such a nice way to be supportive. I’ll have to pay the sentiment forward!

    Also, thanks for your comments on my story, both here and on my blog. I appreciate it.

  14. Great take on this. It’s fascinating to see all the different ways people are writing this. Mine is #72

    1. Cat says:

      I’ll head over right now.

  15. Brenda Sills says:

    Whoa lady! That is some rich, compelling, emotional writing! And so unique and different from the other entries I’ve read – I love that. When I’m reading, I crave learning about things I don’t know much about so I really enjoyed the world in your story. Thanks for the experience!

    And thanks for my blog award! Wahoo! I showed my daughter what you said on your post about why you gave me the award – she got a real kick out of that! Thanks you awesome lady!

    I talked to you on my Google+ page about my daughter, & I’ll tell you here also just in case. — Yes, the daughter in the photo is the same one who drew the picture on my blog. She would love to find out more from you about your offer to hire her as an illustrator for some of your stories. Let me know the particulars of your offer & I’ll tell her about it. This would be such a good thing for her! Thanks, Cat!

    1. Cat says:

      I’m glad you liked the story. It was fun to write, and snippets like these have been known to grow into a novelette or even a novel. Who knows…
      I’ll contact you and your daughter some time later. With the campaign, a revision and my WIP I’m a little under pressure right now. I hope it’ll get better over the weekend.

  16. Kurt Hartwig says:

    What a great story. Spare and clean and straightforward. Thanks!

    1. Cat says:

      Glad you like it.

  17. AE Marling says:

    As a soldier in the writer campaign, I salute you. You did a great job adhering to this rigid format and creating a story with both interesting characters, an engrossing setting, and conflict. Well done!

    Best wishes on your writing.

    1. Cat says:

      Thank you. I would have loved to include the closing door but couldn’t.

  18. Nice job! You managed to pack a lot of world-building into such a brief snippet of story. I found myself wanting to more about how they learned to do what they are doing and about Mubuntu the Heat-daemon. It’s easy to see how you could build an entire story around this single scene. Glückwünsche!

    1. Cat says:

      I might eventually. And I liked your story too. Masterfully.

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