#Writecampaign Second challenge–Imago Regis

September 26, 2011 9:52 pm by MRM in Campaign, Writing

The #writecampaign is barely two months old and here we go with writing challenge number two. The prompt was a little different this time:

Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should:

· include the word "imago" in the title

· include the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," "synchronicity,"

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), make reference to a mirror in your post. For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY!

I’m not usually a fan of this particular type of prompt, but I found that the nature of the words chosen dictated the tone of my flash fiction. I sort of had to do flash fiction; a two hundred word blog post felt like a waste, and besides that I couldn’t see that coming together without going meta and making fun of the prompt.

The result surprised me. I actually enjoyed it. I actually got an element of fantasy into it. I hit the optional challenges as well, adding a reference to a mirror and hitting two hundred words exactly. It turns out that twitter is great practice for how to shrink your post to exactly N characters or words.

I had to look a few of these up, so for the benefit of those who didn’t also do the challenge, here are the definitions of the words.

  • Oscitate – to gape, to yawn
  • Lacuna – An empty space or a missing part; a gap. A cavity, space, or depression, especially in a bone, containing cartilage or bone cells
  • Miasma – A noxious atmosphere or influence. A poisonous atmosphere formerly thought to rise from swamps and putrid matter and cause disease. A thick vaporous atmosphere or emanation.
  • Imago – An insect in its sexually mature adult stage after metamorphosis. An often idealized image of a person, usually a parent, formed in childhood and persisting unconsciously into adulthood.
  • Synchronicity – The state or fact of being synchronous or simultaneous; synchronism. Coincidence of events that seem to be meaningfully related.

Without further ado, my second entry (#124 in the list for those interested):

Imago Regis

Now was the time and this was the place. An entire world waited for him. Its body was fragile, held together by weakened sinews and tendons, its great lacuna begging to be filled. And filled it would be. They were waiting. They were wanting. For far too long he had stood in the shadows, letting the masses oscitate in the miasma of their own desperation. That had been her idea. Mother had been right, of course. She always was.

He could hear them now, just beyond the stage. Screaming. Begging for someone. For something. He smiled, letting the moment fill him up.

His whole life, he had trained for this. He had been timed for this. The date of his ascendance had been planned for decades, set for perfect synchronicity with the attack. It was carefully crafted destiny. Too bad Mother hadn’t lived to see her plan through.

All that was left to do was step up. He opened the door to let the people’s cries in from the stage. The jewel on his necklace glowed faintly as he kissed it before dropping it down his shirt. He checked the mirror to make sure it didn’t show. It’s time, Mother.

About the Author

Written by MRM

I'm a speculative fiction writer that spent lots of time trying out new places to live before finally settling in NC. I love code, craft beer, football, and fiction - in no particular order. My currently running works of serial fiction can be found on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. If you're comfortable moving files around to your ereader of choice, always pick Smashwords as your e-bookstore of choice - they give authors a much bigger slice of the pie!

72 Responses to #Writecampaign Second challenge–Imago Regis

  1. Damyanti September 26, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    He had been timed for this.

    Love that line..in fact love your take on the prompts :)

  2. Lena Corazon September 27, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Loved this piece, Michael. You did a great job integrating the challenge words, and I really enjoy the fantasy-esque aspects of this. Now I want to know what’s coming next!

  3. Sarah Pearson September 27, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Well done, an interesting piece with some tough words. I’m with Lena, I want to read more :-)

  4. Maeve Frazier September 27, 2011 at 6:59 am

    Hi Michael – A really great job on this piece. Love how you wove the words into the story. I could read more. :)

  5. MRM September 27, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Thanks for all the comments. I ended up enjoying this one a lot more than I thought I would. I had fun thinking about what kind of a man would use those words.

  6. Jennifer Groepl (@JenGroepl) September 27, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Makes me want to know the rest of the story! Great job with the challenge.

  7. K.T. Hanna September 27, 2011 at 11:29 am

    This is really well written. I loved this line the most: letting the masses oscitate in the miasma of their own desperation
    Great use of the words.

    Well done

  8. F.E. Sewell September 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Oh wow, that’s super creepy. There’s so much mystery here. I want to know more!

  9. richard p hughes September 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Good imaginative piece. Good luck. I’m 117 if you’re interested.

  10. Claire September 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    “letting the masses oscitate in the miasma of their own desperation” wow good line. Nice piece altogether, even with the creepy “Mother”. I’m #133.

  11. David Powers King September 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I read to the end and want more. That was an effective piece of fiction.

    Great job, Michael! :)

  12. Sheri L. Swift September 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Very interesting! Made me want to read more! ; )

  13. Jen September 27, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Great stuff! I agree with Damyanti: “He had been timed for this” is a fantastic line.
    Mine is #3.

  14. MRM September 27, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you all so much for all the feedback! I will read all of your entries I SWEAR IT.

  15. Sonia Lal September 27, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    I really liked the mood of this piece. Loved this line: oscitate in the miasma of their own desperation. and it uses two of the required words, lol

  16. Ciara Knight September 27, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Hi Michael. I’m a new follower from the campaign. Great work with the challenge. I’d loved to read more. :)

  17. MC Rogerson September 28, 2011 at 2:53 am

    I can really visualize this scene and would love to learn more about the story. Excellent!

  18. Sher A Hart (@SherAHart) September 29, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Fit for a King. That’s what I read, considering the attack and dead mother. Very nice build up to his ascension. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t read all the entries. I’m so behind its not funny. I’m number 52, for flighty fun. If you go to my homepage, you’ll also see the chocolate contest.

  19. Rance September 29, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Wow. Just wow.

    Your command of language is astonishing and bewildering. You’ve got such a wonderful ability to heighten the tension with the pace of your sentences! I love the short, staccato bursts of words! I’m left wanting more, wishing I knew everything but satisfied to know that I don’t *need* to know it all to have gotten a full story!

    What a wonderful use of the prompt!

  20. Sandwiched Writer September 29, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Ah, I am very intrigued! Feels like he’s part rockstar, part Norman Bates! Thanks for stopping by my blog, so I could read this.

  21. The Golden Eagle September 29, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Great entry! I have to wonder about the character’s history; what did his mother do? Why had he been trained so long?

    My entry.

  22. MRM September 30, 2011 at 7:58 am

    The joy and frustration of flash fiction… is that you can fill out what you think of the characters history in your mind. It’s never decided for you (unless I write follow-ups).

  23. Raelyn Barclay September 30, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Oh, I’m hooked. Definitely want to read more. Great take on the challenge!

  24. Dawn October 2, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Your flash fiction does leave the reader wanting to know more. Did he kill his mother? Is she somehow in the necklace? Is he going to take over the world? Very well done. Great use of the words.

    The Write Soil

    Mine is #50.

  25. Karen October 11, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Your writing was very smooth so I barely noticed the challenge words. This part left me wanting to know more about your MC. Great job!


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