This is our first campaigner challenge from Rachel Harrie’s blog. I am a little late as we are still dealing with Chantilly Lace (our Yorkie’s) health problems. We have ruled out cancer, Cushing’s disease and many other potentially deadly illnesses. I’ll post more on this on another day, but for now….

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!

Here’s mine — 200 words.



The door swung open banging against the brass doorstopper. Samantha jumped, thinking ‘now what?’ Living in her great-great grandparents house she was use to the odd bumps and sounds of the night, but rarely did they happen in daylight.

Until recently that is, the sounds of the house invaded the peacefulness of this rural farm.  Rising to close the door, she walked to her alter instead, wondering what is causing the increased activity. Samantha decided to mediate and see if she could get a glimpse into the unknown that is the otherworld. Samantha tied her long blonde hair back with a pink rubber band, lit white candles, and a sage smudge stick. Sitting down on green meditation cushions, Samantha closed her eyes and chanted, “drem, dreeeeem, drem.

Minutes later visions began appearing, she saw a barn… it looked like her barn only it wasn’t… not red but weathered, boards that have been assailed by the sun, rain and cold, that only upstate NY could produce. Then the vision of a fire; crackling, raging, hot, yellow, red and green flames engulfing the barn. People running, a baby crying, a woman screams. Samantha wakes with a start as the door swung shut…