Monday, 5 September 2011

The First Campaigner Challenge ...

Righty then, the first campaigner challenge is here.

"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 added my own challenge to this. No dialogue, no living things in sight.
So here we go, at 200 words ...


THE WIND

The door swung open, hinges creaking in protest at the insistent wind. The weathered wood hit the tarnished rim of a bell, long bereft of its clapper, setting it to erratically bob on a rope that had once been a hearty, thick thing. Time and the gnawing of many tiny teeth had worn it down to a frayed mess.
Windowpanes clattered a warning at the intrusion on their silence. One, broken previously by a careless branch, released its last sliver of glass. It tumbled to the remains of a table, leaving a faint smear in the grime as it slid down to the floor. There, it shattered into splinters, scattering through the dirt and hair and the leavings of small animals, edges twinkling in a rainbow flash of false gaiety.
A leaf wafted through the foot worn doorway, skittering across the stone floor to halt at the foot of the dusty hearth as the wind lost all interest in carrying it. The wind continued alone. Disturbing year’s worth of soot, along with feathers and grasses, as it snaked up and out the chimney.
Down in the room, the windows once again rattled with their disapproval. And the door swung shut.

45 comments:

  1. Excellent extra challenge to give yourself, Aldrea, and you met the challenge so well. I could envision the entire scene -- well written!

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  2. It seemed almost as if the glass and the wood and the room had been woken and were responding to the fact that the door had swung open. :O)

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  3. Beautiful imagery. Your prose--poetic.

    Very nice.

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  4. Wonderful description. Really. ~ Nadja

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  5. Nice!

    I really loved this line:

    "Time and the gnawing of many tiny teeth had worn it down to a frayed mess."

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  6. gnawing of many tiny teeth - what a visual and it raises so many questions.

    the windows once again rattled with their disapproval - excellent personification.

    I enjoyed this!

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  7. This is an example of some great personification. Awesome job!

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  8. You issued and met your own additional challenge. Very poetic and the visuals produced by your use of powerful language certainly raises the bar.

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  9. This just shows what is possible without dialogue. It has to be good to succeed and this is.

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  10. Hi,

    Fabulous, atmospheric and descriptive piece! ;)

    best
    F

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  11. Ooh, very nice writing. I totally imagined an abondoned shop of some sort.

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  12. Very poetic and descriptive. Awesome job! Fellow campaigner and new follower here :) Nice to meet you - Love your writing!

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  13. Great scene. Would love to see what came next!

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  14. I agree with Ruth, I want to know more. Great job.

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  15. What a vivid picture you've created ! Great imagery !

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  16. This almost seems like a tale where the building itself is one of the characters. You built some nice tension here.

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  17. Hi Aldrea! Loved your imagery--my fave: "leaving a faint smear in the grime as it slid" Great!

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  18. This would make a good opener to a ghost story or a reminiscence.

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  19. Great idea giving yourself an extra challenge, and your imagery was so great, tragic with a touch of creepy thrown in.
    -Aaron

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  20. Now there's a setting that has gained a personality. you have dared to blend character and setting and thus have defied these boundaries.
    This would go well as an introduction to an upcoming scene.
    However, I'm sure its haunting candor, if worked well, would be Remarkable at the END of a scene.

    It is a scene that is honest about its spooky appearance... and it seems as if it would have no other joy then to betray us in some creative fashion.

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  21. You did wonderfully with the extra challenge. Your imagery is strong and pulled me in. It was also a bit creepy. Good job!

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  22. Nicely woven I easily envisioned and wanted to read more..

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  23. Very well written and poetic. Great description.

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  24. Wow. ^_^ Thanks everyone, your comments are all appreciated.
    Especially when short isn't really my forte. It was a real test trying to stick it all into 200 words and have it make sense.

    Can't wait to see what the next challenge is.

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  25. Nice piece of writing - I could easily visualise the scene. I even shivered at the thought of a chilly breeze.

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  26. Oh! I like! :) Fellow Campaigner visiting after a shout out on Liz's Laws of Gravity blog...
    So enjoyed your writing, will definitely be back! :)

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  27. This is beautiful - so evocative. Great job!

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  28. Great job! I love your description, and the personification of the windows.

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  29. Reminds me of an abandoned house. For some reason, I'm picturing an ancestral home, or maybe a general store, in Kentucky. Then again, my family has an old, unused general store in Kentucky. :)

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  30. "edges twinkling in a rainbow flash of false gaiety." What a catching line! Good one, and your entry is full of them. I "like" it! :)

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  31. A superb job with the imagery!!!

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  32. Beautifully written - I enjoy your voice and the sensory descriptions.

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  33. Beautiful! I love "the wind lost all interest in carrying it". Great job! :D

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  34. A wonderful descriptive story that met all the challenges. Congrats to you.

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  35. Loved it! I could really picture everything! Nice to meet you! (New follower by the way).
    I'm entry #235

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  36. *blush* You people are going to make me giddy with all this praise. ^_^

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  37. Gorgeous prose beautifully describing what would be an ugly scene. Awesome job! :)

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  38. Beautiful description. Excellent job on this challenge.

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  39. This is wonderful! I like that you made the room it's own character, as well as the wind. Beautifully done.

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  40. Poetic. Everything in the room seemed to have been woken and enlivened by the movement of the door when it opened.

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  41. Nice! Different! Refreshing! I agree with Elaine.

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