Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Campaigner Challenge: Flash Fiction




I am very late getting my entry in to the first Campaigner Challenge, but hopefully I have just made it in time! And what is the Challenge, you might be asking yourself? Well, Rachael Harries, our intrepid leader, set the following task:

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 must begin with the words, "The door swung open" and these four words are to be included in the word count.

For an added challenge, the story can end with the words, "The door swung shut" and a final challenge is to make the whole shebang 200 words exactly!

Well, I managed to do all three so I am feeling well pleased with myself! Please go and vote for me on Rachael's site if you like what you read below (I think I am #347). I've left it very late though as the competition ends tomorrow night! Yikes!

Thanks :)

Em-bra-assment!


The door swung open.

Damn! Why the hell don’t they make better doors on changing rooms, she thought, hurriedly trying to pull it shut, but not managing to grab it in time.

She was in the middle of trying on a bra and stood there, exposed and vulnerable, with the clasps of the bra straining dangerously around her generous middle. Her large, heavy bosoms hung freely, resting on her rolls of fat. Three faces swiveled curiously in her direction as she looked up in utter horror. She was already hot and sweaty after a morning looking for new underwear and the lack of air conditioning wasn’t helping matters.

The slim, snooty shop assistant took the opportunity to grab the door and peer intrusively.

“Does Madam wish me to find a larger size?” she enquired loudly.

No! She did not want the skinny cow to find her a larger anything. She wanted to give up and go home, back to the safety of her cosy well-stocked kitchen, where the bloody doors didn’t open at inopportune moments!

“N-no thank you,” she stuttered, in abject humiliation. “I’m fine.”

And that was precisely why she hated shopping, she thought, as the door swung shut.

61 comments:

  1. If funny is what you were going for, you nailed it! And maybe a bit sad, too. Great job!

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  2. LOL!!!! I love it! That is also why I am terrified of changing rooms altogether! Well done!

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  3. Wow, that was quick. Thanks Jenny :)

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  4. Great piece, Claire! I decided to go from the bottom up tonight reading stories. Last night I started with the first entered. So enjoyed yours! Mines 274 if you like them creepy:)

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  5. Yeah, Ms Saba, I drew heavily from my own experience for this!
    Candy - loved your story :)

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  6. This was great. Very refreshing. It made me laugh. Thank you for writing this.
    I'm just after you at #348, in fact I had included 347 in my post only to have to edit it after I linked lol :D

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  7. wonderful! I had to chuckle too

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  8. Hehe, skinny cow. That was great. Your MC has such a wonderful, relatable voice.

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  9. I loved the writing voice which matched the overall mood of the piece ... great sense of humour too !
    My entry at no.#59

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  10. Liked the humour in this and could really feel the customer's embarrassment. Think you've captured the condescending attitude of some shop assistants perfectly. So much easier to shop from home!

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  11. Love it, really captures the scene! Think I'm #57 on the list, decided to follow Rachaels suggestion and do some reading from the bottom - glad I did!

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  12. Nice! Love the voice here! I can feel her embarrassment, but liked her sassiness! (Also--I HATE shopping too!!)

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  13. dressing room doors freak me out all the time! You wrote a fun story that's easy to relate with.

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  14. LOL. Add me to the list of non-shoppers. FUNNY!

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  15. Nice sense of voice and humor (and a degree of feeling violated)! Good job!

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  16. Claire you never cease to amaze me, brilliant brilliant brilliant lots of love Naomi xxxxx

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  17. Gosh, thanks for your comments everyone. Am going to allocate some time to day to read some more entries. So many different ideas from such a simple starting point. Amazing.

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  18. Ha! Great piece! I wanted to jump in there and close the door for the poor lady :)

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  19. I love the "skinny cow" line. I can so see this happening. Nice job. Mine is #72

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  20. That was ha-larious! Love so many things about this submit - you did a fabulous job! And ohhhhh, how I've been there before. Damn doors, never opened when I was skinny. :) Great piece, Claire!

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  21. just wait until she grows into a woman!
    good stuff!

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  22. Great job! I like how you came at this challenge from a different angle. Strong voice-witty, and, oh so relatable. Congratulations, you've been short listed and will be moving on to the second stage!

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  23. Lol!! I despise those doors! I've had similar experiences so I was able to relate quickly to the poor thing. Great, convincing voice. Loved "skinny cow"! Haha!

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  24. Thanks for all your lovely comments :) And THANK YOU Lindy, how fantastic to be short-listed! Yay! God, that's made my Friday :)

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  25. Poor girl! That's why I like to take someone with me to guard the door! Great voice, I can imagine reading something longer in this character voice and enjoing it :)

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  26. Too funny! Great piece!
    Loved the oxymoron - skinny cow!

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  27. Love this one! Funny and sad, and gosh don't I feel for her! Seems like I've been there myself :)

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  28. What a creative take on the challenge. I loved it! I liked the contrast between her internal thoughts and her dialogue.

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  29. Nice! Shopping can be seriously stressful. Especially for undies.

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  30. You captured the feeling of shopping quite well! Loved this. :P

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  31. Loved it! I'm so happy that's never happened to me. YOur description was fantastic! Great job!

    My entry is #346, right before yours. I'm a new follower!

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  32. Hello fellow campaigner! As a member of the nonfiction group (otherwise known as #53), I wanted you to know I will be featuring you on my blog during the campaign period. Every Friday from 9/23 through 10/28, I will feature several of the writers from our group. This will include a link to your site (the same link you used when joining the campaign) as well as an excerpt from your About Me page. Be sure to check my blog to see when you are featured. I will be going through the list in order.

    You can visit my blog at http://thewriterrevived.com

    I look forward to getting to know you and your work, and helping others get to know you as well!

    Happy Campaigning!
    Elizabeth Flora Ross

    http://about.me/efloraross

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  33. Hilarious, Claire! This was fantastic.

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  34. Funny, yet something from one of my nightmares. ;-) My kids always have one hand on the dressing room handle threatening me with such a scenario!

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  35. Great story! It is pretty much how I feel about shopping. I really felt the woman's embarrassment.

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  36. I will get round to everyone's site soon - I promise!
    Wish this blog had a reply button to each comment, but in lieu of that here goes:

    Daina - thanks and my memoir is written a little like this so if you want to take a read of a few chapters, hit the Scribd button.
    Brianna/Susanna/Jessica/Storytreasury/Alleged Author/Melissa - thanks so much, glad you liked it. Haven't we all been there though!
    The Mom Pledge - wow, thanks. Have visited your site and commented.
    Callie/Tia/Eliza and Junebug - thanks, the embarrassment was partly mine from prior shopping expeditions! Horrible!

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  37. Eek! I felt the woman's embarrassment too. Great work! :)

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  38. This was great! I loved it! Hate it when those damn dressing room doors burst open, indeed! :)

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  39. HEy bunny! Funny but you could get a better kick if you put more emphasis on the 'big reveal'. But still very good.

    :)

    Tirz

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  40. “Does Madam wish me to find a larger size?” she enquired loudly.
    That line did it for me, a fantastic situation for an onlooker, great stuff.

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  41. Great piece, Claire - thanks for the laugh (and congrats at being deservedly short-listed).

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  42. Carrie - thanks, I've been there!
    Mina - thanks, yes those darned doors! Designed by sadistic men, no doubt!
    Tirz - thanks for advice, I wrote it quickly to get in before deadline, but you're probably right
    Alica - yeah, shopping for clothes, esp bras, can be horrible.
    Roy - glad a guy can still appreciate this :)
    Beth - thanks (and I am sooo thrilled about being short-listed)

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  43. "Skinny cow." Awesome! You presented the scene very well. It made me embarrassed for your character.

    Great job, Claire! :)

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  44. Nice! I love the embarrassment. I can totally feel it :) Great details!

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  45. Love your voice! Skinny cow... We've all felt that.

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  46. Great job with painting the scene, and I agree that the character's voice is excellent. Nice job!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and posting your comments on The Rune (#159).

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  47. That was brilliant! The funniest thing I've read in ages and I think it's because I know exactly how she felt. Great.

    I'm another ex-pat living in the US, just up the coast a few hundred miles in Portland. And we have the same blog background! Is that like turning up to a posh do in the same frock? :)

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  48. I loved it! Can identify with hating shopping too!
    Great scene setting, and snappy dialogue.

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  49. I couldn't find an email address for you anywhere, Claire, so I'm leaving this message here. I awarded you the liebster blog award. http://tiny.cc/liebster

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  50. Great humour in your post, also kind of sad. The character seems lonely, but I think you've touched on a great fear of mine, and I abhor communal changing rooms!

    (Fellow campaigner in your adult fiction group no.17)

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  51. Thanks for all the latest comments and kind words. So thrilled you are liking this entry and loving reading all yours.
    Callie - yippee! my first bloggy award :) will get that sucker up on this site as soon as I can work out how the hell to do it!

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  52. This happens to me so often in Hongkong, where the women ..ahem..shall we say do not have large assets.

    Thanks for visiting my blog :)

    Would like to invite you (and your readers) to The Rule of Three Blogfest ---a month-long shared-world fiction extravaganza in October with some great prizes, and of course, some great writing practice and networking.

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  53. Thanks Damyanti - will read up about it, sounds interesting.

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  54. Hello again, Claire. I've given you a Versatile Blogger award. You can check it out on my blog: http://offwithefairies.blogspot.com/2011/09/10-things-you-probably-didnt-want-to.html

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

    Nice to meet you!

    As to your piece: what fun! A totally awkward situation, but entertaining to read.

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  56. Hey! I'm a campaigner and stopping by to visit. This was absolutely grand--I once had to try on clothes in a communal dressing room. It was mortifying. You captured that perfectly.

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  57. Well done - why is it always so hot in the changing rooms?

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