The first challenge for the Writers’ Platform Building Campaign has been issued, and it comes in the form of a 200 word flash fiction. These are the exact directions:
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” These four words will be included in the word count.
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: “the door swung shut.” (also included in the word count)
For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!
I went ahead and took the extra challenges in the prompt, just for the fun of it. 😀 This little drabble is a bit different from my usual fare, but it popped into my head when Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” came on the radio this evening. The story doesn’t 100% mirror the song, but it is inspired by the broken-hearted, hopeless vibe of the lyrics. Here’s the song, for anyone who hasn’t heard it:
The rest of the entries can be found here. Looks like I’m #231 on the list, so there’s lots of great flash fiction to read through. Keep in mind, however, that only Campaign participants can vote for their favorite stories.
The door swung open on rusty hinges, grating loudly in the predawn stillness. Leila scowled, for it was yet another mocking reminder that Bill Harrison was the worst of liars.
Their house, a tiny fixer-upper that the realtor claimed was “a diamond in the rough,” enthralled him for a time, the same way Leila had once delighted him. Standing there on the front step, Leila could still hear his voice, echoes from a golden summer afternoon.
“Ignore those weeds in the front yard, baby. We’ll pull ‘em up, plant some roses. It’ll be a real home.” As though to seal the promise, he’d kissed her shamelessly, right in front of the realtor.
Three years later, the memory of that kiss tingled her lips, but the yard was still filled with weeds, withered and brown. Those dreams they had cherished were gone, and so was Bill.
He might have cared for her once, but there were things he’d loved more. Whiskey was one, gambling another, twin demons that stole him from her side.
The house gaped before her, an empty shell, but there was nowhere else for her to go. Leila entered, and with another screech, the door swung shut.