For short story #1, you will write a short story set in a garden. 1500+ words.
Make sure you have a title! Also, double-space and indent (five spaces) paragraphs (you must have paragraphs!).
you must have a plot, dialogue, and setting.
Scenario: Garden (remember, it can be any natural, garden-type setting). The night is dark and stormy. Clarissa has just broken up with her boyfriend of two years, Mark. She runs through the garden and trips on something…. (You may use or change the character names.)
Opening Paragraph and/or sentences: Opens with an outstanding image/idea/dialogue to capture the reader’s interest.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeOriginality, readability, and interest: Original ideas and fresh approach to the topic.Organization: Lead grabs reader’s attention by
describing the character “in action.
Lead connects to conclusion.
Content gives a clear, precise
opinion of the character.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeConventions: No grammar, syntax, or spelling errors.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeDialogue: Correct dialogue format is used. In addition, the dialgue is natural and appropriate to the story.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeWord Choice: Writer uses vivid words and phrases that linger or draw pictures in the reader’s mind. The choice and placement of the words seems accurate, natural and not forced.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeGuidelines/formatting: All elements are present in an outstanding manner. Paragraphs are present and clear, double-spacing throughtout, a title is utilized, and so on.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomePlot: The plot is evident and easy to follow (this doesn’t mean it’s not complex).
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSetting: Setting is clearly drawn and appropriate to the story.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeCharacters: Characters are sufficiently developed and believeable (believeable doesn’t mean they have to be “real”) for the part they play in the story.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeStory: The story is engaging and does not succumb to the cliche (note: the professor realizes it’s impossible to create something completely new!)
Running head: THE BLEED IN THE CREEK 1
The Bleed in the Creek
THE BLEED IN THE CREEK 2
The Bleed in the Creek
The night is dark and stormy. Clarissa has just broken up with her boyfriend of two
years, Mark. She runs through the garden and trips on something; it is a musical box, one that
she is familiar with, “this cannot be,” she says trembling, “where did this come from!” She drops
the box and looks around. She is not sure of what or who she is looking for, but she is afraid.
Afraid because that music box was evidence confiscated by the police as the murder weapon
used to kill Marie, her best friend. No one had ever been apprehended for the murder but she
blames herself. She knew that her connection to Mark somehow had something to do with
Marie’s death, but she was too stubborn to end the relationship; even when she was confident
that Mark played a part in it. She is snapped back to reality with a weird rustling in the bushes.
Scared, Clarissa picks up the music box and runs back to her car. As she struggles getting her
keys, a mysterious figure walks up behind her. “Hello Clar, remember me,” the figure whispers.
Confused, Clarissa tries to scream but the figure knocks her unconscious, dragging her back into
the woods next to the garden.
Mystical Gardens has always been Clarissa’s favorite place. It was where she and Marie
vowed to be best friends for life and where she and Mark shared their first kiss. She loves it
because it is secluded; a lot of privacy, clean air, and a killer view, or the lovers’ peak. Anyone
who enjoys their privacy came to the Mystical Gardens; it is home to many secrets.
“Mark is weird Clar, be very careful.” Marie warned.
“Oh Come on Em… not this again! Look, I know he is anti-social and a bit weird, but he is a
sweet guy. He said for our next anniversary, we would go ice skating and come back here to
watch the stars. I promise, once you get to know him, you will love him.”
I feel that little more build up could improve the story. It feels that you are just dropped in and it immediately starts with no buildup or some backstory.
When is this happening?
You could have this happen here, but without all of the reflection earlier. That’s just an idea. Let’s see her fear and panic. Then, have this person walk up. We don’t have to know everything Clarissa knows right away.
I agree with Nicholas. I DO like that you jump us into the story. However, consider showing us the night more. Let us see Clarissa running, sweat dripping off of her. Do you see? So, while you can basically keep this opening, added details an and some expansion would be helpful and make the first paragraph more engaging.
At this point, you are telling us too much. I like where this is going; however, development is needed.
THE BLEED IN THE CREEK 3
“Clar, it has been one and a half years now. I still do not like the guy. I am pretty sure I never
will. Look, the other day, when he was waiting for you to come from class, I saw him talking to
some guy. It was pretty heated. All I am saying is to be careful. Okay?”
“I hear you. I will carry pepper spray so that Mr. Scary doesn’t hurt me, okay mum?” Clarissa
Suddenly, she wakes up. Rubbing the back of her head, Marie’s music box playing in the
background, she recalls the last conversation she had with Marie, six months ago, on the day she
disappeared. Tears roll down her eyes. Marie was heading home after school. They were
supposed to meet up for drinks and a movie but Mark called her for an impromptu date. She
hated bailing on her best friend, but she knew she would understand. Police said they found her
phone, tainted with blood. Last dialed number was Clarissa, but the call went unanswered. She
tried to type something, all it said was “Clar… I was right about Mark. Meet me at the diner
ASAP. I have something to sho….” the text was incomplete. The police questioned Mark but he
said he had no idea what Marie had found out. There was nothing tying him to her disappearance
and they ruled him out as a suspect. Marie’s body was found three days later, at the creek a few
miles from the garden, her head crushed into her skull, and her music box by her side. Given the
injuries on Marie’s head, police were able to identify that Marie’s music box was the murder
weapon. However, there were no fingerprints or any other physical clues pointed to anyone
Clarissa or Marie knew and police said their findings were not promising.
“Eat!” Clarissa snaps back to the present when a plate of food is pushed under the
concrete door. She stands up and tries to push the door. It is locked. Judging by the smell of
flowers and terrain around her, she notices they are near the garden. Her favorite flowers grew a
The timing and order of the story need to be checked. Transitions are needed, and, perhaps some reorganization.
I feel this could be separated into 2 separate paragraphs, to help the form of your paper.
THE BLEED IN THE CREEK 4
few miles near an old military bunker that was camouflaged by trees and bushes, not easy to
find, unless you have a keen eye.
“Let me out of here! What do you want! Who are you!”
“All in due time Clarissa. You don’t know me, but I know you. I have been watching you. Now
Clarissa pushes the plate out of the door. She screams for help, her captor, who she now
knows is a man, laughs. “Don’t waste your breath my sweet Clarissa. No one can hear you. It’s
just you and me. If I were you, I would eat.” He pushes the plate back into the cage. It’s a
sandwich with jelly, her favorite kind. She curls up to the corner of the room and cries. What
luck her day has been; her boyfriend broke up with her on their anniversary and now she has
been kidnapped. She tries finding her phone, anything that she can use to get help. She realizes
she is not wearing any of the clothes she had prior to her kidnapping. She is in a robe, and she
smelled clean, like the psychopath holding her captive had bathed her.
“Please, my dad will be worried. I just need to call him and let him know that I am okay. One
phone call is all I ask.”
“Don’t worry, daddy knows that his princess is studying with Mona and they are having a
sleepover after. He already said he will be back in town on Monday and that he can’t wait to see
you. It’s such a shame that you won’t get to say your final goodbyes my dear.”
“No! Please, don’t kill me, I… I will do whatever you want… please…”
“Oh, I won’t kill you, Mark will. Besides, he is the reason why Marie is dead, poking his nose
into matters that don’t concern him. Well, this is the price he has to pay.”
“Wha…What do you mean? Mark said… he couldn’t… he doesn’t…”
THE BLEED IN THE CREEK 5
“Quit pretending my dear, Mark was gathering evidence against my business, trying to get
revenge for me allegedly killing his mommy. It’s not my fault the woman liked my product, I
certainly didn’t tell her to overdose on it. I told him to stop poking his nose into my business and
he didn’t listen. Marie was just a warning. He still wouldn’t stop pushing! He ruined my
business, had my brother killed, and now the police are on my trail. Maybe your death will be a
life-long lesson, one that I will enjoy. Unlike Marie, yours will be slow, painful. But don’t worry.
I’ll be gentle; I have many surprises for you.”
“We broke up! Please! Don’t kill me, I knew nothing about this!”
Clarissa cried, she knew Mark had something to do with this but she didn’t know why.
Why did he keep this from her? Who is this man? The guilt finally kicked in. If she would have
said no to Mark, she would still have her best friend with her. She would not be in this bunker,
unaware to her close friends and family. She would be with Marie, having lemonades and talking
about the cute English substitute teacher with the British accent. Nothing could bring her back
now, but it does not matter because Clarissa isn’t going to live to tell the story. Suddenly, the
door opens, Mark is pushed inside. Clarissa does not know whether to be happy, or sad. She
needed a familiar face, someone she can say goodbye to before her death, but she wanted her
father. Not Mark, not the selfish man responsible for her best friend’s death. He could have gone
to the police, told them what he knew. But he chose to remain silent, kept this big secret to
himself, and the price is her life.
“Clar, I am so sorry. I didn’t want you to get dragged into this. That’s why I broke up with you.”
“You killed Marie. It’s your fault! Now he wants to kill me! Because of you, I won’t see my dad
ever. Stay away from me!”
I’m confused. There are too many gaps.
Here, you can reword the phrase and make it flow better. Instead of saying “the cute English substitute teacher with the english accent” you could substitute in “The cute substitute teacher with the British accent” or “the cute substitute English teacher with the accent”.
THE BLEED IN THE CREEK 6
“Shh, it won’t get to that. Trust me. I will protect you. You are going to be okay. Murdock, she
isn’t a part of this, let her go. It’s me you want. I did what you asked. The trail is off you. The
deal was I break up with Clar, plant the evidence and I die. Please, let her go.”
“But Mark, now she knows my name. The police will know I killed that stupid girl, kidnapped
her, and now, killed you. I can’t let that happen. Unlike you, Mark, I don’t leave lose ends. It’s
time for the end game.”
The door opens. Murdock grabs Clarissa; he is wearing a baby mask so she can’t see his
face. She screams and cries, begs for her life, but the man laughs in her face, pushes her to the
ground and grabs his gun. Mark hits on the door, begs, and apologizes for his meddling. There is
no stopping him now.
“Clarissa, you were my favorite student. It’s a shame that it has to end this way. Don’t worry. I
will be there for your funeral. I will tell your father you were a model student. Don’t take this the
wrong way, it’s just business.”
Clarissa and Murdock walk back to the garden. Murdock then takes off his mask and
Clarissa gasps in shock. Marie’s killer, the man responsible for the misery in her life, was the
English substitute teacher her and Marie crushed on since he took over from Mrs. Winterbottom.
“No!” A gunshot is fired, Clarissa falls to the ground. Murdock lets out a chilling laugh.
“Let the games begin.”
So, I love the idea behind this story and the basic concept. However, there is too much flashback and not enough transition. More development is needed, as well. That’s ok because this is, obviously, a draft. :).