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Jim Stitzel

I dabble a little in a lot of things — writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I’m a full-time code-wrangler with far, far too much to do.


Grey mist sails past his face, and it is enough to shake him from his reverie. His mind is sluggish, slow, as though he is awakening from a dream. Perhaps he is, but then he has woken into a nightmare.

He looks down at his hands, outstretched before him, palms up. His skin is grey, wrinkled, gnarled. He doesn't remember being old, but he understands that there is much he does not remember.

Past his fingers, the ground is an even deeper shade of grey. Anywhere else, it would be green, but here the grass, like everything else, holds no color at all.

At his back a dark building looms, blacker than shadow. This he knows -- somehow -- without even looking. Entry is forbidden, and impossible. A fence of smoke encloses him in this tiny yard, and again he knows, without quite understanding how, that to cross that line would expose him further to the nightmares of this place.

But cross it he will, eventually. He must. There is... SOMETHING... out in those mists, and its call will allow him to do nothing else.


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Comments (6 so far!)

Average reader rating 5.00/5

ElshaHawk LoA

ElshaHawk LoA

It was a gradual build up of scene and portent and desire. Nicely done!

  • #2184 Posted 8 months ago
  • 0
Jim Stitzel

Jim Stitzel

Thank you! It took me a couple of false starts to find the format I liked for this story.

  • #2185 Posted 8 months ago
  • 0
Robert Quick

Robert Quick

Winner!

  • #2324 Posted 8 months ago
  • 0
Jim Stitzel

Jim Stitzel

Woohoo! I was actually beginning to wonder if you were ever going to circle back around for this challenge. :)

  • #2325 Posted 8 months ago
  • 0
Robert Quick

Robert Quick

Yeah, I checked the day that the challenge ended but it was too soon to pick a winner so I had to wait for some free time. I wanted to re-read every entry and choose a winner with a clear mind and my life has been relatively hectic lately so that had to be a little later than I originally planned.

  • #2333 Posted 8 months ago
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Jim Stitzel

Jim Stitzel

Yeah, there's a tiny logic error in the current date handling for challenges. I've written a patch for it, and I think that'll come down the next time ethel pulls my updates. It just means that for now, you have to wait a day longer than you think you have to in order to choose a winner.

  • #2334 Posted 8 months ago
  • 0

Story challenge:

There is a fence. You can decide on the details and change what you like. By default, the fence is five feet tall, chain link, and it rattles when the wind blows (perhaps your fence is short, wooden and painted white). The fence isn't that important. What…

Beyond the Fence by Robert Quick
  • Published 8 months ago and featured 8 months ago.
  • Story viewed 28 times and rated 1 times.

Challenge winner!


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