Monday, September 5, 2011

The Door Swung Open

The first challenge is underway in the Platform Building Campaign, and it's a doozy! I loved this particular challenge. It's to write a short story in 200 words. It needs to begin with 'The door swung open". There is the option of making it even more challenging by ending with "The door swung shut." Here's my entry. It's exactly 200 words (and that really was a challenge):  

The door swung open. He was barely visible through the smoke, but I recognized a Corelli when I saw one. Gino? Yeah. Gino. He was the worst. He was looking for someone.

I could guess who.

My partner, John, was in the hospital, not expected to survive the round from Vince Corelli’s D’Eagle. Vince lay in the morgue, and I’d put him there. Now Gino wanted justice, but a cop bar was a stupid place to extract it.

His gaze found me and he smiled; it wasn’t a ‘glad to see you’ sort of smile. He weaved around off-duty cops. They were too drunk to know a storm brewed. I pushed away from the bar.

I wasn’t that drunk.

His hand came up and I stared down the barrel of a .45.

Damn. I was drunker than I thought.

I grasped the barrel, deflected it, and struck him over his jugular—not hard enough to kill, but it buckled his knees. The other officers swarmed. Gino was handcuffed before I picked up my barstool. I sat and Mickey brought another beer.

“You okay, Maggie?” 

“Yeah. Fine. But John wasn't. Vince wasn't. 

I turned and watched as the door swung shut.

Here's the link to the challenge: http://rachaelharrie.blogspot.com/2011/09/first-campaigner-challenge.html


54 comments:

Abby said...

LOVE IT! Well done!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Thanks Abby!

Clarissa Draper said...

This must be from a larger project because I just couldn't figure out who John was. Unless John is the MC speaking to himself in third person. Whatever. It was amazing! You really know your weapons and your combat skills.

Kurt Hartwig said...

Nice.

J.L. Campbell said...

Doralynn, you're the best at action and intrigue!


Totally missed the challenge this time around.

DEZMOND said...

I'm with Clarissa on this one!
But I could hear jazz music playing around while reading this one :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Didn't expect a cop story from the beginning. Most original one I've read all day!

Alleged Author said...

At least Maggie gets a beer after all this!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Clarissa, John is Maggie's partner. I'd dropped that because of the length restriction... hoping it would be clear in context... but it wasn't. So thanks for pointing it out. I've added John's name early in the story to clear up the confusion. I'm so glad you enjoyed that! Your comments always encourage me!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Kurt - thanks!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi J.L., sorry you missed the challenge this time. But thank you for the compliment! Wow, that's quite a thrill for me.

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi DEZMOND, thanks! The jazz music is probably because this reads a little like a hardboiled detective story. But in this neck of the woods, the cop bars are usually playing classic rock.

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Alex, glad to take you by surprise! That's quite a compliment!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hey there Alleged Author... after that, Maggie probably needs another beer! Thanks for reading and leaving me a comment!

Cynthia said...

You've got my attention, then what happens? :-)

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Cynthia... we were reading each others minds. I was just at your blog reading your campaign entry!

You and Clarissa make me wonder if I should turn this into a book someday! (I have a habit of doing that with my short stories.)

Christine Rains said...

Oh, very nice. I love the atmosphere and the tension. I can feel all the layers of underworld politics and intrigue. Job well done! :)

And yes, making it exactly 200 words was hard. You did it!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Christine. Your encouraging comments meant a lot to me. Thank you! Whittling it down from 400 to 200 words made me want to weep!

Maeve Frazier said...

Doralynn - so much packed in those few words, pulling me in and carrying me through wanting more. I loved it! Wonderful piece!

julie fedderson said...

Great suspense, pulls me right in! Super job!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Maeve, thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Thanks Julie, please to hear it pulled you in and you found it suspenseful!

Christine Fonseca said...

Ooh...Nicely done!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Thanks Christine!

AveryMarsh said...

Wow, you crammed so much voice and backstory and action in 200 words. Great scene.

Gary Gauthier said...

The piece is a great action scene that's funny and serious at the same time. And what a super cool cop!

Michelle Moloney said...

I loving the action in this piece Doralynn.

Nadja Notariani said...

Those Italian names give away the source of Gino's business...lol. But what is D'Eagle? I think I may just be missing something obvious....
I usually enjoy crime drama/mystery stories, so your piece was right up my alley. ~ Nadja

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Thanks Avery, I love to hear about voice... I can't see it in my writing, so that's something I always worry about.

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Gary, I'm glad you thought it was funny and serious -- but especially glad that you thought Maggie was a super cool cop!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Michelle -- glad you enjoyed the action -- thanks!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Nadja, thank you! A D'Eagle is a Desert Eagle -- which is a gun. The gun on the cover of my book (Sleeping with Skeletons) is a D'Eagle -- which I always found kinda funny because there aren't any D'Eagles in my book. I guess I should be careful about the Italian names. My ancestry is half Italian... Beneditto. Salute!

Christa said...

Wow, this is great and not at all what I expected. So glad I found you on the campaign trail. I love all the different posts for this one.

Bridgetstraub.com said...

I have to admit you got me. I didn't expect it to be a woman. It's fun seeing all the takes on this. mine is #72

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Thanks Christa, glad that took you by surprise!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Bridget, glad you didn't expect the ending. I was hoping it would affect readers that way!

Isis Rushdan said...

What a refreshing post. They're all so different. I felt like I was in the middle of book. Great job!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Thanks Isis. I'm glad you liked that!

Tara Tyler said...

great noir undertone, wonder what happens next!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Tara... thank you! Noir is what I was going for!

1000th.monkey said...

This was really good! You packed a huge story into 200 words :)

Amanda Milner said...

There's definitley a book in this flash fiction piece! Good job! :)

Jocelyn Rish said...

Wow, there was a lot of story to such a short story. The hints to longstanding issue with the Corelli's, the recent skirmish that left people dead and wounded, the current confrontation. And I loved the wry, noirish voice of the narrator. Great work!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi there 1000th.monkey - so glad you enjoyed that. Thanks for reading!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Amanda, thanks! I'm always turning short stories into longer pieces. I can't be succinct!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Thanks Jocelyn, that is an amazing critique -- thanks... you made my night!

Totsymae said...

Nice piece in so few words. The element of mystery in the scene leaves me curious. Wondering.

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Totsymae, thanks! Glad it left you feeling a curious sense of mystery.

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Hi Doralynn,
I'm Michele a fellow campaigner and also one of the many judges for this first contest. I really enjoyed your story, especially the amount of information you got in within the word count, and I can hear the characters voice. So I'm glad to tell you that you've been shortlisted as one my top 5 to move on to stage two. There will be a semi-final (stage three) and a final (stage four).

Good luck.

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Oh my gosh!!!! Wow! Thank you, Michele!! What an honor! Especially considering all the great entries.

Doreen said...

I love how you were able to mix the horror and the humor...realistic!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Thanks Doreen. Nice to meet you!

Arlee Bird said...

Nice gritty, noirish approach.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Thanks Lee. I'm glad you liked the approach.