Self-aware. Self conscious. Self induced.

Flash Fiction

Rachael’s first challenge for us is to write a piece of flash fiction. Here are the exact parameters:

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 opened and closed with the formula and made 200 words.

Good Trick

The door swung open and Holly was already heading toward the basement. There wasn’t a door in the house that didn’t make a distinctive and different sound. It was better than any alarm system, completely innocuous, and most of the sounds didn’t even make a noise that a person could hear anyway. Holly knew them all.

Upstairs, far from door in the basement that he’d opened, Jack stood outside the office. Weird house, he thought. Interesting. Lots of things that shouldn’t be here, or that were unlikely. He shimmered through the closed door into the room. A desk. Two chairs. Floor lamp, desk lamp, computer, masks and puppets on the wall. Several bookshelves.

Tucked nearly out of sight was the jar. He squatted next to the shelf and immediately lost sight of it. His lip curled up in a smile that betrayed both pleasure and irritation. That was an interesting way to hide something, keep it at the corner of your eye. Good trick.

Bands of cold air settled around his chest, seizing him. Whatever. He looked over his shoulder, the smile still playing on his face. “Where’d you come from?” Kevin stepped into the room. The door swung shut.

==============

Over at Rachael’s is the page with everyone’s entries – click on the avatar pictures to see what other people are writing.

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19 responses

  1. Atmosphere, that’s the word I was thinking. I saw someone said ethereal earlier, that’s another word that comes to mind. This piece definitely speaks atmosphere. How he “shimmered” through a closed door…magical.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:19 pm

  2. That was very creative! I had to read it several times…dog and ghost??

    September 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    • I figured Holly would come across as a dog, but I hadn’t anticipated the interpretation of Kevin’s air-vice as being like a ghost. You’re the second or third to make that observation?

      They’re all characters in a WIP. Jack is by and large the antagonist, Kevin’s the protagonist in this particular story, and Holly is his “mother.” She’s an effigy, something that looks like and has the memories of his mother up to the point that she died, so she’s artificial. Out of which, I dearly hope, I am able to build up its own set of complications.

      thanks for stopping by!

      September 11, 2011 at 8:43 pm

  3. jkdeblieck

    This scene had a wonderful ethereal quality to it. I want to know more about these characters. Thanks for the read. :)

    September 10, 2011 at 9:52 pm

  4. Thank you for stopping by/leaving a comment on my entry. I read your bio and can see, in this piece, an understanding of filmmaking. The reader (or, if this were a film, viewer) is shown two things happening simultaneously … in different locations. This is very original and different from any other challenge piece I’ve read thus far. It took me a couple of reads … and I didn’t perceive Holly as a dog … but I am getting the sense of atmosphere you’ve said you’re after. I appreciate work that makes me think! Good job!

    September 10, 2011 at 8:16 pm

  5. I read it a couple times until I got it. Great job on making us think! :D

    September 8, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    • thanks for giving it more than one chance!

      September 9, 2011 at 5:43 am

  6. You did the atmosphere beautifully as well as pull me in as a reader. Good entry!

    September 8, 2011 at 8:04 pm

  7. Magical. Interesting!

    September 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm

  8. Very interesting, the cold bands of air made me think of a ghost too -but decided against it seeing Jack could see Kevin. I definitely see it as a longer story -do you have plans to develop it at all? Cleverly written given the word count. :)

    September 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm

  9. …that would be an awesome way to hide something… if you could do that in real life ;)

    September 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

  10. Interesting setup. We know Jack can open doors from afar, and with Holly out of the way, he can shimmer around looking for the jar. Kevin may or may not shimmer. We only know the door was open behind him, whether by shimmering or ordinary means. The two males must be looking for the same jar, but which of them shut the door? My entry is in verse form at http://sherahart.blogspot.com and I’m #192 for voting.

    September 7, 2011 at 10:12 am

  11. Very interesting! I like stories that make me think and reread. Keep up the good work!

    September 7, 2011 at 9:56 am

  12. This is an interesting approach to writing a story in so few words – leave a lot to the reader’s imagination. Good one.

    September 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm

  13. Nicely done. I’m really enjoying reading all of the different takes on this. mine is #72

    September 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm

  14. I really liked this! I had to read it twice, though. I figured out that Holly was a dog on the first go-through, but when you had Kevin enter at the end, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Maybe this is part of a larger story?
    In the end, here’s my impression. Hope I’m right :) Jack makes the basement door open to get Holly out of his hair so he can sneak in and get something – I don’t know what, but I’m guessing it’s got magical-ness to it since Jack ‘shimmered’ through a closed door- but really, the whole set up is a trap by Kevin! Right?

    Anyway, really enjoyable. I like it that I had to think and cast conjecture. ~ Nadja

    September 6, 2011 at 8:11 am

    • Fantastic! Yes, Jack works the basement door to get rid of Holly. There’s magic in Jack’s move through the door, the hiding of the jar, and in the cold bands of air. Kevin has surprised him, but he’s not particularly worried.

      September 6, 2011 at 9:41 am

  15. Alleged Author

    This makes me think it’s a ghost because of the cold air et all. Very good!

    September 5, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    • I’m mostly trying to evoke atmosphere, so ghosts works for me! Thanks for stopping by.

      September 6, 2011 at 9:06 am

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