WRiTE CLUB 2012 Play-offs - Round Two / Bout 7



Today is the last of the edited/revised submissions (for those who chose to submit them) for round two. The bouts are posted on this and two other blogs.  Here are the links to the blogs where the other bouts can be found.

DL Hammons @ Cruising Altitude 2.0
Julie Dao @ Silver Lining
 

Read the submission from each WRiTER below carefully and leave your vote for the sample that resonates with you the most.  If you haven’t already done so in the previous rounds, 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 any of this week's 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. 

In round two...every vote counts. This is because 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 3. 

The nine winners will be posted on the afternoon of Nov. 11th and round 3 will kick off the following Monday with all new 500 word submissions.

Good luck to all the WRiTER’s!

And now…..

In this corner welcome back to the ring for a third time.....Eleven.



I had just slammed down a cocktail and was happily contemplating my eternal damnation when the angel walked into my bar. Solid muscle, like all the warriors, and with that same self-satisfied, holier-than-thou attitude. It was the set of the jaw. Gave them away every time. He paused just inside the door, scanning the patrons to the right and left of him. After a moment, satisfied his glamour concealed him, he headed in my direction.

A low whistle floated over my shoulder. “Who in the hell is that fine piece of flesh?” Riley asked.

“Who in heaven, actually.” I poured a bubbling green concoction into a martini glass and slid it down the counter. “HR security. Working a pretty tight glamour on his wings.”

“No way.”

“He’s straight anyways,” Quinn said, reaching past us for the ice scoop. “So I may have to take him off your hands.” She threw him a honeyed smile and sauntered down to the other end of the bar to deliver a couple drinks.

“Never stopped me before,” Riley grumbled under his breath as the subject of our conversation leaned up against the black marble.

The angel hooked me in an intense gaze and parted perfect coral-colored lips to speak.

“What’ll it be, Wings? Can I interest you in a synthetic blood-tini?” I smiled real big, flashing some fang.

His smug expression fell and a scowl replaced it. “You’re Zyan Star?” Half statement, half question, his voice dark velvet.

“What makes you think that?” I asked. Just to be difficult.

“Well, you’re a vamp, and you can apparently see through my glamour, which only a witch could do. A pretty rare combination of talents.” He leaned forward even more, arms crossed over his chest, bulging against his gray t-shirt. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Riley and Quinn staring from a few feet away.

I smiled slightly, pushing a strand of burgundy hair behind my ear. “So, what brings a pretty boy like you to Noir? Somehow I don’t think it’s just because you decided to take a walk on the naughty side and mingle with the commoners.”

He tensed, standing up extra straight. “I’m here on official business for the Holy Representative.” His milky white skin seemed to glow as he said it.

“Uh-huh. And?”

“He wants to hire you for a job.” He enunciated each word as it came out, as if I wouldn’t understand him. Which, actually, I didn’t.

“Come again, Wings?”

“My name is Eli,” he said, with a very angelic glower.

“Of course it is,” I crooned. “So, Eli, I kind of thought I just heard you say that the Holy Representative, that is, the direct ambassador between Heaven and Earth, God’s right hand man, all that’s pure and holy, etc., wants me, a damned witch vampire who is technically within the Devil’s jurisdiction, to work for him. Did I hear that right?"

************************************************************


And in the other corner, also anxious to return to the ring, let me re-introduce....Patrice Croninville.


I have traveled over three hundred dusty, dangerous miles with Lubomir, but today may be the day I leave the fool behind.

“Please, Lubo. Get up.”

He smiles an idiot’s smile at me, all gums and milky blue eyes. He’s found a nest of giant carpenter ants and is plucking them out one by one, shoving them between his thick, wet lips.

“There’s another storm coming. We have to find shelter.” My voice is even. I don’t know if Lubo can hear the tension that pulls at my vocal chords, cracking the last syllable. If we’re out in the open when the storm hits, the rain will slough the skin right off our faces. But I can’t afford to send Lubo into a panic.

He plucks another fat black ant and offers it up to me like it’s a roast duck with crackling skin. Heavy clouds hang low and green in the sky behind him.

“No, I don’t want any. We have to leave now, or the rain will hurt us.”

A frown creases his fair brow. Does he still have memories of pain, before I came along and took him away from everything he knew? Does he remember what caused the scars that crisscross his back?

Losing patience, I seize his wrist and attempt to pull him to his feet. As if the iron will of a 90-pound girl could lift this mammoth. He yanks his arm back in surprise and sends me flying to my knees. The sharp burn tells me I’ve torn my trousers and my flesh.

“Lubo!” I scream in frustration, raising a fist. It takes every ounce of self-control to stop myself. I want to strike him, badly, but that wouldn’t be right. Not after all he’s been through. Not after all I’ve been through. I won’t be like them.

A crack of thunder rebounds through the valley. I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’d rather leave him behind than lose my temper, so I rise to my feet. “Goodbye then. You can stay out here and feast on ants if you wish, but I’m not ready to die. Farewell, Lubo. Those must be awfully tasty ants. ”

On a lighter day, I would have laughed at the wild confusion written across his face. The expression is particularly charming. Instead I wheel around and march back up the road. We passed a rocky overhang a ways back that will serve my needs well enough. If I sprint, I may still make it in time.

He saved my life first. Then I saved his. We’re even. This is a clean break.

“Malin!” Tears well up in his eyes as he stumbles after me, breaking my heart. I am an evil, wicked girl.

I reach out with both arms. “Come on. We have to hurry.”

He may be a fool, but he’s the closest thing I have to a friend, and the only person in the world I can trust. He takes my hand, and we run.

***************************************************************



Don’t forget to visit the other two sites and vote for your favorite in those bouts as well!  Remember the WRiTE CLUB motto, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!





25 comments

  1. This is a hard choice, because they are both excellent. Eleven has the more distinctive voice, but Patrice's passage is the one I'd be more likely to continue reading. I am more interested in the 90 lb girl and Lubo, what happened to them, where they're going, etc than what the angel wants from the witch vampire.

    I vote for Patrice.

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  2. These are getting harder to choose, but today I choose Patrice.

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  3. This was a tough one.... I went back and forth a couple of times but Patrice's tugged at my curiosity just a bit more.

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  4. Whew... Really tough choice today. Both are very solid entries -- smooth writing, intriguing situations, effective characterization, and strong voices. I like both and would continue reading in each case.

    But since I can only choose one, I'll go with Eleven. The moody-noir-meets-quirky-paranormal blend is creative and that's the one I'd want to finish reading first between the two stories.



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  5. Well this is nearly an impossible choice for me. What stands out (as has been mentioned) is the unique combination of noir and paranormal in Eleven and the fresh take on fantasy of Patrice (I have to assume fantasy when "the rain will hurt us")

    I have to go with my gut. I appreciate the characterization of both pieces but Patrice feels slightly more original. Therefore Patrice gets my vote.

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  6. Patrice is the one I vote for today. I want more of Lubo and Malin.

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  7. Very impressed with Patrice's entry...she gets my vote.

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  8. I truly wish I could vote for both of these today, but since you're gonna be all bossy and make me pick only one, I'm going with Eleven.

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  9. I'm going with Eleven today but I like both of these

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  10. Patrice Croninville because it intrigues me.

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  11. DL - I'm bowing out now as a voter since I'll be without much connectivity for a few weeks. I really enjoyed these bouts and will for sure be back next year. Lots of fabulous pieces here. Thanks to both you and your wife!

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  12. Wow, this is really difficult! I like both of these so much. But I'm forced to choose, so I'll vote for Eleven.

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  13. Have to vote for Eleven. Loved it the first time through, loved it again tonight.

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  14. I cannot vote against Lubo. Patrice it is.

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