Writing Challenge #2

March 26, 2009 at 6:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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So, like I’ve said, I’ve joined this writing challenge and yada yada yada … Just want some feedback if possible 🙂

Challenge #2

Challenge #2


Study this picture for 5 minutes and then write for 15 minutes about it. This is very freeform – you can describe it, write a scene between the characters, etc. But we should be able to see a link between the picture and your writing, whether in tone, characters or genre.
– Your piece should be in the third person, she, he etc.
– You have 20 minutes to write this. Either time yourself with an alarm or phone, or use the useful link by FurryPanda on page 1.
– You must have a minumum of 500 words, although you shouldn’t go over 2000.
– Copy and paste straight onto this thread. Do not edit or rewrite your piece. Spelling, grammar and punctuation can be revised but without a dictionary and such.

The extra 5 minutes helped since I was able to outline what I wanted to write this time so I could pace things accordingly. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying attention when I was writing and pressed done at Write or Die at 21 minutes. Oh well.

The Old Picture in the Parlour

Kara hid in the parlour when the policemen came. Her mother finally found her when it was near dusk – gathering her into a tight hug.

“Don’t you ever do that again!” her mother had scolded and shook her slightly. “I was half out of my mind. What with your father missing -”

“Mama,” Kara tugged at her mother’s sleeve. “Look at the old picture on the wall. Last week, the ogre man was holding four keys. But look, now he has five keys in his hand.”

“What on earth are you talking about Kara?” her mother exclaimed. “How could the number of keys change? If there are five keys now, then there always were five keys.”

“But mama …”

“Now you be a good girl, Kara. I’ve set out your dinner for you on the kitchen table. I’ve got to go talk to some of the search people who are helping look for daddy. You be a good girl and clean up afterwards.”

Kara had a last long look at the old faded black and white print on the wall. Her mother had found it in a garage sale and for some reason had bought it (“It was going for a steal!” she’d said) and displayed it in the parlour. The picture fascinated Kara. There was a big hairy ogre of a man with bulging-out eyes who clutched a ring of keys on one hand. He was talking to a lady dressed up in a fancy dress and a bad wig. Kara imagined the man was the “Beast” in “Beauty & The Beast.” But unlike the kindly “Beast” in the Disney movie, Kara knew the man in the picture was up to no good.

And she had counted the keys last week – she was playing a counting game and had counted 3 lamps, 2 rugs, 5 silver spoons, 1 grandfather clock and 7 windows in the parlour. She had counted the keys in the picture specially – 1 2 3 4 – four keys. But now there were five.

Kara was worried about her father. He had kissed her at the breakfast table and gone to read his newspaper in the parlour. But when mother had gone to call him for lunch, there was no one in the room. He had been missing for 3 days now and no one had heard from him.

Kara went to sleep alone; she made sure to leave her door open, just in case daddy came back in the night.

But he didn’t.

The days passed by and became weeks. The friends and neighbors and policemen were gone. Even her grandpa and grandma had to fly back home.

Life somehow went back to normal without her father. Now it was just her mother and her. Kara checked on the old picture everyday. She didn’t know why, but she counted the keys everyday. Five keys. Five keys. Five keys.

One morning, Kara woke up to silence.

“Mama?” She went to her mother’s bedroom, but it was empty with the bedcovers neatly done. Her mother wasn’t in the kitchen either. Or the garage – she checked and the car was still there. She went to the backyard, but mother wasn’t there either.

Where could mama have gone? Then, with a stab of fear, Kara ran to the parlour. She looked at the old picture.

Now the ogre man was holding six keys in his hand. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Six keys.

Kara opened her mouth to scream.

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  1. I really liked your story,I think it was perfect for the picture,I’m wondering how it would go on… and the writing challenge seems very useful and fun, I write too so maybe I should try it. I need opinions by people who love writing, maybe you could help me!

    • Hey, thank you – ha ha – I’m thinking of extending that piece – I really got into it when I was writing 🙂

      I see you write too – why won’t you join us? Just click here – it’s a bunch of people who play Sims, but you don’t have to – you can just join that particular group and get some feedback from others. Or, you could post your stuff on your blog, and I’ll try to help you out (not that I’m a complete expert at it!)

      • Hi! I followed your advice and I joined your writing group!
        Thank you! I look forward to the next writing challenge!

  2. That was awesome. I was wondering how to write a short story about an ugly painting and you nailed it. I’d love to see you continue it.

  3. That was good! I love short stories. There’s a lot that cam be packed in, and you make a strong ending. The whole counting thing adds to the suspense and gives an anxious feeling.

    My only question as I read is was how old is Kara? She seems young.

    • Thanks! Glad the counting thing worked! I was wondering if it was overkill.

      I imagined Kara to be around seven-ish. That would be an age where she would still be playing counting games, right?

  4. Hey, this was great! It really packed a punch in such a short piece!

    Poor little girl! Now what’s going to happen to her?

    • Thanks Phoenix! I’m not sure – I sure hope there wasn’t a 7th key in a future iteration of the picture 😉

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