Archive for March 2nd, 2010


TwitFic 2: Fifty to Go

So last week, I tried my hand at a bit of Twitter-based Flash Fiction. I enjoyed it, and it seemed that a few of you guys did as well, so I’m gonna try another one tonight. If you happen to see this post while I’m writing, you can follow the story right here, or at my Twitter account, @BlakeMP.

Last week’s story, as it turned out, was a bit too long to actually count as Flash Fiction, clocking in at around 1200 words. The accepted limit for FF is around 1,000. While certain ninth graders of my acquaintance would consider writing that much a task worthy of Shakespeare if he had consumed the meaty flesh of Hercules, for me trying to stay that short is a challenge in and of itself. Let’s see if i can do it this time, shall we?

Fifty to Go

Derek had fifty seconds to go, and one way or another, this one would all be over for him. Since the skiers went alphabetically, he was always near the front of the rather large pack, but that didn’t matter. He was racing the clock, and he never believed going first was an advantage like some skiers did. Maybe it was true that many of the pitfalls were more visible, but sometimes, that just made them harder to avoid.

There was no wind today, so the cold didn’t bite that harshly. That would change faster than he could think it over. The buzzer sounded and he pushed himself off into the snow. Air began to whip past his face, slicing into his unprotected mouth. The speed he picked up was incredible, and it would only increase as long as he avoided all the pitfalls.

The first one he saw was a rather sad effort — white sand on the trail. Even “white” sand had enough yellow in it to be starkly visible against the pristine snow. He cut to the right to avoid the sand and almost paid the price by tumbling into a four-foot pit, dug into the snow and very hard to see. The sand-sprinkler had been more crafty than Derek thought. He skirted the edge of the pit and was almost caught in a net dropped from a huge tree on the very edge of the course. He’d picked up enough speed on the curve to avoid it, barely. The next pitfall was easy to avoid, though — spikes buried beneath the snow were too visible to be effective. He went past them, then immediately cut right to avoid the trap he himself had set — a huge belch of flame erupted from a bank, melting gobs of snow, but failing to harm the skier.

He was close to the end now, and he knew he hadn’t even seen most of the traps the other skiers laid out. With four identical sides of the mountain to choose from to set the traps, and to choose again when the buzzer went off, no Demolition Skier ever saw more than a quarter of the nasty things that COULD happen to him. But this last bit, this straightaway, always made him nervous. He avoided a hidden air cannon, and got just a minor splash from the water tower that overturned.

Twenty yards left. Fifteen. Ten.

Suddenly he felt a sharp slap across his ankles and he flipped over, crashing head-first into the snow. The impact knocked him cold, literally, and he rolled to a halt, with just an arm and shoulder crossing the finish line, stopping the clock.

At the edge of the course, Zeringue dropped the tripwire, smiling with pride at how easily the simple pitfalls worked sometimes.

Forty-nine to go.


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March 2010

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