Show Not Tell Challenge: In 300 words or less, write a passage that shows (rather than tells) the following:
- you’re scared and hungry
- it’s dusk
- you think someone is following you
- and just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: shimmer, saccadic, substance, and salt.
Here is my attempt:
The leaves rustled behind me. I hurried along the path, trying to ignore the saccadic beats of my heart. I peeked over my shoulder, and saw a raccoon, but wasn’t calmed. Someone else was in the woods. I wanted to run—I had to get to the cabin first—but, that would make too much noise and compromise my head start.
I looked at my watch and was temporarily blinded by the fading rays of sunlight shimmering off its cubic zirconium. It was almost eight, and would be dark soon. My stomach growled and I cringed. I should be putting salt on dinner, not trekking through the woods. But I had to come; I was the most in need.
I reached the end of the overgrown path and saw the cabin. Weeds, tall grasses and trees replaced the small clearing that once encircled it . The cabin’s windows were broken, and one of the front steps busted. I breathed in the earthy smell of the woods, hoping for the calm it usually provided. My heart didn’t slow down. The rustling behind me got closer, but I didn’t turn around. I needed the money.
My skin became prickly, like it was tightening around my skull. Whoever was out there was close. I dashed across the clearing and up the cabin’s stairs, sweat trickling between my breasts. The air inside was stale, thick, and I could taste the dust. The room lacked substance; a table, two chairs and a bed frame looked small in the open space. It didn’t take long to search the sparsely furnished room. Nothing. Where was the money?
Footsteps pounded on the porch. I reached for my gun, spun toward the door and waited.
I’m not one of Rachael Harrie’s Crusaders, but when I saw the challenge I had to try. It was fun, and challenging 🙂
What did you think?