Forums

ForumsArt, Music, and Writing

Short Story Contest

Posted Mar 17, '13 at 12:11am

BrainpanSonata

BrainpanSonata

6 posts

Sometimes I wonder if I should've become a police officer instead of a private investigator. It'd pay better. My uncle'd have a reason to brag. Also, I wouldn't be up at o'dark thirty skulking about strange neighborhoods like a common sneak thief. Still, money's money and being related to your landlord can only help so much.

     It's cold out here and hard to see. I'm seriously starting to wish my car wasn't still in the shop. A flashlight would be helpful, too, but neighborhood watch might report me to the police for shining a light in people's backyards. They might do that anyway, though. Yeah, I'm trying to find out why your pets are going missing, thanks a lot.

     There's a sound by someone's garage or shed. I tense up. Circling around to get a better look, I see a pair of eyes shining in the dim light. Movement triggers a set of automatic floodlights and I can see it better. A dog, and a big one at that. I back away, but the way it's growling suggests I've been spotted. The way I back into something solid suggests I may be in trouble.

     Wait, this is a person, not a wall. Someone's left hand is on my my right shoulder with a knife in their right. I am honestly scared right now. That fear mixes with confusion when he speaks.

     "Move, please."

     He shoves me hard to the pavement. I push myself up to catch sight of him lunging at the dog, which is growing bigger and less doglike by the second. The noise of the fight is mostly snarling and... oh, good god. He's laughing while he fights. I dive behind a dumpster as they move my way.

     I don't have a gun or any other way of defending myself. That thing's going to kill me after it gets done with that nutjob. My uncle always said this job might kill me. I just never thought he'd be right.

     I need to run. Now.

     Moving out from behind the dumpster, a scream catches my attention. The nutjob is dancing around the... werewolf, I suppose, dodging its attacks. His knife catches the light every so often. As the fight continues, the blade grows bloody. I can't bring myself to look away from the spectacle.

     Nutjob is winning the fight.

     I finally remember myself and run for it, not stopping until I reach a bus stop several blocks away. Collapsing on the bench, I fumble with my mobile. Adrenaline's left me shaky, but I manage to dial for a taxi. I consider calling the police, but the thought of trying to pick that man out from a lineup gives me second thoughts.

     I didn't see him well enough to remember his face, but I'm gonna be dreaming about that knife of his for days.

 

Posted Mar 17, '13 at 12:14am

BrainpanSonata

BrainpanSonata

6 posts

(Oops, how'd I miss that first indent? Reposting without any other alterations.)
~~~~~

     Sometimes I wonder if I should've become a police officer instead of a private investigator. It'd pay better. My uncle'd have a reason to brag. Also, I wouldn't be up at o'dark thirty skulking about strange neighborhoods like a common sneakthief. Still, money's money and being related to your landlord can only help so much.

     It's cold out here and hard to see. I'm seriously starting to wish my car wasn't still in the shop. A flashlight would be helpful, too, but neighborhood watch might report me to the police for shining a light in people's backyards. They might do that anyway, though. Yeah, I'm trying to find out why your pets are going missing, thanks a lot.

     There's a sound by someone's garage or shed. I tense up. Circling around to get a better look, I see a pair of eyes shining in the dim light. Movement triggers a set of automatic floodlights and I can see it better. A dog, and a big one at that. I back away, but the way it's growling suggests I've been spotted. The way I back into something solid suggests I may be in trouble.

     Wait, this is a person, not a wall. Someone's left hand is on my my right shoulder with a knife in their right. I am honestly scared right now. That fear mixes with confusion when he speaks.

     "Move, please."

     He shoves me hard to the pavement. I push myself up to catch sight of him lunging at the dog, which is growing bigger and less doglike by the second. The noise of the fight is mostly snarling and... oh, good god. He's laughing while he fights. I dive behind a dumpster as they move my way.

     I don't have a gun or any other way of defending myself. That thing's going to kill me after it gets done with that nutjob. My uncle always said this job might kill me. I just never thought he'd be right.

     I need to run. Now.

     Moving out from behind the dumpster, a scream catches my attention. The nutjob is dancing around the... werewolf, I suppose, dodging its attacks. His knife catches the light every so often. As the fight continues, the blade grows bloody. I can't bring myself to look away from the spectacle.

     Nutjob is winning the fight.

     I finally remember myself and run for it, not stopping until I reach a bus stop several blocks away. Collapsing on the bench, I fumble with my mobile. Adrenaline's left me shaky, but I manage to dial for a taxi. I consider calling the police, but the thought of trying to pick that man out from a lineup gives me second thoughts.

     I didn't see him well enough to remember his face, but I'm gonna be dreaming about that knife of his for days.

 

Posted Mar 19, '13 at 7:15pm

blk2860

blk2860

3,686 posts

I woke up in unfamiliar surroundings. Sweat began to pour down my face as I tried to get up, realizing my arms and legs were strapped down. "Good, he's awake." A voice said, in a cold and unforgiving tone. It was a woman's voice, probably in her 40s, if that's what she really was. "Where am I?" I asked. No one replied to me. Suddenly the light grew more intense, as the room began to heat up.

    Suddenly one of the straps became lose. Seizing the chance, I jerked my arm and shot forward, breaking free of my bindings. Not knowing what to do I quickly ran for a door. There was an eye retina scanner, as well as a hand print scanner. A guard came through a door. Trying to escape, I was too quick for him. I swept his legs and grabbed him. I shoved him forward, grabbing his hand and placing it on the scanner. "Identity Confirmed. Richard Malcolms." Then I put his face in position with the retina scanner "Confirmed."

    I then threw him to the ground as the door opened. I rushed through, slamming a button on the way in to seal the door. I wouldn't be safe for long, as he could easily reopen the door. I bolted down the light grey hallway, unaware of where I was. I then found an elevator. Relieved that there were no scanners inside, I clicked the 1st floor button.

    The elevator rushed down, when I realized, to my horror, I was in the basement. Where could I be going? I thought. The doors opened as I cautiously exited. Suddenly, the elevator doors slammed shut and it went back up, leaving me in the pitch black. I walked forward, and a light came on. "Welcome." The same voice from earlier said coldly. "Who are you?" I ask. Again, there was no response to my question.

    Doors on one end of the room opened, and 4 guards came out. They collapsed on the ground, but something wasn't right. I didn't go forward, as that didn't seem to be a very good idea. Suddenly gas filled the room and I passed out.

    I woke up on an operating table, with a knife coming towards me. I shouted, unaware that I couldn't speak, so no sound came out. I violently jerked from side to side, and my leg got free, kicking the knife into the surgeons eye, where they met an unfortunate demise. I then heard the voice I dreaded hearing. "No one ever escapes The Hospital." 

                    To be continued

So did you guys like it? Tell me if I can improve it.

 

Posted Mar 19, '13 at 7:16pm

blk2860

blk2860

3,686 posts

That's odd. I know I indented the first paragraph. Well whatever.

 

Posted Mar 22, '13 at 3:24am

Reton8

Reton8

2,538 posts

Moderator

Any estimate when the short stories for "sliver of silver" will be evaluated?

 

Posted Mar 22, '13 at 3:44am

EmperorPalpatine

EmperorPalpatine

4,977 posts

Along with a bunch of other recent projects, I've gotta write a speech due in 9hrs. I've got a good chunk of the judging done, so maybe this weekend.

 

Posted Mar 22, '13 at 10:40am

Reton8

Reton8

2,538 posts

Moderator

Okay, just glad that the thread hasn't gone forgotten :]

Along with a bunch of other recent projects, I've gotta write a speech due in 9hrs.

I feel your pain on this, I've done quite a few last second projects and speeches lol. Good luck with it all an such!

 

Posted Mar 29, '13 at 5:10pm

Quirinus1

Quirinus1

150 posts

Hello friends, this entry is for [b]Ample of Answers/b]. Feel free to let me know what you think of the story on my profile. Read and think!

Sometimes I pretend I am a leaf. Slowly floating about in a cool summer breeze. My friends the trees wave lightly, with their yellow-blue leaves. I want to touch them, yet I’ll leave the leaves to leading a quiet life. Just like yestertime, when it was the past. Ah well, the past has passed, and I pretend the present has presented itself to me. Juxtaposed. Such a fine word, such a lovely sound. Such a mellow literary wind with which to leave the whiteness of my cloudy mind alone.

My grande garden is spacious and the pluckings are plenty. Ample saturation for such a sorrow stomach. The apple of my thoughts is ripe yet it must fall from the trees by itself, not by demand of some pulling force. Reality must awake my philosophy, not necessity. The grass is yellow-blue, the oranges are yellow-red. All by the hard labor of my broken body.

I lie in the miniature trees, for that is what grass is, next to my wheelchair. The hottest time of the day is slowly reaching its climax. Slowly scorching the soil, the sun stands atop the skies, so suffer I must. No climate control in the Garden of Eden. No air-conditioning in clouded heavens. I would like some water, but my hands can’t reach the plastic bottle. Or some fruit, but the trees are tall towers. I spilled the glass, silly me.

It does not hurt, but neither is it comfortable: my awkward self-invoked position. I reached too high, disregarding my own limits, and paid the consequence. I should have been a little closer to the tree, then to lean forward and enjoy that nice refreshment which they call healthy.

The flares of light are stinging their way through me.

I see a man walking towards me, he walks barefoot. Even though I know he touches the grasses, he seems to float. He stops moving just out of my reach. I try to touch his hands, I cannot grab them. Too far. He begins to speak: “At this moment of hardship, you must persist.”.

This man is giving me the strength to endure the solar rays which punish my weary skin.

“Who are you, to help me in my time of need?”, I ask. The barefoot man replies: -“It is for you to decide. You only receive that which you gave long ago in a garden more infested. Nor time, nor place will make your deeds forgotten; good or bad.”

“Then give me what I deserve"

 

Posted Apr 6, '13 at 7:44pm

Salvidian

Salvidian

3,950 posts

I'll give it a shot. What the hell. This is for Ample Answers.

---

     Without any regard for society I smashed through the front door and blurred to the couch. The pounding of pain radiated from my entire body; my tools were without any form of remorse, and my answering machine shrieked with annoyance. Eventually I decided to end that unrelenting scream of the machine.
     The answering machine greeted me with a cheery, yet hypocritical, beep. Contrasting to the norm, I somehow had a cumulative of 6 new messages, though 4 of them were from pass days. I had been very irresponsible with checking her and she was irresponsible with giving me any type of rest. The darn speaker was broken from some Michelob that I had spilled on it a few weeks earlier, so I had to hold the goddang handset to my ear.
     At that exact moment, time absolutely froze. The very first decibel of sound emanating from the unrelenting machine caused all life to go to hell. Suddenly, everything in the room melted. The normal smell of rotten food and moldy clothing vanished. Nothing mattered at that exact moment, because I finally had the message I was waiting for.

 

Posted Apr 6, '13 at 9:22pm

Salvidian

Salvidian

3,950 posts

Hey all, I'll be judging the theme Sliver of Silver with Emp's permission. Aside from this new trek, I've only judged the ASC which obviously isn't a language competition. If you find any fault in my judging, please let me know; if not for the benefit of me, but for the benefit of you in case I ever judge here again. For those of you who know me personally, I'm punctual with judging but I'm not very punctual with anything else, so expect judgings on the day-of-deadline when I'm in charge.

Everyone up to par with that now? Good. Let's start then.

---

Devoidless

At first glance the story read like the opening to a a generic action movie: guy discovers conspiracy, guys gets murdered, resulting stuff happens; however, when the line Derik can't help but feel uneasy for two reasons came up, I was immediately pulled into a paradoxical, conspiratorial and cliffhanging miniplot. After the story ended, I couldn't help but feel an emptiness - a lack of fulfillment. I went back and read it again, only this time I noticed the Public Security server provides omens. Albeit that might not seem like such an important tidbit, but this one important tidbit in that this "Public Security" organization is being somewhat hypocritical by preventing crimes by causing them themselves. Why is an organization entitled "Public Security" resorting to such rash punishments so quickly? Very thought provoking indeed! As for structure, the story is built generically, which was a bit disappointing. The only place where structure delivered excitement was in the page break between "and..." and "Derik". In itself was a phenomenal structural technique, but I wish the story had been worded more so to provide a little showing instead of outright telling. Nevertheless, the ending helped make up for that flaw by leaving everything at such a thought provoking position. Finally, that last blow to Derik via the "Sliver of Silver" bullet wrapped the story up nicely while using the theme in a nicely incorporated area.

aknerd

Alright, I gotta say this before anything: almost immediately after reading the story the first time, it was obvious that alliteration was an ally for you. The proper nouns all start with S, the majority of adjectives start with S, and in that final catharsis the theme radiated a gleaming light of alliteration. I enjoyed that because it helped the story flow greatly. As for the actual content, this story reminded me of all those college commercials wherein the world is motion at 10 times the speed relative to the talent. Considering the fact that this story has a second theme of loneliness and isolation, that did nothing but paint the picture that much more vividly. I have to admit, and this could either be my or the author's fault, but I had to read the story three times before getting a grasp on what was seriously going on. At first, I thought everyone was good and she was bad, and she was an outcast; but a sacrifice of some kind. The second time I sympathized with her; isolation sucks; however, I could not feel any type of emotion for the Shells. Finally, when I read that catharsis the third time, it hit me. I had an epiphany (Well, maybe not quite that drastic) and everything came together nicely. The use of the theme didn't fit so well together as I had hoped because it was used as a loose metaphor; how can everything be a sliver of silver in a moment like that?

Storm

First impression: nice set up for a Sci-Fi flick. Unfortunately, that also means the themes, "abandonment, forgetfulness, desperation and disrepair" remind me of cliche. But you took those themes and you mixed them together in a swirling vortex of originality. This "Nothing" sounded like a unrelenting, inevitable, horrifying fate, and his poor space-miner had to endure its last moments by looking at slivers of silver; the final treasure, the blue sky on execution day, or what have you. In fact, the use of theme was, in the content aspect, great. I felt like some of the conflicting elements should have added more to the story: the recurrent theme of "youngsters" didn't seem to have enough significance to make it worth mentioning, which led your story to be kind of wordy. As this is a tragedy by definition, I expected a great catharsis. Sure, the emotional cleansing was there, but it wasn't very climatic. It was also too sudden; Nothing just popped up into this dreamy, enjoyable story and pulled it into a halt. Nevertheless, the ending was still gripping.

Reton8

I'm somewhat hesitant to say this because it's so blunt, but until the final paragraph I was bored. Sure, it was detailed, but I felt like there was too much dialogue compacted into a little space - like watching several movies in a row. It's difficult to pay attention to each tidbit of detail, and the fact that there was little action plot it was hard to follow. However, I must admit that the first two paragraphs were simply worded enough to the point of being understandable in a general sense. Even if someone skimmed it they'd undoubtedly be able to get the gist of it. The final paragraph was actually interesting (No offense intended, of course). It sounded like a commentary of our current society today: I know very little how my iPhone works, nor do I know much about how the Mars Rover works. We're still an unenlightened people, and it's always interesting to hear others' perspective and fates if they continue a path similar to ours (Even if fictional). I won't beat you up over the theme. :P

Winner: Devoidless!

Despite some of the flaws that were evident in the piece, I had the most fun reading through Devoidless' entry. His tragic catharsis reflected the theme most marvelously; that moment that sealed Derik's fate was not only one that held a lot of emotion, but it was also one that made a fantastic transition from the end of the story to the after thoughts.

---

Next theme: Ample Answers
Due date: ???
Judge: ???

 
Reply to Short Story Contest

You must be logged in to post a reply!