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Author Topic: April Writing Challenge - Voting Now Closed!  (Read 5666 times)

Offline Overlord

April Writing Challenge - Voting Now Closed!
« on: April 06, 2011, 01:21:40 PM »
With the coming of spring brings the coming of many things but two of the most predominant are the thoughts of hope and the warmth of the weather.

This month I am giving you a challenge that is pretty tough to make unique...

In 500-1000 words I want a passage or short story about hope. This 'hope' must be accompanied with 'warmth'. What do I mean by 'warmth' ? Well... that is open to interpretation. One of the moderators suggested 'weather magic' but it could quite as easily be the feeling of 'warmth' caused by hope or an accomplishment. It could be a fire or even used to describe the feeling of love... it's completely up to you.

Must be prose.
500-1000 words.
You must base the piece around the emotion/feeling of hope.
There must be an element of 'warmth' in the story.

GOOD LUCK - You have until April 30th :)
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 05:52:00 PM by Autumn2May »
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Re: April Writing Challenge
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 07:38:12 PM »
With Arms Wide Open

The silver reflection of the moon shone fiercely on the slow running creek. Twisting and shifting with the current, never giving a clear image of it's standings.  The veil of Spring hung in the air, hiding the scars of winter past, and keeping silent the excitement of summer to come. The stars lazily danced to the lullaby of the clouds.  And With one dreadfully long and painstaking move, a stone was cast into the water and erupted into a tornado of fairies, that swirled up and out cascading down onto the banks. A new love was born into the night, and she welcomed it with loving arms.

The distance between them seemed an eternity, and the obstacle too great. Yet even as children they stretched their arms towards each other, across the banks, in hopes that they would one day touch.  Their stance had to remain firm and their posture straight, only their arms grasping for each other.  Each stretch carefully planned and enacted as though they were one mind, fore one wrong reach and their world would collapse. 

He had gained Ra's favor, and grown stronger faster, he could see she was weaker, growing instead in favor of Isis; trading beauty for strength. Still he could not endure  the torture any longer. "My love, a hundred years has passed since our stone was first cast. Please, my darling, reach for me now so that we may touch at long last."

Her mind was racing with thoughts of failure and her heart with the joys of success. Love prevailed and she gathered all the strength she could, lunging across the creek towards his out stretched fingers. They entwined for a moment, and at once the universe was complete. They were together never to be apart again.

Her body eased in the comfort of his embrace, and the bank crumbled away. Suddenly the world was in chaos, as she lost her footing and came tumbling down. He caught her in his limbs, crying silent tears as she lay dieing in his hold. His head resting on her back, as the streams of his tears poured into the creek that had bore their love. The water swelled from their sadness and formed a mighty river conquering all that dared stand in it’s way.

His body creaked from the weight of his impatience, as her body lay limp, his to hold forever. “Show no sorrow my love for we are together, now I have become a part of you and no stronger bond could be created. Let our mistake be a lesson for the future, so that people may see our struggle in the light of day.” With her final breath, their children were born onto the world, as the fairies rose up once more to carry them to better lands. “Oh beautiful mistress of the night, let our seed be cast where there be sorrow so that the light may be shown.” The Willows stand crossed each with their roots in different lands, weeping forever and feeding the river of life while it flows into the morning sun.

Offline MindTwirl

Re: April Writing Challenge
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 07:32:28 PM »
Let there be…

Sebastian was strolling along the concrete in the metro station, totally oblivious to what was going on around him. Apart from his abnormally big ears, he was just an ordinary 12 year old. Well almost ordinary…

If you were walking behind him right now you would ask yourself “what is wrong with this boy?
As he was moving in and out of the endless stream of fellow metro riders, he would suddenly hunch down in a sitting position for a few seconds, making the people behind him (maybe you) almost stumble on top of him. Or he would take one fast step to the side, knocking into someone, as if he was dodging something, apparently, invisible.
Despite of the occasional angry outcall towards him, he continued his annoying walk leaving others with the thought of him being def or maybe worse.

Sebastian followed his usual path home from school and knew it inside out. He walked past the public library - his second home, past the sandwich shop where his mother worked - quickly raising one arm for a wave without even looking.
He suddenly ran four steps forward, stopped dead – a man behind him had to jump to the side to avoid crashing into him – and then he continued his weird, silent walk home.

In front of a traffic light he actually paused and looked both ways before crossing. As he was putting one foot in front of the other, to cross the street – a car came out of nowhere…

I was lying in the opening of a luminous cave. My head was turned to the left and the view would have taken my breath away if I had had any to spare. I was shivering so bad because of the low temperature that it made me gasp for air.

Something very wet and sticky was licking my right cheek and I turned abruptly to uncover the weird rain shower.
Black pupils, surrounded by beautiful green iris looked back at me and I had to blink a few times to clarify my vision and to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming.
The long snout blew hot air into my face and I smiled, enjoying the few seconds of heat despite the nasty smell of rotting decay.

He was so beautiful!
I wasn’t scared at all although the tiny hair on the back of my neck stood up as he raised himself up in his full height. I looked in awe at the dragon in front of me covered in yellow scales and occasional spikes.
He opened his enormous mouth and the fire came right at me. I rolled quickly to the side and stood up. I had been prepared for a deafening roar echoing around on the cave walls, but it was all silent!
Could a dragon be voiceless?
Even though the fire didn’t hit me, it heated up the whole cave and my teeth eventually stopped clattering.
I looked up at him and he had his enormous head tilted like a puppy who wanted to play.
His eyes sparkled and I thought I saw a smile on his face as he started moving his gigantic corpus around. How could such a huge animal be so quiet?
It looked like he was dancing and I couldn’t help myself. I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face and my stomach hurt so bad I had to cram my body into a little ball until I could breathe again.

As I stood up I saw him opening his mouth once again.
I quickly jumped head first, to the left and the fire missed me by an inch.
He roared silently in the air and we played “burn the human” for what seemed like hours.

Completely exhausted I sat down on the cold stone floor to catch my breath once again. A foot away from me he lowered his snout and then the rest of his body onto the ground. The sharp teeth came very close to me as he nudged me with his snout, trying to tell me something. As they didn’t teach us dragon language in school I could only guess that maybe he wanted me to climb on board.
The warmth from within him wormed its way into my fingertips as I took hold of one spike after another to get up on his back. The sensation of unity swam through my cold veins and he ran out of the cave, levitating as soon as I felt the warm sun all over me.
I was like a bird in the air. Up. Down. Twirling in the wind. I couldn’t stop smiling. Completely free!

Sebastian was lying in a hospital bed. Oblivious of what had happened to him, he was just waking up from three days of coma. His head was packed in gaze and both his legs were broken. A car had come blazing around the corner, running a red light.

His mother was sitting by his side with puffy eyes and wet cheeks.
“Hi” she said sobbing. She smiled at him.
“Didn’t you hear the car coming?” she asked softly.
He frowned “what” he said a little too loud.
“Oh my God are you also def” she whined.
She looked at him, frowning and then reached for something black sticking out of his unusually big ears.
From inside both ears she took out two small earphones without chords.
He grinned and said “So that’s why I couldn´t hear the dragons roar”.
“Or the car!” His mom said with a perplexed look on her face. He sat up slowly and put one of the black things in her ear.
Her head filled with a man’s voice telling a story about the most beautiful dragon, playing with a human boy.

“Hey mom” Sebastian said with a weak voice.
 “Yes” she said softly and gave him back the earphone.
His whole face lit up as he said “I really, really, really hope that dragons are real”.   

Offline Arthum

Re: April Writing Challenge
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 03:59:12 PM »
Oh God, I'm so stupid sometimes xD Seeing that it has to be in prose I got scared but I just read about prose and I made a huge face palm. Sorry for the off topic post but I just want to say that I'll try to post something soon, first I gotta write something that is ^^

Offline Autumn2May

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Re: April Writing Challenge
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2011, 04:22:17 AM »
Here's mine.  It's a little over 1,000 (1,058 to be exact) but I couldn't trim it down more than that.  I hope you like it! :)


Mela stood on the edge of the massive plateau staring out at the dark horizon.  The ground far below appeared flat and even, but the sound of breaking waves in the distance broke the illusion.  The sun would rise soon over the water and send its golden light into world once again.  And Mela would be there to see it.  Mela had to see it.

The cold wind whipped past her into the ancient forest at her back.  The first birds were already awake and gracing the trees with their sweet songs.  Mela heard something scurry into a bush at her side, but she didn’t turn to investigate.  The sky fey, Sunil, had told her to watch as he left and to continue watching until the first rays of sun breached the surface of the ocean.  Mela had been standing rooted to her spot for hours, determined to finish the last wish of her former master.

Another gust of wind blew up from the Flatlands brushing a tear from her eye and tossing her dark hair about her shoulders.  The wind didn’t seem to care that the fey were gone.  Neither did the forest or the birds.  Mela brushed the cold tear from her cheek and added a ragged sigh to the twisting breeze.

“No one cares,” Mela said still staring at the horizon, “that’s why they left.  People think they have no use for essence magic; they’d rather rely on technology to save them. But wild, untended magic is a dangerous thing, and the only beings who knew its secrets have finally abandoned humanity.  We are lost, and yet the wind continues to blow and the birds continue to sing, as if nothing has changed; as if we can carry on without them.”

Sunil hadn’t told Mela why she must watch the sunrise.  He hadn’t told her where the fey were going or what she was to do now that they’d left.  Part of her hoped the sun’s light would cut through her body like Sunil’s last words had done.  That the first light of spring would be the last she’d ever see, and that her spirit would stay forever watching the horizon and waiting for the fey to return.

The thought sent a shiver down her spine.  Mela shifted her feet and felt the frost covered grass crunch under her boots.  It was cold and her mind’s wanderings weren’t helping her repel the icy air.  She rubbed her arms to warm herself, but the wind bit through her shirt as if trying to thwart her efforts.

The sky was starting to lighten and Mela could just make out the waves of the sea crashing against the sandy shore.  She had thought that she would be too far off to smell the salt air, but even at this great distance she could hear the rhythmic crashing of the waves and the smell of the ocean drifting up the side of the plateau, giving the forest an otherworldly feel.  It seemed the lighter the sky became the more clearly she could sense the ocean.  The sounds and smells of the sea mixed with the deep earthy tones of the forest were tossed together by the ever present breeze.  Mela had the urge to close her eyes and take in the sensations without the distraction of the view.  But Sunil had given her an order and she could not tarnish his memory by disobeying him.  So she waited; for the sun, for spring, and to complete her final task.

“How can I go on without my master?  Without the essence?” Mela thought, as another tear rolled down her cheek.  “My whole life was learning the balance and understanding the ways of magic and the fey and how to use it to help my people.  Now I have nothing.  Nothing but the sunrise and the wind.”

As if in answer, the wind blew straight up from the cliff face, startling Mela from her thoughts.  She almost looked down to see where the wind had come from, but stopped herself just in time.

“You won’t distract me from my task,” Mela said to the breeze.  “You are a trickster, but I won’t be fooled by you.  The essence of the wind has no power over me.  Go bother someone else!”

One last gust of wind blew past Mela into the woods and then the breeze fell silent.  The whole world suddenly seemed tense as if the forest itself was holding its breath.  Then a small bit of the horizon sprung to life and the golden rays of spring’s first sun leapt up from the sea into the sky.  The light was blinding and Mela had to concentrate to keep from blinking.  She took a single step forward and recited the verse Sunil had taught her.

“The sun has risen from the depths and touched the sea and sky.  And with this I give one last breath and bid the fey goodbye.  We stand alone to keep the day and push away the night.  Grant us one last boon oh sun and bless us with your light.”

With that Mela closed her eyes, letting the warmth of the sun cover her face and chase all traces of winter from the air around her.  She realized quickly that the warmth she was feeling was far greater than it should have been.  And that the heat seemed to be coming not from the sun before her but from inside her very being!  She opened her eyes and saw the world covered in the glow of magic; essence floating out of the forest and into the sky before her carried by the playful breeze.  Sunil had not abandoned her completely; he’d given her a parting gift.  He’d given her the gift of magic!

Mela took one last look at the rising sun, and then collapsed to her knees with a great sigh of relief.  She would continue in her master’s footsteps and would save her people from the world and themselves.  She again had a purpose, a link to the essence, and more importantly she again had hope.  Smiling Mela picked up a dried leaf and let the wind carry it from her hand, watching as the blue-green essence magic blew it off into the distance, over Flatlands and into the sea beyond.

Offline knittingknots

Re: April Writing Challenge
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2011, 09:27:44 AM »
I got one...Surprised myself.  Strange mix of sad and hope....Don't know quite how I managed that.


He hadn’t realized so much time had passed. 

He walked lightly over the snow, barely leaving a footprint as he headed down the path he had once walked so often, his green cloak fluttering behind him.  New buildings lined the road, and trees that hadn’t been saplings the last time he came this way now overhung the way.  At the end of the road, after the last field, though, he saw what he was looking for.  As he neared it, he realized he had been holding his breath, afraid he was too late.

But there it stood.  Time had not treated it well. The cottage at the edge of the wood had grown ramshackle, with gaping boards and a roof in need of thatching, nothing like the last time he had tread the path to its door.  For a moment, he wondered anybody still lived there, but there was still smoke coming out through the smoke hole, so, scratching a bit on the door frame to let anybody know he was there, he stepped into the house.

The room was dark, except for a dying fire in the hearth.  It smelled sad, of age and neglect and sickness.

“Is that you, Biddy?” asked an old, reedy woman’s voice. “Did you remember your granny today?”

Turning towards the sound, he saw a woman, old, and gray-haired, laying on a bed covered with a ragged quilt.

“Maire?” he said, ignoring the smells and the dirt as he walked to the bedside.

Rheumy eyes looked up at him.  Once they had been a brilliant blue, but time and care had taken its toll.  Slowly, she took in his face, and as recognition dawned she gasped.

“Tam,” she said, and tried to sit up, but couldn’t. She raised one thin and bony arm up in greeting, then letting it collapse, as if the effort was too much for her. “You’ve come back.”

He noticed how blotched her skin was, how swollen her fingers, then swallowed.  “I told you I would.”

“You were always a person of your word. Ah, Tam, my beautiful Fae man, still as fair as the day I first saw you,” she said.  “How I loved your bright eyes and black hair. There’s not much here to come back for.  A memory of a midsummer’s night, and the shell of an old woman.”

He reached over and gently took her hand.  The skin on it was paper thin, and dry.“How long has it been, Maire?” he asked.  “I never meant . . . ”

“I know,” she said, smiling softly.

He gave her hand a delicate squeeze. “Time . . . Time between here and Faerie, it does odd things. I was only gone a month, like I said. You know I wanted you to come with me.”

“I know,” she said.   “I chose.  But the winter is nearly over now.  I saw the snowdrops pushing through the snow yesterday.  Tomorrow it will be spring,  and the sun will warm the earth, and I . . . well I will soon be free of this old shell.  Perhaps you will dance with my spirit around the midsummer’s fires.”

Her breathing was labored, and the talk had tired her out.  She closed her eyes and fell silent.  Tam suspected she had fallen asleep, and moved his hand away.

She opened her eyes.  “I never gave up hope, you know.  I held on, waiting for you to come back. Now I can let go in peace.  Remember me, the silly girl who let a beautiful man of the Fae sweep her off her feet one summer’s day, and then chose to cling to the world she knew. Remember . . . ”

Her voice drifted off, and her eyes closed once again.  He bent over her, kissed her forehead, and once, lightly on the lips.

“I will remember,” he said.

As he left, he saw the snowdrops growing by the cottage door, the little flower that pushes up through the snow to bloom, and taking one, he walked back the way he came, wondering about hope and choice, and the fragile ways of human life, and how he, tied to the ways of Faerie would never quite understand it.

Offline ayros

Re: April Writing Challenge
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 10:06:30 AM »
And so I too add my little contribution to this pile. Wow the 1000 word limit had wrestling with words and sentences more than I expected. I haven't given it a title so I'll just jump write into it...enjoy  :)

Let me help. I’ll have her in your bed in no time.
“Because you are a monster, you kill people.”
You’re too mean, I keep us alive. That could not be argued. Mraw was magical with the blade.
“What makes you think you will fare better than me?”
Your softness bores her. I can see it in her eyes while you fumble for your next polite words. A little more bravado is what she wants.
“Your brashness will just offend her.” Pheoth sensed him smiling at this. If you could call it smiling, it was more of an emotion. But with such intimacy between them it was not hard for their emotions to take on appearances.
You are not sure about that.
“Quiet yourself.” Silence followed for a short while as he made the turn into the dimly lit corridor leading to her door.
  Thank god the only control you have over me is who takes charge of this body. Otherwise I would never have survived your bossiness.
“I can barely survive your endless talking.”
I hate you. Pheoth paused, there was no animosity in the way he said it but it didn’t make it sound any less sincere.
“And why is that?”
You are too cruel.
You only allow me the body when I have to fight for my life and as soon as we are safe you throw me back in this prison. The only person you let me speak to is you, not willingly I must say. Unless in battle, then I can talk to whomever I want. But decent conversations, I need not say, are tough to come by under the screams of dying men and flashing steel. You, my friend, are the monster amongst us.
Pheoth paused outside the door. When put that way he did sound quite cold. He was so concerned with the safety of others he barely considered the consequences on Mraw.
“Okay, I’ll let you take charge.” Excitement washed over him from Mraw along with an image of him playing in some park. “But not now.” Mraw hit him with a wave of despondence so strong it left him feeling low, the picture of Mraw sitting alone in a dark corner did not help.
He brushed it aside and raised his hand to knock on her door. He just hit it when a knight came rushing down the passage.
“The generals request your presence.” He could hear her muffled footsteps approaching.
“Can’t it wait?”
“No sir, it cannot.”
He nodded in solemn agreement.
“Lead the way.” Her door opened as they made the turn.

The lord marshal sat surrounded by his generals, worried lines etched on all their faces.
“The hero graces us with his presence.” The lord marshal acknowledged his arrival and gestured to an empty seat.
Against your will. Soft. I’d be in her arms right now.
“You raise me to a status much higher than I deserve,”
Damn right I’m the only hero here! Pheoth ignored him and continued, “I am told there is some emergency.”
“Much worse I’m afraid. Their Sa’Scery revealed himself, he’s cutting right through our army as we speak, opening a path for our enemies right through to us. It seems they want to end this war now.”
The rabbit finally comes out of his hole. I can take him.
Pheoth was not sure about that. The Sa’Scery’s reputation was as great as it was dark.
“I know we promised not to put you in harm’s way. That we would have a plan to deal with him in place when the time came. We’ve thrown everything we have at him already. He made our best warriors look like children, that evil blade of his burnt through our fortifications. We are desperate.” He took off his military hat and squeezed it in his meaty fist. “I beg of you, help us.”
He looked away from the Marshal. Why should he? A Sa’Scery was more than capable of killing him, Mraw or not.
Don’t tell me you’re thinking of deserting them.
‘This is not our war. With a Sa’Scery involved we have no chance.’
We are their chance. They need us. They need you not to give up on them. He looked up at all the anxious faces studying him, waiting for his response.
‘I won’t doom us.’
Then let me take over. Have faith in me.
Mraw was unpredictable and too quick with the blade. If he wanted them dead, they all would be, before Pheoth could regain control.

He had never released him in front of friends, or let him make major decisions. If this would help melt the ice between them then so be it.
Mraw stood from the chair in flash, his chair breaking on the wall far behind him. Steels already drawn, reflecting his evil smile.
“Time for a Sa’Scery to die.”

 The battlefield was a cacophonous clash of swords on swords. The thuds of shields fulfilling their duty. The air was throbbing from the vigorous stumping of armoured feet. Above all was the cries of triumphant men and screams from the dying.
It was through this Mraw walked. Enemies that recognised him almost lost their footing as they fled and the foolish that did not, died. Allies cheered. Like this he walked, letting the warmth guide him to the Sa’Scery
He was taller otherwise very unremarkable.
“Much like us.” Mraw responded to Pheoth’s thoughts. Enemies and allies stood together forming a rough oval clearing around them. All fight forgotten giving way to the fear of a thousand eyes on the two combatants. The anxiety of five hundred thrumming hearts.  Hope for any victory in this war rested on the outcome of this confrontation.
The black flaming blade called to him. Dancing flames promising him warmth and pleasure if he would just let it pierce his heart. Pheoth wanted to heed the call, he needed to. Mraw just laughed and drew his plain steels. Twin blades that sang as one in his masterful hands.
“So that’s how you got your reputation, through the wooing trickery of your Scery blade. I feel it working on my friend, I on the other hand...” He shook his head flashing his evil smile.
The Sa’Scery’s face became ashen when he realised the mesmer would not work on Mraw.
“I assure you,” Mraw continued “I got mine entirely through skill.”

Offline Autumn2May

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April Writing Challenge - Voting Now Open!
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2011, 02:46:15 AM »
Let the voting begin!  Good luck everyone! :)

Offline Autumn2May

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Re: April Writing Challenge - Voting Now Closed!
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2011, 03:04:58 PM »
Wow!  I can't believe I won!  Thanks everybody!  I'm always amazed at the unique stories everyone comes up with. :)  This month's contest will be up soon.  Keep your eyes open! :)