Campaign Challenge #2: Fatespeak


The second challenge in Rachael Harrie’s Fourth Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign proved to be tough, but very stimulating.  This time around, my muse was asked to play with five prompts in as many as five different ways.  In addition, there were several options available to increase difficulty.

The Challenge:


The prompts are pretty random, which made the challenge of linking them totally irresistible.  I did my best to find a way to make them all come together with a single theme/story line. And because I like to push myself, I decided to take on all the extra elements to increase difficulty.  The hardest one being to write outside of my usual genre.  I went the fantasy route, because its something I like to read and I’ve been experimenting with it on a few WIPs.

– – –


Activity #1 – Pitch/Logline

The Fates meet their match in one small girl.

– – –

Activity #2 – 200 word flash fiction based on the prompts

Aria peered through the Oracle Eye and smiled at her victory.  Amanda and Ian were safe, hidden away from The Fates who had so cruelly decided they should die.   She was supposed to lead them to the moment of no return, but broke her oath instead.  Under Rosewood Bridge they would stay, until she found a way to spare their lives.

“You cannot save them.”

Aria jumped and spun towards the sound of her Elder’s voice. Mena’s deep violet eyes pooled with sympathy, but remained stern.

“Why not?” Aria asked, despite knowing the answer.

“Their fate has been written. Your interference has only delayed what will be.”

“It does not seem fair that beings with so much free will, should be so readily controlled.” Aria turned back to the Eye and watched Amanda bandage the gaping wound in Ian’s leg with what remained of his t-shirt.  “They have done nothing wrong and do not deserve this end. How can it be right?”

Mena gently squeezed Aria’s shoulders,  “She will drown and he must bleed,” the Elder replied. “Listen, my youngling.  As a Fatespeaker you must deliver what The Fates demand.”

“And if I refuse?”

“I cannot protect you.”

(199 words)

– – –

Activities #3 and 4 (Combined) – Poem with a twist/Five sentences using each of the prompts.

The Fates sing in unison . . .

Young love perishes too soon,
never to age, always joined

The orb shall fall as must innocence,
ignorance cannot reign

A delicate balance struggles to thrive
on the brink of collapse

The meek suffer with dirty hands,
to humble those who refuse to see

 Natural order binds our will;
a ribbon between us,
no one is truly free

– – –

Activity #5 – Flash Fiction about the water pear.

The Fates hovered in stasis overhead.  Hands joined, eyes closed, and oblivious to the small girl below.

Aria stood her ground with a wooden staff firmly in her hands.  One swing would destroy the only link between the human world and her own.  The Oracle Eye pulsed with warmth and light, just as it had for thousands of years.

“Show me Amanda and Ian” Aria whispered softly.

A dark-haired girl and a tall boy instantly materialized, both wounded and frightened.  In the back of a dark cave, they huddled together and shivered as their fire began to die. Once the link was broken, The Fates could no longer find them and they would be free.

She tightened her grip and arced the staff for a mighty swing . . .

“Stop!” Three voices cried.


“You have no right to disrupt what has always been,” The Fates seethed with rage.

“You have no right to take what is not yours.”   Aria said and unleashed her will with all her strength.

One blow was all it took.  The glowing orb erupted into pulverized glints of light, all of which faded to nothing upon hitting the ground.

(195 words)

– – –

If anyone is interested in offering a critique, I am very open to polite and constructive feedback.  I have pretty thick skin after spending last year on Critique Circle and I value honesty above all else. However, I will note this is my first foray into fantasy on a public level.  Any help is greatly appreciated and I’ll do my best to return the favor.

– – –

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out all the great entries to this challenge, here.  They are amazing!  If you liked my entry, please vote for me!  I am #90.

– – –

c.b. 2012


82 thoughts on “Campaign Challenge #2: Fatespeak

  1. Wow! You were certainly up for the Challenge! You have managed to work in all the prompts beautifully and your imagery is above reproach, in my opinion. One of the best entries I’ve read, so far. 🙂


    • Aw, thank you so much! I worked so hard on it and I’m thrilled to hear its working, 🙂

      I love to play with imagery and sometimes I go a little overboard, but I think it was warranted in this piece. 🙂


  2. Well done. I see you did not opt for the prompt with the bridge and child with ball. I like the way you did the pear though. Very imaginative and I think you did fantasy very well.


    • Thank you! 🙂

      The bridge prompt was referenced in the first piece of flash fiction, but only as a jump off point. And it shows up again, (as a reference to the FF) in the lines:

      “Young love perishes too soon,
      never to age, always joined”

      The child with the ball shows up in the poem, in terms of imagery rather than literal:

      “The orb shall fall as must innocence,
      ignorance cannot reign”

      I didn’t want to use the words child and ball if I could help it. 😉

      Thank you so much for reading!


  3. LOVED IT!! Thanks, C.B. for taking on this challenge. Now I get to play a little, too!! I loved the prompts, the challenge, and I would have done what you did, and push myself to tie them together. I can TOTALLY see a novel in this!! I ADORE the poem!!! I used a “prophecy” in my 4th novel, and though it wasn’t a poem, it kind of reads like one. The tagline sparked an interest. And I did “rush to the end” but savored it all afterwards. I think the second flash fiction could be a prologue, and then build it from the beginning to that, or have flashbacks throughout the novel. Telling it from the perspectives of Aria, the 2 hurt humans, AND the Fates . . . oooooo, that would be cool!! 51 more contracted days before I can marinate myself once again in creativity. I’ve starved myself of it, and reading your stuff is a bit of water to this parched throat. Thank you so much for sharing!!


    • There is a larger story for this – it all exploded in my head when I started playing with the challenge. Who would have thought fantasy was so much fun to write – oh, wait – You! 🙂

      I can’t wait for you to be free to explore all that creativity waiting to burst! 🙂

      Thanks for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed it!!


  4. Lovely! I especially liked how you used all the pieces to create one complete story rather than just having a theme. I tried that at first, but ran away after it was tooooo haaaard. 🙂


    • Thank you! All I kept thinking was everything is connected in life somehow, some way, so why not the prompts? The story was something I had no idea was hiding inside of me and I’m so excited it came out!

      Thanks so much for reading! 🙂


  5. Love the idea of fates controlling our destinies, and that someone would fight back. Loved this line. “It does not seem fair that beings with so much free will, should be so readily controlled”


    • The idea of breaking free is one of my favorite things to write about – We have the power to live the life we want, but we have to find the courage to do it. 🙂

      Thanks so much for reading! 🙂


  6. I really enjoyed how they seemed to continue the story from one part to another. I totally wany yo know more and how it ended up for the girl, if she was able to change things or if there was backlash. I enjoyed it a ton.
    (Thanks for commenting on my enter #8)


    • Thanks! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 While this was only meant to be a little piece of flash fiction, I can’t help but play with it a little more. The entire story is starting to explode in my head and I can barely write it down fast enough. Rest assured, little Aria is quite the hero. 🙂

      Thank you for reading!!


  7. Wow, you have a way with brevity that I really like and I like the worlds you’ve built in such a small amount of space. These pieces would prove to be a great story and I’m interested in seeing more. Do you think this’ll be come a larger project for you? Sometimes prompts are great for that!


    • Thank you for such kind comments. 🙂

      This may have started out as a couple pieces of flash fiction, but it is rapidly turning into a larger project that connects to another WIP (a spin-off of sorts). This challenge has made me so grateful for the campaign! 🙂

      Thanks so much for reading!


  8. Wow, this was really imaginative, and excellent for a first stab at fantasy. I love the idea of Aria trying to interfere with Fate. The writing felt really rich and developed. Good to hear you’re thinking of taking this further! Off to “like”!


    • Thank you so much! I appreciate the kind comments and your vote. 🙂

      I’m so excited to play with this further – I never expected to get so much inspiration from a challenge, which makes this entire process that much more worthwhile.


    • Thank you! 🙂 The flow from piece to piece actually surprised as I was writing – I didn’t expect it to connect so easily. I’m thrilled to see it did both for me and readers. 🙂

      Thanks so much for reading! 🙂


  9. Hey C.B., this was awesome – so creative and intriguing, and such great use of my prompts. I really hope you write a book about this – there’s a much bigger story waiting to be told I think 🙂 Congratulations – I’ve awarded you FIRST PLACE in the Judging Round! Make sure you check out my post to see the cool prizes you’ve won 🙂

    Congrats again!




    • Thank you so much!!! 🙂 I am so excited! Not only for the win, but for the prompts that inspired a story I can’t wait to expand. Who knew this was hiding inside of me?? I will always be grateful to you and the campaign for drawing it out. 🙂

      I’m off to do some more happy dancing!!


  10. I am happy dancing for you!! You do fantasy well which doesn’t surprise me. You have all kinds of tidbits exploding inside you and we’re the lucky ones to read the results. Your poem is awesome, you have a knack for poetic wordings. Keep it up!


    • Thanks! 🙂 It was pretty exciting to win this one. I never saw it coming, so that made it even more special. Playing with a new genre was pretty amazing, too. I’m still so surprised at what came out of me.


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