Monday, April 23, 2012

Flash Fiction: Once Upon A Time Contest

The following is not only my first flash fiction attempt,
but my first entry into any type of writing contest.
I'm doing it for the sake of silliness,
tomfoolery, and shenanigans.
Also cause @ruanna3 sent the Excuse Fairy
to my house and man alive is she a feisty one!
The following contest is hosted by @ruanna3 & @SJIHolliday.
 You can find the guidelines at Yearning for Wonderland.

 And without further ado,
I give you a little ditty I shall now dub--

Once Upon A Puzzle

“Mom?” Adam whispered.

Adam’s wide eyes scanned the cramped space, a beat-up desk, two chairs— one wobbly, one with duct tape across its center—and scuffed yellowed linoleum. Huddled against a grease stained wall, Adam searched for his mother. One moment, she’d been sitting at the desk working on a jigsaw puzzle, while telling him a story about a panda bear who’d lost his teapot and had to travel from China to Australia to steal it back from a pesky kangaroo, when poof, she’d vanished.

His mother had been driving him to school that morning when their tire had blown out. They’d found themselves stranded in front of an auto shop. A man covered in grease and smelling of gas had ushered them into the waiting room. He’d grunted indiscernible words and disappeared through the only door in the room. Seeing a half finished puzzle on the desk, Adam’s mom started working on it, while Adam slumped in a chair.

Panic caused Adam’s heart to pound, his hands slick, his mouth dry. The windowless room pressed in on him, the air stale. His ears hummed and the tang of acid filled his mouth. A tear slipped down Adam’s cheek and he brushed it away. He straightened from the wall with a quick jerk.

Light pulsed from the table where he’d last seen his mother. Adam’s feet dragged as he walked toward the table. The light wasn’t coming from the desk, but from the completed puzzle. Adam’s body shook as he reached out a hand toward the puzzle. He wanted to stop himself, but couldn’t. His fingers brushed its corner.

“Adam!” He jerked his hand back, cradling it to his body.

He glanced around the room, his eyes wild. He’d heard his mother yell his name. But how?

“Mom?” Adam reached out once more, laying his palm flat on the puzzle.

“Adam, run!”

Adam’s hand fused with the puzzle. He gasped and bumped into the desk’s chair, which landed with a crash. The light of the puzzle faded as the door creaked open and laughter filled the empty room.

word count: 348

41 comments:

  1. Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog so I popped over to read yours. It is wonderful! I love your writing style! I look forward to reading more of your work.

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    1. Oh thank you so much! I had a blast writing this. And I can't say it enough, I thought your story was awesome. Thanks for taking the time to read mine.

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  2. Ooh, creepy! I love it! Thanks for sharing your very first flash with us for this comp :)

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    1. Well, thank you for hosting the contest! I've enjoyed not only writing this, but reading everyone's stories. It's a ton of fun.

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  3. Great story, it made me smile, your writing has a nice humour about it. You should enter more competitions - I can't believe this is your first.

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    1. I mainly did this cause I think @ruanna3 is fun times, and I wanted to see if wordy me could possibly write a story in less than 3000 words. Now, I'm sucked into this whole amazing community. It's pretty much awesomesauce. And this is 100% my first flash fiction. I'm completely shocked I was able to pull it off. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I'm still sad about poor lil Timmy...

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  4. Great voice. I like your style, the creepiness, the tantalizing whats-gonna-happen. Glad you joined in. Now, you'll have to do more flash with us. :D Thanks for commenting on mine also.

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    1. No problem! Your story was fun time, no doubt!

      I'm so glad you enjoyed this little tale of mine. I will definitely try to write more in the future. Hopefully, my little cuties will allow it. ;)

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  5. Great story, Ang! Very clever. I love your use of detail--particularly in the first paragraph, with the duct-taped chair and the scuffed linoleum. Thanks for a fun read!

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    1. Can I just say when I saw the dilapidated chairs in me brain-brain I did a happy dance?! I really am that simple.

      Thank you so much for reading! I'm glad you enjoyed it. =D

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  6. A wonderfully haunting little piece. A fantastic story for a first-timer! Very impressed =)

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    1. Why thank you! This n00b couldn't ask for higher praise.

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  7. Really? First time flash? Wish mine had been that good! And would you please remind me the next time in the States to AVOID autoshops like the plague because strange things seem to happen there to lots of people.

    Oh and I won't be doing jigsaws in the future either - that was more than a bit freak-making

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    1. 1. Now see, I'm all confuzzoled! I was gonna write autoshop or auto-shop but went with two words and I'm back to being all angsty about it! Clearly, I am winning at life. ;)

      2. It is for sure my first flash and most definitely the only story I've ever written under 1000 words long. I have done dialogue threads, but not a full story. blah blah blah

      3. I'm so glad you like it! And do so hope you will give jigsaws a try. Not all of them are owned by creepers who want to keep you imprisoned in them. At least... I don't think so. har har har

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  8. This was great! Love it. And am totally now frightened of puzzles, which is fine because I am not very good at them to start with.

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    1. My intention was never to make people afraid of puzzles. I actually love them. Now I shall have to write a story about how awesome puzzles are!

      Thanks for the comment!!

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  9. That's really good, well done. I can't believe this is your first flash attempt either! :-)

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    1. Why thank you! I'm glad you liked it.

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  10. I do hope they're rescued or they manage to escape! Very creepy. Well done. :)

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    1. Hm... that's something to ponder. Also how many others has the creepy mechanic captured and is he always a mechanic or does it always change?! I could truly go on forever, so I shall stop there.
      THANKS FOR READING!!

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  11. Why didn't the mechanic finish the puzzle? Did he *know*? Something insidious this way comes... and he's either hapless victim or devious mastermind.

    ...

    Handy that their tire blew out right in front of the auto shop. I'm leaning toward mastermind.

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    1. I think you are onto something, my good sir! The mechanic is up to something. I've been wondering why he keeps the souls. Like does he eat them or does he want them so he's not alone or is he collecting them for someone else. Or maybe, just maybe, he's trying to save someone he loves and the bounty is people! OH MY!
      And why of all things is he using a puzzle? Do ya think is changes?!
      I might not be able to get anything done today!
      Thanks for the comment!

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  12. This was very clever and creepy! Can't believe this was your first flash. Very nice work, m'dear! :)

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    1. Why thank you! Truly truly, it's my first and I'm glad you liked it! *hugs*

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  13. Wonderful story! I loved the suspense! You managed to add so much atmosphere into such a short amount of words! Great job! :)

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    1. Aw shucks! Thank you! It was a challenge trying to set the scene plus tell the story. I'm definitely learning, flash fiction really makes you think and editing is key.

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  14. Fantastically scary atmosphere and suspense craeted in such a short space of time (words!). Enjoyed reading it, thank you.

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    1. Why thank you! And thank you so much for taking a moment of two to read my lil story! *HUGS*

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  15. You capture the wonder and the fear of childhood very well and make the story feel real with your use of detail. A great piece.
    @JTsuruoka

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    1. Um... I feel this is high praise, cause I remember your story *shudders* (in a great way mind you). I'm humbled you like it! I always love writing from a child's perspective, there is something insanely honest and right about them.

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  16. Woo, welcome to the world of flash fic, Ang! It's a fun place to be!

    I was in a tizzy while reading, hoping Adam would be okay. Making me worry about a character in such a small space, is truly impressive! Keep it up. :)

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    1. Thank you! And I will!! I hope to look into another writing thingy later this month. First, I must finish editing my dear sweet fluffy novel.

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  17. Great job - can't believe it's your first try! You write really convincingly from the child's perspective - I could feel his fear and confusion.

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    1. Why thank you! I'm just blown away that everyone liked this. I just makes my heart sofaking happy. *HUGS ALL AROUND*

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  18. A fun read. And a good idea. I enjoyed it.

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    1. Why thank you! And thank you for reading it!

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  19. This is great - I just love your descriptions! The setting is really vivid.

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    1. I had fun with the setting. It's funny, because I actually had this set somewhere else originally. But it just didn't feel right. Then I saw those chairs in my mind and it was game on!
      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

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  20. Dang, that was unexpectedly terrifying!!! Great entry... Goodness. I will never think about puzzles the same way again haha.

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    1. Puzzles are not evil! I really should have picked something else! hehehe

      So glad you liked it! And thank you for commenting!

      p.s. I *heart* your Aladdin story! GOOD LUCK! WE ARE GONNA BE PUBLISHED TOGETHER!! *happy dance*

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  21. a wonderful tale!!! gripping narration!!! :)

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