Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

November 22, 2011

Flash Fiction – Russet Powder

Filed under: fictionchunk,wordsmithery — lexifab @ 3:35 pm

I’m going through the agonising mid-novel crisis phase of writing at the moment. I have all the classic symptoms – shiftlessness, frustration, disenchantment. Uncle Doubt has rolled in on scratchy barbed-wire wheels, carrying a bootload of awkward questions: Where is this going? Who are these people? Why would anyone care what happened to that guy? What the hell is going on? Why don’t you care that your plot makes no goddamn sense? WHY DO YOU HATE ART!?

(Uncle Doubt is a creepy bastard. But he’s family. What can you do?)

Anyway, while I get through that, one nonsensical scene-to-be-removed-in-editing at a time, I decided to distract myself for a couple of minutes with something else. Happily, Chuck “Him again?” Wendig has come up with another one of his 100-word flash fiction challenges: Frog Powder Seagull Tower Scissors. As usual, the idea is to write a short-short (I think hereabouts we call the 100-word-exactly form a ‘drabble’, do we not?) using one of those words for inspiration.

So here we go.

Russet Powder

The fine rusty powder coated every surface inside the abandoned Beamer. Detective Inspector Graumann couldn’t make head nor tail of it, nor of the sharpened oak shaft protruding loose from the centre of the black velvet driver’s side seat cover.

A Forensics trainee passed a twine sightline from the splintered wooden head of the arrow through the windscreen entry hole. When the clumsy labrat cut a finger on the glass, Graumann sighed at his contaminated crime scene.

The powder sizzled and coalesced around the spilling droplets. Graumann clutched for his mother’s crucifix as the powder regathered into hissing human shape.


  1. Powder FTW! Verra nice.

    Comment by The Once and Future Dr Clam — November 23, 2011 @ 8:11 am

  2. I am at the stage in the work-in-progress novel where the above vignette seems like a great basis for expansion into a longer story – or a novella, or a novel. Or indeed anything other than the current WIP.

    Comment by lexifab — November 23, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

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