The Campaign for Real Fear
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Author:  Ali_L [ Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:45 am ]
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Congrats to everyone! And to Carole Johnston for the HM.

Looking forward to reading the winners.

Author:  NathanielTapley [ Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  My rejected entry

Is up over at the In The Gloaming website: http://inthegloamingpodcasts.wordpress. ... skin-deep/


Author:  Bob Lock [ Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:10 pm ]
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Well done to the winners!

Author:  Ray [ Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:11 pm ]
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What he said.

Author:  Carole Johnstone [ Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:28 pm ]
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Ali_L wrote:
Congrats to everyone! And to Carole Johnston for the HM.

Looking forward to reading the winners.

Thanks Alison! Am looking forward to reading them too - looks like a good mix :)

Author:  Stephen Bacon [ Sat May 01, 2010 7:01 am ]
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I always thought I wasn't a fan of flash fiction, but reading these has been a delight. So many good themes, so many great examples of micro-storytelling. I'm loving them. Keep them coming.

Just for the record, here's my rejected attempt -


The derelict shed loitered in the centre of the waste-ground, almost obscured by overgrown weeds. Wooden boards had been nailed to the solitary window, making the side of the building resemble a pirate’s eye-patched face. Obscene graffiti that once decorated the walls had since faded through years of rainfall.

Lauren waited impatiently in the shade of an ancient oak, resting on the trunk of a fallen tree. Flies buzzed around her, disturbed by the gentle breeze that swayed the tall grass and whispered endless summer dreams through the canopy of leaves above.

Occasionally she turned to peer at the corrugated building that crouched in the field. Distant traffic sounds drifted across from the road, a vague smudge of cars that intruded into the green horizon. The noise was absently comforting.

Lauren squirmed and glanced at her watch. A few minutes ago she thought she heard high pitched yelps from the building; it must have been one of the puppies being born. Powerful desires to see the dog giving birth itched at her scalp. She thought about the money the man had given her, remembered his instructions about persuading a passing kid to come and see the pups being born.

There was a sudden flash at the covered window, an instant burst of light through the cracks of the wooden boards, and the almost imperceptible click of a camera shutter. Maybe the man was taking photographs of the newborn animals.

Lauren remembered the uncertainty in the younger boy’s eyes. It’s not a Stranger, she’d told him, just a normal adult. The younger boy hadn’t wanted to leave the park, insisting he was meant to wait for his friends. But the promise of the pregnant dog and Lauren’s own wide-eyed innocence had convinced him to accompany the older girl into the waste-ground at the back of the abandoned factory.

The man had met her at the door, faint traces of white spittle decorating his grey beard. Lauren had handed the boy over with a barely suppressed excitement, craning her neck to peer into the musty darkness of the shed. The old man’s body obscured the view.

Now Lauren watched the cars on the horizon, listened to the caws of the starlings overhead, and wondered when she would get her chance to enter the building.

A sudden harsh sound: the squeal of the door opening. The boy burst out, loping quickly through the long grass.

Confusion assailed Lauren’s brain as the kid streamed past. The face, ruddy and tear-streaked, animated with wide eyes and raking sobs. Alabaster bare legs limping, naked buttocks mottled with the heat of the summer’s afternoon, streaks of dark fluid decorating the backs of his thighs.

Lauren turned back towards the shed. The man was emerging from the door, clutching his bag, hurrying through the grass in the opposite direction. There was no sign of any dogs.

Somewhere in the back of her brain, something adult was penetrating her child’s mind, breaking through the borders of her comprehension.

Author:  Paul Woodward [ Mon May 03, 2010 1:29 pm ]
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Jim Steel wrote:
Great story, Paul.

Wordpress accounts are easy-peasy and if a technophobe like me can manage one then so can most people.

You can start off with their blog-standard set-up and then add widgets or change the theme to one that suits you better without losing any of your content. Or start a second one, if you like.

Go here and take a look.

Thank you Jim

I've got one set up now

Author:  Esther Sherman [ Mon May 03, 2010 3:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Campaign for Real Fear

Congratulations to all the winners, and HMs too, I'm really looking forward to reading the chosen stories. I liked the 500 word format, as I've got quite a short attention span when it comes to writing, so having to really pare something down really helped to keep me focused. This is my rejected submission, in retrospect I could have been more adventurous and imaginative.

A Safe, Public Place by Esther Sherman

Upon entering the pub Jane knew she'd made a mistake. The outside had been off-putting, ramshackle, with opaque windows, and certainly not her idea of a first date venue, but inside it was clearly an old men's boozer, small and dingy, with sticky carpets that hadn't been cleaned since the smoking ban. The punters fell silent and stared as though she were naked. At least it was a public place, and she could always use the 'emergency call' in half an hour if it didn't work out.

The barmaid, a slovenly girl, served her, then jerked her head to indicate the barman, who told her the cost. When he turned his back to fetch her change, the woman grabbed Jane's wrist and rolled her eyes at her, making desperate grunting sounds. Jane realised the woman must be a local charity case, noticing the badly applied makeup struggling to cover an ugly scar across her mouth. She snatched her hand back, picked up her drink and turned to scan the room. There was only one man under fifty drinking on his own, so she concluded that had to be Seth.

She introduced herself with a handshake, and sat down. He was pale and heavyset, with a shock of thick dark hair in a ponytail, and she thought that he hadn't made much of an effort, even if he'd used a doctored photo on the website. She attempted small-talk, about her journey there, how she was new to the city and hadn't been to this area before, but he was clearly uninterested, mumbling and glancing behind her.

She gave up trying and looked around the pub. From their resemblance, Seth was clearly related to most of the other locals. One of the men, probably a cousin or uncle, had an ugly bull terrier lying at his feet, and was playing with the dog's erect penis. She looked away, horrified, and caught Seth leering at her.

'You said you wanted kiddies. We want lots of kiddies.'

'Um, eventually, yes, but I'm still rather focused on my career.' She might as well be polite, even if he had no chance.

'We need more kiddies around here. That's more important than some career.' He spat out the word with disgust.

She pulled her phone out of her bag, wondering why she hadn't had the call yet. No signal.

'You won't get good reception around here, somebody didn't like the mast.' He seemed unusually pleased at this.

Nausea rising in her throat, she looked wildly around the room, but there was no help, only their dirty eyes on her, hungry and victorious.

'You'd do well not to talk too much, we don't like that. Stacy behind the bar was a terrible chatty thing till we got the bridle on her. Of course, Clem got a bit overexcited and ruined her for kids that night, so we make her pour the drinks now, but you're a clever girl, you'll give us what we need.'

Author:  Alan Morgan [ Wed May 05, 2010 4:26 pm ]
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Lots of good stuff here - it's all very inspiring.

Author:  Highlander [ Wed May 19, 2010 5:37 pm ]
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I didn't think my one met the guidelines (in terms of subject) so didn't submit, so here it is:-


What do they mean, "I've got no friends". I've got my facebook friends and my facebook friends are special, very special.

There's Julie, she's lovely..a dental assistant you know. Clever and very clean. Mark worked in an office doing, well, office stuff I assume.

You see my facebook friends are always there for me. Not like so called "real" people who just mess you around. The kind who only get in touch when they want something and then the rest of the time time they ignore you or worse they laugh at you. They laughed at me, they sniggered when I left the room. They cast these knowing smirks at each other when I walked past. They talked about me and they laughed at me until they needed something. Then they were nice.

And not like families who hurt you physically and mentally. Who hit you and laugh at you when you get things wrong. Who constantly want you to be different, like them even though you can only be yourself. Who torture you with expectation and suppress you with disappointement.

No give me a facebook friend any time and then you will have a friend for life. Someone who is always there for you, always waiting ready for you to speak to, laugh with, argue with.

Here's my latest facebook friend, her name is Sylvia. She works, sorry worked in a supermarket checkout. She is my twelfth facebook friend and my favourite to far. I hope to get thousands eventually but these things take time.

So now all I have to do is smooth out the skin, so delicate and smooth, see how pretty she looks. She had beautiful hair and eyes and you can still see a sort of smile. She is so special I will give her pride of place in my face book. There... her special page, I just need to place her there and she will be with me forever. Ready anytime I need a friend.

Oh facebook friends are very special...would you like to be my facebook friend? :?

Author:  gileadslostson [ Wed May 19, 2010 5:44 pm ]
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A shame you didn't submit that. It was really good :lol:

Author:  Pete [ Wed May 19, 2010 5:47 pm ]
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So much for the not complimenting people :lol:

Re the story:-

Peter Tennant likes this.

Author:  gileadslostson [ Wed May 19, 2010 6:18 pm ]
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Technically I was complimenting the story Mr. Tennant lol

Author:  Pete [ Wed May 19, 2010 6:50 pm ]
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Yep, my mistake. You actually said 'I'm never paying any compliments...' :lol:

Author:  gileadslostson [ Wed May 19, 2010 7:06 pm ]
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Dammit! I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for hat pesky Pete!

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