Updated: Jul 3, 2021
Recently, I partook in a fun, little writing competition where people were given a few writing prompts to complete a 500-word flash fiction. With the overall theme being 'school', and several other keywords to use throughout, I jumped in and had a great time. I had so much fun writing to this writing competition that I wanted to share my entry with you.
When I saw the criteria to enter, I knew I wanted to do something a little 'uncouth' and to go all for it. Something fun, quirky, and that made me chuckle to write. Laughter is important, and I think it's easy to get stuck in the mindset of having to be serious when writing, or taking oneself too seriously. So, a light-hearted adventure with an energetic ghost trying to pass his final exam at ghost school became the project of choice. I loved it!
My entry: Silver's Final Test
Three more minutes. I can do this!
Translucent fingers clicked the wires into place, and a toothy grin flashed in mid-air. Pale eyes glanced at the clock then about them at the others in the room. A hullabaloo of activity and mayhem filled the classroom—as always. The pale eyes rolled.
Here, at ghost school, incorporeal beings learned the mysteries of the haunt, the pedagogies of poltergeisting, and overall spookiness. But, when ageless phantasms teach the same series of classes for hundreds of years, the methods of scaring don’t exactly keep up with the times.
Silver knew that and had earned his reputation as an uncouth disturbance to the ethereal forces at school. Even now, as his classmates practised the goo-meltingly dull activities of eighteenth-century haunting, Silver’s obsession with inventing new scares meant the contraption in front of him earned a suspicious glance from a headless shade—the teacher—patrolling the classroom.
Seriously, how does she do that? Silver’s evanescent form rippled with unease. She hasn’t even got a face.
A chilling mist filled the classroom, and the commotion stopped. It was time for the test!
Silver floated higher, excitement flushing his form until his hands pulsed clearer. Embarrassed, he tried to calm down.
This time, I’ll show them!
Silver, determined to prove that a new method of scares was needed—living beings just didn’t scare easily anymore; they were numbed by scary movies—had failed this test several times already. The teachers just refused to accept change. Well, this was his last chance, or they’d send him to purgatory—doomed to wander as a shadow forever. He had to pass.
Silver’s body flickered to transparency, and his toothy grin flashed out of nowhere once more. This was his ultimate invention yet. He ignored the wails of a he-banshee and didn’t even peek when a ghost flooded the classroom with green, glowing goo (so cheesy 1800s era, he sighed). Instead, Silver flicked on the magnetic core of his equipment and stared at the shade teacher’s back.
Finally, the headless shade turned his way and blazed darker. It was his turn.
The magnetic core hummed, and fellow incorporeals scrutinised him. Silver ignored them, pale eyes eagerly watching the contraption. Come on! The shade teacher flushed darker, raising her arm to fail him.
Silver gasped as the machine sucked him inside and squished him through the helter-skelter of wires and pipes. His form stretched and split before being spat out in tiny pieces into an explosive display of scintillating flares and flowery ethereal fireworks that launched about the room and whizzed before the bewildered eyes of his classmates. Even the shade pooled dimmer at her base.
Books and pots crashed to the floor as parts of him shot into them, and a cacophony of noise and panic erupted as apparitions fled. When the space cleared, Silver willed himself back together with a pop and burst into laughter alone in the centre of the dark classroom.
His form had never glowed brighter.
If you want to have a go at the writing prompt yourself, here are the things you need!
4 keywords to use: uncouth, flowery, magnetic, suspicious
Start with the word 'three'