Self-aware. Self conscious. Self induced.

Third Campaigner Challenge: SHOW not TELL

Oof. The deadline for this is tomorrow. I was able to get the other two challenges done in pretty good time, but between vacation and Occupy Writers and coming home, getting this one wrapped up was a close thing. The sphinx entry for Sommer Leigh‘s League of Monstrology is tomorrow; the final post for the Rule of Three is Wednesday, and I’ve got a copy writing gig that demands time this week, as does the rest of the writing. Suddenly I feel quite busy.

Here are Rachael’s parameters:

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:

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 clocked in at 295 words.

There Have Been Better Ideas

Her coffee tasted salty and the wind rattled the newspaper edges over the clues to the crossword.  Dave was rattling on about stone, subjected to years, decades, centuries, millennia of pounding surf. Blah blah blah volcanic blah blah blah ocean blah blah blah sand.

She squinted as the sun crept up on her too-pink legs. Already burned. She could leave them exposed until it rose farther, then it would be time for the garish towel. Oh, how she hated that towel. No. Hate required too much effort. Passive loathing.

“What did you say?”

“Oh God, what do they have?” The dismay in his voice was palpable. That wasn’t what he’d said a moment ago.

She turned a little. The boys were swinging something, a piñata maybe. A piñata. On the Outer Banks. Of course. The wind shifted and the air filled with their  delighted laughter and a thick, nauseating funk that combined the worst of shit and dead.

“Put that down right now!” Dave yelled.

“We found a horseshoe crab!” Caleb called back.

“Put it down!” He stormed up the sand.

She flattened the newspaper. Six letter word for three-dimensional printer control. Tacise, easy. 18 Down: “Wastopaneer.” She didn’t even know what that meant. Indian cooking? She flipped two pages over. The answer was “synbatec,” which was good for filling in boxes but not for knowing what either word meant.

She hoped Dave did something about that dead crab-thing soon. She shifted on the deck chair and worked her toes into the sand. It’s like a cheap pedi. She sighed. I should go inside and shower. Grains of sand chafed under the elastic of her swimsuit, stretched around her waist and up her side. She didn’t get up.

We should only vacation in the city.

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10 responses

  1. That was a lot of fun, thanks for sharing! I didn’t even manage to get my challenge completed on time.

    October 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm

  2. Aww, I’m sorry she’s not having a good vacation. I wouldn’t mind doing crossword puzzles by the sea – love the way you worked the words!

    October 25, 2011 at 8:20 pm

  3. I love the way you showed her. Your prose had me really captivated! Seriously one of the best ones I’ve read. I’m going to go vote for you, right now!

    October 25, 2011 at 11:11 am

  4. I love the descriptions in this. And I feel her pain. I’ve always loved the beach, but the sand… Sandless beaches would be so much better!

    October 25, 2011 at 10:12 am

  5. clickerbug

    Your first paragraph is my favorite, really puts me in the scene. Love the blah blah blah part! And using the fake words in a crossword puzzle was clever, while the crossword puzzle itself conveys boredom. Nice.

    October 25, 2011 at 9:33 am

  6. I really loved this. Really great descriptive language! Great take on the challenge :)

    I’m entry #5

    October 24, 2011 at 9:39 pm

  7. A crossword puzzle for the nonsense words. Brilliant! :)

    Nice work. I enjoyed the voice of your character.

    October 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm

  8. Love the Outer Banks! Good description! ; )

    October 24, 2011 at 10:24 am

  9. Jen

    I like this a lot! Very evocative. I loved this: Grains of sand chafed under the elastic of her swimsuit, stretched around her waist and up her side.

    Mine is #25.

    October 24, 2011 at 8:04 am

  10. I really enjoyed this. It was easy to put myself there observing. Mine is #56

    October 23, 2011 at 11:29 pm

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