Flash Fiction: The New Kid

The first challenge in the Platform-Building Campaign is here and, even better, I finished!  Woohoo!

The challenge was this: 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.

For an additional challenge (optional), we could 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

  • write make your story 200 words exactly!

Well, I wrote my story and, seeing that it began at 570 words, I trimmed and edited and trimmed and edited some more until I whittled my story down to exactly 200 words.  And yes, I ended the story with "everything faded," included the word "orange," and wrote for children/middle grades (my current genre).  What can I say, if I'm going to participate, may as well take the full challenge.

Now that I'm done writing, I'm going to visit the other campaigners to read their stories.

Here is mine:

*   *   *   *   *

The New Kid

Shadows crept across the wall.  Max pulled the blanket snugger under his chin. His new room was uninviting.

Max was scared to start a new school, especially since he was beginning fourth grade.  Everyone knows fourth graders are the big kids.  Big kids know everything: where the classrooms are, what to wear, and who to avoid.  Max felt unprepared.

            Looking out the window, he could see only a few stars.  The sky was blank.

            What if there was a bully?  He missed his friends.  On their last day together they folded paper airplanes.  Max’s plane had flown far until it landed in the neighbor’s hair.

            Max drifted off to sleep.  The next thing he knew, his mom was waking him for pancakes and orange juice.

There was a knock on the door.  “Hello!  I’m Kim and this is my son, Joey.  We thought we’d show you to the bus.”

            The moms talked the whole way while the boys shuffled behind. At the bus stop Joey said, “Maybe after school I can show you my treehouse.”

            Max’s mom smiled. “Not even on the bus and already you’ve made a friend.”

Max’s fears about bullies and not finding his classroom… everything faded.

The End

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Fellow campaigners: I'm #198 at Rach Writes. Thank you!


  1. Aww, so cute!! I love how you took a sweeter approach to the challenge! Great job :)

    I'm entry #19

  2. This was really sweet and cute. I also like how it wasn't as dark as some of the others, and it's nice to see a young person's story from a male POV.

    I'm #123.

  3. What a sweet story. Great job with the challenge. Fitting everything inside of 200 words isn't easy, but you did an excellent job. :D

  4. Great job showing a child's POV. Well done! Off to vote :-)

    I'm # 61.

  5. That was lovely! Being the new kid at school isn't easy. Glad he found a friend. :)

    (Hi! I'm Susan from My Withershins. Sorry I have to use my alter-ego, but some sites do not seem to like it when we Wordpress folks want to leave a comment!)

  6. Ahhh, that dreaded first day at a new school. Yikes.

  7. Tag, you're it! Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to copy the 11 questions from my blog post entitled 'Tagged, again, among other things', answer them on your blog and tag 7 more bloggers. You can find my blog by copying this address http://mywithershins.wordpress.com into your browser or find the link on my Humpty Dumpty blog site.

  8. This was really refreshing and sweet. Great job!

  9. What a cute story! Love your take on the prompt!

  10. Fun story. I like that it is a common fear, something that both kids and adults worry about: being the new kid, confused and alone.

  11. Cute story, Sherri! I'm over from the campaign. Nice to meet you!

  12. I love this lighter approach to the challenge, Sherri! I appreciate your willingness to "think outside the box". Good work...it deserves a 'like'!

  13. Cute story, Saying hi from the campaign. And also to tell you that you've been tagged. You can find the rules over at my place. Congrats. :)

  14. Really enjoyed this, I had a 4th grader starting back to school this month also.

  15. Nice entry. Very sweet. = ) And I LOVE your blog title. Oh my. So true. I am totally overwhelmed with my launch into the realm of social media. *ducks behind laptop and peeks out*
    = P

    I'm #149


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