I’ve never participated in flash fiction before, but since I was challenged to write something for the Writer’s Platform challenge #1, I thought I’d explore a snippet of an idea that came from a dream a few nights back. It’s YA and sci-fi? dystopian? AU? Not sure, exactly, but it’s intriguing me more than I ever expected. I may have to actually write this book. (I only have three or four projects vying for immediate attention already, so why not toss one more in the mix?)

Challenge: 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.”

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story exactly 200 words–amd because I love a challenge, mine is 200 words!


The door swung open and a bright light flashed in her eyes. She shielded her face and turned her head toward the shelves behind her, trying to protect herself. “Are you hurt?” a young man’s voice asked. The light moved from her face and he reached a hand to her as she uncovered her eyes. “Are you hurt? You don’t want to be found here.” “Where am I?” All she remembered was the low chanting, the movement of feathers, then the swirling vortex that brought on a pounding headache and the desire to puke. A glance around her showed a supply closet full of plastic tubing, boxes of gauze and other things she didn’t recognize. “Are you hurt?” He pulled on her hand and helped her up. “We need to get out of here before someone finds us.” Gentle fingers touched her forehead. “You’re bleeding, but I don’t think it’s serious. Come on.” She stood and stumbled after him when he tugged on her hand, too disoriented to do anything else. They entered the sterile white halls of a hospital. Footsteps clicked down a corridor and the boy’s eyes widened in fear. “Someone’s coming.” Behind them, the door swung shut.