As some of you may know, I took part in Nanowrimo last year and I won – completing my 50,000 words of a first draft during the month of November. Writing has always been something I enjoyed but it wasn’t until Nano that I sat down and worked on a project properly. Anyway, I’m not going to talk too much about Nanowrimo and the novel I’m working on this time, I’ll save that for another post. This is about a competition I recently entered through the college I work in.
The main goal of the competition was to take one of the endings given to us and write the rest of the story. We had 500 words as a target and we would be marked on the impact on the reader, originality and spelling, grammar and punctuation. The endings were all the winners of a previous competition called ’50 Last Words’ – you can guess the aim of that competition!
Now, I didn’t win the category I entered, but I feel as though I won. Putting my creative writing out there was a huge step for me, and I’m really proud of that. I didn’t have long to write my entry so I’m not 100% happy with it, but I’m going to publish it here anyway for you to read, as this is the form that it was entered to the competition. I’ve put the ending I used in a different colour so you can see what I had to work with – enjoy!
She stepped back once she had finished searching the dirty stranger’s pockets; glancing around, she checked she was still alone on the track. There was nothing of much value to her, though the small packet of biscuits would keep her going until the next town. She wondered where he had found them, or had they been stolen from his last victim? The knot of fear that had taken hold in her stomach loosened a bit, knowing she had food for the next day or so.
A pool of blood was starting to form around his head; soaking into the surrounding gravel. The red stood out, harsh against the greying landscape, a warning beacon for others using the road. She would need to wash her hands; clean them of the stains before moving on, in case she stumbled upon anyone else.
He was not the first she had encountered, nor would he be the last she would have to survive. Looking down at the body, she felt the nausea spread through her; rendering her still; it came every time…ever since the first. He had appeared from nowhere; a dark figure forcing her to the floor. She could still remember the stale smell of his coat; that crazed look in his eyes. She had tried to escape whilst they grappled, but his wiry strength held her in place. She had been lucky the rock was so close…
Shaking herself; she broke free from the memory. A few months had passed, but she still felt sick at the thought of what she had done…what she was still having to do. But she was prepared now; she was not the fresh faced, innocent girl she had once been.
It wasn’t safe to stand still too long, but she needed to wait for the dizziness to pass; along with the cold numbness that was dulling her senses. Bending down, she took hold of the man’s legs and slowly dragged him off the track towards the bushes, taking care that he was hidden from sight. She couldn’t risk someone finding him and coming after her. Travelling on the road was dangerous enough; you were an easy target for those who chose to prey on others. But it was the fastest way to travel between towns; in search of food and water.
She could survive an attack, but hunger and thirst she had no control over; they would kill her. What we fear is not what will harm us. We fear only what will make us cold. And so she stood there; just a little longer, still waiting; her tangled hair loosely pulled back from her gaunt face; her cold sunken eyes transfixed on the now empty track; waiting for the cold to stop.
I hope you enjoyed it!