The Iron Writer Challenge

February 28, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Four elements, four days, 500 words. It’s a daunting task, one that will hone the skills of any writer. It is also the premise of The Iron Writer. The Iron Writer Challenge was started one year ago by short fiction author Brian Rogers. Since it’s inception, it has grown incredibly. The site now boasts irons from seven countries and includes not only the original challenge but a non-competitive Weekend Quickie, a relay, and a site where seasoned authors give writing tips and advice. They have a networking page wherein the members share publishing opportunities, freelance work, and more. They also have a NaNoWriMo group that boasted several winners and who join together each year to “kill” the sites founder as part of their novel. The judging has evolved from a public vote to said vote combined with a rigorous judging system in order to combine literary merit with marketing skills to determine which writer has the most “metal in their mettle.”

In celebration of the occasion, several Irons have elected to participate in a Birthday Blog Hop. The challenge? To write a commemorative 500 word piece of flash fiction including the following elements: iron, a quill, a birthday cake, and the favorite element from each Iron’s first challenge. [My chosen element was a Space Station]

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Geoffrey Sutton spun lazily over Earth, nestled snugly into his blankets in front of an old mahogany table. On the table were some leather-bound books, a sheaf of parchment, and an elaborate feather quill. As Geoffrey hugged himself, he tried to keep his eyes on this little corner of ‘normal’ in a ridiculously chrome and LED world. All around the middle-aged man were the trappings of life off-planet. Even the cot seemed designed to be a blend of ergonomic and aerodynamic. Nothing was wasted on a space station, especially not space, with everything specifically configured to take up the minimal amount of area and tuck easily into its carefully designated spot.

The only thing out of place was his favorite place on this whole spinning prison. The desk didn’t fit; not aesthetically and not spatially. Geoffrey was out of place too. He wasn’t ergonomic or aerodynamic anymore, and felt that even his analyses sent back planet-side were possibly erratic spikes in some bean-counter’s otherwise even graph. There hadn’t been an answer back up for months. Even the old “Understood. Received. Acknowledged.” Maybe if they just typed the initials, URA, he could feel some familiarity in imagining them gruffly shouted back. OORAH!

But no, there were no shouts; gruff, happy, angry, or otherwise. Though the echoes of angry shouts still haunted him, he tried not to think about them too often. Weeks ago they had rung out down the central corridor between the two spinning ‘wheels’ of the space station. Now, after that last acrimonious meeting, the only two living crew on board were not on speaking terms. Now that it had been so long with nothing but beeps, whirrs, and the occasional groan from the station itself as noises around him, Geoffrey was feeling the effects. There was a reason the crew was always at least two-man-teams on these missions. Usually it was more but...’budget cuts’. These missions were also usually only six-month ventures off-planet. Now it was becoming hard to keep track of the date.

The only windows were in the central ‘axle’, and Geoffrey found himself rising up and halfway to the door before realizing it. Once committed, he pursed his lips and continued. The door creaked open and he dragged his blanket ‘up’ into the lowering gravity to the center of his wheel, then to the doorlock to the axle itself. Before he could reach it, however, it opened, and the bald head of Ramon Haythem peered over the edge down at him. They both blinked dumbly at each other, but Ramon was the first to smile. It was a ridiculous and sheepish smile. Then he pulled something up from behind him as he floated in the zero gravity. It was a clear, circular box, but the inside was coated with some sort of pink mess. Wait, what day was it?

“Happy Birthday, Sutton. Your cake...it didn’t do so well in zero g. Mind if we eat in your quarters?”

“Sure, Haythem. ...Come on down. And thanks.”

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Visit Suzann at www.moozannsmind.wordpress.com tomorrow to read her take on the elements, and don’t forget to visit www.theironwriter.com to read some amazing flash fiction or, if you think you have what it takes, sign up for a challenge.

 

 Check out the others in this birthday celebration!

Tony Jaeger at www.creativewritingtime.com , Mamie at www.happyeverywhere.com, Ian at www.danijcaile.blogspot.hu , Thomas at www.tljonline.com , Suzann at www.moozannsmind.wordpress.com , Jordan at http://jbfiction.blogspot.com/


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