Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Flash Fiction Challenge

The first challenge in the Platform Building Campaign is to write a short story/flash fiction under 200 words. I'm no good at writing short things. All of my short stories turn into like 60-70,000 words.So this was definitely a challenge for me. And to top it all off, I'm doped up on cold and flu medication, so that makes it so much better! LOL
If it doesn't make sense, oh well. I tried. And it sounded good as I wrote it, but it may be the medication talking. ;)

So, here are the rules.

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!


 ***


The door swung open.

I glanced up as two men dressed in gray suits stepped inside. They studied my family as we ate dinner.

I didn't miss the silver handcuffs that hung from the first man's belt. My heart sped up as I hid my shaking hands under the table.

They knew.

"May I help you?" My father wiped his mouth with a napkin and stood, holding out a hand to greet them.

Both men stared at his hand until he dropped it.

The first man produced a piece of red paper from his pocket. "Raina Saline?"

My mother's gasp echoed through the room. I knew she was staring at me, but I couldn't look at her. I couldn't handle the shame I knew I would find in her eyes.

I stood, my hands clenched at my sides. "Yes?"

"You are under arrest. You will be transported to the detention center immediately. There will be no trial."

"Why? What has she done?" My father asked.

"Dad ... " I started.

The man who had spoken looked at me, his expression hard. "You have five minutes to say goodbye to your family." They turned to leave and the door swung shut.

65 comments:

kirstenlopresti said...

Wow! Great set up. I love it!

Jen said...

I like this! "There will be no trial." Chilling stuff. Great job!

Jenny S. Morris said...

I really like it. I want to know what she did!

Patti said...

What a great scene. Like Jenny, I want to know what she did.

Ruth Josse said...

Awesome! Great scene!

Abby said...

Oh man! Not a cool situation to be in. This is awesome. Very intense and makes me want to bite my nails!

Sarah Pearson said...

Awww Chantele, more please!

I loved it, I need to know :-)

allie said...

Kafkaesque in that one moment: 'There will be no trial.' I want to know what she's done. Too intriguing! :)

J. A. Bennett said...

But, what did she do?? Great job!

S.P. Bowers said...

I like it. You write great flash fiction.

Jess said...

Love it! I wish you had written more!!

Steph Sinkhorn said...

Nice set up! Good suspense and leads to the natural desire to know why this happened, and what comes next.

Robin Weeks said...

Obviously dystopian--very fun!

Katie Dodge said...

Fantastic as always! Tell us what she did!!! ;)

Melanie Stanford said...

Good job, I'm totally wondering what she did although it sounded very nazi-ish to me, being taken in the middle of dinner maybe for no real reason at all.

Miss Cole said...

Gosh, what did she do? How sinister! I loved it.

Angie Cothran said...

Great job :) You really captured the tension in just 200 words. Maybe cold medicine is your muse :)

Jennifer Groepl said...

Middle of dinner... handcuffs...no trial... Yikes! What is going on? I'm in a panic and it's not even me!

Shallee said...

AHH! That's not an ending, it's a cliffhanger! Okay, I guess it's a cliffhanger ending...nice job with both tension and worldbuilding in just 200 words.

Simon Kewin said...

Ooh, yes, chilling! A larger story to be told, methinks!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Oh, my goodness! Freaky! Talk about setting a dystopian scene in a few words! That was awesome.

Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5) said...

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease tell me there is more!!!!! That was a packed scene if I have ever read one!

lindy said...

Nicely written. Does she escape out the back, or does she finish off her dinner and then hug her rents goodbye? Hmmm,....

Maggie said...

Gripping! Way to grab me in just a few words.

Michelle Merrill said...

Ooh, what did she do...what did she do?

Great tension! I love that there are so many takes on this challenge. It's amazing what comes to mind when you hear four little words :)

Theresa Milstein said...

How can there be no trial? Must be dystopian. I wonder what she did.

Jessie Oliveros said...

Fun. Lots of mystery. Good set-up:) Pretty good for being doped up, too.

Cynthia Lee said...

Good job, Chantele! I'm wondering what she did but it's almost better not knowing. :)

LynNerd said...

Oh, so now we're left hanging! I think you need to turn this into a 60,000 word story. This would make a great hook. And yay for you ending it with "the door swung shut."

Jolene Perry said...

AHH!

CHANTELE!!!!

When are you going to write the REST of it, lol?????

Nice job :D

Nicole said...

Really great scene! Thanks for sharing.

Samantha said...

Ohhhh chills! Love it!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Thanks, guys!! :D

Katy said...

This feels like it could be the beginning of a very cool dystopian. I love the "no trial" aspect. Great job!

Kristin Baker Przybyla said...

Wow, Chantele! Very Hunger Games-esque. I hope this is inspiration to create a longer story.

bridget said...

What the heck did she do? I definitly want more. Good job. Mine is #72

AliB said...

Hi Chantele

I’m a fellow campaigner and for this challenge I have been given ten blogs to judge and asked to short-list five. I really admire the directness adn simplicity of this piece as well as the pwerful emotion and so you are on the shorlist!
I have informed the powers that be.
Well done and good luck in the next round.
Ali B
http://debutnovelist.wordpress.com

Kelly Bryson said...

fun! Great tension. I'll have to read some more entries.

Mel Fowler said...

Great Job! Now I want to know what she did. Great flash fiction piece!

Jessie Humphries said...

What cold medication is that? I need to get myself doped up on that if that's how creative you can be!

Kurt Hartwig said...

Great fashioning of the middle of the story - she already knows what she's done, obviously. You get us curious on both sides.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Guys, you are so awesome. Thank you so much! I'm heading around reading all of your entries and they ROCK! I love how many creative stories can develop from just 4 words!

Cortney said...

Ack! You had me hooked, and now I want to know what she did! Congrats on being short-listed AND on having an agent! And thanks for stopping by my blog!

Joelle said...

Great tension from the beginning. I love how she knew they came for her. And yeah I'm with a lot of others on this .... what did she do?

Rachel said...

Ooh, no trial? harsh stuff. I want to find out what she did! Great job with this!! :D

Nisa said...

But... but... what did she do? You're killing me here!

Elana Johnson said...

Interesting! I want to know what she did, as she seemed to know it was coming.

lizakane said...

Nice! I like the tension of the scene, and keep wanting to know what she did! I hope this becomes part of a bigger story!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

@AliB Coolness! Thanks for letting me know!! :D

Kari Marie said...

No trial? This is frightening. Great job.

Sandwiched Writer said...

Nice set up! I'm wanting to know what she did!

Brenda Sills said...

Oh my! So intense, emotional, scary - it's killing me! You did such a fantastic job of setting the mood and portraying the characters through mannerisms, details, etc. - I felt like I was right there going through this with them. Great job, friend!

Susan Oloier said...

Chantele, that is nothing short of awesome! Love it. It gets my vote.

J.R. Williams said...

Well written. Great job! :)

1000th.monkey said...

I think the eeriest part about this was the fact that they watched them eat dinner... normally, you'd think they'd bust down the door, weapons out and state their business right away... you put in a calm before the storm :)

Angelina C. Hansen said...

There's a fabulous story lurking in this piece. Great job!

Lisa Potts said...

Someone's been a naughty girl or wrongly accused, I just can't decide which. Great job at keeping me guessing!

The Golden Eagle said...

Thanks for leaving us hanging! LOL. I want to know what happens next--and what she did that got her arrested!

Thanks for coming by my entry. :)

Rachael Harrie said...

Hey Chantele, congratulations on being a Finalist in my First Campaigner Challenge! I was given a list of the top 12 entries, as judged by the legion of judges, and I've since decided your place (and thus your prize).

You've come in Twelfth Place out of 384 entries - well done you! I'm with all the others, I want to know what she did and whether it was something really bad or if the establishment is just out to get her!

Well done again - make sure you pop by my blog to see what you've won ;)

Hugs,

Rach

Jordan McCollum said...

Congrats, Chantele!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

@Rachael Harrie Thank you so much!! :D
@Jordan McCollum Thanks!! :D

Jenny S. Morris said...

Congrats!

Candy Fite said...

Congrats on your win!!!

Jessica Therrien said...

What?! That was crazy...what did she do? Why no trial? You hooked me. great story...congrats on your win! Yay!

Kate Swenson said...

Guilty! Loved how the story just flew from door to door. Well done and congrats!