Saturday, January 31, 2015

Off the Map (Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge)

Sometimes, with the best will in the world, a project falls flat. I began the year with the firm intention of finishing Indigo Redemption this month, and then devoting the following months to editing the first two novels of the trilogy.

It didn't happen. I lost my way in the narrative of the third novel, and it is still unfinished. Furthermore, February has its own challenges. I will take up the tale of Indigo's fateful weather again in March.

Meanwhile, Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch has a perfect Flash Fiction Challenge for the week resolutions die:

January 28, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about disorientation. A character could be lost in the maze of the mind or in a storm of unexpected traffic. What are the sounds? The sights? The smell? Explore the different ways confusion can be expressed and how it can create tension, provide relief or move a story forward.

As always, my answer to the challenge lies below the line:

Off the Map

Between one step and the next, disaster. I reach for the map clipped to my pack, and — nothing! Was it an hour since last I checked? Along the open corridor between the trees, no map lay behind me.

Was I still going north-west? My compass needle swings wildly, doesn't settle. Circuiting tree-trunks is another chance to lose my way. In the damp, moss marks tree-trunks all the way around, rain clouds obscure the sun's direction. And I've seen that Amanita muscaria, bright against the duff, before!

Desperate, I tramp on. I must find the marked trail before dark.