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Author's Note:
This is my attempt at the Can You? Flash Fiction Challenge. It sits at 494. I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!


Shit! I thought as I scrambled backward and avoided an over hand swipe that would have split my skull. Mind racing, I feinted forward and darted right thinking I could surprise them and get to open ground. They were neither surprised nor amused. Smiley face quickly pivoted and swung the flat of her blade at my ankles knocking me head over asshole. I rolled away from a flurry of stokes that would have disemboweled me. Double shit!

I kicked out blindly with both feet hoping that I might hyper-extend a knee and caught Frowney face a glancing blow on the shin. She hesitated just long enough for me to get up to my knees, but Smiley rocked my head back as her slippered foot connected with my nose.

I regained my feet and stumbled backward to buy myself some time. My back hit something solid and I darted around it. I only had a precious few seconds. The lowest branch was almost eight feet off the ground. I risked a glance around the massive trunk of the tree. Smiley and Frowney were splitting to come around and attack me from two sides.

I leaped and barely scraped the bottom of the branch. I leapt again and almost got a handhold before slipping and falling to the earth. With a final heave I took two steps and ran up the tree. I pushed off from the trunk and stretched out for the branch. My hands caught and I heaved myself up just in time to save my left leg from getting severed at mid-calf.

I climbed higher. A whistling noise got my attention just as one of those damn sword-staff things slammed into the trunk of the tree inches from my head. I lost my footing and slipped. I had only one hand on the branch above me and now I was dangling and trying to find a foot hold. Pleasedon’tbreakpleasedon’tbreakpleasedon’t…

With a sound prophetic of the broken bones I was to shortly suffer, the branch gave under my weight. The soil was strangely yielding, like I had landed in loose sand. It too gave and I was falling again. I bounced from tree root to tree root and smacked the ground. I scrambled to my feet and looked up to see that though there were fragile beams of light shining down, enough dirt and rock had caved in behind me that unless they had some shovels and a couple of hours, I was safe from Smiley and Frowny for awhile. I looked around at the dimly lit cavern and saw several connecting tunnels going away. They could lead anywhere. I could wonder for years and not find a way out. I eased back against one wall and slid down to a sitting position. I used a piece of my shirt to wipe the drying blood from my nose as I contemplated my new mess. Out of the frying pan and into the fire…triple shit!


------
'But I don't want to go among mad people,' said Alice. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the cat. 'We're all mad here.'
Lewis Carroll



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Comments

The following comments are for "Can You?"
by HeRoCoMpLeX

problem ...
I think it would read better if this sentence was reversed ...
Quote:
I bounced from tree root to tree root and smacked the ground.


to

I smacked the ground and bounced from tree root to tree root.

For me tree roots and ground are synonymous ... I had an image of the roots being on the way down instead of ground level.

I like how you delve into action packed and .. yes .. you did.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: May 8, 2011 )

Frowney and Smiley
I liked the nicknames Frowney and Smiley. Very suspenseful story. And a neat idea he used the tree to escape. The fact he falls into a cavern is very visual.

He's safe for now but will he get out of this 'fire'?

You done good. Did he? Yes indeed. Sequel?

Sandra

( Posted by: sandra [Member] On: May 8, 2011 )

Pen and Sandra
Pen: When I let my wife read it, she said the same thing. She told me the tree root line was confusing and she had to read it a couple of times to get what I was trying to say. I was trying to give the image that the ground gave way and has he was falling down the hole into the cavern, the underground part of the tree roots were slowing his decent. I'll definitely take a gander at that line in the editing process. Thanks for pointing it out for me!

Sandra: As soon as I sat down to write this the idea of him falling into a hole popped into my head and I laughed so hard that I had to make it happen. ;)

Thank you both for the read and the "yes"!

Dave

( Posted by: HeRoCoMpLeX [Member] On: May 8, 2011 )

Re: Did He?
Dave,

Action scenes are tricky. They're usually my weak point, and I've heard a few other people say the same thing. This one looks pretty good; what's happening is clear, and I can follow the action.

One thing I might suggest is to pare down the descriptions and sentences during the fight scene, to tighten up the pace. Lines like: "With a sound prophetic of the broken bones I was to shortly suffer, the branch gave under my weight" are good lines, but they slow down the flow of action.

Otherwise, good scene, and I would say yes he did- nothing unbelievable or superhuman, though the "To be continued..." type ending reminds me of those serialized radio shows like The Shadow from a bygone day. That's not a bad thing, mind you.

( Posted by: Beckett Grey [Member] On: May 9, 2011 )

Dave
Your explanation makes it less clear to me. If he was falling into a pit - smacking the ground doesn't clarify ... to me .. the ground would be above not under unless the writer elaborates.

Quote:
With a sound prophetic of the broken bones I was to shortly suffer, the branch gave under my weight. The soil was strangely yielding, like I had landed in loose sand. It too gave and I was falling again. I bounced from tree root to tree root and smacked the ground.


You go from the branch breaking to the soil being yielding which I believe misses the inevitable fall ... perhaps this is what creates an image/story flow problem

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: May 9, 2011 )





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