Friday, 9 September 2011

First Campaigner Challenge: Home

There is a challenge up at Rachael Harrie's blog - the First Campaigner Challenge. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction, up to 200 words (excluding the title), and the opening must be, 'The door swung open'.


And there are some optional extra challenges too - make the piece exactly (excluding the title) 200 words and finish it with 'the door swung shut'.

I decided to try it, to see what I could come up with, and below is my attempt; wish me luck!


The door swung open. Reluctantly. I thought it would be easier. On the way here, on the journey that you said was too long but which was really much too short, I had rehearsed what I’d say, what I’d do, how I’d cope with the disapproval.

But you told me not to come, didn’t you? You said that you didn’t want me to see you like this, old, in pain, that you weren’t the father I had known. And I, glad of the excuse, told everyone that you wouldn’t see me, that you wanted it this way. Which is why this is the first time I’ve been here, in this place they call a home, in the place you called home for the last three years of your life.

I stepped over the threshold - reluctantly - to collect what few belongings you’d left behind and I felt the loneliness being caught out and scattering to the walls. And what was there apart from some dried up flowers and a tatty paperback? Just one thing. That photo, the one of you and me smiling at each other, happy.

As I left, your distant voice still echoing, the door swung shut.

© Lisamarie Lamb 2011


  1. Oh, that's just too sad. I was going through all those emotions with your character. I think the second person pov works wonders sometimes, and it's so easy to get wrong, but you haven't. I love this.

    (I didn't know you were on the challenge. It's great to see familiar faces.)

  2. Lots of emotion packed into these 200 words. Great job.

  3. Nice job that's a hard thing. Mine is #72

  4. Ugh, so sad! Great job at writing such a moving piece in 200 words! :)

  5. A sad piece--but great writing, and a different POV from the usual. :)

    My entry.

  6. Congratulations, Lisamarie!

    Your flash fiction has been chosen to go on to stage two of the competition. There will be a semi-final (stage three) and a final (stage four). Good luck with the next stages.

    I really enjoyed your submit - having lost my own mom just last year, this really touched a chord with me. Excellent job to be able to do that, in so few words.

  7. Thank you, everyone, I'm so glad it moved you. I wasn't sure whether it would work or not, almost didn't post it, but I'm glad I did!

  8. Erin - wow, thank you! I'm really excited, and I think I'll be spending a lot of time reading the other entries today.

    Thank you again!

  9. Hey there! Just wanted to let you know, I'm working as a judge on this particular campaign, and you've been shortlisted to move up to the semifinals! Which means you're one of 38 entries in the final round (out of 384 entries total). Congratulations!!!
    I loved the voice and emotion in your piece, really made me want to know more about the narrator. :)

  10. Sad and wistful ! A great job !
    My entry is no.#59

  11. Ellen - amazing, thank you so much, that's really exciting!

    Mish - thank you :)

  12. Lisamarie Lamb... you're a legend x

  13. Excellent pacing and imagery. I feel sad after reading your entry, but in a good way.

    Great job, Lisamarie! :)

  14. Oh, very moving and sad. Full of regret.

    Mine is #291:

  15. Full of emotion, Lisamarie. I felt the sadness in the first person POV.