Ayten and Devran in the First Campaigner Challenge of Rach's Fourth Writers' Campaign

Campaign challenge!

Shadows crept across the wall. Devran picked up her quill and twirled it. "I was banished to Smyrna."
"Smyrna!"
"Yes." Orange ink splattered onto his knee. "I was there last autumn."
The quill came close to her dress. "So that's how you knew everyone at my father's funeral." She pushed his hand aside and the quill fell on the sand.
"I wasn't long in Smyrna. My mother took ill and -"
"You said it'd been years since she'd passed away. Or was that a lie?"
"I was not lying, Ayten," he said, rising. The sunset behind cast his body into shadow. "I don't tell falsehoods or embellish my words. That would be the task of a poet." He tossed the quill beside her.
"Tell me the story then, and we'll see what poetry comes of it. A young girl, lost in the city. The spoilt son of the Grand Vizier, who takes advantage of her innocence -"
"Be careful what rumours you repeat. Or have you not heard the one where I have a garden filled with bones?"
He spun on his heel and cut across the beach, trampling the wild grass. The sunk sank into the sea. Everything faded.

Here are the rules I followed (I met every single condition!):

"Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, 'Shadows crept across the wall'. These five words will be included in the word count.
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), do one or more of these:
end the story with the words: "everything faded." (also included in the word count)
include the word "orange" in the story
write in the same genre you normally write
make your story 200 words exactly!
Feel free to use the picture [of a couple on a beach at sunset] to inspire you, or else see how whacky, creative, and original you can get :)"

Looking forward to reading everyone else's!

Now for some more Neil Gaiman, featuring quotes from Stardust, reading which is like digging into the world of William Morris and George MacDonald and unearthing a lost story.


"'I am the most miserable person who ever lived,' he said... 'You are young, and in love,' said Primus. 'Every young man in your position is the most miserable young man who ever lived.'"

"He was walking into Faerie, in search of a fallen star, with no idea how he would find the star, nor how to keep himself safe and whole as he tried. He looked back and fancied that he could see the lights of Wall behind him, wavering and glimmering as if in a heat-haze, but still inviting."

"Every lover is, in his heart, a madman, and, in his head, a minstrel."

"He stared up at the stars: and it seemed to him then that they were dancers, stately and graceful, perfomrming a dance almost infinite in its complexity. He imagined he could see the very faces of the stars; pale, they were, and smiling gently, as if they had spent so much time above the world, watching the scrambling and the joy and the pain of the people below them, that they could not help being amused every time another little human believed itself the center of its world, as each of us does."

"It's not hard to own something. Or everything. You just have to know that it's yours, and then be willing to let it go."
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