Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Campaigner Challenge


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!

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Flash fiction is not usually my kind of thing, but this snippet of backstory from my WIP (For Want of a Piglet) fit the bill so I've taken a stab at it. And I managed to hit all three conditions! I hope you enjoy it. Don't forget to vote for your favorites on Rach's linky list. I've voted for a couple already.


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PIGLET


The door swung open and sudden silence made me look up from stoking the fire under the kettle. Father stood silhouetted by morning sun, the piglet hanging dead in his hand.

His growl chilled me. “Kate, did you do this?” Mother and my siblings’ eyes joined his on me.

“No.”

“I spent weeks arranging your betrothal.”

My tightening throat choked my voice. “On my life, Father, I didn’t.”

“It was the dower that finally convinced Schwartz to agree!” Father threw the piglet down. He slammed the door, rattling our hut. “What am I to do with you now? No — why shouldn’t I throw you out on the street if you’re so willing to betray me?”

“Show me the wound.” My voice rose even as it quavered, fearing he could show me a stab or a bruise. “Show me, or do you think me able to strangle a pig?” I held out my hands, strong for a girl but not big enough for such a job.

Father was many things, but he was ever a logical man. He glowered and picked up the piglet again. “May as well butcher the damn thing.”

I sighed in relief as the door swung shut.

19 comments:

Francesca Zappia said...

Great job! I really felt the tension in the scene, and I love that Kate was able to talk her father down with logic... even if it was a lie. :D

Lissa said...

That's fantastic. Well done.

Michael Haynes said...

Nice characterization! Now I want to know who killed the piglet.

AveryMarsh said...

Wonderfully done. You pulled my right into the scene from the first line and didn't disappoint. :)

Daniel R. Marvello said...

I'm with you on flash fiction not being my thing, but you pulled it off well. I'm guessing the piglet was strangled by someone who doesn't want Kate to be betrothed to someone else. A love interest, perhaps? I guess I'll find out when I read For Want of a Piglet some day!

Coleen Patrick said...

Next page please! :) Great!

Alleged Author said...

Love the interchange between the MC and her father. :)

bridgetstraub.com said...

Totally original. good job. Mine is #72

Mel Fowler said...

This would be a great novel. Good job :)

Liz said...

And we are left with an unresolved mystery! Arg!

ali cross said...

Awesome! I loved how much characterization you were able to pack into so few words. Great job, L!

David Powers King said...

Wow! That little girl has guts! I'd love to read a full/longer story about her. Awesome piece of writing! :)

Stephanie said...

Really nice. Lots of backstory built in and palpable tension. I'd loved to read more about her.

J.R. Williams said...

Well done. Great entry. :)

1000th.monkey said...

...so, who dun it? I want to know!

Nadja Notariani said...

Great tension between Kate and her father. Interesting that her mother/siblings seemed to believe that she had done it...they just looked at her when the father accused. Hhmmm. ~ Nadja

PaulaSJwriter said...

I agree with Nadia. Her mother or a sib did it. Would be interesting to know why, though.

Lots of tension. This was clearly a dangerous moment for her.

S.C. Wade said...

Very nice! I wanted it to continue. :-)

kelworthfiles said...

Hmm... that was really good! Myself, I'm thinking that Kate killed the piglet with magic - or should I say with kyr?

It's great to meet you, and I'm part of your fantasy Campaigner group. See you soon, down the campaign trail!

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