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Writing Contests > June 1, 2013 - 11th Contest!

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message 1: by Grace, Head Moderator (last edited Jun 01, 2013 09:20AM) (new)

Grace (fictionaladventures) | 896 comments Mod
For our eleventh contest, I want you to write a fictional story based on the picture below. Think out of the box, but remember: letting it inspire you does not mean that you can look at a picture with a purple house and a girl standing beside it and think "Oh, the color purple inspires me," and then go write about a purple elephant. Your story actually has to do with the picture, or else it will be eliminated. I want you to take this as literally as possible.



Some ideas to get you started: Is she alone or is she with people? Is she at a party, is she in the woods, or somewhere else? Is she looking for something? Is she hiding from something? (you do not have to answer these questions in your story. They are just supposed to help you get an idea of what to write)

Rules:

1. It must be at least 500 words (anything less will be deleted and disqualified from the contest) but no more than 1,500 (anything more will be deleted and disqualified from the contest). NO EXCEPTIONS.

2. No commenting on others' stories. Only writing entries will be accepted in this thread. If you want comments on your stories, post them in the Critique folder. If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, this is where to go: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/9...

3. No sex scenes.

4. Keep cussing to a minimum (it's ok if a word slips out here or there, but please keep it PG-13)

5. Have fun and DO YOUR BEST! And vote for the winner!

Entries are due by Saturday, June 15th. Voting will begin that day.


message 2: by Livvy (new)

Livvy (livvylu) Ready, by DIUC

I wake up with a jolt, my alarm clock ringing loudly, looking to see it's only six. Hopping to my feet, I run a hand through my messy blond hair and yawn loudly, startling Puss from her comfortable position on the rug beside my bed.
She get's up slowly, stretching, and sends a venomous glare in my direction.
"My apologies, your highness," I say, bowing at her retreating form as she slips through the open door and down the hallway on her quiet, feline feet.
I go and sit on the window seat, look outside as the dawn fades into morning. I can here the birds through my window, and the sun rises slowly, making the dew on the grass sparkle like someone scattered jewels all across the lawn.
"Today's the day," I murmur, a burst of adrenaline rushing through my veins. Am I ready for this? Am I prepared to commit my life to the service of another?
Somewhere inside my soul is screaming yes.
I climb back to my feet, nervousness bubbling in the pit of my stomach as I walk towards the bathroom so I can get cleaned up and ready for my wedding.
* * * * * * * *
"Nervous, buddy?" Lila says, throwing her arm over my shoulder.
"I can't tell you," I say. "You're my sister, you'd feel obligated to make fun of me."
"I'm twenty now, remember Ethan? I'm too mature to tease," she says, tossing her dark hair over her shoulder, her blue eyes twinkling.
"As if that'll ever happen." I shrug of her off.
"Fine," she says, putting her hands up. "I was going to tell you where Jules was so you could talk to her alone before the wedding, but now you'll have to figure it out yourself."
She walks across the room and through the door, dodging a few decorations on the way there. I slumped down onto a nearby couch, eyeing the roses decorating every inch of space in one of the church's offices. Jules had wanted our wedding to have a vintage feel, so being the good fiance-soon-to-be-husband I was, I made everything look straight out of a 1950's movie.
I can hear the guests chatting loudly in the sanctuary, their voices cheerful and excited, totally ready to see two young people married.
I hope I'm ready.
Lila sticks her head back through the door, surprising me and making me jump.
"I won't tell you where Jules is," she says. "So I'm going to tell you that she's definitely not walking through the forest outside, completely alone by herself. Because then I'm not actually lying to you, and not, in fact, telling you exactly where she is."
Lila's head disappeared back out the door.
Being an only child would've sucked.
I got to my feet and snuck out past the people milling around in the lobby, wanting to see my almost-wife. Damn that nonsense about it being bad luck to see her in her dress.
I walked into the forest and was quickly...lost. Everyone know's Jules is the one that's good with direction. Everyone knew everything about our relationship, mostly because of me. Sometimes it irritated Jules how open I was with everyone, but I couldn't help myself. After knowing Jules since I was twelve and she was eleven, and after spending that entire period of time completely enraptured with her, how could I not want to tell the world that I'd finally won my Princess Charming? How could I not delight in letting them know all the little details of our wonderful, close to perfect relationship?
I stopped by an old oak tree, tugging on the crimson bow-tie that made it feel like I was suffocating. I only wore it because Jules said it made me look dashing. I couldn't not look dashing for Jules.
She deserved everything. I'd spent hundreds of dollars on our wedding, paying for whatever her parents could not. I bought her all manner of expensive gifts.
I was a wealthy businessman, and I was willing to give Jules whatever she wanted.
I decided the best way to figure out where I was, where Jules was, and where the church was, was to climb a tree and get a look from higher up, so I could see everything better.
The last time I'd climbed a tree was probably back when I was fifteen, so needless to say I had some trouble, but finally I made it high enough to see. I was probably a mile from the church (surprise, surprise. My navigating skills really did suck), and I was pretty sure the bobbing leaves and branches coming my way was Jules walking through the forest, back to the church.
I decided it would be fun to surprise her by jumping down from the tree, or yelling really loudly, or some other whatever you call scaring someone. So I waited in my tree, the wind blowing branches still filled with orange leaves in my face. I shivered a little, the cool, autumn breeze cutting through my thin blazer. Grabbing a coat would've been a good idea and I was sure my hair must look as messy now as it had when I woke up earlier that morning.
The noise of Jules walking got louder and louder until she pushed through a bush, tugging the skirt of her dress of a pointed stick.
God, she looked lovely. Her auburn hair was styles in a very vintage way, the curls rolling back and pulled together on a loose knot at the nape of her neck. One of those old hats with the net to cover the face (I think she had called them fascinators?) was fixed firmly on her head, and her make-up was done to perfection, her full lips a bright red.
And her dress was lovely, form fitting at the top with a full skirt hitting right at the knee.
My soon-to-be-wife was a sight to behold. As I watched her pick her way back to the church, her hands lightly brushing branches out of her way, I was sure of one thing;
I was definitely ready for this.


message 3: by Charity (new)

Charity (charryk) No Mere Dragon

Words: 1, 021


Dennis was dreaming again. It was the same thing. Every time.

A garden of golden trees.

A girl wearing a netted veil.

And a dragon with blood red eyes.


A clap of thunder sounded overhead and the bounty hunter sat up with a start. He raised a hand over his eyes to shield them from the oncoming torrent of rain. Lightening flashed across the sky as he clamored to his feet and sloshed across the camp through thickening mud.

Three tents were erected around a damp and unlit pile of logs—three horses stood tethered to the side, twitching with irritation from the rain. Two large hound dogs stood alert at the foot of a lone tree, shivering slightly in the cold. Dennis watched the dogs as he lifted a roll of tobacco to his lips and lit it. He drew in a deep breath, and then let it out watching the smoke dissipate in front of him. The dogs whimpered slightly, their ears twitching toward the nearby forest.

Dennis turned a full circle, an ominous feeling falling over him. “EVERYBODY UP!” he bellowed, lunging forward to where he had left his sword laying at the foot of his tent. He snatched it, spinning toward the woods just as the dogs started barking. He narrowed his eyes against the rain, searching the dim light for a sign of their target. Something moved among the trees. He spotted a glint of red.

“The dragon,” Pete growled, joining Dennis’ side as he shrugged into his oiled fur coat and crushed a leather hat on the top of his balding head. “It’s going to be a big ‘un,” he muttered, hefting a large spear and casting a cold glance toward the third man who scrambled out of his tent, clasping his boots and he stumbled through the mud. “Cal, get them horses ready.”

Dennis gathered their supplies as his pulse raced hot in his veins. Six months they had been tracking the fabled ruby dragon, following it to its lair deep in the northern woods of Trevlia. He rubbed his chin, momentarily wishing for a razor to shave off the stubble that had grown overnight.

“Let’s move!” Pete shoved past him, freeing the dogs then mounting his horse.

Cal swung up onto the second horse, and Dennis mounted the third, gathering the eager stallion’s reins then sending him into a gallop after the barking dogs. The horse lurched through the mud, then sprang onto the firmer footing in the forest and leveled out at a steady gallop, springing over fallen logs.

The chase went on. The dogs were hot on the dragon’s trail with the horses bearing the men following close behind them. The storm cleared as they continued deeper into the forest, slowing to navigate a portion of rocky terrain. When they broke through the cover of the trees, they were high in the wild northern hills, overlooking an endless expanse of forest. A glint of red in the distance spurred them onwards.

Sunset came and they set up camp at the base of a cliff that they planned on scaling at sunrise. Dennis tethered the horses, ate a lump of dried meat, and then settled down in his tent for the night. His mind raced with thoughts of finally bringing down the dragon and claiming a hefty pile of gold as a reward. As the sounds of night lulled around him, he finally fell asleep and once again, he dreamed.

A garden of golden trees.

A girl wearing a netted veil.

And a dragon with blood red eyes.


A roar followed by a muffled yell shook Dennis awake. He sprang to his feet, snatched up his weapon, and raced out into the gray of early morning. Thick fog hugged the ground, but he could see that the horses were gone—broken loose—and the other tents were shredded. He yelled, spotting the huge footprints of a dragon in the soft earth.

The wine of one of the dogs drew Dennis from his shock. He turned, finding one dog remaining where it had been tied the night before. “Where is that red beast?” He growled, turning the eager hound loose and following it on foot. He would avenge his friends. Or die trying.

Warm sunlight broke through the fog as the sun rose. Dennis found his confidence rising as the landscape became visible. The forest was beautiful in the early morning light. He was walking through a grove of tall trees with vibrant gold leaves.
The dog’s baying suddenly cut off.

Dennis sprinted toward the dog’s last sound. He drew his sword, throwing aside its heavy sheath. After a moment he spotted the dog at the foot of a tree, dead with a clean slit to its throat. He halted, stunned, No dragon can kill a dog so cleanly. He looked around, spotting something moving through the golden leaves ahead of him.

“You there! Stop where you are!” He ran forward only to come to an abrupt halt.

It was a woman. He could see her face through the branches. Her hair was the color of autumn, with pale skin, warm eyes, and bright red lips. A netted veil hung halfway over her face. She didn’t seem to see him, but there was the touch of a smile to her face. She moved and was gone.

“Wait!” He dashed into the clearing where he had seen her, looking around with deflating hope. She was nowhere to be seen. His gaze fell, and he froze. He spotted footprints of a woman’s bare feet . . . and where the woman’s prints ended, the footprints of a dragon began. He turned around, studying the prints in astonishment. It is not a mere dragon which we have been hunting.

Hot air brushed across his back, followed by a guttural rumble so quite that he hardly heard it. Dennis turned slowly, his stomach flipping as he met the blood red eyes of a ruby red dragon. She curled her lips, revealing her glistening white teeth.

His hand tightened on the hilt of his sword.

The dragon sprang.


message 4: by Audrey (new)

Audrey ~AudgPaudg~ (audgpaudg) | 21 comments Just a few notes:
In the 1930’s-through the 1940’s, the netted masks shown the picture would have been worn at funerals. This time period was around the time of WWII. Therefore, I have chosen this particular setting.
Operation Queen was a month lasting battle in the Rur Valleys in Germany. The First and Ninth U.S. Army fought with the parts of the Second British Army against the Nazi German. Nearly 40,000 Americans and British died in this battle.


Veil of Deception
627 Words


Hazel took a deep, sorrowful breath as she watched the two men fold up the flag. She carefully took the flag and glared down on it for a long time. After everyone had left the funeral, she quietly left the building and into the cemetery.

The sunset was gorgeous over the small hill, and the leaves all turning shades of yellow and orange. It really was a beautiful sight. If Hazel was in a better mood, she would have enjoyed it very much.

Her husband, Arthur Cordova, had been killed in the wretched World War II by friendly-fire. She couldn’t believe her eyes and ears when she heard the news. Of course, Arthur hadn’t been the only one killed in Operation Queen.

She knelt down near an old tree, letting the wind and leaves fall on her. She closed her eyes and let the tears fall into her netted mask. No one was there and all was quiet. At least that’s what she thought.

“Archer! Listen! No, get over here! Nobody’s here and I need to speak with you! Now!”

Hazel’s eyes widened. She quietly stood up and peered through the leaves. She could see the two men dressed in the brown-green U.S. Army uniforms. They were the men that had folded up the flag a half an hour earlier.

“Don’t let anyone hear about this, understood?” A deep voiced man said from the other side of the big tree. He continued, “Especially the other commanders. This is secret.”

“Of course, Commander.” a younger sounding man soothed. “This secret of yours is safe with me.”
The Commander laughed, “This secret is yours, not mine.” He kicked the fallen leaves, making the leaves rustle. “But I’m being serious. You have to keep this secret. The death of Cordova is known to be friendly-fire right now. I think we should keep it that way.”

“Even though…” the younger man began. “Even though it’s not true.”

“Of course.”

Hazel stood there in her black funeral gown and netted mask, eavesdropping and hearing half of the truth about her husband’s death. It wasn’t friendly-fire at all. In fact, someone had turned on their own team and shot on purpose. She couldn’t say anything. She couldn’t even move. All she did was listen.

“Well, Mr. Archer, it seems you have gained my trust. But if you should fail at this next task if I give to you,” he said. “You will be killed yourself.”

This got both Hazel’s and Archer’s attention. Archer cried, “What is the task? I’ll do it!”

A small smirk crossed the Commander’s face, “Hazel Bridget Cordova. She shouldn’t be too hard to find.” He snickered, “After all, she sticks out as the most beautiful victim of ours.”

“Right,” Archer replied. “Wait, you want me to kill her?”

“Exactly.”

Hazel was shaking too much. She wasn’t sure how long the conversation would go. She didn’t know if they knew that she was standing there the entire time. She leaned some of her weight onto the big tree, just so she could catch her breath.

“Sounds exciting,” Archer mused and took out a small gun. “And I can’t wait to get started,” he began walking around the big tree when he stopped. “Es wird mir gelingen,” he turned around and said to the Commander.

Hazel did a bit of quick translating in her head. I will succeed. in German is what she came up with. But she also came up with something unexpected, the men spoke German.

“Ich weiß, du willst,” the Commander nodded. “I know you will.”

Archer started walking around the big tree and Hazel held her breath. He stopped, smirked, and readied his gun. He narrowed his eyebrows, “I do believe we’ve found our lady.”

Hazel guaranteed that it was over.


message 5: by Kevin (last edited Jun 15, 2013 08:49AM) (new)

Kevin Zony | 2 comments The Voices in the Rain
By Kevin Zhang

Word Count: 613

Steven stood in the rain. Badum. Badum. Badum. Its drops continued to create a relentless rhythm against his head. As the rain hit the city streets, it sounded like the light crackle of the cheap fire crackers given to children. The rain was gentle, refreshing, and compassionate. It didn’t discriminate between rich and poor or men and women; it covered everyone and everything, suffocating the world with its noise. Badum. Badum. Badum. Its presence was reassuring and real. The rain was tangible. He could feel its icy drops against his skin and hear its voices. Yes! It could actually speak to him. Badum. Badum. Badum. It was the only voice he heard.

He had lost his job, his family, and his faith: his faith in himself, his faith in God, and his faith in the future. The rain was heavy that day. As the rain reduced the city to a fuzzy spectrum of assorted lights and noises, it washed away his past. A past filled with mistakes, broken dreams, and distorted realities. Like the rain, he felt delicate. The rain reminded him that life was brittle. The rain would soon be replaced by sunlight. His house, his car, his past, his future, his mistakes, his memories – they would all be replaced one day.

He smiled. The rain was all he could feel now. The chill that it brought was the only assurance that he was still alive. It was the only assurance that he existed. The rain continued to speak to him. Badum. Badum. Badum. He looked up into the somber sky and murmured, “You’re kinda like me. We’re both alone and left outside. The world wants nothing to do with us.” The rain’s reply was simple. Badum. Badum. Badum. He shuddered. Was this really his life? He looked at the broken veins that ran across his arm. They cried out to him as if they, like the rest of the world, were disappointed with him. He closed his eyes. Badum. Badum. Badum.

This had been the nature of his life for the past month. He needed it. He wanted it. He hated it. The dreary sky was covered with thin, meager clouds that moved slowly with the biting wind. The rain continued. Badum. Badum. Badum.

It rained all the time. The rain was the only thing that was constant in his sporadic life. People came and left. Promises were broken. Dreams were crushed. It was all because of her. She stood there looking at him through the honey colored leaves. Her crimson hair seeped through his memories like flames. Her hair reflected that audacious personality of hers; she was independent, powerful, desirable, and ultimately, unattainable. Like the leaves around her, their love was slowly slipping away, robbed of its life by the sands of time. There was a sparkling in her eyes. Were they tears? Did he hurt her again? It was his fault. It was always his fault. He needed her. He had played the same scene in his mind over and over again as if he still believed that one day, he would see her again. This time things would work. He needed something to fill that void that she left. First, it was just drinking. Then it was experimentation. Then he tried it. He lost everything to it. He needed it. He wanted it. He hated it. Steven began to sob. Warm tears poured down his face and across his mouth. He could taste his tears. They were salty; a reminder of his own life. Salty. Just salty. In the midst of this turmoil, the rain continued its simple reply: Badum. Badum. Badum.


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