Short Story Response to a Challenge: The Wind Was Circling - an Alternative Ending to Frank Antanacio's Story
Frank Antanacio's Challenge
This is a response to the challenge from frankatanacio, as seen below:
"I Challenge you
Several emails I've received prompted me into creating another chapter for Jenny Camacho. So I did it again. I kept her running. What I want you to do if you're up for the challenge is to create either her demise or her rescue... Do you have it in you? Sandcastles? Faith? Genna East... well do you punks? Go ahead make my day..LOL I like to include your endings as alternate endings for Jenny Camacho. So there would be a few rules...
1) Min.. 300 words
2) More description and less dialogue
3) dark and dreary..
4) creative/ The title must come from a line in the story
5)an ending to end all endings..."
A Spur to Writing
Writing challenges set by hubbers are such a good thing. They dare us to respond, they make us think along specific lines.
This one makes us take a line from the original. That's a great idea as it makes us think in different directions; we have so much to choose from.
I chose the wind for my viewpoint, a destructive element but also useful. The trees in Frank's story are the enemy and the wind can conquer trees, so my train of thought began....
Jenny was left screaming in the forest, just about ready to give up, give in. Screaming is energy, there is always an equal and opposite energy, so she conjured up the wind.
Therefore these words from the story are my title: 'The wind was circling (her)'
The Wind was Circling
Jenny’s screams stopped abruptly. She had caught a movement to her right. She heard a crack of twig, a swish of branch. Her nostrils filled with acid pine scent, rotting leaves in mud, undertones of blood and death. Had he caught up with her? Was this the end? Would this malevolence envelop her, destroy her?
No! No! Gone was the feeling that she could run no more. Up and away with air-borne, turbo speed, she covered metres with each bound. A whisper of air pushed the leaves, then a stronger current bent branches, began to beat the trees into a frenzy. Were they losing control?
In dreams she’d flown as a gazelle barely above the earth but free of undergrowth to trip her. Now she was that gazelle; she was a creature of the forest who still had the spirit to flee, still had the breeze to propel her, higher and higher.
Fear & Despair; Jump to Death?
Dank, twisted, hostile trees sent out arms to pull her back, trap her, prevent escape, block the light. Scratching fingers scarred her cheeks. Roots turned upward to grasp her ankles, pull her into the rotten earth, suffocate her, squeeze out her life. She fought the fear, the despair, the fetid breath of death around her.
Jenny galloped until her lungs ached. As she thought they would burst, that all was lost, that giving up was indeed all she could do, she reached the forest boundary. She stopped with animal precision before a wide strip of grass. Beyond her nothing but sky, clouds, air, stunning silence and painful glare. The land dropped off sheer, into nothing. Trapped, murder and misery behind her or certain sudden death before.
One solitary tree remained apart from the forest. Its branches waved frantically, the wind even stronger here beyond the forest. Trying to frighten her, waving her forward?
The air was turning, a twister formed, brooked no resistance. It ripped up the tree, picked up Jenny, ragged and limp from her ordeal, from her last dash for freedom. She took one last leap, the tree enveloped her, together they met the air beyond the cliff.
The wind was circling, whisking them, round and down, round and down. Jenny and the tree in freefall. The branches held her in their grip. She struggled, then gave in. Why bother? She would die when ground met body; those last few inches were the crunch.
The tree dug in, the branches swooped to meet the earth. At the same time, they released Jenny, a new leaf brushed her cheek. Jenny and the one renegade tree were safe... unless the forest grasped the cliff and made its way down.
Do you respond to a challenge?
Frank's story can be read in the following hubs:
and here is frank atanacio's own ending:
© 2014 Ann Carr