From Imagination To Publication

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Writers' Campaign Challenge #2

As part of Rachael Harrie's Platform-Building Campaign we've been given a second challenge:

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!


(From here)
I stand in line. Inching forward. Waiting my turn.
My eyes stare at the brunette in front of me.
Her hair won’t be brown for long.
The guard that blocks the exit is bored.
His mouth hangs open every few minutes, 
like a robot programmed to oscitate.

I’m scared. I don’t want to be an Imago. 
I want to run.
I watch the girls emerge from the transformation room. Perfect. Beautiful. Empty.
I can see the vacancy in their eyes as they 
try to remember who they once were.
We call that look Lacuna.

It’s my turn. They let me stare into the mirror one last time.
A miasma of terror chokes me. I can’t breathe.
I imagine throwing myself from the window. If I can break it, maybe I can survive the fall. Escape.
I look back at the door in front of me, but before I can enter I hear the shatter of broken glass exploding into the room.

Without thinking, I make a run for it. My feet leave the floor, and I plummet toward the earth.
Suddenly I believe in synchronicity.
My arms open in the rushing air. I don’t care if I die. I’m free.

...If you would like to vote for my story, click the "like" button under entry #54 on this list.


  1. Wow. I like this one just as much as your first challenge entry. :) Great job again, Jessica!

  2. Enjoyed this. I'm like Cheryl. Loved the last line.

  3. You've built a very creepy world there! I liked this a lot. The ending was powerful.
    Mine is #3.

  4. I completely forgot about the second challenge.

    I loved this!! Great world, great character. Loved the flow and your lines.

  5. I enjoyed reading this! Nice job laying the story out. I could read more.

  6. I love the description "like a robot programmed to oscitate". It really conjures up a visual for me.

  7. @Jennifer, I also found this line very visually strong. 200 words and we have a good glimpse into this world. Well done and great idea to add the link!

    I'll be working on mine over the weekend.

  8. Very interesting world you've built and the challenge words flow so smoothly. Great job!

  9. Beautiful flow and a chilling feeling to this one. The words don't even seem odd at all. They feel perfectly in place.

    Well done!

  10. Thanks you guys! I can't wait to read yours...I'm sure I'll be stopping by shortly :) I'm so curious how the other stories turned out. With those crazy words, there's bound to be some interesting posts.

  11. Ooo, good one, Jessica! I love the last line, too.

    (Still working on mine...)

  12. You have a fantastic imagination. Love this entry!

  13. Really interesting take on this. Well done! Mine is #29

  14. Whoa. I really like this, so different from anything else I've read so far.

  15. Hi,

    Fun take on the challenge and great use of the words! ;)


  16. This was very tense! I want to know what she was dreading and why the brunette wouldn't be a brunette for long. Nice work!

  17. This is really good! Love the ending, as do so many others.
    I have to note that my mom had this Barbie - and she gave it to my sister and me when we were kids. We even had the bathing suit she wears! ~ Nadja

  18. Very interesting. Made me want to know more.

  19. Holy cow, Jessica! That was incredible!

    You painted a powerful picture with this piece. Reminds me of The Stepford Wives in so many ways.

    Very well done!

  20. Very interesting! Better to be yourself no matter the cost.

    The Write Soil

    My entry is #50.

  21. Wow, this felt like a reinterpreted Stepford Wives thing until the end. Great job on that twist.

  22. i'd like to hear the beginning of that story!
    refreshingly different!

  23. Nicely done; it's a real challenge (well, duh, I guess that's the point) to use those words without it sounding forced and you did that nicely.

    If you're interested in seeing my take on the challenge, I'm at #42.

  24. Excellent entry. The story was chilling and very different.

    Tossing It Out

  25. Powerful, well-written story. You created a compelling picture of an image obsessed world where people are programmed to think in certain ways. Loved her final act of rebellion at the end.

  26. Awesome entry! That sounded very much like a doll on an assembly line. Loved the way you struck fear into your character. Translated well.

    Great job, Jessica! :)

  27. Why does the path to Doctor Who's Cyberman scream in this one?! :D

  28. This is *so* good! Wow!
    I'm following you now. ; )

  29. Interesting concept and a great use of the required words. I really enjoyed it. Too bad it's so short - I would love to know what happened after she jumped. I'm voting for you

    I'm still working on my story. Sigh.

  30. This is fantastic! It's so simple at two hundred words, just so very complex. I can't get over it. You did a great job. :)

  31. Very interesting! Reminded me a bit of The Handmaid's Tale. Nice job!

  32. p.s. - I actually have the Barbie in the photo, striped bathing suit and all. Used to be my Mother's.

  33. Beware the Barbie Machine! Scary stuff and well crafted.

  34. I was picturing Dr. Who and the Cybermen while reading this. Somehow made worse by the Barbie picture. Great job!

  35. Great imagery. I wouldn't want to become one of those Barbies either!

  36. The ending gave me chills. Lots of depth to this one - excellent!

  37. A different type of story, I like it, good job. Good writing.

    I am learning so much from this campaign.


  38. A unique story for the challenge that I thoroughly enjoyed. It flowed very smoothly despite the challenging words. Great job!


  39. I'd say it makes me want to be imago, but I am already.

  40. I'm behind, so just now getting around to challenge 2. So glad I stopped by here. Well done. Amazing imagery and use of the words. Congrats!