#Friday Fictioneers – Mother of the Universe

Thanks Madison Woods for a superb photo prompt this week. You can see her story here.

I love mountains and find stories about climbing them fascinating so I was thrilled when this photo came up. Here’s my attempt, little over this week with 130 words.

Mother of the Universe

Climbing over abandoned crampons and climbers curled up in tombs of ice, I struggled to catch my breath.

For two days we had been stranded at camp three. I could do nothing but lay motionless in the pitch black and listen to the storm pound the tent. Aching lungs and a heavy head did little to deter me from my summit dream yet the deafening roar of the wind reminded me that I was in a world that did not belong to man.

My canned oxygen felt thin doing little to help the destruction I was inflicting upon my body. As the moon landscape disappeared the peak beckoned us into pale yellow and blue sky. Her spirit possessed us. Surrendering to the mother of the universe she captured our souls.

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30 thoughts on “#Friday Fictioneers – Mother of the Universe

  1. Lindaura Glamoura says:

    Hi there, you have the makings of some good writing here, but you do need a little editing – and trying to get the work down to 100 words would really help.
    Firstly, you need a comma after ice in your first sentence, in fact, you are missing quite a few commas in your entire story and they would really help the reader.
    But because your description of the frozen climbers is so beautiful, you should really change that first sentence, perhaps putting the climbers first and the crampons second….
    You do not need “the” before Camp Three, then “where I lay motionless” would serve you just as well. Oh dear, I am a fan of the 100 word flash fiction story to hone your writing skills and teach you the power of each individual word.
    Bossy as I am, I really think you should try to edit this down, as it is very beautiful, and you could almost reach perfection if you tried.

    • EmmaMc says:

      Hi and thank you so much for the honest critique. You are right, it does need a little editing and have made some changes.

      I agree flash fiction is a fantastic way of honing your writing skills. However recently I have been struggling to even write short stories so I’m worried that I have conditioned myself to only write flash fiction (sounds daft, I know) so being a bit more liberal with my word count.

      Again, thank you taking time to stop by and comment. Really is appreciated 🙂

  2. newpillowbook says:

    This is a story with a lot of potential! The first sentence is chilling and really sets the scene. I do think the end would be improved by tightening it up a lot – it seems to dissolve into mysticism, and I think sticking to the gritty sort of details you began with would be more terrifying. (Something along the lines of “Lying on the ice, I felt my own tomb starting to form”, maybe, but that’s just how I might word it.) Again, you have a basically good story here.

    My attempt – http://newpillowbook.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/friday-fictioneers-caravan/

    • EmmaMc says:

      Thank you for the comments and the critique. I struggled with the ending a bit and you’re spot on with the mysticism vs gritty details. I wanted to stick with gritty but I ended up re-writing too many times and ended up with that. May give it another go and see if I can get it right.

    • EmmaMc says:

      Thank you! And sorry for the late reply as I have been on holiday for past week so haven’t had chance to get online.

    • EmmaMc says:

      I always appreciate a bit of advice, hopefully will help me develop and watch out for potential pitfalls! Thank you for stopping by.

  3. elmowrites says:

    Like other critics, I think this has the potential to be a powerful piece, but it could use some serious editing. Personally, I would also cut to 100 words, because I think that process has a real value, but the length is up to you. A couple of line edits (there are others if you want to take time going through it)…
    “listen to the storm *pounding* the tent”
    “that I was in a world *which* didn’t belong…”
    “The moon landscape disappeared” – this presumably would be a slightly more gradual change than you portray.
    And if I were your editor, I’d liberally sprinkle commas between your run on sentences.

    You have a great way with words, and I hope that you find suggested edits useful rather than depressing. Sometimes I publish blog posts with little or no editing, and if you do that, it might be worth putting a rider on so we focus on the general direction not the detail!

    • EmmaMc says:

      Thank you! Yes it could do with editing and I admit I should have probably put something on here to say that it was ever so slightly rushed (did it in my 30 min lunch break) As always I appreciate the comments and pleased that you can be honest – how else can I develop? It’s the main reason why I keep a blog else I will never get any feedback.

    • EmmaMc says:

      Hi Jan, yes it’s tough staying in the 100 words. It’s not something I’m doing too well with at the moment but mainly because I am struggling to find the time to cut it down. But I shall prevail! As you say, it is a great exercise so should honour that.

    • EmmaMc says:

      I have just finished reading Touching the Void whilst on holiday this week and have come to the same conclusion. Don’t mess with Mother Nature, unless you are incredibly brave (Which I am not!) Thank you for stopping by.

    • EmmaMc says:

      Thanks Janet. I haven’t actually ready that but as I said above, just finished reading Touching the Void.

  4. rich says:

    Surrendering to the mother of the universe she captured our souls.

    “surrendering to the mother of the universe” is modifying the next (pro)noun.

    “she” is the next (pro)noun. this means the mother of the universe surrendered to herself. it should go like this:

    surrendering to the mother of the universe, our souls were captured.

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