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WRiTE CLUB 2021 - Semi-Final #1

We're not messing around anymore! By the end of this round we will have narrowed the field down to just two contestants, and they will be submitting their 1,000-word writing sample to the panel of celebrity judges. 

We do ask that you leave a brief critique for both of our contestants because that is one of the real values of this contest – FEEDBACK. Please be respectful with your remarks!

The voting for both semi-final bouts will close on Wednesday, Feb 2nd (noon central time).

Here once again are the voting guidelines –

1) One vote per visitor per bout.

2) Anyone can vote (even the contestants themselves), but although our contestants are anonymous, voters cannot be. Anonymous votes will not count, so if you do not have a Google account and are voting as a guest, be sure to include your name and email address.

3) Using any method (email, social media, text, etc) to solicit votes for a specific contestant will cause that contestant's immediate disqualification. It’s perfectly okay, in fact, it is encouraged to spread the word about the contest to get more people to vote, just not for a specific writer!

4) Although more of a suggestion than a rule - cast your vote before you read other comments. Do not let yourself be swayed by the opinions of others.

Without further ado...welcome back to the ring our first contestant...Fern Calloway

For Their Sake

Gayle leans forward, bracing herself against the headstone, hanging her head as if in prayer. Guilt and failure settle into her throat. She swallows them down as she traces a finger over her sister’s name.

These children, her baby sister’s children, are sucking the life out of her. She shouldn’t be raising them. She doesn’t know how to be a mother. And to four young children? Impossible.

Gayle pulls the leather-bound book from her coat, flopping it open onto her sister’s grave. “I’m sorry, Lynn,” Gayle says. “I tried. I did. But I … I can’t.”

Behind her, the kids cry in the car. One of them pounds on the windows. She glances their way and holds up a finger as if they might understand she just needs one damn minute. Something they haven’t allowed since they’d become hers. But they aren’t hers. Not really.

They need their mother.

She turns back to the open book. Rain splatters onto the pages, threatening to wash away the words. Between sobs and apologies, she reads aloud, raising her voice over the storm, determined to maintain the proper cadence, careful to hit every accent. Gayle doesn’t speak Latin, but desperate times have led her here.  

The final words linger on her tongue, buzzing with potential. She pants from her efforts, her throat raw and burning. “Please don’t hate me for this.” Her voice cracks. “They need you.” She closes her eyes and falls prone onto the grassy grave. “I need you.”

As the rain pelts into her backside, she cries, letting her tears mix into the soil, pleading with whatever may be listening that can bring Lynn home.  After a while, the children fall silent and her own sobs fade. That’s it. There’s nothing more she can do. No more pleading. No more begging.

Crestfallen, she trudges back. The children are once more pounding on the windows, their little faces wide-eyed with a mix of panic and something she hasn’t yet seen on them. Joy?

The oldest girl points, then opens the car door. She races past Gayle, giggling as a gap-toothed smile lights up her face.

“Momma,” the other children shout in unison and chase after their sister, leaving the infant to wail in his car seat.

Gayle glances over her shoulder, her gaze following them.

Her sister stands by a mound of loose dirt, covered in mud and dripping with rain. She holds out her hands as the children rush into her. She licks what’s left of her lips, the skin of her gaunt cheeks sallow. Useless veins snake dark purple lines over her features.

She redirects her attention to Gayle, her eyes narrowing as she peels herself from her children and closes the distance.

“You’re a selfish bitch, Gayle.” She glances back to her children. “If this is going to work,” she whispers. “We’ll need meat. Fresh. Raw. Bloody.” A maggot drops from her ear and wriggles in the grass. “For their sake.” 


And their most worthy opponent...give a hearty welcome to Durden Mayhem

I’m in a one-way love relationship. 

I have a major crush on a woman who doesn’t know I exist. 

Steph’s a Starbucks barista, and when she waits on me, I swoon. 

As an introvert, I’m always looking for quiet ways to impress her. When I go to her store, I always take three heavy, hardback books hoping to appear intelligent. I figure if she sees the titles I bring in, she’ll think I’m a medical student rather than an Amazon delivery guy.


Steph’s always nice to me, but it troubles me that she always asks my name for the order. I’ve told her “Mark” for 21 days straight, yet she never remembers it. 

I wish she would.

Being an un-remembered, unknown is hard.

Maybe I’m just a Smiths song…or the one by Beck.


Still, I return today, hopelessly devoted.


After parking my books, I get in line behind a corporate-looking fellow. He’s the sort I immediately despise because I imagine he is much better off than me and, thus, better than me. I’m decent-looking but he’s an Adonis. Well-dressed, white-toothed, wealthy, and fluent in frat boy.


He snaps out his very specific order: “Venti latte. Extra hot. No foam.”

Then his phone buzzes, and he takes the call - in Chinese.


As Steph tells him his total, he frowns at the interruption and holds up a serious, silencing finger as if he’s tele-counseling the Dalai Lama. Then, wagging his finger at her, he mouths again, “NO FOAM!”


He steps to the side – no tip.

Steph’s obviously just machinery to him.

I’m next. I order in insecure mumble-tones. I pay, tip, and step aside because Steph is busily covering both register and bar due to a late co-worker.


When she finally delivers Zeus’ drink with an obligatory smile, he doesn’t smile back. Instead, he does a quality check. He removes the lid and stares into his drink with horror. 

I see why.




He sees it. I see it. She sees it.


“There’s foam,” he barks. “I told you twice. Are you stupid? Re-make it.” 

He shoves the open cup back across the counter. It flips over and splashes molten liquid onto Steph’s hands.

She bounces backward - burned and bewildered.

He glances at me, laughs, and utters a flippant, “Oops.”

But no apology. 

Steph is crying, and I am Fight Club furious.

I radar-lock onto this oppressor. With two quick moves, I grab the top book from my stack and swing it into his face. His nose bone cracks. As he stumbles, I swing the other side of the book with violent intent and crush his mouth. Then I grab his Hermes tie and hurl him temporarily into the Underworld.

He’s out cold.

Shocked, I stand over him...rage subsiding.

Steph approaches, smiling.

“Thank you, Mark.”

“Wait, you know my name?”

She touches my arm, “I’ll never forget it.”

I hear distant sirens blare. I await the cuffs. I anticipate jail time. 

Doesn’t matter. She knows my name!


Please leave your votes and critiques in the comments below. Again, be respectful of your remarks and try to point out positives as well as detraction's.

We’ll be back tomorrow with our other semi-final bout. 

Please help all our writers out by telling everyone you know what is happening here and encourage them to come vote.

This is WRiTE CLUB—the contest where the audience gets clobbered!


  1. This was incredibly difficult. Both are written very well and pleasures to read.

    Durden Mayhem gets my vote. I like the narrative voice and narrator as well as the writing style. Trying to achieve something humorous, a bit exaggerated, and relatable with an underdog narrator is appealing to me. And the "FOAM!" reveal is genius. I also liked the song references as well as working in Fight Club during Write Club.

    Fern, this was a horrifying pleasure. As a mom of three (including twins, so--believe me--I know what being overwhelmed is like), I had difficulty even reading about children locked in a car. It just kills me. I have to force myself to imagine that Gayle cracked a few windows, but given that it's raining buckets, I doubt it. I also struggled with the children's reaction to their mother. She is a horror. They love her, but I still think they wouldn't want to touch her, and they would also be freaked out at her decay and the maggots. Although we often think children don't care about dirt and mud, some kids are actually highly sensitive to anything "yucky" and would immediately notice and reject the disintegrating version of their mom. They would react, but we don't get any sense of that here.

    With that said, I still like the snarky relationship between the sisters and the horrifying reincarnation of "mom" as a story premise. Very creative.

  2. Congrats to both writers for making it this far! My vote today goes to Fern Calloway.

    Durden Mayhem - I did laugh out loud at FOAM!!! - the formatting of that particular part was a really great choice! That said, I found that this piece just didn't flow very well. The many one-sentence paragraphs made it choppy for me, which brought me out of the story several times.

    Fern Calloway - this piece was incredibly well-written, like all your pieces have been. It's clear that you like writing the creepy, and you do it well! I have to agree that the kids accepting the horror of "mom" right away felt a little off to me, but I'm voting for you because of quality of writing and premise.

  3. Congrats to both writers here for making it to the semifinals. Both talented in their own ways. But my vote in this bout goes to Durden Mayhem. I love the style and I love the story as well - For me, you cannot beat the takedown of a bully in defense of "love." Cool music references - Nice Fight Club reference - Happy for Mark and Steph - I would have loved to be in that coffeehouse on that day. I think everyone in customer service has dealt with obnoxious customers and this punk got what was coming to him.

    As for Fern - Excellent descriptions and set-up - I definitely felt like I was there - Plus I love supernatural horror - typically my jam...But, this story felt cliche with the Latin book reading and the stormy weather - Kind of a cheap Pet Sematary - I felt bad for the kids at the beginning, but even worse for them at the end. I don't think they are going to like their bloody, raw meat-eating momma too much - As well, there were a bunch of logical holes - one being that the woman is resurrected, but how does she get out of the casket and dig up 6 feet? And the resurrection book of Latin, where did she get that? Local library? Plus the ending left me cold, but not in a good, creepy way. The maggot and the future cannibalism felt forced...Your last piece was way more fascinating and I can tell you are an excellent writer, but this one was not as clever.

    Good job to both - Durden in a knockout victory...

  4. Both of these stories were fun to read! However, my vote goes to Durden due to the cool references and it being a fun read.

  5. Congratulations on making it into the semi-finals!

    Fern Calloway: This story needs to be fleshed out, pun unavoidable, but I like how you took the reader from what felt like realistic fiction to paranormal to horror in 500 words.

    Durden Mayhem: The writing is clean and the story straightforward, but I have a couple issues, the first one being that I don't think your narrator is a hero... or even appropriate dating material. I can't help feeling Steph would be better off with a well-balanced man who doesn't assault strangers in coffee shops. The bigger issue is that this sounds an awful lot like your previous entries. You do this voice very well, but at this point in the contest, with what you've submitted, I can't tell if you're a writer who has mastered the art of voice or if this is the only trick you have in your hat. It's a good trick, mind you, but I wanted to see some diversity and versatility.

    Fern Calloway has my vote today.

  6. Well done, writers!

    My vote goes to Durden Mayhem. While obviously a bit exaggerated, the story is still relatable. I can't imagine there are many people who haven't found themselves in a "one-way love relationship" at some point, willing to make even an extreme move to gain the attention of their "beloved." Beyond that, I believe that one of the deepest longings in the human heart is to be known. I know that it wounds me deeply each time I comment here and it labels me as "Unknown." This story also touches on that theme, and it brings me great comfort. :)

    Since I am certain I will once again appear as "Unknown," here are my deets:

    Kyle McNutt

  7. My vote goes to Fern Calloway

    Only thing I can say for Durden - short, halting sentences can be used to effect, but if you overuse them your whole piece just feels stinted and I believe they were overused here, it began to feel a bit repetitive.

    1. Sigh... Brandon S. Not unknown. Know who I am Google! "I only exist if you recognize me in this day and age" he threw back his head and howled in anguish. But Google didn't hear. And so, nobody heard.

  8. This was a difficult vote, but in the end it goes to Dunder Mayhem.

    BATaxi said that Fern was ".But, this story felt cliche with the Latin book reading and the stormy weather - Kind of a cheap Pet Sematary." I actually think that Dunder Mayhem's felt cliche and like a cheap version of the other stories, which is also what Lisa Dunn was hinting at. We've seen you do this in past versions and do it better. You are clearly talented and I know you can do so much more. Ultimately, the reason I am voting for Dunder is I think this story could go somewhere. I think it would be funny for the assault scene to just be in his imagination because he is shy and would probably never do that even for the girl of his dreams. Or maybe he goes to his local library and finds a Latin spell book and curses the frat boy. Perhaps you and Fern could team up.

    Speaking of are a great writer. I tracked through the whole story. Wasn't worried about the kids...I knew the A/C or heater was running. It's not like she was out there for hours. And even when she was reading in latin, I had no clue that it was a spell to resurrect her sister. I was so shocked. I think that's where the story broke down for me. If you are using magic, wouldn't she come back to life perfectly in tact? The combo of magic and zombies is weird. Zombies (which I love) don't normally manifest because of magic. And as everyone else has said, the kids reactions seemed a bit unrealistic. I can see them seeing there mom from the car and being excited, but once they got close being scared. And the is straight out of that Drew Barrymore show about the undead. A bit too cheesy. So instead of undead sister threatening the magic wielding sister with the need to find flesh, I can totally see her being super pissed for being ripped away from whatever afterlife she was living. If she had been living this cush existence somewhere else and was dragged back here against her will then that totally deserves a sister threatening the other sister with all manner of ill will.

    Good job to both of you!

  9. Durden Mayhem -- So glad you did something different this time around. Love the overall premise and the fact that a Starbucks order can be a tipping point for rage, love, and perhaps jailtime. A few things jumped out at me, though. While some people seem to love the references, I'd caution against using them. Fight Club, especially, Durden. It makes you feel very one note. Also, certain phrasings don't read well at all -- his nose bone cracks -- Why didn't you just say breaking his nose? -- I grab his Hermes tie and hurl him temporarily into the Underworld -- That doesn't fit tonally with anything that came before. My favorite of this writer's pieces so far, but it could benefit from another few edits.

    Fern Calloway -- The only author to try something new with each piece, and still a definite flavor has come through, as well as a genre preference. This one is no different. Getting back to first person was a good call, but I was so worried at first that this would turn into a suicide story. I was so pleased when it turned into a conjuring, and that last line made me feel like I'd been fooled in the best way. I feel like this author and Lady Warbleon know who they want to be more than anyone in the competition this year, and for that, they are two of my favorites.
    Vote goes to Fern Calloway.

  10. I vote Mayhem! Get remembered - clock a rude dude!

  11. Wow, 2 well-written, clever stories--no wonder you both made the semis! I'm particularly impressed with the way you both hooked me so quickly and told a complete story despite the word limit. So, a hearty well done to you both! That said, my vote goes to Durden Mayhem.

    Durden, you've created a fun story to read full of poetic justice...the underdog beats the bad guy, gets the girl, and discovers himself in the process. Walter Mitty is one of my favorite movies, so this story just felt good. Even though you used a common theme, your writing kept it from being common. Nice use of subtle humor--lots of little Easter Eggs that I found really entertaining. I even picked up more when I re-read it--like the very sly double meaning with Hermes (tie and Greek God) and his Underworld destination (the mythology theme also visible with Adonis). Good use of alliteration and word play as well (I really liked "fluent in frat boy"). Also, I particularly liked your description of the jerk. I think I know that guess is that we ALL know that guy and secretly wish we had a big book handy and a justifiable reason to take him down a peg. So, your story made me feel good--the plot and the style! Nicely done!

    Fern, You're a talented writer with a knack for emotional tension. Your plot was a gutsy one, but I feel like it was almost too gutsy given the constraints you were under. Like one of the other writers, I didn't realize that the book of Latin phrases was a book of spells--ever. I think that's because I had no frame of reference. No title, no genre, no cover art, etc. The undead sister was obviously in a bad state--it's a bit surprising to me that her kids recognized her at all, much less avoided traumatic stress injuries from seeing their decayed mother emerge from the ground, maggots and all. Did the spell change their perceptions, too? Honestly, I'm not really a horror/zombie/cannibal fan. Once the story went in that direction, I lost interest and even felt a bit misled. I'm sure there's an audience out there for this kind of story--and for those people, the gorier the final scene the better, but I'm not that reader.

  12. 🧟‍♀️ Fern... I don't get to use the zombie emoji often. This is one of the better reasons to bring someone back. Even though I'm not big on zombies, you get my vote.

    Durden, ☕ I think a lot of us have wanted to do that, for far less than a crush ❤. It's relatable. But maybe it's just in Mark's head? Or she's going to date a violent guy? Eventually she'll know he only carried books to try to impress her. I don't know that I'd keep reading, because this won't end well (unless it's a horror). But it was a nice short.

  13. My vote goes to Fern Calloway. I loved the desperate sister, and the conjuring. The kids banging on the car window and crying, was a great touch. Exactly what kids do. The atmosphere was perfect. Good work. The

    Durden Mayhem. Do men swoon? That made me think the main character was female. I liked the Zeus's drink remark. But I expected the physical reactions of the m/c to be in his imagination, and was surprised to find that he had actually attacked someone. Not very introverted. I did not like the overuse of short choppy sentences.

  14. Mayhem, I've witnessed this type of thing happen in coffee shops before—the idea to attach it to a romance wins my vote. Very clever idea. Also, a super entertaining writing style! The "FOAM!" was a particularly keen touch.

    Super close second—Fern, a brilliant little take on raising someone from the dead. I've written some short stories with a dark spin at the end, so such tales always have a place in my heart. Excellent atmospheric writing, too; the kids crying in the car was an awesome touch that made the whole situation seem more desperate.

  15. My vote is for Durden Mayham. As I was reading, I could visualize the characters and storyline playing out and Oh no the.....FOAM!! Liked the greek gods refrences (zeus, adonis, hermes) to describe the antagonist. Also as someone who has worked in fast food, I wish this story would have happened to me :)

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    1. Ok I have been deleting and adding comments like crazy as I am having troubles not being listed unknown! I am 'fight club furious" NOW TOO!!! I loved this story and the detail in the writing. So much energy and excitement! I could picture myself standing behind Mark watching this story unfold. Keep writing I love it! My vote goes to Durden Mayham.

  18. Wow! Lots of new voters for today's bout. I'm voting for Fern Calloway. I think your piece is the better of the two. Durden, I like yours, but it feels too much like the other story for me.

  19. Fern Calloway!!! It’s written in such a way that you know there was a story before and one after. Rich in detail and narrative style. Great job!

  20. I struggled with my decision on this one more than any other round. Obviously, you're both strong writers with distinctive literary styles. It was an interesting parallel that we see two protagonists here whose grief (over love or loss) drives them to make questionable decisions. The fact that I'm wondering how it will turn out for them means you did something right--I'm invested!

    Durden, you write such voicey, character-driven pieces that I instantly connect with. But Mark hit the some of the same notes as your last character with the gambling addiction. They're great notes--endearingly self-deprecating, great comedic timing--but if you continue to write in 1st POV, your challenge will be how to make your protagonists feel distinctive. (Unless you write a whole series from that POV, which I would read!)

    Fern, again you were able to create a very atmospheric piece with good tension throughout and a lush, figurative writing style. The fact that the sister had the awareness to articulate her exact needs at the end felt a little forced, but I know the word limit sometimes presents that way. The clincher for me in this piece was the way the title came full-circle in the end. That was a brilliant, intentional touch.

    My vote is for Fern Calloway, but congrats to both writers!

  21. Congrats to both writers for making it this far.

    Durden- your piece is waaaay too similar to the first piece, and while well written, just didn't woo me.

    Fern- your piece carried the same voice as your first piece, but took a new direction. It was hard, and gritty, and I loved every minute of it.

    My vote goes to Fern!

  22. Fern gets my vote. Good story and I can relate.

  23. Both pieces are enjoyable and well written.

    My vote goes to Fern Calloway because I love the beautiful language and scene setting which is so vivid I can see everything perfectly.

  24. My vote is for Fern.

    Congratulations to both of you for getting this far in the competition. Also, kudos for both trying a new piece here; both of you made that work well. I've read both of these pieces multiple times; it's a close call for me, but the edge is to Fern based on the ability to create a scene and do something a little different, but in the same genre, for three rounds.

    Durden: You write lovely, light, fun pieces. I still find your writing choppy, with such short paragraphs. While you're able to create a character, I feel like the characters lack depth. I would have liked to see you try something with more than one character and characters that are more than stereotypes. This last piece was by far the best you've written for the competition, I think. The whole scene is relatable, although I'd probably step down the violence at the end. As I read this the first time, I almost wished that the whole part of hitting the guy with the book was revealed to be what the main character wished he had done, but didn't have the guts to do, which is a bit more consistent with the way you've developed his character.

    Fern: This piece is intense and gives all the creepy feels. I don't agree with other reviewers that the four kids in the car is a stretch--to me, it was a way to show Gayle's desperation and how ill-prepared she was to care for the children. I also appreciated that she never actually gives the children names or identities; to Gayle, they're just "a kid" or "the baby." Gayle is clearly not a great decision maker if she leaves kids in a car and then does some conjuring in a graveyard during a rainstorm--exactly the kind of protagonist who would venture into a dark basement alone when a murderer is in the vicinity. In other words: this fits the genre. The description of the zombie mom at the end seemed abrupt and less well-developed than the rest of the piece. Your writing style, attention to details, and creative stories are delightful. My favourite piece of yours was the first entry, but I'm a sucker for a fractured fairy tale.

  25. Congrats both of you! My vote goes to Durden Mayhemm every little guy dreams of being a hero, and I think that really came through in this piece, and makes it a great crowd pleasers.

    Fern, great job with your story as well. If I learned anything from Fullmetal Alchemist it's that resurrecting dead moms never ends well, and that seems to hold true in you piece as well.

  26. I somehow missed that it was Fight Club and am sad that I'm only come in now. That being said, these are the only two pieces I've read from the authors and they are both excellent.

    Fern: As someone else said, I love how your story went from realistic to supernatural to horror in 500 words, that takes talent and you obviously have talent. I have a few minor quibbles with word choice (like the daughter opening the car door--you could use a stronger verb there). I also struggled with the ending. I'm inclined to believe the kids would be afraid of their mom in this state and the last line which starts with anger and then a conspiratorial whisper didn't flow well and the change in emotion felt forced and abrupt. That said, you are an amazing writer and I congratulate you on getting this far. Good luck!

    Durden: Your piece made me smile and laugh. I like the format and you immediately grabbed my attention. I agree with the others about the foam line, and as I have family members who work in coffee shops, your business man and his rudeness was a little too spot on. Great job. Also, your MC was instantly relatable, and I love how he carefully chose his books to impress her. The ending fell a little flat for me, but I'm struggling to put my finger on why. I'm thinking that it might be the format that worked so well for the beginning didn't lend itself well to your ending. But I kind of love that your MC used books as his weapon.

    Overall, it's a great piece as well. You've done an amazing job of pulling the reader in and making them care about your characters (and really dislike one) in as little as 500 words and that's no small feat. Good luck on making it to the end!

    All that being said, Fern gets my vote today.

  27. Congratulations, writers!

    These stories prove each of you truly deserves to be here. Awesome work! I enjoyed both of your stories very much. Now for the hard part. I have to pick one.

    Fern Calloway
    Great storytelling and smooth writing. Glad it didn’t turn out to be a murder story. I’m not really a horror fan and so reading your stories hasn’t always been easy for me, but your talent always shines through. I loved the twist at the end. It’s true the kids would probably notice their mother decaying and be repulsed. If they rejected her, it would take the story in a different direction. More “Monkey’s Paw.” But it’s a supernatural story and therefore anything is possible. I was able to suspend my disbelief and go along with the “mom’s-a-cannibal” “happy” ending.

    Durden Mayhem
    This story was entertaining and fun. Of course, because dying is easy, but comedy is hard. Mark is a great character and you had me rooting for him from the beginning. I LOVED all the Greek god and other references. They gave me a feel for who Mark is and how his brain works. I know, a guy beating up the baddie to save the damsel isn’t PC, but I enjoyed it anyway. I get the feeling Steph knows Mark’s been trying to impress her and likes him for it. I like to think these two can work it out. Isn’t love always a little messy?

    I loved the theme about “being known” in your story. I’m an introvert too and I know what it’s like to feel invisible. I am always so very grateful when I hit “publish” and Google remembers my name.

    Okay, I wrote this four days ago and I still can’t decide. I like them both for different reasons. So, because I was so entertained by the voice and the POV, my vote goes to Durden Mayhem.

  28. I like the creepy, unexpected turn with Fern Calloway's story, but my vote goes to Durden Mayhem. The writing style is compelling, and the underdog story is one many of us can relate to on some level.

  29. My vote goes to Fern Calloway. I was not expecting that change toward the end. Really knocked my socks off.

    Durden Mayhem, I have enjoyed your writing during this contest, but I didn't feel like this was your strongest piece.

  30. Congratulations to both writers!

    Fern Calloway - it will tell you how un-versed I am in your genre that I didn’t realize the mom was a zombie until I saw it in the comments. I can accept the kids running to her, but that may be a good place to add they hugged her despite her appearance - instead of delaying the reveal of her new looks. Also, the kids reactions would be more fleshed out if we knew something of how mom died - how long ago? How unexpected?

    Durden Mayhem - I think this piece is especially timely as more and more people are aware of behaviors toward the service industry. And unrequited love towards a server who doesn’t even know our name - classic modern day pining. I think some of the formatting made the choppy sentences stand out more, but it adds a quick feeling to the piece.

    My vote is for Durden Mayhem.

  31. Durden all the way! Love his creative style. Great job to both writers!

  32. How come this bout has almost three times the votes of the other live bout? And how come those profiles are all brand new? And how come they haven't voted on any of the other bouts? Hmm.

    1. Glad somebody said this, because I've definitely been thinking it.

    2. And how come all those new voters are voting only one way?

    3. Noticed this as well. Very interesting...

    4. I was going to go back and count the votes myself but haven't had time... thanks for doing so. Something seems sus

    5. yes, I noticed this in several of the Durden Mayhem rounds

  33. For Fen Calloway, I think the supernatural take is good, it just isn't a genera that appeals to my reading taste.

    Durdan Mayhem gets my vote. Love is hard to find, and the struggle to be noticed by one's heart throb can be painfully obscured within the constraints of the tempo of a business day. The wind of social interaction does not always present itself as opportune, for making a love connection. In this social drama our Amazon delivery driver wins a shot at love, and shows true chivalry by stepping up to the self important, ill-mannered suit and tie, and giving him a justified smackdown. Cupid's arrow may have been set forth, as Steph acknowledges Mark's name and thanks him for standing up for her.

  34. Congratulations, Both of You!

    Both stories were well done, and I enjoyed both. For me personally,

    Fern Calloway
    Excellent writing, imagination, reflecting purely creativity talent. I am personally not fond of horror tales, however your story kept in me in suspense. I must admit I was thankful for the somewhat redemptive ending, even though it was extremely creepy.

    My vote was for Durden Mayhem.
    I found this story to be quite charming, and I loved the setting. This was an excellent expression of a modern-day love story.

  35. Liked both writers - Fern did a great job describing the graveside scene, but I didn't like the ending. I vote for Durden simply based on the foam, Foam, FOAM - needed a laugh - Good job to both writers for making it this far...

  36. My vote goes to Durden Mayhem!

    Both stories were great but Durden's voice and humor won it for me.

  37. Durden Mayhem -- this reminded me of the other entry with the mc who imagined a whole life while swiping on a dating app.

    Fern Calloway -- Though not the most original concept, an enjoyable story. You have my vote.

  38. I vote for Durden Mayhem. I like the main character because he took up for the barista.

  39. I vote for Durden Mayhem. I loved these. Great job writers!




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