Passing The Mantle

First Campaign Challenge from Rachael Harrie’s Fourth Platform Building Campaign

This is where we’re supposed to write a short story/flash fiction in 200 words or less, in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall.” As an added challenge, do one of the following: end with the words, “everything faded,” use the word “orange,” write in the same genre as we usually write and make the story exactly 200 words. I hit them all in 190 words. Here’s my story.

Shadows crept across the wall of the old witch doctor Anashe’s hut. Outside, a ghostly full moon hung in a sky splashed with fuchsia, gold and orange above the remains of the sun. Anashe’s once robust form barely creased the thin coir mattress on the floor where she lay. She knew her time was short.

An assortment of yellowed animal bones lay scattered a few feet away on the well worn dirt floor, magic bones that kept her informed of her seventeen-year-old grandson Tururu’s movements six hundred miles to the north in the copper mines. She thrashed from side to side in agitation. He was not ready.

Her vision dimmed and she felt her mind drifting. She struggled to focus even though she knew it was useless; the Great Mother Amai Vedu Africa awaited her. A part of her had thought she would live forever. Sighing, she closed her eyes and felt the pain and tension in her body and heart begin to ease. She knew what she had to do. She whispered the words that would take her to where she needed to go one last time. Everything faded.

27 thoughts on “Passing The Mantle

  1. Did you enjoy the challenge? I am always amazed at how much can be said in few words. My short writes require much editing. Well done… I liked the image as well, fitting.

  2. I love this! You use a lot of colors for such a short passage, and usually I’m hesitant about the overuse of colors, but here it really added something! Great!

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