Times getting short. Just a dozen rounds left to play before we head into the play-off rounds on our way to choosing a champion. Today we welcome Wren Tyler as the winner of a round 21. Stormy, will have his/her piece returned to the pool for a chance at re-selection for a future bout, or he/she has the opportunity to submit a new writing sample. Make sure you check my WRiTE CLUB 2012 results page for a breakdown of all the winners so far, along with links to all of the writing samples.
Thank you for all of your suggestions about what to do with the unused writing samples. I haven't made my mind up yet, but I'm leaning towards the separate Linky List option. I'll let everyone know what I intend to do once we draw a little bit closer to the end.
Now that you're all rested from the weekend, how about some literary carnage.
Here are this rounds randomly selected WRiTER's.
Standing in the far corner, weighing in at 499 words, please welcome to the ring……..Sapphire River.
I can’t remember the day I actually found out. To tell you the truth there probably wasn’t one all enlightening day. No flashing light bulbs or claps of thunder. It was more a gradual, seeping knowledge, a growing realisation burning into my soul.
I suppose I’d always known, deep down, that I was different. While my friends took pleasure from the usual boyhood pursuits of football, and mind numbingly repetitive computer games, I preferred to escape the confines of the crowd and roam the woods behind the disused cement works. There I’d take delight in tracking small mammals and immersing myself in nature. It was here I honed my fledgling skills. Tuned my nostrils to the sweet smell of a rabbit and the bitter taint of a rat.
By the time I reached my teenage years I had all but lost my friends. Preferring my own solitude, almost fearing the proximity of another human being.
My mother worried, I know she did. “It’s not right, Derek.” I heard her complain to my father.
“Don’t worry, Jayne, he’ll grow out of it. It’s just a phase.” My father tried to calm her anxieties but I sensed her nagging fear that I wasn’t normal.
Not like the nice lad next door. Jack played rugby for the local team. He trained hard and it wasn’t unusual to see a pretty girl tottering on his arm.
“I just want you to be happy,” Mum would say, her eyes full of unshed tears.
Happy? Could anyone be happy with this affliction - this curse?
Not long after this encounter, Mum started to present me with an array of personal hygiene products. “They were two for one at the supermarket,” she’d say, handing me a couple of bottles of some obnoxiously sickly deodorant spray. Dad was detailed with the task of suggesting I might need to start shaving or perhaps I’d like to accompany him to the barbers on Saturday for a haircut.
It was true. I did seem to suffer with an abundance of hair. It had grown to almost shoulder length, thin and straggly. It didn’t bother me in the least but my parents thought it scruffy. From my earliest teens my chin sprouted a crop of dark bristles that seemed to grow at an alarming rate for one so young.
I left school at sixteen. I wasn’t cut out for the restrictions of our educational system. I still visited the old cement works. I would spend hours running, running with no purpose other than to feel the wind in my hair and the cool air on my bristly skin. To my mother’s continued chagrin I now sported a goatee beard.
“You’ll never get a job looking like that!” She’d yell.
I would just shout back, “Good,” and run for the hills.
At seventeen, I first stayed out all night. I hadn’t planned it, it just felt right. Alone in the cement pits at night, I felt free and more alive than ever.
And in the other corner, weighing in at 493 words, let me introduce to you ……..Baxter Talltree.
I’m not sure if I said it, screamed it, or typed it. Possibly all three. I sat longer than I should have staring at three empty and hollow words, I love you. Each letter was a dagger ripping into my chest doing more damage than bullets ever could.
If you loved me, you wouldn’t do this!
My heart started pounding harder than using a sledgehammer for a small nail. It went through my chest, vibrated my hands. Find a phone, call her, my rational brain explained calmly. My eyes stung like acid was being poured into them. She’s going to do it, she’s actually going to do it this time. Please no. Please don’t. Wait, just wait for me.
Frantic, I found her picture in my phone, the one of her and Baxter, and jammed my finger into the little green send. Straight to voicemail. Fuck! Her phone is off, fuck, her phone is off! The coherent voice started screaming, and that’s when I knew, my best friend would kill herself.
Hyperventilating, I called her parents, my parents, and the cops. They told me to relax, they’d investigate. Nothing in their voices reassured me. Throwing on my five-finger running shoes, I tore off my shirt and sprinted the six mile run to her house.
Hours later, I was clutching a black stuffed dog that was missing an eye, and rocking back and forth when the house phone finally phone rang.
Please be her, please be her. “Hello?” I asked breathless from flying down the stairs. Liz hadn’t been home when I’d arrived at her house, anxiety and shakiness only filling me more. I couldn’t find a note, anything that would lead me to her.
It had been hours since our conversation, each minute that passed was a century of uncertainty. Please, Elizabeth, this better be you. This isn’t funny.
“Claire,” my sister spoke in my ear. My name was shaky on her lips, and a cold chill enveloped my body. Somehow, though she was a million miles away, someone found out before I did and called her to break the news.
“She’s dead isn’t she?” I asked in a cracking voice.
“I’m so sorry.”
Without another word, I hung up and threw the phone against the wall, exploding it into four different pieces.
I’d learn later that night that Elizabeth’s body was found in the river. Though everyone I’d called told me she was going through a phase, I knew it wasn’t, and now my best friend was dead. Not just dead, a suicide, a high school statistic.
Maybe if I’d tried to call her right away, maybe if I’d stolen a car to get to her house rather than run there she’d still be alive. But I didn’t. I fucking ran there, and I wasn’t there in time.
You love me, huh? I asked the girl who was no longer here. If you loved me, you never would have done this.
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Remember, here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!