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Friday, February 24, 2012

Campaign Challenge 1

Musical Stories will be up later tonight, but here's a little extra post for you, my entry for the first Campaigner Challenge of 2012.  You probably know the rules by now, but just in case:

It's a flash fiction story beginning with the words 'Shadows crept across the wall.'
It ends with the words 'Everything faded'.
It includes the word 'orange'.
It's the genre I'm currently writing.
It's 200 words exactly.

I think I've fulfilled everything, so here it is. (If you get that far, it's entry 188 on the list).

Shadow Puppets
Shadows crept across the wall; a dog, then a rabbit, then something that Emma thought was an elephant. Robbie obviously liked it. His sweet giggle pierced her heart.

“More, Daddy, more.”
How she would miss her darling boy.

From her vantage point by the door, all she could see was Robbie's back, his head covered by the oversized orange baseball cap. It didn't matter though, every part of her son's face was etched in her brain. She wished to God she had the strength to fight this.

Jack's head appeared from behind the sheet that he was using as a screen. Even from across the dimly lit room, she could see his raised eyebrow, that meant 'are you still here?'. She felt for the doorhandle behind her. He'd won. The evidence he'd gathered about Robbie's illegal adoption saw to that. She could walk away, or end up in prison. Whichever, she'd never see her beautiful son again. Instead, the man who wasn't really his father would be left to raise him.

As Emma left the house she strained to hear just one more peal of laughter, but she could hear nothing. The music, Robbie, even Jack. All gone. Everything faded.



136 comments:

  1. Wow! This reads as if it comes out of a larger story. :-)

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  2. Beautifully done. You said so much with so few words. I want to read more...and hope for a happier ending.

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    1. Thank you. I think if I wrote more, it would have to have a happy ending :-)

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  3. Oh - this snipped really hooked me. It made me wish I could read the rest of the story!

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  4. I don't think this is a snippet---I think it's a distilled microcosm of the complete story.

    I think I would have taken the boy and run.

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  5. Oh, so sad! I really wish you'd written more of the story! I hope the mom and Robbie are reunited... Nicely done!

    I'm entry #19

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    1. If I wrote more I'd definitely re-unite them :-)

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  6. You made me feel like crying. Powerful stuff.

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  7. I agree with Sarah - I would have taken the boy and run. Poor Robbie and Mom. :(

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  8. Oh my...intense. There could be a much longer story here.

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    1. I'm playing with some ideas for it, maybe one day :-)

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  9. Very good, and very sad. Well done.

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  10. Lovely and heartfelt addition to the challenge, nice work :)

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  11. Definitely feels like there's more to this story ;) Vey interesting. Great job, Sarah!

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  12. Great, great job! This is so powerful and so very sad. I'd also like to see the expanded story.

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    1. It's moved into the ideas folder, so you never know!
      Great to see you back on your blog :-)

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  13. Oooh, well done! That really sucked me in.

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  14. Very powerful, very sad. I really like this.

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    1. Thank you very much, and welcome to you :-)

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  15. That was so good, Sarah - I'd love to read more of your writing!

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    1. Thanks Linda, I'm getting better about sharing :-)

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  16. Okay, I had to swallow to lump in my throat. Great job.

    BTW, you've been tagged on my blog:
    http://minaburrows.blogspot.com/2012/02/fridays-with-fred-tag-stuff.html

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    1. Thanks Mina, I'll be over soon to check it out :-)

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    1. I'm going to hope that you mean the situation and not my writing :-)

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  18. Wow, this is intense! You did a great job getting the emotions across... so heartwrenching. What a cool challenge! I'm always intrigued by word count limits b/c they help me with my wordiness :)

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    1. They help me too, in a 'being tortured' kind of way :-)

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  19. You grabbed me right away! Great, Sarah. Really great!

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  20. Sarah - you've been tagged! The details are on my blog. (you don't absolutely have to it it if you'd rather not)

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    1. Of course I'll take it :-) (the week after next!).

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  21. Very sad. I have nightmares about emotional partings like that. I don't think I could walk away, but I'm sure having more of the story would explain Emma's decision. So when are we getting the rest of the story? ;-)

    P.S. You'll be seeing more of me now that I finally remembered to add your blog to my reader.

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    1. Umm... when I write it? ;-)
      Welcome to the blog :-)

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  22. Sarah, that is so heartrending! Just beautiful!!

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  23. I had to read this twice. It's wonderful.

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  24. So glad you entered this challenge. I've already assigned it a judge so i wish you the best of luck in winning the loot!

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  25. Thanks for sharing. There are a lot of emotions built into this piece!

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  26. wow that is a really unique take on this. I thought she must be dying. Nice job. Mine is #71

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    1. I'll be over soon to check it out :-)

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    2. Just went to check and I read it the day you posted it :-)

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  27. Heartwrenching! Which of course makes it amazing ^_~

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    1. That's a lovely thing to say. Thank you.

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  28. That is the saddest thing ever! It's a geat story, Sarah. I want to know more:)

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    1. I sort of have this idea about where it might go ...

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  29. Awesome! I felt like I was right in the story. You're great, even if it made me cry.

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  30. What a heartwrenching story! It makes me so upset to read about stories like this, adoptions suddenly reversed when birth parents change their mind, or other reasons. I'd love to read the entire story.

    I'm #123.

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    2. Me too. I'll be over to check yours out later.

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  31. Oh, how sad. Great job Sarah. I want to read the whole story now. :)

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    1. I have an ending, and a beginning - I just need ideas for the middle :-)

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  32. Heartbreaking. You showed it so well!

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  33. Oh no, I have a lump in my throat. That was heartbreaking and beautifully written.
    Nice job :)
    Laura xxx

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  34. This tears at the heartstrings Sarah. Wonderfully written piece. What's all that about empty white pages,huh?

    Denise

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    1. Thank you Denise. By the way, I changed the title - sort of - and the tagline of the blog. I decided if I want to be a writer I'd better start thinking and acting like one :-)

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  35. What a sad piece; that must be so hard for the character. Great writing!

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  36. This hurt my heart! Fabulous emotion, by the way. But you hurt my heart!

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  37. Well done, Sarah!
    Sounds like the start of a thriller - only your MC vows to fight for her child, adopted or not. We root for her despite the fact she's broken the law. Anti-heroes are my fav.

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    1. If it was longer she'd definitely be changing her mind and coming back for him!

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  38. You just broke me heart. I'm seriously sad now. :D Really great story. Very powerful emotions.

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    1. Thank you, that's what I love to hear :-)

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  39. I wonder what she did...and why Jack would think he could raise the child being that it was an illegal adoption...

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    1. In my head she took Robbie from a bad situation when he was born, and then she met Jack, so he's not the biological father but he's the only Dad Robbie knows. Now he wants to leave her but he won't leave his boy.

      I might have overthought this for a 200 word piece, I tend to do that a lot! Welcome to you, by the way :-)

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  40. Awww, this is heart-wrenching stuff!
    A great entry, Sarah!

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  41. Congratulations! You've been shortlisted to move on to stage two of the first campaign challenge!

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  42. Congrats on being shortlisted. You did an amazing job fit a lot of emotion in so few words. I wanted to know more. Sniff, sniff.

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  43. Congrats on making it to stage 2. You deserve it! This packs a huge story in very few words. So sad...

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  44. Oh that's sad, but fantastic writing. Congratulations on being short listed :-)

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  45. Ohhh... started out cute with a horrific twist at the end ;) Very fun. New follower here... came by to say thanks for your kind comment. Glad to be connected---I'll look forward to your posts! :D

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    1. Welcome to you Morgan, looking forward to getting to know you :-)

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  46. I loved this. I'm here for the Platform Building Campaign and look forward to getting to know you and your work. ~Cheers

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    1. I was exploring your blog earlier too, I love your writing.

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  47. Just read this. Loved it! Makes me want to know more about this woman!

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    1. Iwant to know more too ;-) Thanks Heather.

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  48. This is heart wrenching, and a bit cruel of the husband to keep the boy with him. Well written...thanks for visiting.

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  49. Hey there Sarah. Love the story, and love how different it is to all the others.

    I was asked to choose 2 from a list of 15 finalists to move on to the next round. I am happy to tell you that yours at least was an easy choice -- and not because you are another Aussie!

    Congratulations -- and for the love of god make it a happy ending. The fact that you made me sympathise with Jack the hand puppeteer just makes him all the more evil. Manipulating bastard. Kill him with fire!

    T.B.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, and for enjoying this. I'm glad you didn't pick me because I'm an Aussie, especially as I'm a Brit :-)

      I laughed out loud at your last words, 'kill him with fire' is a favourite saying in our house. Should I be worried? :-)

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  50. Wow, Sarah this is awesome. The hair on my arms was standing at attention. I have an illegal adoption in my legal thriller, Justice For Sale. The facts are different, but the emotions attached to losing your son are eerily similar. This must be more than just just a flash fiction piece. I hope this is part of a bigger story because you are an excellent storyteller and you have me hooked and on the edge of my seat after 200 words begging for more.

    I have read quite a few of the entries and this is the best I have read. I hope you win. I know they have some awesome prizes for the winners.

    Good luck. I hope you win. I loved this piece.

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    1. Melissa, thank you so much for the lovely words, I really appreciate your support and friendship. I've had a few ideas playing in my head for a couple of days, I'll have to see if they take root!

      Your story definitely sounds like one I'd like to read by the way. I can't wait until I get the chance :-)

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  51. This could totally be a Jodi Picoult novel! (I mean, that's what it reminds me of) Very well told. But I hope if you wrote it as a whole novel it would have a happy ending :-)

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    1. Rachel, I'll take that comparison :-) Although of course, Jodi would have the boy dying at the end :-(

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  52. Ah, Sarah. Why don't you have a number posted so I can go vote for you? I tried searching for your name and the title of your piece, but was unsuccessful.

    Anyway, I really liked this piece. I thought it was going to be something all warm and fuzzy and it most definitely was not. Strong words!

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  53. I'm number 188 but I always forget about the voting stuff :-)
    Glad you liked it. I'm not very good at warm and fuzzy!

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  54. Wow. Very powerful. Great entry!

    I'm #149
    melissamaygrove.blogspot.com

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  55. Congratulations Sarah! Sorry I didn't get to visit sooner! Your story was very deep and powerful! Lovely work!

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  56. Congratulations, you have been chosen as a winner in the first Campaign challenge.

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    1. Wow! That's fantastic news. Thank you very much :-)

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  57. This was so moving, Sarah, and I love how you wove the ending together. I'd love to know more about the adoption and how things fell apart with her (husband?).

    I've awarded you Seventh Place overall in the Judging Round! A huge congrats to you, and don't forget to pop by my blog to see the prizes you've won :)

    Hugs,

    Rach

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    1. Thank you so much Rachael, especially as I'm in the company of some excellent pieces. I'm thrilled :-)

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  58. Congrats on placing in the challenge!!!

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    1. Thanks Mark, is it okay to admit that i squealed a bit when I found out?

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  59. Congratulations on your win, Sarah! That is so awesome and I'm so happy for you:)

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  60. Hey, just saw the news on Rach's blog! Congrats on the win!!

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    1. Thank you so much Jennifer, I was chuffed to bits :-)

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  61. Congratulations on your win=) Shoot me an email so we can get your prizes to you!
    kathleen dot doyle88 at yahoo dot com

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  62. Gosh there's so much more to this story that I want to know. Wow! I love how your mind works you have great takes on the themes.

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    1. I've got a confession to make, it was supposed to have a romantic ending, oh well :-)

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  63. Hey I tagged you in the Lucky Seven meme for the 4th Platform Builder's Campaign. Go here to see what it's all about. http://caenus.blogspot.com/2012/04/lucky-seven-meme-and-sky-throne-excerpt.html

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  64. Cheers. I've done it before, but i might have another go after the A to Z campaign :-)

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I happily answer all comments on my blog, and by email if it's not a 'noreply' address :-)