Today begins the final week of preliminary bouts.
By the thinnest of margins (a single vote) Arwenwriter takes Bout #13. The voting for Bout #14 remains open until noon on Wednesday, August 6th.
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 fifteenth of sixteen bouts, with the final bout coming 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.
Here are this bout's two randomly selected WRiTER's.
Standing in this corner, representing the Romantic Poetry genre and weighing in at 500 words, please welcome to the ring……..A. Bard.
Title: When You Are Gone
I will be as Penelope,
Waiting with the patience of the universe.
Embroidering a veil and pulling out the stitches
So that there is always something
To occupy my hands.
I will sit by the fire and whisper
Prayers and memories and hopes.
For the guests who try to sweeten your departure,
I will offer feasts and more feasts.
It matters not that I taste only ashes.
Penelope had the patience of the universe,
But I have only the patience of a woman.
And one day
I will have no more left.
I will take a ship to water.
Change my gold sandals for boots,
Silk robes for a cloak of wool.
I will take a dagger,
Hide it behind my innocence
And conceal poison in the red of my lips.
I will read the constellations
Through the mist of a siren's song.
I have been slipping in between Scylla and Charybdis
My whole life, so one more time
Won't be difficult at all.
I will be a sailor until the sea grants me passage.
When my boat kisses the shores of another land,
I will step in the sand and burn sandalwood,
Calling luck to my side.
I will travel the land that has taken you,
Be there men with heads of dogs
Or women with wings of steel.
Stories old men tell won't scare me away.
If I must turn into nobody
To pass the watchful eye of the Cyclops,
I will leave my name at his doorstep.
Circe's eyes have no power over mine,
Even if her draughts taste like peaches and honey.
I will search the stables of the witch
And cry over souls lost to pleasure.
My smile will open doors closed to men
And my dagger will open doors closed to women.
I will ask heroes to teach me
The ways to talk to the gods
And burn offerings in the temples
Of Poseidon, who cradles your ship,
Of Aphrodite, who forged our bond,
Of Hermes, who aides in my trickery,
Of Athena, who blesses my mind,
Of Artemis, who guides my hand.
I will leave no temple untouched,
So you will never have to count your blessings.
But though gods may be fickle,
I will stand with the strength of Heracles.
I proclaim my loyalty into the four winds
And keep it on my banner.
May you know I seek you always.
I will walk until I reach the edge of the world,
Where waters fall into the abyss.
And by the white rock,
I will descend into the dark
That tastes like asphodels.
Below, I will cry your name
Until my voice is dry and my words are echoes.
Yet the answer to my prayers
Will leave me hollow.
I will turn away from the river Lethe
And taste from the waters of the Styx,
When I see your shadow
And the shadow that walks next to it.
For I will wait as Penelope,
But your way was never backTo Ithaca.
And in the other corner, representing the YA Fantasy genre with 494 words, let me introduce to you……….Writer22.
Walter Pritchett slept through the onslaught of the zombie apocalypse. He woke up with his face smashed against the school bus window, a long strand of saliva dangling from his mouth. The clock above the driver’s seat said ten twenty six a.m. Last bell had been almost two hours ago. Seeing that the bus was already empty, he shrugged his backpack on, scanning his memory for a new excuse to give Mrs. Milliway, a wretched little woman with beady eyes and coffee breath.
“I have narcolepsy. It’s a real disease. Look it up.”
“You never brought us a doctor’s note.”
“My parents don’t believe in doctors. They’re Science Witnesses.”
“I think you mean Jehova’s Witnesses.”
In Walter’s view, first period P.E. was just one more class to underachieve in. At least if he were a girl, he could fake cramps. As it was, he’d end up with another referral, which meant detention, which meant insufficient time to play X box and eat cheetos.
The bus depot was deserted. Walter trudged through the seniors only parking lot where a group of football players staggered around a mini cooper, shaking it violently while a freshman girl screamed inside.
“High and skipping class before noon. But here on earth, I’m the loser,” he muttered to himself.
“For the love of god, somebody help me!”
Her voice sure did carry. Walter though she could try out for The Voice, even though the screams were a little pitchy. The jocks grunted and moaned every time the miniature car squeaked on its axis.
“Help me! Please!”
Unfortunately for her, Walter had taken a solemn vow of cowardice and refused to intervene in human affairs for any reason whatsoever if it might result in bodily harm to himself. Being five foot two and weighing eighty pounds as a sophomore guaranteed bodily harm in the event of an altercation. Thus, Walter tip toed around danger, avoided speaking up to bullies and never made obscene gestures.
“Don’t leave me here! Please! Everyone else is dead!”
That last part got Walter’s attention. Dead? Everyone? He thought it more likely that this girl had gotten in over her head with a bunch of guys who injected steroids in their breakfast cereal.
“You should have just said no and made better choices,” Walter said, quoting the public service posters scattered throughout the school.
One of the seniors spun around to look at Walter. He bared his teeth and cocked his head to one side.
“Grr. Arrggh,” he said.
“Gazuntite,” Walter replied politely.
The jock staggered forward, gnashing his teeth. Walter looked more closely at the others and noticed they were all slack jawed and had red stains on their mouths. Walter swallowed nervously and began to back up, taking a mental inventory.
Black eyes. Check.
Strips of human flesh dangling from mouth. Check.
Apparent lack of upper brain stem function. (To be fair, they hadn’t had much of that before.) Check.
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 #15. 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.
Here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing -- it’s the audience that gets clobbered!