WRiTE CLUB 2014 – Bout #14





Another slot filled.  The Baron strolled confidently into that space by winning Bout #12. The voting for Bout #13 remains open until noon on Sunday, August 3rd. Including today, only three contests remain before the play-offs begin

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 fourteenth 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.

Ready?
 

 
Here are this bout's two randomly selected WRiTER's.

Standing in this corner, representing the YA Dystopian genre and weighing in at 495 words, please welcome to the ring……..Karmann Ghia.




I’d come all this way looking for him, but now, standing this close, I’m at a loss. I had hoped we could just leave, but two women flank him while a small army stands nearby. They all look vaguely alike; tan skin, dingy brown pants and shirts, chestnut brown hair held back by makeshift hide bands.

“How did you find us?” the one on his left asks me. She steps forward, two long strides until she’s uncomfortably close. Her bright blue eyes search my face, and though I can tell she’s done this before, I’m not sure why I deserve this scrutiny. Didn’t he tell them about me, to let them know I existed, and that I would come for him?

My mouth is dry, the dehydration and exhaustion of my journey finally caught up with me. I try not to pull away, to step back from her – I can’t let her know how uncomfortable it is to have her so close. I swallow, hoping to moisten my mouth enough to speak.

“I found a traveler with a map,” I explain. “Another girl – she looked like you. She was headed in the opposite direction and said she wouldn’t need it anymore.” I don’t mention that the girl laughed, a relieved, bubbling laugh, and wished me luck. It was weird enough when it happened, I don’t like to think of what she could have or should have warned me about.

The leaves on the forest floor crinkle beneath my feet as I adjust my stance, my legs threatening to give out. Seemingly satisfied with my answer, she steps to the side, calling over her counterpart on his right. They bow their heads together, their voices incomprehensible against the sounds of the forest.

My eyes find Steven, finally relaxing enough to focus on him. His jet hair is chin length now, waving around the side of his face. His cerulean eyes, always kind, watch me, and as our eyes meet, he smiles hesitantly. I take a moment to relax – relieved that I finally made it to their compound, finally found Steven.

“Thank you,” he mouths, unwilling or afraid of speaking out loud I don’t know. I nod and look away – I know if I keep looking at him I’ll cry, and I can’t look weak, not in front of these girls. They can’t know that he’s all I have, that I’m terrified of losing him. My eyes shift to the forest canopy, watching the bright light of day dim as it filters through the leaves.

“We’ve decided,” the first girl says. She’s back at my side so quickly and silently it’s unsettling. “You can stay here with us.”

“And what if I don’t want to stay? What if I want to take him and leave?” I’m still faking bravado.

She grins, her lip peeling back over her teeth like a wild animal. “Then we’ll give you a six hour head start to run. And then we hunt.”


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And in the other corner, representing the Short Story genre with 492 words, let me introduce to you……….texgirly.



Lost and Foundling

“Did you see it?”

“Yeah, gross. And sad. But mostly gross.”

“Has the mother seen it? “

“Just before she passed out. Delirious. Said he looked like his father.”

“Must be one ugly dude.”

“She said he’s coming to get them.”

“She’s still unconscious, nearly died.”

“I can’t believe they didn’t do a c-section.”

“She wouldn’t consent. Against her religion, she said. Doctor Riggs warned her of every complication known to man, but she refused. Blinked those big blue eyes and he let her angelic face sway him. Could have lost them both.”

“Nearly did. Baby’s heartbeat went over 200, then stopped for two minutes. They were prepping for an emergency section when the monitor came back on line, perfect as pie.”

“Probably been for the best if the baby hadn’t made it. It looks like a zombie or something. All gray and twisted. Really long legs and arms, and big, pointy ears with tufts of hair.”

“Jeanie in neonatal said it’s a fetal alcohol baby, but the mother doesn’t look like a drunk. More like a farm girl. Blood work was textbook.”

“Well, she almost bled out. and Riggs stitched her like a quilt. Looked like the baby chewed his way out.”

“Gross.”

“He has teeth, Jeanie said. A mouthful, yellow and sharp.”

“Said he didn’t cry. He growled.”

“Jeanie’s a liar. She loves drama like an old drag queen.”

“I know, but she was really freaking out. Even Emma doesn’t want to hold him, and she loves all the babies.”

“Did the mother say anything else?”

“No, just that Daddy would be here soon.”

“Sorry to miss him, but--what’s that noise?“

“Something awful, sounds like. Every baby in the place is crying their lungs out.”

“More than babies. Sounds like the whole place is screaming bloody murder.”

“Crack the door so we can see.”

“Are you nuts? It sounds like all hell breaking loose. You look.”

“No way. The whole place is going crazy. Security has to be on its way.”

“I can’t stand it not seeing. Turn the light out. No one can see us peek out.”

“Don’t you dare open that door.”

“Ssh. This is weird. It sounds like singing, loud, horrible singing.”

“Singing? Over all the screams? Get away from the door right now.”

“No, come look. There’s a gigantic man at the nursery window, singing. It sounds like a lullaby, but it’s so out of tune my ears may be bleeding. Man alive—what a monster. Has to be eight feet tall.”

“Close the fucking door! The police should be here soon.”

“I don’t think the police are going to help much. This guy’s not just huge and gray. He’s glowing.”

“Glowing? People don’t glow. Not even giants.”

“He is though. Shit! He’s turning around. Shut the door. Hurry!”

“Ok. You’re shaking. Is he that scary?” “Worse. The mother was right. The baby looks exactly like his daddy.” 


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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 #14.  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!

WRiTE CLUB 2014 – Bout #13




Can you feel it?  The end of the preliminary rounds approaches and the tension is rising.  Will your submission be one of the chosen 32?  And if it is, will it survive the bout?  Dame Hortense Pemberton answered that last question by winning Bout #11. The voting for Bout #12 remains open until noon on Wednesday, July 30th. Including today, only four contests remain before the play-offs begin

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 thirteenth 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.

Ready?


 
Here are this bout's two randomly selected WRiTER's.

Standing in this corner, representing the Romance genre and weighing in at 500 words, please welcome to the ring……..BellaD.


Girls’ night. We’ve all had them, haven’t we, ladies? One fabulous night to get yourself dolled up and laugh yourself stupid with your besties. They never happen as often as you want, and when they’re done, you all swear that you’ll have to do it more often. Except life gets in the way and months will pass before you can meet up once more. It makes those stolen nights of estrogen-filled bonding that much more sacred.

Which is why I was fucking seething.

There I was, standing at the bar, dressed to kill with a drink in hand. All four of my girls, who had entered this pit they call a club with me, had disappeared into the writhing throng of drunks on the dance floor. I normally would have been out there with them, but considering that every single one of them was plastered to a man, I was fuming. Tonight was supposed to be about hanging with my best friends and finding myself back. Instead? I was alone. At a bar. Drinking by myself. Oh, and my feet were bloody killing me.

Kicking off my ridiculously tall high heels under the premise that I just didn’t care anymore, I tossed back the last dribbles of my paralyzer and waved to the bartender for another. Bless him, he immediately started whipping up a fresh drink for me. “I finally find a man I can count on, but I have to tip him to get service,” I mumbled. “Figures.”

The bartender slid the almost-overflowing plastic cup in front of me, but waved me away as I pulled out my cash. “No need,” he explained, voice raised to be heard over the pulsing music. “The guy down the bar covered it.”

My eyebrows launched themselves northwards as I slapped a bill down on the bar. “Did he now? Tell the hotshot I can pay for my own damn drinks.” What guy tries to pick up by buying drinks for random women nowadays? I sneered to myself. Hey buddy, 1991 wants its ice breaker back. I dismissed the antiquated Casanova and turned back to my drink while trying to resist the urge to go berserk and punch anything with a dick within 10 feet of me. I smiled. What a great word, I thought. B-u-r-z-u-r… I eyed my drink suspiciously... both of them. What the hell is going into these things?

The booze wizard appeared before me once more, waving me close. I stretched up on my tiptoes and leaned over the bar, meeting him halfway so he could speak into my ear. “He said if he couldn’t buy you a drink, will you buy him one instead?” I couldn’t help it. I laughed. I had to give the masochistic cheeseball points for that one… except he could be a serial killer… and I hated men. Right. I grinned magnanimously at the bartender and yelled, “tell him to fuck off.” The mixologist laughed and turned away, leaving me to shake my head. 


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And in the other corner, representing the Upper MG Fantasy genre with 498 words, let me introduce to you……….ArwenWriter.



I know what you’re thinking. Trolls; nasty, ugly creatures that live in caves and under bridges. And you’d be right, for the most part.

I come from a long line of proud, ugly bridge trolls. It’s what we do. We guard bridges, take tolls, and occasionally grind bones to make our bread.

I’m kidding.

Well, sort of.

See, I’m not really a normal troll. I guess you could call me the black sheep of the family. Maybe not a sheep though, since my family eats those. I’m pretty sure they don’t want to eat me. I’m a vegetarian, which doesn’t sit well with them at all because the main staple of troll life is bone-bread. Made from…you know…bones.

Truthfully, I prefer to eat things that didn’t scream in fear when they died. Like berries, mushrooms, and whatever I can poach from the farmer’s crops at the edge of the forest. I’m not proud of stealing the food, but at least I’m not trying to eat the farmer. One night I took my baby sister, Ivy, with me, and things got a little ugly. She’s three, and big for a troll of her age. Anyway, the farmer’s dogs chased us out of the tomato patch, and, well, my sister was hungry. Let’s just say the farmer has one less dog now.

I won’t make that mistake again.

I just wish I could say the same thing about my current situation. Unfortunately the mistake I keep repeating involves breathing, according to my exceptionally foul-tempered cousin, Rot.

“Line ‘em up, boys.” Rot’s deep, grumbling voice says maliciously.

As I look up at the sky, which is also in line with my feet, I wonder what I am to be used for today. The thick vine wrapped around said feet suggests something that involves swinging. Or torture. All the same, really.

“It’s a good day for bowling, eh, River?”

Great. I would reply, but he’s conveniently wrapped another vine around my mouth. I settle for rolling my eyes.

The bulky trolls with Rot gather nearby, placing something on the ground, trying to painstakingly place whatever they have in a small pile. I hope it’s mushrooms; something soft that won’t leave a mark on my face. I twist my head to get a better look, causing blood to rush even faster to my head. When they move, a patch of angry-looking forest gnomes stand glowering at me, tied up more tightly than I am. One of them bares his teeth at me. He looks rabid. Or hungry.

On second thought, maybe I could just pass out now and get this over with.

The gnome snaps his teeth eagerly and I cringe. This day is going downhill fast. The trolls line up on either side of the path I will take to collide with the captive gnomes. I see flashes of silver and gold. They’re taking bets and it’s not even past breakfast. 

Rot pulls me back, his dark chuckle close to my ear. 


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


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 #13.  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!

WRiTE CLUB 2014 – Bout #12





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. 

What Cullie said about Kard makes me nervous so I head over to Lawanda’s place. If anybody’s got the skinny, it’s Lawanda Mattson.  Her place isn’t swanky like the cafes in the Hills Sector, no polished floors or cloth napkins on the tables.  In the Hills, the waiters wipe your chin if you dribble your soup.  Never been there, but that’s what they say.  Electricity is always on in the Hills.  At night, the glow from that side of the wall lights up the whole sky.  I tell Jupiter we’re going to live there someday, but deep down I don’t believe it’s possible.  Need a ton of credits to live in the Hills, and most days, I can barely scrounge enough to keep me and Jupe fed.


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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.

“No!”

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. 

Here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing -- it’s the audience that gets clobbered!
 

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