Challenge #3 The Inheritance

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The third and final campaign challenge is upon us! Once again, though aimed at adult writing, I wanted to stretch myself by notching it down to YA,, to keep it in my kidlit realm.

Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:

  • that it’s morning, 
  • that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
  • that the MC (main character) is bored
  • that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
  • that something surprising happens.

Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: “synbatec,” “wastopaneer,” and “tacise.”   (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them).

I was always the first up ! I tiptoe past the bunk where the twins lie lost in dreams, out of the beach hut and down to the wrinkled, damp ridge of the sandbar. The receding tide greets the ascending sun; I lick my lips, nature’s embrace reminds me of my separation. I clench and unclench handfuls of wet sand, rubbing the grains between my fingertips. How many more days of building sand kingdoms and playing volleyball with the girls until I can see Julian again ? A synbatec camp – he’d tried to explain it to me – his father thought it would be character-building, hence the unknown time-span, right, like not knowing when something will end will make you into some wastopaneer overnight.

I tilt my head back, and close my eyes, the warmth strokes my cheeks. The sun is fully globed above the ocean now. It must be 8.00 already and my sisters will be here soon spilling over with giggles and carefree vacation plans.

Shit, I had promised myself I wouldn’t cry. I roll over and bury my face in my sunburnt arms, but recoil and spin around immediately, spitting and snorting as though that will rid me of the of the acrid stench that invades my nostrils.

I blink and think that yesterday’s sunstroke is still playing with my mind.


He stumbles and crumples in an inert heap of ragged flesh beside me; his body so sliced with wounds, I see only dried blood crusts and seeping pus, not the brave, healthy boy I know.

I shiver and scan the beach for others, for explanation; the silence of the hunted shrouds and immobilizes me.

         “Em,” his voice is less than a whisper, “I refused my father’s tacise. Help me. We have to go, to disappear.”

  The voting can be found here, and I am a rather late entry, slipping in at #96. 

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49 Responses to Challenge #3 The Inheritance

  1. Great visuals to start, and then you ended with some excellent suspense. Loved your descriptions. Once again, you have done a great job! 🙂

  2. MISH says:

    Great setting. Good use of the senses. Loved the “cliffhanger” ending! All-in-all a great job.
    (My entry at no.#47)

  3. Wow, very interesting, another cliffhanger! Lol! Def made me want to read more! Good job! ; )

  4. Love the suspense 🙂 And great use of the words! Fantastic job.

  5. Ooh, go on. I don’t want it to be over! I must go vote for you

    • Joanna says:

      Hi, and thanks, Bridget. Each time I write one of these flash fiction pieces that ends on a cliffhanger, I too am pondering, “What happens to Ju and Em now?” 🙂

  6. Patricia Tilton says:

    I want to know what happens. Great imagery, tension and suspense! Oh, by the way, you’re showing up again in my WP blogs — yeah!

  7. Jessica says:

    Yes, I agree with everyone else!! Great suspense at the end and loved your descriptive language!! Wonderful take on the challenge 🙂

    I’m entry #5

  8. Jen says:

    Wow! I really want to read more of this! I loved your descriptions of the twins and th sandbar at the beginning, but now Julian’s turned up I need to know what happens next! Great job!
    Mine is #25.

  9. Hi Joanna,

    I’m one of the first stage judges and I’m pleased to let you know you are through to the next round. Nice use of the nonsense words 🙂

  10. Susanna says:

    Wow, Joanna, this is great! I know the point was just a 300 word campaign challenge, but you’ve left me dying to find out what’s going on? Where are they? Why are they there? What happened to Julian and why? It sounds like the start of a great story! 🙂

  11. Mel Fowler says:

    I’m very interested in what’s happening with the main characters life, and also whats going on in the world they live in. Great job.

  12. I love your entry! There’s so much more behind the characters that’s hinted at–I wish this was longer. 🙂

  13. Doctor FTSE says:

    A very good 300 word of something longer and very powerful. Gets my vote

  14. Jess Byam says:

    Poor guy! I’m glad he got back to her and I hope they get away. *bites nails* Good job!

  15. Dang, you’re good! This was an excellent dip into Em’s life, but like the others I need to know the rest of the story. Great use of the “words” and fantastic suspense at the end contrasting with the scenario as painted at the beginning. I know well that you are heavily involved in writing picture books of a different slant entirely from this piece of fiction, but I urge you to flesh this out, because I think you definitely have talents in this genre as well.

    I am not in the least surprised that you’re going on to the next round of judging. Well done, Joanna!

    • Joanna says:

      Beth, thank you for such an enchanting comment. Thank you also for the constant encouragement to push my age focus upward :). It will happen, I hope, organically!

  16. Treelight says:

    Oh no, you can’t stop like that!
    Of course I know the rules … but I’d really like to know how this would continue.

  17. Anna says:

    Oh dear, I really want to know what happened to Julian.
    Any chance this will be expanded on? :p

  18. Katie Dodge says:

    Loved it! I want more! Great job. 🙂

  19. Love this one! What a great job!

  20. Hi Joanna,

    Didn’t expect the twist at the end… I was thinking it was going to be a romance, with Julian coming in to sweep her away, so nice surprise!!

    PS… thanks for your comments on my story and I LOVED how you said that “he really dumped her!” Nice one… I wish I thought of that one myself:)

  21. Eek! What a cliffy ending. Great work, Joanna! 🙂

  22. K.T. Hanna says:

    Oh, the ending is chilling! I didn’t expect that at all. I hope they make it and run away.

    Great take on the challenge!

  23. Joanna, sorry I only just came across yours now, (can’t remember who I have seen and who I haven’ This is really suspense ridden, you have to finish it…. you can’t leave us like that.. its so damn good. Got my vote.

  24. Brinda says:

    Wow. This is so intriguing. I wish I could read more!

  25. This is great! I want more 🙂

  26. This story is awesome. Believe it or not, I’m just getting around for my first visit and I’m in your PB through YA group. Sorry I waited so long. Not intentional, just swamped with campaigning, critiques and query research. Yours and Lady Jai’s are my now my favorites. But you have to write more of this, maybe a whole book.

    • Joanna says:

      Sher, thanks so much for the visit and warm words. I have been in and out of everyones blogs, but not as much as I wanted to.

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