Writing Challenge : The Devil is in the Details

I know I’ve already posted a piece of fiction today, but I couldn’t resist this challenge… “Your challenge this week is to practice your powers of observation. Take any person, place, or event, and write three paragraphs describing your subject in great detail.”

Writing Challenge

The field, fenced with weather-worn posts and barbed wire, was blanketed in snow. Beautiful in its pure white covering, it was also desolate and cold. Years-old trees were seen in the distance, a small wood home to many creatures hibernating the winter away. The sky was a uniform grey, pregnant with the promise of more snow. There is no movement in the foreground or in the distance. The vista is cold, empty, quiet.

In the middle of this snowy wasteland lies a body. It is the body of a middle-aged man, lying on its back, as still and unmoving as the snow that surrounds it. The left leg is bent inwards, the other stretched out straight. The right arm is draped across the man’s chest, the other out to the side, the same way as the head is turned. The eyes are closed.
The man is not dressed for the surrounding environment – he wears jeans and trainers (dirty, scuffed, with a layer of mud coating the bottom). His top is clothed in a t-shirt and nothing more. Wherever this man has come from, he arrived there unprepared for the weather.

There is a dark, port coloured stain around the neck and head of this man. Closer inspection reveals a large, straight gash across his throat, the two sides of the cut open like a grin with no teeth. It is so cold that there is a small, ghostly flow of steam escaping from the wound, giving evidence that whatever happened to this man happened recently. The dark red stain of blood slowly soaks into the snow beneath the man’s head, producing tiny individual crystals of pink coloured snow around and about his short dark hair. In the distance, amongst the trees where who knows what creatures pass away this winter time in deep slumber, sounds a long, clear scream of pain and terror.

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18 Responses to Writing Challenge : The Devil is in the Details

  1. mikefitzjohn says:

    wow!Okay, I would love to play.

  2. Jules Lucton says:

    What a brilliant closing sentence!

  3. Pingback: Writing Challenge: the Devil is in the Details « Code For Confession

  4. fortyoneteen says:

    Ok, I got the mental image loud and clear! Awesome piece.

  5. Connie T says:

    You are good and descriptive. I tried this but you do it great. Nice post.

    • Simon says:

      That’s such a nice thing to say, thank you. And thank you for taking the time to read and comment on the post :-)

  6. Yes! This is what good writing is. I can see the scene, feel the tension.

  7. Lovely details and good fiction. I couldn’t resist the challenge either: http://teeceecounsel.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/short-fiction-our-table-and-the-entrance/

  8. mightwar says:

    This sounds like a great opening to a who dunnit. Is there more?

    • Simon says:

      Unfortunately not – this was written purely for the Writing Challenge. I have a few other short stories on my blog, so feel free to read those. And who knows, maybe I’ll come back and revisit this one. Thanks for reading, and for taking the time to post such a nice comment.

  9. Homework. Should always be done you know.x

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