The first campaigner challenge calls for a 200 word short story/flash fiction, beginning with the phrase, “The door swung open…” Below is my entry for the challenge. Enjoy! If you are so inclined after reading, you can vote for it (#183) here.
The door swung open – a door that was locked for years, guarding feelings of pain and loss, banished in the black cellar of my brain. With it, my past attacked me, bent on revenge. Debilitating anxiety replaced the solid thoughts that once roamed my mind. Even when I try to look hard at the memories of my twenty-two year old self, face them down, give them their moment in the spotlight, I can’t locate them. Instead, there is sorrow, confusion. I rack my brain for details that will bring her back to life, if only on the pages. Her death made it impossible for me to come to terms with our life. I convinced myself it was something much smaller than it was – because she left me early – because I called it a relationship that wouldn’t have lasted anyway. I minimized it in every possible way, no idea how much I was minimizing her, minimizing me. I fumble through the few things I have left of her – a few letters, a prescription bottle – anti-nausea pills, a handful of photographs. They don’t tell enough. They don’t fill in the gaps that I so desperately need to fill in.
That’s really good. You can feel the longing mixed with confusion. I like it. Mine is #72
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I had a rough time trying to express that emotion in 200 words, but it was a challenge I really enjoyed. I liked your story, too, and you’ve got people voting for it. That’s awesome! Good luck with the rest of the campaign.
The emotion condensed is difficult to write. You’ve done a good job, its almost overwhelming. Having it as one paragraph also reinforces this I think, drawing a reader word after word without the break of paragraphs.
Thanks for your comments, Jaye. I’ve never done anything so short, so I’m glad to hear it had the impact I was after. 🙂
I wanted to let you know that you’ve been short-listed to move onto the next round! Congrats!
That’s great news! Thanks so much!
Hi, a fellow campaign memoir writer – powerful piece and congratulations on being short-listed 🙂 I finally posted mine (#347) if you fancy reading.
Thanks! I’ll head over to read it now. Good luck with the rest of the campaign!
So far a very original take on the open door scenario. Enjoyed reading it!
Thanks, Stobby. I’ve been enjoying reading your blog. Good luck with the campaign!
Really great piece! I found it an accurate description of grief and how it can replay in so many different ways throughout our lives.
Emotionally powerful! I felt for him.