After weeks of anticipation and build up, the time has finally arrived! Gather around one and all, there are plenty of good seats left. Have you punched your ticket by signing up on the Linky List? No voting allowed unless you’ve done that first.
WRiTER’s from far and wide, spanning the globe, representing all ages and multiple styles of WRiTING, have gathered here today to witness the inaugural bout of the 2012 version of WRiTE CLUB! Our illustrious WRiTER’s are not only from all walks of life, but they also occupy various levels of the publication world. I’m told by my wife that within our ranks we have everything from newbie bloggers to the recently published. But none of that matters today, because inside the ring they stand as equals.
The submissions have been steadily pouring in, so much so that I’ve decided to break one of the rules of WRiTE CLUB and hold two bouts per week. I’ll be hosting new bouts every Monday and Thursday for twelve weeks and the voting for every fight will last one full week. So a you can vote for a Monday battle all the way until midnight on Sunday, and you can vote for a Thursday brawl up until midnight the following Wednesday.
Here are the first two randomly selected WRiTER's.
Standing in this corner, weighing in at 493 words, please welcome to the ring……..Ratz
As he poured tea into his wife’s cup, he fantasized about pulverizing her head with the iron skillet. A wistful smile flitted across his face, but quickly faded. Hell, he’d never be able to smash the smirk off her face. With his luck, her head would break the skillet.
“What’s taking so long?” she screeched. “Do I have to call Daddy?”
He muttered a curse before going to her. “No need,” he said, fighting the urge to dump the oolong into her lap.
She snapped her cellphone shut. “Good. Another satisfactory stalemate.”
He winced. According to her, they reached stalemate a dozen times a day. She’d never played a game of chess in her life, and wouldn’t know a stalemate if it bit her in the ass.
“Don’t give me that look. It’s your job to keep me happy,” she said. “Or you’ll lose everything. That’s the deal.”
“Some deal,” he muttered. “Here,” he said, handing her a plate of cookies. Maybe he should give that rat poison another shot. Put it in the cookies next time. It didn’t even upset her stomach when he put it in her tea. If anything, it made her meaner. Maybe she was part cockroach.
She opened her phone. “Guess I better let Daddy know you want out.”
The pulse pounded at his temples, and he narrowed his eyes. “Screw you and your half-assed bluffs! You’re damned right I want out.”
He ripped the phone out of her hand and threw it. “Want it? Fetch!”
She glared at him and pushed herself out of the chair.
He shoved her back down, and snarled, “Stalemate!”
She sat in stunned silence while he tied her hands and feet, and gagged when he waved a pair of panties under her nose. “Disgusting?” he said. “Two words for you: toilet paper.” He stuffed them into her mouth. “Now that you’re gonna be washing your own damned underwear, you might try using it once in a while.”
He turned on the TV. “Before I leave this hellhole, I’m going to spend five minutes watching what I want to watch, and eating what I want to eat.”
When he returned from the kitchen, he tossed a piece of popcorn into the air and caught it in his mouth. “Is that a tear I see? Don’t worry, darlin’. I’ve got some cash waiting for me offshore. Oh, but you aren’t really worried about me, are you? You’re worried about you.” He laughed. “Don’t worry. Your old man might find you before it’s too late. If he gives a damn.”
He caught three more pieces of popcorn in his mouth, and then abruptly stopped laughing. With eyes wide and watery, he banged a frantic Heimlich maneuver on his own chest.
When he fell to his knees, his face was already turning blue. He gaped at his wife’s triumphant smirk for the last time.
He crumpled to the floor and closed his eyes.
And in the other corner, weighing in at 451 words, let me introduce to you……Word Whittler
“Oh my g - …” Julia breathed heavily and scrambled to Faith. “That thing – it’s a…”
“A dragon.” Faith said the word, but the beast towering over them looked nothing like the creatures from her dreams. Lacking scales and muscles, its grotesque form consisted of ligaments, tendons and bone. A pea green flame wove along its frame, fanning out to a thin web upon its unfurled wings. Its body filled the room, enforcing a pressure so intense Faith’s fingernails cut through to the padding beneath the carpet. Her arms trembled, fighting to regain her crouched position.
The skeletal dragon craned its neck down, bringing its skull close to the girls. Top points of its wings scraped the ceiling. A whimper escaped Julia’s lips. Faith’s throat constricted. Her heart drummed triple time.
It hissed through jagged teeth. “I am an infernal of Jie lieth. I seek the keys and girl of dragon chain.”
Its breath was like a blast of heat, singeing the round tops of Faith’s cheeks. Her ears tingled. Her eyes stuck open, all the moisture sapped away. She forced a dry swallow to free her voice.
“You, you, you have the wro-wrong place,” Faith stuttered. One empty eye socket, the size of her head, locked on to her. Not an eyeball to swivel, yet it glared down at her. With godlike speed, it thrust its claws forward, pinning Faith and Julia against the wall. Their feet dangled above the floor.
“It is one of you!” It pressed its skull even closer. “One of you has…” The creature turned its focus upon Julia then cackled. “…the dragon chain.”
Faith wondered what the beast found so funny. From the corner of her eye, she glimpsed a small chain around Julia’s neck. At the center of her chest rested a piece of silver reflecting the firelight…the shape, a dragon with a round belly.
The beast – its words - made sense to Faith, at least part of it. The silver dragon was a locket hand-made by her father, a gift from a time too long ago to remember. What could this thing want with me? She shuddered at a dawning truth. The creature had its sights set on Julia instead. The wrong girl.
Her apartment had been invaded, torn apart and set ablaze. Now the very same beast mistook Julia as the girl of dragon chain…and for what, some blasted keys she knew nothing about? A bitter cold swelled deep inside her belly. Her growing anger fueled it into her veins. The chill coursed to her fingertips and the soles of her feet. A violet glow shined between the spaces of the creature’s claw. And it noticed.
Shifting its focus back upon Faith, it rasped, “Ejule marks you, tarode! Such cannot be.”
Enjoying two talented writers at work is only part of the price of admission, now it’s up to you to decide who moves forward to the playoffs, and who will return to WRiTE another day. In the comments below leave your vote for the winner of round 1. Which one tickled your fancy? Tell all of your friends to stop by, sign up, and make a selection as well. The voting for this round will remain open until noon Sunday. Yes, it’s subjective, but so is the entire publishing world. It’s as much about the readers as it is about the writers. Here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!
It’s also not too late if you want to submit something for possible selection in future rounds. You can enter the fray at anytime during the first twelve rounds by submitting your own 500 word sample and become a full-blown member of WRiTE CLUB. Just check out the rules here…then come out swinging!
See you for round 2 on Thursday! :)