In this 3rd round our contestants face different competitors, with brand new writing samples from each. This is the second of five bouts...a different one posted on each day of the work week...and like the previous rounds you'll have until noon Sunday (Nov. 18) to vote on all of them. Read the submission from each WRiTER below carefully and leave your vote for the sample that resonates with you the most. If you can, offer some critique if you have time. Anyone reading this can vote (after signing up on this Linky List) so blog/tweet/facebook/text/smoke signal everyone you know and get them to take part in the fun. You will have until noon on Sunday (Nov. 11th) to vote on these nine bouts. Vote on as many bouts as you can get around to. Whether that is one bout, or all nine, how much you participate is up to you.
Remember...every vote counts. The contestant who doesn't win their bout but garners the most votes amongst the losers, will become a wildcard winner and advance to round 4.
The five winners will be posted on the afternoon of Nov. 18th and round 4 will kick off the following Monday.
Good luck to all the WRiTER’s!
His elongated limbs are bent at sharp angles. It's grotesque almost, the unnatural way he's perched on the mansion's roof in the middle of the black night. Inhuman. He was human once. But no longer. He can't die. Not by natural means.
This idea once intrigued him, fascinated him to the point that he spent the last part of his human life bringing about his own immortality. Eventually, he came to view his unending life as the most exquisite form of torture. Now, however, his condition is neither a blessing nor a curse to him. It's merely a fact. It's nothing.
Nothing is anything to him anymore.
Everything meant something to him when he was mortal. He was a man of great passion—for his country, his people, his religion. It was this passion that spurred him on to accomplish what others were too frightened, too conciliatory, to do for themselves. It was what drove him to inflict punishments of the most extreme cruelty on whomever he deemed to be his enemy, lest anyone doubt him wholly committed to his cause.
Another kind of passion had burned within him. This was a smoldering affection for the pure-hearted woman who readily wrapped her warmth around him whenever he returned from the battlefield to her bed. It was her prayers that spurred his victories and carried him through his losses, even after the tragedy that took her from him. He remembers the pain of losing her. The disbelief, and then the ache of emptiness.
He remembers it, but he doesn't feel it. Not anymore.
He felt plenty after his conversion to the undead. But it was different. By the time he stepped from the grave, his human concerns had fallen away. He arose drunk with the success of his radical scheme. He didn't need his religion anymore; he'd transcended the most basic of its teachings. Likewise, he no longer had any desire to fight the battles of man; he'd proven himself above their law.
His new passions burned hot and furious in a haze of hubris and indulgence. And oh, he felt it all. The fluttering thrill as each victim came under his control, elation when he allowed them just enough awareness to become wracked with terror. Deep satisfaction when he finally reclaimed the family castle as his own. And he felt each and every ministration of the ethereal beauties he chose to keep as his brides.
The excitement of his new existence began to dull after a time, but his emotions had by no means been snuffed. They simply changed, and he became consumed with boredom, which led to desire: the desire to expand his influence into the western world. Luring the unsuspecting solicitor into his lair to set the plan in motion had been the most interesting thing to happen to him in a very long time.
And in the other corner, also anxious to return to the ring, let me re-introduce.... Eleven.
At the top of the hill rose a door, just sitting there in open air, no frame or anything, not even a door handle. It was made of shiny black stone, like obsidian. Demonic runes covered it, jagged scars in an otherwise smooth surface. Backlit by a lake of flames on the other side of the hill, it was a rather impressive sight. A sense of absolute dread descended on me when I looked at that door.
Anna had reached the door and opened it by pressing her hand against one of the runes, which glowed white briefly. On the other side lay absolute darkness. Blacker than the space above us, blacker than the tunnels we’d passed, blacker than the door itself. Without even a half moment’s hesitation, Anna stepped through, and Alexander after her. I paused. I couldn’t see a thing, not even whether there was ground on the other side, or I would plummet to my death.
“Aren’t you coming?” came Alexander’s amused voice.
I gritted my teeth and stepped through.
The darkness vanished and I stood… on a beach. My eyelids fluttered as I took it in. Milky white sand scrunched under my shoes and ocean air soothed my skin. I had forgotten how hot it’d been where we were until I stood now in the cool light of a setting sun.
Endless turquoise ocean stretched out to my left, and to my right rolling green hills covered in clover. And straight ahead sat an enormous house which bridged the two landscapes. It wasn’t quite rustic enough to be called a castle, and it wasn’t quite modern enough to be called a mansion. Made of warm, beige stone, it descended from the green cliffs down to the wave-lapped sand. Towers and turrets and parapets and walkways extended out over the sea, and I could see someone standing on one, silhouetted against the sunset.
“Please join me,” a voice whispered in my ear.
And then we were standing on the balcony next to the person I’d just seen.
He didn’t have beet-red skin or goat’s eyes or horns. He had golden hair, radiant pale skin, amethyst eyes and full pink lips. Devastatingly beautiful, so much so it almost hurt to look at him. Lucifer. The Devil.
“Zyan Star,” Lucifer said, and his words wrapped around me like honeysuckle vines, sweet and intimate. “I’ve been wanting to meet you for a long time.”
I was speechless, for once.
He smiled, and it almost seemed kind. “You’re in shock.” He laughed, and it sparkled on the air like pixie dust. “What did you expect? I am an angel, after all, not a monster.”
“Where are we?” I asked, a little breathlessly.
See you back here tomorrow for Bout #3.
Remember the WRiTE CLUB motto, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!