The First Campaigner Challenge

OK so I made a commitment last post to publish Tuesday and Saturday. Now I’m in the Writer’s Campaign I see that I’m subject to new rules. Here is the first challenge:

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 is my story, inspired by http://www.turtletrack.org and Canku Ota an American Indian Newsletter: exactly 200 words:

The coyote pup_alt.The Coyote Pup

The door swung open, there he was, the sweetest little coyote pup Alicia had ever seen. The pup’s ears, pointy and white-tipped were standing straight up. Its tail hung down slightly from its back. Alicia thought back to an Indian story she had heard. Wasn’t it about the bluebird that swam in a magic blue lake and sang a little song to make himself blue? Yes, she thought, and Bluebird told Coyote to do the same but after Coyote swam in the lake; he had become so enamored that by looking back at himself and asking to be admired, he had run right into a rock and rolled in the dust. Dream spirit had punished Coyote for acting so vain and foolish by keeping him the color of dust forever.

Alicia started wishing she could keep this pup. She felt sorry for it. She thought he was beautiful, even if Dream Spirit had wanted it to be an outcast.

Then before she could ask her own mother, the coyote mother came in, took the pup by the hold on his neck and whisked him back outside.  Before Alicia could think, “What happened?” the door swung shut.

The end.

Please leave a comment and tell me what you think. I’ll enjoy hearing what you have to say about the story or about the campaign. Welcome back to those of you visiting again.

 

 

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About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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44 Responses to The First Campaigner Challenge

  1. Susanna says:

    Nice story Clar 🙂

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks Susanna. It’s definitely a children’s story. It was from an idea my adult sons gave me. One took a photo of a coyote and emailed it to me. Then the other son sent me the google link of the Indian Newsletter. So fun! 🙂

      Like

  2. Enjoyed this. And, happy the mom got her little one. It’s funny how the ending of “the door swung shut” is so jarring in many of these shorts. Really clips the action, which makes them fun. Congrats for posting it. (I’m posting a story next week…I know after the competition but I’m preparing for a trip and had to stick to my schedule. No fun, I know!)

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Too bad you couldn’t post your story for the contest. 😦 We were leaving but cancelled due to Katia. Instead we’re going away for twenty four hours some where not as far and not as long.
      Glad you enjoyed this post. I agree with you about the jarring closure. It seems to beg for suspense doesn’t it? I was tempted but stayed in genre.

      Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks Stacy, I think its jarring too. It almost begs for suspense but I stayed in genre.

      Like

  3. clickerbug says:

    I enjoyed this. Very gentle. There’s not a whole lot of action, but just enough to engage the emotions. As an adult, I was happy to see the mother take the coyote away because I know (but the child does not) that the pup would not have a happy life with the child. Good job. 🙂

    Like

  4. Haven’t seen many children’s stories. Refreshing. I really enjoyed the story within your story — nicely done. I love Indian legends. What a creative entry Clar! And, really nice you involved your entire family in some way.

    Like

  5. Very cute description of the young coyote. Never seen one up close, yet I could see it in my mind. That tells me you nailed the details.

    Awesome job, Clar! 🙂

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, David. We have them in the woods behind our house and my son saw one and took a pic of one on his vacation which was the inspiration of this story. 🙂

      Like

  6. mish says:

    This is a heart-warming tale of family and a mother’s protectiveness . I really enjoyed it . Also an original take on the prompt … one-of-its-kind ! Well done !
    My entry is at no.#59

    Like

  7. Jennifer says:

    Love your story! Very creative, nice definite beginning and end, nice detail. Sounds like a challenge to make something happen in 200 words, and you did! By the way – I heard coyotes howling in the woods a few nights ago…

    Like

    • Clar says:

      Wow, where do you live? I live in a rural area and hear them as well. Glad you liked the story. I had some options for 200 words so it wasn’t as hard as it could have been. Just add an adverb or delete an adjective so on. 😉
      Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it. 🙂

      Like

  8. I saw a cyote unexpectedly in my neighborhood and he didn’t look cute! Nice story. Mine is #72

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Yeah, the real one’s are scavengers and they aren’t usually cute. 🙂
      I’ll check out your story when I get time later on or tomorrow. Real life has been rather busy this week.

      Like

  9. Great details. I love the way you describe the pup. Makes it very viceral, which I like. The only thing I’m curious about is, since we have the Indian spirit aspect, are the coyotes real? Is this a door to outside if it is?

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Yes, they are real. I hear them outside of my rural home. I meant for them to be real in my story, too. I didn’t think that would be a question. 🙂 But if I had to expand on it, I might make that clearer.

      Like

  10. Love your story! I’m a sucker for happy endings and I like how your ending isn’t conventional. It poses so many questions. 🙂

    Btw, thanks for stopping by my blog, earlier!

    Like

  11. Sonia Lal says:

    cute take on the prompt. I enjoyed it.

    Like

  12. Tia Bach says:

    So sweet. Read it to my six year old (she loves animals). She wanted to know where she could find more stories like this. Praise indeed!

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Wow! That is so cool! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 I have a children’s book coming out in 2012,as soon as it’s illustrated. *shameless self promotion here* Called ‘Annie’s Special Day”. Maybe she would like a copy. 🙂 I’ll hopefully have a button out on my blog by then.

      Like

  13. Dawn says:

    I liked how you put the fable within the story. It was a sweet little story. Don’t all kids want the strays, no matter if they are wild or now? :0)

    The Write Soil

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Yeah, That’s what I think. Kids have it in for the lost and lonely. Unless they’re at school. Then they can be bullies and the bullied. Once in a crowd their values change. Or they are just too timid to stand up for what they hold dear. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

      Like

  14. clarbojahn says:

    Thanks, Alica. Sweet name.

    Like

  15. I really loved that story. Left me with a little smile on my face. 🙂

    Like

  16. N.Scott says:

    Well Done! You succeeded in using imagery instead of action to convey the story. Not easy.

    Stobby

    Like

  17. Aw! What a sweet story! I’m glad the momma found her pup. 🙂 I always wanted to keep the critters I found when I was kid, now my kids are doing that to me. 😉 Lol!

    Like

  18. Jocelyn Rish says:

    What a sweet story, and I liked the story within the story of how the coyote came to be dust colored.

    Like

  19. Candy says:

    Sweet story!!! I’m still making my way through the list of awesome entries! We’re in the same group (1). I write a lot of YA, 2 picture books and 1 MG so far.

    Like

  20. duckofindeed says:

    Nice story. I like the little folktale thingy you included. I always love those kinds of stories. I feel inspired to write my own now, if I can get over my lazy phase. Darn me and my lazy phase.

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Hi Duck, Don’t be so hard on yourself. This was a challenge for me. I usually write creative nonfiction and picture books. I found this hard and wouldn’t have done it if my sons hadn’t given me fodder. 🙂 Thanks for visiting. I hope you liked what you see.

      Like

  21. I like the Native elements in the story. Sweet coyote pup. Well written! Thank you for sharing.

    Like

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