Posts Tagged ‘writing challenge’


The air supply has switched to the recycled stuff now. The others ask how he can tell, but Harrison swears he can taste the difference.

He sits in the chair, as he has for the last ten hours. Since the alarms started and they were all rushed in here.

The Waiting Room. A place to wait while the world burned.

He glances again at the no-smoking sign and taps his fingers on the table. He needs a cigarette. He doesn’t even smoke that much. He’s not one of those pack-a-day types. But if the world’s going to end, he wants a cigarette.

He looks around the room, at the other men and women, all in their neat suits, so silent they might as well be furniture. There were attempts at conversation at the start, painful as surgery without anesthetic, but that dried up quickly. Now, thank God for small mercies, it was just silence. There’d be time to talk later.

There won’t be anyone else to talk to.

He wishes the window was real. If the world is ending, someone should be left to see it.

But all he can see is a false sky without a cloud in sight.

Word Count: 200

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to Donna for running the challenge. Photo credit to Arun Sharma.


The mountain’s edges are cut glass, carved by the thousand-year grind of glaciers, softened by ten thousand years of wind. It looms, lopsided, jagged, hunched behind the swaying trees.

It watches the children play and listens to the echo of their laughter, fleeting joy in the winter air.

This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Priscilla du Preez for providing the prompt photo!


She sat on the roof of the old house, looking up at the constellations that danced in the dark blue sky over the crest of the hills. The baying of hounds came ever closer, accompanied by the glow of torches and the roar of the mob.

“Forgive them,” she whispered to the stars and closed her eyes as the flames began to climb.

This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Thomas Shellberg for providing the prompt photo!


He couldn’t remember how he arrived. All he knew was the flicker of tallow candles, the bone-white plates, and something fried, turned over and over in batter and fat.  He prodded it with a fork, but it remained a mystery.

Two great wooden heaved open and his hosts entered. There were seven of them, some in dresses of starlight, some in robes of night. All hid their faces beneath masks of porcelain.

“Are you liking your meal?” one asked.

“It’s excellent.” He’d been raised to be polite.

“Good. Now to discuss the plans you’ve been putting into motion…”

He blinked. “What?”

The porcelain-masked figure sighed and looked at the others. “You got the wrong one again.”

“Sorry,” another muttered, “all mortals look the same to me.”

“We’ll send you back right away,” the first one said. “Sorry for the inconvenience.”

And he was gone, the room dissipating like steam.

Word Count: 149

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Yarnspinner for providing the prompt photo!


The mountain jutted like a dagger from the earth, a pinnacle of grey in a world of brown. It was all sharp angles and vertical drops, the deadliest of climbs.

But still they attempted it. To even try to climb the mountain was worthy of honour.

If anyone ever reached the top, they would praised above all others, chosen of the gods.

So he pressed on, climbing with pick and rope. Even when his muscles burnt and the wind threatened to dash him against the ground, he pressed on.

At last, he stood upon the tip of the mountain and beheld what none of his people had beheld before: another world, all around him, a world of heights that made the mountain look like nothing, that made his people look like nothing.

He stood there, not knowing whether to laugh or weep.

Word Count: 142

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and yarnspinnerr for providing the prompt photo!


The War is coming.

They feel it in their bones. The shops are shut. Windows are barred. Mothers hold their children close. The streets are empty. A lone newspaper flutters on the breeze, drifting between abandoned cars.

The War is coming.

There has been no announcement on the radio. There has been nothing on the television. The Internet is a haze of grey. Nobody talks about it. They simply know.

The War is coming.

The tanks come, and the soldiers with them. Rifles and helmets glint and clank as they move through empty streets. Darting eyes stare through boarded windows, watching them move.

A soldier stops for a moment, aims his rifle at a noise: a cat, sitting atop a dustbin. In a flash of fur and claws and eyes, it is gone. It knows better than to be out when the War is coming.

They come to the port, looking out over the channel sea. Waters lap gently against the metal legs of abandoned dock cranes. The tanks roll to a halt, treads becoming still and silent. The whisper of waves on rocks fills the cold air.

And in the grey mist, they see the shadow of the enemy.

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit to A Mixed Bag.

On day 5 of my personal challenge to write 100 stories in 100 days, I wrote story number four and it was a winner. I was extremely happy with it and think it has a good chance of getting accepted somewhere.

It is now day 11 and I’ve written a grand total of one story since.

This has been my problem for as long as I can remember. I’ll write something I like and then sit on it. That’s kind of the point of this challenge, to be prolific and not worry (yet) about quality, but every time I start a new one, I worry it won’t be as good and scrap it.

Bad Jaden, write faster.

Day: 11

Stories Finished: 5