S. King becomes our eighth writer to reach the play-off rounds! Remember, you can check my WRiTE CLUB 2013results page for a breakdown of all the winners along with links to the previous bouts.
Counting votes that came in last night, over the course of nine bouts so far I have received 378 votes (by registered voters), and therefore that same amount of names have been added to the pot for the $75 gift card to be drawn at the conclusion of the contest. That averages to 47.25 votes per bout – which is awesome! Nine voters have commented on every single bout – which is doubly awesome!! I just wanted to take a moment on behalf of the contestants for all of the interest (and critiques) you have bestowed upon their work.
Let’s keep it rolling....
Here are today’s randomly selected WRiTER's. Standing in the far corner, weighing in at 470 words, please welcome to the ring The Scribbler.
It was almost as if they didn’t remember they were at a public pool. With children. I watched them covertly, glad of the sunglasses that shielded my gaze. Not that they noticed anyone. Their faces were close together, her legs wrapped around him as he held her up with hands under her, well, her buttocks. I blushed and looked away but couldn’t help looking back.
She was garish, who wore make up to a pool let alone that much? He was, well, a redneck meets inner-city San Francisco. But it was the expression on their faces that drew me.
How long has it been since my husband looked at me that way? How long since I glowed like that? Knowing myself to be the object of his affections.
A tug on my arm distracted me. “Yes dear?” I asked my fifteen month old. “Oh look, a ball. Throw it to mommy.”
I hadn’t even realized our marriage was missing anything until I saw them and, shocked, thought ‘we used to be like that!’ I tried to remember the last time my husband and I had been that way; oblivious to the surroundings. Three…four…maybe five years ago.
“Good throw, baby. Mommy will throw it back now. Catch.” Now here I was sitting in a one foot deep kiddy pool playing catch with someone who couldn’t even talk. “Oopsie. You’re ok. It’s just water, wipe it off. Stop crying. You splash all the time in the tub.”
A wave of loneliness swept over me and tears pricked my eyes. Again I was grateful for the glasses. I didn’t dress up much anymore, or curl my hair. But had that happened after he stopped looking at me or before? I couldn’t remember. Or was it one of those vicious cycles everyone kept talking about. I didn’t know what they were but they sounded unpleasant.
Is it me? I looked at the pooch on my tummy covered by a t-shirt. And my thighs were flabby, but modestly covered by a swim skirt. It might look a little grandmotherly but how else would I hide the cellulite?
“Time to go baby.” I gathered up the swim floaties, water toys, sippy cup, and cracker wrappers that littered our chair, stuffing them into the already full beach bag. “We’ve got to make dinner for daddy.” Daddy who would sit, head bowed and nod indifferently to my recitation of our day, even though he had asked. Then he would sit down with the paper. At least he would keep the baby on his lap so I could get something done.
I remembered the glow in the girls face as she wrapped her arms around the boy. Would my husband would even look at me tonight.
“Yes, we’ll come back tomorrow.” I hoped the couple wouldn’t be here then.
And in the other corner with 500 words in the YA Contemporary genre, let me introduce to you BruinGirl.
I lower the volume then turn on the record player. I skip to track 3 since she circled it. It must’ve been one of her favorites. I set the needle down on the record then lie down on the floor in front of the speakers.
It begins with a single slow drumbeat and a soft strum of the guitar. Oh Mother, I can feel myself drowning. A subtle sadness leaks out of the lead singer’s voice. Soon the guitars and drumming pick up as the singer laments his loss. Ohhh, it’s over and love can never be for us. It’s natural and real, but not for us. It’s haunting, the single guitar strum and the way the singer’s pleas become more and more desperate. I feel his misery begin to swell inside me. It’s so easy to hate and so easy to laugh, but such bravery, oh, to be kind. The guitar and drums begin building once again, each strum and each hit with more force than the one before it, with more pain and insistence.
I close my eyes as the desperate voice repeats the opening line over and over. Oh Mother, I can feel myself drowning. By the end of the song, he truly is drowning. He feels it, and I feel it. A tear begins to form in my right eye. There is such great pain and sorrow in this song. Even without lyrics, the slow build of the music creates desperation and longing all on its own.
I jump up and return the needle to the beginning of the song. I have to hear it again. I stand over the console as it starts up once more. I take in slow breaths and remain fixed with both hands on top of the console. My heart beats in rhythm with each note. The quiet sorrow of his voice makes me ache from within, and as the arduous pain in the lyrics and the melancholy guitar notes grow in strength, a tear streams down my cheek. He is so sad, overwhelmed by a drowning desolation. Another tear falls at the thought.
Still hovering over the console, I play the song again and again. Each time more tears spill for the achingly beautiful lament in this song.
The next time I play it, though, something happens. When he calls out Oh Mother, I can feel myself drowning, I call out with him. We sing it over and over as tears streak both my cheeks. My legs weaken, and I crumple to the floor. How could she have left me? Oh Mother, I can feel myself drowning. Tears turn to sobs that nearly choke me. Why wasn’t her love natural and real? My body shakes, racked with sobs. It is over. My mom is gone. Forever. She’s gone and she’s never coming back. Oh Mother, I can feel myself drowning. Oh Mother, I can feel myself drowning.
As always, anyone can vote…just register on the Linky List HERE. Please remind your friends to make a selection as well. The voting will remain open until noon next Wednesday (Aug. 21st).