Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Campaigner Challenge

Rachael Harrie is holding her First Campaigner Challenge.  Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall.”  As an added challenge, do one or more of these:  

  • 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 you normally write
  • make your story 200 words exactly!

I did all four.  Please enjoy. 

Shadows crept across the wall, spikes and fangs protruding. 

I’m awake inside my stasis pod.  It’s happening again.  How many did we lose at Turloka 4?  Seventeen?  Eighteen?  Their dying screams echo in my ears as I claw at my chest buckle, releasing the straps. 

Too late.  The creature slithers into the chamber.  Its eyes key on motion.  I go rigid inside the pod.  But my muscles jitter after coming out of stasis.

A man and a woman enter, casual, leather armor on their elbows and knees. 

I hammer at the internal latches with my fists, kick the pod cover open.  My throat thick from stasis sleep, I can only rasp, “Look out!” 

The creature lunges. 

The man whips out a spray can.  Orange aerosol hits the creature between its eyebrow ridges.  It falls on its side, chitinous carapace melting.  The claws spasm a death rattle. 

I stand on the deck plating, struck dumb.  The woman scans my gray underwear with an instrument on her wrist.  “In stasis fifty-seven years.  We’ve had some progress since then.” 

It’s over.  I put my hand up to my eyes, remembering the ones who didn’t make it.  Everything fades.

“Dude, put some clothes on.”  


Lynda R Young said...

Ha, this is a great entry for the challenge. Well done.

kelworthfiles said...

Well done, that was exciting and funny. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who went for action/horror and made the shadows more than they might seem at first glance!

Jess said...

Haha loved this! Really funny at the end :) Nice job!

I'm entry #19

KSCollier said...

Scary in the pod. Funny in the end. I like the twist. Great job!

Jenny said...

such a cool sci fi story. Loved the ending! Nice take on the prompt.

Ann Cory said...

Loved the action and energy of your story - fast paced and great surprise ending!

Mina Burrows said...

Very visual and cool vibe. Well done.

BTW, I've tagged you on my blog.

Jamie Dement (LadyJai) said...

very fast pace. Love sci-fi! :D

Hope you like mine #189

Lady Gwen said...

Stasis sounds interesting - cute ending. Nice job!

Mark Murata said...

Thank you for your comments. I wasn't sure if I should go with a funny last sentence, but now I'm glad I took the risk.

Nick Hight said...

Ha, I like this! Had me tensing up a bit there, a very SF feel and a comical last line :D You've been shortlisted to move onto round two of judging. Nice one!

I'm entry #207 :)

Clarbojahn said...

LOooved it. Great sci fi .Reminds me of Dollhouse. well done. :)

Anonymous said...

Pretty talented to bring in so many plot elements, mood, and humor too in so few words. Genius!

Brooke R. Busse said...

It leaves me wanting to know more. Oh why did Rachael only give us 200 words? -sigh-

I'm off to "like" you.

Traci Kenworth said...

Nicely done.

C.M.Brown said...

Oh I liked it! Good Si-fi!


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