Fall Writing Frenzy 2021

It’s the time of year where the weather turns cooler, the leaves crisper, and my writing turns…creepier!?! I love the Fall Writing Frenzy contest because it’s the one time I dip into a different side of my writing. The challenge is to select a picture from the list and write something inspired by it while staying at 200 words or under. This is the picture I chose, and at exactly 200 words, I hope you enjoy my it.


By Kelly Swemba

I was just a girl, nearly 8, when we moved. Mamma was drawn to the fresh start of nobody knowing us. “It’ll be like when we played dress up in the attic. We can be anybody here.”

There, the clothes were like me, laden with a dusty smell of lives past. Here, all I smelled was drenched leaves and chimney smoke. Mamma liked this place.  “We can hide among these hills. We’ll be safe this time.”

The thing about hiding though, there’s always a seeker. And for us, ours was very skilled.

Darkness cloaked our town and blanketed me in false security. That was a mistake. I see that now.

As we slept, a presence crept. It stalked our streets with the focus and hunt of the beast he is.

I awoke, soaked in sweat, eyes wide with fear. 

“He’s here.”

Mama grabbed the bag already packed. Kissed my forehead, fingers locked with mine. Ready for the race.

Dawn rose and spread warmth above. We felt only dampness below. Whispers whirled through town. One spoke about a menacing shadow. Some recalled the moon’s eerie glow. But most described a chill that left them forever cold.

Just like mama and me.

38 thoughts on “Fall Writing Frenzy 2021”

  1. Kelly! Wow! I feel like the bottom just dropped out of the floor – that ending is CHILLING!
    The voice in this story is so spot-on, your images are rich and the tension in this story is electric. Wow!!
    Love this so much!

  2. Wow, Kelly! Gave me chills. Thank goodness I turned on all the lights lol… Such amazing imagery! Great job, Kelly! I wonder what happens next. ❀

  3. I LOVE the creep factor on this! When I first saw this image, I totally thought it was a great one for something creepy or haunted, and you knocked that out of the park. Maybe you’ll take the creep into some of your middle grade writing…??? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Great job!!!

    1. Thank you, Stacey!!! Thank you for reading it and letting me know. Eerily beautiful is a great compliment and I’m so happy you took the time to tell me!

  4. My favorite part is “The thing about hiding though, there’s always a seeker. And for us, ours was very skilled.” So good. So creepy. Is it human, ghost, ghoul, or…? WHAT?? –Melisa Wrex @mowrex (Twitter)

  5. The voice, setting, and pace pulled me in right from the beginning and that ending…I want to know more! Well done! πŸ‘πŸ‘

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