General · Short Story · Writing

Third Campaigner Challenge: Show Not Tell

The third challenge is 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).

This is my attempt. It is exactly 296 words. I am number 6 in the linky list, if anyone feels inspired to vote for me.

Title: Broken Islands

Dina smelled sulfur and blood and blinked open one eye. This beach was smooth white sand, palm trees and an ocean still tinted with the colors of the rising sun. It was empty. Sunrise was too early for normal people to up.

She sniffed the air, just to be sure. Nothing. Maybe she was smelling things out of boredom. Dina considered the idea and sat up slowly.

She shoved her feet into pink flip-flops. A big ridiculous sunflower plastic decorated the straps. They were the least flashy pair the big island souvenir store stocked. Dina scowled at her feet and wished for home, where she didn’t have to hop two islands to buy simple black flip-flops.

The smell came again and disappeared as quickly as before. Dina rose, excited for the first time since her boss forced this island vacation on her. As if boredom on an isolated island would be good for her. Well, tacise him!

She stepped out cautiously, careful of her balance. The flip-flops did very little to cushion her banged-up foot. At least the sand was still cool.

The smell came again and this time she was ready for it. Sulfur and blood, two smells she knew well, and something else, something rancid and sweet. Like wastopaneer.

Oh no. Dina called her wolf forward. The change was fast and painless, like every change since the last mission. Joy bubbled up in her when her wolf burst free. Four feet planted in the cool sand, she howled her joy to the sky.

Her hind foot still ached, but the smells were much sharper in her wolf form. Dina lowered her nose, sniffing.  Sulfur, blood, wastopaneer.

Ha! Death had followed her to this remote island. She couldn’t regret it; anything was better than boredom.


43 thoughts on “Third Campaigner Challenge: Show Not Tell

  1. Wow another quick entry – how do you all do it. I need to mull her challenges over for a few days. Excellent entry – loved the use of the words and the change into a wolf.

  2. Sonia,
    I really liked your ballsy use of the additional words! I didn’t even try to incorporate them in mine, but you did a great job of it! I also think my favorite sentence had to be “A big ridiculous sunflower plastic decorated the straps.” God, don’t we all know what sandals like that look like? 🙂

    Great entry, Sonia!

  3. Even with the hints weaved in, I did not expect that ending. I love that she’s bored by paradise and excited to greet death. Really cool. 😉

  4. Sonia I echo what Rance said about the sentence “A big ridiculous sunflower plastic decorated the straps” that certainly stood out visually. 🙂 I found this an easy and interesting read; the twist at the end was great. 😀

  5. Your writing was “in the moment” and you did a great job with the 3 nonsense words!
    A perfect ending to a well-crafted story. I really liked this!
    (I’m no.#47)

  6. Nice story, and darkly humorous, I too really liked the sandals thing. Not so sure about the ‘show’ as opposed to ‘tell’ aspect though, if I’m being entirely honest, but I enjoyed it very much nonetheless. (And two incidences of wastonpaneer! Brave.) Well done and thanks for having found mine.

  7. I liked the ending line of “anything’s better than boredom.” I think you also used those made up words very well!

  8. Love how you used the made-up words, I was about to pull out my dictionary to see what they meant because I was so curious about it before realizing, oh wait, that was part of the challenge, made-up words.

    Great job with the surprise ending, wish my eyes hadn’t wandered down and found just enough of the line when I loaded the page (I hate when I accidentally read ahead).

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