WRiTE CLUB 2012 – Round 29




Proving that sometimes less is more, Marquistar wins round 26.  Make sure you take the time to refresh yourself with the all of the winners by checking out my WRiTE CLUB 2012 results page.


I'm in a rush to get to the weekend, so without further adieu…..



Here are this rounds randomly selected WRiTER's.

Standing in the far corner, weighing in at 288 words, please welcome to the ring……..A. Malcolm.


He had nowhere inside the caverns to hide the charm, nowhere his mistress would not sense it. So he dug a shallow hole outside, on the cliff top, placed the golden rose in a ring of stones, and piled on more stones in a sort of cairn.

Wynne had not given it to him, exactly. The rose had come off in his hand as he'd held hers in his paws. He'd lingered for that moment after he'd rescued her, but the drone of an oncoming car, headlights slicing the night, had warned him he'd been over long in public view.

He'd jumped into the icy waters and swum back to the caverns, swiped at a passing sheep as he clambered up the cliff, and brought it to his mistress. She'd been asleep, but her nostrils had twitched at once. He'd scurried up to his lair, wet fur and all, like the guilty dog he was. Guilty for disobeying Mistress, and keeping secrets from her. Guilty even more for - what had he done, exactly? The Man part of his mind protested. After all, only the Beast owed allegiance to the mistress.

He tossed and turned on his straw bed, the underlying stone digging into his muscles.

He'd followed Wynne. Wynne, that was her name. He tried to whisper it into the dark, but all that came out was the snuffling of a wolf.

He still could not fathom what had possessed him to chase after her, but the ache had not dissipated. Man-part and beast-part alike were consumed by thoughts of Wynne, by the scent of Wynne. A long-ago smell of clean soap, and ink.

Human smells he'd all but forgotten in his five years as the Beast.

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And in the other corner, weighing in at 356 words, let me introduce to you ……..Matilda Maxwell.
 

Something felt different.

The thought floated into my mind before I’d opened my eyes, and I blinked a few times, clearing the morning fog that nestled in my brain. The purple walls of my bedroom looked the same, but there was a distinct smell of alcohol in the air, overpowering the usual aroma of clean cotton which originated from the diffuser on my dresser.

Breathing. Someone was breathing beside me. And I was naked.

I pinned the sheets close to me with one arm - a fairly pointless thing to do as he had already seen everything - and turned onto my side. The rise and fall of his chest would have been calming if I hadn’t been so stunned.

At least he’d had the good manners to stay all night.

Wait. Was that good manners? Or was it just weird? Are there even rules for this kind of thing? In a moment of clarity, I recalled asking him about it when I’d brought him back to my flat, but he’d silenced me with a kiss that made me forget the question.

Oh, the kisses.

Billy. His name was Billy. Remembering this important fact made me feel less like a floozy. It was awkward enough waking up beside an unfamiliar person, without adding to the humiliation by admitting you can’t remember what to call them.

Letting out a breath I hadn’t realised I was holding, I took a quick glance around the room. The clothes we’d hurriedly shed the night before were strewn across the floor, and various garments were dangling from my mirror and wardrobe. One of Billy's socks had somehow ended up on the lampshade on my ceiling, threatening to drop down on him at any moment.

My eyes flicked back towards him. The dark stubble across his chin that had scratched against my face when he kissed me seemed a little thicker, and his black hair was sticking out in peaks, where I’d raked my fingers through it.

Oh God.

I’d only gone out for a quiet drink with my friend, and I’d come home with the man your mother warned you about.



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Anyone can vote, but newbies should know that before they can vote they first must sign up on the Linky List found by clicking on the badge below.  The voting will remain open until noon next Thursday.

Remember, here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!

 

44 comments

  1. My vote goes to Matilda Maxwell. I was leaning her way to begin with, and the last line clinched it. Perfect!

    The first selection lost me on this sentence: "The rose had come off in his hand as he'd held hers in his paws." I read it 3 times, trying to figure out how he had hands and paws at the same time, and if he did how you pulled off someone's ring(?)with your paws. I wasn't surprised to learn he was a Man/Beast, given that hint, but overall I found too much half-information in that selection -- and not enough to bond with the MC.

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  2. My vote is for Matilda Maxwell as well. I got lost in the first one. The second one was clear and the voice stood out. Great job to both writers!

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  3. The first one confused me as well. I vote for Matilda.

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  4. Matilda Maxwell had my vote. The first piece was confusing at first, with such lines at the rose coming off in my paw.

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  5. I vote for Matilda. "I'd come home with the man you mother warned you about." LOve that line.

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  6. Loved Matilda's ending!
    But there's a bit of mystery in A. Malcom's...
    I'll vote for A. Malcolm.

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  7. Matilda. I had to reread the lines in the first one. Very brave of everyone to submit. (I did not.)

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  8. I vote A. Malcolm
    It was indeed the rougher piece. The strange past-tense / flashback was a little confusing but I thought you captured a very foreign point of view well where as Matilda's could have been an entry in a diary.
    Sometimes I have to go with the more gripping content vs. the cleaner writing. A. Malcolm was confident. The phrases "headlights slicing the night" and "swiped at a passing sheep" are efficient ways to get across ideas that some would have dwelt on for too long and with too many words.
    By the way, way to pull off the word "swum". That is an oddity.
    Matilda, by the look of the other votes your piece is the more popular and perhaps it should be. I couldn't find much to complain about in the piece but again, it just didn't grip me.

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  9. I'm going to swim against the tide and vote for A. Malcolm.

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  10. Tough choice. Both need work, but both show promise! I could easily continue reading on with both pieces.

    But since I should choose, I vote for Matilda Maxwell. It had less problems with it.

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  11. My vote goes to Matilda Maxwell. I'm sorry, I had real trouble getting through A. Malcolm's - I liked the premise though. Matilda Maxwell, aside from not having a protagonist's name to identify with, I found it much easier t relate to the story, and it had a very clear voice. I could see this being the part of a much bigger story.

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  12. My vote is for A. Malcolm. Although parts were confusing, I still felt it was a much stronger story line. The second piece is well written, but nothing is happening. Also, although I liked the sentiment of the last line, I felt the transition from 'me/my' to 'you/your' was awkward. Better to be consistent.

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  13. I'm voting Matilda too; although I loved both pieces, hers had the better writing.

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  14. I'm gonna have to waltz over and vote for Matilda.

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  15. The second one had a lot of telling, but it still gets my vote.

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  16. The first piece is intriguing, but what with the flashback and all, it's rather disjointed and confusing to me. The second piece is clever and the writing is excellent. Therefore, I'm voting for Matilda Maxwell.

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  17. My vote is for Matilda. I like both of them, but I kept rereading the first one because I wasn't sure exactly what was happening. Of course, that's challenging in a short piece. The only thing that tripped me up on the second one was the reference to a lamp shade on the ceiling... is that what you intended to say? I've never met anyone who had a lamp on the ceiling. A minor detail, but it totally took me out of the story for a second.

    Nice job both of you!

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  18. I'm voting Matilda today. I really liked both pieces, but Matilda's had a bit more of a smooth flow.

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  19. Both were good, but I'm a sucker for the sudden romance. Matilda

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  20. The "floozy" or the "wolf"...my brain is going to explode. Both were really good and I honestly would want to read on in both entries. This is a tough round, I wish both could move forward. But since I have a thing for beasts and wolves...I'll vote Malcolm.

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  21. Intriguing pieces - like the premise of the first one, but it needs a bit of polish. My vote will go to #2

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  22. My vote is for Matilda. Very well-written but I'll want to know really soon why I should be interested in this particular woman. Lots of folks have one night stands they regret.

    A. Malcom's piece seemed like something interesting was going on, but I had to work too hard to figure out what it was.

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  23. My vote goes to Matilda. I liked the idea of the first one, but I wasn't sure what was going on.

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  24. I liked Malcolm more. Both pieces had some problems, both pieces could use polishing. Matilda's piece was a little more immediate but Malcolm had a storyline I could actually follow rather than just-one-more-affair.

    Malcolm

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  25. Matilda Maxwell has my vote. I won't way how or why, but the description felt..realistic lol!!

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  26. Malcolm had an interesting situation, but I found some of the writing confusing. So even though not much is happening in Matilda's piece, the writing was very smooth, and therefore Matilda gets my vote.

    Interesting that both pieces were well under the 500 word limit.

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  27. i vote matilda. did not have a good flow on first story...

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  28. A. Malcom gets my vote for originality. I agree with comments that it was at times difficult to follow and could use some reorganizing, but the writing was pretty and the sentiment compelling.

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  29. P.S. I've got some WRiTE Club related news! After getting positive feedback on the 500 word sample I submitted in the last competition (Art Gallery was my penname) I decided to polish up the whole thing...and it's just been accepted for publication in the debut issue of Insatiable, a new literary magazine by White Cat Publications. It'll be out later this month, so I'll get around to doing a blog post about it and will of course credit WRiTE Club for the inspiration to get it out there. Thanks, D.L. and WRiTE Club critiquers. :D

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations, Nicki! I liked that story, and I voted for it! I'm very glad to see it get published!

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  30. They were both so different! I loved the second one better though.

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  31. I'm going Matilda. I was slurped into the moment.

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  32. With the announcement of Marquistar's shortie as a winner, I find it interesting that we have a bout where two more writers came in well under the word count. I ALWAYS have problems staying under word counts, lol.

    A. Malcolm gives an interesting scene, with the focus on a used-to-be-human unnamed minion of some charm-sensing unnamed mistress. I like that the entry gives a perspective into what is usually just a sidekick character, and I enjoyed the emotions in his inner struggle. But there are also a few rough edges in this piece. I'm not sure how the mc has both "paws" and "hands" -- does he transform between human shape and 'beast' shape? In the middle of that sentence? Wynne is named twice before "Wynne, that was her name" -- why? And I'm confused about how he's rescued her, is holding her hands, and then jumps back into the waters without any mention of what Wynne does -- she might has well be a mannequin who loses a charm from her bracelet. How did she react with this beast/man 'rescuing' her and holding her hand? I think this entry definitely has potential, and there may be a very enjoyable story ahead, but this still needs a little more polish and fleshing out, I think.

    Matilda Maxwell gives us a spin on the over-used 'mc just waking up' opening, but does at least add in the aspect of having there being the man from last night still next to her. The writing is nice, but this still feels a little cliched. Yet I ended up enjoying the voice and I felt both empathy and a twinge of amusement, which is what I think the writer was going for, so job accomplished. I didn't care for the, 'your mother warned you about' in the closing line (my mom never warned me about this guy Billy, thank you very much) -- I think keeping it as 'my mother warned me about' would work better. But overall, I think the writing is confident and the voice carries it well.

    So while the Malcolm's story has a little more interest for me, I do think Matilda's writing is a little stronger and I have to vote for her.

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  33. Matilda. Even though I found A Malcolms piece more potentially fascinating, I found the setting confusing and I wasn't sure what the narrative character was.

    Matilda's piece was more pedestrian in setting, but the writing had more tension.

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  34. I'm voting Matilida. Good luck writers.

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  35. Vote for Malcolm. The writing was more solid in Matilda's piece, but the waking up cliche really turned me off. Malcolm's piece had problems, as others have pointed out, and even though I'm no fan of werewolves, I'd be more likely to continue reading that story.

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  36. I vote for Matilda. I love the last line.

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  37. My vote is for Matilda Maxwell based on cleaner writing alone. Matilda's piece wasn't very original or overly interesting, but it was more polished... Malcolm's content was intriguing, but it didn't flow and was confusing.

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