The Freestyle Writing Challenge: Home

39176985_mCandice from ‘I came for the soup’, a talented writer and fellow participant in #blogbattle (run by Rachael Ritchey) challenged me to take part in the freestyle writing challenge.

I’m sure you know the rules by now, but here they are:

  1. Open a blank document.
  2. Set a stop watch or mobile phone timer to 5 or 10 minutes.
  3. Your topic is at the foot of this post. DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH YOUR TIMER!
  4. Once you start writing, do not stop until the alarm sounds!
  5. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spelling and grammar using spell check. (The challenge is only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought-flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write with correct spelling and grammar.)
  6. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation or capitals.
  7. At the end of your post, write down “No. of words = ____” to give an idea of how much you can write within the timeframe.
  8. Copy and paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic for your nominees, and copy / paste these rules along with your nomination (at least 5 bloggers).

I’m going to bend the rules slightly, because I’m not going to nominate anyone in particular. Most people have completed the challenge at least once, and for those who haven’t and are reading this, I highly recommend it – it’s great fun.

Here is the challenge set by Candice:

You have just purchased your first home. It is old and not in the best condition. It is so terrible that everyone even the neighbors has warned you not to purchase it, but you have. On day one of moving in, as soon as you step across the threshold of the front door, you are transported into  another place in time. Where have you gone? What is happening there? Who is there with you?


Okay, this is it.

I pressed forward, ignoring the voices in my head; the whispers of my friends, my family, even the damn neighbours. Everyone had something to say about this house. Everyone had an opinion. It didn’t matter about mine. But then, how did I explain that the place called to me? My dad worried about me on a good day, I couldn’t image what he would say if I told him the house called to me – the pull far stronger than anything I had felt before.

The first thing I noticed when I crossed the threshold were the colours. The worn, faded wallpaper I had expected to see had been replaced by swirls of moody gold. It was something from another time, another place. Glancing down at my feet, I registered the polished wood. During my viewing of the house I had almost tripped over the threadbare carpet in the entrance hall. There was no danger of that now. The floor gleamed. A safety hazard, certainly. My parents didn’t call me Frank for nothing.

The temperature in the room was almost tropical, like a warm hug; a welcome home. I continued forward, stopping briefly when a young boy shot past. He giggled, winking at me in apology. His appearance was so unexpected I followed him, dodging other bodies as I went; people who seemed to pop-up like a storybook as soon as my feet stepped in their direction.

It was only then that I noticed the noise. It started gradually, and slowly built into a crescendo of sounds I could barely distinguish. There was so much colour, and sound, and movement. It made my head spin.

A bang, the crack of wood, reverberated around the hall. I realised it was the door slamming shut behind me. I turned, glancing at the once rundown entryway. It was gone. Now all I saw were swirls of gold.

(Number of Words = 317 in 10 minutes)

Now it’s your turn. Here is my challenge, should you choose to accept it.

You awake to discover you are in a laboratory, strapped to a table. How did you get there? Why are you there? What happened to you? Can you figure it out in time? It’s up to you!

Thanks for stopping by.


12 responses to “The Freestyle Writing Challenge: Home”

  1. This was brilliant and then the cliffhanger! I felt as if I had picked up a great novel primed and ready to lose myself for its start was so gripping and then that darn time limit happened. Sigh. I hope you write more seriously. I have so many questions lol

  2. This one is so perfect for your creative brain, Mel. I start with ‘I’d never buy that house! Who wants all those problems???’ You see the possibilities for a story.

    • Thanks, Hugh 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it. And, I’m not really sure. I got a sense that the house was haunted, that she was experiencing a different time and, strangely, a different place. But it just came pouring out, so when the timer pinged, it broke the flow. I might go back to it – see what else comes to light! 😀

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