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.
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.”
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.”
“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.”
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!