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!
So that’s what I did. Behold:
The door swung open as Mrs. Fawcett took the rattling tea service out to the parlor. Bright bursts of laughter invaded the kitchen before the door cut it off, swinging back on well-oiled hinges.
Kitty caught the sickly-sweet whiff of roses from the funeral home bouquets, set out like trophies in the hall. They would need to throw them out, but Madam enjoyed her life as a widow too much to destroy the evidence just yet.
Kitty couldn’t blame her. The Master was not well-loved in life, nor would he be sorely missed in death. The increase of afternoon teas was the only impact his death had below stairs. But talk of gambling debts and unrealized investments made Kitty wonder just how secure her placement at Bethany manor was.
She had gotten better at interpreting Madam’s imperious tone, knew how to avoid the son’s roving hands, and which cook didn’t mind her sneaking a bite here and there. She didn’t want to start over. Not again.
Mrs. Fawcett pushed back into the kitchen with a look that said “Mind yourself, Kitty.” The only thing she knew how to do.
More laughter. More roses.
Kitty shuddered as the door swung shut.
200 words exactly. Boo-yah!
Also, I learned today that Gail Shepherd who blogs at Paradoxy gave me the Versatile Blogger Award. I met Gail through the campaign and have been impressed with her series of interviews with other writers. Thanks so much for the award, Gail!
In accepting the award, I must share seven random facts about moi:
- I’m a big fan of tennis and I’ve been trying to catch US Open matches this week in between my writing and reading time.
- I have a freckle smack dab on top of my right foot. Growing up, my parents used to take a marker and put a polka dot in the shoe intended for my right foot, so I’d know which one went on which foot — just connect the dots. I contend that this is why I still have trouble distinguishing between right and left today.
- I got a little verklempt last week when I went to my local Borders to buy books for the last time. I’ve been going there since middle school and have fond memories of the place despite all that’s happened.
- I tripped getting out of the limo at prom. I tripped and nearly fell on my first date with my now-husband. I tripped and fell on a run with my dog last year. I fell off the sidewalk walking around the neighborhood with my husband and my dog. Clumsiness is a constant in my life. The good news is I know how to fall without hurting myself. Usually.
- I love spicy food. Not so hot I can’t feel my tongue — no hot wing eating contests for me — but I love a little heat and bold flavors in my food. So bring on Mexican and Thai food.
- I’m allergic to cats. The only thing that I know of that I’m allergic to.
- I have never broken a bone in my body. Pretty amazing given #4. Let’s hope it stays that way.
Thanks again for the award, Gail!