WRiTE CLUB - Skirmish #12

Program Alert! Today I'm visiting my fellow A-Z Challenge Co-host -- Damyanti -- blog today talking about Comment Love.  Also, in case you missed it, I was over at the main A - Z Challenge blog Tuesday answering Everything You Wanted to Know About Co-Host DL Hammons....But Were Afraid To Ask.

This is final skirmish where I pit contestants against each other that were not lucky enough to be chosen for WRiTE CLUB 2012. And since we are at the end, and I have three writing samples remaining, their all going into the ring at once.  Whoever is left standing when the votes are tabulated will go home with a bit more confidence.

First off, welcome Denny's Fishsticks to the ring.  Here is their 413 word submission.




Left side.  Pew#1.  90-year-old man.  His heavy-duty walker almost took out asleep-walking altar boy.  He sings every song.  Stands and creeks into kneeling.  Amen for a good life.  May his family follow in his footsteps.


U


Left side.  Pew#7.  Boy hanging over pew.  His rendition of the Transformers’ and Power Rangers’ themes got him grounded.  The pew is his obstacle course.  Amen for a plastic jet and plush dinosaur.  May mommy forget his punishment.


U


Left side.  Pew#8.  Woman on edge.  Her quick hands prevented child abuse.  She is a dam. Her husband is an angry lake. Amen for public places.  May she not take the child’s place at home.


U


Right side.  Pew#4.  Dressed-up man.  He donated a twenty.  Went out of his way to shake nine people’s hands.  Mouths songs and blesses himself out of sync.  Amen for church.  May God grant his yearly wish.


U


Right side.  Pew #14.  Needle girl smothered in layers of clothes.  She’s careful with her eyes.  Will only allow them to rest on the 90-year-old man.  She responds “Aww”instead of “Hallelujah”.  Amen for protection.  May there be someone out there for her with the old man’s heart.


U


Right Side.  Pew#25.  Obese college chick.  Alone. Doesn’t stand.  Doesn’t kneel.  Almost blew the communion off the spoon and into the priest’s face with her rapid breathing.  Amen for Diet Coke.  May it cancel out three courses of fast food.


U


Left side.  Standing in the back.  Two guys bursting with estrogen.  They’re molesting everyone with their eyes, trying to figure out, “Are we even allowed to be here?”


U


Left side.  Pew#12.  Preoccupied guy.  Ignores participating wife.  Stares at Woman on Edge’s behind for several minutes.  Glances at Obese College Chick.  Shrugs.  Takes him two minutes to undress Needle Girl.  Looks back to Woman on Edge.  Amen for deadbeat husbands.  May Woman on Edge accept a concealed note.


U


Right side.  Pew#19.  Young man.  Slept for most of the mass.  Smiled after drinking most of the wine.  Amen for beds.  May his time served count for something.


U


Left side.  Pew#1.  Middle-aged woman.  Two friends aided her in a battle against tears.  She finally lost when the priest recounted the life of a young marine. Amen for nothing.  May this entire world rot in Hell.


U


Middle. In the back. Me. What was the sermon about? I have no idea—I’m just here to judge others.
**********************************************************

Next into the ring, checking in with 498 words, is Sidym.



Jum was the youngest member of the battle troop of Kahz.  Normally he would not have been allowed to invest the city of Arslan, but his father's foot injury had prevented the older man from being present at the sacking of the village.  And rules were rules, so though Jum was only ten, here he was with his knapsack containing collars made of colored ribbons and stiff twine to bind wrists.

As he walked down the dusty lane, a small dog darted out from under a crude table placed at the edge of a shop.  The dog stopped in front of Jum and began yapping at him ferociously.  Jum grinned,for the dog was only a puppy.  Jum knelt down,and the dog stopped its yapping. Nervously, it crept toward Jum.  Jum reached out his hand and allowed the dog to sniff him, and then he rubbed the dog's head.  The dog crept closer. Jum lifted the dog in his hands, and when the dog began to lick Jum's face, Jum giggled.  Jum heard a sudden cry, and a small girl, younger than Jum, rushed out of the dwelling behind the shop and came to a stop in front of Jum.

"That's my puppy," she cried.  "Give him back!"

Jum studied the girl. She was about six years old, dirty,and wore the short wool shift that girls wore in this part of the world.

"What's your name?" Jum asked.

"Gea," the girl replied as she ducked her head and scuffed her toe in the dirt.  “That's my dog,"she repeated.

"I'm, Jum," the boy said.  "I'm a warrior of Kahz.  You’re my prisoner, Gea," he added with an air of self importance.

"You’re a warrior?" the girl asked giving Jum a skeptical look.

"Yes," the boy replied. "Honest.  Look, I have a servant collar for you to wear."

He handed the puppy to Gea and removed his knapsack.  He knelt down and opened it.  Curious, Gea crouched down to take a look inside.  Jum removed one of the collars.

"See? You have to wear this around your neck."

Gea took the collar and studied it.  "It's pink," she said.

Jum blushed. "The other colors were already taken.” Why couldn't I have gotten a red or yellow or a manly brown?

"It's pretty," Gea said as she tied the collar around her neck.

Jum removed one of the twines from his knapsack.

"This is to tie your hands behind your back. You have to wait for me by the last house in the village. A man will tell you where to go."

"But then I can't hold Zak," the girl objected,distress in her voice.  "He'll runaway."

"Oh.”

Jum frowned as he thought over her words which were perfectly sensible.  This was a dilemma,he realized.  No one had told him what he should do if he captured a girl who was holding a puppy.  Grown-ups, he thought with an exasperated sigh, never think about these important things.

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

And finally into the ring with 500 words, is Selena Lane.




“Can we go now?” Alexia, my twin sister, sat on top of a trash can, examining her fingernails. I rolled my eyes. My attacker caught me off guard. He grabbed me by the throat and slammed me against the brick wall. His two accomplices pointed their guns at me. Robbers would be much easier to stop without weapons.

“Shit, ”I muttered. “Alexia, I could use a little help.”

“And I can use a manicure,” she replied.

“Who are you talking to,” the man with his hand around my throat barked. “Are you a cop? You wired?” The man began to feel around for a wire. Not cool.

“Stranger danger!” I grabbed the man’s arm and squeezed.

“Ah,” he writhed in pain. His grip loosened and I was able to break free. I took his other arm and flipped him over my shoulder. The other men started shooting. I dashed behind the garbage can Alexia was sitting on. The bullets passed right through her, one of the advantages of being a ghost.

She yawned. “You’re losing,” Alexia raised her hands in the air. The robber’s guns flew across the ally. “After you kick their asses, we’re going to the mall.”

I rolled my eyes. The men came at me throwing punches and kicks. I dodged them easily. When I got my chance I throw a few right hooks. I was holding back. I didn’t want to kill them. It was the moral code of being a superhero and all that jazz.

Ever since the accident that took my father and Alexia’s life, I’ve been coping with fighting crime. Dad was a detective. When I was younger I used to sneak into his office and read case files. With the superpowers I felt empowered to take the law in to my own hands. Well at least stopping muggers and bank robbers. I wanted to make him proud from beyond the grave.

I survived the car accident, but I was broken. There wasn’t much to remember. Dad was driving. Alexia was in the front seat. It could have easily been me who died. When our car hit the truck all I could remember was red, foul smelling liquid. I blacked out after that. The doctors said the EMTs found us all outside the car, covered with the red stuff. They said from the looks of it, one of us was able to get us all out of the car. It wasn’t Dad, he died on impact. Alexia fell into a coma. It had to have been me. I don’t remember.

After the accident I started going through some changes. Not the “becoming a woman” changes most seventeen year olds go through, more like “discovering superpower at the most inappropriate moments” changes. I had super strength, it was cool, but every time I got mad I would punch holes in my wall. I attempted to cover them up with Bieber posters, however having Justin Bieber stare at me while I undressed, decreased my Bieber Fever.
*************************************************************
 
A little bit harder for the final go round, but this cleans out the cupboard.  You know the drill. Please help these writers out by telling them which one resonates with you the most? And Why? Leave your vote (and a brief critique if you have time) in the comments below.


WRiTE CLUB 2013 will return in July!

11 comments

  1. Hmm, this is a toughy. I was intrigued by the third one and wanted to read more but I loved the voices in the second. I'm voting for Sidym.

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  2. The first one was definitely unique! Points for originality. Second one had humor. Toss up between those two.

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  3. Hmmmm ... There are things I like about all of them. For the first one, I like the humor and the different portrayals, but I felt there were too many. I got the point after only three or so.

    For the second one, the beginning was a little "meh" but I liked the end a lot. There was also a place where it says "I" when it should remain in the third person. (Why couldn't I have gotten ...)

    For the third one, I loved the idea of her sister being a ghost. But there was a lot of backstory "telling" going on and I grew annoyed since I wanted to be in the moment.

    So, of the three, I guess I'd go with the second one, but I did enjoy them all for different reasons.

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  4. Sidym's was cute but need to dump that backstory at the beginning.

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  5. These were all good entries but I really enjoyed Denny's Fishsticks. It has a lot of potential, the writing is tight, and I like the originality. It held my interest all the way through and I never felt the urge to skim over any parts. I am a bit confused about the U breaks between the Pew descriptions though. Other than that, it reads like a great beginning to a longer piece. I'd definitely turn the page to find out more about the person doing the judging.

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  6. I do think the Fishsticks interesting--wondering if he's in church for a wedding. I definitely would like more internal emotion from the other two. Many thanks to the brave souls for putting their work out there!

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  7. I enjoyed the first one; it was different and I liked the voice. Elise said what I would say.

    The second one was a little disturbing (thinking of a ten year old going off to make slaves of people) but I liked the ending and how the boy knows what's important; to be able to hold the puppy!

    The third one has an interesting idea but reads like a rough draft. A little polishing though and it could be the intro to an interesting tale.

    Fishsticks gets my vote for best overall.

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  8. Wow, this is really, really hard.
    The first was so unusual and it took me a while to figure out what was happening, which was intriguing. However, the end seemed to be a punchline.
    The second started with a bit too much backstory, but the premise is really shocking - and awesome!
    The last just confused me, although I figured it out when "superhero" was mentioned. I had a bit of trouble connecting with the characters though.

    If I have to pick, I'll choose #2. :-)

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  9. Denny's Fishsticks is unusual, so I might have voted for that, but the other two entries drew me in more.

    I really like Sidym's writing style and the innocence of the character. So I'd probably vote for that entry if this were Write Club. However, I'd suggest deleting that first paragraph (it's backstory, and saying he wouldn't normally be allowed to "invest" the city confused me. Did you mean invade?)

    Thanks, Don. This has been an education for me! And congrats to all for entering.

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  10. The end? DL you deserve a medal! Thank you for making this such a great blog event.

    Denny's Fishsticks was fresh and interesting. I'm sure many of us have spent similar sermons in just that way, although with less interesting thoughts. I could really visualize each character, so that was very well done. I wish I had more of a sense where this story was heading though.

    Sidym I think you meant invade, not invest. I wish I knew more about the conflict, why Jum was taking prisoners. The puppy was a great way to make us see this "warrior" for the little boy he really was: It seemed neither he nor the young girl had any true understanding of what was really at stake, they were both still so young and innocent.

    Selena's piece was interesting with the crash turning the girl into a superhero. I'm curious to know how that happened. I'd feel more connected if you could have worked in her name somewhere. You could easily have Alexia use it in conversation. Overall though, I think you crammed too much into the piece. You could have mentioned the car accident as the trigger and left it at that without the details of getting out of the car, etc. Then jumped right into the last paragraph, which was funny.

    Overall, I'd have voted for Fishsticks.

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  11. I'm going with Sidym because I just didn't connect with the other two. A suggestion though: in the second para you use the character's name too many times - break it up with something else (the boy, the little warrior, etc.).

    Hope you're having a good weekend, Don!

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