First Campaigner Challenge

For my few readers who don’t already know this, as part of the Writers’ Platform Building Campaign, Rach is giving us challenges to flex our writing muscles and promote interaction.  The challenge for this week is:

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!

This story is the idea that popped into my head almost immediately.  After reading some of the other stories and seeing how many people had gone dark and creepy with this challenge (something about swinging doors is automatically sinister), I took a stab at a silly comedy with potty humor, but it didn’t work, so I came back to this one.  My entry is #197, and it’s exactly 200 words. 

Sweet Revenge

The door swung open, and he crept inside, careful not to make a sound.  She sat at the table with her back to him, absently twirling a lock of red hair as she balanced her checkbook. The door swung open . . .

He took a step closer.  First she had ignored him.  Another step.  Then she had screamed at him to go away.  Two more silent steps closer to his target.  He’d show her no one treated him that way.

He unsheathed his weapon, its sharp tip anxious to taste her blood. 

She cursed and slammed her pen to the table.  He sank into a crouch, eyes boring into her, willing her not to turn around.  Revenge would be so much sweeter if she didn’t see it coming until he ripped open her flesh. 

With a deep sigh, she picked up her pen.  He inched toward her until he was in range.  Time for her punishment.  He pounced. 

She screamed as the point pierced her skin. 

A small droplet of blood trickled down her ankle.  She picked him up and hissed in his face.  “I told you to stay outside if you can’t behave.”

She shoved him through the kitty door, and the door swung shut.

I can’t wait to read the other stories – if you’ve written one, leave a link to it in the comments.

Photo cedit to Mattox


Mike Haynes's picture
Cris Dossantos's picture

oh man.... you had me going... the tension was awesome. here's a link to mine:

Jessica Therrien's picture

This is seriously one of my favorites! I'm liking it on Rachael's site. Awesome!

Jamie McHenry's picture

Love it!

Rebecca Enzor's picture

Jocelyn, you're storytelling ability always amazes me! The twist was excellent! Good job! :D's picture

That's great. I was sure it was a jilted lover. Nicely done. Mine is #72

Jaye Viner's picture

I like your door better actually, as far as it goes for your story. Reinforces the twist. You already have a link to mine on google+

Gary Gauthier's picture

Nicely done, Jocelyn! You have your readers eating out of your hands until the ending. My story is here

Joelle Wilson's picture

Nice story. Bad Kitty! Cats get so indignant when told no. Very clear image on the cat creeping. Thanks for sharing. If you'd like to check out mine -

Des's picture

Lol, I figured it was a cat! Oh, and my cat liked it very much, too!!

Tara's picture

Fantastic. The writing was really good, and I think you channeled that kitty nicely. ;-)

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thanks for the great comments everyone!  I've had so much fun reading all of y'all's stories.

Bethany Lopez's picture

Very fun, I have a cat just as sneaky! Mine is #19 on Rach's site or on my blog at

David Powers King's picture

Whoa! I didn't see that coming. I was expecting some sort of monster. Way to play on reader expectations! Great job, Jocelyn! :)

Sandy's picture

HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Oh my God, I DIED at the end!!! AWESOME!

Nicole Settle's picture

Haha! Great ending!

Miranda Hardy's picture

Ohh. I like it. The tension was great and the ending even better. lol

Jen's picture
Erin L. Schneider's picture

This was too fitting, as my new kitty JUST climbed up onto my shoulder earlier today, and slid down my back. With his nails out. And I'm wearing a tank top. Awesome. :) Your story was fab - not at all what I was expecting (nor many of your other commentors, it seems). Really great job with this - amazing to see where everyone took the same four starting words.

Damyanti's picture

A kitty? :) Thanks for commenting on my post and greetings from a fellow campaigner! Would like to invite you and your readers to take a look at the The Rule of Three Blogfest ---a month-long extravaganza in the fictional town of Renaissance this October, with some great prizes, comment love, and of course, a lot of exposure for your writing. The town of Renaissance needs kitties, so maybe you could be the one to bring them in :)

Stevie McCoy's picture

So like a cat to be all mischeivious like that. Maybe he thought he didnt get enough kibble? Or she didnt get him the cat nip he wanted? can never tell with those furry creatures. Great job, totally didnt know it was a kitty till the end. Great twist

lukewolf4 's picture

oh, you got me!! I thought he was the character she was writing, and he didn't like what she was putting him through. But no! That was great. I've been laughing the entire time I've been writing my comment. (Made it really hard to type... had like 12 typos.) Doralynn

Denise Covey's picture

I love this. It's gorgeous. Denise

Jocelyn Rish's picture

I'm glad everyone is enjoying the twist ending.  I love my kitty, but they can be pretty menacing creatures!  :-)

C Fite's picture

Cats are hilarious! I have three, and they're always, always up to no good. Unless they're sleeping! Great entry! I'm no. 274, but you've been to mine:)) Thanks for the great comments, too!

Marcyhwoes's picture

For a while I was wondering if he was a mosquito?

Steph Schmidt's picture

After feeling kitty claws for the first time last weekend I sympathize entirely with the poor human. They hurt! Great switch and bait at the last second with revealing the kitty door.

Mary Mary's picture

It's definitely different and I like it!

Rachel Bean's picture

Bhahaha, oh my, i was certainly NOT expecting that! :D I loved it!!

S. L. Hennessy's picture

Haha, that's hilarious! Totally didn't see that coming but it definitely reminds me of my trouble-making kitten! Love your blog by the way -- I will definitely be following you :)

Daniel R. Marvello's picture

Ha! Great twist! You brought the story from dark to light skillfully. Thanks for sharing it. My entry is The Rune (#159)

Alica Mckenna Johnson's picture

LOL- great ending

F.E. Sewell's picture

Haha! Love it! I'm liking as it we speak. Such a great twist at the end. And I love that you wrote it from the kitty's POV. Thanks for stopping by my blog, btw! :)

Danyelle's picture

I *love* the twist at the end! Very well done!

yikici's picture

I like! I like! Very clever twist at the end -and talk about gripping. :)

Goldstarmoon's picture

Loved the twist. Very cute!

Jmwordsmith's picture

I see why this one got a lot of 'likes'. Full of angst and venom and yet it made me laugh wen I found out it was just an itty bitty cat.

Susan's picture

This is great. It seemed so dark, so I was pleasantly surprised at the end. Nice job.

Sher A Hart's picture

Very nice tension and even better twist. I like the complete stories best, and this is my favorite so far. Mine is here:

Angelina C. Hansen's picture

Ha! You got me. Well done!

Holly Vance's picture

This is wonderful! So, so clever! I want to let you know that you've made the first "cut" and are moving onto the second round. Congrats.

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Yippee - thank you so much, Holly!  I'm thrilled people like my vengeful kitty.

Jessica Therrien's picture

Hey there! I've posted a link to your story on my blog as one of my flash fiction favorites. I hope that is okay. If you want me to take it down, let me know. Here is the link:

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thank you, Jessica!  I'm so honored you liked my silly kitty.

Robin Weeks's picture

I'm judging 10 entries in round two and I'll be honest: I was a bit disgusted by your story... at first. How could I vote for something so violent? A bloodthirsty murderer sneaking up on his victim, knife in hand? *Shudders* Yeah, then I laughed. Lots. Rotten kitten. So you're one of my top 2 of my ten, and on to the next round, which means you're in the top 38 out of 384 entries!! Congratulations! :)

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Squeee!!  Thank you so much, Robin! I'm relieved you weren't so disgusted by my naughty kitty that you couldn't make it to the punchline.

Susanna's picture

Great! Love the twist at the end :)

Ciara Knight's picture

Love it. Great twist. I'm a new follower. :)

Jocelyn Rish's picture

More thank you's to all the folks who have stopped by and left comments about my revenge-hungry kitty.  It's something about the way they stare at us that makes me certain they're plotting something sinister!

Avery Marsh's picture

Ha, I was thinking mosquito up until that great ending. Way to string us along and reward us with hilarity. ;)

Lissa Clouser's picture

Love this! I didn't expect the ending at all. Well done! I'm stopping by on campaign rounds. You're in my horror group. Sorry I haven't said hi sooner!

Tia Bach's picture

Wasn't expecting the aggressor to be a sweet little cat, albiet not such a sweet one. ;-) Nice one!

Thanks so much for visiting mine and commenting. Loving the campaign so far, so hope you are!

Linda Gray's picture

Hi Jocelyn, I'm a fellow Campaigner. What a great job you did on the first Challenge. Congratulations! Unfortunately for me, I didn't get to participate in this one (but for a happy reason--family vacation), but will be there next time.

Margo Kelly's picture

Ha. Loved it. Especially: "He unsheathed his weapon, its sharp tip anxious to taste her blood."

I'm a fellow campaigner and new follower. Nice to meet you!

Christa's picture

Wow, I wasn't thinking you would go there. Nice ending. I really liked this one.

Jessica McKendry's picture

Oh my gosh I love it! I like the little revelation at the end! It's so unexpected! Great job!

Jessica Therrien's picture

Hey! I’ve listed you as a recipient of the Liebster Blog Award and the Versatile Blogger Award. You can find the details here: Congrats!

K.T. Hanna's picture

Loved this. I have a naughty, evil, rather psychotic cat. But she LOVES me.

And does, exactly what this cat does to EVERYONE else - I'm not kidding.

Just like Jessica, I also gave you the Versatile Blogger Award today. I didn't see it on your site, so I assumed you didn't have it :( Now you have two :D

Matthew MacNish's picture

Hi Jocelyn. I'm here from Rachael's campaign blog, even though I didn't sign up in time to take part in it. Now I'm following your blog, so:

Nice to meet you!

Julie Flanders's picture

Hi Jocelyn!

I missed this challenge and am just catching up, and I so love your story!! I'm really impressed, you totally had me going and I never would have guessed the ending. As a cat lover, I just love this. Great work! :)

Daina's picture

You had me going there! The twist was awesome :D

My cat's form of revenge would be to wait till I'm asleep, then stick her claws in my toes D:

Mine is here:

Crystal's picture

Hey there! My name is Crystal and I'm one of the campaign judges. It gives me great pleasure to inform you that YOU have been selected as one of 12 finalists in the contest! What does this mean? It means you have won a prize. It also means that you were chosen out of 384 entries, which puts you in the top 3%!!

Congratulations!! :-)

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Squeee!!!!  Thank you so much, Crystal!  This is such awesome news - I had to skip around the room before I could type a reply.

Rebecca Emin's picture

This is so much fun. Great twist!

Rachael Harrie's picture

Hey Jocelyn, congratulations on being a Finalist in my First Campaigner Challenge! I'm popping round to let you know that I've now decided your place in the top 12 (and thus your prize).

You've come in Fifth Place out of 384 entries - what an awesome result!!! Your story was so creative, and you had an awesome twist at the end - bad kitty! :D Your writing style is great as well, so tight and evocative.

Well done again - make sure you pop by my blog to see what you've won ;)



Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  I'm so excited to have won fifth place. *happy dancing around the room*  Rach, thank you so much for putting this together!

Juliana's picture

Girl, this cracked me up!! Nice writing and congrats on being a finalist :D

fairview's picture

Congrats on the award!

Barbara Evers's picture

Hilarious! I love this, and you had me fooled until he pounced. Brilliant. Congrats on your award, too.

MC Rogerson's picture

Congratulations on winning your award! Loved this!

Candy Lynn Fite's picture

Congrats on your win! Brilliant story!

Jessica Therrien's picture

Yay Jocelyn!! WOOOHOOO! I knew you'd win :)

Catherine Johnson's picture

Hi Jocelyn,

That is fantastic and so unexpected, you had me enthralled until the end. Well done. Please send me your address details to catherine_mrsj[at] and I'll send your prize to you. Congrats!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thank you, Catherine, for donating such a great prize!  I've sent you an email.

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thank you again to everyone who has read my story and left such kind comments.  Each one has made my heart happy. 

Jody Moller's picture

I loved this. The twist was fabulous (I am working my way down the list of the 12 winners and this is by far my favourite so far!). It's a personal preference but I think Flash Works best when there is a mind-blowing twist at the end. Congrats...

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thanks, Jody!  I usually put twists in almost everything I write, but it's so much easier in flash because you don't have to sustain it for so long.  :-)

Miguel Pridgeon's picture

Your blog is actually unique. Keep going that way.

Rod Schiralli's picture

Thank you for blogging.

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