Monday, September 5, 2011

First Campaigner Challenge

Yay! It's time for the very first Campaigner Challenge. This is one of my favorite parts of the campaign.


For those who aren't part of Rach's awesome Campaign, I'll explain the details of this challenge.


We were to: 


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!

Isn't that so exciting? I thought so. And just so you know, I met all the requirements...even the optional ones! So in 200 words exactly, starting with "the door swung open" and ending with "the door swung shut" I give you...

Nowhere To Hide

The door swung open and hit the player piano with a twang. Dust filled the air as Old Ben's sour smell drifted in, releasing a memory I couldn't escape.


Mama said he'd find me, but the bar-girl job was my last chance. Ben knew shy girls don't do bad things. But I had changed.


With Papa's weathered knife in one hand and the neck of a bottle in the other, I waited. Old Ben's boots clicked up the steps and I squeezed my eyes shut. Hopefully he didn't bring Bessy.


The footsteps stopped.


"Allie," his voice echoed. I could almost taste the alcohol in his breath.


My heart hammered and I opened my eyes to find Ben's silhouette in the setting sun. Even his shadow couldn't hide his sneer.


I gripped the knife.


He chuckled. "I'm not the pick of the crop, but your family will die without me."


A shiver ran up my spine. My family would suffer, but they knew a marriage to him would be worse. I inhaled a breath of dust and raised my knife.


Bessy stopped me. 


I stared down the barrel of Bob's Winchester rifle and swallowed my fear as the door swung shut.




So? What did you think? Be honest...I can take it!

33 comments:

  1. Oooh, nice twist on Bessy there at the end! This is a great little slice of fiction, well done :)

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  2. Great job, Michelle. Love the twist on Bessy at the end.

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  3. I want more. Me likey a lot. Love it.

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  4. This is so fun! Old Ben plays larger than life. I agree with Christine, I want more!

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  5. Wow! I feel like I was just getting into the story, then bam! it was over. Definitely want to know more.

    Glad to see you're a fellow campaigner as well. :) It's been fun reading all the first challenge entries--how different each story is despite starting with the same four words and with a 200 word limit... Bravo Michelle!

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  6. Nice job! It's interesting and action packed!

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  7. Loved it! Loved the twist on Bessy. Isn't it so awesome how so many ideas can come from 4 simple words? Great job, Michelle. :)

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  8. oh! freakin awesome! And BAM! Bessy blew him away... :D LOL! Good stuff, Michelle~ <3

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  9. Very cool, left me wanting to know the rest of the story.

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  10. Loved your take on this! So different. I swear you have an awesome imagination.

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  11. Very interesting! I want to know the bigger picture and see what led to this moment - and what happens afterwards.

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  12. "I could almost taste the alcohol in his breath."

    Now THAT'S good writing. I know exactly what that sensation is like. Yick!

    Great short, Michelle! :)

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  13. Ooh, love it. Lots of questions about the whys and hows around this story, but it stands well on its own. Great job!

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  14. Thanks everyone! I've been hopping around reading the other entries and they're all great! Can't wait to read more. These challenges are so much fun.

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  15. I loved this! Especially the voice - so unique!

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  16. Congratulations, Michelle. Your entry has been forwarded to Michael Offutt for advancement into the second round of judging.

    Great job!

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  17. Such a great little story. Great description - especially in the beginning. ~ Nadja

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  18. So unique! Love the Western mood of this... I'd love to read more!

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  19. I'd like to hear more. good job. Mine is #72

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  20. Great job! Such a vivid description of Ben, yuck, practically made me shudder in revulsion! Here's to hoping Bessy gets turned on her owner. ;)

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  21. Wow, great job! And more good news! I gave you two blog awards! Stop by my place to get them :D

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  22. Go Bessy! I liked the Western feel to this! Also, congrats on the award from Rachel's blog!

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  23. Hi again! Just wanted to let you know that I just emailed you about the interview, so incase I messed it up and you don't get it, just let me know :)

    And I still love your post! ;)

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  24. I love it!! That's so good and scary!! Great job!
    I'm entry #235
    Nice to meet you!

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  25. Very good! I'm all about forced/unhappy marriages. Ha!

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  26. You had some wonderful images in here...the sour smell, the weathered knife, but I admit I got caught a little on the line, 'Bessie stopped me.' and it's the word 'stopped' in particular. When I think of being stopped by a gun, I think of being shot or hit by it... and action of the gun. I think, 'I stopped when I saw Bessie' wouldn't have tripped me up as much :)

    ...but I did love the reveal that Bessie is a gun ;) I really enjoyed reading this one :)

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  27. Wow Michelle! Way to "show not tell" with your piece. I have so many questions that didn't get answered, which is the best way to ensure I'll be looking for more. :P I'm a new follower, and really looking forward to more posts in the future!

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  28. Great details and imagery! I loved it! Going to vote for you!:)

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  29. Thanks again everyone! And welcome to the new followers. I'm trying to visit and follow everyone back :) Which is another reason I love the campaign and challenges. It's fun to find new writing friends and see each other's writing styles.

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  30. I think it's totally awesome! I would love to read the novel you're working on.

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  31. Ahh the fact that Bessie was a gun got me too! Well done, nice one :)

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