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 challenge for this story 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:
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.