WRiTE CLUB is a writing community sensation sponsored by the DFW Writers Conference that is loosely based on the popular movie Fight Club. There are numerous versions of this concept floating around the internet, but nothing like we do it here. This unique approach embodies simple, good-natured competition, with lots and lots of fun sprinkled on top.
Today we continue with the second phase of the contest which involves ten more daily bouts (M-F) over the next two weeks between Anonymous 500 word writing samples, submitted under a pen name. The writing can be any genre, any style (even poetry) with the word count being the only restriction. Today is Bout #14. Read each sample carefully and then leave a vote in the comment section for the one that resonates with you the most. Don’t forget to leave with a brief critique of both submissions as well.
Voting for each bout will remain open for one week. The winner of each will be posted HERE, at the WRiTE CLUB scoreboard. Are you ready?
Here are todays randomly selected WRiTER's.
Standing in this corner, representing the Fantasy genre and weighing in at 498 words, please welcome to the ring……..A.M. Sterling
The altar went dark as the eclipse became total. The Princess Regent who had kept proudly silent throughout the humiliation gasped sharply as the High Subjugator’s obsidian shard flashed down. She bit back agonized screams as he cut her open, reached inside her still-living body, grasped, and yanked. A final gasp and Kaya was still. The priest held up her pulsing heart, but there were no cheers from the assembled army.
Darius swallowed his nausea as his former Princess’s blood poured down the sides of the altar. At least it had been a proud death.
Bannir placed his new trophy into a small chest and the northern wind grew sharply colder. Ballik was pleased. “This altar is sanctified. Bring the next sacrifice.” A pair of Ravagers dumped Kaya’s body unceremoniously forward as others brought forth a new offering to the Dark Lord of Winter.
This victim was slighter and hidden from Darius’s view by the altar, priests, and deepening darkness, though he could hear a curious animal squealing.
“What comes now to the holy altar?” Bannir ritually asked.
Ralor, as assisting priest, spoke with greater drama and volume. This sacrifice was the most important. “Her Highness, Tamora Arrigar, Empress of the Sindathi Empire.”
Darius froze. No.
“Does it come willingly?”
“It does not.”
“What makes it a suitable sacrifice to our lord?”
“It is Empress of the hated Empire, oppressor of our people. It is scion of the tyrannical Imperial dynasty and mother of future tyrants. It persecutes our faith. It is an enemy of Ballik.”
“It is acceptable. Bring it forth.”
The men parted and little Tamora was brought to the bloody altar. Black hair framed an expression of abject fear. A gag was mostly suppressing her panicked screams and her courtly dress was blood-spattered. Ralor ripped it open, exposing her small, new breasts.
Darius looked around him at those soldiers who had survived the day’s battle. Some shifted uncomfortably or averted their eyes from the impending child sacrifice, but most were unmoved. This was not just some little girl. This was the Empress, the avatar of their most ancient enemy, and she must die.
He took a shuddering breath. I chose my side. There’s nothing I can do.
The priests lifted her onto the altar more gently than they had her mother. Tamora hardly resisted, but searched frantically for rescue.
She found him. Tamora’s eyes locked on Darius’s and widened in surprise and recognition. They begged him for help before she was chained down out of sight.
Bannir chanted and her gag was removed. “Darius! Darius!” She called out again and again, her young shrill voice full of terror. Ralor raised an eyebrow in Darius’s direction, but Bannir steadily continued the prayers of offering.
“Darius, please! Please stop this! Please help me!” Tamora’s final cry devolved into sobs.
Darius’s clenched and unclenched his fists, his teeth gritted. There’s nothing I can do.
Bannir raised the black knife.
He shut his eyes and turned away.
And in the other corner, representing the Contemporary genre with 498 words let me introduce to you……….MissWriteNow
Uglier than snot on a two-year-old. Yep, that’s Ms. Pearson all right.
“Kevin? Your essay?” she says, her left eye twitching, which is never a good sign.
“Well, you see…”
“Excuse me, Ms. Pearson?” Abby Parker interrupts from her front row seat. “Kevin must have forgotten his essay at home. I know he finished it, I helped him with his reference sheet.”
Ms. Pearson’s face turns from stalker to well-if-Abby-says-so-it-must-be-true in two point three seconds. Because Abby Parker doesn’t tell big fat lies to help some jerk who snapped her bra so hard in fifth grade he thinks maybe his balls suffer permanent damage with the kick she gave. I’ve never so much as laid a finger on a girl’s bra since that day, unless the girl asked me to, which hasn’t happened yet. But I’m totally prepared for it.
I crumble against my chair, flopping Ms. Pearson’s latest forced literature on my desk. A lecture on how to Scout and Mock a Boobird, or something like that, rattles through my head then leaks out my left ear. It distracts me from coming up with one good reason why Abby saved my non-essay writing ass.
Ringing assaults my ears.
“Abby,” I yell as soon I hit the hall, chasing her not-so-natural blonde head. “Hey, Abby, wait up!”
She whips around so fast her hair smacks the hell out of my face, crashing little waves of apple shampoo across my nose. “Yes?”
“Why’d you lie for me?”
“I need a favor.”
She bites her bottom lip. “An escort to the dance.”
I double over. My chest heaves and bucks and my knees are on the verge of collapsing from under me. Hell, I may pass out right here in the hallway if I don’t control myself. Can people lose consciousness from laughter? Na, probably not.
A whack upside my head silences me. “You’re a jerk, Kevin Haynes!”
“You’re serious? Like, me”—I shove my finger into my chest—“and you.” I point to her, not coming anywhere near touching her for fear I’ll collide with her bra and endure testicle removal upon her retaliation.
She looks down at her feet and when she lifts her face, I see something I’ve never seen there before. Like one of those mangy puppies that hangs on the street corner. Like maybe no one else wants to take her to the dance and I’m her last shot.
“Please?” she says, swatting her eyelashes together like in one of those old movies my grandma watches.
A few inaudible, reserved-for-up-shit-creek curses creep from my mouth. And then, “Fine. Whatever.”
She does this weird bounce thing. Her books tumble from her arms, crashing on the tile so hard everybody and their momma heard it. When she bends to scoop them up, the neckline of her shirt dips too low, exposing tan lines and a barely pink bra.
A stabbing memory lands on my crotch. “Hey, Abby, do they make formal dresses with turtlenecks?”
Enjoying two talented writers at work 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. Which one tickled your fancy? After you vote please tell all of your friends to stop by and make a selection as well. Yes, it’s subjective, but so is the entire publishing world. It’s as much about the readers as it is about the writers.
This is WRiTE CLUB – the contest where the audience gets clobbered!