Show Not Tell Crusader Challenge: In 300 words or less, write a passage (it can be an excerpt from your WIP, flash fiction, a poem, or any other writing) that shows (rather than tells) the following:
- you're scared and hungry
- it's dusk
- you think someone is following you
- and just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: shimmer, saccadic, substance, and salt.
Here we go...
As I swallow the clear, sweet water, I see it, reflected in the shimmering surface of the lake: blond hair. I strain to see more, but everything below the man's neck disappears into the tangle of plants behind him. He glances up.
Electricity charges through me and I back out of view, keeping an eye on him through the leaves. He appears to be talking to someone.
I have to get out of here. I don't know who he is, but he knows where I am. Moving as quickly as possible, I head for the far end of the lake.
Staying on animal trails, I move easily though the vegetation. I can make it, I just need time.
A shout makes me jump. How could he go so far so fast?
Ducking, I dart into shrubs that have more substance. The pungent scent of damp earth fills my nose as I work my way through the undergrowth, stepping as lightly as I can.
Branches crash and I freeze.
Just uphill lies a fallen tree, the trunk flanked by saplings and ferns. Their leaves might cover me if I stay low.
My eyes go saccadic at the shout. I have to hide. Now.
Heart thumping, I step over the plants, careful not to break any twigs. I lie down, pulling clammy, rotting leaves over me. The forest is getting darker, as the sun sets on the valley. Please, please let me look like a shadow.
Not a minute later, twigs snap as one of the men creeps near. I breathe through my mouth, trying to keep quiet. A rivulet of sweat runs over my lip, dripping saltily on my tongue. He comes into view, still, listening.
My stomach grumbles and his head whips around.
* * *
There you have it, 294 words; a modified bit of my current WIP, as it turns out. After all, saccadic isn't a good word to use for middle grade. :)
Now, go check out the other entries!