Weekend Writing Warriors – A Floor That Burns

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors! Thanks for stopping by. Hard to believe it’s April already. I’m sharing an eight from The Burning Night.

Set up: Melissa and Ashley are trapped in a room under the watchful eye of Emily and her twenty-something daughters. Emily tells the girls that they about to get the hot foot to end all hot feet, which leaves the girls trembling. Emily is the first to speak as she instructs one of her daughters to flip on a power switch.

Note: I’ve modified this excerpt so it meets the eight sentence criteria:

“Jessie, switch it on!”

The girl leaned over the edge of the skylight, disappearing from sight as a loud ‘click-click’ sounded from above that made my heart jump. Dipping my chin, my eyes bulged as the floor began to glow bright red with intense heat oozing through the bottoms of my feet.

Ashley looked down and jerked her feet, the glow and the heat mounting by the second. “Whoa, this floor’s getting hot!”

Jolting my feet, a sharp cry escaped me as every inch of the floor turned into a blanket of glowing stove burner red and the excruciating heat scorched our feet.

 “Aaaaahh!!” we cried and leapt off the floor, endlessly lifting up one foot after the other in a lame attempt to avoid burns. The blistering heat stabbed the bottoms of my feet like a hundred needles with every touch as I cried out in agony.


Now you know why Melissa was worried about that floor! FYI: both girls are barefoot, so you can understand how much that hurts! This is a previously shared snippet, but as you can see it’s been edited so I’d love your feedback. I look forward to reading your snippets, too. In case you’re wondering if Melissa has her shoes on, here’s a link to the previous snippet where she took them off. Snippet

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Enjoy your Sunday!



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45 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors – A Floor That Burns

  1. Continuity question: did Melissa take her shoes off? I seem to remember her ignoring the sign at the top of the basement stairs…?

    • Yes she originally did, but if you remember from the snippet that showed them being dumped into the room that she took her shoes off.

  2. So the couch didn’t come with them?

  3. It’s the suddeness of the attack and the lack of explanation that makes this so frightening, Frank!

    (Didn’t Melissa still have her shoes on? Or did she take them off when she reached the TV?)

    • I know, I skipped a few lines to get to this part. And no, Melissa took off her shoes before she and her sister were dumped in the room.

  4. I remember this from last year. Frightening agony, heat, cruelty. Surely they can’t escape without irreparable damage to their feet, Frank. YIKES

  5. I remember this too and that’s a sign of a great snippet! Can’t remember enough to see what you’ve edited but it’s really descriptive and well written!

  6. owlladywriter

    I’m wondering if the awfulness is going to stop at burning their feet! Emily and her daughters are horrid people! -so good job with that, Frank. 🙂

  7. I remember this moment as well, very effective and scary and I can’t WAIT to find out what happens next! Great 8!

  8. Ahh, the bullies are at it again. Great job!

  9. Yikes! Strong snippet, Frank.

  10. With that much quickly burning flesh…I wonder how long they can keep moving their feet? The intense pain would make it tough to handle for more than a few moments…I’d think. I actually don’t know as I’ve never been standing on a floor that is redhot!!!

    • I can see your point, but it almost makes me think I’ve screwed this up (now I’m feeling sheepish). The floor is indeed very hot for them, so they’re constantly hopping around. I’ve added a scene where they get some relief from the heat, but I can’t say exactly what at this point.

      P.S. I sure hope you never have to stand on a red-hot floor, that would hurt me inside. Thanks for commenting.

  11. asfenichel

    Scary scene. I don’t remember the original, but well done.

  12. Wow, the scariness of their situation just keeps getting more intense! My one comment would be that I didn’t’ quite know what to make of the phrase “jolted my feet.” Nice work.

    • The ‘jolted my feet’ part can be changed I wanted to say that she slid her feet back quickly as a result of the heat. What do you suggest? Thanks for commenting!

  13. The closest I’ve come to this is stepping on some very hot asphalt. It’s incredibly painful–you’re pretty much willing to do anything to get off your feet. This snippet makes me really feel for those girls!

    Possibly an editing-error, but you have a dangling participle here: “Jolting my feet, a sharp cry escaped me…”

    • That’s never happened to me, but I remember my ex-wife once walked barefoot to take out the garbage when we lived in Florida. It was like 100 that day. I’m currently wondering if I should change the overall scene so that Melissa has her flip-flops on in the room. But maybe that would kill the whole ‘hot foot’ thing?

      Good that you pointed out that error. I wanted to say that Melissa slid her feet back as a result of the building heat. Can you give me some suggestions?

      • The easy thing to fix those dang hanging phrases is to remember the subject has to come right after the comma.

        Like “Walking down the street, the trees whispered in the breeze.” is obviously wrong unless you have walking trees. The sentence is missing the “I.”

        So you probably want “Jolting my feet, [insert whatever is doing that jolting here]…” and then go on with the sentence.

      • How about “Sliding my feet backwards, I cried out loud…”?

        I do appreciate your feedback.

  14. I remember this scene from last year, Frank, and that says something! How dark is your book? It’s taking a step in a really scary (and visual) direction. 🙂 Good 8–seems to have everyone’s attention.

    • I knew you remembered it because you seemed to be the only one touched by the whole hot foot thing. This is a dark story and it’s a short story. It definitely has everyone’s attention, but many think the girls are going to get totally cooked.

  15. As I’ve never seen this snippet before, I can’t really make any comments on the progression of the piece, but I really felt what was going on in those moments. All I can think is ouch! I really enjoyed this 8, thanks for sharing!

    • The fact that you are commenting means a lot. This is a creepy scene, so I guess it’s hard to make any constructive feedback. I hope it didn’t scare you too much – LOL.

  16. What a horrible situation for them. I really hope they find a way out before they’re seriously hurt.

  17. Karen Michelle Nutt

    Ouch!! Usually when I say it is a “sizzling hot scene” I mean something else entirely. lol Wonderful imagery.

  18. Gem

    That’s excruciating torture that had me wincing. Great 8!

  19. I though the couch was still with them, but it doesn´t matter: this just gets more and more scary. There’s no way they’re going to escape there unharmed (or maybe even, alive?). Great snippet, Frank!

    • When the couch spun them around it returned to its original position (it’s attached to the wall). Emily made sure they the girls had nothing to grab onto. And no, they’re going to get some harsh burns on their tootsies. They will make it out alive, I promise. Thanks for commenting!

  20. augustmacgregor

    Ouch! This is truly scary, because where do you stand if the floor is burning up?? You’ve surely put your characters in a tough situation! Lots of good drama here.

    • Thanks for your thoughts. Since the entire floor is hot, the only thing the girls can do is hop around (doesn’t help much). That’s why it’s called a hot foot.

  21. Ouch! Great description here. Definitely want to know what happens next!

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