Flash Fiction Challenge: 200 Words At A Time, Part One

Last Week’s Challenge: Find Your Favorite Opening Line

Administrative head’s up — still tallying which of the opening lines were used the most in the last challenge (unless, ahem, anyone feels like taking that bullet for me).

This week is going to be the start of a five-part challenge that should take us up to and through Christmas. This is a bit of an experiment, so, who the hell knows if it’s going to work? But it is what it is and hey, I wanna try this out, see what happens.

I want you to write the first 200 words of a story.

This will not be a complete story.

Again: this is just the start of a story.

This is, in fact, 1/5th of a story.

You will finish this by noon EST on the following Friday, which is the 29th of November.

Then — and I’ll remind you of this next Friday — you’ll take someone else’s 200 words and continue that story for 200 more (for a total of 400 words). The goal being to end up with a 1000-word story after five total challenges. Each time around you’ll grab someone else’s story and add 200 words to it. We’ll play this weird narrative whisper-down-the-lane variant until roughly the end of the year. So, for right now…

Post your 200 words at your blog.

Link back here. (That part is critical, obviously.)

You’ve got a week.

Go write!

302 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: 200 Words At A Time, Part One”

    • I chose this one. I went a bit tame thinking there was plenty of room to build up some tension. I hope I did your beginning justice, because it was a great place to start!

    • I shall take up your challenge and see what I can make of it.

      Part 2 by A. Carina Barry

      I was ensconced upstairs in my apartment, attempting to write a proper article on the holistic benefits of açai berries when the thin veil of snow swirling over the cars below took on the form of native people riding on horses, Mohave, I thought, the word just coming to me. They chased a coyote with a heart in its mouth, it dove through a gap in the swirling snow and the riders shot past it. That was when the honking began and I realized, I wasn’t the only one seeing it.

      I shot up from my desk and pressed my face to the glass. Could this be it? The Great Awakening when the people of the world would catch the spiritual fire and see at last with open eyes as those sensitive to the spiritual world do? I glanced about eagerly, hoping for signs of the brightening of people’s auras as they stepped out of their cars and pointed at the swirling riders.

      As much as I tried, I could not see a change. But then the snow spirits above wheeled about in frustration and noticed the gathered mass of humanity below. Glaring, they set their spears forward and charged!


    • I was looking here for entries that did not get responses then realized I might want to check round 3. Seems yours got some love, but I already wrote this. Heh. So I’ll leave the alternate here.

      Part 2 by A. Carina Barry

      Jake Corwin signaled his men to aim high and smiled in grim satisfaction as their shots rang out death’s medley and the passengers sitting in the seats fell over one by one. The last one slumped over his wounded side, a dagger clutched in one trembling hand, eyes like granite over a large nose and even larger red-orange mustache. The man swung at him, but the wound limited his reach and Jake sidestepped back before raising his own blade and adding a finishing slice to the inside of the man’s thigh. The carriage rider groaned, but to his credit he did not cry out nor beg in his last moments.

      Once Jake saw the light leave the man’s eyes, he stepped aboard to examine the strange prisoner. It looked like what you’d get if you had a baby raised by alligators. The thing looked like something out of a logging camp’s story. Jake would have to pay those stories more heed. “You understand me?” he asked simply. The creature looked up at him doubtfully, its eyes narrowing. It could hear him at least. Probably bound for some freak show or another. Another outcast of life, like himself.

  1. OK, perhaps I missed the memo, but are we supposed to choose which story we want to continue? If so, isn’t that potentially going to leave some out in the cold? I imagined we’d be allocated the next story…

    • Generally Paul, each individual chooses the story they want to continue. I’d suggest if someone else is continuing one, continue another. Less people out in the cold!

      • Oh, I’m getting that now, I just don’t think it was clear that was meant to happen. I thought the idea would be that everyone’s story would get continued, not just those picked. Also, the sheer number of pieces makes it all a little unwieldy, especially as it runs into the third, fourth and fifth stages. It’s not a problem, my mind just prefers things a little more organised. I’m going to bow out, because, as much as I love the concept, the application’s proved a little overwhelming to me. Just wish I could delete my original link…

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