Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Campaigner Challenge - A Flash of Italian-ish Flavour

The first Campaigner Challenge is here! Rules-y:

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!

You guys can blame Assassin's Creed for the italian names in there. ;)

The door swung open. His chains rattled on the ground as the guards led him out.

Silvio Sergenti kept his fingers in a tight ball around the fabric in his hand. The rough prisoner tunic scratched the soft skin of his noble ass. His underwear was hidden in the pail - all but the bit in his hand, with bloodied words scribbled over it.  They had taken his tongue but it would not silence him.

The bright light outside blinded him. The crowd hooted as they dragged him. They threw rocks, rotten apples and bread. It didn't matter. Silvio held his head high. The de Mezzi branded him a traitor and hunted his family, but their secret would not die with him.

"I will be at your back," Iaccopo had said. To take his words and relay the message.

Silvio Fergenti smiled at the nameless faces, distorted by anger, screaming colourful insults. He dropped the bloodied underwear on the ground. His message. Iacoppo would pick it up.

He took a shambling step forward, towards the noose. His heart twisted. Iacoppo stood there, shook de Mezzi's hand. Smiled. Laughed.

He would be at his back, he'd said. Stabbing.

The prison's iron doors swung shut.


Tada! The Campaign's Challenge page is here. Hope you enjoyed!

EDIT: I forgot to say, I'm #214 on that list, if you wanted to vote. 


  1. Okay, this line made me laugh: "The rough prisoner tunic scratched the soft skin of his noble ass."

    But the rest of this was intensely gripping. A very well-written scene, Claudie!

  2. This: "...at his back, he'd said. Stabbing." Love it!

  3. Hey Claudie, thanks for dropping by my blog, and recognizing Resnais! I'm also reading The Book Thief. AND the main character in my WIP is a child-prodigy bioengineer. We seem to have a lot in common. Let's stay in touch.

    And wow, yes, what a great flash piece. I'd love to read the whole, sprawling 1,000 page story behind it...

  4. Whoa, holy crap. That was awesome!

  5. Great story! I agree with Steph, that line totally made me laugh too :)

    And man, the ending! So good.

  6. Gosh, thanks for the great comments, everyone!

    Gail: Whoo, bioengineered! Sure, mine's the villain, but you have to love what they can do. :) There's likely to be some reworking from that flash piece, into something bigger. The character won't leave me alone. And I need an idea for NaNo. *whistles innocently*

  7. Oh, sounds like he's screwed now! Talk about betrayal. Yikes!

  8. What a scene! There's got to be more to the story than that! Overall, I loved the character's view of the world and the narrative. An entertaining read. Makes me sad that he's about to go.

    Great job, Claudie! :)

  9. That was an interesting flash story, thanks for sharing! And congratulations on finishing Camp Nanowrimo!

    I'm a fellow Canadian Campaigner, so nice to meet you!

  10. Creepy. the mighty have fallen? nice job. mine is #72

  11. Tara: Oh yes. So screwed!

    David: Thanks! I'm so glad you feel there's a bigger story here. It's hard to capture the scope with so few words. :)

    Kel: Thanks for the congratz! And go Canada! :)

    Bridget: Oh, he's fallen all right. Might be the fall broke his neck, too. (if he's lucky, anyway)

  12. Definitely a bigger story here: backstory on our hero, retribution to come for the betrayer. And his message? I'd like to hear what that was too. It's usually the gifted, insightful ones that they kill ....

    Fine work, Claudie.

    Paula (#265)

  13. Wow! So descriptive. I felt like I was there with him. Awesome writing. Loved it!

  14. That was brilliant. I enjoyed the tension and you crammed so much of the setting and characters' personalities in 200 words. I especially loved this line: "They had taken his tongue but it would not silence him."

  15. Ouch. Gotta hate betrayal. This definitely calls for some backstory / more story!

  16. This is fabulous. Must go push the likey like button.

  17. Alica, Avery, GKJ, Angelina: Thanks so much for the good comments. You guys are all making me very happy. :)