It's Saturday. Are you ready for a short story? This one is truly short -- just 175 words. I wrote it in October 2011 after issuing a challenge to some online writing pals. Each person posted a number between 1 and 350, each number denoting a page number in whatever book I happened to be reading at the moment. There were eight participants, so there were eight randomly selected words for our challenge. I noted the eighth word on each page of the book. By the way, that book happened to be "Portrait of a Spy" by Daniel Silva. So, the eighth word from each of the random pages turned out to be: until, we, owner, seconds, they'll, him, survivors and deal.
This word list was posted on the Writing Prompt Friday for Jan. 31. Did you take up the challenge?
Here's the piece I came up with using the eight words. And in this case, I used all eight of them in the very first sentence of the piece!
By Felicia Mason © 2011
“Until we survivors deal him seconds, they’ll own, er, him.”
“Her,” Cassie said. “Or it.”
“Whichever. That thing’s not human.”
Ben and Grangeer looked around, guns at the ready, surveying their makeshift camp. Just a few days ago, they were a group of seven all joyfully exchanging banter at a Central American bar on the edge of the jungle. Now, they were three just trying to stay alive.
The jungle creature -- he, she, but mostly it – came out of nowhere.
“That thing is not getting my firsts, let alone my seconds,” Grangeer said.
“What choice do we have?”
Cassie screamed when the beast rose up not ten feet behind Grangeer and Ben.
Moments later, there were no survivors in the hastily set up camp. None at all.
The group didn’t know that their camp was at the base of an ancient volcano, the owners of which made sure to offer sacrifice to quiet the beast within.
It smiled, and then returned to its lair, satiated and well fed for another one hundred years.