Today's writing challenge for the Writer's Platform-Building Campaign is to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long beginning with the words "the door swung open." For an extra challenge, we were to keep to exactly 200 words and end with "the door swung shut."
Below is my entry. It's exactly 200 words long and is set in the Yekara universe a week or so before Right of Succession begins.
The door swung open, the well maintained hinges giving her no warning save its motion. Chantal shoved the papers she’d gathered between the pages of the tome she carried before her father entered. He was deep in conversation with his steward, giving her precious seconds to calm herself.
“Chantal,” Ralic said, “I wasn’t expecting you.”
“I finished my studies early, Father. I wanted to see if you’d take lunch with me,” she lied. Her heart beat in her chest like a wild thing, and she marveled neither her father nor his steward could hear it. If they knew she’d stolen records from Ralic, her father would turn her over to Eugrin for punishment, daughter or no. What would he do if he knew what she intended to do with them?
“If only I could, precious,” Ralic replied. “Unfortunately the rarity of pleasant days during transition leaves little time for rest when they come.”
“I understand, Father.” Chantal nodded slowly, trying her hardest to appear disappointed and understanding instead of giving away her relief. “I’ll leave you to it then.”
She nodded to Eugrin as she stepped into the hall, only allowing herself a secret smile as the door swung shut.