First Campaign Challenge – Flash Fiction

The first challenge for the Platform-Building Campaign was issued over on Rach Writes. Here are the rules:

Write a flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall”. These five words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), 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!

As far as flash fiction goes, I wouldn’t say this was my best, but I wanted to hit as many bonus points as possible. I got them all in (it’s exactly 200 words) except for the “everything faded” last line. I suppose I could have worked it in eventually.

Not only did I write in my genre, I used the characters from my middle grade novel series. I found it very challenging to hone it into an actual story. One because I have so much history with these characters, and two because I don’t know that Middle Grade loans itself to flash fiction.

Hmmmm… that could be a challenge unto itself.

I’m #179 in the challenge.

The Masquerade

Shadows crept across the wall.

Brigitta slammed her fist down on one of them as it disappeared around the corner.

“Not so fast!” she said, reeling it in, which was challenging as it was quite slippery. “Minq, the spell seed!”

Minq slipped underneath her arms and caught the shadow in an orange spell seed, sealing it up, quick as a kiss.

“We have to get everyone’s shadows back before morning,” said Brigitta. “They’ll disappear.”

It had been Brigitta’s first Masquerade as Elder Apprentice, and she had appreciated her special duties. But one spell gone wrong and suddenly everyone melted into shadows, and then those shadows receded away like, well, shadows.

There was no way to get them all into the grand hall before sunrise. And once they disappeared, there would be nothing left of them to bring them back. You need something to make a shadow from. Even Minq knew that.

“Who shadow?” asked Minq as they stepped inside.

“Hopefully someone powerful,” she said and let the shadow out. It slowly expanded into the shape of Gola, the Drutan.

“Thank the Dragon!” Brigitta sighed.

Gola chuckled and motioned for them to step aside. “I did warn you about that spell.”


  1. Cynthia
    Feb 23, 2012

    Thanks for sharing, Danika! I like the way you incorporated magic into your story.

  2. Lynda R Young
    Feb 23, 2012

    This is a great entry for the challenge. I loved it.

  3. kelworthfiles
    Feb 23, 2012

    Oh, no! The terror of being turned into a shadow, in danger of being obliterated by the light! Thanks for joining in the challenge.

    • haha. well, not that terror-y, I hope. All of the other entries were so menacing, I wanted to do something a bit more playful.

  4. K S Collier
    Feb 23, 2012

    I loved your entry. Great work! Nice to meet you fellow campaigner.

  5. Rachel Morgan
    Feb 23, 2012

    Very cool idea about the shadows 🙂

  6. 4amWriter
    Feb 24, 2012

    That’s awesome, Danika. I love how you got right into the action and I had a real strong idea of what was happening in only 200 words. I think you’re a marvel that you added in the extra challenges.

    Good job!

    • Thanks, 4 AM. I’m sure it helped that I have so much history with these characters. I’ve actually never done that in a flash piece before – used characters I had already developed.

  7. tracikenworth
    Feb 24, 2012

    Great job!!

  8. Jessica McKendry
    Feb 24, 2012

    Oh great job!! You said so much in so few words! I really want to know more of the story!! Love it 🙂

    I’m entry #19

  9. Ann Cory
    Feb 24, 2012

    Lovely 🙂 I enjoy your voice! Smooth flowing and delightful, nice job!

  10. Daisy Carter
    Feb 24, 2012

    Love the tension, and what a great idea! This would make a great novel!

    • Hi Daisy – those actually are all characters from my novel series. This particular event doesn’t happen in the series . . . but perhaps it may sneak in there now. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Thanks everyone who came to visit. I’m off to read more entries myself.

  12. clarbojahn
    Feb 24, 2012

    Yes, It is easier when you pick something you’ve given thought over. I did the same thing with mine. Thanks for stopping by and liking it. Appreciate it. 🙂

  13. Rebekah Loper
    Feb 24, 2012

    Wow, awesome entry! I want to read the rest of the story, hehe. What kind of spell did they cast to turn everyone into shadows, lol?

    I’m stopping by from the Fantasy group at the Campaign, just making my rounds :). My challenge entry is #161.

    • Thanks, Rebekah. Well, you CAN read about these characters in my first two novels. wink-wink. I’m thinking about adding the shadow idea to one of the books in the series. It’s already percolating.

  14. Nick
    Feb 25, 2012

    Nice one! I like the fantasy concept you have here: catching shadows. Innovative, indeed 🙂 You’ve been shortlisted to move into round two of judging! Congrats!

    I’m entry #207.

  15. Oh, I’m shortlisted! Thanks! 🙂

  16. spbowers
    Feb 26, 2012

    How fun! I loved it.

  17. C.M. Brown
    Mar 2, 2012

    Very magical! Enjoyed the read!

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