Friday, 9 September 2011

200 WORD FLASH FICTION - for the first Campaigner’s Challenge

Is it Sunday? Does it feel like Sunday to you?

I’m posting early, for Sunday, because I wanted to attempt the First Campaigner’s Challenge (from the Third Writers' Platform-Building Campaign), which is hosted over at Rachael Harrie's blog.

Challenges have rules, and here they are:

Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title.

It can be in any format, including a poem.

Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open”  (remember that these four words will be included in the word count.)

An optional challenge is to end with "the door swung shut" (these words must also be included in the word count.)

The greatest challenge is, of course, to make your story exactly 200 words.

Camille Renshaw says: "Micro Fiction, by nature, is defiant. It defies length, boundaries, and expectations. But tight, provocative fiction requires analysis and editing. Taking an idea and distilling it into a “micro”- cosm of its original self is challenging."

If you are planning to join in the challenge, it will close on Friday, September 9th (at 11.59pm EDT,) to be eligible for a prize, click and follow the Linky’s instructions before that time!

This is my entry, it is complete in 200 words :)


The door swung open, I held it and hoped. The scratching sounded distant, not Paul’s nails on the door. 

        I stepped forward. The door closed behind me with a chill sigh. 

        The knife the stranger tossed from hand to hand glittered in the thin moonlight piercing the overgrown bushes. I’d meant to cut them back in the summer, but we’d had better things to do.        

        “Open it.”

        Opening the door struck me as a bad option, “What if I don't?”

        “Die here. I'll find my way around without you.” 

       Passive face and dull eyes, the stranger gave me no hope. I reached behind and gripped the handle. If the catch was up, how long would it take to spin inside, slam the door and bolt it? Maybe, my calculations showed.

In and out, the slice of steel through skin shocked me. While he rubbed ruby into blue jeans, I pulled the handle and moved.


Dizzy… smiling, I slid to the ground. I felt safe. The hardwood was behind me with its impenetrable lock.


Pale fingers dipped into the dark liquid pooling around me. He lifted my keys and shook them dry. Unlocking the door, he dragged me into bleeding darkness.

My thanks to John Ward - he suggested reading "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce. I found the story an inspiration.

On the subject of Sad Reject, I missed joining any of the 59 Campaigners' Groups.

I write MG/YA Sci-fi or Paranormal. If anyone would like to 
be my Buddy I’d be happy to be rescued from what feels like a lonely, isolation corner ;)

Let me know where your 200 word story is so I can be certain not to miss reading it.

Happy Sunday ;)


  1. While he rubbed ruby into blue jeans
    Loved that line!

  2. Really interesting. I love all of the different takes on this. Mine is #72

  3. Really interesting approach, although I had a few moments when I had to reread to understand what was going on.

    If you want, check out my entry. It's number #186

  4. So, did she stab herself or did stab her? Why was she smiling? I'm very intrigued. :)
    The "slice of steel through skin" line made me shudder. Very nice.

  5. Wow. I have to wonder why the character is smiling--even though he got the key!

    My entry.

  6. I had to read this twice--but the second time through I loved it! "Pale fingers dipped into the dark liquid around me. He lifted and shook my keys dry. Unlocking the door, he dragged me into bleeding darkness." -that is plain awesomness! The smile is a nice twist--makes me wonder what's going on inside her head.

  7. This is a haunting, brutal piece. Great job.

    Have a great weekend.

  8. Thank to everyone who commented. I have tried to space the story so the meaning is clearer. It all hinged on if the door lock was on the catch. In her weakened state she was convinced she was safe - she wasn't.

  9. Elaine - Nice job. I love where you did the breaks in the story. Ooooh! Love - "Pale fingers dipped into the dark liquid around me." I could definitely read more of this.

  10. Nice!
    Thanks for joining the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Look forward to your first post on October 5.

  11. Eeeeek! Although I'm not exactly sure what happened and why, it was very intense and suspenseful.

  12. "ruby" "dragged into the bleeding darkness". Beautiful and devastating imagery.

  13. They imagery is brutal and beautiful.

    I am 55 on the linky list and my entry is here:

  14. I really enjoyed your writing - I would have to agree with Sonia's description of it as 'brutal and beautiful'.

  15. Very intense ... and thick with tension ! It had my mind reeling with possibilities ...!
    My entry is no.#59

  16. Hi Maeve, Alex, Elizabeth, Theresa, Sonia and Trisha

    Thanks for your comments :) I'm happy with brutal and beautiful. I was aiming for desperate, deluded, disillusioned and dead ;)

    Perhaps I should change the title to "The trouble with Show Don't Tell" - in 200 words." ;)

    If the door lock had been on the catch she'd have had a chance. She'd lost so much blood it was easy for her imagine she was safe. She wasn't.

  17. Oh that's vicious. I'm not fond of horror, so I can't say I enjoyed it - but I admire the writing in it.

  18. This was quite intense. I liked it a great deal, Elaine! So dark, so powerful. I love the MC's reaction when she slips to the floor...great description there. ~ Nadja

  19. Morning AJ and Nadja
    Thank you. Short stories are tricky, this was the first time I thought I'd managed to write a properly rounded story inside 200 words.

  20. Creepiness! That just sent chills all over.

    Great job, Elaine! :)

  21. Yikes! This got my skin crawling. Thanks for visiting my blog and reading mine :)

  22. Wow, yikes! Creepy and scary.

    Mine is #291:

  23. Intense! Gave me goosebumps.

    Mine is No. 331 -

  24. Hi David, Jessica, Shannon and Len

    Thank you, scary was definitely what I was after ;)