WRiTE CLUB - Semi-Finals Round 4



I want to start off by thanking everyone who has voted so far.  Each one means a lot, and the feedback to the WRiTER’s has been awesome.  But there’s no letting up because now it’s time to move onto Round #4.  Once again, the winners will be announced at noon on Sunday and the next phase will kick off next Tuesday (right after the ORIGINS blogfest).  Read the submission from each WRiTER carefully and 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…..



Coming to the ring now is our round nine winner.....LILY MASON


Mr. Griffin held out a lumpy gold paperweight the size of his palm. "This is all I have that'll hold a spell for an extended period of time.”

I plucked it from his palm and held it up to the light. A frog prince with a jewel-encrusted crown and two glittering emerald eyes returned my gaze. I smiled at it, my stomach fluttering as the urge to kiss it overwhelmed me. Feeling silly, I gave him a quick peck on the lips.

Mr. Griffin gave me an amused look while Angie giggled.

"In the original fairytale, the princess threw the frog against a wall before he turned into the handsome prince." Mr. Griffin said.

Angie scoffed. "She physically abused prince charming while he was a frog and he still married her? Jeez, what a loser."

The frog’s glittering eyes watched me. I narrowed my eyes and whispered to him, "Is that what I’m supposed to do?"

Angie lunged forward. "You’re already dating a frog, let me try."

I dodged her and tossed the frog. It sailed through the air and struck the wall, leaving a dent the size of my fist before thunking to the floor. It wobbled to a stop at my feet like a boomerang.

I looked sheepishly at Mr. Griffin, my cheeks burning. My apology barely bubbled out before the door opened and my ex, Jesse stepped through it.

My breath caught and I stared. He had been gone for sixteen months. No goodbye. No forwarding address. He simply vanished.

He’d been working out while he was gone. His grey t-shirt hugged his chest and arms. The hand in his front jeans pocket tugged his waistline down just enough to reveal a little skin. He could model for one of those ads where they sold clothes using nearly naked hotties.
 
Angie gave me a wide-eyed look before running over to give him a hug. She squealed when he picked her up and twirled her around.

I rolled my eyes. What a suck up.

“Look what the cat dragged in,” Mr. Griffin said, holding out his hand, “How are you?”

Jesse shook hands before his gaze shifted to me, his mouth set in a thin hard line. “I’m fine, sir.”

Mr. Griffin glanced at us, cleared his throat, and said, “Angie, I need your help out front.”

Reluctantly, Angie smacked Jesse on the butt and followed her dad out of the room, shooting me a wicked smile.

Feeling awkward, I picked up the frog. I hefted it in my palm twice, admiring the weight of it. I contemplated pitching it at Jesse’s head, but set it on the table instead.

When I looked up, he was close. Too close. There was a white scar above his lip that hadn’t been there before.

I decided focusing on his lips was a bad idea. “Did you come to apologize for being a jerk?”

His bright blue eyes studied my face. “I missed you too.”

 
And her opponent, our round seven winner......TERRI LEE


Running as hard as I can, I weave in and out of the trees. I know the way by now. A sense of dread fills me as I realize this time though, it’s not a dream. My heart is beating in time with my footsteps, echoing loudly in my head. Following the sounds of the fight, I begin running in that direction. It’s just like my nightmare. The moonlight, me running through the silver lit trees. Branches scratching my face as I run by. Running into the clearing I see my worst fear come true. The fight had taken place without me. Scanning the remains, my eyes stop, my breath catches in my chest.

“Ethan!” I scream, stumbling to the ground where he is. There’s a large stick, almost spear like, protruding from his upper left chest. I carefully gather up his chest and head, cradling him in my arms.

“Stella,” he chokes out.

“Shh, Ethan, don’t try to talk,” I whisper to him, tears streaming down my face. Gently brushing his hair off his forehead, I meet his dark cobalt gaze.

“I love you,” he confesses to me, as he gently wipes one of my tears away. “It’s always been you. Only you.”

“I love you.” Leaning my face down to him, I lightly press my lips to his.

“Death cannot change that,” he begins to cough weakly, his breath becoming sporadic. I watch his hand fall softly to the ground.

“No. Ethan, please, please don’t leave me,” I plead uselessly, my tears running down my face onto his.

I feel his last breath on my cheek; the last beat his heart makes painfully stops mine.

“Noo!” I cry, sobbing as I gasp for air.

Time changes, seconds to minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days. A million thoughts bombard my mind. My chest threatens to crush me whole, the pain threatening to consume me. Visions overcome me. When Ethan and I were sitting side by side on our rock. The first time he kissed me. The night he saved me. All the little moments where I could just be with him. All the times where I could glance up in physics class and catch him smiling at me. I’ll never see that smile again. That thought crushes my chest so hard I fear I can’t breathe.

Looking down at my hands, I see grey. I know once again it’s a trick of the moonlight. It should be red. It’s the dream, my nightmare come true. The dead boy was always Ethan and Ben was the evil one. I hear someone screaming and realize that it’s me.

Rage begins to replace my sadness. I fight the coldness that threatens to overtake me; I fight it with a fire now starting to burn inside of me. The fire blazing like it’s consuming dry kindle. He will not die today. Not if I can do anything about it… and I can.

Good luck to both WRiTER's!  Don’t forget the WRiTE CLUB motto, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!




31 comments

  1. I'm voting for #1. It gave me some "scratch your head" moments, but overall I enjoyed the characters, the humor, and I want to know why she "summoned" her ex.

    I never really connected with selection #2. Ethan is dying, but I have no reason to care, because I don't know anything about either character.

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  2. I thought they were both pretty good, but I'll vote for #1.

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  3. Another tough one for me...

    #1 flows well and I like the voice. There's humor and some nice story questions raised. The characters are a little ungrounded -- I'd like to know where we are and a little more about the relationships, but it's hard to squeeze that into a short passage without a blatant info-dump. And the writer does well at beginning to smoothly weave this info in (Mr. Griffin is Angie's dad, for instance), so I would expect to be fully up to speed by the end of a slightly longer piece.

    #2 has stronger emotional content, and the "...and I can" at the end is a fabulous tease to pull the reader into wanting more. But the basic scene seems a little too familiar and there is a lot of internal telling. Also, the impact is minimized by the 'is it just another dream?' undercurrent the writer introduces by referencing earlier dreams.

    Both have strengths, and I would keep on reading both selections, but since I can only pick one, I vote for #1.

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  4. Hmm... OK, both are very well written, good work!

    My vote's for #1.

    It's cute. I like her throwing the paperweight/damaging the wall. :D Also the hint that Jessie might be the frog, and I want to know more about why he disappeared and that scar...

    The second one feels like it's really hitting its stride at the last 'graph. I keep saying this, but what if you started there? The first sentence is fine, but then skip all the rest down to her cradling his torso. He says he loves her, he dies. Then she has a few memories, that last sentence about stopping his death. This needs to come out punching, and as it is, the punch doesn't come til the end. But great potential! :o)

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  5. They are both good pieces, but I am putting my vote on #1.

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  6. Wow, this one is really hard. I truly like both of them. My vote is for #2. It gave me chills.

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  7. #2 The present-tense voice makes you feel the stress and emotion better.

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  8. I can't believe I'm doing this, because I normally can't stand present tense, but I'm going with number two.

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  9. My vote is for Lily Mason! I love it and I totally want to read more. Lily, whoever you are, after this whole competition is over, you need to email me because I totally want to know more about you and your story :)

    As for the other entry - I didn't feel enough of a connection to your characters (which is hard to do in a short entry), but I just sort of felt like if this was the beginning of your story (which it probably isn't) then we're dropped too soon into the middle of the action. So, this critique probably won't mean much, since you probably develop your characters more and this is a scene from later in your work. Oh well.

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  10. I vote for #1 Lily Mason! Totally a story I would love to read more of!

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  11. I'm voting for #2... there was more of a "feeling" that surrounded the words in that short excerpt... I liked that. :D

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  12. I'll vote for #2. I was a little confused in some parts of #1.

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  13. I've never been a fan of first person POV, so I'll pick #1.

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  14. My vote is for #2. The "and I can." at the end intrigues me.

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  15. Although I'd normally go with a vengence theme, #1 has a little tighter writing, and plot concept. So it gets my vote.

    .......dhole

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  16. I'm voting for #2. I thought it captured a nice range of emotion. But I still love that whole frog throwing part at the beginning of #1.

    I've read through all the earlier entries from this week (it's kind of fun to see them all bunched up) - but can I still vote on those?

    Also, I so appreciate you taking part in Tumble 4 Ya tomorrow even with all of this going going on. You're a swell fella. ;)

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  17. Ooh, I missed Round 3! Sick. They looked fun!

    Today ~ I vote for #1.

    I'm drawn in by the tension, especially in the last sentence in #2, but more so by what's left unsaid in #1. I also prefer the past tense. Feels less 'telling'.

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  18. Both are great, but I preferred #1. I could see what #2 was trying to convey, but I wasn't quite pulled in.

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  19. #2 definitely stands out more to me!

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  20. Don't kill me DL, but this week, I just can't decide!

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  21. I like #2's since of urgency and it's very well written, but I didn't get a chance to connect with the characters.

    I choose #1.

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  22. I don't know if it is too late, but I vote for #1.

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  24. My vote goes for #2 - I like the contradictions with the fairy tale bits and the contemporary setting.

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