I think that I’ll reverse the usual pattern that I’ve seen before, and give you my story first, and then the challenge rules:
The door swung open, and a beautiful girl hurried inside, her finger held up to her lips and her eyes asking me an urgent question. For a second I was confused, and then I lifted the far section of the sales counter to let her come back behind. She crouched into the storage cubby under the cash register, and I was just starting to get naughty thoughts about the whole situation when a hand reached out to stop the door from quite closing.
The man who came in next had periwinkle blue eyes and his feet didn’t seem to quite touch the ground. “Excuse me, sir, did you see a…”
“She went out the side door, didn’t even close it behind her,” I blurted out, realizing that I could use the fact that I’d left the door open for the summer breeze to the girl’s advantage. “Why are you looking for her?”
His eyes rested on me for a moment, but he didn’t answer, and took a moment to close the front door behind him, then stepped calmly over to the side exit. I busied myself with an order form to avoid giving the girl away. The door swung shut.
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!
(And just for the record, I achieved the highest level of the challenge – at least, according to MS Word’s wordcount.)