ForumsArt, Music, and WritingThe Bard and the Scribe's Writing Contest: Poetry and Short Stories

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kalisenpai
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kalisenpai
1,398 posts
Lady

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Welcome to this brand new and unsolicited contest! The Bard and the Scribe’s contest consist on two categories: poetry and short stories. Here are some rules you must follow in order to participate:

  • Post only original content. If it is discovered that you have plagiarized, your poem/story will be disqualified.
  • Keep it family friendly: no offensive material.
  • Write in any style that you may like, but stick to the theme. Also, remember that a short story should be, as its name says, short (1000-2000 words maximun (less that 1000 will also be fine; although I'm NOT going to count words. This is just a rule to avoid stories of more than 5-6 Word pages).
  • Theme will be different in every round and each round will last for a month.
  • There will be 2 winners per round, one for each category. When the winners are announced, I’ll flip a coin and one of the winners will choose the next theme. If the result of the coin is tails, the winner of the poetry category will choose; if it is heads, it will be the winner of the short stories category.
  • You can submit as many entries as you want.
  • You can participate in both categories and, therefore, there is a chance in which one person wins both categories.
  • As there are two categories, you should write in which one you would like to participate, as well as writing a title. Example:
Poetry category
“Title of the poem”
Poem itself

Currently the only thing you can win with this contest are bragging rights. However, if any mod offers to hand out the merit/quest to winners, I’d be more than pleased.
Be creative and good luck to everyone!

  • 33 Replies
kalisenpai
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kalisenpai
1,398 posts
Lady

@PLGuy oh my, that rule is driving me insane... I'm gonna change it again. Your story's lenght is fine, this rule was just to avoid stories waaaay to long

PLGuy
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PLGuy
1,690 posts
King

@kalisenpai Thank you! ^^ I made a poem which is kinda spin off of that story and also my first ever try at poetry xD Let's imagine that it was written by the main character.
Poetry category

"Embracing the Loneliness"

I'm looking at the ceiling. The one of the tent built from my dreams.
Created by happier times. The rusted pattern never to be refurbished.
The brutality… ah lapsus linguae! The reality stands on strong beams.
If only someone didn't give up… and made it more furnished.

I'm embracing this empty space, by punching the walls hopelessly.
By shouting I express the pain, somehow keeping everything untold.
I can't say or I don't want to. I ended up singing tonelessly.
I was waiting for someone to come... and now there's no plot to unfold.

I'm looking at long gone memories. Photographed to perpetuate my pain.
Your reflection whispers regrets, but you used to be my lovely deity.
Now you're just a slow poison. Being injected every day into my veins.
I'm overflowing with this heartbreak. The punishment, the god's spontaneity.

I'm embracing the black night's sky. I want to travel over the boundary.
I'll leave this place behind and never come back. The whole universe is waiting.
Denying the gravity is the way. I'll follow it and fly to the dream foundry.
Your smile won't disappear again. Your heart won't stop pulsating.

PLGuy
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PLGuy
1,690 posts
King

Short story category

"Alone, Surrounded by a Thousand Faces."

Another day sitting in my cubicle doing my job for the office. On both sides of my cubicle there are... another cubicles. My life is a one big cubicle with cubicles inside it. And boxes. Around, inside, beside the cubicles there are countless boxes. I’m currently looking at one, it’s called a monitor. I’m pressing little boxes on a box to operate other boxes. I saw a hair on my blue suit, so I flicked it. It’s funny that literally everyone else around wears grey clothes. Sometimes I incline my head to glance at my co-workers. I never lock eyes with anyone. They are doing their work, that’s all that matters. That’s all that they’re valued for. That’s all that I’m valued for. Nobody gives a single frappé about me, a human.

I’m secretly suspecting that my co-workers are really androids programmed to execute their tasks. What they do, what they say is too schematic. I hate talking to these people. I’m used to attend these small talks on lunch and coffee breaks, but simply because I don’t want to become excluded. Well, at least that was the case until that day. There are only three topics during such conversations: work, dishing on misfits and city news. I’m silently looking down when the first two are flowing, but I’m always joining when the third is on.

In that time there was much going on in the city. The numbness of society created a space for the ultimate sort of crime, the murder. Serial killer was stalking the city during evenings and nights. The randomness of victims and places as well as rapidity of his strikes rendered Police helpless. The only pattern he uses is horribly mutilating faces of his victims, preferably when they’re still alive. It was my turn to provide perceptions on that topic and that weight on my lungs started yielding with every muttered word. These are my chances to create a makeshift of relationship, something that used to keep me away from the final step. I feel guilty when thinking that delinquency in the city was the only thing that was keeping me alive. It’s not only the opportunity to finally open my mouth and fulfil the minimum of social needs, there’s something more. How is that thoughts about extremely painful death were making me want to live? I don’t have any control on my life and at least I demand the slightest control on how I’m going to die. And there’s the adrenaline, I definitely don’t want to get slaughtered with a knife. Yet the opposite things make me want to kill myself. The calm artificiality, apathy, detachment from other people. Slow poison being injected with a psychopathic frequency into my veins. The end of coffee break awoke me from these thoughts. After another two hours of paperwork I packed up my traps, went out of the building and directed my steps towards a tram stop. It was already dark at this hour.

I wanted to stop thinking, but I couldn’t. It’s impossible to stop thinking when you’re engaged in an extremely monotonous activity. Coming back to my bachelor flat is definitely one of those. The tug of thoughts stood in contrast to my stiff body. Maybe that was my destiny to become completely alone on this world? Suicide of my father, followed by fiancée’s death, followed by selling the house, followed by moving to an agglomeration and getting this job in a corporation, followed by... a suicide. All links of this chain were determined. There was never any way of stopping this series of events. Yes, all I could do is passively watching and waiting for events to occur like I was watching and waiting for tram’s arrival.

The rail-box drawn in punctually. Its completely grey surface surprisingly improved my mood. The final destination was waiting for me at the destination point after all. My personal cubicle will be a perfect place to take my own life, I thought, I can’t wait. I got in and with gritted teeth sit on the same spot as always, right beside one of the doors. I looked around and saw the same gloomy faces. I thought about some variation. This last day I wanted to break some routine, so on next stop I went to seek another seat at the back of the tram. I found it and got back to pleasantly painful and justifying thoughts. Absent minded I didn’t realize how I’m staring at a beautiful woman sitting in front of me. There was something special about her, that even the chaos in my mind soothed. And not by a long shot was it caused by her yellow coat, a feature distinctive from the surroundings. We made eye contact and surprisingly she didn’t want to break it. I could see the sadness and pain on her face. I felt empathy for her and… I felt empathy from her. I casted my eyes down after remembering what’s going to happen in less than one hour. Everything that could convert my decision was a threat. Never more punching the walls in hopelessness, never more drinking until I vomit, never more sleepless nights, never more… hesitating. Today is the end. Today or never, I thought.

Even when staring at the ashy floor for quite a while I couldn’t banish the memory of her face out of my mind. I felt numb, ashamed that this woman saw me in such a pathetic state. A shell, a wreck of a man I used to be. But I didn’t fight off the urge of glancing at her again. When our sight met again I saw a shade of a smile. Surprised, I returned it. Then I lost the vision of her because a group people stood between us, ready to get off on the next stop. I found myself waiting forward until they go out of the tram. They finally did and a smaller number of people went in. I knew that tram had now five minutes of halt at the darkest tram stop in the world.

People occupied empty places away from me and the woman. Strangely the last person that got in remained standing, right between me and the woman in yellow coat, but much closer to her. It was a tall man in a red hoodie. I couldn’t see his face from under that vast hood. He said something calmly to the woman, but I couldn’t hear exactly what. Then things started happening extremely fast. He drew an eight-inch knife out of his pocket and slashed with all force at woman’s face. She managed to raise her arms before receiving the blow but the stream of blood poured around. When her hands were still in the air, the attacker begun thrusting at her torso. Ignoring the explosion of shouts I immediately jumped from my place and dived in for a takedown. Unfortunately I shot the stabber too high and wound up tackling by his waist. He outweighed me so I couldn’t get him down on the ground. He twisted and stabbed me repeatedly in the skull. A huge pain exploded in my head, blurred my sight. Other senses heightened and my heart was pumping furiously. The woman slammed him with her purse and I made use of this confusion and the adrenaline rush. I managed to bend lower. Grabbing the back of his knees was crucial during this takedown. Soon we were both on the ground, me on top, right hand blocked under the murderer. To my terror he still had the blade in his right hand, both arms free. He attacked again, weapon steered bottom, left hand throttling me. I tried to grab his right hand, but I missed and he sliced me good between fingers. I tried for the second time and failed, so I received a huge gash on a tricep. My third grab was a charm. I caught his wrist and slammed his arm into the ground. Position was in my favour, the impact made him drop the knife. Then I barely saw these small boots kicking my attacker’s head. Few seconds later, right before the strangulation was successful, I’ve heard him growling. The grip on my throat released, but the murderer started punching me forcefully in the face.

Next thing I remember was somebody tapping me on the shoulder. I opened my eyes. I was lying on the floor, grab handles hanging over me. There was no pain now, just this warm feeling from the blood gashing out of me. It was like standing in the shower with warm water spraying the top of your head and flowing down the back of your neck. I’ve heard: “He’s alive!” and soon after a few hands started staunching my bleeding with something, presumably napkins. After a while I started feeling truly horrible pain. Wincing I looked left. I saw her lying near me, her yellow coat completely covered in blood, someone was crouching over her. Our joined blood created a crimson paddle on the floor.

“Is this how it’s all going to end? Finding the tiniest purpose was too much of your generosity? You wanted me to suffer until the end and you’ve got what you wanted. Just before I die, please… I beg you, please! Let her live and change her life for better. At least do something for one person on your hideous world…” At this point I was stabbed all the times a person can be stabbed while remaining conscious. I closed my eyes. That’s how this story ends.
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Another day lying in my cubicle, trying to lick my wounds. On both sides of my cubicle there are... another cubicles. My life is a one big cubicle with cubicles inside it. And boxes. Around, inside, beside the cubicles there are countless boxes. I’m currently looking at one, it’s called a monitor. A nurse is pressing little boxes on a box to operate other boxes and check my vital functions. I saw a hair on my blue pyjamas, so I flicked it. It’s funny that literally everyone else around wears grey clothes. Sometimes I incline my head to glance at other patients. I never lock eyes with anyone. She is not lying in the same chamber. Our state doesn’t let us meet for a long time yet, but I phone her whenever I’m allowed to. And I can’t pressure how pleasant it feels when she calls me back. It turned out that we have many things in common. Interests, personality and… even some appearance similarities. She will have a big scar on her beautiful face. The symbol of her bravery. It’s one of the things, that I value her for. It’s one of the things that she values me for. When I remind her, lying in her yellow pyjamas, with that heartfelt smile on her face, I feel that together we can change our lives for better. And I don’t give a single frappé about anything else.

@kalisenpai I fixed many mistakes, so I think, that it looks much better now :-)

Yellowcat
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Yellowcat
1,902 posts
Constable

Oh Wow.

That is VERY long.

kalisenpai
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kalisenpai
1,398 posts
Lady

THIS ROUND IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED
Tomorrow I'll post the winners! Since there weren't many participants, I would NOT request MDC to give the Q&M. Let's see if more people want to participate in future rounds! I honestly though it'd be way less participation, so I'm quite happy
Best of lucks to all participants!

kalisenpai
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kalisenpai
1,398 posts
Lady

WINNERS OF THE FIRST ROUND!

Poetry
There was only was participant in this category lol, but I think he deserves to win the round, as the poem is pretty good (yes, I could have left this category without a winner). So, the winner is... @PLGuy!

"Embracing the Loneliness"

I'm looking at the ceiling. The one of the tent built from my dreams.
Created by happier times. The rusted pattern never to be refurbished.
The brutality… ah lapsus linguae! The reality stands on strong beams.
If only someone didn't give up… and made it more furnished.

I'm embracing this empty space, by punching the walls hopelessly.
By shouting I express the pain, somehow keeping everything untold.
I can't say or I don't want to. I ended up singing tonelessly.
I was waiting for someone to come... and now there's no plot to unfold.

I'm looking at long gone memories. Photographed to perpetuate my pain.
Your reflection whispers regrets, but you used to be my lovely deity.
Now you're just a slow poison. Being injected every day into my veins.
I'm overflowing with this heartbreak. The punishment, the god's spontaneity.

I'm embracing the black night's sky. I want to travel over the boundary.
I'll leave this place behind and never come back. The whole universe is waiting.
Denying the gravity is the way. I'll follow it and fly to the dream foundry.
Your smile won't disappear again. Your heart won't stop pulsating.

.
.

Short stories
In this category, there were two entries which were extremely good, from my point of view. But as there can only be a winner, and I think this entry is slighty better than the other, the winner is... @zdrk!

The lonely moose
It was in the end of autumn when I was walking alone in the bog. My goal was to find a mating partner for the cold and soon to be arriving winter. Everything was almost set. My horns that were grown huge, as long as my feet, would definitely attract females. I only had to decorate them with some colorful plants and I was ready. I made a loud shout towards the forest. Few moments later I got a scream back that felt like an echo of my own shout. I started running towards it. I kept exchanging calls over the distance. I was running faster and faster by every meter that I was getting closer. I was so excited and happy to meet my lady. But then, all of sudden, I heard a whole different noise. Noise that felt out of this world. Followed by a sting in my chest. Seconds later my legs gave out and I fell. The last thing I remember before my eyes finally fell shut is the vision of not being lonely in that moment.

Congrats to both winners!!!

kalisenpai
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kalisenpai
1,398 posts
Lady

Next round = Tails
@PLGuy, you get to choose the theme of next round! Please, choose it as soon as possible, so that the next round can start

COIN RESULTS
Next round
Tails
PLGuy
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PLGuy
1,690 posts
King

I resign from this privilege, so I guess the choice of the next round's theme should go to @zdrk This is because I don't have much time for the participation this month :-(

@kalisenpai I have some comments
- If you're going to judge poetry, then you should show at least one of your work.
- Also I don't see any remarks concerning participating stories and poem. The only criterion you used is if they are good or better which tells nothing edifying to participants. You didn't say anything about used stylistic devices present in almost every entry. Look how widely a judge described Haiku Entries which are much, much shorter.

PLGuy
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PLGuy
1,690 posts
King

Wow and look on the previous page where murasaki9 was the judge Previous Page

kalisenpai
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kalisenpai
1,398 posts
Lady

@PLGuy, well, I'm not a Literature critic, so, in the end, I just choose the ones I liked more/the ones that transmited more efficiently the emotion of loneliness (in this case). I don't think I'm prepared enough to give a well-written, proffesional critic, but, if you want, I'll try to make one for your entries (anybody else can ask me to do it, if you wanna, just PM me on my profile page). Remember, PLGuy, this is just a game to have a little bit of fun
Regarding my poems, do you really want to see them? They're QUITE bad! XD But being bad at writing them doesn't mean I can't see the beauty in a poem or feel the things the author tried to transmit.
So, @zdrk, please choose the next topic!

PLGuy
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PLGuy
1,690 posts
King

I'll try to make one for your entries

@kalisenpai Well no need for that ^^ I've sent the Polish version, with one more strand, on a literary portal, so I've got the needed feedback.

But being bad at writing them doesn't mean I can't see the beauty in a poem or feel the things the author tried to transmit.

That's the case with music criticism - singing and having a good hearing are not 100% identical abilities. I don't know if with criticism of poems is the same. I would say that not.

abcdragon66
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abcdragon66
22 posts
Blacksmith

Hello people! I saw this and it looked cool. So what's the next topic?

kalisenpai
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kalisenpai
1,398 posts
Lady

@abcdragon66 Well, @zdrk has to choose it, but if he doesn't say anything within a week, I'll choose next one! Stay tuned and thanks for passing by! (tell everyone about this pls)

zdrk
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zdrk
276 posts
King

Thank you @kalisenpai for choosing me as one of the winners! I've had quite a busy few days. I'll try to come up with a new theme within 24 hours and post it here (:

zdrk
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zdrk
276 posts
King

I choose the next theme to be: Space

Timeline comes from @kalisenpai right?

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