"I sit down to a blank page and see my oldest friend. Some days I write something decent. Some days I suck. Whatever. It’s not like I won’t be back tomorrow."
~ Sera Gamble

Friday, 15 June 2012

Friday Fictioneers - "In the Woods..."

Here is this week's attempt at Madison Woods Friday Fictioneers, this week's story is based on the photo below (photo credit also to: Madison Woods).  It took a little while and I finally came up with this, after about an hour rewriting it, I have ended up with a 323 word Flash Fiction piece I have called "In the Woods... ".  I hope you like it! 

Constructive Criticism always welcome!

In the Woods...

Gliding through the trees, a lithe and agile figure swings from bough to bough. Clad in dark emerald suede, strong and supple, like the frame it covers. A long cloak of scarlet curls wrap around her as she alights upon a sturdy limb, her own slender limbs outstretched as she eases herself into a crouching position. Her right hand unconsciously reaches for a vine behind her, whilst her left holds an elegantly curved bow horizontally in front of her. Arianne cocks her head slightly as she spies a strange white shape moving along the forest floor beneath her.

As it continues to move in a slow deliberate way, as if dragging it’s limbs through thick set honey, she notices the shape is that of man, covered in a stark white armour appearing to be made of leather, with a white bowl for a helmet on his head. As he moves through the dappled half-light of the forest, the open part of his helmet shimmers like a rippling stream.

Arianne is mesmerised by him, she follows his steady journey with her emerald eyes as he passes under her bough. She swivels on the balls of her feet, easing herself round, not allowing the white figure out of her sight. Silently releasing her grip on the vine, she slides an arrow from the hidden quiver on her back, and lines it up against the wooden bow. Her pale pink lips slightly ajar, she concentrates whilst squinting one eye. She holds her breath, then shoots the arrow strong and straight, piercing the ground only a dragon’s breath from his right foot.

He pauses, stares at the arrow, then slowly turns his helmet, following the invisible line from the arrow’s quill up to the bow it was shot from.

The beautiful wielder of the oak bow sits above him, her head held high as she gazes down at him, the corner of her lips leisurely curling up.


  1. I like the phrase "only a dragon's breath" to measure distance - makes it very clear we're in a fantasy world! (Though I'm not sure how long or short that distance would be.)(And I don't care.)

    Now some constructively-meant criticism - while I like the skeleton of your story, the two characters and what actually happens and the suggestion of what might happen next, I think you'll have a stronger story if you remove most of the adjectives. Some of them are useful, like "thick set honey" and "dark emerald suede" and the image of the helmet like a white bowl. But telling us about the archer's "slender limbs" and "emerald eyes" and "pale pink lips" and specifying that her bow is "wooden" and her quiver is "hidden" is like hanging your original Rembrandt among dozens of Thomas Kincaids. It's hard to focus on the description that enhances the story when everything is embroidered.

    Short version - you have a vivid style and a flair for interesting situations; tighter focus would make it even better. (And I know it's hard to cut. My stories tend to start out about twice as long as the version I publish.)

    Okay, your turn to tell me what you really think - http://newpillowbook.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/friday-fictioneers-a-walk-in-the-woods/

  2. Beautifully written; a hot romance in the making. Mine is linked and here too: http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/fridayfictioneers-sacrilege/

  3. Well done. I enjoyed this. There is a lot of beautiful imagery here. Here's mine: http://theforgottenwife.com/2012/06/15/friday-fictioneers-6152012-the-watcher/

  4. I think they are acquainted. Very descriptive piece. Now I wish I had kept my whole 246 words instead of cutting back to 109. I love the "dragon's breath" as a measurement. You should continue with this, very intriguing. Here's my revision: http://melodypearson.com/june-15-2012-the-trails-beginning/. Also part of a larger story.

  5. newpillowbook - Thank you so much for your constructive criticism! Now I look back on it, it is littered with adjectives. So much so it feels like you are treading through "thick set honey" whilst trying to read it! I can imagine if I was reading a whole novel like this, it would drive me crazy wanting to get on with the story! I could definitely edit this down and repost it! Thank you!

    I also loved the "dragon's breath" as a measurement (and also have no idea what that distance might be), I was trying to use analogies that related to the world they were in, so as not to confuse the reader and use them to help get a feel for where they are. And that one was fun! :)

    Reading Pleasure - Thank you! I shall take a look and comment on yours shortly!

    theforgottenwife - Thank you! I am trying to make my stories as vivid and as real as possible!

    AMelodyGalloway - Yes I think they are acquainted now! Thank you, I enjoyed writing it! It is part of a novel idea I am planning, I am finding doing this is a good way to try out characters before I start writing the novel! And now I have created an interesting way for them to meet!

  6. Nicely written.

    Mine's at http://logo-ligi.com/2012/06/15/six-oclock/

  7. Very descriptive! Well done...
    Here's mine: http://writeforacause.org/2012/06/15/friday-fictioneers-one-road-two-souls/

  8. "... a dragon's breath from his right foot" Loved it!

  9. Enjoyed this. ...She comes across as very beautiful with scarlet curls and emerald eyes. Clad in dark,emerald suede ...nice. Wonder what he's going to do to her? Interesting beg'g for a fantasy love story. Here's mine:

  10. logo-ligi GH and WriteForACause - Thank you!

    marilynkaydennis - Thank you! :D

    Lora - Thank you! I'm glad she came across as I intended! As for what'll happen next... I haven't thought that far ahead! LOL! But it does make an interesting beginning to a new story! Thanks again! :)


(Please note - all comments are approved before appearing below. I do not like spam!)