Khanada becomes our 23rd entry into the play-off rounds, and with only thirteen more slated to join him/her, time indeed is growing short. Now might be a good time to refresh yourself with the all of the winners by checking out my WRiTE CLUB 2012 results page Why, you ask? Because the first play-off round will take place over a two week period (spread across three different blogs) where you’ll be asked to vote on eighteen different bouts. Starting to get a drift of what’s in store? How about some more details?
As I said, in round 1 a different bout will be posted on Mon-Wed-Fri on three different blogs (mine and last year’s WRiTE CLUB winner & runner-up) for two weeks. I am forced to use other sites in order to squeeze in 18 bouts into a two week time frame and not let the contest drag on forever. And since round one bouts will be against existing submissions, you can get a head start by checking out the winning writing samples now. The second round will take place in a one week period, also on M-W-F, also on three blogs, and will involve edited submissions. Beginning with the 3rd round everything will take place right here, and will involve new submissions, so there will be no prep work for that. But we got a few more preliminary rounds to get through before we ratchet up the fun.
Also, I may have figured out an answer for the unused submissions, thanks to a suggestion. Instead of a blog hop, after WRiTE CLUB is finished I’m considering dedicating one post per week to something I’ll call WRiTE CLUB – SKIRMISHES. I’ll host a bout between two randomly chosen previously unused submissions for the purpose of eliciting feedback. Anonymity will still be intact and you’ll still be able to choose a winner, but there will be no advancement past that one bout. I’ll host these skirmishes (probably on Wednesdays) until all of the writing samples have been depleted. For those of you who want to find out more about the writers behind the samples posted here, hopefully on the final post of the year when I invite anyone willing to do so to reveal their true self's you'll be able to seek them about through the Linky List. Sound fair?
Here are this rounds randomly selected WRiTER's.
Standing in the far corner, weighing in at only 117 words, please welcome to the ring……..Marquistar.
He closes the fridge and stares at the picture stuck to the door with a magnetic banana, the milk carton in his hand forgotten. A ten-year-old girl with brown pigtails grins at him from the small photo. Her skinny freckled arms tightly encircle a golden retriever's throat, her spontaneous smile framed by shiny braces. Swallowing against the sudden lump in his throat, he reaches out and strokes the glossy print. His eyes burn. For a moment, he tries to hold back the tears -- something from his childhood whispers "big boys don't cry" --
but he is a man now, and besides there is no one around to see the tears that slide silently down his cheeks.
And in the other corner, weighing in at 497 words, let me introduce to you ……..S. Linki.
Lady Motsu stumbled to her knees, stayed there breathing heavily, staring into the green shadows. Her lips felt chapped, her tongue dry with thirst.
The trees were huge and wild, hung with forest lace, the canopy so thick that she couldn't tell even what direction she faced, except that it was away.
Away from home, away from the things following her. Not human, she was certain, without the blue eyes of the blod or the skin and hair colorations of the Clans. What else was there?
The heels of her hands were scraped raw, her dress torn loose from its waistband where she'd fallen. What would her father and brothers think of her disappearance? Surely someone would come after her soon, take her home where her servants could tend her bruises and put her to bed to pretend it had all been a dream.
She tried to swallow, glanced back again, thought she saw eyes in the darkness. She stared, eyes dry and incurious. She didn't have enough strength to run again.
Instead she grasped the rough bark of a tree beside her hand and fought her way to her feet. Her feet burned, like the time she'd held her hands too close to a fire. The rough bark bit into her hands, reminding her of the times she'd fallen.
She faced into the forest on her feet, stared down the eyes, hoping she didn't look as frightened as she felt. Calm and defiant, but she didn't feel calm at all.
She wanted to run.
The eyes didn't move, didn't blink, and after a time she took a few tentative steps in that direction. Deeper in the shadows she looked up, studied the dark flowers seemingly growing directly from the trunk of a tree. Pale leaves cupped them, making the illusion of eyes staring down at her.
As she took another step those flowers turned, the eyes looked at her and the plant--flower--pulled its roots free of the tree and started down toward her.
She wanted to run from this thing almost more than she wanted to run from the creatures chasing her, but her legs wouldn't move.
Somehow she made them move, although they seemed to have the consistency of jelly. She stumbled back, one step and then another, watched the thing make its slow way down the tree. She stumbled back, felt one leg give out, and sat down abruptly in the bushes.
The thin stems crackled under her weight. She felt something move under her and rolled, covering her head and waiting for the thing to attack.
A small creature jumped from the brush, away from her. She didn't recognize it in the pale shadows. It darted past the tree and the eye-flower pounced.
Lady Motsu hunched, listening to the tiny thing scream, and shifted away again.
A moment later the screaming stopped and the flower climbed back up its tree, the body of Lady Motsu's savior dragged in its wake.
Anyone can vote, you just have to make sure you’ve first signed up on the Linky List found at the link provided by clicking on the badge below. Please tell your friends about WRiTE CLUB also. The voting will remain open until noon next Tuesday.
Remember, here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!