The First Contest of the New Year!!

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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Hello Danger on Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:52 pm

ImmortalSin wrote:I finally came up with a decent idea last night so hopefully I'll be able to get something in before the deadline.

Deja vu! Lol!
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by MoiraofWords on Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:02 pm

1/6 of they way. But I think my idea can work in the end. It seems interesting.
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Weiss on Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:41 pm

Looks like the judges will have our work cut out for us again, this time. Looking forward to everyone's entries. Good luck!
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by ImmortalSin on Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:04 am

Hello Danger wrote:
ImmortalSin wrote:I finally came up with a decent idea last night so hopefully I'll be able to get something in before the deadline.

Deja vu! Lol!

Let's just hope that it's not another deja vu experience when we reveal our entries, eh? That would be bad. Giggle
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Hello Danger on Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:57 am

haha!

Let's!

:: hurries to get his entry done ::
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Ragter the junior greeter on Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:55 pm

I'm about 1/3 of the way done, somewhere around 1,060 words I think...
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by MoiraofWords on Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:51 pm

To be clear, we HAVE to have the family member visit at the beginning? Or at the very least, chronologically the beginning?
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Kestrel on Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:17 am

Well, looks like I made it early after all. I´d like to ask if someone could do me the favour of proof-reading though, English not being my first language ´n all.
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:36 am

Gunneh, you need to get your butt in gear and link the two contest entries to the bottom of the first post.


I'm actually going to retract my decision to make an entry. Instead, I'll simply content myself with reading what others create. I'm also going to proofread Danger's story because I enjoy doing that.

Kestrel, if you give me your story a couple of days before the deadline, I'd be happy to proofread it for you before you post it here.

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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Ragter the junior greeter on Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:21 pm

If anyone would like to, you can proofread my story. I'll probably be finishing it up tomorrow, since we get out of school 2 hours early.
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:30 am

I would, but I'm really busy with Kestrel's and with Danger's. I don't think I'd have time for another one. =\

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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:31 pm

Should we allow proofreading like that.......? Hmm

Edit:
@ Moira:
The closer to the beginning you use the starter script, the closer you're fitting the theme, I would say. Smile
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Gunneh on Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:34 pm

I don't see why there's anything wrong with it as long as the judges aren't the ones proofreading.
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:34 pm

Yeah. Plus, I'm not serving as an editor, passing out story ideas. I'm just correcting spelling and grammar. I don't just change the things, either. When I make a correction, I explain to them why I made it. It's a learning experience.

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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Ragter the junior greeter on Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:10 pm

It's alright Kathryn, I understand that you might be a bit busy correcting their stories too. Smile There must be other people that might want to proofread a story.
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by The Melancholy Spirit on Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:27 am

Well, here is my entry. Hopefully the slight proof-reading a friend did for me took out the errors...

Welcome Home by The Melancholy Spirit

Spoiler:
The chime of a clock down the hall caught my ears. Six times its call echoed in the still silence. Leaning back from the desk I covered my face with a single hand, rubbing my sore eyes. There was no relief from the action, there never was. Another sleepless night had come and gone. Papers lay strewn across the surface of the mahogany desk, a scattered and chaotic ‘organization’ of ideas and sketches of things to describe in detail with words, no easy task to do. I stared at them with a sense of bitter love before looking at the room in which I sat. Everywhere there were papers, some stacked and placed on shelves while others were rolled and stuffed into aging wine wracks carried up from the cellar. These of the latter were often maps, though at times they were tables and charts or graphs. So many things the papers in this room held I could not recollect much of it.

Pushing away from the desk I stood; too quickly. The room spun into a diving swirl and my vision threatened to blacken entirely. As the haze of dizziness expelled I found that my back and legs were groaning their own annoyances, aching severely. Complaints derived from sitting too long in a single position, lost in whatever recess my mind had been in for the entirety of the night. Sleep would be a welcoming thing. Perhaps I was weary enough to drift off into slumber before the sun rose. Much as always I had nowhere to go. No one was expecting me, no boss to hound me for incompetence or significant other to banter about laziness or gods know what else. No friends to urge me out the door on their dreary adventures of stagnation into the lifeless soul of the plastic and metal and concrete maze they lived in; just me, an empty home, and my work. For some the idea of it was a dreadfully boring concept, for me it was paradise; even if my gloom and monotone demeanor dared to speak otherwise.

I had briefly allowed myself to stretch upon an aged sofa in the sitting room, just down the hall and past the entrance chamber of the abode, when a rapping came upon the door. Groaning I rolled over, facing the solid back of the sofa. No one of importance ever came to visit me. Probably a religious peddler, I thought. It came again though, and several more times in the following ten minutes by my estimate. Eventually I rolled back over and slipped my feet unto the floor, holding my head in my hands. Looking at the clock as I stood reminded me of the time; it was too early for any sort of religious folk to be out. Several possibilities went through my head of who could be at my door at such a time, most of them far from pleasant. Pushing my cynicism aside I made my way for the door, stopping just as my hand fell on the knob. I stood for a moment more, contemplating whether it was a wise idea to open it or not; another rapping came, gentle and rhythmic.

Opening the door I was greeted by the slight of a slender form draped in fine attire, all dark and earthy hues. Vibrant auburn curled tresses cascaded downward, framing a petite ivory face of accentuated features and soft, ember touched hazel eyes. I felt my brow lift as I stared in wonder, my lips parting in wonder. “Trine?” I heard myself implore in a hushed, unsure and unsteady tone.

Her lips bowed upward in a warm smile and a soothing noise of laughter emitted from the lower portion of her throat. “It’s good to see you as well, Coen.”

I blinked, numerous times. The surprise of seeing her after so many years had quite overwhelmed me. We stood in silence for a long moment as I stared at her, lost in and trying to overcome a trance. Eventually, after looking at her surroundings and chortling, she beseeched that I allow her entrance. Stuttering I asked her forgiveness, stepping aside and closing the door carefully once she had passed through the threshold. “It seems like an age since I’ve been inside these walls,” she commented. I noticed her looking at everything, most of it unchanged; a strong sense of nostalgia finding its way to the surface of her eyes. Indeed it had been a long time since she had set foot within these walls, and I myself found my own memory conjuring forth scenes from our childhood together. Long before she left for university and our parents passed on.

Standing there, knowing not what to say or to do, I watched as she moved in a slow and graceful stride through the room and out into one of the branching hallways. Running a hand along my head I glanced to my left and into a mirror. I groaned at the sight. My hair was a disheveled mess, the result of having let it grow moderately long and not taking care of it for well over two weeks. The circle around my mouth was, for the most part, covered in short stalks of hair. I’d still not much need to shave often, or to even bother with my cheeks, yet still I looked like a mess for not having taken care of myself for so long. I felt somewhat ashamed and wish she would have given me some notice that she would be coming. One might find it ironic at how well I kept the house compared to my own personal appearance.

After a moment of studying myself, and a failed attempt to somewhat fix my hair, I turned from the mirror to follow Trine. I found her a few rooms down, standing before a burnt-out fireplace, her eyes locked onto a family portrait hanging just over the mantle. From the angle I stood I could make out a portion of her eyes through her hair. Eyes filled with remorse as well as another heavy feeling I couldn’t quite decipher. She looked to me, her lips forming a forced and quite pathetic smile. I responded only with a blank stare and a blink. “They loved you,” she said rather suddenly, taking me by surprise, “too much, perhaps.” I groaned, hoping this wouldn’t turn into a visit brought on by self pity and a desire to obtain my sympathy. And why should it? Our parents never treated either of us as a greater treasure to them.

Without realizing it I had begun to rub my forehead, as if I already knew what direction this conversation was going to take. Her slender hand wrapped around my shoulder, tugging me softly. “I didn’t mean it like that,” she whispered, her voice shallow and wet. “I’m sorry.” She pulled away, leaving me to stand there looking at her again with a quizzical expression. “This is difficult to explain,” she went on as she moved to the far end of the room and slumped down into a chair, covering her face with both hands as her head dipped forward.

I shook my head and moved closer to her, sitting myself in a chair beside hers. “What is?” I queried.

Sniffing, she leaned back and forced another smile, even going as far as to make herself chortle. “They loved you so much that accepting your death was beyond them, they just couldn’t do it.” Someone asked what she was talking about in a demeaning, aggressive tone. Only after the words lingered in the air for a moment and I saw the tears brimming in her eyes did I realize it was myself who spoke those words. Inwardly I cursed myself, outwardly muttering an apology. “No, I understand,” she replied. “You obviously aren’t dead; it is something that wouldn’t make an ounce of sense.

“You died when you were four, Coen. Not you, of course, as you’re here now. But, the you that I knew as a baby, that I helped take care of. The you that was from here, from the parents we both knew to be physically real.” My brow rose as I tried to figure out what she was trying to get across. The me as a child died, our parents couldn’t accept this? Had Trine suffered something in our childhood I was unaware of. “Please, don’t look at me like that,” she begged. I tried my best to fix my expression, not sure how I had even been staring at her that made her feel so uncomfortable. “You see things in your mind that aren’t merely creations of the imagination, Coen. You know this, I know that you do. You’ve always felt that they were more than that. You aren’t from here, not from this reality. The memories remain lucid, as if it happened only moments ago. Standing there, a frightened little girl when your parents actually leave in a way so bizarre, so magical… telling you they will be fine and that they are going to return with your baby brother…”

At that moment she broke down completely, and though I thought she must have gone through some traumatic experience or another to make her fabricate these memories I felt and responded to the urge to caress her in my arms. I spoke nothing, and we sat there some time as I held her while she wept. At length she pulled away from me, wiping her tears and clearing her throat. “It wasn’t too long before they returned, and they didn’t return alone. There you were, but you were with them. You can’t even begin to image the terror of a seven year old girl seeing her dead brother before her… smiling playfully.” She looked to me and became angered with my non-believing expression. “They took you from them, Coen! From her! From… from me? Only to return you to me… but you didn’t belong here, not with me. Not with us, but there… with her, with them.”

By this time I was convinced she was conjuring these ideas inside of her head. “I’m not making this up!” She wailed, flying to her feet and searching through her belongings. “It took me a long time, and even longer to decide to finally tell you… but here.” She thrust unto me a collection of folders. As I searched through them I recognized my parents writing, mostly that of my father. Silence filled the room again as I frantically began reading things that I could not believe. After a few moments I heard the clicks of Trine’s heels as she left the room, sobbing. I didn’t respond to her departure, instead I dropped to the floor and began rummaging through the things she had given to me like a madman.

Hours passed, I’m unsure how many. When I finally stood from the floor I realized the mess I had created. Not bothering to clean it, not wanting to, I removed myself from the room. Eventually I found Trine, sitting in the dining room with her arms and head on the table. I thought she might be asleep, though as I approached her head lifted and she looked at me with weary eyes through her veil of hair. “Why…?” I beseeched.

“Because I finally came to terms with things myself, or at least… the best that I will ever be able to. You deserved to know Coen, and they deserve to have you returned to them. I… I think I know how to do it. I have for many years, but it was hard to let go. I love you so much… but in the end I realized my knowledge of this was keeping me from seeing you. It was either I shy from you because of it, or I come to see you a final time and reveal to you the truth. I know in your heart you feel you don’t belong here. It is why you were always a secluded person, why you lived in your head and wrote the stories that you did. You’re alone, Coen… I can’t allow my feelings to keep you here any longer. I can’t do what mom and dad did.”

My head was spinning. It was astounding how well everything fit together. Everything that had happened seemed so surreal, to the point that my own mind was making the logical or perhaps illogical conclusion that something so surreal could be nothing but the truth. I fell into a chair I couldn’t even remember pulling from the table. I couldn’t deny my desire to return to the world that I had previously thought I’d created in my head, but now knew that I hadn’t. There were things in my parents’ writings that detailed things from this world of mine, things they couldn’t have known about unless they had been there; things that I had never shown to anyone or put in any of the few pieces that had been published. “Are you sure you can do this?” I asked, hoping she understood I meant physically and emotionally. Her response came in a hard pressed nod, and part of me was screaming inside my head not to let her do it, that it wasn’t her fault and she didn’t deserve to suffer more than she already had. Another part of me knew that were I to stay, however, she would more than likely suffer more from the guilt in the long run.

That evening I sat in with my hands folded before me, watching as Trine prepared the ritual that would open a gateway, a rift, or whatever it was exactly that would allow me to return to my place of birth. Earlier in the day I had talked her into giving me the information before I left, so that I could return from time to time and visit with her. I had no desires of leaving her forever, she meant too much to me. When she was finished I felt the foundations shake, though quickly noticed that it wasn’t the physical world that was shaking but something else, something entirely different. In the center of the hallway I watched as the air itself warped and became much like a swirling, blurred image of an altered version of the room beyond.

Slowly I rose to my feet and approached it. Trine stood there, holding what I would need to be able to create this effect from the other side. She smiled at me as I took it from her and stuffed it into a satchel slung over my shoulder. We spoke our farewells while embraced in the strongest, crushing hug I have ever felt. When we pulled apart from each other we shared a final smile before she gave me a gentle nudge toward the rift. I glanced back one final time before stepping in, saying not a final good bye but a ‘until next time’. What I felt next is beyond my ability to explain, though a sensation I won’t soon forget. When it was over I found myself standing in a very familiar room, though far different from the one I had just come from. I smiled and the warmth of the extraordinary familiarity I felt as I did a slow circle, taking in my surroundings. I stopped when I came to look at my reflection in a mirror. It wasn’t the man I was that day that looked at me, but the child that I had been when my parents took me from this home. The child smiled at me and spoke a single phrase of greeting.

Welcome Home.
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:31 am

I'm tempted to try even though its so late in the game.
of course...
I'm not sure what to write about exactly...
hmmm.
i'll think on it and possibly have something up within the next day or so.

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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Sunwolf007 on Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:18 pm

As much as I would love to write a story for this I think that setting up of my RP and keeping up with my readings for class are much more important. Unfortunately I think I don't have enough free time this time around.

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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:32 pm

Ragter, if you can give me yours story at least four days before it's due, I'll be able to proofread it.

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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by MoiraofWords on Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:38 pm

Urg, overwrote. Need to cut out words :/
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Ragter the junior greeter on Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:04 pm

Eh..you need it by today? I suppose if I continue on it now, I can finish it up...
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Kestrel on Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:13 am

Shout-out to Kathryn Lacey for proof-reading.

Spoiler:
Wednesday

“There isn’t much time; you’re in grave danger.”

Wait, what?

Okay, quick rewind of what happened: I woke up, slept in, woke up again, got up this time, slid down the stairs in a daze, and checked the fridge for eggs. Gone… Brilliant. Last night’s leftovers it was. With a half-empty bowl of might-as-well-eat-this-before-it-gets-any-worse salad clenched between my arms and a worst-case-scenario of semi-consciousness in my eyes, my breakfast was even further postponed by an eager knocking at the back door.

Grudgingly, I went to answer the noise. It was probably some guy who couldn’t find the front. That was the downside of those vines Annie just adored; we were too lazy to trim them. Everyone we knew could still find the entrance; even the mailman did, so who could this have been? The vultures? They always were up way too early. They didn’t even wait till no noon any more to bother poor civilians, did they? “So tell me, why are you after my money today?” I threw at the man on my doorstep simultaneously with the door opening.

Instead of a salesman, fundraiser, or even a friggin' Jehovah, I ran into a face that, pictures aside, I hadn’t seen since it had been reduced to ashes… When was it? Oh yes. December. Two years ago. I could have sworn Gloria had spread its remains over that pier Pops had loved so much.

“There isn’t much time; you’re in grave danger.”

Wait, what? I run my free hand over my eyes. Damn it! Rubbing out the drowsiness doesn’t work; the old man’s still there. How about pinching? That’ll work; this’d better be a dream…

“Ah! Fuck!”

No, it doesn’t do the job either. Conclusion: this is going to be one bad-ass nightmare.

The old man frowns, probably trying to press down a smile at my disbelief. Cheeky bastard, he is. Hell hasn’t changed him a tiny bit. “Let me explain, Son.” He starts, but I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t inherited some of Gerald’s features. The combination of my grandfather’s sarcastic rudeness - which miraculously skipped my Pop’s generation - and my mom’s fierce spirit results in cynical outbursts.

“Brilliant. How about you start with how you stood up from the grave!” I interrupt. “How ‘bout you start with why you’re creeping the hell outta your only grandson before eight AM and don’t even bother to ask how he’s been! You disappeared into thin air, leaving a sick widow, a mourning family, and a whole load of debts, just to pop by as if nothing ever happened couple years later! Well for your information, Gerald,” I call my grandfather by his first name, as I always do to someone with whom I’m pissed off. Hell, am I pissed off with Gerald or what?

“I have been absolutely brilliant! I graduated with flying colors, landed myself a fancy job, and Annie, who is my fiancé by the way, has moved in with me. Sure she’s a hassle at times,” the missing eggs come to mind, “but I love her and we’re doing just brilliant! Brilliant! How are you!”

My shoulder leans against the doorframe. I’ve felt my temperature going up with my outburst, and my breath doesn’t lie about it either. Behind the back of my old man’s old man, I can see Mrs. Jones glancing from behind her spotless, double-glass window. The scenario that we just played out is most likely going to develop into the newest neighborhood rumor. I can already see those old eyes plotting.

I refuse to pay any attention to that gossipy old witch for another second - an expressive gesture with my middle finger aside, that is. I grab Gerald by his shoulder and forcefully pull the old man inside, slamming the door behind him.

Nearly effortlessly, my grandfather lets himself be pushed inside towards the kitchen. “Please, Tommy, take it easy.” He starts halfway down the corridor. “Take a seat. Your cheeks are scarlet.”

“Don’t you ‘Tommy’ me, Gerald.” I bite at the man. His eyes are worried, his lips don’t even bear a trace of that smile, and his face is absolutely drained of energy. In my frustration, there’s no space for a worn old man to be pulling any of my heartstrings. “What is the matter with you!”

I really should feel bad about treating him like this, shouldn’t I?

But I don’t. My own kitchen chair is shoved towards me, while Gerald has invited his bony ass to Annie’s. Instead of sitting down, I place the bowl on the seat and grasp the supporting bars instead. With tangled fingers, I lean in to the man who avoids my gaze, suppressing a next outburst to the best of my ability.

“Look, Tom, son, let me explain.”

“Yeah, do that.” I can’t help but to let a comment escape from my clenched teeth. “Make it a good one, too.”

My grandfather is suddenly agitated. “I had no choice, Tom!” He exclaims. “I had to disappear for your father, for Gloria, and for you…” The agitation ebbs away when he mentions my father, is no longer present when he mentions my grandmother, and his voice shakes when Gerald mentions me. Brilliant. Just… brilliant. He scrapes his old throat, and the ages of rust resound through the kitchen. He hesitates, probably expecting another flurry of my anger, and with good reason. But before I have raised my voice again, he continues.

“Look, Tom, did you ever wonder why I left so many debts? An old geezer on a sparse retirement plan like me could not possibly lend this kind of money, now could he, Son?” His lips hint at a smile, but the attempt does not shine through when stared at with cold eyes.

“Not satisfied. Go on.”

“It was all for your grandmother, Gloria’s, disease... No government would spare me the money for a woman already on the edge. No bank was mad enough to give her a chance. The hospital’s hospitality was no good to count on either.”

He looks at me, sparkles in his dull eyes, and probably hopes I catch his petty little joke. The stupid old man doesn’t get a grin out of me. “Not amused. Go on.”

The broken voice quivers in disappointment that his only grandson can be so cold and unforgiving. No. That my own grandfather fakes his own death, now that’s a story. That he comes to my doorstep after two years… That he leaves… Rage fuels itself in me. I don’t even want to listen to whatever he has to spit at me. My hands clench into fists, my heart beats in my throat , and my vision blurs.

“No. You know what? Don’t go on. I’ve had enough.”

“But, Tom…”

“I fucking said I’ve had enough! Enough! Get out of here, out of my kitchen! Out of my fucking house! Get out of my fucking life!” The chair stumbles and slides across the tiles - tiles that I believe would break could I stamp any harder. I grab the man by his wrist, pull his weight out of Annie’s chair, and walk him through the corridor just like I had brought him to the kitchen. This time, in reverse and with an even more aggressive pace and attitude. It was justified too. The bastard!

Gerald wrestles and fights against me, throws looks of despair at me, and tries to get through with his ridiculous words. That doesn’t help him. Hell no. The only thing it helps him out of is my house. Am I at the door yet? No, damn it. “Stop struggling you old piece of-”

One last shove to push my grandfather out of my house is plenty. “And stay out!” I yell at him before slamming the door. Those are last words I’ll ever speak to my grandfather, Gerald, ever again. The furnace that is my heart does not calm the slightest and beats like a drum. “He’s out of my house, out of my life.” I tell myself, but I know, I feel; Gerald still resides in the beating of my heart.


Sunday

“Hey, Ann, could you turn the up radio? Think I heard my name.”

Annie sighs, “You always think everything revolves around you, don’t you, Tom?” But I’m serious this time. I frown at my wife-to-be, and finally she spins the volume button.

“Thanks, love. You’re golden!” But Annie must be too late. The announcer is talking about someone being shot in a dark alley. It’s unlikely to be me, I decide. Alive and kicking, I am. “Oh, never mind. Think we missed it.”

Annie shakes her head. “Tom,” she sighs, “they found a person with a bullet put in his head, and all you have to say is never mind?”

I shrug at the disapproval. “Chest.” I correct her. “Besides, it happens almost daily, doesn’t it?” Annie turns her back on my grimace and on me. Silly girl. Ah well, back to the television it is. There’s a much more interesting murder to be solved, and I won’t be missing another second of it. Although… “Hey, Ann, I think I heard it again.”

She looks at me, suddenly distorted in a garment that doesn’t fit those shoulders of hers. “I think you’re right this time, Tom. He did say Vickers, but isn’t this-”

“The same topic? The murder? Yes.”

“Oh, Tom, you don’t suppose someone in the family-" She starts, but I hush her and pull Annie against my chest. She shivers and so do I. Carefully, I listen to all the words of the news reader. G.C. Vickers shot, three bullets through the chest of which the second must have been lethal. Presumably done by suspect Anthony A. who is still on the loose. Police do not want to confirm whether or not Anthony A. has ties to the organized crime-scene.

“What’s Gloria’s second name?” Annie asks. I shake my head. I’ve already run over the G’s in my family by now. None have a second name that starts with a C. Except for…

Suddenly, it all makes sense. Gerald Cornelius Vickers. The debts we inherited were to that Anthony! My grandfather’s faked death: he must have wanted to avoid them. He must have wanted to erase tracks, but why did he come back to me? Why was he in peril? Does that mean…

“Annie!” I shout. She jumps from my lap and stares at me with teary, startled eyes. “We have to go! We have to go now!”

No time to pack, no time to explain. With my coat in my left hand and my sobbing, bewildered mess of a fiancé in my right, I swing the jacket over my shoulder, smite the front door, and make our way through the small jungle attached to the façade of our home. No time to close the door. My hand is already reaching in the coat’s pocket for the car keys. Where are they? Damn it. Where are they? Ah!

“Annie, listen to me. Do you trust me?” She nods, but her eyes are filled with contained fear. Her nose is running. I grab Annie’s shoulders and stare her right in those teary blurs. “I will explain this later, but you must get in the car, right now.”

“But the door-“

“Forget the door Ann, forget the door!”

Thankfully, Annie finds her way onto the passenger’s seat quickly. “Who is it?” Her voice trembles, but she does not know that her guesses are wrong. We’re not leaving for someone else. We’re leaving because of ourselves. I flip the keys, and the car’s engine roars, but the vehicle does not move. It just has to have one of those[/]i days! I check the brakes and plant my foot on the gas pedal, but nothing works. The engine still rumbles and Annie pulls my coat.

“Tom. W-what is that smell? I’m not supposed to smell the gasoline, am I?”

Those were the last words Annie ever said to me. The words she said to me just before we were consumed by the fire. Unlike Gerald, we would not come back from the flames. [I]Never
. Our ash would be spread only once.

I must say I’d give preference for the fireworks at New Year’s Eve any time. What a way to go…


Wednesday

I hit the clock on the right button this time. Can’t waste another fifteen minutes in bed, now can I? At least my fiancé isn’t here; she’d have scolded me for not getting up with the first alarm. I hate getting up this early in the morning, but the duty calls, and the stomach does, too. I’d better go silence my tummy… Perhaps with an omelet? When I arrive in the kitchen and I take a look in the fridge, I can’t find the eggs. They’re not in the door or behind the milk. Brilliant; another obstacle you have to overcome when you live together. What else will suffice? Cornflakes? Meh. I might as well take last night’s cliques. At least I’ll get some much-needed greens.

I turn my head when I hear someone knocking on the door. Well now, who could that be? But I already know the answer. Family and friends take the front door, and even the mailman can find his way through the vines by himself. There’s someone out to ruin my morning, right in front of my doorstep.

Déjà vu. Have I gone through this morning before?

With shivers piling, I go to the back, security tool (baseball bat) in my right just in case. I try to glance through the dusty window, but I cannot recognize a thing about the figure outside. I swallow my fear, or make an attempt to do so at least. Slowly, I open the door…

“Hey there, Sir. How are you doing this morning?” A girl beams; she must be barely twenty. “I’m here for Greenpeace Band." I sigh of relief and swing the door open, but the youthful face pales at the sight of the bat still lingering in my hand.

“Oh hey, this is not my wallet!” I joke with a fake surprised look at the piece of wood in my hand. “Wait here, girl. I’m sure I have something to spare.”

I place the bat on the floor and walk back to the kitchen, swiping the sweat off my forehead. Hopefully, that girl hadn’t been scarred for life. I promised her charity money, though. Shouldn’t have. Damn posers. At least she hasn’t come to spell out my demise. I shiver at the mental image of the explosion.

I just have to check. I whip out my mobile and speed-dial Annie, “Okay, Tom, what are you calling me for this time?” just to hear her voice. Brilliant.

Conclusion: that was one bad-ass nightmare.
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Hello Danger on Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:05 pm

Am I the only one that won't be done by 12 AM?

Weiss, mentioned there may be an extension on the deadline... is that still an idea?
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Gunneh on Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:12 pm

Yes, there is!

However, till Kalon gets online to confirm my idea...I'm not entirely sure WHEN it will be.
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Hello Danger on Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:16 pm

Awesome!

You guys rock!
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Bird of Hermes on Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:22 pm

Soon, hopefully.

I want my story critiqued. It's the first short story of mine to ever get to paper in a final form.
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by MoiraofWords on Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:55 pm

I did it Surprised... but you could say it's kinda filled with a conceit.

Well that, and I'm not sure, if chiamus or another word would have been a bit more accurate for the structure. Nevertheless, may you enjoy it!

A Wonderful World
by MoiraofWords

Spoiler:
Every morning I wake up. Everyone morning is the same. The sky remains that same shade of gray, varying in small degrees. My bladder is inflated from the water I consumed the prior night. I can’t help but think these mundane thoughts as I watch the stream of yellow-green liquid released into the watery basin.

As I look in the mirror, I notice all of my imperfections. My eyes are too slanted, my nose bulbous, my hair looks as if I just got out of bed. Which I did. But in a bad way. The beginnings of a five-o-clock shadow cloaks my visage, and I’m too lazy to shave it. Until it grows to an unbearable length, and then it’s shorn off.

Repetition. Brushing these teeth to solid white. Watching the foam race down the sink. Mornings tend to be droll. But I don’t mind it too much. Repetition has its uses. Even if they are redundant in nature.

The rest of life is fine. I party every day, sneak into clubs, drink, smoke marijuana. My fate is too plebeian. I can put up with the small things for the big inconsistencies. Variety is the spice of life, and I try to get as much of it up my nose as possible, that sweet white sugar.

That reminds me. As I drift to my room, I see the thin white residue. With a deft hand, I grab a bill. My thumb and forefinger roll it to the shape that I desire. My nose hovers as the tube lines up with the snowy substance. With a heavy inhalation, the crystals fly up into me. Sparks fly through my brain, and I feel for once. My buzz should last long enough for me to do my other morning activities, and none will know my deed.

It’s time to replenish all my stock. I just used up the last precious bits for this morning run, and I didn’t get more hash last time I was in town. My booze supply is precariously low as it consumed last night. I sure do wonder where that hoe went. She sure had a good time; she cried out around five times.

The purr of the engine woke me from my reverie. It was time to go. I grabbed the clutch, and shifted into drive, and the scenery flew by. My house was in the burbs not far from town. The summer sun isn’t too harsh, and the weather is always temperate. I always pass the children’s school, defaced with the graffiti of the children, who know inappropriate things for youths their age. It sickens me. Youth is wasted on the young. Those children are rushing too fast towards their adulthood. But I can’t begrudge them too much. That’d be too hypocritical. I do too much to be considered akin to a kid anymore. I’ve done much more than many adults.

Finally, I can reach the pinnacle of my trip. I can pick up the supplies I need to continue my lavish lifestyle. I’ve never wanted for money. My parents work steady jobs, and I’ve a steady inheritance from my Great-Aunt Mabel. I’m not sure what she did to earn her money, but I’m not complaining. I can spend as little as a thousand dollars a week and I still don’t panic about my funds.

My car rumbles to a halt, falling within the parameters of the parking lot. The door clanged behind me as it closed, and with a beep it was locked. The 7-11 was in sight, and in there I could meet my dealer. I got pretty good prices off of him, and he could have some new shit today.

Sure enough, my man was there. It was Alejandro. He was a youth of an indeterminate age. If you couldn’t tell based on his name, he was of Hispanic descent. Whenever I asked where his family came from, he would wave his hand. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if that meant he was an illegal immigrant or he just didn’t care. Either way, I didn’t care either. It was just small talk so it wouldn’t feel so awkward picking up my stuff.

“So, what’s new my man?” I asked, trying to not let my want trickle into my voice. But I could tell from his eyes that he knew my desire was running rampant: he could see my bloodshot eyes.

“Not much. I’ve got some new shit for you. And some stuff you might not normally do.” His eyes twinkled, whether with the prospect of getting money or excitement, I couldn’t say. But he licked his lips nervously, looking at the shop to see if anyone was near. I agreed wholeheartedly. I didn’t want any narks to ruin this occasion.

“Go on man. Tell me what you’ve got. You know I’m always good for the cash.” I was getting a little impatient though. He already built up the suspense, and I can’t lie: our relationship was not that amiable. It was little more than supplier and buyer.

His eyes twitched, as he could tell I was getting impatient. I had roughed him up in the past before when it was necessary, and I’m sure he didn’t want any more repeat events. He coughed, and I could see his shivering. It was clear his addictions weren’t kept in check and that he wanted the money now as well.

“I got some of the old favorites, Domino and G-13, but I’ve also got some Shiva now. Also, I got some rad shrooms the other day. The value is market price, give or take a little something extra for me. What do you say?”

His hands delved deep into his pockets and revealed the packages that were hidden within. The little bags were filled with the green gold, and I wanted them dearly. But I had to be sure I was getting my money’s worth, even if I had the money to frivolously spend.

“You know the drill. Let taste each to make sure it you it’s the stuff.” The man had no reason to disagree. If it was a lie, I’d have come after him anyway. And he wouldn’t get his money if he didn’t let me. Reluctantly, he opened the bags and I put my finger to them one at a time. Gingerly, I tasted the cannabis strains, and recognized the familiar ones for what they were. Nodding, I shoved the money over for those two sets. His fingers crept out, defiling the Lincolns. The process was sanctified again for the new strain, of which I was pleased.

The price was quickly agreed upon, as Alejandro was eager to purchase more of his favorite substance. The next item to evaluate was the new component. “So, you tested these shrooms? They aren’t poisonous or anything? Because I don’t want any whack shrooms.”

“Don’t worry man, I tried one of them, they are fine. In fact, because I’m so generous, you can have them for market value. Got it?”

I couldn’t see anything wrong with his argument or his price, so I agreed. I was looking forward to some variation anyway. “Hear any rumors about Zach? He’s been gone awhile.”

Zach was our crack dealer. I had my habit under control, whereas Alejandro dealt so he could afford more crack. The Hispanic would know with that habit of his.

With apparent sadness, and another veiled emotion, the dealer spoke up. “Bad news man. Zach got shot on a drug run. Now we are without crack.” It was disheartening how Alejandro focused more on crack than the death of Zach. But that is the way of the world of addiction. Nothing can take importance over the need.

Nevertheless, if I wanted our semi-cordial relationship to continue, I had to smile and nod. Well, look upset and nod. It was disrespectful to appear happy over death, especially over Alejandro’s favorite dealer. “What are we gonna do about it?”

Alejandro just shrugged. “I’ll tell you when I find a new dealer. But that’s how life is. You live one day, you die the next. Life’s a bitch.”

My mind suggested other more appropriate epithets, but it wasn’t a point to argue. I enjoyed life, and as long as you dealt with life the right way, it wouldn’t knife you in the back. “I’ll see you man. I’ve got other things to do today. Peace.” He nodded, and we unwittingly shared a moment of silence for the dead Zach.

It was time to go visit my girl. I hopped into my car, and the engine purred again. The tires melted onto the hot asphalt, and I exploded from the parking lot. The scenery passed aside me as I made my way towards my girl’s house. Most of the other people I fucked were one night stands, but Cherry was for real. She didn’t mind what I did, which made her even more special.

The sun shifted by several degrees, but I had made my visit around the time I promised. The door creaked open, and lo and behold my beautiful woman. She was wearing naught but lingerie, and I knew I had to have her.

After our moment of passion, we lay on her bed, breathing heavily. “What’s up girl?” She blushed at my colloquial attitude. “That’s the first thing you say after we do it? What a naughty boy!” I love it when she speaks like that.

“Cherry, you ready to smoke some pot? I’ve got some new shit now.” She eagerly nodded, and ran to the bathroom, draping the blanket over her lithe body. Moments later, she returned with two pipes and a Hello-Kitty lighter. I nodded in approval, and made my way to the bags. My prior high had faded hours ago, but I was now ready for another. The transparent bags were carried to the bed, and two strains were dumped into the pipes. “Let’s test the new one last babe.” She flicked the lighter once, twice, thrice, and then the flame bloomed out of its plastic container. The cannabis was alight, and I inhaled that smoke deep into my body, filling my every crevice. My arm waved, and my berry came over for a kiss. We connected mouth to mouth, and I exhaled, giving my smoke to her. Her eyes started to tear, and she pulled apart, holding the precious breath tight before watching it blossom into the air, forming a myriad of shapes.

Time and time we repeated the process, exhausting the precious weed that I had bought earlier that day. But it was completely worth it. Those magnificent colors and feelings that exploded into my mind, the way that world was spinning and I with it, my laughter and my happiness and my passion and my lack of control. The smoke may have stained my lungs, but the drugs stained my mind with beautiful things.

But the clock revealed the truth. It was time to go on back home, and prepare for the party I was setting up tonight. Cherry was invited of course: I was planning on missing some of the action for a good hour or two. But first I needed to restock my liquor cabinets, as the last party wiped me clean out.

The car revved up again, and burst forth from the driveway. Cherry waved goodbye from the balcony, swaying in the air like her namesake. With no second thoughts, the car continued onwards, stopping outside the store where all the winos resided.

After listening to the resounding thud of the car door, I meandered over to the front door. The drunkards watched with their greedy eyes, holding out their arms. “Fuck off you topers and get your wine money somewhere else. Get a job you lazy bastards.” Mollified, the winos retreated to their dark corner, seeking solace from my harsh tongue. Ha, if only all men were as cowed as these diminutive willed freaks. Life would be even more pleasant, with no more fools to obstruct my time and will.

Nevertheless, I don’t have the time to think about what should be. What is is, and I will deal with it as it is. As such, I didn’t even notice that I entered the shop until the shopkeeper spoke up. “What do you want kid? If you aren’t going to buy anything, get the fuck out of my shop.”

“Don’t worry my man; I am here to purchase some of your finest vodka. Along with some other drinks.”

What usually worked on most did not work on him, as he didn’t seem to believe I was of the legal age. “I’m gonna have to card you.” I acted as if I was flattered—it works with the females when they are carded for looking eighteen when they are twenty-three so it should work with a fine stallion like me. “Of course good shop keep, here you go!” With a fluid motion, I flourished my fake Id, and let him inspect it.

With signs of reluctance, he gruffly accepted it and the transaction was completed. Now laden with booze, I decided to visit the hobos one last time. “You wanted money. No. I know you would waste it on booze, so I decided to cut the middleman.” From my bag I withdrew a bottle of cheap French wine, but they wouldn’t care: they wanted the liquor badly. The hands clamored for it, as if a humanoid squid was attacking me, and with no resistance the bottle came into their possession.

Now my trek was finally over, and I could start to finish my preparations for the party.
My girl for the night, Alice, was dressed in her namesake’s clothing. The blue frilly dress awoke my hunger. “Eat me,” she breathed, “drink me.” I lunged at her, knocking her over onto the couch. She squealed with pleasure, as our passionate embrace turned into something much more.

Later, with my socks at my ankles, I started to collect my clothes as I waved goodbye to the now-sated Alice. “Come back any time hon, you know I’m always good for it. And I’m always ready to give to you.” She blushed, fully clothed again, and made her way out the door. It was not time to begin preparing for the party tonight, and Cherry would be making another visit. But this time, to my domain, where we could do a multitude of various activities. I think I still had that riding crop….

As I mulled over what needed to be done for tonight, I made my way to my recently restocked booze supply. But before I could down some light liquor, the back door was knocked upon three times. Who could that be? I had no one scheduled to come over around this time. Hesitantly, my feet brought my carcass to the door. “Who is it?” No one answered. “Who is it?” No one answered yet again. “Who the fuck is it at my back door?!” Still, no one answered so I wretched the door open and saw with great surprise an old lady. “About time you invited me in child. Is that any way to act around your great-aunt Mabel? Invite me in for a cup of tea already you ungrateful scion of mine!”

Nodding with shock, I led her into the house where, as if magic, a kettle of tea was already brewing. “Ah yes, it was if you were expecting me. Now I’ve got something to tell you lad.”

All pretenses dropped, and there was naught but seriousness in the air. “It’s about time you know my dear boy.” The walls of my life started to break down, as my home started to flicker and wave in the air. The old lady grabbed my face and her lips brushed against my eyes. Words in a tongue I didn’t understand burst from her mouth, and the world shifted.

“Are you awake now?” With weariness, my eyes closed and opened, but without the spirit that once possessed them. The world I was looking at was fantastic, amazing, but yet seemingly dull. It was as if I had seen this wonderful lands my whole life, but that wasn’t possible…

“Ah yes, I can see from your shock that you are starting to appraise the land. Just as you should changeling. All your life, you have been under the most powerful glamour in the land of the Sidhe. You aren’t the only one, but you are the first to awaken. It has taken many years, but we are a patient people. The ones you come from are not though. You are borne of a short-lived race, but they live their lives to the fullest. As have you. You were given a small sample of what it is like in the mortal realms.”

As much as I tried to feel the vivid emotion I had felt before, it had all evaporated, and I knew it all for truth. My cold eyes saw the world for what it was. “What do you request, my Queen?” Her ancient eyes twinkled in the forever noon, and the wisdom of time emanated from her body. “Simple, my boy. You want that illusion you had prior to become real? Lead my army of changelings into the world of cold iron, and take back that which is ours.” Her arms blurred, and revealed a beautiful sword with the runes of the land. “Take up the blade if you accept.”

I watched my reflection, and my shadow obscured the sword. My eyes were steely hard, as unchanging as the land I was upon. I had made my decision and would lie with it.
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Ragter the junior greeter on Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:43 am

Shoot..I'm late. I'll have to post my story later, since I forgot to come on here yesterday, and I can't look over the corrections Kathryn made because of the fact that I only have about 8 minutes until I leave for school.
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Gunneh on Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:11 pm

No one is late, Ragter. There's an extension on the submission deadline Very Happy My idea was for the 31st to be the deadline, but I need Kalon to back me up with that one.
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:29 pm

I'm easy. ^^ Extension it is! I know some were still working on theirs. Since we're extending it, I think we'll also be allowing people to edit their submissions if they choose. Very Happy

Good luck inspiration, everyone!
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Re: The First Contest of the New Year!!

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