Monday, September 5, 2011

First Campaign Challenge

It's time for the First Campaigner Challenge over at Rach Writes and I've decided to throw one of my many hats into the ring (I think it's going to be the gray flowered paper boy hat this time).

If you're a Campaigner, even if you aren't, and are interested in entering giving this crazy challenge a try here are the rules, verbatim (copy and pasted actually).

Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: “the door swung shut.” (also included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

Disconnect

The door swings open. There is a man in the room. Your gun rises. The bullet plows into him. He falls to the ground without a sound. He convulses fighting to breathe, and you drag him out of sight, leaving him to bleed out.

You climb through a window emerging into a walled garden. The bushes are low. The cover is sparse. Your armor is black. There is no moon. You fade silently into the shadows.

He comes into a garden, flanked by two others. Emerging from the shadows, gun out, you shoot him. He dies. They shoot you. You shoot them. You live. They don’t.

A Doctor examines your bio armor. You watch him, disinterested, not registering the pain as he digs out the bullet. He tells you to stand. He tells you to lift your arm. He tells you to wiggle your fingers. You do it all as he watches. He nods and tells you you’re going home. The war is over. You’ve won. You stare at him blankly, awaiting his orders.

He looks at you, his mouth bent up, baring his teeth. You stare straight ahead, and he tells you to go.

The door swings shut.

-Aaron

36 comments:

Nicole Zoltack said...

Oh, I liked this piece. There aren't many 2nd person stories, but I think it can definitely work in a flash piece.

Kurt Hartwig said...

Interesting distanced quality to the action. Like it.

Cindy said...

It's unique being both in present tense and 2nd person. Very cool.

The Blogger Girlz said...

Thanks, it's a modified excerpt from a short story I'm hoping to expand into a novel later this year, but the whole story is in 2nd person present. I got tired of 1st person past tense.

-Aaron

Alleged Author said...

Oooh...2nd person pov. Loving it!

Elana Johnson said...

Excellent! Have you read YOU? It's an entire novel in 2nd person, and it's fabulous.

elizabethanne said...

Wow. That was quite something to read! The POV made it more intense, yet I definitely felt the disconnect as well.

Sarah Ketley said...

Certainly a very interesting voice!

Great entry

jasonbeineke said...

For some reason I am reminded of the Blue Oyster Cult song, "Veteran of the Psychic Wars". The cold expression of the protagonist is rather chilling!

Gretchen said...

Second person I feel is the toughest and the funnest to write in. It's a balance of getting the reader to identify with the character and be sucked into the story. Bravo, I was thoroughly sucked in.

AveryMarsh said...

You did a great job with the POV and the feeling of indifference to anything but the mission. Intriguing. :)

Madeleine said...

I've not come across 2nd person POV before. You also have a very telling rather than showing style, which gives the piece a different edge.

The East Coaster said...

I am in awe of anyone who an can nail 2ndPOV. Well done@

Theresa Milstein said...

Interesting to do this in 2nd person POV. I've never tried it. It works will to add to the dislocation of being a soldier. The disconnect between the person and what he has to do.

Nadja Notariani said...

Reminded me of 'The Manchurian Candidate' a bit. You actually wrote truer-to-real-life than many realize. Many soldiers coming home have the same disconnect as your MC. After the realities of living on the streets of a desert city - and around the anarchy there, soldiers are struggling to re-adjust to 'real-life' in the states. Made me wonder if you are/were in the military... Anyway, I enjoyed your piece! :) ~ Nadja

bridget said...

I have now read a lot of these and yours is the first one in 2nd person. Nicely done. i'm #72

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Whoa, the ending took me by surprise. Compelling writing, with good tension all through.

Simon Kewin said...

Powerful and compelling - very nicely done.

Madeline Bartos said...

I absolutely (absolutely!) loved this. There is so much left to the imagination, and it's absolutely astounding.

Nice to meet you, by the way. I'm a little late with the introductions, but I'm in your dystopian Campaign group. :)

Jessica Peter said...

I agree with enjoying the second person POV done in flash fic - it reminded me somewhat of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" type thing, but I guess that's because that's one of the only things I've read that was in second person!

J.R. Williams said...

I agree with Jessica, it definitely felt like a Choose Your Own Adventure piece. Love this. Great entry. :)

Jess said...

That's amazing! I have so much trouble writing in second person! Congrats!!
(My entry is no. 236)

Tara Tyler said...

poor emotionless soldier (robot!?)
he needs to be reprogrammed!
great job!

1000th.monkey said...

This is the first one I've read (outside my my own) that's in 2nd person! I love how 2nd person just seems to latch on to the reader and make it feel like the story is happening to them... you did an amazing job.

This is definitely one of my favourites.

Jessica Therrien said...

This is the second time I've read this, and I just love the writing style. Quick concise sentences get me excited and I read fast...love it!

Alica McKenna Johnson said...

Very unique- it drew me in and now I want to turn on all the lights.

Kerry Freeman said...

Very interesting! I really like the 2nd person present tense and the terse wording.

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Hi Aaron,

I'm Michele a fellow campaigner and also one of the judges on this first challenge. I really enjoyed your piece, I think the 2nd person really suited the subject. You have been shortlisted as one my top 5 to move on to stage two. There will be a semi-final (stage three) and a final (stage four).

Good Luck.
Michele

Maria said...

Great to see this in 2nd person. Good work.

kineticwriting/juliet said...

Hi! I really enjoyed point of view. Excellent job. I'd love to read more. Thanks :)

Doreen said...

Intriguing for sure...what were they? I wanted to read some more...

blackanddarknight said...

Hi there, another fellow campaigner making the rounds!

Very nice job on your challenge piece, I really enjoy a good 2nd person POV, and you did great!

C.M. Cipriani said...

I could never do 2nd POV, but you did a great job!

Fellow group 18 Campaigner, Crystal

Fairview said...

Wow! like the action, the word rhythm. I'm Fairview, and I'm in your YA group. I'll be visiting again soon

Jocelyn Rish said...

I'm not usually a fan of 2nd person POV, but I think it works perfectly for this story to really drive home the detached nature of the soldier. And combined with the short, stilted sentences, you've really used writing techniques to enhance the story rather than just convey the story.

F.E. Sewell said...

What a chilling story. And very well done. Out of all the second person POV stories I've read I have to say that yours is one of my favorites. Great job!