Sep 18, 2013

WRiTE CLUB 2013 / Playoff Round One - Bout 8

Just two bouts left in 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.....Jamie Stuart.

Adam might be in limbo, but Evie was a slice of heaven.

He hovered over the lovely sleeping woman as she hugged the covers to her chin. Oh, how he would love to sleep beside her and have her hug him. Of all the occupants who have lived in this apartment, she was the first he felt that way toward.

But who was he kidding? Hugs were no longer an option. That would require touching. And sleep? Ha! Why break up a perfectly boring day? At least now he had something worth seeing. Inky black hair framed her olive complexion, and if she were awake, he’d be lost in her chocolate brown eyes. He wondered what she smelled like.

“Evie.” Just saying her name woke up one specific part of his body. Who knew he could still get a reaction after being dead for ten years?

She smiled as if she heard him. He’d like to think she had.

She jerked under the covers as if she were having a nightmare. He reached out without thinking; his fingers met the warmth of her cheek. A scent of flowers filled his nose. The gasp barely left his mouth when gravity came into play and dropped him on top of her, solid as if he were alive.

Her eyes flew open. She might have screamed if he hadn’t squished the breath out of her.

Quickly, he rolled off her and became incorporeal once more. Sweet heaven. What the hell just happened?

She sat up and pulled the covers to her chin. Her eyes nearly bugged out of her head. She stared at the spot where his legs disappeared inside her bed. A smile spread across her face and she looked up. Those wonderful sweet eyes appeared to look right at him, except that was crazy. She couldn’t possible see him.

“Well, hello there,” she said.

He looked over his shoulder. No one was behind him, so who was she talking to?

“Yeah, I’m talking to you, Mr. Ghost. What’s your name?”

What? How did she see him? How was he able to touch her? He floated over to the corner, afraid to answer her. Afraid she might hear him. Afraid she might not.

She turned on the bedside lamp, shoved the covers aside and climbed out of bed. Her pink flowery nightgown reached her feet and flowed behind her as she approached him. Fear froze him in place. This wasn’t happening. People weren’t supposed to see him. She wasn’t supposed to see him. But damn, he wanted to touch her again.

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

Peggy Bauer ignited the pink 4 candle, a remnant from her daughter’s last birthday. She glanced at her softly illuminated reflection in the black glass of the microwave oven and wished that the whole world was lit that way.

With both hands clutching the crystal serving dish, she pushed the door to the dining room open with her foot. A collective “ooh” resonated from her two children upon spying the beloved dessert.

“I made your favorite,” Peggy boasted and set the gooey concoction in front of her husband.
“You made your own cake? How lame is that?” said her teenage son.
“Of course I did. Who else would bake me a cake?”

“Well, dad could have bought one,” Mark mumbled.

“Oh, those bakeries can’t make a cake like mine.”

Peggy brushed the idea away like a pesky gnat and turned towards Dave. His eyes fixated on the glowing candle.

”Make a wish mommy,” demanded Caitlin, now five.
“I already have everything I want.”

With one puff, she blew out the flame. Dave leaned back in his chair and their eyes met.

“Do you want to open presents or have cake first?” he yawned.

“How about presents,” beamed Peggy.

“I think you might find something with your name on it in the hall closet.”

Peggy sprinted out of the room with the expectation that behind that closet door was something terrific and expensive, something that could momentarily erase the nagging feeling that life had somehow escaped her between soccer practice and PTA meetings. With sweaty palms, she closed her eyes, inhaled deeply and gently pulled at the door.

Sandwiched between Dave’s golf clubs and an old purple snow-suit sat a shiny yellow vacuum cleaner wrapped in a red bow like a pageant sash. A wave of embarrassment rose up inside of her. Peggy spun around to see if Dave was watching her reaction. He wasn’t.

With brave face, she dejectedly reentered the dining room, lugging the pricey instrument behind her like it was an unruly child.

“Look. Daddy got me a vacuum for my birthday,” she deadpanned.

“It’s one of those ones that never lose suction. It’s top of the line, Peggy.”

“Yeah, it really sucks,” said Peggy, sinking into her chair.

Mark eyed his parents to see if they’d notice him leaving the room.

“Okay, all puns aside, it really does suck,” Dave’s voice rose. “It’s supposed to be the best there is, Peggy. I thought you said you wanted one.”

Peggy gulped the remainder of her chardonnay in silence then rose from her chair with a jolt.

“Excuse me for just a moment.”

She lumbered up the stairs, her pulse quickening with each step.

There had to be a robin egg blue box with a moderately expensive bauble nestled, possibly hidden somewhere inside their room. She checked every drawer, under the bed, under her pillow, in the bathroom, even in her giant orange purse that hung on the treadmill.

It was charged on Dave’s Amex. Where was it?

Leave your vote and we'll see you back here tomorrow for the last 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. I LIKE the Jamie Stuart piece -- it's humorous and engaging. However there are verb tense irregularities, and some of Adam's extraneous internal monologue could be cut to streamline the piece.

    I'm voting for Camille for the smooth narrative and the outrage of the vacuum cleaner birthday present while Dave's girlfriend obviously got the jewelry.

  2. I'm going to go with Jamie. I liked Camille's piece but found it just a little too engineered for my taste. It felt like a set up.

  3. Jamie's was very intriguing but I felt was slightly repetitive. I loved the ideas though. In Camille's, I had to chuckle at the hoover which is just about the worst present you could get a woman. I'll vote for Camille. It also seems like there are a lot of interesting elements. She says the 4 candle was from her daughter's last birthday, but then says Caitlin is now five. Was there another daughter? If it's not a typo, then it imparts an overtone of sadness to events.

  4. I vote Jamie. Although these are both good pieces.

  5. I like Camille's, but to this writer I would advise to watch out for overuse of modifiers (boasted, mumbled, demanded, deadpanned are just a few I counted... and "beamed" is not an appropriate dialogue tag). "Said" is always safest and invisible :) Great storytelling though, and I've been wanting to know what happens next since I first read this entry!

  6. Jamie Stuart...but boy is picking hard!!

  7. Another tough choice, but frankly, here it's because neither one really grabs me. But I guess I'll go with Jamie this round.

  8. Camille Atwood's piece is an excellent example of saying something without saying it. It pokes at our emotions, and we feel humiliation on her behalf. A great piece of writing.

  9. I was thoroughly swept up by the ghost becoming corporal.

    My vote goes to Jamie Stuart.

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  12. Gotta go with Camille - that ending is such a heartbreaker. Gets me every time.