“I can do it, but I’ll need a jackhammer and all the peppermint you got.”
Do I think my story lives up to that opening line? Well you’ll find out below the line
The short answer is no. One of the reasons I don’t write that often for Cracked Flash Fiction is that their opening lines don’t really match my style of writing, and Peppermint is one of the best examples of it. The opening line really doesn’t fit with the rest of the story. I turn “I can do it, but I’ll need a jackhammer and all the peppermint you got” into a throw away line before going on to do write a creepy little horror story.
One of the reasons I went down the horror story route is that earlier that day, I’d be attending a writing workshop ran by Janis Mackay about how to write horror fiction – the kind that gives you a shiver rather than gory – and I used this prompt to keep practicing. The idea behind the workshop is two build up the tension slowly before a twist release. I try – and I think succeed – in creating this tension by describing Lucy and Murray’s slow exploration of the haunted house. This just emphasis my earlier point about how the opening line doesn’t fit with the rest of the tale.
In the end the opening line issue over shadows this story for me. However, good bits of it are, it’ll never work as a whole and so feels like a fail. Maybe a bit dramatic but that is what I think.