"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 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.