Tucked Beneath #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all, or pick a few like leftover holiday memories….

And, if you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

I didn’t post last week; family stuff and the first stages of planning my April CampNaNoWriMo novel too me over, as well as the end of my Accomplice’s vacation.

But, now, a week later, it’s time for my next snippet from A Splash of Red” , which I’m serializing here. This surreal fantasy story is the child of my own life and dreams, with a generous dollop of imagery and a big dash of creative license…

More on the story after the ten-sentence snippet.

Context, such as it is…A woman is attempting to win the trust of a little girl in a red dress, while hawks wheel above…but just who are these two to one another? Are the hawks the only danger they face?

When we left last week, the woman had tripped and fallen. Upon recovering, she spots a splash of red.

Given the surrealism of the story, punctuation is a bit creative, so be warned!

Tucked Beneath

The red of our hated bedroom carpet, of sumac leaves changing, of my hands after sacrificing them to the blows of the Whippin’ Stick, of the blood the hawks would shed with their rending talons, their shredding beaks.

The red of a little girl’s dress.

I’ve found her – found myself, too. The hawks wheel, vivid with sharp menace, feathers brighter than the changing leaves.

“Don’t move – please don’t move,” I pant in a jagged whisper. I pry myself half up from the ground, digging slipping fingers desperately into the powder-rotten log, and I remember the cookie dough we’d made only once, and the way my hawk-mother attacked when the egg broke too soon in my hands and slithered down to land on her bare toes.

Sharp hawk-cry, a dive, blocking the sky, immense – every feather outlined, even in shadow, mouth open, still screaming rage and menace. I cringe, duck my head from the sight, feel her cowering into her hiding place, shaking.

The hawk plummets – rushing wind shoved ahead of its drop.

Gaze catches at a small heart-shaped pebble, tucked beneath a curled, red-veined maple leaf.

Previous “A Splash of Red” snippets:

Is the pebble important?

Will the child flee again?

Have the hawks given up on them?

Can they heal together?

Come on back next week to find out more!

Like what you read? “A Splash of Red” was originally published in the 2014 inaugural edition of World Unknown Review,  which is edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my own initial self-publishing experiment.

That being said, I’d love any and all input and criticism you’re inclined to offer. Until then, may your week be delightful! =D

Want more #8Sunday?


  1. It’s astonishing to me how you mix the vivid imagery with the character’s disturbing memories and keep the tone and pace going nonstop. Wow. Breathless. Excellent excerpt!

    • It helps to have a personal connection to the material. Sometimes, life is lived all around the flow of disturbing incidents that might later become elements in a story…

      Kind of making beauty of a sort out of things that weren’t so lovely at the time. In many ways writing this story was extremely cathartic, and it’s deeply gratifying that it’s moving others.

      Thank you so much for letting me know.

  2. So many beautiful descriptive phrases, Shan! ‘vivid with menace’ especially stands out. You create a very strong sense of a dramatic unfolding. ‘hated bedroom carpet’, ‘whippin’ stick’ all hint at a very dark back story! Glad you mad it this week!

    • The back story was sometimes very dark. Making something beautiful out of the dark places is healing, though. It’s gratifying when folks who know what they’re talking about let me know I’m succeeding. ❤

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