We've seen some dang good writing duke it out in the ring, and I'm pleased to present to you another winner. Walking away from Round 4 with their hands held high is RingGirl. Her opponent, Cyan, will have his/her piece returned to the pool for a chance at re-selection for a future bout, and as always writers who have battled once are welcome to submit a different piece if they so wish.
This week I had to disqualify a potential contestant because they went over the 500 word limit. Please know that I hold everyone to the same standard and as each of you have seen in the previous bouts, every word counts, so squeezing in a few more is not acceptable.
Are you ready? Got your popcorn and soda? Without further ado....
Here are this week's randomly selected WRiTER's.
Standing in the far corner, weighing in at xxx words, please welcome to the ring……..Jenna Fox.
As the tour boat’s klaxon sounded a warning, Emily’s heart pounded. This was a terrible mistake. All those bodies…
Alec flashed her a lopsided smile. His eyes looked cold and black in the gray morning light, but they still made her stomach swoop. They said the eyes were the window to the soul. Sometimes, though, Emily couldn’t help wondering if Alec even had a soul.
Her own eyes undoubtedly revealed a confused mixture of longing and regret. She fell in love with him in high school before she discovered his true nature. Now they attended different colleges.
They were jammed in with at least a hundred other tourists, most of whom were speaking foreign languages. Someone’s spicy cologne made her nose itch. She heard smatterings of French and probably Japanese. But there were at least a half dozen other languages she didn’t recognize. The tourists jostled cameras and smart phones as they clicked picture after picture of Manhattan Island. Why would anyone need so many pictures of the same skyscrapers?
The morning mist lingered, making the October air feel damp and chilly. Emily wrapped her sweater over her chest. If the mist thickened into fog, they wouldn’t be seeing all 101 sights the Circle Line advertised. Not that Emily cared; she lived here. This was Alec’s idea. “I’ve come all this way to visit you, Em. I’d like to see something touristy.” So she’d purchased two tickets for the full three-hour tour. Yet the minute they boarded the boat, she realized her blunder. Now she hunched next to Alec, chewing her lower lip. It tasted of salt. One by one, she observed the other passengers. Which one would it be?
The double-decker boat chugged north up the East River. The Brooklyn Bridge loomed ahead. And then Emily noticed a group of schoolboys in neat blue uniforms. They were 13 or 14 and speaking in singsong tones that could be Swedish or Norwegian. They poked each other excitedly as the boat sailed under the bridge, pointed up at the magnificent metal girders. “Ja! Ja!” Their teacher looked eager too. He was in his late 30s and had straight blond hair, just like the boys. She considered the teacher for a moment, but then dismissed him. Too old. She should be concentrating on the boys. Hmm. The tallest one. For sure.
Alec snapped a photo of the bridge as it receded into the distance. Now they were cruising past midtown and he leaned on the rail. The wind slashed his dark hair into dagger points across his forehead. Emily realized he hadn’t even noticed the boy yet. Perhaps she could still prevent it. She shifted her stance, tried to appear taller. But then he turned and looked past her shoulder and she could see the change in his eyes. The surge of desire.
And in the other corner, weighing in at a mere 413 words, let me introduce to you ……..I.B. Wrighton.
At a recent appointment, I told my dentist that I sit in my car and knock back a couple shots before coming into his office. Marie, his dental assistant, thought I had such a great idea, she wanted to join me. I figured if I needed a shot for one thirty-minute appointment, she definitely deserved one for staying at the office all day, even if it weren’t her teeth being drilled and tortured.
She asked if Mark could join us. He’s the dentist, so I assumed he drank regularly anyway and said yes, but not until after he was done with the work in my mouth.
Nine out of ten dentists recommend drinking before dental appointments. Oh, sorry. I got that wrong. I meant to say nine out of ten patients recommend drinking before dental appointments. I hope the nine dentists wait until after work to imbibe.
By the time the Novocain set in, Marie and I had decided to tailgate all my appointments. The next one’s at 9:30 in the morning, so we’ll shoot for Mimosas.
See? I knew if I worked hard enough, I could make trips to the dentist something to look forward to, instead of dread. Of course, if my teeth issues don’t come under control soon, I just might become an alcoholic.
My dentist is a friendly, informal kind of guy who invites patients to call him by his first name. I like to show respect for medical professionals, especially ones who put sharp instruments into my mouth, so I prefer to use his doctor title. Dr. Oxymoron, to be exact.
Why do I call him that? Only a dentist would respond to your complaint of chronic pain by saying, “Show me where it hurts. I’ll drill a hole in your tooth and cram some of this foul-tasting white stuff in there. You’ll feel better in no time.” (Insert whirl of the drill accompanied by maniacal laughter here.) His tools and techniques are instruments of both torture and relief.
When I see my primary care physician for a sore throat, she doesn’t pull out a butcher knife and stab me in the neck. The orthopedic didn’t play Whack-A-Mole on my hand with a sledgehammer the time I broke my thumb while skiing on my first date with my future husband. Yet, when Dr. Oxymoron comes at me with his drill, I automatically open my mouth as soon as he tells me to.
Which one will it be? In the comments below leave your vote for the winner of round 7, along with any sort of critique you would like to offer. Please remind your friends to make a selection as well. The voting will remain open until noon next Tuesday. Remember, you can throw your pen name into the hat anytime during these last nine weeks by submitting your own 500 word sample. Check out the rules by clicking on the badge below…then come out swinging!
Remember, here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!