Friday, February 24, 2017

The Trick Question is: "WHAT was terrifying?"

Janet Reid is running another flashfic contest this weekend.

Smooth, ensconsed, and safe. Comfortable. Desolate. Warm.


Deserted. Alone. Imprisoned.


Wanted … crunch, and edge, and contrast, and cold. Wanted … out.

No chink to pry. No way to gnaw out.

The urgency was physical.

Kick. Strain. Peck. Hours, it took; eternity.


Blue sky. It was terrifying.

Most beautiful thing in the world – the whole world: outside the egg.


Now that the contest is over and Nate Wilson ran OFF with it (and sightly ro), I want to ask about this story, and whether it works.

Given Lilac's comment on it the other day, I wonder whether a clue is necessary: that what was breaking out of this egg was monstrous. I hoped the harshness of some of the words I chose pointed that way, but that would not be so much "beautiful"as horrifying.

With a 100 word limit, this clocks in at a mere 62, but I felt no desire to add to this piece. Does it need more heft? Does it creep anyone out, or does it just read like a wee little bird fighting to find the world?

I would LOVE to hear from y'all, and not just Reiders! Many thanks to anyone who might share your opinions.


Lilac Shoshani said...

That's beautiful, Diane!

DLM said...

Hmmm, I'd say thank you but actually I was going for horror. Now I wonder whether it was effective!

Donnaeve said...

Well, I found it lyrical. Not horror/scary at all. I would have figured out it was about a winged creature (I simply thought bird - oh well), but in a way - wouldn't it have been cool for it to be a DRAGON!

You could have done this:

"Most beautiful thing in the world – the whole world: outside the egg." Until it breathed fire.


But. In all those beautiful words - it, IMO, was like I said. Lyrical.

DLM said...

It is so funny, writing this I was thinking of pointy words, dark words - crunch, contrast, cold. I wanted "imprisoned" and "it was terrifying" to be the clues, and for that final line to read as dangerous - this hungry, imprisoned thing; jettisoned, breaking out, the whole beautiful world its feeding ground.

Still, your and Lilac's feedback is hardly hurtful! :)

This, I suppose, is what we call an interesting failure.

DLM said...

Oh, and - as for what the creature was - I was thinking of the Roc, the ancient mythological gigantic bird monster (first painting above).