WRiTE CLUB - Round of Six - Bout 1


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!

And now…..


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.
Right?
“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


35 comments

  1. This phase will definitely be harder, as I think I voted for all the finalists. Anyway, my vote goes to Casey Brooks.

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  2. Arrrgh.... I knew I was going to hate this round.

    I vote for both of these in the previous bouts, and still like both of them very much.

    The second one (CASEY BROOKS) has a deft, comedic voice that pulls you in and gets you interested in the story. The backstory behind the princess is smoothly revealed and the introduction of the mysterious woman in the dungeon is great at raising interest and story questions.

    The first one (LUCKY LEFT HOOK) does a wonderful job of setting the mood, and I'm intrigued as to the story behind the narrator. We initially start to think he's some creepy stalker, but then clues are very subtly placed that show us there is something much more going on here.

    It's a very tough call for me, but because I can only pick one, I have to vote for #1 (LUCKY LEFT HOOK), mainly because the voice and the overall tone of the story are more like things I most typically read.

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  3. Ugh! Yep, toughest round.

    For me, you can pretty much reread everything Chris said... BUT! I'm voting for #2.

    And for the same reason! The humor, the sass is more my style. Good stuff~ :o) <3

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  4. Okay, these are both good. But I really love the voice in #2, so I'm going with Casey!

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  5. Tough call, yes, but the set-up and voice of Lucky Left Hook does it for me. Suspense is key!

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  6. Oooooh, these are going to be really hard. I am going with #1, Lucky Left Hook.

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  7. And I thought it was hard before. My vote goes to Lucky.

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  8. Tough call - they are both good, but I have to choose #1 - Lucky Left Hook.

    Sylvia
    http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

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  9. I love them both and so can't vote :-D

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  10. I'll pick #1 - Lucky Left Hook.

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  11. Hey Don, sorry I "yelled" at you for pitting two good authors against each other last week :P I didn't realize it was all random! And it's even TOUGHER this week to choose. I love both entries, but my vote goes to #1 Lucky Left Hook!

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  12. Oh my. This voting is just going to get harder and harder, isn't it?My vote goes to Casey Brooks!

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  13. So difficult! Going for the first one, Lucky Left Hook.

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  14. I was really caught up in Lefty's story. I vote for #1.

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  15. What's going on my man! I haven't been around for some time, I know, but I'm back. Hoping to catch up on everyone's latest posts and success stories. Come by soon and say hi. I'll be hoping to see more posts from you. Until then, keep cruisin

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  16. Lucky Left Hook left me with a deja vu feeling. Gotta go with that one!

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  17. As much as I enjoyed Lucky Left Hook, I have to choose Casey Brooks. I'm still taken with the wiley, rebel voice of this princess.

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  18. As with everyone else, I really like these entries. Both are stories I want to read more of.

    Now that I've read these a few times, some small things stick out to me, so I'll mention them here for what it's worth. On the first entry, I'd consider losing some of the descriptive details about the waiter - they've thrown me off each time I've read since they don't seem important and detract from the flow.

    On the second entry, the use of parenthesis is somewhat distracting. With the tone of the piece, I think the text inside could flow just fine without the excess punctuation.

    Aaand...I'm voting for #2. I guess what edged it out for me is that I feel more connected with this character.

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  19. It's Valentine's day so I'm more in a fun/playful mood rather than a creepy/stalkery mood, so my vote goes to Casey Brooks.

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  20. Both stories had my full attention and were crafted very well. I do have to pick one, though and I choose Lucky Left Hook.

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  21. This is soooooooo hard! Both are really strong. I love the voice in both. Hmmmmm ... I think my vote is going to Lucky :)

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  22. I vote for Casey Brooks. I love princesses, especially this one:)

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  23. I also prefer Casey Brooks, but it is a difficult decision. I am not a great writer myself but I do love to read what others write. I am following you from Rome. Happy belated Valentine Day!

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  24. Both are so well written.

    But Lucky Left Hook has me hooked!

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  25. I have to admit, I'm not really in love with the snarky tone of the princess narrator, but for some reason I found myself unwilling to vote for selection #1.

    It took me awhile to pinpoint the issue, but I think it's that certain descriptive phrases took me out of the story -- apple-sized bicep, neat thin fingers, imagining her shiny black hair falling to her shoulders when it's really held in a careless knot by a red stick ...

    All these descriptions pulled me out of the story while I tried to picture them -- especially when what I really wanted was to connect with the narrator.

    So my vote goes to Casey Brooks, snark and all. :)

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  26. Casey Brooks - I want to know if she had to marry that awful prince!

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