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Weekly Short Story Contests > Week 414 (June 7-13) Stories Topic: Outrun

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message 1: by C. J., Cool yet firm like ice (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4309 comments You have until the 13th of June to post a story and from the 14th to around the 18th of June, we’ll vote for which one we thought was best!

Please post directly into the topic and not a link. Please don’t use a story previously used in this group. Only one submission per person is allowed.

Your story should be between 300 and 3,500 words long.

REMEMBER! A short story is not merely a scene. It must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

This week’s topic is: Outrun

Thanks goes to Deepak for suggesting the topic!

The rules are pretty loose. You could write a story about anything that has to do with the subject/photo but it must relate to the topic somehow.

Most of all have fun!

message 2: by Jim (last edited Jun 08, 2018 11:04PM) (new)

Jim Agustin (jim_pascual_agustin) | 625 comments sorry... posted in the wrong place!

message 3: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9618 comments AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: Beautiful Monster, Chapter 19
GENRE: Dark Fantasy
RATING: PG-13 for violence and language

When the bonfire died out and the morning sunlight beamed through the cave entrance, Tarja couldn’t tell if Windham was dead or simply just sleeping. She knew he wouldn’t be around for this battle to come due to his horse injuries. It was one woman versus an entire company of Paladin Cross soldiers, who no doubt wanted her blood smeared across their armor. They may have had her grossly outnumbered, but two things they didn’t teach at Paladin Cross very well were ingenuity and creativity. Those attributes required independent thinking, which Rinehart was never a big fan of.

Tarja whispered, “I love you” to Windham before planting a kiss on his unconscious forehead. Maybe he would wake up, maybe he wouldn’t. But this wasn’t the time to breakdown and give up. She grabbed her satchel full of massage oils and “went to work” on the forest around her. Paladin Cross knew about her past as a massage therapist (hence all the happy ending jokes that made her shudder). They would most likely use tortured pit bulls to try and sniff out her scent, which was why she went around the forest and lathered peppermint and jasmine oil over various traps she set. She secretly hoped none of the traps would endanger the animals, but was cautious enough not to let those hopes get too high. Poor things.

This elaborate plan took a half hour to complete and Tarja didn’t know exactly how many Paladin Cross knuckleheads would fall for the traps. Did she set enough? Would it buy her enough time to get Windham and herself out of there in one piece? These thoughts raced through her mind over and over again as she crouched underneath a bush near the cave where she left Windham. Referring to Rinehart, she said under her breath, “Come on, you frog-eyed, leather-faced motherfucker, show yourself!”

She didn’t have to wait long to listen to the sounds of metal boots clomping across the ground and dogs sniffing the air around them. Tarja poked her head slightly over the bush to see the forest swarming with Paladin Cross warriors, all of them with dogs leading the way. She closed her eyes and said a silent prayer to whoever was up there that the soldiers didn’t find her location. The sounds of dogs snarling and men barking orders at each other grated her ears. Her heart thundered in her ears while sweat poured off of her one trickle at a time. This was what it was like to try and outrun the past. Goddamn it, where were those mushrooms?

“I found her!” one of the soldiers shouted. Tarja gasped deeply, but only to find that the soldier and his dog were snared in a leather net. The soldier panicked while his dog went ape shit and chewed through his skin like a rare steak. “Get off of me! Goddamn it, dog!” he whined in vain only to have his throat torn out by the traumatized dog.

Soldier after soldier fell victim to their dogs’ confused searches. One soldier had wooden spikes jammed in his face, causing the dog to flee in terror. Another soldier had his chest caved in by a swinging ram. Another fell into a deep hole covered with leaves. Yet another had his ankle snared in a rope that hung him upside down. The dogs finally figured out that the jig was up and barked relentlessly while blazing around the forest. The screams of trapped soldiers only worsened their anxiety, along with the remaining soldiers. There still looked to be quite a few of them.

“Fuck the stupid dogs!” shouted a familiar authoritarian voice. “Spread out and find those two bitches! They’ve been playing us all along!” With a sense of urgency, the soldiers drew their weapons and scattered across the forest blindly searching for their targets, the scents of massage oil most likely giving them bigger headaches than Rinehart’s voice.

“Bingo!” whispered Tarja as she spotted Rinehart standing back while his underlings did all the work. The obnoxious leader thought this would be a good time to roll a cigar and start puffing away. “Typical,” Tarja said to herself while shaking her head. She wanted nothing more than to bash his brains in with her staff, which in her mind wouldn’t create too big of a mess. But patience was the key. She laid low and allowed the soldiers to dart around all over creation while trying to avoid the wrath of scared dogs and any other trap she might have set.

After a while of men screaming like warriors while others screamed bloody murder, Rinehart found himself all alone in the forest enjoying his cigar. “Keep it down, you low-grade morons!” he shouted. “I’m trying to have a smoke here! If I have to burn down this whole fucking forest to shut you faggots up, I will!”

He loved that F-word a little too much, Tarja thought to herself. While Rinehart’s men were trying to outrun their own fates, Miss Rikkinen tiptoed from tree to tree with her wooden staff primed and ready. The fat man looked so oblivious, lost in the enjoyment of tobacco blackening his lungs. All the more reason for Tarja to get closer. Another tree. Another. And another. She could feel her heart thumping yet again, but this time for the excitement of finally cracking her former boss across the skull with one stiff shot. That’s all would take. But then in trying to steady her nerves with a shallow breath, she took in too much smoke and gave her position away with a cough.

“Why you little bitch!” grunted Rinehart as he threw a bladed punch towards Tarja’s face, only to have her dodge out of the way. The Paladin Cross leader ripped the punching dagger out of the tree and started throwing more wild haymakers. Tarja blocked every punch by whacking the boss’s fingers with her staff. The fat man didn’t care if his knuckles were red; he kept swinging anyways.

It was Tarja’s turn to attack as she swept low and whacked Rinehart in the thigh, doing minimal damage and earning little more than a sadistic grin. The bladed punches came faster and more frequently and Tarja’s blocks and dodges came slowly enough to earn her a gash across her other cheek, to match the one given to her by Christian Savage. The drops of blood sent wild heat through Tarja’s veins as she gave several staff shots to Rinehart’s ribs and back, also to no avail.

She went for a kill strike to the dome only to have her weapon hooked. Rinehart pulled her closer and stamped out his fiery cigar in her right eye, causing blistering screams to erupt from her vocal chords. She dropped her weapon and rolled around on the ground holding her wound, tears of pain sending heat waves through her head. She secretly wished for a visit from the angel of death, the pain was so agonizing.

“You should have stuck to giving hand jobs on massage tables, sweetheart!” growled Rinehart as he leaned down with his fist raised to the sky. “I got to be honest with you, pumpkin: hell doesn’t smell like lavender and peppermint. It smells like shit. It smells like blood. It smells like dude nectar. If you thought Windham had it rough in Shelly’s castle, oh-ho-ho-ho, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Goodbye, you dirty slut!” Out of her one good eye, all Tarja could see was a sharp fist crashing down upon her.

In between ashes and dead memories, out of her bad eye she saw a leather whip flying by and lashing Rinehart in his own eyes. His face nearly exploded with bloody pain. Screams resulted in splashes of crimson color all over Tarja’s already fucked up face. Breathing intensely in between moans of pain, Tarja rolled over and saw Windham standing there in little more than leather pants and bare feet.

This was an entirely different Windham than she was accustomed to seeing. This was a frightening, insane Windham with foam oozing from his mouth in shades of white, beige, and red. This was a demon on earth with red streaks pouring down his eyeballs and nose. This was a beautiful monster who seethed and growled like a grizzly bear waiting for its next meal. Tarja wanted to close her eyes and shut this version of her boyfriend out, but the cigar stain hurt too fucking badly.

Instead she watched Windham finish the job on Rinehart, whipping the fat man’s now exposed back with vitriol in his every word. “You sold me out!” TWHACK! “You wanted me to fail!” TWHACK! “You hate everything about me!” THWACK! “I martyred myself for you!” THWACK! “I built my life around Paladin Cross!”

The whiplashes came more frequently and in more violent volumes until all that was left of Rinehart’s back was a volcano of blood and shattered bones. Needless to say, he was dead from excessive blood loss. Some of that blood puddle oozed towards Tarja’s mouth and she felt like puking at that moment.

She lifted her head up and saw out of her good eye Windham dropping to his knees and shaking badly. The foam in his mouth poured like a Zen fountain. The blood in his eyes pooled up to where his face almost mirrored his victim’s corpse. When his chest finally hit the ground, he shook even harder, prompting Tarja to fight through her eye pain and sit beside him. She rolled her boyfriend over and tried to steady him.

“Windham! Windham, don’t die on me!” she begged and pleaded. “You have to fight, damn it! You have to fight for us! Don’t let a couple of fucking mushrooms do this to you! Please!” The elf’s back bounced against the ground the more Tarja tried to stabilize him. “Fight for me, Windham! Fight! Don’t you fucking die! Wake up! Wake up, you fucking idiot!” Except he didn’t wake up. The convulsing eventually stopped and the rest of Windham’s foam flowed out along with the blood in his eyes. He was motionless on the ground without a single parting word for his girlfriend. He finally got what he wanted: permanent peace from the hell in his mind, but at the expense of his life.

“No…No…NO!” shouted Tarja as she pounded Windham’s chest in her own emotional version of CPR. His heart wouldn’t restart. His loving thoughts wouldn’t come back. His body stiffened while his soul departed this world forever. All Tarja could do was lay her head across Windham’s battered chest and unleash her tears despite the ashes that invaded her vision. The black tears had become more disgusting to her than Windham’s red ones.

“Any last words, honey-bunny?” said one of the many soldiers that now surrounded the sorrowful Tarja Rikkinen. All of them had blades drawn. All of them had sadistic stares on their faces. All of them could pounce on her at a moment’s notice and shred her to pieces.

Tarja stood up and faced these warriors not with fear, defeat, or sorrow, but with conviction. She furrowed her eyebrows at them with no attention paid to the burning sensation in her right eye. The pain of losing what she loved was more agonizing than a cigar to the face. As far as she was concerned, the angel of death was her new romantic love. “As a matter of fact, I do have last words.” She kicked Rinehart’s dead body over to face his now sullen soldiers. “You’re all free.”

message 4: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Title : Interrogation Revelation (Helen Singer, Chapter 19, Part 1)
Author : Edward Davies
Word Count : 1342
Rating : PG13

My mum had let us sit in the observation room at the station while she interviewed Basil Iskander, It wasn’t exactly protocol, but a lot had happened in the last twenty-four hours. The fact that she now believed that someone had tried to either break him out of jail or kill him meant that she had to get her questions down as soon as possible. Things might have been even more urgent in her mind had she known for certain that Ladon was amongst the missing children, but she hadn’t mentioned him to us since she’d been turned to stone. It was almost as if she’d forgotten all about it. Come to think of it, dad’s memories had been pretty vague about what had happened when he turned to stone. Maybe there was something in that; maybe the Basilisk’s stony glare affected people’s memories as well as their matter.

“So, Mr Iskander,” my mum began as Fran and I listened in, “can you think of anyone who might want you dead?”

“I don’t know,” Basil Iskander replied, looking absolutely terrified, “I don’t know anything anymore. It’s all so… so… unreal.”

“He must be remembering his time as the Basilisk,” Fran whispered to me, “I think Wendy Goldsmith was much the same.”

I stared at Fran, “You never said that she remembered being a wendigo,” I said, “that wasn’t part of your article.”

“Well, there wasn’t any proof that she could remember,” Fran admitted, “but she did get rid of her one remaining cat pretty soon after her ordeal. My guess is she was scared she might eat that one, too.”

“Or that someone was out to get her and was taking it out on her household pets,” I argued, “that isn’t evidence, Fran. That’s just guessing.”

“I don’t know,” Fran shook her head, “did you see Basil’s face after he turned back to normal. He looked haunted, Helen, seriously haunted.”

I shook my head, turning back to the viewing window.

“What else can you tell me, Mr Iskander?” my mum was asking him, “there must be something you can tell us.”

“I don’t know,” Basil said, looking like he was going to cry, “I’d never do anything to anyone, I swear. I don’t know anything about any kids, you’ve got to believe me.”

“This is hopeless,” I tutted, “he clearly can’t remember anything. What if…” I paused for thought, “what if it wasn’t him that took Ladon and the others?”

Fran stared at me in disbelief, “You’re the one who said you saw Alfie disappearing through a solid brick wall, so how do you explain that?”

I scratched my head, “All this talk about mythological creatures, all this talk about crazy things that happen in this village, and you’ve forgotten one important thing, Fran.”

Fran looked a little hurt, but she still replied, “What am I forgetting, Helen?”

I sighed, “Basilisk’s aren’t known for taking children, correct?”

“True,” Fran conceded, “but he might have turned the to stone somewhere and they haven’t been found yet.”

“Okay, fair enough,” I said, “but what about Alfie disappearing through that wall? That doesn’t match up with anything else. And Basil and I were the only people present when I looked at the book. From what you said there can’t be anyone else out there with a curse power.”

“Maybe,” Fran said after the briefest of pauses, but that momentary pause was enough for me to latch onto.

“What are you thinking, Fran?” I asked, “Is there something going on inside that mind of yours that you should tell me about?”

Fran shrugged, “I was just thinking, you know,” she said, “that if two people could be affected by the book at one time, like you and Basil, and then you lost the book when your dad took it back to the library, maybe someone else could have been affected while you were still going through the curse, someone else could have the book” she paused again, “there might be someone else out there kidnapping kids.”

“Someone with possibly supernatural powers,” I continued Fran’s thought process, “maybe someone who can convince kids to pass through walls.”

“I’m struggling to think of a myth with kids going missing and people passing through walls,” Fran admitted, “I’m not sure I can even think of any mythological creatures that fit the m.o.”

“I mean, there’s the changeling,” I suggested, “but they replace the kids with ones of their own if I remember rightly.”

“True,” Fran agreed. I think me starting off the conversation got her thinking again, “and there’s the old wives tale about Faeries stealing children to marry them”

“That’s a bit twisted,” I commented, “but definitely a possibility.”

“And I told you about La Llorona,” Fran continued, “she sometimes steals wandering children thinking they’re the ones she drowned.”

“Nice,” I said, “Classy chick.”

“And of course there’s the boogeyman,” Fran added, “and all sorts of other fairy tales and children’s stories about children being kidnapped, sent away, or abandoned; Rapunzel, Peter Pan,Snow White, The Pied Piper, Hansel and Gretal, The Jungle Books, hell most fairy tales are about bad things happening to stupid children, but the thing is I can’t think of anyone in town with a name that fits the pattern of any myths or fairy tales I can think of.”

“Well we have to think of someone,” I said, “it’s possible that if someone else has gotten a hold of the book then their final day to change will be tomorrow.”

“I’ve been thinking,” Fran said, “about compiling a list of all the people in town and the possible creatures they could turn into if they were cursed.”

“Sounds useful,” I said.

“But it’s just so time consuming,” Fran breathed heavily, “I’d have to obtain the list of village folk, then look through all the possible myths, legends, fairy tales, hell, television shows, that might feature a bizarre character that could form a part of their name. Think about it, any fairy tale character you like, a lot of them have pretty common names – take the name Jack for instance. Someone called Jack could do anything from fall down a hill to bringing a giant to town. And that’s just one person’s name!”

“It wouldn’t be that bad,” I told her, though with very little certainty.

Fran sighed loudly, “It’s just I’m starting to doubt that any of this was a good idea,” she said, “trying to stop this curse.”

“Why do you say that?” I asked.

“It’s just so much work,” she said, “and what have we achieved? Nothing really. Half the police station has fallen down, a bunch of local children are still missing, and all we managed was to get some innocent guy arrested for accidental indecent exposure.”

I stared hard at Fran until she stopped looking panicky and instead bore a look of concentration, “We can’t give up, Fran,” I told her, “I know it’s hard, and I admit I was a little reluctant at first, but we saved someone’s life today.”

“I know,” Fran said, “but the curse, it’s just so fast. I don’t think we can outrun it. I don’t think we can beat this thing.”

“Well ,we have to find a way,” I told her, “I don’t want the curse affecting me or my family again. My mum and dad were both turned to stone, and my brother is still missing. And that’s just one cursed individual! We could have two or three a week the way this book has been working overtime.”

“And you want to stop them all?” Fran asked, “We start college in a few weeks’ time, we won’t have the time to tackle all of these creatures and still attend class.”

“We’ll find a way,” I told her, holding out my hand for her to shake, “I promise we will.”

Fran stared at my hand, then smiled weakly, taking it and shaking it half-heartedly, “I supposed I can work on this sort of thing in the evenings,” she said, and I couldn’t help laughing.

message 5: by C. J., Cool yet firm like ice (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4309 comments Polls and new contest will go up later!

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