"Heavenly Father . . . is a God of creation and compassion. Creating and being compassionate are two objectives that contribute to our Heavenly Father's perfect happiness. Creating and being compassionate are two activities that we as His spirit children can and should emulate."
Elder Dieter F Uchtdorf
On Monday I accepted Rachael Harrie's Flash Fiction Challenge to write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem - but the kicker is, the story must begin with the words, “The door swung open” (these four words will be included in the word count). And for an added challenge (optional), the writer can 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! Entries in the First Campaigner Challenge will close on Friday, September 9th (at 11.59pm EDT). Here is what I came up with on Monday:
The door swung open.Grandpa, home from his meeting, was still dressed in his dark suit and tie. He was an imposing figure with his gray hair and angry blue eyes.
“Young lady, where have you been!”His loud voice was completely controlled.“Your grandmother and I have been worried sick about you.”
I looked up from my bed where I had been attemptingthe assigned history reading since being banished to my room an hour earlier.Grandma was standing behind him, and I could see the worry etched on both of their faces.
“I’m sorry, Grandpa.”
I hadn’t meant to worry them.After leaving school, Jon and I had walked the river trail behind the neighborhood.Hours passed as if minutes while we wandered the wooded area, sharing memories of the California we both loved, now so far away.Only upon returning home in the late summer dusk had I considered that anyone might wonder where I was.
“Young lady, while living in my house, you will always let us know where you are.You are grounded.”
More than ever before, I was missing my dead mother, but I bravely held back the tears until the door swung shut.
After writing the above story, which BTW fits in my current WIP, I decided to let it rest for a day before submitting it to the Challenge. Then thought of another idea:
The door swung open.Watching the rosy dawn over the distant dark mountains, I leaned against the door frame, took a sip from my cup, and pondered the hours ahead.I was free from obligations, and the possibilities crowded my mind.
The mountains beckoned; my favorite trail led to an enchanting water fall.My gaze rested on the ragged nails clinging to the cup, reminding me I was way over-due for a manicure and a haircut.Several new books were being held at the local library, ready to join the tall stack next to my bed.Laundry?Cleaning? Groceries?
The nearby school welcomed me as often as my time permitted me to visit and listen to youngsters practice their newly learned reading skills.My aging grandparents lived not far away. I saw them often, but I knew that aches and pains limited their choices, and that for them the hours often dragged.Next door was a mother with two young children, no car, and limited resources.Another friend, recently widowed was alone in a care center recovering from surgery.
The sun burst over the mountain in all her glory.I carefully set down my cup, and the door swung shut.