Monday, February 20, 2012

The First Campaign Challenge!

Alright Campaigners, I wanted to participate in Rach Harrie's first campaign challenge for 2012. The rules were to write a short story/flash fiction piece in 200 words or less, beginning with the words "Shadows crept across the wall." 

When I first read these words, the obvious picture came to mind: Creepy shadow on your bedroom wall. But I wanted to be as original as I could, so thought, if it's not a man-made wall, maybe it's a rock wall! So this is what I came up with: (And I'm proud of myself because it's exactly 200 words annnnd I get to share a cool pic of my hubby who is a pro rock climber)


El Capitan


Shadows crept across the wall, the slab of rock towering three thousand feet above me. I placed my palms flat on the surface, nothing but the quiet rush of river and the melodic string of birds sounding on the air. With a quick, unsteady breath, I dug my fingers into the rock and pushed off with my feet. Tendons strained and my stomach tightened as I crossed my right arm over the left, finding a good slab to grip. My legs tucked up underneath me as I pushed upward, continuing the climb.

The morning sun burned the back of my neck and sweat gathered on my fingertips. I reached into my chalk bag, dried off, and then paused to shake out the lactic acid.

Three days. It would take three days to climb this wall.

Anxiety bubbled, but I shoved it down. Flattened it. I could do this. Would do this for him. The image of his dying face surfaced to mind, my eyes zooming in on his lips as he told me his life goal. Climb El Capitan.

I shook myself from my thoughts and pulled out a biner. Slide, clip, and release. Only three hundred more to go.

***

Hope you enjoyed! For more awesome entries, check out the list here. 

Red. Head. Out. :D 

84 comments:

  1. I have such a fear of climbing vertical surfaces, so you have no idea the kind of nightmare fuel you just instilled for me here. But I like it all the same. Nice one, Morgan! :)

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  2. My first thought was: Morgan is married to Spiderman?!

    My second thought was: Wow! Great writing! :D

    My third thought was: I feel like I'm going to fall--hopefully not off my chair! ;)

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  3. wow!!

    Shadows crept across the wall and then to rock-climbing!!

    I didn't expect that anyone can think of a story like that!!


    cool. Hoping to meet you on Another Author

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  4. Morgan, what a hunk of a husband you have, nice bod! Great story too, congratulations!

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  5. The character's determination shone right through here! Great work!

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  6. Very nicely done! :D I am rooting for your character to finish climbing and I want to know more about what happened...It's beautiful and sad but powerful and full of hope at the same time!
    (and nice picture of your husband :D)

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  7. THREE freaking days?! No. I'm sorry. Insanity! I had to abseil down a 5 metre rock once (don't laugh at me) - I was SOOO terrified!
    Great story though (and picture ;-) )

    xx Rachel

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  8. Holy cow. Great great job.

    And what a lucky lady you are! ;)

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  9. Wow that was really good! Very touching :)
    You have my vote

    I'm #19

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  10. Oh boy. I like the "El Capitan" part. Nice touch. And nice husband!

    Is that weird? Don't want to be weird.

    Anywho . . .

    Nice story!

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  11. Nice! I like that the way you went. I've been rock climbing and I've been there! :)

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  12. I liked that a lot. I have a ridiculous fear of heights to the point of just the image of someone too high off the ground gives me anxiety. I am now having to calm myself down, so I would have to say it was well done.

    Also I have to agree, nice hubby, though I was more looking at the actual picture thinking 'wow great shot'. Then I got queasy thinking about how the photographer had to achieve a shot like that.

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  13. Three days to climb a wall? See, this is why I'm not athletic ... it takes too much work ;) I liked the sample!

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  14. Great sample! That would have made an excellent entry in WRiTE CLUB!! :)

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  15. You have a gift for description!

    Now I feel like a lazy ass. I better get up and do something today.

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  16. The closest I ever got to rock climbing was giving it a go on one of those plastic walls they have set up at amusement parks.

    You did an awesome job of making me feel like I was on the wall with him (hugging the wall refusing to look down). I think its awesome that you took those words and turned it into something so unexpected. Also love Carrie's comment: My first thought was: Morgan is married to Spiderman?! Seriously! Awesome pic.

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  17. Wow great entry! I would be soo scared to climb El Capitan, I would like to visit it though.

    I'm entry #30.

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  18. I think I would probably pass out if I ever tried to climb something like that. Great job! You definitely have a vote from me :) My entry is number 31.

    Samantha
    Writing Through College

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  19. Great story! Loved the descriptive writing and the twist.

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  20. excruciating legacy to fulfill! great description of the climb!

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  21. When does one eat and sleep on a three-day rockclimb? See, now you've got me thinking; this must be good. :)

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  22. Great story. The idea of three days on a rock is terrifying.

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  23. Morgan - let me just say, that your comments on my blog totally make my day!

    And this entry for the campaign... WOW! I love that you have gone with something besides the creepy. Plus, it's fabulously written. Honestly - my muscles hurt just from reading this! Rock climbing is hard work. Amazing post!

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  24. Professional rock climber? How cool is that? Sheesh! And, way to go for originality! :)

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  25. Nice description. I was tensing up the whole time reading this. Nice job. :)

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  26. Morgan.. awesome! My fingers ache already, lol. Loved the reference to lactic acid, I swear my muscles seized up when I read it! :) I just put mine up, #58 on the list.

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  27. Three days on a rock face?! No freaking way, lol. Very nice, descriptive and tension filled. Plus - nice pic of the hubby!

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  28. I've heard that's a hell of a mountain. Very tense, and I loved the vision part - his father? Very original take on the prompt too!

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  29. yikes, I felt the strain reading this. Well done!

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  30. Great job! And I love that your hubby is a pro rock climber - how cool is that?

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  31. As someone who has been to Yosemite many times and looked up at visualize. mine is #71those climbers this was easy to

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  32. What the heck? why did mine is #71 come up in the middle of the sentence?

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  33. Excellent job! My favorite so far! You have my vote! :)

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  34. Loved this! Great tension and you really had me in the moment. It felt like I was up on the wall! And also, fabulous picture. You totally have my vote.

    Guess now I've got to get crackin' on mine, eh?

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  35. Wow - I cannot even imagine climbing like that for three days. That is a powerful kind of love! Great work.

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  36. Hey,

    Wow, cool hook up with the pic and the story, and that is some pic of hubby (I'm talking about the manly danger he appeared to be in... holds ManCard close :)

    Did you see you and Leigh were misbehaving in my Monday post :)

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  37. Hmm, afraid climbing's not for me: vertigo!
    But I loved the short story!
    Hey, I also do it! When I write a short story and there's a word limit, I always do my best to stick to that word limit, not a word more, not one less!
    Thanks for sharing your story!

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  38. Hey there! New campaigner here finally making the rounds.

    Way to be original! I love it, and I love the tone. You did a great job.

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  39. Innovative and super creative - well done!

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  40. Loved reading this, and very glad I am not climbing that rock.

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  41. Very interesting take on the challenge.
    #83

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  42. Very well done. Nice smooth writing and good imagery.

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  43. That was great Morgan! The image went well with your writing. I could picture everything you were saying. Good job!

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  44. Wow - you painted us an amazing story - I could imagine every detail! Nice work!

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  45. Excellent sucking us into the act of climbing. Detailed enough and enough character info in such a short piece. Congrats.

    Tale Spinning: Wednesday's Child

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  46. Wow. Your descriptions were so realistic and beautifully written that I could feel the chalk on my fingers. Three days? Yet again, I say... wow.

    Awesome picture, amazing husband, and such an original and touching piece.

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  47. Very well done. Loved the imagery. New follower too. :)

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  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  49. Beautiful and evocative descriptions. Great imagery. Loved the pic of you husband climbing!

    I'm #36 if you'd like to check it out.

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  50. I love this. A complete story, history, motive, tension, and great images. ^_^

    #109

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  51. Great description. I'm still dangling from the wall. I could definitely tell you had experience with rock climbing, and I see your husband is a professional climber. Awesome job. I felt the moment.

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  52. My husband and son are climbers - you scared the bajeebers out of me!

    Laurie Buchanan (entry #92)

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  53. You did much better with the 200 word restriction than I did. Excellent, riveting job, Roland

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  54. Very nice. I could feel myself in the scene, and then a touching motivation at the end.

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  55. 3 days? I'm scared already, I'm not very good with heights...

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  56. Nice blog! I'm in your group for Rachael's 4th campaign. Glad to meet you! ~Theresa Sneed author of No Angel and forthcoming From Heaven to Earth http://theresasmallsneed.blogspot.com

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  57. Fantastic! This is my favorite so far out of the ones I've read!

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  58. That was really good! I felt every moment of tension in this, great job!

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  59. I liked the fact that you didn't succumb to a scary or horror theme. Nice job.


    Lee (#126 on the Campaign Challenge List)
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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  60. Fantastic...the tension and expectation was palpable.

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  61. Awesome stuff!!! And ACK three days? Yikes! I'm such a wimp, I could never do it. But your character has great inner thoughts, and your writing is very sensory, I really felt it! I'm like you, I didn't go with the horror scary shadowy scene either! :) And your husband just amazes me, btw!! He must be one gutsy guy!

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  62. A three day climb would be something. However, I myself would probably just do a three day hike. Great job! I thought the description was well done.

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  63. A great piece of writing! My stomach fluttered throughout, as I've an *intense* fear of heights. Love your use of the senses in this scene.

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  64. Oh how I wish I could climb that high! Great story and awesome photo!

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  65. Nicely done. The imagery was great. I've climbed walls (never a three day climb). I could feel the climb. I definitely liked it.

    I'm #88. Comments welcome.
    Richard

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  66. "Shake out the lactic acid" = Win!

    Very well written and excellent back-story, all within 200 words.

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  67. I felt like I was right there climbing the wall with you. Very vivid! Well done!

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  68. Beautifully written--I was right there. (#172 on the linky list.)

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  69. Great sensory and imagery! I know El Capitan well, so it really felt like I was there. Of course, I could never actually climb it, but you made me feel like I could.

    #96

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  70. I can actually picture this part "Tendons strained and my stomach tightened as I crossed my right arm over the left, finding a good slab to grip." like in the movies you know :)

    Loved it. Check my poetry out, I'm #159

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  71. Ah this made me tense while reading, almost like I was echoing the physical exertion taking place. Really nicely done.

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  72. I loved your descriptions. The anxiety felt by the main character made me think of times when I have had similar feelings. Very nicely done.

    #191 on the link list.

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  73. Hi Morgan! Good news! You made it to the next round with your flash fiction piece! You've been short-listed to move on to stage two :)

    Stay tuned for more info on Rachael's blog.

    Congrats!
    Gina
    (new follower)

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  74. Damn you Gina! You thwarted me again!

    This was a fantastic story Morgan and I'm so sorry I couldn't be the one to give you the good news. :(

    But congrats, you're frickin' amazing!

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  75. Hi! I'm susan from My Withershins. I read your piece earlier in the week and tried to leave a comment using my Wordpress ID, but Blogspot would have none of it, so I'm back using my old alter-ego.

    I felt a bit of vertigo reading your story, probably because I tend to have a fear of heights. The descriptions were far too real! lol It was very well-written and the photo added that special touch, especially knowing your hubby was the subject. :)

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  76. Wow! That was good. My muscles hurt just thinking of it.

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  77. Better late than never! That's a really descriptive piece. There's no way I'd be spending three days on the side of a rock :-)

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  78. Ooh, I love the details here! You did such a great job building up the tension - and the writing here is awesome. I love it!

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  79. Love the direction you took this in. Well done!

    =)

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  80. Hey...congrats on placing high on the challenge!!!

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  81. Congrats on doing so well! I need you to contact me so we can get your prizes to you=)
    kathleen dot doyle88 at yahoo dot com
    ASAP please=)

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