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WRiTE CLUB 2013 Playoffs - Quarterfinals Bout #3

Today is the final match of the WRiTE CLUB quarterfinals...where we will narrow this list of contestants down from six to four.  There will be three bouts...on Mon - Tue - Thur...with our fighters randomly re-matched.  We will have three outright winners and one wildcard (the loser with the most votes), like we have in the two previous playoff rounds.  

The fighters who move into the semifinals will have the opportunity to "tweak" or edit their current submission based on the input voters have left for them.  Those "tweaked" submissions will go to battle in the semifinals, where only two will become finalist.  No wildcard in that round.

The two fighters who make it to the finals will be asked to once more submit new 500 word writing samples, and that will be what is forwarded to our celebrity judges. Of course I'll post them here on my blog for you to comment on, but it will be our judges who make the final selection.

Are you ready?

Stepping into the near corner, please welcome back to the ring...Philangelus.

If the customer was any more in my face, I'd be tasting her mouthwash. "You were supposed to give me an estimate!"

We don't have bullet-proof glass at the garage, so I raise both hands. "But we didn't--"

"I was waiting right here." The woman's angular cheeks go purple, and she's got a white-knuckled grip on her purse. "If you think I'm paying for that, you can forget it."

I thrust her the keys and the paperwork. "You don't have to. You're free to go."

For a moment she huffs in the otherwise-still waiting room. A whiff of exhaust ghosts the air while passing cars hum outside the windows, which are dusted outside with snow and inside with peeled paint. Finally she says, "What?"

Poised to dart back from the counter, I circle the total at the bottom of the invoice. $0.00.  "The car is fixed. You're all set. Have a nice day."

Two regular customers watch from the corners of their eyes. I'd like to think both men would have saved a damsel in distress, but this is Brooklyn--they'd have bolted outside before their abandoned Daily News pages finished fluttering to the floor.

The keys crunch together as the woman slips them into her coat pocket. "It's fixed?"

Okay, crisis averted. Breathe, Lee. Breathe.

This late in the day, the vinyl floor bears a salt and dirty-snow grime, and I'm as tired as last month's Christmas decorations. The sun already sits below the rooftops, and my last cup of coffee happened four hours ago. At least, I assume that was coffee. I found it in the coffee pot, so that should count for something.

Back to the customer. "Our test drive confirmed the gasoline odor in the car, but that wasn't the smell of a bad fuel pump. Your gas cap had a cracked gasket which allowed fumes to get sucked in through the trunk whenever you accelerated." I slip onto the stool beside the computer, bringing myself up to eye-level with the woman. "Knowing a locking gas cap isn't standard on the Taurus, we popped the trunk and found the original cap rolling around the spare tire bed. New test drive, no odor, no charge." Leaning forward, I rest my elbows on the counter. "If you aren't satisfied, we'll provide a full refund."

Silence for five seconds.

She bites her lip. "The first mechanic swore it was the fuel pump."

"And agreed to change it for $300," I venture, "while throwing in a new gas cap for free?"

She bursts out laughing. That's less than a week's rent, but hey, money's money. "Tell the mechanic I want to marry him."

I make my eyes big. "That would be me." When she steps backward, I add, "But I'm happily single, so I'll decline your proposal."

Now I've shocked her twice. "But you're a girl."

Staring down at myself, I gasp. Yep, still the same me: grease-stained pants, denim shirt with our logo, and work boots.

And in the far corner, their willing opponent, making a fourth appearance....Imalie Teller.

The thought of people roaming the park made Patel gun his squad car. No telling what that nut Bouvier would do if someone took him by surprise. Patel hoped that he’d find Bouvier at the lake, sane, or at least calm, and in his girlfriend’s arms. What he saw in his headlights was a park patrol SUV and a pile of bodies, none of them human except Officer Bert Thomas.
The Official Apocalypse Diary of Monster Hunter, Andre Bouvier
Monday, August 1, 2016


Well, Dinah sure as SHIT believes me that there are monsters in the park, now!

The lake monster is dead. Slain by me with a crossbow bolt to the fricking mouth. Went down like a whale and somehow shat a wave of things. I think they were gargoyles, but of course Dinah wants to argue about what to call them. She says they are some new species, but I know a damned gargoyle when I see one, and I saw a shitload of them. 

I wish I could report that I killed the entire shitload, but I did not. I estimate that I terminated 66-78% of the gargoyles before the rest escaped into the park. The only human causality of The Battle Of Central Park Lake was a park cop who saved Dinah’s life. He seemed like a helluva nice guy. Rest in peace, Park Cop.

Dinah and I are currently hiding out in the American Museum of Natural History. Damned creepy place. Damned creepy. When we came in last night, I shot a crossbow bolt into the skull of this big dinosaur skeleton in the lobby. I was a little jumpy. They can sue me. Frankly, I don’t give a shit.

I’m not totally sure why we are here, but Dinah is freaked. Seems to think we’ll be charged with the murder of the park cop, or something. She is being totally irrational. Hope she isn’t going nuts on me. After she wakes up, I’m going to suggest we talk to the cops, get it all over with. I am confident that cooler heads will prevail, the light of day will reveal me as the hero I am, and we can go home and stop hiding out. The food in the vending machines here is stale.

Alive and Kicking, 

Andre rose from the toilet. Writing in the bathroom seemed kind of nasty to him, and he hadn’t enjoyed doing it. Andre didn’t even read in the bathroom. Some people left magazines in johns for people to read. Had special magazine racks for them. You wouldn’t catch Andre dead reading a magazine he found in a john. Andre didn’t trust people to crap, put their magazines back, and then wipe. What if they crapped, wiped, and THEN put back their magazines? It was a recipe for bacterial disaster. Andre never touched anything in bathrooms. Of course he touched toilet paper. And soap. Monsters were one thing. E. coli poisoning was another thing entirely.

Please leave a vote in the comments section for the one who you believe deserves to move on.  Voting for all three quarterfinal bouts will remain open until noon on Sunday, October 6th. Help me spread the word about what is happening here.  Anyone can still vote, as long as they register on the Linky List.

Remember the WRiTE CLUB motto, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!


  1. Hmmmm...

    Kinda hard to choose between the writers in this bout. Both pieces seem a little... thin. I may revise my vote at some point, but for now, I vote for XXXXXXXXXXX.

    I'm guessing a slight technical glitch where the empty template got posted instead of the actual post for today. But I know you'll fix it very soon... I'll check back later... ;)

    1. There! See? I knew it -- I always have the utmost faith in ya, Bone. You run a very tight ship around here... ;)

      I posted my thoughts about these two entries last week, so I won't go into them again. I'll just say that I vote for Philangelus in this round.

  2. Imalie because if they tweak this it can be a great read!

  3. Voting for Imalie. But it was REALLY tough! You guys are bringing the A games!

  4. I don't think Imalie chose the right excerpt - letters/journal entries are dull and are by definition, "telly."

    I vote for Philangelus. His prose was excellent.

  5. Love the end of Imalie's. Voting for Philangelus!

  6. I think that Philangelus piece is a great short piece, but I'm not sure where else it would go. With Imalie's piece, there's quite obviously more to come and I am really interested in where it's going.

    Imalie, for me.

  7. Both are excellent, but I'm going with Philangelus today.




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