Tyler  McNamara
Writing. World Building. Game Design.


Burnt Umber

So there's this sub genre of writing called purple prose which Wikipedia defines as, "text that is so extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw excessive attention to itself."

Having run across a purple prose contest for an 100 word apocalypses story I wrote this little gem:


Dust the color of burnt umber rushed through the bandana covering her face, filling her nasal cavity and binding to anything even remotely damp. She coughed and gagged as micro-particulate coated the inside of her throat, clogged her tear ducts, and edged her eyes. Yet she forced herself to keep them closed, amplifying the sensation of drowning on dry land.

Fighting panic, she clawed her ragged fingernails into the soil until they found the rusted edge of the fire door. Inside she barked a single bronchial cough, “Water!”

A weary voice said, “You’re too dry. We won’t waste the last of it on you.”

Upon submission the site broke, and the story about writing the story became a better one than I'd written.