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Monthly Competitions > August 2018 Writing Competition

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message 1: by Coralie, Wordy Writer (last edited Aug 08, 2018 06:03PM) (new)

Coralie (corkybookworm) | 1249 comments Mod
Good day, Writers! Sharpen your pencils and wet your pens! Please remember to keep the group rules in mind. Entries should have a title and word count at the top of the first comment. Have fun and good luck!

Starting Date: Aug. 8, 2018
Deadline: Aug. 31, 2018
Word Limit: 1000 - 6500

For the month of August...FREEWRITE! :D Up to you! Just stay within the rules!

May the best entry win!


message 2: by B00kw0rm0131 (new)

B00kw0rm0131 | 21 comments Title: Little Pieces

Word Count: 2244

There was chocolate everywhere. The kitchen countertops and floors were littered with truffles and cakes of all kinds, some of them splattered on the walls and floors, destroyed.

Avner was so busy gaping he almost didn’t notice when a chocolate truffle hit his head.

His hand flew to the back of his head and he spun around, ready to tell off whoever dared to throw a stupid truffle at him—

And came face to face with Skarlett.

He paused, his arm slowly lowering from his head. “Skarlett,” he said.

She wiggled her fingers at him, her cheeks stuffed with chocolate.

She swallowed and popped another truffle in her mouth.

“What… I mean—the mess…”

She hummed and surveyed the room. “Ah, yes, well that’s a story if there ever was one. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like telling it.” She dug a fork into a large cake, stuffing her mouth. “I do have a question, though,” she said and picked up a half-eaten truffle with pink filling. Strawberry, if Avner had to guess. “Why is this filled with fruit? Why would you take something as precious as chocolate and mix it with something healthy like fruit? And people say I’m the criminal.” She chucked the truffle at the wall and dragged her finger along the top of a chocolate cake, then licked off the icing.

Avner chuckled, focusing his gaze on the counter and praying she couldn’t hear his beating heart. When he looked back up, he realized Skarlett was still in her ballgown from earlier. Only, the edges were torn to shreds and the fabric was stained with chocolate. Her feet were bare and her hair was undone from its intricate placing, falling over her shoulders in a tangled mess.

Skarlett noticed his gaze. “The dress was hideous anyway. Honestly, this is an improvement.”

If he was being honest, Avner agreed.

Not that the dress was hideous.

Not that she was hideous.

Not that she could be anything other than beautiful and whoever she wanted to be and, frankly, Avner wasn’t in the position to make her be someone else.

Not that anyone was in the position to make her be someone else or that she needed to change or that she was anything less than she is now.

In fact, she was perfect and probably would be for all eternity, no matter what anyone else said, it’s just… now that she was herself—her glorious self with messy hair and torn clothes and chocolate smudged on her face—and not the royal family’s puppet… she’d never looked more regal.

“You’re staring, sweetheart,” Skarlett said, her mouth full of chocolate.

Avner felt his face heat up and turned away, hoping she wouldn’t notice. From her resounding chuckle, he guessed his efforts failed. She probably thought him an idiot. She could’ve been laughing to herself if she remembered a joke from earlier like he sometimes did like an idiot but oh, who was he kidding, of course she was laughing at him. He’s a fool who can’t seem to find any semblance of self-control around her and he wouldn’t be surprised if the entire court knew of what he felt—

“What are you doing down here anyway?”

Avner snapped his head up at Skarlett’s voice, taking a second to process what she had said. “You’re down here,” he blurted, then flushed a deep red and mentally chucked himself off a cliff.

Skarlett didn’t seem to notice, instead spreading her arms around her. “I’m feasting.”

“In the middle of the night?”

“No time like nighttime.”

Avner chuckled and bit his lip to keep from outright cackling. At least in that way he hadn’t made a complete fool of himself.

“You didn’t answer my question, sweetheart. What are you up to?”

He shrugged. “Couldn’t sleep. Needed air.”

She shoved more chocolate in her mouth. “Me too.”

Avner looked up at her—at the strongest, most powerful woman in the world—and wondered what could keep her up at night.

Skarlett saw his look. “Believe it or not, even the mighty Nemiesse’s Shadow has demons that haunt her.” She turned a chocolate truffle over in her hands. “Can you imagine that? The Queen of Hell being tormented by darkness?” She laughed, a hollow, empty sound that broke Avner’s heart.

“I suppose everyone has their faults,” he said. “Like fruit in chocolate.”

Skarlett smiled, still observing the truffle in her hand. “Is that right?”

“Absolutely. I believe even the sweetest treasures hide the most unforgivable crimes. You can never trust a perfect person, for they have no faults to learn from.”

“Poetic.”

“I read it in a book.”

Skarlett laughed, then shoved the chocolate in her mouth, along with three others. Avner’s heart soared and he took a deep breath, as though greedy to get air into his lungs, afraid this was a dream or a hallucination. He half expected to wake up any second, whether in his own bed or daydreaming during dinner or training he wasn’t sure, but he was sure he’d be mentally stabbing himself either way.

Now that he thought about it, he seemed to mentally harm himself a lot these days.

He blinked, pulling himself out of his head and back into reality.

It was quiet, Avner realized. When he came to focus and looked up, he found Skarlett staring at him and flushed.

“You’re good at that, aren’t you?” she said.

Avner blinked. “What?”

“Avoiding questions. You still haven’t answered mine. Not really.”

“It’s… an old habit, I guess.” At Skarlett’s pressing stare, Avner shuffled his feet and sighed. “You are… well, you. And people don’t see you as someone that feels fear or happiness or any emotions really. They don’t believe you have a soul and they treat you accordingly.” He shuffled his feet again, worried he may have said something wrong in his stuttering, but Skarlett hadn’t so much as blinked. “I’m different, obviously, but people, they… they see me as this… hero. Most of them, anyway. They seem to think I’m immune to fear, that my soul is pure and glowing. Others think I’m a sham, that I’m just some dumb kid pretending to be a god. I guess it just… it feels like I have to be that person sometimes. The one that’s strong and fearless. The one that isn’t kept up at night by nightmares.”

She was silent for so long that Avner thought he’d said something wrong, that he’d gone too far or offended her or opened up too much and pushed her away or—

“Come with me.”

Avner’s head shot up so fast the world spun for a few seconds. “I—what?”

But Skarlett was already striding down the hallway, leaving Avner to chase after her, trying not to step on the chocolate on the floor. He managed to be successful in that department, but lost his balance and threw a hand against the wall to steady himself. Unfortunately, his hand touched the one portion of the wall smeared with chocolate icing. The cake it had belonged to was on the floor, the one Avner had lost his balance trying to avoid.

“Try to keep up, sweetheart,” Skarlett called.

Avner mentally kicked himself and stumbled after her while trying to get the chocolate off his hand and keep his hair out of his face. He’d tried in vain over the years to tame it, but his orange curls always seemed to do whatever they wanted, much to his annoyance. He should probably get a haircut soon. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d gotten one and his curls were getting so long they were constantly in his face.

He ran a frustrated hand through his hair, then jerked back, looking at his hand. Oh, he’d gotten most of the chocolate off, but now it was undoubtedly all over his hair. He scrambled, trying to get it out with his clean, non-chocolate covered hand, but it didn’t seem he was making much progress.

A chuckle resounded from ahead. “Oh, sweetheart, you’re a hot mess.”

Avner’s cheeks heated, then flushed a deep red when Skarlett ran her hands through his hair, effectively ridding it of all chocolate, then wiped her hands clean on her dress. “Come on. We’re almost there.”

She continued up the spiral staircase, disappearing behind the wall. Avner made to follow but paused. When had they reached a staircase? He must have zoned out, lost in his thoughts. He shook his head, deciding he’d think about it later.

He proceeded up the stairs until he reached the top where an open door awaited. Avner stepped through into dark, circular bedroom filled with dusted, faded furniture that clearly hadn’t been used in years.

Skarlett stood on the other side of the room by a pair of double glass doors, beckoning him forward. She opened the doors and stepped out onto a circular balcony, Avner right behind her. Instantly the stuffiness of the room and the smell of moss and mold disappeared and Avner breathed in the cool night air, smelling the salt of the sea and the sweetness of the snow.

To his left, Skarlett sat on the floor, her legs dangling over the side of the balcony. The railing was too tall and wide, so Avner took care not to fall to his death as he sat down next to her and stared out at the kingdom below them, at the forests and mountains and villages and the sea in the horizon.

“It’s beautiful,” he said.

When she didn’t respond he looked over at her. But she wasn’t staring down below at the kingdom or to the sides at the forests and mountains or even up at the night sky. She was staring straight at the horizon, at the shadows in the distance, where Avner knew Dierdre lied—the town that had tortured and imprisoned her.

“You can fight back,” he said. “Take a stand. Earn what you deserve.”

She shook her head. “It’s not worth it.”

“Worth what?”

“The shadows.”

He paused, his heart clenching. For someone as strong as her to be afraid of the very thing she controlled… “If there’s that much darkness then there should be an even bigger light, right? So all you have to do is find it.”

“You are Edum’s Light,” she said. “You are the light that will fight the shadows. I am Nemiesse’s Shadow. I am just a pawn in whatever game the king is playing.”

“You’re worth more than you know.”

“The world doesn’t think so.”

“The world is stupid.”

She huffed a laugh and a stupid love-struck smile spread across Avner’s face.

“I mean it, you know,” Avner said. “You can be whatever you want to be. Don’t let the world tell you otherwise.” She was silent for a long while and he knew she didn’t believe him. He might have begun internally freaking out a little bit, scrambling for something, anything to say that could help. “The shadows, they’re—and I…” He took a breath, sorting through the words in his mind. “Tell me about them.”

She was silent again, but this time Avner could see the wheels turning in her head. “Iesi sel iksiel owfieo unjeso,” Skarlett whispered. “There is no light without darkness.”

To anyone else she would sound like a preacher or a madwoman drunk on power, her words both a whisper of faith and a threat. But Avner knew Skarlett—had known her for four months. He’d cared enough to learn her, to understand her coded messages. And the language she’d used… Ithrean. A near-dead language. He hadn’t known she could speak it.

He stood by what he said before: the world was stupid. It took people crying out for help, the people with the most potential, and shoved them down. It took people like Skarlett and threw them to the shadows. He knew what Skarlett meant because he understood what she was going through, what she was asking without knowing it. A part of him had been shoved into the light, but he’d had to change and adjust. His true self was shoved into the shadows all those years ago and was still lost to this day. But in that moment Avner swore an old part of him returned, for there was no other explanation for what he did next.

“Nij ikena sengalas,” he breathed. “You are not alone, Skarlett.”


message 3: by B00kw0rm0131 (new)

B00kw0rm0131 | 21 comments She didn’t say anything, only stared, but he saw in her eyes that she knew the value of what he’d given her, that she knew how long it had been since he’d spoken in Nithrik—his mother tongue. And he knew she wouldn’t open up about everything, not for a long while, but Avner was willing to wait. And until then, they’d give each other the little pieces they could spare, the little pieces they’d never shown anyone.

She turned away to face the stars. He didn’t know if she believed him or how she viewed herself, but she’d turned away from the shadows for now and Avner considered that progress. He turned toward the kingdom, looking down on the shining lights. How many times had Skarlett come up here? How many events did she miss sitting up here after a nightmare?

Everyone berated her for being late, for not caring. Everyone turned her into a villain, a harbinger of death, a Champion of the Underground, a Queen of Hell. But she was just a person, just like everyone else—just like him. And people deserved to be loved.


message 4: by lorien, In Between (last edited Sep 01, 2018 07:30AM) (new)

lorien | 2558 comments Mod
the Artful Dodger ~{Hello. I've come to turn myself in.}~ wrote: "Is it okay if my entry is like 300 words over the limit?"

Eeeeehhhhh. . . Okay. Yes, that’s fine. Man, three hundred words. . . XD Can’t want to read your entry.


message 5: by Mrong (new)

Mrong (cottonhair) | 1 comments Hi, is this competition still on?
Can I still post?


message 6: by Coralie, Wordy Writer (new)

Coralie (corkybookworm) | 1249 comments Mod
Yeah, sorry about that. People kinda dropped off and no one seemed interested anymore and then I moved and life blew up in my face XD I can set up a new thread if you're interested for October!


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