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Archives > Short Story Contest (May 6-May 13)

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message 1: by Colby (new)

Colby (Colbz) | 3211 comments That's right, I'm your judge this week. *evil laughter* I'm sure you know the rules and junk, so I'll just give you your prompt...

broken stoplight

Enjoy your writing, and I really encourage you to write something because I REALLY would love to read your stuff! *Glares at Yue, Lav, Holden, Autumn, and the rest of you.*

message 2: by Manfred (last edited May 06, 2012 10:34AM) (new)

Manfred Matela (MrSpoon) | 23 comments This seems fun, are there any rules/special genres? And when is the deadline?
I'm kinda new so I don't know the details :3

message 3: by Colby (new)

Colby (Colbz) | 3211 comments
That explains the contests. And the deadline is May 13.

message 4: by Manfred (new)

Manfred Matela (MrSpoon) | 23 comments Alright, thank you. So do I tell you which story I would like you to review?

message 5: by Colby (new)

Colby (Colbz) | 3211 comments Wait, what? You write a story for the prompt and post it here.

message 6: by Manfred (new)

Manfred Matela (MrSpoon) | 23 comments Oh, okay then.

message 7: by Hayden (new)


message 8: by Colby (new)

Colby (Colbz) | 3211 comments GOOD. DO IT.

message 9: by Hayden (new)

Hayden | 8013 comments I WILL.


message 10: by Maddie (new)

Maddie  | 254 comments Duude, I read it as spotlight too... O_o

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Colby wrote: "
That explains the contests. And the deadline is May 13."

ASJDFDKA. The end date is my birthday. O.o

message 12: by Colby (new)

Colby (Colbz) | 3211 comments Aleph wrote: "Colby wrote: "That's right, I'm your judge this week. *evil laughter* I'm sure you know the rules and junk, so I'll just give you your prompt...

broken stoplight

Enjoy your writing, and I reall..."

Haha, sorry...I hope you'll write one for the real prompt!

message 13: by Hayden (new)

Hayden | 8013 comments I'm not sure what to write.... D:

message 14: by Hayden (new)

Hayden | 8013 comments I'm going to try to write something....

message 15: by Colby (new)

Colby (Colbz) | 3211 comments Emily [FANGIRL POWERS ACTIVATE] wrote: "I'm going to try to write something...."


message 16: by Maddie (new)

Maddie  | 254 comments -__- I want to write something for this but I am brain dead. :(

message 17: by Meagan (last edited May 08, 2012 07:12PM) (new)

Meagan (flwurmeagan) | 4987 comments Colby wrote: "That's right, I'm your judge this week. *evil laughter* I'm sure you know the rules and junk, so I'll just give you your prompt...

broken stoplight

Enjoy your writing, and I really encourage yo..."

I don't appreciate this glaring behind my back.
May 13 is the day before the AP Biology Exam, fool.

message 18: by Muse (new)

Muse | 4458 comments PSH SCREW BIOLOGY.

message 19: by Mirvan (new)

Mirvan  Ereon (mirvanereon) | 51 comments i will join this!

message 20: by Hayden (new)

Hayden | 8013 comments Colby wrote: "Emily [FANGIRL POWERS ACTIVATE] wrote: "I'm going to try to write something...."



message 21: by Colby (new)

Colby (Colbz) | 3211 comments Autumn [move the needle to a more forgiving song] wrote: "Colby wrote: "That's right, I'm your judge this week. *evil laughter* I'm sure you know the rules and junk, so I'll just give you your prompt...

broken stoplight

Enjoy your writing, and I reall..."

Yet I notice you had time to be on here?
*forces everyone to enter*
Juuuuuuuuuuuuust playing.
No but seriously. ENTER.

message 22: by Muse (new)

Muse | 4458 comments In the beginning, it was my mother who dragged me into ballroom dancing, and in the end, she was the one that whisked me out. My mother wanted to raise her son as a gentleman—plus, all the rich kids did it, so there was no other explanation for me not to do it. But unlike the rest of the rich kids, I didn’t dread Monday rehearsals. In fact, I lived for it.

Since then, I have always dreamed of being a professional ballroom dancer. Call me all the names you want: gay, faggot, I’ve been through all that. But there was something pristine and innocent about gliding across the dance floor that lifted me off of my feet and allowed me to fly. It was an inexplicable kind of beauty, that only people intimately connected to dancing could understand. The breathlessness, the music, everything was so perfect, in sync, in rhythm. Every step had its place; every move was executed with elegance. There was so much feeling to be interpreted through a single minute, all the emotions.

I was never much of a modest person, so I guess it’s fair for me to boast that I was one of the best ballroom dancers that my teacher had ever seen. I attended a prestigious arts academy, an hour away, before I was forced to go to an all-academic school following my freshman year. Still, the lessons continued through my scarce allowance every week, no matter how many times my mother insisted I should quit through her subtlety of words. “I would like you to join soccer… Oh, but you’re doing ballroom dancing already,” she would comment dryly.

It wasn’t until my senior year that my mother blew out on me all at once. My first choice was a small college with one of the best arts program in the country. I was applying for a handful of other schools, but none that focused much academically. They were all recommendations from my ballroom teacher. On the other hand, she wanted me to apply to Ivy schools and Stanford and Berkeley. “Honestly, Justin, what do you think you’re going to do, majoring in performing arts? Do you think you’re actually going to make money?” No matter how much research I gave her on the statistics of finding a job within the performing arts field, no matter how much I debated with her, pleaded, resisted, begged, all she did was raise her eyebrows at me wearily. No was a no.

I ended up going to Cornell, where I graduated with an engineering degree.

I hated it.

Trust me when I said I tried to give it a chance. I tried so hard. But it was too many facts; there was no room for freedom. I couldn’t express myself the way dancing allowed me to. I was enclosed in a box, where they tried to feed me all the knowledge. I barely passed my final that year, but only thanks to a generous curve. Had my professor not liked me, I would have probably flunked out of college.

Onwards I went with my life, where I became an electrical technician. I specifically fixed public electricity failures, like power outages and broken stoplights. It was a constant reminder, the broken stoplights, mocking me for never achieving my goals. The red light had turned upon me just when I was about to launch my career.

One day, I was working on a stoplight on the intersection of Castaway Avenue and Reverie Boulevard. Whoever named those two streets were probably the king of corny. But still, it gave me a nostalgic feeling: two blocks down Reverie was my old dance studio. I’d moved away for a while, but this place was where home was for me, truly. This was the place of cold ice cream and flying feet, the place where my dreams almost came true. It was where all my memories were stored.

I let out a bitter laugh, and my partner gave me a weary glance. He was an old man, in his fifties. I was his sidekick, doing the actual dirty work, since his body had gave up long ago. Once we rounded to the intersection, he slowed the car to a stop. He threw me a wrench and told me to go up there, while he kicked up his legs and leaned back in his seat.

I rolled my eyes, but I needed the paycheck, so I complied like I always did. I was tugging away at a wire when a couple dressed in flamboyant dancing paraphernalia. I expected to feel a pang of jealousy, but instead, I felt anger. I was here, slaving away, and they got to pursue their dreams? What the hell? Upon these thoughts, I failed to realize I was gripping my scissors so tightly that I accidentally cut an important wire.


Below me, my partner called out, “Justin, done yet?” I was about to shout back a no, but I paused. I looked at the broken stoplight, so helpless and blowing in the wind, and I turned back to the two dancers. I took a deep breath.

“Yeah,” I said softly.


“Yeah,” I repeated, more forcefully this time. I felt the old crane, creaking me down back to the ground. “I think I’m done running away from my dream,” I said, looking up at the stoplight. The second the crane reached the bottom, I jumped off and ran down Reverie, while my partner called behind me, yelling something. Something that was completely irrelevant to my life now.

When I finally reached the dance studio, I was completely out of breath.

“Looks like someone’s out of shape,” a familiar voice rang through the room.

“I knew you could never let go of dancing. Took you long enough,” she said. She was wearing blue sequined dress, her hair tied up neatly in a bun, as if she was waiting for me all this time. “Let’s dance.” She held out her hand.

I gladly took it.

message 23: by Hayden (new)


message 24: by Muse (new)

Muse | 4458 comments GO WRITE NOW.

message 25: by Hayden (last edited May 10, 2012 05:16PM) (new)

Hayden | 8013 comments HA HA HA.

The story I am about to post is so bad your eyes might melt out of your head. True story.

Its funny how small towns never change. There’s always the same amount of leaves on the trees with the same exact hue. They same number of cars rest in the street; the same stores open since what it seems like the beginning of time. The people are the same, the conversations are the same; nobody leaves, nobody arrives.

Only two things have ever changed in this town, and I was involved with both.

It started when I was very small. We met in school. He smiled at me, his front tooth missing, and I smiled shyly back. In his hand he held a car; in the other, he held a truck. He held out the hand with the car in it, and after that kindergarten class, the rest was history.

We became best friends. Everybody liked to ask us if we had crushes on one another, but we never did.

Until 8th grade. He started acting strange. I found it hard to believe he liked me; then it just got awkward when I accepted that fact. I didn’t want to tell him I didn’t feel the same way back, but at the end of 9th grade at a school dance, I felt the spark he felt, and we started dating the next year.

It was perfect, if I don’t sound to cliché. It was like we were meant for each other. My life was just one big sappy romance story with the happy endings.

Our year anniversary was coming up. He told me he had planned a big surprise for me, and I met him after school. He took me out for dinner and to see a movie. It was a very nice evening, despite the damp ground and the rain that still threatened us.

We got back in the car, and headed back to my house.

I don’t know what started it, but we got into a fight. It was over something so stupid. Now that I think about it, I believe it was over the color of flowers he got me.

All I remember is him saying, “If you don’t like the color of flowers, go pick your own!”

“Pull over then, and I will!”

He did so. He let me out, and I walked away.

Feeling a bit bad that I got mad at him on our anniversary, I turned around to see if I had time to chase after him.

That’s when it happened.

The first change of the night was the stoplight.

It had always been a funny stoplight in a bad way. It would sometimes delay on turning from yellow to green, but it had always worked.

But this time, I sensed something wrong was going to happen. Something wasn’t right with the stoplight, but I didn’t know what.

Then came the second change of the night.
The light was green. He continued through the intersection at the speed he was supposed too.

The worst sound I had ever heard in my life came after. The metal screeched as both front ends of the cars twisted. A large bang rang out through the air. The tires squealed on the ground before his car flipped over onto its side, groaning as it did.

And then it was over.

It hadn’t even been two seconds.

I didn’t know what happened. All I knew was that I was running, running towards the heap of flaming metal. I remember kneeling by his car a couple feet of way, watching, horrified, as the fire grew higher. A scream escaped from my lips, ringing throughout the cool air. Sob after sob came afterward as I fell to the ground, pleading and begging that somehow, I could apologize to him, that I could tell him I loved him and that he would live.

The emergency vehicles arrived soon.

That night, two things changed. The stoplight, which was immediately replaced; and the lost soul of a 17-year-old boy who used to occupy the town.

But in all honesty, three things changed that night.

The third thing?

My life.


message 26: by Muse (new)

Muse | 4458 comments What? I liked it.:c Mine was bad.

message 27: by Mirvan (new)

Mirvan  Ereon (mirvanereon) | 51 comments there is no limit with the word count and anything goes with the story???? =P

message 28: by Muse (new)

Muse | 4458 comments I think it's about a 1000, a little more is fine, and it has to relate somehow to the broken stoplight.

message 29: by Alicia (Lav) (last edited May 11, 2012 03:35PM) (new)

Alicia (Lav) | 22636 comments Mod
The road trip was an obsession, not an impulsive decision. My notebook was full of scribbled addresses and itineraries and my locker was covered in postcards. I’d been staring at the maps on my wall for weeks. The globe on my dresser wouldn’t stop taunting me. Skyscrapers and bridges, museums and landmarks, crowds and empty spaces… they were all out of my reach. I would step outside and I could feel it. All of the people and places and words and emotions all happening at once, while I stood alone with my thoughts in the same place I’ve always been. The world never stops spinning, but I wanted to be a part of the motion.

I had an escape plan. Graduation was right around the corner and I had a summer job lined up. After I’d saved up a couple thousand dollars, I was going to pack a bag, get in my car and drive. I used the plan as a crutch when I couldn’t stand the lack of movement and it almost worked.

Nobody ever told me that wanderlust is a disease and no amount of careful planning and indulgent dreaming can cure it.

I was in my room when it hit me. The travel guide I was trying to read clattered to the ground and my heart started racing. I had to get out. I didn’t know where I would go or how I would get there, but the walls were closing in on me and leaving was the only thing that made sense. My natural reaction was to fight it. Shoving the thoughts away worked, sometimes. But I could feel the world spinning without me and it was too much. I packed a bag two months early, took the map of the United States off my wall, got in my car and started driving.

The sound of my tires pushing the highway behind me was liberating and I rolled my window down so I could feel the wind sending me on my way. My radio was blaring and in that moment, I was part of the Earth’s rotation. Hours passed and I didn’t stop. I was moving faster than the world was growing, as if it was waiting for me to catch up. I felt alive.

I took exit 95 on a whim. There were no lights on in any of the houses and I wondered how they were sleeping on such a beautiful night. The grass rustled in the breeze and the stoplight ahead of me cast a reddish glow on the street. I approached it, frustrated. I didn’t want to slow down and the thought of stopping was painful. But it didn’t change, so I slowly pressed down on the brake and waited.

It stayed red for what felt like hours and I couldn’t move. The world felt hopelessly vast and impossible. The stars were a little too bright, my music wasn’t loud enough, and the stoplight, well. The stoplight was broken.

message 30: by Muse (new)

Muse | 4458 comments I love.c:

message 31: by Colby (new)

Colby (Colbz) | 3211 comments And the winner for this week is...*drumroll*
Thanks to everyone who entered, they were all really great stories.

message 32: by Alicia (Lav) (new)

Alicia (Lav) | 22636 comments Mod
YAAAY YUE! :D *high fives*

I shall go add it to the winner page.

message 33: by Colby (new)

Colby (Colbz) | 3211 comments Thanks :D

message 34: by Muse (new)

Muse | 4458 comments YAY. *claps for self*

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