Monday’s Challenge: Write an atmospheric opening in 150 words or less

Today, I’m going to try something different. I’m going to challenge all of my readers to write an atmospheric opening in 150 words or less. Feel free to post your entries in the comments box below. If that doesn’t sound like fun, or you’re simply too busy, feel free to critique the stab I made below. I call my morsel (which comes in at 138 words) FOOTSTEPS.

Footsteps. Hard, metallic, the heel striking the pavement, they approached.

Dusk settled along the estuary. He stood there regarding the grey water. A breeze stroked his curls. A black cloud came up and over, moving inexorably towards him. Rain stung his cheeks. It passed and went east.

The footsteps stopped.

He turned.

“Evening,” a voice said.

He was hard to make out from under the hood of his cloak. Except for the long nose and full lips.


“D’you live around here?”

“What’s it to you?”

He shrugged and turned to sea. “Don’t know these parts.”

“I’m visiting.”

“Me too. I’m looking for a pub. The Queen’s Arms.”

“Town’s over there.”

“Right.” He ambled off.

A wind shook the leaves. He lit a cigarette. Where had he seen him before? And why was he dressed in a cloak? [138 words]

I invite you to leave your atmospheric opening or critiques in the comments box. You have until Sunday Midnight EST to post something.

Have a wonderful week!

–Cynthia Haggard writes historical novels.  She has two completed manuscripts that will be published in the coming year. THWARTED QUEEN  is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a King brought down by fear.FAMILY SPLINTERS is  a novel about identity, forbidden love and family secrets. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.


Filed under Challenges, Craft

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