Today’s victory announcement comes bundled with some advice.
First things first, congratulations to Seaweed, the winner of round 19. He/she will be added to the other submissions moving onto the play-off rounds and his/her opponent, Little Miss Proper, will have her piece returned to the pool for a chance at re-selection for a future bout, or she has the opportunity to submit a new writing sample. Make sure you check my WRiTE CLUB 2012 results page for a breakdown of all the winners so far, along with links to all of the writing samples.
Now for the advice, listen up all you winners of both the past and future bouts. When WRiTE CLUB moves into the play-off rounds things are going to be moving extremely fast and if your submission is lucky enough to continue winning you will be asked -- on very short notice -- to either edit your existing piece, or submit up to two entirely new pieces. Do not wait until the last minute to start thinking about this. You will NOT receive any reminders via email, all of your notifications and instructions will come via this blog (but you are always welcome to email my wife if you have questions). Be prepared, and you’ll do fine.
Anybody ready to put some prose in peril?
Here are this rounds randomly selected WRiTER's.
Standing in the far corner, weighing in at 468 words, please welcome to the ring……..Fake Name.
He would never get to say goodbye.
That was the first thought that came to Adam’s mind as he fell, the impact of the bullet piercing his shoulder and throwing him down onto the cold marble floor with a deafening thud. He reached for his gun out of instinct, but grasped empty air where his holster would have been only two hours ago, strapped next to the Kevlar vest that could have saved his life. But he wasn’t an officer anymore. He was a dead man.
A single footstep echoed in the dark entrance. He hadn’t wanted to wake his ex-wife, leaving the house lights off as he entered, though he fully expected his son to be up studying at this hour. But there was no sound of feet running down the stairs, no shouts of concern, no sound at all save his own labored breathing and the aura of silence behind him, where his attacker stood motionless. Perhaps he thought he was already dead.
He would never see David again. It hit him with a pain that could not be matched even by the bullet lodged inside him. He would never see David graduate from high school, never spar with him in the dojo, never see him look up with that wise, thoughtful expression far beyond his years and ask him if he got the bad guy. In that moment, he knew that he had to see David one more time.
In the dark, he couldn’t see much, but neither could the man with the gun. Reaching into his jacket, he clutched the pocket watch he’d bought for his son, sterling silver and embossed with wings, a present for the new school year.
With one great push, the former officer heaved himself up and spun toward the man, the watch suspended from its chain flying toward his attacker’s face. The man dodged, lightning-quick, and before the watch had even competed its swing, Adam was staring into the barrel of a silenced gun.
He held tight onto the watch, wings imprinting themselves into the palm of his blood-stained hand, as he looked into eyes of the man who had come to kill him. In all of Adam Rotenberg’s years on the force, there had been many times when he couldn’t explain the things he saw, but never had he questioned his own sanity. Until now.
With his last, wheezing breath, he remembered the fall, the bridge, the river. The harness around his police gear straining as it struggled to hold the weight of two men, and his own strength failed him. The body on the shore, damp hair clinging to the peaceful face of the man who had come to the bridge looking for death, and found it. The man he saw before him now.
“I killed you.”
And in the other corner, weighing in at 465 words, let me introduce to you ……..Nia Wolfe.
Taela waited until Kalen had disappeared into the brush before making her move. She watched Hawke take two long swigs from his canteen and smiled bitterly to herself. Drunk out of his senses.
She’d watched him in the village for the past few days, drinking and flirting with every woman who glanced in his direction. Warrior or not, he was a drunken rogue. No doubt the tales of his valor were exaggerated.
He unrolled a blanket from his pack and spread it out on the ground. He took another swig from the canteen and stretched out.
Taela pulled the slim, ebony-handled dagger from the sheath strapped to her thigh and ran her thumb along the point and keenly-honed edge. The blade glistened as it caught a glint of the full moon gleaming through the trees.
What would Selita say if she could see me now?
For a heart-stopping moment Hawke raised his head and looked in her direction. She pressed the dagger against her thigh, not daring to breathe. “Do you need a blanket?” he asked.
“No, I’m fine.”
He shrugged, and to her relief, took another pull from the canteen. Humming a tuneless song, he laid his head back and closed his eyes.
Taela waited a moment longer, hoping he’d fall asleep. She had to move quickly. She’d never have a better opportunity.
With the agility of a razorcat, she leapt to her feet and in two strides was crouched beside him, the dagger’s ebony handle gripped in her fist. Her heart beat so hard she feared she would drop the weapon. He had one arm draped across his forehead, while the other clasped the animal skin canteen at his side. The broad chest under the jerkin rose and fell with his regular, shallow breathing. She braced herself, and with all her strength, plunged the dagger toward his chest, aiming for his heart.
His hand came up just before the blade could strike and seized her wrist in a grip of steel. With a grunt, he twisted her arm, ripped the weapon from her hand and flung it into the bushes. She cried out in pain and surprise. Disarmed and outmatched by his size, she tried to scramble away, but he grabbed her jacket and pulled her back.
She couldn’t let him take her. She flailed her arms and struck his chin with the heel of her hand. She heard his teeth clack together. He spit out a curse, grabbed her wrists and twisted her arms behind her. She kicked and writhed against his chest, his alcohol-laced breath hot in her face.
In the end, the greater strength and bulk of the man won out. Panic gripped her as he rolled on top of her and she found herself pinned to the ground beneath him.
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Remember, here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!