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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
“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!