Something moved in the shadows. They crow-barred the window open. Barged into our room. Tied our hands behind our backs. Hearts pounding. “Where’s the money?” they demanded. A gun to my face. A wrench against my father’s head. Thud. Thud. Thud. They took our things and our peace of mind.
(Edited as per critique below)
(This is part of Yeah Write’s microprose challenge “stories that fit between the lines.” )
6 thoughts on “The evil in the shadows”
This has really great urgency – the short sentences and sentence fragments did a great job pushing the action forward, and your voice was strong and consistent throughout. It sounded very much like a person recounting something that actually happened to them.
I hope you don’t mind a minor criticism or two of the fragment starting with “Our hands tied.” This is super nit-picky, but it would be more effective if the structure matched the fragments before it – that is, instead of “our hands tied,” which is a passive statement, switching it to “tied our hands” would make it a more active sentence.
In addition, as currently written the second clause (“half-asleep and terrified”) seems to refer to the hands, as opposed to the people; yet, if you rewrite it to “tied our hands,” then the clause would refer to the attackers. (I don’t know if that explanation makes sense – I’m happy to try to clarify.) I’d consider taking out the “half-asleep” clause and trying to convey it a different way. For example, “terrified” is almost redundant and could be picked up on via the description of the situation itself.
It is indeed based on a real situation. And yes, your explanation makes perfect sense. Thank you!
You did a great job of conveying the whole story in such small space. As Christine said, the short, punchy sentences raise the tension and move the action, like quick shots in an action film. The worst/best line (worst for how it made me feel, best from the writing perspective): “Thud. Thud. Thud.” It makes my heart pound reading it. It makes me angry reading it, which means the last sentence totally resonates with me as the reader when I arrive there. If it were me, I would have made “Fucking bastards” a separate paragraph, just to add even more weight there to the ending. Great writing!
Thank you for your thoughts. I’ll edit the piece taking that into account.
The use of short, concise sentences has a very strong impact. I could feel the intensity intended.
I will guess that you wanted to keep all of the terror and action in a sinle paragraph so you could end with those last two powerful words. The dailogue in the middle of that first paragraph threw me off a bit. Perhaps that is because I’m not used to seeing it.
Hi there! Yes, I wanted to concentrate everything in one paragraph. I did not use the conventional format of dialgoue because I thought it would detract from the effect.
Thanks for stopping by!