First Challenge of the Third Writing Campaign

The first challenge of the Third Writing Platform-Building Campaign has been issued. To write a flash fiction story (less then or equal to 200 words) with the opening words: The door swung open. Mine ended up exactly 200 words (I could have used another hundred, easy!).  Here goes!


The door swung open. Mart hesitated. Nine years she’d been haunted by this old apartment.

“Who’s there?” Her dad’s formerly strong voice was querulous.

She stepped in, nearly passing out from the stink of mildew and rot.

“Why are you here?” He huddled in the same faded recliner.

“I came back to see you.”

“After what you did?”

“You don’t want me here.”

“I never wanted you. Who wants a child like you, an abomination?”

She swallowed back curdling bile. She should retreat. But she was here, and she wasn’t a coward.

“Dad, I…”

“Just go. You killed your mother, the only person I ever loved. Now look at me, living in poverty and filth. You, your powers, your gift. Get out!”

The ashtray struck her forehead, blood slid down her nose. The thrumming began. She desperately tried to push it down, before it was too late.

“I’m sorry!”

She backed up into the door, slamming her spine. Stars filled her vision.

And the thrumming grew.

“Go!” He howled out a froth of spittle.

It was too late. The thrumming crescendoed and the fire slipped out of her control. She ran, never looking back at the building bursting into flame.

To go back to the challenge home page and vote click HERE. And if you want to LIKE mine it is number 178 under the B&W picture of the tree from my header. Couldn’t load a headshot to save my life!


Filed under Third Writers Platform Building Campaign

47 responses to “First Challenge of the Third Writing Campaign

  1. Woo Hoo! Great piece to start a challenge. To be honest, I’d never read much flash fiction prior to this week. Now, I’m hooked. I want to know the rest of the story.

    • Thanks Brinda,
      I don’t love writing short, as you can tell there is much more to this story that wanted to jump in! But I had to be ruthless. I can’t wait till tonight when I have time to jump around and visit everyone else’s sites and see what they have done!

  2. Excellent job! The dialogue flowed naturally and I was kept on the edge of my seat. It would work well as the start of a longer story.

  3. Don’t know if I’m supposed to post, since I didn’t join the campaign. TIGHT deadline on my WIP. But, I was SO tempted.

    Jessie, m’dear. Your Flash Fiction story rocks. We get so much in so few words. Paranormal, bitter, estranged father, deceased mother, home was NOT pleasant 9 years ago, worse now, and despite intentions to the contrary her powers win the battle. Nicely done.

  4. Hey, cool! You love that stuff, don’t you?
    Must tell you after all the advertising I did for the course somehow I’m not in it. Didn’t get anything today. Maybe the universe is conspiring against me but it’s alright. I have spent a very productive morning and realize I have too many do’s on my list and with that as well, I might have become the subject of one of your paranormal pieces. Keep me posted on how it goes. Maybe next time I’ll do it.

    • Did you join the linky for the campaign? I didn’t get a notice, but I have the dates written down in my planner, so I just visited Rach Harrie’s site for the details of the challenge. I think it’s kind of a jump in and participate kind of thing. You may have to subscribe to her blog to get the notices. And you’re right, I love that stuff, that’s why I’m a paranormal author. 🙂 Could see doing paranormal combined with historical, because I love history too!

  5. Jessica,

    Really liked your story a lot. Nice twists and turns. Excellent!

  6. Hi Jessica! Fellow campaigner here. Yikes! I’d hate to get on Mart’s bad side, that’s all I’m sayin’! Nice job!

  7. Wow, I felt like I was watching an episode of *Heroes* and I wanted to read more! ; )

  8. I’ve never heard of flash fiction, but I’ll give it a shot. By the way, I really like yours.

  9. That’s a greate piece of writing! What is your number on the Challenge-page? Somehow the names aren’t all displayed correctly and I have trouble finding certain people. Mine is 93.

  10. This is part of a bigger story? Like that she can’t control her powers. Nice.

  11. Wow, what a good opening to a book, Jessica. Great tension and conflict. I’d say you aced the challenge!

  12. Jessica, do you know what number you are. There are 253 linkys and I can’t find your photo. Can’t find you, can’t like you. Waaa!

  13. Nice job with great imagery. Mine is #72

  14. You fit a lot into such a tiny story in a seamless way. It definitely works great as a powerful little standalone story (although I’d love to see it expanded into something larger).

  15. Oh wow, hectic. Sucks for the guy who’s left in the burning building! Sounds like he wasn’t very nice to his daughter though…

  16. I’d love to see this expanded. It was a great–albeit brief–read! 😀

  17. This rocked! It was like a scene from Carrie, but with fire. Now, I’m left wondering. Did the father survive? Where did she go? Does she ever accept her power? Nicely done.

  18. Pingback: What in the BLEEEP Do I Write? | JessicaAspenWrites

  19. …I’m curious about Mart’s age… if the apartment has haunted her for 9 years, yet her father still refers to her as a child, then how young was she when she killed her mother?

    • Good question. That is the issue with Flash Fiction, even though the best thing to do with writing is to dribble in the backstory, you just can’t put too much in with this type of fiction. I know what I thought as an author, but I think I’ll leave it in the air for now. Just in case I actually do write this into a novella it gives me a little flexibility. I find when I read other,s flash fiction I really want to ask tons of questions and hear more. Thanks for asking!

  20. Hi Jessica,
    Wow. I really liked your story and I agree this could be something more. Thanks! 🙂

  21. Pingback: Second Writing Campaign Challenge | JessicaAspenWrites

  22. Fantastic! I loved this! Stories without happy endings are the best! 🙂

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