If your visiting to read my ORIGIN story, that post is here.
Today begins the first of three bouts between our six semi-finalist. The voting will remain open for two days until the next bout on Thursday. Read the submission from each WRiTER carefully to determine how it stacks up against their new opponent. Leave your vote for the sample that resonates with you the most. Don’t forget to offer some opinions if you have time. Anyone reading this can vote, so blog/tweet/facebook/text/smoke signal everyone you know and get them to participate as well. Good luck to both WRiTER’s!
In the near corner, welcome back to the ring.....LUCKY LEFT HOOK
I watch the girl as I have every day for the last five days. She moves around the outdoor patio of the restaurant while balancing a drink-loaded tray. The effort forces an small, apple-sized bicep to form in her slender arm. I imagine her shiny black hair falling to her shoulders as the red stick holding her careless knot bobs lazily. The girl drops her pen and moves to place the tray on an empty table.
As she bends to retrieve it, my eyes meet her almond-shaped dark ones for an instance, and I look away. I'm not quick enough and recognize that she's angry.
Does she think I am stalking her? Probably. I'll have to skip a couple of days. I don't want to scare her. And then again, she doesn't actually look scared. She looks angry with a touch of curious.
"Can I get you anything else?" The waiter, a man with thinning hair arranged across the top of his head, holds the black restaurant bill folder in his hand. I can tell that he wants the table for his next customer as I look around at the crowded tables. He drums the edge of the bill folder with his neat, thin fingers. I can see the speculation in his eyes as they move over my t-shirt and holey jeans. His eyes say, "Doesn't this kid have a summer job?" The waiter smiles, but it's a fake smile that matches his equally fake tan.
"No. Just the check." I steal a glance in her direction for fear that she will disappear into the crowded dining room inside. It's too late and she's gone.
I glance at the ticket that's been placed in front of me and retrieve my wallet. Throwing a couple of bills on the table, I take one last sip of my water and crane forward, looking through french doors into the dining area.
"What's your problem?"
Her husky voice electrifies my senses. I've heard it in my dreams hundreds of times. I don't answer immediately. My rehearsed line tumbles from my brain and is lost.
I turn after a measured second that seems like hours. "I have a proposition for you." The words are all wrong. Her proximity makes me nervous that she will read my mind and know.
She laughs, a brittle sound that doesn't match what I know of her. In my dreams, she is all sweetness. It startles me when she places her hand on the back of my chair and leans down to whisper. "Listen, creep. I will say this one time. You show up here again and my brother will take a sharp knife to your tender and delicate places. Capiche?"
The juxtaposition of her words and what I know of us is almost more than I can stand. I wish to start over, but there's no beginning that would be right.
"Seiko, I need your help." I think of the photograph in my wallet.
And in the other corner....CASEY BROOKS
When a princess misbehaves, most kings and queens send them to their chambers. Not mine. No, my parents send me to the dungeons. And I don’t get to just sit there and “think about what I’ve done.” I have to clean. It probably says something about my temperament that we have the cleanest dungeons in all of Farfel. Even now, as I sat on my royal *ahem* and polished the bars outside the second-largest cell for VIPs only (Very Important Prisoners), I was hard pressed to find even one speck of dust. Of course, that might be because I’ve been on dungeon duty every day this week. (Let me just say – cleaning out chamber pots? Not. Fun.)
On Sunday, I was punished for putting a snake in Prince Alec’s salad. I know, I know. Not that original, but he yelled louder than a banshee from the Mountains of Mystery.
On Monday, I ever-so-innocently suggested that the prince resembled a blue pincushion – what with his puffy sleeves and all – and my parents sent me down here again. (Though, I noticed they didn’t disagree with my assessment of his outfit).
Tuesday morning, I pushed the prince into the fountain during our supposed-to-be-romantic walk. Of course my parents didn’t believe me when I said I was protecting the prince from a very deadly looking wasp.
Really, I was surprised they still wanted to go forward with the whole marriage thing. I mean, I had hoped that if I made my thoughts on the matter clear, then they would let me out of it. But, no.
Maybe the fountain thing was too subtle.
“Maybe the prince should just go back to where he belongs,” I muttered as I scrubbed at the prison bars. After all, my parents couldn’t force me to marry Prince Alec in one week.
“That’s easy to arrange, you know,” a lilting female voice answered me. I nearly jumped out of my corset.
Peering through the bars, I saw two baby blue eyes staring back at me. They reminded me of the prince’s unfortunately puffy coat. I hate to admit it, but I judged her a little bit because of that.
“I thought this cell was empty,” I said stupidly. I was too surprised to come up with something more witty.
“New arrival. Just got here today.” She seemed unconcerned by the fact that she was a prisoner in the king’s dungeons. Calmly and primly, she sat by the cell bars, looking at me with an expression that could only be described as boredom.
She was also the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.
I judged her for that too. It wasn’t fair that she could have lustrous golden hair that cascaded down her back in waves (even while as a prisoner in a dungeon!) while my lady maids forced me to sit for an hour each day simply to have a semblance of curl.
But if she could help me … who was I to judge?
In WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!
PS. Happy Valentine Day!! <3