Sep 17, 2013

WRiTE CLUB 2013 / Playoff Round One - Bout 7

Today we continue on with the second week of bouts that make up the first round of the WRiTE CLUB play-offs.  There will be four contests posted this week (Mon-Thur), which when added to the five bouts last week bring the total to nine.  The voting for all play-off bouts will remain open until noon on Sunday, September 22nd. 

Your task remains simple…read the submission from each WRiTER carefully and leave your vote for the sample that resonates with you the most.  Whether you've been following along from the beginning and have a familiarity with each of them, or this is your first time's just a matter of choosing the one you feel deserves to move forward. If you haven’t already done so in the previous rounds, please offer some critique if you have time.  Anyone reading this can vote (after signing up on this LinkyList) so blog/tweet/facebook/text/smoke signal everyone you know and get them to take part in the fun.  Vote on as many bouts as you can get around to.  Whether that is one bout, or all nine, how much you participate is up to you. 

Here’s something else to keep in mind for this round...every vote counts. That’s because the contestant who doesn't win their bout but garners the most votes amongst all of the other losers, will become a wildcard winner and still advance to round 2. 

The winners will be posted late in the afternoon on September 22nd and then round 2 will kick off the following Monday with all new 500 word submissions from the nine advancing contestants.

Good luck to all of the WRiTER’s!

And now…..

In this corner welcome back to the ring for a second time.....Emma T. Nestor.


“‘Esmerelda … wait!’ His voice carried over the breeze which rustled the leaves of the ancient oaks.

Angry tears rushed to her eyes. She hated herself for loving him. How had Lady Hixton-Brayson found out? His mother must have known something to have been so eager to humiliate her publicly.

Cornered, Esmerelda turned, her color high, her bosom heaving. Leslie crashed into the clearing, his eyes dark with … what? Anger? Enraged, she rushed toward him and began pounding him with her fists. ‘How dare you! Hasn’t your family done enough to ruin me and mine? Go back to Middlegate and …’

Their eyes met, his full of tenderness and ardor, hers full of the desire she could no longer control. A moment … an eternity … flashed between them. Capitulating, their lips met in a frenzy of passion as he ”

Camille Blackwood-Frost stopped typing.

“Damn,” she thought. “The bodice came off from the front in my last book.“ She took a sip of wine and mused, “Well, I can always use the old ‘no, no … we mustn’t!’ convention and have her turn around.”

As soon as she placed her fingers back on the keys, an unpleasant buzzing sensation raced up her arms. “POOF!” The screen went blue and a jagged, silvery light flared into her peripheral vision.

She whipped around, upsetting her wine. While chablis dripped down the side of the faux-Regency desk and the glass rolled from side to side, she stared in disbelief at the tousled couple who had been deposited on the velvet couch in her home office.

The man, rugged, blonde and heart-wrenchingly handsome, stared down at the floor. The woman, a buxom beauty with impossibly perfect alabaster skin, threw a long raven-colored braid over her shoulder and began tucking in the loose ends of her hair, all the while glaring at Camille.


The woman pointed at Camille with one hand, while tugging at the meager fabric of her bodice with the other. “You must stop! You are a heartless, shallow menace!” The woman trembled with anger. “He was my dear friend until you plied your damnable formula about ten chapters ago!” The man nodded in agreement.

Formula? These people are from my head! I typed them out! Camille looked down at her expensively manicured fingers, and then back at the couch where the furious Esmerelda Della Pagana and the pensive Leslie Hixton-Brayson sat.

Camille’s mind raced. Well, they were a bit more developed than the characters in her previous books, and maybe the story had tried to go in a different direction. But there was that huge advance and a deadline, a deadline that was fast approaching.

“Oh, and Bernice ... it's really Bernice Krankowsky, right?” Esmerelda's voice was icy.

Dumbfounded, Camille looked up and nodded.

“Well, Bernice … I cannot abide the name ‘Esmerelda.’"

Leslie nervously cracked his knuckles and said, "And Madam—I don’t care for mine, either. Also, I’d like to go to Australia.” 

And taking the spot on the other side of the ring for their second go-around...Alone.

“How much longer, Mom?” a small voice beside me asks.

“Soon, honey. Soon.” I say.

Cotton clouds hang near the sun, hitting the farmlands just right as we drive past. I look out from the backseat of the car, and imagine my husband just beyond them, waiting for my return. I long to be with him, but, I need to see my son one last time.

“He’s doing it again,” my sister complains from the passenger seat to her husband driving. She searches his face for a reaction. She just doesn’t understand, but she will one day.

“I know, I know,” he finally says keeping his eyes to the road. “This will take time. That’s what all the therapists say. These things take time.”

“Yeah, well, it’s…creepy.” She rubs her arms like it’ll stop the goosebumps from peaking.

I smile. She has no idea how creepy it really could be, but I miss her quirks already.



“How long do I have to stay with Aunt Quinn and Uncle Henry?”

He shows me his puppy eyes. I know them well having raised him nine years. He’s worried.

I rest my hand on his cheek, and rub my thumb up and down to soothe him, but it’s not working.

“I don’t know, honey. I guess until you can move out, right?” I laugh in my throat.

I moved out at eighteen. Married my high school sweetheart. Then came Chase. My sweet baby. I fell in love with him the moment I first held him and kissed his tender face. His father, what a proud dad he was.

Chase scrunches his eyebrows.


“Yes, honey.” I lay my hand on his. I watch the clouds pass in the window behind him. A reminder my time is coming to an end and I’ll have to leave.

“Can’t I come with you?”

My heart hurts deep in my chest, as I restrain the swelling tears. He has to know its ok. He has to.

“No, I’m sorry,” I choke on the words, “you can’t, honey. But…”

“I want to!” He hits the seat with his balled fist. “I’ll miss you!”

“Chase!” Henry says. “Stop that!”

Chase quiets.


“Honey, I’m sorry but-“

“You promised me you would never leave me, and-and now you are. You’re going.”

“But I have to.”

“Please! Let me go, too!” Chase inhales deeply and holds it. His face turns beet red, eyes tearing. He exhales, giving up, and begins to cry.

I bring his hands to my heart, then kiss them. “Soon, honey. I promise. We’ll be together soon, but I gotta go now.”

He holds my gaze, eyes red. “Mom…I love you.”

“Oh, honey…I love you more.” I stroke his hair with my hand, letting the tears fall, then kiss his head. “I love you more.”

“Henry?” Quinn whispers.

“Hmmm?” “How long do you think he’s gonna…you know…think he’s talking to his mom? I mean, it’s been a month since his parents passed in that car wreck.”


Leave your vote and we'll see you back here tomorrow week for the next match-up!

Remember the WRiTE CLUB motto, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!


  1. Emma T. Nestor gets my vote, but everyday it gets harder and harder!

  2. Dang -- a very tough decision today. I like both of these. Emma's is funny and well-written, and Alone's is a charming treatment of the paranormal which emphasizes character and tenderness. Both have multiple reasons to vote for them, but since I can only pick one, I'll go with Alone. It stuck with me longer during the first round.

    1. Same here - they're so different in tone that it's hard to decide. I'll go with Alone as well - it's got a resonance to it that's hard to shake.

  3. This is a very difficult choice. I think both pieces are among the finest submitted. That said, I am going with Alone.

  4. I vote for Emma T. Nestor - loved the humor and the twist. A tough choice, but I think Alone needs more polishing. The dialogue feels forced - particularly Chase. The concept is there, but needs a bit more work to bring it to the next level. Emma T. Nestor is already there.

  5. Well, the first one is cute and funny, but the second one is chilling and so sad. I'll go with that one, Alone!

  6. With choices this hard already, I'm not looking forward to choosing between the next semi-finals. Yikes! Really, they're both so good but different. I think I'm going to go with Emma this round because the humor just gets me.

  7. I have to go it Alone...horrible pun intended!

  8. Emma, I think... Although this has got to be the toughest decision yet.

  9. Alone gets my vote. The story kept my interest all the way.

  10. Emma T. Nestor -- for the humor.

    I think the conversation in Alone's piece dragged out just a little too long. I had already guessed the ending and wanted the pay-off to come a bit sooner.

  11. My vote goes to ALONE, but I have to admit that this is the first 'fight' in the second round that was NOT an easy choice for me.