Here is the third challenge for the Writers' Platform Building Campaign which is hosted by Rachael Harrie.

Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:
that it’s morning, 
that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
that the MC (main character) is bored
that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
that something surprising happens.
Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec," "wastopaneer," and "tacise."   (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them).
Remember : this post is a "show not tell" piece. Quite a challenge but I've given it a go.
                                               THE CODE
His huge frame crouched, a half-smoked cigarette dangled from one hand, the other busy as it scooped sand, lazy and indulgent, the myriad grains trickled through distracted fingers, over and over; he lifted his head once, glanced sideways to observe the woman to his left, then returned to gaze at miniature waves as they rippled at the shore's edge.
This marked the final phase of the project. Two words already decoded. Synbatec. Wastopaneer. One remained. It was a matter of minutes. All would be revealed.
She clutched at the tattered silk scarf, knuckles taut and white. She buried her face in its soft folds, inhaled deeply, searching for the familiar scent. Nothing. Instead the stench from a debris pile behind a nearby fence invaded her senses. A seagull cry overhead, soon passed and dwindled, became the echo of a long-forgotten plaintive whimper.
Time rewound as snippets of images, frame-by-frame scenes from a movie, flitted along the edge of her memory…
Another time. Another place. Another beach. Vanilla scent. Grey beret. Where it all began. The wheel comes full circle.
Tacise. She savoured the lingering remnants of the word – tacise. Swirled it around on her tongue, poignant and bittersweet.
Two approaching figures reached the designated spot. She gasped at the glaring evidence. No words were necessary. It was contained in a flick of the wrist, twist of the mouth, the undeniable poise…
The last vestige of doubt crumbled as she stared into two pools of blue, mirrors of the cerulean sea behind, and was drawn into their depths, drowning… drowning…
The penny dropped. Too late. He understood. Everything fell into place. It hit him square. In the solar plexus. Tacise.
Word count : 278
Did I show ? Please let me know where I've gone wrong so that I can improve upon it.
If you liked my work, I am no. #47 on the list.


  1. Jessica on October 18, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Wow you really showed in this piece! Love it!! Great imagery.
    (I'm entry #5)

    • Sheri L. Swift on October 19, 2011 at 2:44 am

      Wow, you def made me want to read more!  Love the descriptive!  ; )

      • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:20 am

        Your wow response makes me think that I did okay with this piece. Thanks Sheri! 🙂

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:18 am

      Thanks Jessica. Glad you liked it!

  2. yikici on October 18, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Oooo very vivid visuals.  I'm now wondering what happens next… 🙂

  3. Fairview on October 19, 2011 at 3:04 am

    Nice Job!  I like the imagery very much

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:21 am

      Thanks for the visit and comment. Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Jen on October 19, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    This is beautifully written, very descriptive. I would like to know what happens next here.
    Mine is #25.

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:21 am

      Thanks Jen… so would I.

  5. tara tyler on October 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    great intensity and showing the senses =)

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:23 am

      Hey TTT- “great intensity” sounds just… great! Thanks.

  6. J. A. Bennett on October 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I think you did a great job showing, but I would have loved to see some dialouge as well (I'm a dialouge snob *wink*) Dialouge can tell so much in so few words. But really, great job!

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:25 am

      Thanks for the concrit. I love the idea of you being a “dialogue snob”… nothing wrong with that! It’s the best type of snob in the whole wide world!

  7. Katie Dodge on October 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Oh, you showed alright! Awesome imagery. Loved it! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog, BTW. 🙂

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:26 am

      Thanks for the hearty response! 🙂 It is soooo encouraging. 🙂

  8. Meradeth on October 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Lovely use of the senses! I also wish there were more to read!

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:27 am

      Thanks Meradeth! Well, you know the 300-word limit…

  9. K.T. Hanna on October 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I really liked the way you approached using the nonsense words in this challenge. Makes me feel like Tacise is a very, very bad thing.
    Great job.

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:28 am

      That was my intention, to portray ‘tacise’ as something awful without giving anything away… thanks K.T.

  10. Christy Farmer on October 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I really like the suspense that is happening here with deciphering code words from another time 🙂

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:29 am

      Thanks Christy. I’m glad that you liked the suspense in the piece… 🙂

  11. Carrie Butler on October 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    How delightfully cryptic. Nice work, Mish! 🙂

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:30 am

      I love the sound of “delightfully cryptic” 🙂 Thanks for the approval, Carrie.

  12. Ryan on October 19, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    You absolutely showed. I love the phrase “plaintive whimper” and the rich tactile, visual and sound images throughout. Beautiful writing, Mish!

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:31 am

      Thanks R! I’m so glad you had a chance to read my entry. Glad you liked it.

  13. David Powers King on October 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    So the nonsesnical words are codes, eh? Such an awesome setting and situation you described. Once again, great job! 🙂

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:33 am

      Thanks for the visit and nod of approval, David 🙂 Yes, I love the mystery and connotation that goes hand-in-hand with the idea of “codes”… it has endless possibilities.

  14. Angie Cothran on October 19, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    So creative! I hope you write thrillers–you should.

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:34 am

      You have made my day! I love the thriller genre- as a reader & (hopefully) as a writer too… Thanks for the comment, it means a lot to me.

  15. S P Mount on October 20, 2011 at 12:07 am

    The piece was lovely, almost poetic in its delivery. Thanks for having come to mine.

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:35 am

      Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it!

  16. on October 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Gret way of integrating the words. Mine is #56

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

      Thanks, I realised that that was the easiest way to use the nonsense words in the piece… as part of a mystery code.

  17. Victoria on October 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Yes, you showed–good sensory descriptions. Have to confess, though–those obscure words that were given in the prompt were distracting for me.

    • mish on October 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm

      The instruction stated clearly that the meaning would be whatever the writer wanted it to be. In my piece, the 3 nonsense words are meant to remain obscure, to fit in with the overall mystery… almost like a form of cheating by not assigning a meaning to them. 🙂

  18. Abby Fowers on October 21, 2011 at 4:08 am

    You seem to be a master of "show" not tell. Fabulous job with this. Glad to find your blog. I will be back for more greatness!

    • mish on October 21, 2011 at 8:31 am

      *humble bow* You have provided a much-needed dose of inspiration! Thank you for the wonderful words! I appreciate them. 🙂

  19. Jenny S. Morris on October 21, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    You did an awesome job showing! I want to know more. I really do. This is a great job. Going to vote.

    • mish on October 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm

      Thanks for your encouraging comments! I really appreciate it.

  20. Doctor FTSE on October 21, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    I liked the way your introduced the given words in a way which really made then important to the story . . . by no means an easy thing to do.  Well done.

    • mish on October 21, 2011 at 6:48 pm

      Thank you kind sir. And yet they originated as nonsense words. Does that mean I made sense out of nonsense? LOL
      I loved your entry too – such awesome humour!

  21. Miranda Hardy on October 21, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Very nice job on the showing. I’d like to read more.

    • mish on October 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm

      Thanks for popping in. 🙂

  22. Lady Gwen on October 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Way to pull us in. Very well done. Loved it! I'm #65.

    • mish on October 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks Lady G! Nice to know that you were pulled in by my piece.

  23. Stacy S. Jensen on October 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm


    Loved your story. I'm helping judge this round and advanced your story onto the next round of judging. Good luck. 


    • mish on October 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      Thank you. 🙂 There are so many wonderful stories out there. I can’t believe it… *does the happy dance*

  24. The Golden Eagle on October 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Beautiful description! I really got a feel for the scene.

    • mish on October 22, 2011 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks for popping in and the kind comment. I appreciate it.

  25. fairview on October 23, 2011 at 1:46 am

    you really did the “show, not tell”. really nice imagery!

  26. mooderino on October 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I think that worked very well, good job.
    (now following)
    <a href="">Moody Writing</a>
    <a href="">@mooderino</a&gt;

  27. Medeia Sharif on October 23, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    This is rich in description. Great entry. 🙂

    • mish on October 24, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      Thanks once again for all the visits and comments! 🙂

  28. Maeve Frazier on October 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Way to go!  Nice job.  Full of intensity.

  29. Catherine Johnson on October 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    This is great, full of intrigue. Thanks for calling by my blog, I read this post the other day, so my comment must not have got through. Great job!

  30. Kathy McKendry on October 28, 2011 at 4:01 am

    I love the line…"Swirled it around on her tongue poignant and bittersweet." So expressive.  Great job!

    • mish on October 28, 2011 at 10:25 am

      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 🙂 You are all awesome!

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