Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Reign of Terror

I could hear them, outside the door. That horrid high-pitched squealing, and the slithering sound of their movement, like someone squeezing mud through a sock.

“Hell with this,” I snarled. “I am not going to sit here and die!”

“You saw what they did to Gerald. Oh, God, his face…”

“I don’t care. I have to do something.”

I picked up the can of hairspray and Gerald’s lighter. “I’ll see you later,” I told the gathered refugees.

I kicked open the door and spewed out flame. I heard their shrieks. That was how the end of the Marshmallow Peeps began.


defiant_K said...


anyways... i noticed u were asking for us to contribute our own flitterfics...and well, if i don't have a million of those...

So here goes...mite b a little over 100 words but i did my best..

You Think They’d Learn…

It glittered intoxicatingly, that terrible dagger, to be used that very night. The Lady smiled as she hefted the sacrificial dagger, stroking the blade with her fingertips. This was an ancient dagger, cast from the metal of the starstone and cooled in the blood of a dying mage. Some might say the ones the blacksmiths produced daily would be enough, but she liked doing things right, and it just didn’t feel authentic, sacrificing some hero who fought so hard to get here with some cheap replica.

“My Lady!” Her second-in-command appeared in the door, shuffling his feet nervously.

“Don’t tell me,” she said, “They escaped again, didn’t they?”

Scattercat said...


Mind you, the precision of the 100 words is a part of it. It's not enough just to write a short fic, but to focus on pruning out everything that's extraneous to telling the story. That, to me, is the essence of the whole exercise.

Yours is 108 words. Let's look. "Intoxicatingly" is an adverb, and therefore 90% likely to be unnecessary. You refer to "dagger" thrice in the first three sentences. "Some" is used twice towards the end. Pruning those alone out leaves you nicely under 100 words, and with the added benefit of letting the suspense of what "it" is build for two sentences before revealing it to be a sacrificial dagger.

You see what I mean? It's good practice for someone like me, who tends towards the verbose at best. (Yes, that sort of critique is pretty much what I do to my own; they're usually 120 - 130 words when I finish them, and I have to rigorously remove everything that doesn't explicitly advance the story or the tone.)

defiant_K said...