Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Door

Let my once again apologise for my absence from the blogging world (this happens far too often). I have my high school mock exams at the moment, so I've been studying (or "studying" - you know how it goes) quite a bit. I've been busy at least.

But today I'm back for a bit to participate in THE FIRST CHALLENGE of Rachael Harrie's writing and blogging Platform-Building Campaign. This is the 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!

I volunteered to be a judge for this one, and I've already had a look at my list of ten stories, plus a handful of others - and I must say that there are some very good entries. But, thankfully I'm also allowed to participate, so let's see how I compare. Hope you enjoy!

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The door swung open. No, hundreds of doors. Every door I could have possibly imaged. Suddenly I was free.

It was the day I turned eighteen, the day I was allowed to move out of my foster-home. I hated it there. I hated the rules and the people and the same freaking coco-pops for breakfast every single morning. But now, the world was available to me. The whole damn world! All the doors opened - I could do whatever I wanted.

So I left at five o'clock in the morning. I didn't bother saying goodbye to anyone - no-one would have cared that I was leaving. I got in my car and started out to Johnny's place. I only planned it to take an hour. Normally, it would take an hour and a half, but today I didn't care about speed limits. Today there were no limits.

I had only been travelling for twenty minutes when I slid off the highway into a ditch and crashed into a tree. I died instantly. And now I look back on the door of my future, that which was once so open, and I remember how, in one moment, the door swung shut.

38 comments:

  1. Nice job. A totally original take. Mine is #72

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  2. Thanks :) I did originally plan a different story in which the opening and closes words would have been literal, but I just couldn't write it. And so I shut down my computer, reverted back to pen and paper, and just wrote whatever came to my head. This was it.

    I'll fully have a look at yours too :)

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  3. HI Nick, flash fiction is great for writing whatever comes into your head isn't it? And you have a nice little twist there. I liked the image of open and closed doors, but you should be careful about how many times you use it. Great read.

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  4. So sad, eighteen and free to do anything, even die. Excellent example of how fate can deal a bad hand.

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  5. Nice, that was refreshing and the voice is very strong; certainly took me in from the first few words -great job! :)

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  6. Fabulous! Sad but a really great way of using a metaphorical door instead of a real one. This is the first one I read which didn't use a real door.

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  7. Oh, man. I was all hopeful for the future and everything that was ahead of her, only to have it end on the very day of her escape. Original.

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  8. Nick, amazingly powerful. I was intrigued from the beginning. The tragic twist at the end was definitely not what I expected! ~Fellow campaigner here. :))

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  9. I liked it very much! Strong voice and good use of metaphor. Told a whole story in 200 words and didn't leave us hanging, either. Really enjoyed that.

    ~Kelly (#268)

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  10. I feel quite sad now. So much hope snatched away so quickly. Good writing. Maria #269

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  11. I love the last paragraph because it circles well around the first. The sudden death, though, had me laughing a bit. Unexpected not just for her.

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  12. This entry must have been magic to make me feel that joy of turning 18 again! lol It definitely pulled me in!

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  13. Hey there fellow Fantasy writer. It's a pleasure to meet you, and I'm so glad you're passionate about your writing. I just found you on the Campaign and am following you.

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  14. Thanks everyone :) I've never actually been 18 before so this is a bit of speculation, but I'm glad I was able to pull it off. Thanks for commenting :)

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  15. OMGosh, this is so good, I'm going to go vote for it! Awesome job. So much excitement and tragedy in so few words.

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  16. Wow. You, my friend, need to keep up with the writing. This was VERY good!

    Not a fantasy writer, more a thriller enthusiast, but I enjoy good writing. Please consider me a new follower.

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  17. A feeling of sadness crushed me when I finished that. Amazing job!

    -Jackson

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  18. Thank you guys :) I appreciate your vote Kimberly, and it's great to have you as a new follower, Bryce :) Looking forward to getting to know you!

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  19. This is sad, but poignant. You show how your MC's new day of freedom quickly turned into his last day alive. Very impressively written. :)

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  20. Sad! Dying on what should been her day of freedom.

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  21. @Tina: That was the effect I was going for. Thanks :)

    @Sonia: Exactly ... I could just visualise that door closing, and all the MC's potential going down the drain. It's a scary thought that a life can be wasted.

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  22. Great job. You hit the sentiment exactly! Now don't be making the same mistake after you graduate! :) I'm #232

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  23. Nice twist, but sad. Well done in your use of the doors. Original!

    Mine is #291: http://thewarriormuse.blogspot.com/2011/09/first-campaign-challenge-flash-fiction.html

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  24. Okay, wow - that was pretty intense! Good job.

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  25. Thanks! :) And, Balin, I shan't! I will make sure of that :)

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  26. Your story is brilliant, Nick. Loved your line about "coco-pops." I felt the same way about oatmeal. Great voice and imagery, friend. :)

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  27. YIKES! The sadness really came through!
    :)
    I'm a new follower from the campaign. Nice to meet you!

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  28. Wow! I loved the story! You're incredibly talented! I really enjoyed this. I'm not part of the campaign, however that didn't mean I didn't come across your blog through the fabulous people that are a part of it!!!

    I saw your header Writing Fire and it intrigued me so I stopped by!!!

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  29. Thank you, thank you :)

    By the way, I'm working on getting around to everyone's short stories, so if I haven't commented on yours yet, then I should be there soon*.

    *soon being in hopefully the next few days, but more likely the next few years - I mean weeks

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  30. Unexpected twist in the end! Loved that! :)

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  31. Very nice work! Sad, but well written, and unique!

    I'm curious to know how/why the story is being told from beyond the grave, though ;)

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  32. Oh wow. What an incredible buildup, so full of hope -- and then, oh my, that door swung shut totally. Well written!

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  33. Oooh, that's an ouch moment! Nice work on that, Nick!

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  34. Well that was devastating! Well written and original. Nice job.

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  35. Have you ever witnessed a car crash with teens involved? Because I am feeling that terror right now, the kind where you're scared to move and breath and get out of your car and see just how much was destroyed. Fantastic voice and amazing emotions in there. Wow. I feel like I'm in shock lol. I can't wait to read more of your writing! Going to vote now...

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  36. Wow. I think this is the first entry I read where the door was used as a metaphor instead of a part of the plot. Good job!

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  37. @Yvie: Thankfully I've never experienced that. I can only imagine what it would be like. Thanks for your feedback :)

    @Bluestocking: Thanks!

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