Saturday, February 5, 2011

You've Come a Long Way, Baby

Christine Hardy @ The Writer's Hole had a fun idea for today's You've Come a Long Way, Baby Blogfest.  Since the craft of creative writing is a journey, she thought it'd be fun to share some of our earlier work, illustrating just how far we'd come since, you know, back then.  So, below is a piece of flash fiction I wrote in May of 2008.

It was for a daily contest, which asked me to produce in 24 hours a 300-word (maximum) short story, incorporating the prompt words:  Rainbow, Bicycle, and Backpack.  (psst!  This entry actually won the contest that day!)

When I read this back, I have to smile.  There are FOUR -ly adverbs in the first paragraph.  But they're hardly noticeable, forced to share a paragraph with such garish attempts at lush descriptions, calling attention to themselves.  It's as if all those fancy words and pretentious phrases had little arms, waving at me.  It screams amateur. LOL.  I'm happy to say I opt for more concise descriptions now, simple words that pack a mean punch, more bang for the buck. Okay, 'nuf said.  Here you are; enjoy :))


         A rapt spectator of uninhibited childhood bliss, Alan hovered on the porch as his young son played in the yard, tossing a rainbow colored ball high over his head. Eyes tightly shut against the dazzling sun, the boy giggled as he reached up to catch the ball. It ricocheted off miscalculating hands, and bounced down the slight incline toward the street. Alan’s smile faltered and his eyes grew steadily wider as he saw his son turn in the ball’s direction. With surging dread, his eyes followed as the boy scampered after it. Alan tried to run, but his suddenly cumbersome legs wouldn’t budge. He shouted, but no sound issued from his mouth. Rooted to the spot by unseen forces, he helplessly watched his son dash into the street as an electric blue car with tinted windows crested the hill. Never decelerating, the car barreled straight for him. Alan stretched out his arms, groping, pleading. “NNNnnooooooooo!”

         He woke with a start. His heart was racing and beads of perspiration clung to his upper lip. Sitting up on the couch, he ran a hand through his hair, impatient for the dream to dissipate. He wanted -- needed -- to be with his son. 

         Standing, he called out, “Honey? Where’s Jimmy?”

         His wife’s muffled voice answered, “Outside!”

         Nudging shoes and a discarded backpack out of the way, he pried open the front door. Jimmy was riding his bicycle along the sidewalk. “Son,” he called, “wanna shoot some hoops?”

         “Sure, Dad!” Jimmy answered, hopping off his bike and letting it topple to the ground with a crash. A moment later, as Alan draped an arm around the boy’s shoulders, the tranquil air was disrupted by the swell of a rumbling engine. Looking up, Alan’s pulse quickened as an electric blue car with tinted windows came barreling into view.


Thanks for reading!  Please visit the other participants' blogs over the weekend.  The Mr. Linky list can be found HERE on Christine's blog.

Have a fantastic weekend!