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May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 2

Posted: Sat May 07, 2016 9:47 pm
by JillStar
Get ready... get set... go!

Ready for week #2?

Here are your options for May's month-long challenge, part 2. Pick the next portion of whichever challenge you chose last week. When you have finished each week's prompt, feel free to create a thread here in the Word Trip Monthly Writing Challenge area and keep posting each one as you go. You can post your rough drafts, finished drafts... or none at all. ;)

Each week a new prompt of the challenge will be posted. Write a Flash Fiction piece with a total of a 100-1000 words each. These will be three separate Flash Fiction stories based on the prompt that is posted each week.


FIRST OPTION

Paragraph Prompt – Use the given paragraph as inspiration for the weekly story prompts leading to a mysterious conclusion. There will be weekly prompts to go along with the paragraph.

There wasn’t time to react the way one would react if given the opportunity to think about the entire situation. With everyone’s eyes turned with anticipation and uncertainty, there were only moments and those moments were ticking fast.

Week 1– Write a fictional story based on the above information using third person point of view. Give this story an ending but leave a hidden mystery for later.

Week 2 -Write a story from the viewpoint of another character in the first story showing a completely different version of what happened. Make this character someone unknown in any way to the main character in the first story. Give this story an ending as well and leave the mystery intact, perhaps adding more to it.



SECOND OPTION

The Mixed Up Inspiration Challenge – a Hodge podge of prompts leading to a climatic ending!

Week 1 - Pick up a book and turn to chapter 17. Use the chapter title as inspiration to write your first story. No title to chapter 17? Use the 17th sentence instead. Add one or more of the following to your story as well…

a. “These steal toed boots are killing me!”
b. He was older than yesterday by a dozen years.
c. Jumping was the only way to save his/her life.

Week 2 - Use the following character description to write your second story. Put him into a situation that can link him to the first story.

This character is surly and aggressive and has shifty eyes. He was made to work in the family sweatshop and was educated by running errands for Vinny. He married badly and he has a chronic phobia of heights and confined spaces.



THIRD OPTION

Journey Through Life Prompt – use the prompts to show the progression of life for a group of individuals. What is the moral of your story?

Week 1 – Use ONE of the following groups to begin your journey. The first story should end at a point in life where a new journey might begin.

a. Four boys sitting on a log near a stream throwing rocks and/or fishing
b. Three girls lying in the grass watching the clouds float into different shapes
c. A variety of young children all playing baseball or another sport

Week 2 – Use one of the following groups to continue your journey. You might want to use the one that goes along with the first story or pick another to wrap up a bigger story later.

a. Four men in their 20s heading out to the camp ground where something unusual happens causing an epiphany for one or more of them.
b. Three women in their 20s coincidentally at the same location are reminded of their friendship and decide to make some changes.
c. A variety of people in their 20s pick up where they left off as children and create a team that go on to compete in ways they never imagined.



FOURTH OPTION

Roll of the Dice Poetry Challenge. Writing three poems using the weekly prompts (1 poem per week) with a final poem to bring them together.

Week 1 – Use one of the following prompts to write your 12 stanza poem (with or without rhyme). Extra challenge… roll a die to determine which one you will chose.

a. Word Prompt: time, single, burst, view, pocket, shadow, wild, sunset
b. Déjà vu… again and again
c. You took a wrong turn and ended up…

Week 2 – Use the following information to create your second poem.

Part 1) “on the porch, across the lake, down where the grass grows, where he lives”
Part 2) Roll your dice and add both number into your poem


Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 2

Posted: Sat May 07, 2016 9:49 pm
by JillStar
Please comment to these threads so we can see who is participating and which prompt you're using. :-D

Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 2

Posted: Mon May 09, 2016 7:57 pm
by PaulG
Ok Jill, for what it's worth I am working on Option 2. It may have worked out better if I read the directions with both eyes. :freakout: Below is Flash Week 1 and I will start on Flash 2 shortly.

3 Flash- Option Two- Part 1 of 3
Paul woke up with a wicked headache and his feet hurt like hell. He realized that he still had boots on in the bed. He felt extremely groggy and his vision was blurry as he came to in this dim room.

“Where am I?” he asked to no one in particular.

A strange, mechanical sounding voice croaked back, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

“Why do my feet hurt so much?” Paul asked hoping more for relief than a coherent answer.

“It’s the extra toes in the boots. You’re wearing “steal toed” boots which come with someone else’s toes when they’re taken from the original owner!” the voice responded. “So each boot now has ten toes in it, yours and the original owners, but don’t worry they’ll grow on you!” the voice kind of chuckled out.

“This is insane.” Paul choked out, feeling sicker by the second. “Who exactly are you? And why am I here?” he inquired, hoping this was a bad dream.

“I am the Steel Toad, welcome to my office!” came the answer to Paul’s question.

Paul twisted around in the bed, feet still aching somewhat less, and to his disbelief, there sat a large man-sized toad, made entirely of metal, with large bulging eyes sized like tennis balls. His mind racing to figure what was going on prompted him to ask more questions of the Steel Toad.

“Are you sitting at a piano?” Paul queried, while thinking this could be an unimportant question, but it did come to mind first!

“Yes” the toad replied, “Anything you would like to hear from my repertoire?” “I do “Steal Away” by Robbie Dupree, and the complete catalogues of Steely Dan and Stealer’s Wheel!” “It’s tough playing without five fingers like you folks have, but I get by.”

Paul sat up, holding onto his head as it were about to explode.

The Steel Toad noted this and remarked “You might want a bite to eat, might change your outlook on the world this morning.”

“For your enjoyment we have, fresh from Washington state, some steelhead trout and for dessert, a nice piece of stollen, either poppy or cinnamon!”

Paul was starting to tire of all the “steel/steal” references, but opted for the poppy stollen. When he was finished he felt a little better and his feet started to pain him less.

The toad picked up on this and explained that the additional toes were becoming attached to his feet and that long term he would be pleased as his feet would be stronger and his balance improved. “You’ll be a helluva a dancer!” the toad exclaimed.

The toad told Paul that he was enjoying the company, but the social amenities needed to come to an end if Paul was to survive.

Paul choked out, “What do you mean survive, what’s going on here?”

The Steel Toad replied, “Look at your cell phone. What does your home screen say?”

Paul answered, “April 20th, what’s the big deal?”

“Look at the date again.” The toad responded with a voice that was quite somber.

Paul rechecked the phone, it was still April 20th, but it was 2028! “Are you kidding me!” he yelled now starting to flush as his frustration of dealing with this enigmatic toad began to manifest itself!

“Sorry” the toad countered, “I’m just the messenger here and I hope you take it seriously.” “You have aged twelve years overnight and will age a dozen years per day that you remain here, of that I can assure you. Everything going forward, I cannot predict nor can I assist you.” “Be thankful, you’re relatively young. Now!” “Do the math, a few more nights and you’ll be in your eighties and at a point where you can no longer help yourself.”

“How do I escape this lunacy? Paul snapped, panic creeping into his voice.

“You must jump through the hatch behind you, step out and pick either the left ramp or the right, the choice is yours. Where you go I do not know, but it is escape from here and the way to stop the aging.” The Steel Toad replied.

Paul turned and in the floor behind him was a bright orange hatch in the floor. Quickly he opened it and stepped through it onto the short path that led to the ramps. Paul stepped onto the left ramp and could only see smoke and occasional flashes of what he assumed to be lightning. Going onto the ramp to the right he looked down at what appeared to be an enormous, pink flower blossom. Paul stepped off and fell towards the blossom. About half way down he realized that was not a blossom but what looked like the giant maw of the Kraken as he could now make out the rows of teeth! Realizing his impending death, Paul closed his eyes and waited for the end. As he was about to enter the gullet of the giant beast the force of his fall shot him through what was actually painting of the creature’s mouth.

Falling through a dark void, Paul crashed feet first into a body of water. He surfaced moments later to see he was roughly fifty yards from the beach of a small cove. It was raining hard and the surf was roiling as the sky raged with a violent storm. The flood tide helped pushed him toward the small beach where he quickly pulled himself from the sea and proceeded to collapse a few feet above the high water mark. Paul had no idea as he hit the sand and slipped into unconsciousness if he had in fact saved himself.

End of flash one.
Intermission!

Intermission is over!
Flash two is below.

Otto Skeks walked up out of the subway stairwell and griped to no one in particular, “Oh great, just enough of a rain to make the ugly summer weather worse!”

Summers in New York City and especially here in Brooklyn can be extremely uncomfortable. The temperatures don’t have to get into the nineties to make one feel miserable. Humidity is what gets you. This morning’s rain arriving as the temperature rose was perfect for misery! One of those heavy rains, lasting about twenty minutes and then going away, leaving plenty of water for the sun to convert to steam to make the high eighties currently predicted feel like a hundred easy!

Otto shlumped on towards his place of employment, watching everything from under the heavy eyebrows that caused one to focus on his beady, shifty eyes, the Pescatore Widget factory, a couple of piers down from the old Brooklyn Navy Yard.

It was here that Otto had met his wife of thirteen years, the former Tina Pescatore, and late of the accounting department in her uncle’s company. She was “not ugly” when younger, but time had not been real friendly to Tina. After she and Otto had produced their first child, Tina kept on “eating for two” and the results showed. This made Otto’s bad disposition worse and he and Tina could “raise the roof” with the shouting matches they had.

The only reason they stayed together was that Tina knew she wasn’t going to find another provider, and Otto was “no Mel Gibson either” at this point in his life, if he ever was. Their child, Elle, was the glue that kept them together. She was a pretty child of seven years. Some family members as well as some of Otto’s co-workers wondered how these two mutts had generated such a charming child, likable as well as attractive. Otto’s only issue with her was Tina’s insistence on the name, Elle. He knew at some point in her young life she’d get a load of grief for her “palindrome name” as her dad had during his school days.

Otto stepped into the former Navy warehouse that was the home of Pescatore Widget. The nice part about working here was that it was all on one floor and wide open. Otto was a tad claustrophobic as evidenced years ago on a class trip to the Empire State Building. The trip to the observation deck on the eighty-sixth floor was the “reward” for surviving the ride in a packed elevator designed for people of the 1930s! He thought he would pass out for sure after popping out of the elevator seeing more of New York City than he had ever hoped to from almost one thousand feet up. He quickly dodged his group and made his way back to the ground level via the stairwell. That was his last trip there.

As he came past the assembly line before the start of shift, his foreman and closest confidante, Vinny Calzone, yelled over to him, “Otto, how ya doin’? Did you see about that guy that staggered ashore over on Shooter’s Island in Mariner’s Harbor on Staten Island yesterday?”

Otto replied he hadn’t as his newspaper interests tended towards lottery results, the race lines at Aqueduct and Mets scores. After that he wouldn’t have known if God had thrown out the first pitch over at Yankee Stadium!

Vinny cracked up when Otto said he hadn’t. He knew Otto was no PhD candidate but he was definitely living in a very small world. Vinny had known Otto since high school and had gotten him the job with Pescatore. He worked hard at getting Otto up to speed so that he would be an “adequate” worker in the view of Mr. Pescatore.

Vinny gave Otto the basics of the story, “Yeah, they pulled some poor dumb bastard off the beach on Shooter’s Island yesterday. He kept mumbling how he had fallen out of the sky after talking to a metal frog or something like that. You know that poor son of a bitch is now on vacation at Bellevue. Probably on drugs. What a clown!”

Otto chuckled at Vinnie’s story. “That is like so weird.” he said as they walked off to start their day.

End of #2
Time for another intermission!

Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 2

Posted: Thu May 12, 2016 7:16 pm
by JillStar
I like it Paul! Kept my attention and I felt like I was in wonderland a bit. These prompts don't have to be followed 'exactly' so where you took it is perfectly fine.

Now on to part two for you however... up to you if you use it but it's definitely part of the challenge. :)

Week 2 - Use the following character description to write your second story. Put him into a situation that can link him to the first story.

This character is surly and aggressive and has shifty eyes. He was made to work in the family sweatshop and was educated by running errands for Vinny. He married badly and he has a chronic phobia of heights and confined spaces.

Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 2

Posted: Thu May 26, 2016 3:50 pm
by PaulG
OK. I've tacked on the week 2 piece to the week one offering here in week two. I did an edit and loaded on as the next section. When I finish week 3 I will post in week three (I promise) with the first two. Sorry about the confusion. :oops:

Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 2

Posted: Mon May 30, 2016 3:11 pm
by JillStar
Paul, your story so far has me very interested in what the heck is going on. Both of your characters are drawing my attention and I love where you're going with it even though I have no idea where we're going.

Keep it up!!

I really want to see the rest!

Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 2

Posted: Tue May 31, 2016 10:42 am
by timberline
Paul, that is so cool. I love breaking the pieces up by intermission and then bringing the reader around again with a wrapping up of threads.

Jill, sorry I've been away from the keyboard. Guests, quotidian chores and committee work are all conspiring to keep me frustrated and unable to write.

But I'll be baaaack...!

Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 2

Posted: Tue May 31, 2016 8:33 pm
by JillStar
It's all good Timber... we're using this same challenge for June. I re-posted it to include the entire prompt in one thread.

Check it out: viewtopic.php?f=149&t=9181