By Chris Wright and Andy Wright
It’s time for the very first Fifteen Minute Fiction Challenge! Two of our authors have taken on the task – to write a piece of (hopefully decent) fiction in just fifteen minutes; that’s planning, writing and all. Chris Wright and Andy Wright went to a random generator for a genre and a title and then had fifteen minutes to write whatever came to mind. So read on, let us know what you think and vote for your favourite.
Random Genre: Mystery
Random Title: The Cold Mists
The Cold Mists by Chris Wright
She quickened her step, her heart beating in time to the clip-clopping of her heels on the old, cobbled streets. The last vestiges of purple light were fast fading above the grand museums in the distance and the seedy bars and brothels of her own part of town were already settling into their natural blackness. No, she thought. Why did I let him keep me? God, why? But it wasn’t time yet. The setting sun, so reliable, so sturdy an ally was abandoning her to the night.
Her feet started to lift off the ground as she broke into a jog. People stared, looks of derision and superiority. Let them, she thought, holding up her skirts and grasping her hat to her head. Let them think what they like. It means nothing if I can’t beat the sun. But they were coming already; faint traces were starting to curl into existence, kissing damply at her cheek like a long lost, little-mourned lover. The mists were rising.
She couldn’t help the slight sob that escaped her lips. They were all around her now, swirling, pulsing, wetting her dress and her eyes. She threw down her shoes and her caution and fell into a dead sprint. She charged and pushed, slipped and slid through the familiar streets and alleys of the capital. A well to do gentleman in a bowler hat stopped in her path and she screamed. Was it him? But no. Not him, not yet. She swerved around him and turned on to the long lane that led to home.
She could almost see it, almost touch it. She had to make it. But the darkness was upon her now. Oil lamps were sputtering to life and the cold mists wrapped its tendrils around her. And then he was there. He stood, dark and tall, face unseen, voice cold. She stopped in her tracks and looked at him, cold fear in her very bones. He looked back with dead eyes.
“Twice more, Miss Calderwood,” he said. “Twice more.”
By Chris Wright
The Cold Mists by Andy Wright
“Where are we going?” David asked, poutily, as they trudged up yet another hill.
“It’s just a bit further.” Kevin replied, trying to project the confidence an older brother of ten should have.
The cold mists had swarmed over their new country home a few days earlier and they reduced vision to a few yards in front of their faces. In fact, when Kevin had first trekked up the grassy hills the previous day, he had almost tripped over the unusual stones.
“You said that ten minutes ago,” David complained.
Kevin wanted to shout that it was hard to know where to go when you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. He said nothing, though, he could tell is brother was scared enough, without him admitting they were lost. “There!” he whispered, pointing through the thick haze to his right.
“What is it?” David replied, a tremor in his voice.
“I don’t know.”
Kevin felt his brother come to a stop, but he felt himself being drawn forwards, fighting off a tremor of his own.
By the time he reached the first of the rocks, he had slowed to a snail’s pace. The knot in his stomach had tightened, but he was not about to turn back now. Besides, he could here hesitant footsteps behind him.
The rocks were about a foot high and triangular in shape, each one identical to the next, forming a perfect circle, ten feet across.
Kevin reached over and laid his palm flat against the face of one of them. He immediately yanked it away, crying out. David ran over to see what the matter was and Kevin had to assure him he was fine. He reached out again with a finger and brushed the stone again. The stone was so cold that he had to peel his skin away from it, like an icicle.
The two boys exchanged a look and David stepped into the circle. He blinked in confusion as the mist immediately dispersed around him and he was left in clear air. David followed a second later, looking round in confusion.
That was when the noise started. A deep repetitive thrumming. Bang. Bang. Bang.
Kevin looked up just in time to see the hammer fall.
By Andy Wright
So there you have it, the very first Fifteen Minute Fiction Challenge. If you enjoyed our efforts, hit the like button below, comment to tell us what you think (be nice – we only had fifteen minutes!) and vote for your favourite. If you want updates on our future work, you can follow us via WordPress, Email or on twitter @Sentient_Ink.
For a collaborative thriller we spent more than fifteen minutes on, check out The Bleak Streets of Carrada. Chapter 5 coming soon.
Or for more flash fiction, why not have a look at Andy Wright’s The Walk of Shadows – Footsteps.