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HalcyonSpirit

WCT - [COMPETITION OVERHAUL - NEED IDEAS] The Writing Competition Thread

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How convenient. Yesterday I had all my wisdom teeth extracted, and let's just say I wasn't in any shape to be posting... lol. Just to be clear - I can submit something I wrote last month due to the state of this round? If so, here's my submission. If not, I have another available.

ninja edit. see post below for my submission. i thought that we could submit stuff from december but since that isn't the case, I have something else to contribute instead.

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If by "last month" you mean January, then yes, you can submit it. And I know what you mean with the extraction... I had that done several years ago and I was miserable for quite a while.

Ok, seeing as how we now have two submissions (if the above is true), I'm willing to extend the deadline to the 7th (Sunday night). Hopefully I'll be able to get my piece done by then so we can have at least three entries.

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Wrote this in late Janurerary. Did some editing of it now.. gah, trying to keep a poem complete is hard.

People Pondering over Pie (I Know That Smile)

by Yousef Reda

Coffee's cold

Crust hardened

Tired faces as

the cafe closes

Hustle and bustle

has no meaning this late

in these lifeless

faces and musings

And I see you

from here

the distance, yes

you: I see you well.

I see you smiling

your will to survive

is showing yet somehow I know

that it's all a lie.

It's something in your eyes

The emerging extroversion

Amid passive introspection

Found upon close inspection.

You are lost to this world

You hide it well by holding others close

closer to your essence than yourself

And I wonder, do you see it too?

Between the moments of convincing contentment,

Authentic, derived from former happiness,

Can you feel the hole of emptiness burning inside?

Or do you live in the facade of a house of cards?

You did it, there, just now, as you put down your cup of coffee

And stared deep into the abyss.

The mug is half empty, but what remains contains the truth:

The misery and sorrow you choose to drink away.

Slow to respond, you await your friend's next question.

Your answer seems half-baked and half-aware. Your troubles

run deeper than the shallowness of the small talk and yes,

you both know it, but do you both accept it?

And silence follows, perfectly cinematic and dramatic. Tasseography

your cup of tea? You both swirl your drinks and divine. The staring. The hopefulness.

Alas, you are both disappointed with what fate has in store.

But I suspect you already figured the future would look bleak.

You leave the change upon the table, springing forth from compensatory generosity.

A pourboire too.

And you part ways,

your friend leaves first, yet you linger.

Oh, I would get up to tell you

of all the good life has in store for you yet,

that you don't have to pretend to feel what you won't,

that you don't have to hide anymore.

I would get up to say hello,

And get to know you more,

But that would be quite silly,

'cause I've met me here before.

Instead I return to my humble throne,

sit quiet and reflect

Assuade my fears - tomorrow's near,

my brain may now defect...

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I might expand this slightly before the deadline, but I'll put it here now.

In Wait

He stood surrounded by four bare walls. The solid white boundaries of the place disoriented him, and his internal sense of gravity occasionally faded. He would have collapsed, but his instincts caused his knees to straighten instead of buckle.

The man thought back to the events that led him to the room. There had been some urgency, a moment of compulsion; he needed to be here, he felt at the time. He set a goal for himself, and it involved being in this space. Now that he stood in it, the motivation for being in the room became vague. As time went on, many thoughts and questions would develop.

When he had initially entered the place, it seemed quite silent. After a few moments he heard a distinct humming, which grew to a dull buzz. He came to the conclusion that the sound was generated by his own body; a blood vessel in his ear, perhaps. It was slow, somewhat in time with his heartbeat, and steady enough to be part of him. The man marveled at how quiet the room was for him to be able to hear such a thing. As he counted the beats, however, this simple sense of joy gave way to a chill of realization.

One hundred beats had passed; then five hundred; and then nearly a thousand. Such a long time to be kept waiting, especially since the goal had slipped from his mind as a result of the wait. The soft thumping was a constant reminder of the situation, as if he was forced to stare at a watch. Time would not, and could not, fly. His mind was unable to wander, and the stress of being conscious of the passing moments became too much to bear.

After a moment, however, his mindset changed. The beating of his heart was not something to detest, but a reminder that he was alive. He was a living, breathing human being, one with goals and ambitions, one who set out to do things. The man was not put into the room against his will, he recalled, though the exact circumstances behind entering it had been forgotten. This was not a place designed for torture or pain of any sort.

It was, perhaps, a sort of exercise. He had a task, or was given one, and accomplishing it was a matter of getting to the room and awaiting a result. The place itself was constructed specifically for waiting, and many others must have been in here before him. Possibly others were standing by, expecting to be let in after he left. Or maybe others were in adjacent rooms, thinking the same thoughts. Hundreds of white-walled spaces, each containing a person wondering how he or she got there.

The man came across another thought. The notion of being placed in a certain predicament and waiting – this was universal. The literal place was irrelevant; it could be in an elevator, or waiting for popcorn at the microwave, or keeping an eye on a changing traffic light. To him it seemed that the why was the only important thing. If he had been on an elevator, the goal would have been to reach the proper floor. If he was waiting for food, the goal would be simple nourishment. The man was, however, in a room with no sense of space and dimension. He stood in a place where his mind would have to work constantly to attain any sense of progression. This suggested an answer.

The reason he could not remember the events that led him to this place was simple, he realized. That was the entire point. He wanted to forget the duties and responsibilities that life had given him, and he wanted to move forward, possibly accumulating new ones. Between letting go of the past and continuing with the future, he wanted that feeling of unknowing. That last bit of strain in his mind, that why, finally ceased. He could no longer remember what he had accomplished, or what he set out to do, and he was elated. The cleansing was remarkable to him.

At that point a small rectangle appeared ahead. He smiled. It was a doorway, and he walked out.

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it's not monday for me at all yet but this whole UTC thing is weird.... else I'd change the poem again, lol.

hurray for submissions. i actually have tons of time to read now so I look forward to voting and such.

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*grumble grumble*

You know, this makes the 5th story I've worked on for one of these competitions that I get about 80% done but just couldn't finish on time due to classes and thus is wasted work (as far as the competition goes). Oh, sure, I could submit it at a later competition, but that'd be cheating.

OK, so the voting has already begun! We have three submissions this round.

Aura Weapon by neblix

People Pondering over Pie (I Know That Smile) by SoulinEther

In Wait by just64helpin

Start reading and voting!

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THE RESULTS ARE IN!

The winners of the January 2010 Freeform competition are:

1st Place: In Wait by just64helpin

Runner-Up: People Pondering over Pie (I Know That Smile) by SoulinEther

Here's the point distribution:

In Wait by just64helpin - 9

People Pondering over Pie (I Know That Smile) by SoulinEther - 8

Aura Weapon by neblix - 4

Congratulations to just64helpin for winning and SoulinEther for coming in a very close second! I had a hard time choosing between the two pieces; both were quite compelling in their own rights. Neblix, you too deserve congrats, for even though you did not win, you still crafted a story that was interesting enough that I would like to see it expanded some. I felt that it could work even better as a longer story, something that the current word limit just doesn't allow.

For those of you paying attention, the close of the Freeform competition means that the Short Story competition is just over the horizon! So get ready: the Short Story competition opens on March 1st!

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A 1 point lead will have to do - congrats, sir. I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated In Wait, mostly because I too am in wait (though I do know why, lol), and I would probably enjoy wiping my mind of loss and responsibility if only I knew for sure there wouldn't be a price to pay.

I especially applaud the ending - how the doorway is perceived in its most basic shape initially, and how the reader shares the simple revelation that it's in fact a door.

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I feel like a douche for forgetting to vote this time. Then again, I don't know if it would've changed the outcome at all. Either way, grats to all who were involved. I'll read in a bit and critique as I find time to make up for the lack of vote.

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Just 64, you might want to know that I'm Aaron Keener on facebook, whose status' you like every now and then xD

All this time I thought you were Aaron Dudley on Facebook. 8O

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Isn't there supposed to be some kind of a competition starting soon?

...Why are you all staring at me like that?

Hey, listen! The steadily improving spring-like weather has been stirring the creative juices in my brain, and I'm not entirely appalled by the verbal feces that's oozing out, so I hereby issue a challenge to the four corners of the Internet regarding this next competition: Let everyone who knows how to join two words and form a sentence come together and put in their best shot. Let's make this the best damn competition yet. I'm really not in a position to use the Internet that much, but you can bet your procreative powers I'm writing, so I hope someone carries this message for me to all the appropriate recipients both new and old, because I want to test my craft. And just so I don't sound like an arrogant, selfish bastard, I swear upon the hole in my grandmother's roof that I will buy an ice cream cone for anyone who bests me. The next time I see that person live, of course.

And yes, you can get triple scoops.

(I just couldn't stay away for two whole years!)

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Isn't there supposed to be some kind of a competition starting soon?

Holy crap!

... It's you! :lol: How've you been?!

Yes, yes, the MARCH 2010 SHORT STORY COMPETITION has already begun! I just didn't get a chance to announce it because I was busy putting together a design presentation and getting ready for an exam.

So, a challenge, eh? I'm game. If I can actually manage to finish something ON FRICKING TIME this round, it'll be good! I've also got a potential newcomer for this round, so we'll see if she submits anything.

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I'm down.

I say this every time, and never follow through.

i mean how hard is it to string two words together enough times 'til it's coherent and thematic?

life flies bardic pursuing within elysian high-fiving bled darkness overcoming what why nonsense!

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