Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Door Swings Open...

Our first campaign challenge is to write a 200-word Flash Fiction short story. Beginning with, "The door swung shut." I wrote the story in present tense, so I've switched the verb tense, hope that's not breaking the rules! I've taken on the challenge + the extra challenges of exactly 200 words, and ending the story with "the door swung (swings) shut.

I've included my own challenge (to myself, that is!), and incorporated the 1st campaign challenge to also be about my current YA wip.




The door swings open...

Swarming from all directions, they're on her. Pawing her, pulling her to the cold concrete, she crawls on her belly toward the light. The incessant moaning is everywhere. Above her. Behind her. Beside her. She retches from the rancid stench of decomposing flesh. Hurrying across the floor, she scurries like a cockroach. Grubby fingers fumble about her legs, her feet. Blindly searching. They smell her breath. They sense the life force pulsing inside her chest. The blood in her veins.

There, at the end of the hall, in a doorway, Heath waves his arms, beckoning her toward the light.

Almost there.

Pain rips through her right leg, and she screams, heightening their hunger. Reaching around, she swipes at her assailant. Its nails dig into the meat of her thigh. Its skin is sticky and moist, and she knows without looking, it is open flesh. Oozing, rotting flesh. She pulls free from its grasp, scrambling away.

"Laney! Hurry, c'mon!" Heath shouts.

He looks like an angel with the light haloed behind him. She picks herself up. A stabbing ache shoots up her thigh. They claw at her. She runs to the light.

...and the door swings shut.

62 comments:

  1. Wow! That had me glued from beginning to end. Flowed great. Always a sucker for a good zombie get-a-way. Zombies, right?

    Great job, Candy! New follower. :)

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  2. EERIE! I loved it. I have to agree with David in that it glued me from beginning to end! Very cool. You've got my vote!

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  3. This was great! Like David, I was sucked in right away. I loved it, and now I'm a new follower as well. Mine is a little zombie-ish too...not quite as suck-you-in-scary as yours though (#138). Now off to like it on Rachael's page :)

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  4. David, yes, "they're" zombies. Abby, Jessica and David, thank you for commenting on my story! It's a taste of my newest YA wip. This zombie story has an interesting, possibly controversial, twist. The door swings open, would make a delicious beginning to the story! Looking forward to reading yours. :))

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  5. Great action from start to finish on this! And like the others, I love me some zombies, too. :) Great job, Candy!

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  6. OMG! Why is Heath just standing there yelling? Why doesn't he HELP HER?! Great piece!

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  7. Actually, I deleted a bunch to make it fit. He's not even yelling, just waving his arms, silently. They're attracted to noise, they flock to what they hear and smell. And, to tell ya the truth, I'm not sure why he's just standing there! I'll have to speak to him about this...Thanks, Erin & Susanna!

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  8. Ewww. Talk about in media res. . .Excellent sensory detail, Candy.

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  9. Oh, she died, didn't she? This drives me crazy and excites me about flash fiction. It leaves you wondering and wanting more.

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  10. Hey, Angelina! Isn't this fun? Does she die? Hmmm...

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  11. Totsymae, no she doesn't die. Zombies are afraid of the light, in my story that is. ;)

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  12. Awesome story - great tension and voice. Creepy too, just as it needs to be (the zombie factor)
    :-)

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  13. Thanks, Angela! Sorry about the 3 comments on your blog! I thought the first one disappeared! lol.

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  14. What a great entry! I liked the voice too. Looking forward to seeing more of you on the campaign.

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  15. Very exciting with lots of action and suspense. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. And I'm pretty sure that picture is going to give me nightmares. :-)

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  16. No way she would get out of a room full of zombies alive! I was totally picturing the show The Walking Dead as I read this. Nicely done!

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  17. My 13 year old daughter listened to me recap the story. She looked at me with an odd expression, and said, "Mom, you don't usually write about zombies." Which is true. I don't. But lately, I've noticed there is something eerie back there in my brain nudging me, pushing me to let it out. Maybe it's the teenager in me (that never grew up) searching for that perfect scary story. The ones I used to love so much. For now, I'll go with it.

    Thanks, Beth, Jocelyn, Madeline and Elizabeth for your great comments! ~C.

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  18. I hope she makes it. Nice job. Mine is #72

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  19. Love the action and excitement in this piece. Memorable!

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  20. Wow, I really like your story! And the imagery (details like 'grubby fingers' etc.) Can't wait to hear more from you!
    Mine's #262 (http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/)

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  21. Gotta love zombies!! Nice sense of tension/action! I could see it unfold. I also thought, perhaps, that she'd died because Heath looked like an angel and didn't try to pull her out.

    Good job!

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  22. Thanks Bridget, MC, S.L. & Sandwiched Writer! I've visited your blogs and read your stories...love them and this challenge! So nice to meet all of y'all!

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  23. Great writing. I'm not a particular fan of zombie (way too squeamish!) but this had me hooked. Maybe I shall read more ...

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  24. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Claire! It's actually part of a larger story I'm working on.

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  25. Hi Candy! You've done a great job on this. I wanted to stop by and let you know that you are through to stage two of judging for the challenge. There will be a semi-final (stage three) and a final (stage four). Good luck!

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  26. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier!

    This had me breathing fast, horrified.

    Would like to invite you to The Rule of Three Blogfest ---a month-long shared-world fiction extravaganza in October with some great prizes, and of course, a lot of exposure for your writing.

    Renaissance is just the right place for this kind of horror!

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  27. Wow, Jen, I'm honored! What is stage two and how do I find out more? Or do I? Thank you!!!

    Damyanti, I'll look into the blogfest, and thank you so much for the invite:))

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  28. Thanks for visiting my blog and introducing yourself! Wanted to know I awarded you a blog award! Check it out: http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/2011/09/blog-awards.html

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  29. Excellent description here - I was going 'eeeewwww!' was I read, because I could totally picture being there, in her position. I could smell what she was smelling, feel what she was feeling. Urgh. Good job!!

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  30. Great entry!! I loved the imagery and feeling of suspence it gives. Great job!

    Thanks for posting a comment on mine, too!! I'm a new follower.

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  31. Thanks for reading and stopping by Trisha and Melissa! I was going for the "Eww!" factor. Thanks for the follow, Melissa!

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  32. What are THEY? Great description of her desperate attempt to flee!

    The Write Soil

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  33. Great read! Full of mysterious creatures and an angelic man urging her on. Just perfect. Congrats on going to the next round. :)

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  34. Came by to visit after checking out Angela Orlowski-Peart's blog where she tagged you.

    After reading your story, I can certainly see why you've moved on to stage two. Good luck and seriously, great writing. Held me from beginning to end.

    I look forward to following your blog.

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  35. They are mutants, once regular humans, zombie-like. They're from a story idea I've had for awhile now. I'm working on a longer version.

    The word "zombie" actually makes me laugh. When I created the idea, I couldn't take it serious calling them zombies, so I'm needing a new word to call them.

    Thank you Dawn, Karen and Angela for checking my blog out. I look forward to seeing y'all around the campaign trail!! There are so many entries to check out, but I'm will be sure to check yours out.

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  36. Candy, I absolutely loved this. It is the best thing I have read so far. I love your writing style.

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  37. Wow, thank you Balin! Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. I'm yet to get to everyone's story. There were so many entries, which is really great!

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  38. I didn't realizing I was holding my breath until it was over. Terrifying! The picture was so eerie, too. Excellent job!

    Thanks, too, for stopping by and commenting on mine. Loving this campaign community!

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  39. You have terrific description through this!

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  40. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Tia and Tara! I've reworked the entry for the longer version, elaborated a bit more without having the limit of 200-words. It's interesting to see it morphing into something larger and more complex!

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  41. Gah, this gave me goosebumps. Really creepy and well done! I'd definitely read more.

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  42. I appreciate you stopping by my blog and reading my entry, Francesca! Nice to meet you and I look forward to seeing more of you on the campaign trail!

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  43. Ack! How creepy! Great job, Candy! :)

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  44. Yay, creepy!!! As one of the judges for round two, I'm happy to tell you that... you've been shortlisted for round three!!! Congrats and good luck!!!

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  45. Great story Candy -- creepy, but full of tension. I could almost smell the room. Very well done. Congratulations for making round three!

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  46. Shortlisted to round three...outstanding!!! Thanks, Faith! Carrie, thank you for stopping by and Patricia "smelling" the room is a good thing, I think!

    Thanks for your comments, y'all!

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  47. I love rule benders but you had me at 'incessant moaning'

    It is my great pleasure to tell you that you have won a prize and are now one of only 12 finalists. With over 380 entries, that makes your story in the top 3%. Stay tuned for the confetti parade on the 19th.

    T.B.

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  48. Yay!!! How completely exciting is that news to wake up to??? Wow! Thank you, T.B. for announcing the terrific news!!! I'm going over to shout it off the Twitter rooftop now. :))

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  49. Great action!! I was pulled right into the story! The details of the rotting flesh was delightfully disturbing. Lol!

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  50. Thanks for your wonderful comments, Amanda, and for stopping by!

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  51. I love the description in this scene! It put me right there with the character. And this is one of the few entries I've come across in present-tense--which I really like reading. :)

    Thank you for coming by my blog!

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  52. Hi Candy, you had me at mutant zombies :D I'm just popping round to wish you congratulations on being a Finalist in my First Campaigner Challenge! I was given a list of the top 12 entries, as judged by the legion of judges, and I've since decided your place (and thus your prize).

    You've come in Eighth Place out of 384 entries - what an awesome result!!! Your imagery was so vivid, and I can easily picture her cursing Heath for not helping her even as she's dragged down under the heavy mass of rotting flesh and...(oops, now you've got me into it :D)

    Well done again - make sure you pop by my blog to see what you've won ;)

    Hugs,

    Rach

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  53. Holy cow, I can't believe it!!! Thanks, Rach for stopping by with this super awesome news! 8th place out of 384 outstanding entries...I think I'm feeling weak in the knees!

    Heading over to check out your blog, prizes and see the other winners! Yay, and thanks again, Rach, and all the judges, and campaigners! Y'all ROCK!

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  54. Not sure if my comment got lost or what, so I'll try again. Congrats on your award. Your story held me captive. Fantastic.

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  55. Thanks for stopping by, Barbara! I'm honored, as I'm sure all of the winners are. Congrats to you as well!

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  56. Congratulations, Candy! Hope you enjoy my book as well. Let me know your email so I can send you a copy.

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  57. Congrats Candy! Go zombies lol!! Yiippeeee!

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  58. Hey, Alex! I hear I've won a copy of your ebook. I'll be by in a while to give you my email. Thanks so much!

    Hi, Jessica! This was fun, wasn't it???

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  59. Scary - I held my breath until the door swung closed. Congrats to Laney and to you!

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  60. Hi, Kate! Thanks for the follow and commenting! I'm headed over to visit yours. :))

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