Show for the Crusade

Well, not surprisingly, I'm late.

Rachael, who hosted her 2nd Annual Blog Crusade, offered a challenge last week:

My Show Not Tell Challenge: In 300 words or less, write a passage (it can be an excerpt from your WIP, flash fiction, a poem, or any other writing) that shows (rather than tells) the following:

  • you're scared and hungry
  • it's dusk
  • you think someone is following you
  • and just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: shimmer, saccadic, substance, and salt.
Well, in this snip, I assure you, my MC is scared, and devastated - hungry, too. 270 words.

Tara Watson (c)2010

Icy cold stabs of fear prickled down my spine at the calm smile spreading on Nikolai’s face.

"I'd like you to know something." He smiled wider, eyes sharp, piercing and I was sure I didn’t want to know whatever was coming.

"He just killed the rock star.”

I stared into his face, blank.

Nikolai shoved the box of sweetbreads off the desk and they landed into my lap. Tiny pieces of broken bread littered the ground around me. Icing smeared across my skirt as some slid to the floor, the scent of chocolate teasing my hunger. When I looked back up, he laughed.

“Shot your boyfriend through his head. Do you understand?”

The rock star. Your boyfriend.


"No!" I jumped up, screaming, as every strand of my existence unraveled, thread by agonizing thread. 

Nausea poured into my stomach and the walls whirred around as I clawed at the desk hoping to keep myself up. I vomited just before the world fell out from under me. 

Somewhere in the distance, Nikolai began a tirade of horrid Russian names for women.

The back of my head throbbed, hair being ripped out strand by strand, as someone yanked me to my feet. The motion snapped my head back and Frankenstein's angry face hovered above. My legs numb, I had to hold his arm to keep from falling back to the ground. I finally gripped the edge of the desk and he let me go, but only long enough to land a backhand across my left cheek. My head hit the side of the desk the same time my rear hit the floor.


Jennifer Shirk said...

Oooh that was so good! I really felt her fear.

Summer Frey said...

Good choice! As soon as I read the prompts, I had a feeling this is what you'd pick. :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

could feel the fear
Many thanks for the comment most valued as always.

Carol Kilgore said...

Excellent. I love it.

Angela Felsted said...

Ouch! This was so well done, so graphic, I fear it will give me nightmares.

Zan Marie said...

Oh my! Poor Kaisa! The tension is great and I want more, please. ; )

I loved Rachael's challenge. It's gotten me back in my SF wip big time. Who knows when I'll be back with the gang in Cherry Hill.

LTM said...

whoa. Powerful stuff... hairs being ripped out, shot in the head. Very strong and moving. Great work, Tara! :o)

Old Kitty said...

Oh no! Poor woman!!! Horrid Nikolai - booooo!!!

Thanks for sharing this piece - it's got my attention! Well done you! Take care

Lydia K said...

Ooh, how exciting! Well done!

Madeleine said...

Gosh very dramatic! :O)

M Pax said...

Ouch! Dramatic, indeed. A very intense passage, Tara.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, that is really original! Good job.

Talei said...

Lord, this was good. Very different to pieces I've read recently. I like it!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Great job!

LOL I wonder how many people were able to use excerpts from their WIPs for this. :D

Deniz Bevan said...

These scene always hurts me even though I know Kasia gets out of it okay. Just can't bear the idea of the two of them being rent apart, even if it is a misunderstanding!

Alleged Author said...

Rach rocks! I love the imagery of "hair being ripped out, strand by strand." Great post!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh, very visceral. Nicely done. Great images all around.

Except sweetbreads are another name for digestive organs, so that's actually what I saw first when Nikolia swept them off the desk. Ha! It's a delicacy, I guess. O_O


Liz Fichera said...

Wow. Intense imagery. I got goosebumps reading it. Nicely done!

Linda Kage said...

Definitely feeling the fear! Ooh, shiver. Poor girl.

K.M. Weiland said...

Nice. The detail about the sweetbreads and the smeared icing is particularly good. Mundane and chilling all at once.

Nas Dean said...

Interesting entry..and spine tingling as well!

Portia said...

Still gives me chills! This is definitely a standout moment. Well done!

unikorna said...

Wow your imaginations knows no boundaries, I suppose that's a writer's main asset and you sure know how to handle it. Breathtaking dialogues :)