The Chill Factor: Writers’ Forum Flash Comp Winner

The Chill FactorThe Chill Factor

“Do you think we should call the police yet, Sarah?”

“Isn’t it a bit soon? She’s only been missing six hours. Don’t they generally ask you to wait 24 hours?”

“24 hours? Even in weather like this?”

“All the more reason to wait, Jason. Her car could have broken down. Maybe the roads became impassable; it’s snowing quite hard now. Tell me again, what made you think she was coming here?”

“I already told you, she said you’d planned a girlie night.”

“And I told you there was no girlie night… your wife must have been lying for some reason, maybe having an affair. That’s what the police will think.”

“Yeah. I see what you mean.”

“We need to keep calm, be rational.”

“How long does it take to die from hypothermia?”

“Just don’t go there, Jason.”

“No, tell me, you’re the nurse here.”

“OK… hypothermia starts when body temperature drops to around 35 degrees.

“How aware would you be?”

“Difficult to say, depends on your body mass and other stuff. From that point the cerebral metabolic rate would usually diminish by 3 to 5 percent for every one degree drop in core body temperature.”

“And then?”


“Tell me.”

“You’re going to pieces. Oh very well. Around 32 degrees you’d fall into stupor.”

“And then?”

“This is not helping, Jason. You’re torturing yourself.”

“I need to know.”

“Around 31 degrees the body gives up the attempt to warm itself, shivering ceases, blood thickens, oxygen consumption decreases. Look, this is ridiculous. I’m making a drink. Want one?”

“Whiskey and soda, please.”

“Just a small one then, you need to keep a clear head.”

“We both do.”

“I know. Here you are… now take it easy.”


“So, one more time then Jason. Let’s see if we’ve got it right. What made you think she was coming here?”

“She said you were having a girlie night.”

“Did you have any reason to suppose she was lying?”

“None whatsoever. We’re happily married for chrissakes.”

“That was good Jason. Very good.”

“What’s the time?”

“Should be almost over by now. I imagine she’s ripped all her clothes off and…”

“What did you call that again?”

“Paradoxical undressing. That should keep the police guessing for a while, you know what they’re like. Cheers Jason.”

“Here’s to us Sarah.”

Writers’ Forum is one of two writing magazines to which I’ve subscribed for several years.  From time to time I stir myself to enter the odd competition, but not often.  These past few weeks I’ve decided to inject a bit of discipline into my writing activities and have submitted several entries for different formats and themes.  This comp was to tell a story in 400 words, using only dialogue.   What a terrific birthday surprise when I opened Issue #159  first thing this morning and found I’d won.  Such an encouraging start … 🙂


About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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33 Responses to The Chill Factor: Writers’ Forum Flash Comp Winner

  1. frangipani says:

    Congratulations! Nice work!


  2. Paradoxical undressing! The horror. Here’s to the one clue these two coldhearted swine have left behind that will be their undoing. And Cheers to you, Sandra, for another stellar piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations Sandra!


  4. Sandra, you already know what I think of your writing and this is merely a formal acknowledgement of it. So pleased for you!



  5. Congratulations, Sandra! I’d say that’s a chilling story but… 😉 You truly are a great writing. I’m very happy for you.


  6. Sue says:

    I love your writing and your ability to add the chill factor, as always. Congratulations you deserve to win.


  7. Dee says:

    Congratulations and well done Sandra.
    A wonderfully chilling story (sorry) and so well written, as all your stories are. I’m so pleased you won.



  8. Sandra says:

    Thanks Dee. Makes me feel cold just re-reading this story. 🙂


  9. Pingback: This is me at the Mall… Friday Fictioneers, December 2014 | castelsarrasin

  10. Well done, Sandra. I love the creeping dread of this story. The… surely not… no…not that.. feeling I got as I was reading it.


  11. i b arora says:

    a dark story but interesting


  12. wildbilbo says:

    Excellent – any pride you feel is definitely justifiable. Really well done – dark, slowly escalating…
    Great stuff


  13. jwdwrites says:

    What a great birthday present! Well done Sandra, of course now I am going to have to google paradoxical undressing…


  14. I loved the way it morphed into darkness. Well done.
    Jill Budd


  15. treerabold says:

    Congratulations Sandra!


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