For the Rachel Writes first campaign challenge, we’ve been given the following instructions:
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 entry, and it is exactly 200 words. Entry #85
The door swung open beneath the belly of the Boeing 707. Baggage handlers positioned a large box. A group of young men and women in uniform stepped out of a van. They slipped into formation as they walked with precision towards the aircraft.
Amidst the roar of passing aircraft, Bella heard quiet sobbing and felt the linking of arms to hers. It was her extended family, there to support her and receive their loved one. The reality that Noah had made his final journey home sliced through her like the cold north wind.
“Mama is that Daddy?” asked Michael. His arms tightly wrapped her neck.
“Yes, sweetheart, it is.” She held him closely. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she wondered how Michael would ever remember his father’s love.
In her grief, Bella looked up at the terminal windows. Hundreds of people stood there holding their hands over their hearts. In that moment she felt wrapped in their grace. They didn’t know Noah, but in their quiet compassion they were honoring his service and her family’s grief. It was a beautiful moment of sadness.
The Honor Guard carried the flag-draped casket across the tarmac to he hearse. The door swung shut.