Wednesday, 7 September 2011

First Campaigner Challenge

As you already know if you're following my blog, I'm taking part in Rachael Harries Writers' Platform - Building Campaign. Here is the first challenge Rachael has set for us.

Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be 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 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!

Here is my response.


     The door swung open.

‘I can’t believe you didn’t fill up last night?’ he said, drumming his fingers on the dashboard.

     ‘I can’t believe you didn’t check your fuel gauge this morning. And for your information I did fill up last night - only it was my car, the one I usually drive.’

     ‘Oh so it’s my fault is it,’ he shouted.

     ‘What’s done is done; let’s just wait for the AA.’ Karen folded her arms; she couldn’t be bothered to argue with him.

     ‘I never wanted to make this journey in the first place. We saw your Mother at Christmas.  You’re always on the phone gossiping to each other, I should make you pay the bill, then maybe you’d have less to say.’

     ‘Let’s have it disconnected then…get rid of the internet connection too. Perhaps I’ll see more of you.  But I’m not sure I want to do that anymore.’

     ‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ he snarled.

     ‘Here’s the break down truck,’ she said fumbling with her door handle.

     ‘KAREN!’ Where are you going?’

     ‘Home, to pig!

    The AA man looked on, somewhat bemused as he watched the brunette step out of the car. The door swung shut. 


  1. I hope they make kiss and make up!

  2. Nice story, Maria. I can hear the irritation! Glad to see it reappeared, too :)

  3. Those two are not happy with each other, lol. Very real though, when something goes wrong all our other small gripe come out

  4. "I should make you paythe bills, then maybe you'd have less to say." Brilliant. It reminds me about that OTHER reason I moved out of my parents house :-p
    It is an entry that everybody has to relate to, wife, husband, or dying-alittle-inside daughter or son. :)
    And then the "happily unmentionable" happy ending happens.

    good entry ;)

  5. I think there are deeper issues here. Great job. :)

  6. Whoa! She hates him enough to jump out of an AA truck? He better jump after her, if he knows what's good for him.

    Love your dialogue, Maria! :)

  7. I don't which person is more fed up with the other.

  8. Sonia - Can't see it!

    Beth - No idea why post vanished, it hasn't happened before.

    Claire - Think you're right there.

    MyTricksterGod - Glad you can relate to it. :-)

  9. Hi Maria--Loved the tension and dialogue. Nicely done :)

  10. A domestic fight, very real and in-your-face...nice take on the challenge.

    If you'd like to make this into a longer story,check out the Rule of Three Blogfest The Rule of Three Blogfest ---a month-long extravaganza in the fictional town of Renaissance this October, with some great Amazon vouchers, author appearances as prizes, and of course loads of comment love and exposure for your writing.

    We need a Romance in Renaissance, and escalating conflicts, so something like this would fit right in.

  11. Hi Maria

    You're fast off the mark with this! Lot's of tension here too. Oddly I'm finding the requirement for fewer words equates to more time needed.

    As you can no doubt tell, I'm another campaigner. I have followed you on RSS/Twitter!

  12. Hi Neighbour!
    I think I've lived through that incident. Nice bit of writing.

  13. Great tension. Most married couples could recognize this type of argument at some point in their lives. Felt very authentic. Well-done.

  14. You have captured the complete irrationality of a good row so well.

  15. Ah, the joys of relationships! Nice vignette.
    Now following. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Tossing It Out

  16. A snippet from a real-life scenario ! Very authentic . I think most people would identify with this one !
    My entry at no.#59

  17. I would say he should have checked the fuel gauge, but then.... I don't always do that, so I sort of understand!

  18. I like this. I can totally picture the scene. Nice job. Mine is #72

  19. Maria,

    I'm sorry it took so long to finally get to reading your story! The wait was worth it, though. I've not seen too many of these short pieces that are more dialogue-centric like yours is, and I love the fact that you tell the story through their conversation and not through narrative exposition.

    A great example of saying more in less! Can't wait to read more of your work in the future, Maria!

  20. Ciara - Yep, much deeper issues for this couple.

    David - Glad you like the dialogue.

    Richard - I agree!

    Colleen - Thank you

    Damyanti - Apologies, I can't commit to the Rule of Three Blogfest.It sounds fun. Best Wishes with it, I know how difficult it is to organize these things.

    Matt - Thank you, I really enjoy flash fiction.

    MorningAJ - The idea came from seeing a couple having an argument in public!

    Isis, Jo, Arlee, MISH, Rachel, and Bridget - Thank you!

    Rance - Posting this piece has given me the confidence to post more of my writing on my blog. Thank you.

  21. Loved the dialogue. Fights are intense. Thanks for visiting my blog :)

  22. You tell him, sister! ;) Great job!

  23. I could hear the bite in their voices. Yay, Maria!

  24. Lol! I've heard a gal or two have such an experience! ; )

  25. I love this! I was thinking "go for it," as she walked away. One of my favourite stories so far.

  26. Eeep, the tension between those two! Nicely done. =)

  27. Wow, I don't know if this one can be salvaged--sounds like there are a lot of past issues to work through. Great job in showing the tension throughout. Thanks for taking a look at my piece.

  28. Yikes, this is not a romance piece. ;-) Great portrayal. Good dialogue.

  29. Hehee, that sounds familiar. Fortunately not in this relationship, but in a past one.
    So real. And there's true skill in getting all that anger and frustration into 200 words. Nicely done!

  30. The dialogue was very realistic. Good job!


  31. Good story. It reminds me a bit of me and my ex as we both used to grow horns as soon as we got in a car together! You captured it perfectly. Looking forward to reading more of your writing :)

  32. Many thanks for all your comments...

  33. Fellow group 18 Campaigner checking in! The tension just jumps out. Nice work


I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!

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