So it is that even though I said to myself, I'm not going to care about getting EXACTLY 200 words for the first Campaigner Challenge... it bothered me. I told myself, I'm not going to fuss too much over word count. I'm going to focus on the story. (I mean, do you have any idea how hard writing a story in 200 words is?) Still, I couldn't let it go. So the following flash fiction piece meets all three of the first Campaigner Challenge criteria, the mandatory and the optional. It begins with "The door swung open" it ends with "The door swung shut" and it is EXACTLY 200 words.
It also ties into the story of my Apotheosis Cycle (see the page above to find out more about that) since I really can't afford to spend time writing side projects these days. It will probably (in slightly longer form) find its way into a short story. Without further ado...
The door swung open silently on well oiled hinges. Sollon ducked into the sanctuary. Crouching just inside the lightless room, he waited a moment for his eyes to adjust to the blackness. He crept with obsessive care toward the darkling recesses of the sanctuary. Here was the secret place that the priests refused to let him see. Slowly out of the gloom a shape appeared, a chamber within the chamber, Sollon realized, with doors of pure gold.
As he approached it, the air thickened around him. His hand paused inches from the golden doors. It had become difficult to breathe. Sweat stung his eyes, but he pushed through the barrier around the naos and flung the doors open.
There lay the statue of the god, robed in cloth of gold, a sun disk above his head. A pulse of energy emanated from the statue threw Sollon onto his back. White hot pain erupted from his spine. The energy of the god coursed over him, sending him tumbling toward the sanctuary’s entrance until he lay sprawled in the outer chamber.
He could not move. He could not speak. He prayed. Re, forgive me, don’t let me die!
The door swung shut.