Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lightning Flashed

Today I'm entering Cherie Reich's second annual flash fiction blogfest. You can sign up for it HERE

HERE ARE THE RULES (Taken from Cherie's blog):
  1. Entries must begin with the two words: Lightning flashed.
  2. Entries must be 300 words or less and be in prose. Cherie is not versed enough in poetry verse to judge it properly.
  3. Entries must be posted on your blog between May 21 - 23.
  4. You must sign up in the linky on Cherie's website to have your entry be counted.
On May 25, Cherie will announce the six finalists and open voting through May 28th.

On May 29th, Cherie's 3rd year blogversary, she will announce the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners as well as a random winner selected from the participants list. All ties will be broken by Random.org.

NOW WHAT ARE THE PRIZES?
First place - $25 gift card from Amazon
Second place - $20 gift card from Amazon
Third place - $15 gift card from Amazon
Random prize - $10 gift card from Amazon
The contest is international.

For my entry, I wrote a short piece with a dark fantasy flavor. It's in third-person omniscient and 287 words.

Lightning flashed.

Rain wreathed around the obsidian parapets and domes of Zanda in a gossamer death shroud of winter. The moisture left the cobblestone streets glimmering black. Kian and Renfro stood beneath the notice of powerful men in the long shadows cast from the Blades Acuuarum, the training grounds of the Cataclysm Slayers of Zanda. Freezing water dripped from Kian’s long eyelashes; his cloak was soaked completely through.

They’d been out here for two hours.

He rested his armored palm against this ancient edifice built upon the edge of the Well of Zanda. The Hall of the Blades Acuuarum had been erected by Blackstone Giants, quarried from the pits by slaves who toiled with pickaxe and shovel at the base of the Mountains of Illusion that rose like the sharp finger bones of massive skeletal warriors in the East. Each considerable rock in the foundation stood taller than Kian; its weight unfathomable to him. The fortress itself was monolithic; it soared above the two thieves with one-hundred foot bulwarks.

On the far side of the fortress lay a sheer drop of almost a thousand feet into the turbulent fluorescent waters of the Well of Zanda. At night, the Well was a terrifying sight. By day, it wasn’t much better. The waters flowed a putrescent green and circulated in a counter-clockwise motion around a blackstone mountain that rose from the very center. The mountain was home to the Librarium Apocalypto, the palace of the Dreaded Irtemara, and the Basilica of Zanda. These three structures fused together into a towering castle that rose above all things in the city. It was accessible only by a single bridge in the shape of a serpent’s tongue and flanked by unmoving colossi.

40 comments:

  1. You put a lot of imagery into 287 words. Great work. I especially love the sensory details.

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  2. I agree with Brinda...a lot of world building in not that many words. Bravo! Don't know if I'm up for another blogfest. Just got over recouping from A-Z.

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  3. Awesome! If I can come up with something I might have to enter.

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  4. that was heavy! excellent job!

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  5. I love your style, Michael! This was soooooo fun. What is it like to live in your brain??? Phew! Sounds exhaustingly complex! ;)

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  6. love this line: gossamer death shroud of winter

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  7. That's friggin' awesome Mike. Great writing. Such a vividly described scene.

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  8. Great imagery and world building. The place scare me based on your description alone.

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  9. What great imagination you have. I love the world you built.

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  10. Excellent imagery! I can see the castle in my mind's eye. :-)

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  11. Thank you for entering my 2nd Annual Flash Fiction Blogfest! The six finalists will be announced on Friday, May 25th. I will further comment on your entry on Thursday.

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  12. I don't have much to add to all the above comments. You do such a great job with your descriptions.

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  13. Vivid imagery, thanks for painting the picture.

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  14. Sounds like one imposing place! I agree about the vivid imagery.

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  15. You've managed to put a lot of atmosphere into such a short space, I love it. It sounds so foreboding.

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  16. So much world that I want to see more story. More to come?

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  17. Lots of dark imagery here, Mike. Dangerous water. Impressive structure.

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  18. So much scene setting and atmosphere in a small piece. Sounds like a solid beginning for a new novel. And I like the hint of danger.

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  19. Wow, you've got your world set up well. Nice imagery.

    Thank you for your comment on my blog. If you want to interview me, I would love that.

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  20. I love 'gossamer shroud of winter'. You're a very talented writer, Michael.

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  21. I love the description of the scene and they way you conveyed the oppressive mood of the place. Great writing!

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  22. I wanna see what happens next !!!!!

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  23. Great description. I love that the small bridge is in the shape of a serpents tongue.

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  24. "The Hall of the Blades Acuuarum had been erected by Blackstone Giants, quarried from the pits by slaves who toiled with pickaxe and shovel at the base of the Mountains of Illusion that rose like the sharp finger bones of massive skeletal warriors in the East."

    Favorite line. Rare that I like such a mouthful, but I loved it. :)

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  25. Michael, I applaud you. You're everywhere, constantly joining contests and the like. I envy your time! Good luck.

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  26. I loved your piece. I felt all scared and creepy as I read it. Great job.

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  27. Excellent description and imagery as usual. I could picture myself standing on the bridge facing the castle.

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  28. The descriptions in this are beautiful!

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  29. And? And? What is with the thieves? What are they there to steal?

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  30. very nice piece; it felt dark and cold, very wintery.

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  31. It doesn't sound like a world I'd like to live, but one I'd love to read more about. There was so much there in such few words. Great entry!

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  32. Awesome world building in such a small word count. Wow!

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  33. Really fine description. It creates a solid sense of place and conveys the strangeness of that world.

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  34. Very descriptive writing . . .I want to hear more of this story!

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  35. Great painting of this scene with your descriptions. I loved the names you created too.

    I'll announce the finalists tomorrow.

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  36. You set the scene masterfully! But what happens to/with the thieves??? :-)
    Some Dark Romantic

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  37. Great story! Mine got a little out of control and ended up a bit longer than 300 words. Check it out:

    http://onfictionwriting.com/lastmonthwinner/Lightning-Flashed/99/

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