Monday, September 5, 2011

The Campaigner Challenge # 1

     I'm taking part in the platform building campaign, and today Rachael Harrie posted her first challenge at her blog, Rach Writes: Write a flash fiction, 200 words or less, that opens with "The door swung open." If possible, close with "The door swung closed." My sample is below.

BUT FIRST: Don't forget the contest to win a free copy of my book, The Fourth Wish, in either paperback or Kindle format (winner's choice). The contest ends this Friday, September 9th. To follow the rules for getting points, please go here, and any comments you have regarding the contest, please leave at the same site (here), so that I can keep your points straight.

Here's my flash fiction -- 200 words exactly (not counting the title).

     Dare You


The door swung open. Darkness lay beyond. A slivered moon and powdery stars shimmered above. Trees along the street were ghostly shapes. 

Cassie bit her lip. The deal was that she had to come alone. At midnight. Justin  would be watching from someplace nearby to make sure. 
Why did she take his dares? Wading up the Truckee River after school. Cutting classes to hang out in Idlewild Park. (That one got her sent to the principal's office.) But, Justin was cool. And when Cassie went along with each new challenge, he made her feel she was cool, too. It was worth getting into trouble just to see the envious stares from other girls as he walked her down the hall between classes. 
Cassie shivered. This was the first night-time dare. The abandoned house was creepy enough even in daylight. Shutters hung lopsided from the front windows, like broken wings. A loose board near the threshold creaked under her foot. She should turn back.
But, an image of Justin walking down the hall with Angela Black -- the most popular girl at school -- instead of her, made Cassie swallow her fright. She stepped into the waiting darkness.
The door swung shut.

42 comments:

bridgetstraub.com said...

This is fun seeing what everyone does with this. You have me hooked.I think I'm #72. I should probably know that, hmmmm.

elizabethanne said...

Oh wow. Excellent character-drawing, description, suspense. You've got me hooked!

A.E. Martin said...

This was really interesting, it's intriguing that Cassie wants Justin's approval and attention so much that she's willing to do all these things for me, makes me wonder what it is about him that's so appealing!

J.L. Campbell said...

Oh, this makes me want to find out what happens next. Good job in so few words.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Thanks, everyone. I'm off to your sites now. It is really fun to see what everyone does with those 200 words.

Richard said...

Good writing. It definitely sets up intriguing possibilities.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Thanks, Richard. I'm off to your site now.

Michelle Fayard said...

You have me instantly hooked and hoping this 200-word challenge will develop into a book, Mitty. No red pens needed here, as your characters and tension-filled plot rock.

Brenda Sills said...

Intense! Scary! I just want to scream at Cassie to stop and to get rid of that guy! I HAVE to know what happens! You did such a great job of creating the character of Cassie.

You're so awesome for doing this challenge. I'm a fellow campaigner in the Fantasy category. I'm not in your group, but I'm so happy to meet you and I really wanted to join your blog!

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Thanks, so much, Brenda, for commenting and following. I certainly appreciated your reaction to the flash fiction. I'm off to see your site next.

Alleged Author said...

Argh! Don't go in there!

Theresa Milstein said...

I wish this girl had more confidence in herself to do the right thing. Nice suspense!

Nadja Notariani said...

Oh-ho-ho, I like this one! My sister and I had a few adventures of the bold sort when we were young, and Cassie reminds me of long ago days...Ha! A little dumb, yes, but she's going to have great stories to tell later...lol. 'Remember that time we....' ~ Nadja

Kimberly said...

This is great. I want to know what happens next, too!

Robyn Campbell said...

I didn't do this challenge. But wish I had. I love your writing. I felt the tension. And the ending was awesome. It definitely left me wanting more. :-)

1000th.monkey said...

"...slivered moon and powdery stars..." what a beautiful line...

Joanna said...

A great YA voice, here.

J. A. Bennett said...

I really like this! The things we do for boys :)

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Michelle - I'm gad this hooked you. Thanks. I don't know if there is a novel possibility here. I'm in the middle of another WIP and another new story I've started, but now you have me thinking . . .

Alleged - Yeah, I felt that way too: Noooo, don't do it!

Theresa - I'm glad you found it suspensful. It was a great exercise. I think that word limit forces one to make every word count.

Nadja - I sure hope Cassie remembers this adventure as fondly as you remember yours! :-)

Kimberly - Now you have me thinking I should pursue this some more.

Robyn and 1000th.monkey - Thank you for your kind comments about my writing.

Joanna - I'm so pleased you think it's a good YA voice. I haven't tried YA; mostly MG.

J. A. - Yeah, I sometimes worry about the risks young girls take these days. A fine line between being trustful and being gullible and desperate. Sooo much trouble they can get into for such poor reasons.

Brooke Rousseau said...

Ooh, nice. I want to know what happens next!

Sheri L. Swift said...

I especially like the first sentence. this made me want to read more. ; )

Sheri L. Swift said...

I tried to re-follow, but it says that I'm already following. But here's my blog:

http://sherilswift.blogspot.com/

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Thanks, Sheri and Brooke. Actually, I want to know what happens next, but I haven't a clue! :-)

Rosi said...

Nicely done! Very scary. I can't do a shopping list in under a thousand words, so I admire this!

D.J. Kirkby said...

Argh, spooky! I hope Cassie is okay...

Steph Sinkhorn said...

Cute and a little sad. I liked your descriptions very much :)

Jess said...

Oooo, I like it! Very creepy and full of atmosphere :)

David Powers King said...

Very nice, Elizabeth! I enjoyed the settings and pace. Not an easy combination, but you pulled it off! :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Nice! The things we do to impress other people.

Okay. I want more.

Ron Smith said...

Good stuff. Broken wing doors...nice turn of phrase.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Thanks, all, I really appreciated your comments. They are making me take another look at this story's possibilities.

Gary Gauthier said...

Nicely done, Elizabeth. The heroine's reasoning and explanations come across as realistic and believable.

thepatientdreamer said...

love this, I am hooked and want to know more.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Thanks, dreamer. This was a nice exercise, wasn't it!

Patricia T. said...

Wow -- a lot of nice tension and suspense. Enjoyed this entry and wanted to know more. Have a feeling it wasn't going to end well. Great job!

Alica McKenna Johnson said...

Very fun- nice tension and her inner dialog was great

The Mom Pledge said...

I know so many people who would love to go back and relive this period of their lives, but I wouldn't. The intense need for acceptance! Ugh! You capture it very well. Poor, sweet Cassie. Maybe she'll move on before Justin does and realize he's just not worth it! ;)

Elisabeth said...

Loved it! Very, very well done!

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Patrician and Alica, I'm glad you found the tension working.

Mom Pledge, you are so right; it's a difficult period for just about everyone who goes through that age.

Thanks, Elizabeth.

Doreen said...

I find myself feeling very sorry for her...
Good stuff!

kirstenlopresti said...

Great story! You managed to fit a lot into 200 words. I'm truly worried about this girl.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Thanks, Doreen and Kirsten. I liked both your stories too! Wasn't this a fun exercise!