Huntress walks away the winner of Bout #10. The voting for Bout #11 remains open until noon on Sunday, July 27th.
A rundown of all the past and current matches, with their respective winners, can be found right HERE.
Here's a recap for anyone just stopping by for the first time. Back on May 3rd we began taking submissions from WRiTER’s far and wide, spanning the globe, representing all ages and multiple styles of WRiTING. We received 167 entries in all! Those 500 word samples went under careful consideration by 11 judges and that panel narrowed the list down to 32…which are the ones that are pairing off in the ring over the course of eight weeks.
These illustrious WRiTER’s are not only from all walks of life, but they also occupy various levels of the publication world. But none of that matters here, because inside this ring everybody stands as equals. You know why? Because no one uses their real name…the only identification you’ll ever see is their pen name. This is not a popularity contest. The focus here is on the writing, where it should be.
Today is the twelfth of sixteen bouts, two bouts per week, with a new one posted every Monday and Thursday. The winners are decided by votes left in the comment section and anyone can vote. The voting for each fight will last for one full week, so you can vote for a Monday battle all the way until midnight on Sunday, and you can vote for a Thursday brawl up until midnight the following Wednesday. And when you do vote, please let the contestants know what you liked and disliked.
Have you got your popcorn and favorite drink? Time for the fun to begin!
Here are this bout's two randomly selected WRiTER's.
Standing in this corner, representing the YA Dystopian genre and weighing in at 497 words, please welcome to the ring……..Octavia Worldsend.
An hour passes and I’m about to give up and go when Cullie finally swaggers back to his room. He’s all big talk and grabby hands, but I can tell he’s lying. The bigger the lie, the deeper the dimple in his cheek. John Cullpepper’s nothing but a flunkie and he’ll never be anything more.
“It’s happening, Nonni. Kard’s taking over East Valley and making me his top man.” He slips an arm around my waist and pulls me against him. “If you’re nice, I’ll put in a good word.” I don’t react. Sure he’s handsome—dark eyes, thick black hair and dimpled smile—but no way we’re hooking up. I don’t need that kind of trouble. I just let him yammer till he runs out of spit.
A lot of guys would show you the back of their hand if you treated them like that, but Cullie just gives me his wounded puppy look. “Nonni, why are you always so cold?”
Because you’re a jerk, asshat. That’s what I’m thinking, but I don’t say it out loud. I have a place in this sector and I don’t need trouble from a bootlicker like him. “Gotta go, Cullie. Jupiter’s waiting. You gonna pay me or not?” His expression gets hard and for a minute I think he’s going to renege on our agreement. “Come on,” I say, “I made the delivery.”
“Maybe I don’t like your attitude.”
“We had a deal.”
He grumbles and cusses, but he pulls a whole credit out of his pocket and tosses it to me. I don’t bother to thank him. I pick up my knapsack and walk out.
The streets of East Valley are humming this time of day. Humanity of every kind crawling over one another. A broken down Humvee roars past. Guys just like Cullie congregate on every corner, looking for trouble, or a hook up to make them feel like men. I get catcalls, but I ignore them. Time was I’d turn around and smash my fist into the guy’s face, but these days I try not to be so conspicuous.
Jupiter says I’m getting soft, but I think I’m getting smart. Doesn’t pay to attract attention in the Grey City.
And in the other corner, representing the Middle Grade Contemporary genre with 498 words, let me introduce to you……….The Baron.
They’ve been watching us all along, gathering in force. Oh, they may look like cute little lawn decorations, but secretly, they’re preparing for total world domination. I’m all that stands between humanity and the gnomes.
The dark night calls to me. The lights on our street have been out for months, but life is tough everywhere. The city cannot be bothered to replace them despite the beautification tax I hear everyone talking about. I don’t mind: it’s perfect for gnome hunting. Despite my best efforts, the little monsters with their sinister smiles continue to multiply—congregating in broad daylight no less—but tonight I strike back. One has slipped past my defenses. It will die for its transgression.
When the children’s breaths turn to the solid rhythm of sleep, I slip out of my bed. Slowly, I creep down the hallway. I know what it is to be caught killing a gnome. The retribution could last for days, or weeks. Limited rations, diminished yard privileges, but if I can eradicate them from my home, well, I’m doing this for my children.
One step at a time, I avoid the squeaky parts of the wooden floor, and all too quickly, I stare at the vile creature from across the living room. It sits on a place of privilege, above the fire place, the heart of the home. In just months, the children will hang their stockings from that mantle. A growl rumbles through my chest, but now isn’t the time. Soon.
With grace to make the cat envious, I climb the couch and prepare to jump to the mantle. There’s no fire tonight, but a miss would spell doom. The gnome stares ahead, not watching my progress out of arrogance. After all, it doesn’t fear my attacks.
They are impervious to normal attacks, encased in a magical shell.
I gather my legs under me, bunching for the leap and spring into the dark air. I hit the mantle, scrabbling until I make the ledge. Hopefully, the noise won’t wake anyone. Gearing my mind up for the gruesome task at hand, I slink along the mantle, one foot at a time. Even better, it will look like the cat did it. High places have always been her purview.
Light floods the room, blinding me.
“Baron! What are you doing? Bad dog!” my mistress yells.
The gnome is close enough. I push it with my nose. It tumbles from the mantle in slow motion, falling to its death.
The gnome flips away from the hard tile fireplace beneath. I pushed it too hard! The gnome bounces harmlessly into a throw pillow, sparing it from its deserved death.
I’ll eat every pillow in the house.
“Baron Von Barker, you have some explaining to do, mister.” She shakes her finger at me. As I jump down from the mantle, the gnome grins at me, safe for now. My plot foiled again.
I am Baron Von Barker, and I am a gnome hunter.
Enjoying the words of two talented writers is only part of the price of admission, now it’s up to you to decide who moves forward to the playoffs. In the comments below leave your vote for the winner of Bout #12. Which one tickled your fancy? After you vote please tell all of your friends to stop by and make a selection as well. The voting for this round will remain open until noon Sunday. Yes, it’s subjective, but so is the entire publishing world. It’s as much about the readers as it is about the writers.