False Start Friday: in which writers share some words that didn't make the final cut, or were in some way unwanted.

Here's a failed competition entry of mine from last autumn: a tell-a-story-in-100-words challenge. It wasn't a terrible fail: Boy liked it; it's always good to practice one's skills.

It isn't a whole story, it's more of an extract. It has a monster from the abyss theme that relates to the prehistoric and thus the deepest unconscious regions of the human mind, but how would the reader know that? Go too deep and you compress too much!
It is exactly 100 words, of course J

Hunts By Eye
'At first it is a space, darker than the deep water, indistinct under thick ice: the distance makes us brave. As the shape gains clarity, we grow chill, like the ice melt runs straight into our veins, but there’s a level of curiosity that breaches reason. The pale glaze melts thinner and thinner, a stir in the still water breaks cold sweats: we keep going back. Shining, mesmerising, these distant motions abruptly blur with speed, burst the surface. Shock makes a statue of me, a stone afraid witness to flailing jaws, to punctured screams, to violent waves subsiding to silence.'


Suze said…
Oh, Lils. I have such a potent fear of black waters. Several summers ago, we spent some time near a lake with my husband and his brother's family and the completely opaque depths of that water just chilled me straight thinking of my little one falling in. I can hardly remember it now without shuddering.

And yet, here you are comparing what is within to such a place without. I'm sitting here shaking my head a bit to clear it.

Love this: 'Shock makes a statue of me,'
Loree said…
That's very intense but I liked it.
This writing excerpt reminds me of the old 1950's horror films like Creature from the Deep Lagoon (or something). The mood is chilling and the tone of the writing is perfect for a scary thrill. Excellent post!
Stephanie said…
I can't believe that didn't win: it's beautiful. And scary. I could almost hear the "Jaws" theme thrumming in the background as I read.
Ooooh, love it! And it ain't easy to say so much with so few words. Great job.
Lisa Southard said…
Suze: water is symbolic of emotion, of inarticulated feeling and the loss of conscious thought. (Drowning is also a real physical danger.) I always think that inner and outer are connected- that everything is connected, so I try not to deny the monsters- the more time they spend out of the water, the calmer they get.
Loree: we both went for shadow themes!
Shaharizan: I love old horror films. They had the best monsters.
Stephanie: One of my all time favourite films. As a child, recall swimming in a panic to get to a rock on seeing a dogfish swim by.. Jaws related fear! Have since become rather enchanted by sharks.
Geo. said…
"Shock makes a statue of me." A wonderful phrase that takes me back before its lesser visits to failed plumbing projects to the spooky things my big brother would get me believing when we were kids about the muddy river we lived by and holes I couldn't see down. Invigorating, fun writing!
Cygnus said…
Cool! It's got an H. P. Lovecraft kind of feel.

"Shock makes a statue of me." I love discovering sibilant strings of words that I'd have never had the foresight to assemble in such a way.
Lisa Southard said…
An obvious contender for the favourite sentence here! It is mine too, so no dispute. Thank you very much chaps :-)

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