Monday, 5 March 2012

New Flash - RESCUE MISSION - and a Writing Group Recommendation

I belong to Talkback, the online forum from the UK's popular Writing Magazine. Every month the forum runs a 'One Word Challenge' whereby the winners from the previous month provide a single word which acts as a theme for the new challenge, they then judge and give constructive feedback on the entries. Entrants can write a prose piece up to 200 words and/or a poem up to 40 lines.  

The theme for January was 'stark' and the following piece Rescue Mission was my entry. It didn't win but got positive feedback, and I rather enjoyed writing it so thought I would share. 

But the key reason for posting about this is, if you don't belong to a writer's group, don't have an outlet for your writing and/or are looking for support and guidance then Talkback is a well-established, free forum that I would recommend joining. Its friendly members include published writers of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and screenplays as well as non-published and new writers. There is much discussion about competitions, story/novel/article structure, traditional versus e-publishing and grammar questions plus industry news.

Why not nip over to Talkback and join up. You might even want to have a go at the new One Word Challenge.


It takes will and effort to bury a man, even in the desert. Now the corpses are outnumbering us we’ve been forced to leave them strewn across the sands to nourish more rapacious survivors, all dignity lost.


There are eight of us left. The Frenchman and Russian made some kind of pact this morning. We’ve left their bodies in the cockpit.


Strobel died. An hour after he announced “I’m going on a quick recce,” we ventured out into the starless darkness only to find him sucking moisture from the aircraft’s underbelly, convulsing as he held on fast. Did he know the poison in the rains would be enough to kill him? We never had time to ask.


We’ve given up questioning the cause. Bomb? Meteorite? All we know is there is no horizon, no sunrise. Occasional lightning staggers across the skies but it throws no clues. The cloying air remains thick with billowing green cloud.


Reeves took the risk. I packed sugar cubes into his pockets and let him leave, two oxygen bags strapped to his back. He shook my hand and we wondered who would die first.


It’s just me now.


I don’t think Reeves is coming back...


  1. I've been back and forth to Talkback several times and finally applied - TIME!!! if only I had more.
    The laconic opening line of 'Rescue Mission' is irresistible and the spacing/pacing effective indeed.

  2. Lily, I love it. Fragments and splinters of The End. It's good that the question remains unanswered; in the end, all is fractured, all is tragic.

    Or is that just a tad melodramatic? ;)

    Wonderfully weighed and balanced piece. =)

  3. Yay Sandra - I'll see you there! I'm LilyC, funnily enough. Thanks for your comments on Rescue Mission too.

    John, melodrama works for me. Thank you for enjoying it ;-)

  4. Lily, I thought it was a great story when I first read it on Talkback - but when I read it again here, I knew it was a great story!

    I'm in the middle of moving house (just done the packing bit) and will be without my umbilical to the world until mid-March (the Ides, actually), but I'll get back just as soon as I can.
    Gonna miss these guys.

  5. That is excellent, Lily. You've really refined your writing, keeping in only what's necessary, only what rocks.


Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.