The goal of this exercise was to create a scene with tension increasing in it. I picked the usual scary moment which resolves to humor. The maximum length of the assignment was to remain within 450 characters. Here’s my rather clichéd attempt.

Thump, thump, thump. The wind howled and rustled the leaves outside. Thump, thump, thump. The sound was low and continuous. The night was cold, dark and windy. Thump, thump, thump. Winter was coming. Thump, thump, thump. On and on went the soft sound. Thump, thump, thump.

“What is making that sound?” whispered Allie. She looked around the dark bedroom and moved out from under the bed covers. “Jen, what do you think it is?”

“It’s nothing, Allie. Go back to sleep. It’s late and I’m tired.” Jen grumpily turned over and looked at her sister.

Thump, thump, thump. Allie sat up, almost too fearful to find out what was making the sound. “Shhhh. Quiet. Whatever it is, it can hear us.”

“Oh, nonsense, Allie. There’s nothing out there,” Jen said. “Do get to sleep. We have to get up early for school in the morning.”

Thump, thump, thump. Allie crawled out of bed and crept to the window. She gasped as she saw a dark round shape illuminated by the porch light move back and forth. Was it a head? Was someone or something out there? Who could it be? She was afraid to open the blinds. What would she see? Thump, thump, thump.

“Jen, someone’s out there. I’m not kidding.” Allie whispered. “I’m really not kidding. What should we do? Should we call Mom?”

Thump, thump, thump. Now Jen was starting to worry. She pushed her quilt off and jumped out of bed to stand next to Allie. She saw the shadowy outline of the round form. The shadow slowly moved back and forth. What was on the other side of the blinds? Thump, thump, thump.

“I think we need to see what it is,” Jen whispered to Allie. She grabbed her trusty twirling baton, ready to defend herself. “Are you ready?” Thump, thump, thump.

“No,” Allie said. “Don’t do it Jen. What if it is a serial killer?”

“Don’t be silly, Allie,” Jen was determined as ever to be the sensible older sister. “Stay behind me.”

Thump, thump, thump. The sound grew louder. The wind grew stronger, leaves rustled and a dog barked in the distance. Jen slowly started to open the blinds. Thump, thump, thump.

The girls both started to giggle when they realized what they were looking at. Thump, thump, thump went the dried bundle of hydrangea flowers as it banged against the screen in the window. Thump, thump, thump.

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