Monday, September 5, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

The Time Has Come - Challenge Number One!


It is Labor Day, a holiday meant for celebrating hard workers...though the irony is there are a whole lot of folks working today.  I suppose it must be so the world can continue to move on and on.

I'm doing work of a different kind.  Today marks an important step in our Writer's Platform-Building Campaign. Now that we've all done some form of meet and greet - Hello again fellow campaigners - it is time for our first challenge.  Here are the details:

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 managed to make my story 200 words exactly, excluding the title of course.  Here it is:

Lover's Spat


The door swung open to fog.  I crossed the threshold, trembling at the chill.  I lifted a finger before my eyes, but couldn’t see a thing.

“Hello?”  There’d been a knock at the door, the impatient rapping only Rig would dare.  My hasty glamour kept my parents and neighbors asleep, but it was weak and wouldn’t last long.

The porch creaked beneath my bare feet as I braved another step, this time waving my hands before me, clearing a path to sight.  There he stood, deliciously mere inches from me.

“Why won’t you let this go?”

“I can’t, Macy.  You loved me once.  I still love you.”  He grabbed me quickly.  I hadn’t a chance to think before his lips were on mine.  My Light reacted without call, building at my core and blasting Rig with a blue light that diminished the remaining fog.

“Don’t push me away,” he pleaded, recovering at the bottom of the steps.

“For the last time, what I am rejects you.  The taste of blood on your fangs sickens me. Fae and undead don’t mix.”

My heart shattered at the finality, my mind made up.  I backed into the house and the door swung shut.

49 comments:

elizabethanne said...

Gripping. Thank you.

1000th.monkey said...

Paranormal Romeo & Juliet?

Tracey J said...

I loved this, especially the ending.

Nadja Notariani said...

First vampire I've encountered in the challenge! Great job. I also liked that she was able to resist, albeit regrettably, the lure of the vampire. ~ Nadja

Alleged Author said...

I was thinking paranormal Romeo and Juliet as well. Great job!

Angela Brown said...

@elizabethanne - Thank you for visiting.

@1000th.monekey and Alleged Author - you are spot on (couldn't resist the pathetically hopeless romantic in me for this challenge)

@Nadja - it is terrible when one must choose a broken heart as their better fate.

@ Tracey - I almost didn't want it to end, but it would have made a poor entry if I had written double the words allowed (lol!!!)

Jenn said...

I think your use of the word "delicious" describes how I feel about this piece. ;)

Angela Brown said...

Why Jenn, I do believe I'm blushing. Thanks to everyone who has visited. This was a wonderful challenge and I've been delighted reading so many great flash fiction pieces.

Christine Fonseca said...

AHH! AWESOME!!! Love this so much. Great job.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks Christine. I had fun writing it.

Cynthia Lee said...

Hey, I liked that.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks Cynthia. There are so many great and creative participants. I wonder how many stories we can vote for? :-)

Anonymous said...

Love this Angela! Paranormal Romeo and Juliet...perfect. But now I want the rest of the story :)

AveryMarsh said...

I'm starting to hate this 200 word limit. ;) Goodness, gracious, do I want to read more of that.

I don't know if there's a limit, so I'm voting for everyone I like... which includes yours. Good luck!

Cynthia said...

Your Avery, it's such a tease.

Angela Brown said...

@ Raelyn and Avery and Cynthia - I'm getting the sneaky feeling there's a purpose behind this challenge...because I have a plot brewing in my head. My paranormal Romeo (Rig) and Juliet (Macy) just may have a longer future

Ruth Hartman Berge said...

That was definitely interesting and left me wanting more. I enjoyed it :)

Angela Brown said...

Ruth, thanks for visiting and checking out my blog. I'm considering doing something more with it. Please feel free to come back as I work some things out with it as an additional page for my blog.

Doreen said...

I enjoyed this much more than facing my fear of anything creepy ansd crawly..
I love that she was able to resist in the end.

Erin L. Schneider said...

"There he stood, deliciously mere inches from me." Yum. :)

Great submit - amazing how different everyone went, with the same four opening words.

E.R. King said...

Yay for vampires who are scary! Loved your use of "fae." Keep it up!

Angela Brown said...

@Doreen - She resisted, only at the price of her heart. Thank you so much for coming by. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

@Erin - You made a wonderful observation. I've read creepy, crawly, romance, edgy, you name it. They've been all over the place and wonderful to boot. Reminds us all why there's room at the Writer's Ball for all of us.

@E.R. - I do prefer my vampires with more than their fangs to fear.

K said...

Wow, there is so much packed into this story of only 200 words, it amazes me! I love this push and pull feel in the story. Great job :)

Angelina Rain said...

Very nice. I really enjoyed it, although I do wish it were a bit longer. It's hard to tell a story in 200 words.

Angela Brown said...

@K and Angelina - it's times like this that longer word count would be a plus. But I suppose that was part of the challenge. I read a few where the authors added challenges of their own, and pulled them off nicely.

Madeleine said...

Dramatic stuff. Goodness!

I'm afraid I was confused by the line: 'My hasty glamour kept my parents and neighbors asleep' not sure what it meant?

MorningAJ said...

"Fae and undead don’t mix"
Nice!

Cate Masters said...

Loved the "fae and undead don't mix" too.
I didn't realize there were writing challenges involved in the Campaign too.

Francesca Zappia said...

Great job! I think this might be the first paranormal challenge entry I've read.

Angela Brown said...

@ Madeleine - Thank you so much for visiting. A glamour is a sort of mind manipulation. Vampires are notorious for this but other magical creatures can do this as well.

@ MorningAJ - I appreciate you coming by. Thank you so much.

@ Cate - Yes, the challenges can be - ahem - challenging, but also very fun, like this one.

@ Francesca - I'm curious as to why there aren't more...of course, I'm a mystical creature lover.

Lady Gwen said...

It must be love! Loved it!

David Powers King said...

I am quickly becoming a big fan of yours, Angela. After reading your 250 words, and now this, you have a masterful grip on the romantic and paranormal. Love it! :)

Angela Brown said...

@ Lady Gwen - I am most esteemed to have you visit my humble "word abode". :-) Thanks so much for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

@ David - I'm still humbled by your comments for my 250 words and have implemented most - if not all - of your suggestions, because they were so dog gone great!

Phil said...

Hi Angela - Good story! Intense! I really liked your imagery in the beginning.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks so much Phil. Glad you stopped by :-)

ElaineCharton said...

Wow- I really liked this!

MyTricksterGod said...

2 things:
I immediately felt the atmosphere in the scene (as in the literal atmosphere the scene showcased)...
but then I got totally blown away when I found out it was an interaction between two other-humanly beings. It stirs my imagination and brings up quite a whirl of ideas.
I want to know what a "fae" is. As well as your conception of an "undead" species.
One thing that got me confused was when This "blue light" building up in Macy's core. It threw me off without prior notification and I had to read it a second time to make sense of it, and I want to find out what this part of the scene is before I tell you what I've come up with it.
Thx for the share, it has gotten me into a stir, my brain has been roiled by the sound of your ideas.

Check out my entry, I should be done in a few minutes! I'm carrying a hunk of inspiration from you to its finishing!

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

Great voice and fun subject -- I love paranormal!


Thanks for reading and commenting on my entry. I'm following you too! Hope to keep in touch :-)

Angela Brown said...

@ Elaine - Thanks so much for stopping by and I'm glad you enjoyed my story.

@ MyTricksterGod - doing a flash fiction paranormal was a difficult task - for me at least. I've read some stories that looked like the writers are so gifted they probably whipped them out with one hand tied behind their back. The original version for this "spat" had to be cut down tremendously, using each word economically to communicate something about the setting and the characters relationship to each other and their surroundings. My reference to the fae is in regards to the group term for faery/fairy (different peeps spell it different ways). I use the "blue light" to reference one of the magical powers she's able to wield, using Light purposely as this is often linked to some fae powers. For this story, I wanted to show instead of tell that the undead species is a vampire by referencing the crimson fangs and the allure he held upon her even while she fought to resist him, even though her heart desired him. I'm excited to read your piece and will shoot over there now to check it out. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

@ Angela - love your name :-) Thanks for pulling up a chair for a visit. I look forward to more of your posts.

Alica McKenna Johnson said...

Unrequited love so sad.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks for stopping by Alica. I truly appreciate it :-)

Christine Rains said...

I could feel the tension. The ending was great! I love the paranormal thrown in by surprise. Good job!

Angela Brown said...

Thank you so much Christine. I'me very glad you came by :-)

Christine Tyler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Great piece. At first I thought it was straight romance and then the paranormal elements appeared. Loved it.

Have a great weekend.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks so much for stopping by Medeia. I so glad you enjoyed it :-)

Candy Fite said...

I'm a big vamp fan. I think I'll always be! Great entry, and thanks for stopping by my blog.

I live in Brenham, it says you live in Central TX...we may be neighbors!

Nice to meet you!

Angela Brown said...

Two thumbs up for vamp fans :-)

Thanks for stopping by. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

K.T. Hanna said...

The vamp just won't take no for an answer :D Well written.

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