Monday, September 5, 2011

Decisions--First Campaign Challenge

~~The first Platform Challenge is here! And it's a challenge and a half. The instrustions are:

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." (also included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!
 Check out Rach Writes for links to other Campaigners' stories.

~~Here's my challenge story--Decisions--and it's EXACTLY 200 words. ; )


            The door swung open.
            Lights. Sirens. Screams.
            “Oh My God!”
            “Is he dead?”
            “He just slammed into that tree!”
            A man’s face forced him to focus. “Buddy, we’ll get you out. Hang on.”
            Whump. Whump. Whump.
            “LifeFlight’s here.”
            “Good. Okay, buddy, we’ll get you out of here. Hang on.”
            Then everything faded out.
            “Paul. Paul. Do you hear me?”
            Beep, beep, beep.
            Pressure squeezed his arm and then released with a whoosh.
            His mouth was dry, clotted. “Uh?”
            A tall woman in green scrubs leaned over him and smiled. “Hi, Paul. Good to see you awake. It’s going to take a while, but you’ll get better. You’ll see.”
            Weeks. It took weeks, but he finally pieced it together. He’d been drinking, but he wasn’t more than buzzed when Harm had texted him about the card game. Yes. A card game. In a flash, he’d decided to go. Then hit a tree.
            Now it was all over. He’d hit a plateau in his healing, and he’d be stuck with that decision for the rest of his life. Traumatic Brain Injury.
            Any decision he’d make in the future got up and walked out of the door.
            The door swung shut.
P.S. I'm linky 118 at Rach Writes


  1. I love how sparse and calm this is, but there's so much action in it. And I love the way you ended it.

  2. You really packed quite a bit of story into a few hundred words! Good job. :P

  3. You told the story well. I love the description of the helicopter. Awesome job!

  4. Thanks, Francesca, Alleged Author, and KS. I'm working with this character in a longer story and this challenge let me explore the wreck from his POV.

  5. Consequences...facts of life, and having quite an impact in only 200 words. ~ Nadja

  6. Nice -lots going on in so few words; splendid! -oh I just popped by as a campaigner to say 'hi' :)

  7. Hi, Yikici,Thanks. I'm trying to get around to see some of these, but there's *so* many! ; )

  8. What a stark, intense entry. Great job done in a calm, no-nonsense fashion, Roland

  9. Very good. That's powerful or at least it should be. well done. Mine is #72

  10. Thanks, Roland, Bridget, and Holly. I'm trying to get around to everyone, but there's so many! ; )

  11. Action packed 200 words, Zan! You slammed the reader right into the moment! Great work!

  12. This is incredible! You managed to put so much into 200 words!

    Very intense and written in a fashion that left me with a haunting sense of finality. This is what Paul did, and now he has to live with the consequences for the rest of his life.

    Really amazing work here :)

  13. Thanks, Kristina. The neat thing is that this challenge fits into a story I'm already writing. How's that for perfect timing? ; )

  14. This is a great piece of work. It's intense and although the story is there, it's as if in flashback, but very powerful visual imagery.

    I enjoyed the structure of this very much. Thanks.

  15. with a memorably lesson...

    I really liked the line, 'His mouth was dry, clotted." I could picture it exactly :)

  16. Thanks, Monkey! It was a challenge, wasn't it?

  17. I love the premise and how you wrote it. It's appropriately intense and haunting for such a serious issue. Great job.

  18. Thanks, Avery. All these wonderful comments are giving me a big head. ; )

  19. Very powerful, Zan Marie. I already feel for this guy and I've only seen bits and pieces of his life.

  20. Thanks, Deniz! He's a mess, but I promise redemption is coming. ; )

  21. Hi Zan! I've mentioned you on my blog and passed on the Versatile Blogger Award. You can find the info here:

  22. Thanks, Ms Saba! That's wonderful.

  23. Hi Zan Marie!
    I wanted to let you know that I put up a link to your blog page in my post today! Platform-Building in action...ha! I featured pages from my Contemporary Fiction group! Take Care ~ Nadja

  24. Wow, powerful story. Good job with the Challenge!

  25. Nadja,
    Thanks for the link! I'm behind, I know I am. ; )

    Thanks. ; )

  26. Wow; that was a lot of feeling in 200 words. So personal for me as well...I have been working my way back from a brain injury for 2 years...getting there!

  27. Wow! Thanks, Doreen. I have a friend who has survived TBI. I edited the manuscript of her memoir. It's amazing what the doctors and therapists can do. I'll add you to my prayers.

  28. A story with an important message. Well done.

    Tossing It Out


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