The Roaring Cascade (Writer’s Platform-Building Campaign part two)


“Did you hear the whistle of the ghost train? Did you feel the rumble from the wheels, metal screaming, the ground shake? Jim, did you? Jim, open your eyes. Please.” The boys lay in the underbelly of the Andrew Jackson Bridge; Jim’s leg was bleeding.

Both had been bored. Watching Jim’s brother kick his ball around did not interest them, so they left before Jim’s Ma could stop them. At the rock quarry, examining the debris of past explosions, they found perfect skipping stones and filled their pockets.

Lunch time long past, hungry, Jim and Pete stole one of Mrs. Tompkins’s pies. She saw them right as day and yelled down hell and damnation on them as they sped away. Pete laughed, with Jim right behind.

The pie was a lark, but in their haste they were not careful. Jim snagged his foot on a root by the bridge and went tumbling down, landing smack against the rusted bridge support. Pete followed after, losing his footing in the mud, head going into Sugar Creek. Leaning against the pillar, Pete tired in his attempts to wake Jim up.

The water picked up speed, rising. The flood of 1913 was upon them.


Author’s Note:

The above is my submission for the Second Campaigner Challenge (of my Fourth Campaign, February 2012)

Found at Rach Writes, this is the second piece I have entered (first one was Wednesday’s Child). Rachel gave us a LOT of prompts and choices to use for our writing. It’s way too much to post here; I’ll just let you in on what I used:

Prompt 1:

Two people are sitting together under the remains of a concrete bridge. Their backs are against a rusted bridge support. One person’s leg is cut. The other person has wet hair.

Prompt 2:

Prompt 4:

And the following:

Write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts and as added difficulty:

  • Complete at least three of the above activities and tie them all together with a common theme (feel free to either state the theme in your post or leave us to guess what it might be)
  • Write in a genre that is not your own


So…you tell me if I succeeded or not. This is more, in my mind, YA or younger, adventure and period piece. It also has elements of historic fiction.  Not my usual genres.

31 responses »

  1. Very enjoyable! And you added difficulty to it, better than I. I think you did it well leading up to a moment. It’s hard with flash fiction but it works well as a scene, perhaps not so much a story as it doesn’t feel complete and I’d like to see what happens when the Flood arrives but I think the writing is on point and really good and visual!


  2. Really like it, the feeling is foreboding when Jim wouldn’t open his eyes, now the unseen flood rushing at them.. great building of tension. Very unsettling, in a great way. 🙂

    Kevin, (#19)


  3. Scary…started in a sense of trouble ahead and ended with a terrible disaster…you had me agonising over the boys and their possible tragic ending.


  4. Full marks for including everything (though I think the squatting children are actually scavenging at a rubbish dump!). I felt it was complete. I like the fact that there is a bigger historical context and that you leave the picture of the water rushing through to our imagination.I really felt caught up with those boys.

    Also deals with all four areas I think one needs to make a piece feel complete – individual character – thoughts, emotions; character in relationship; the physical world through the senses; and a sense of the larger world – place and period. Amazing in the space.


    • Hi Umi…yes, you’re right about the pic. When I first looked at it, it looked like kids squatting on rocks, and that is where I went. I then realized what it was..but went with my original “interpretation.”

      Thank you so much for the critique.


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