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HalcyonSpirit

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

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I know I said a couple of days, but I've been busy working on my much larger project. But alas, here it is!

CLICK ME

The story isn't what's important. I am only trying to get the readers to experience the atmosphere as if they were the character. Enjoy!

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Just two days left. I've got something in the works, but that still only brings us up to two submissions if I get it done in time. Is anyone else actually planning on submitting something? I don't want to extend the submission period without some concrete answers, as it'd kinda be a waste to be harping on people to get moving on something they have no plans of actually doing.

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Once there was a green alien named Bobert Billiamson the 3.16 X 10^125,412. He was known galaxy-wide as the meanest, greenest, grilling machine-like fellow around. It was due to this that he eventually was banned from his home galaxy, the Greeblegorkstol galaxy near the rim of the universe, and was forced to wander aimlessly. He relieved his time in exile by occasionally blowing up small, uninhabited asteroids, planetoids, moons, and the rare full-blown planet. However, as was previously stated, he never blew up anything inhabited. He may have had the murderous reputation, but he was nothing like what people thought he was. In reality, he was a kind-hearted, peace-loving humanoid, unlike his predecessors, who hated everything and consequently only reproduced by asexual division. No one knows how this worked.

Anyways, Bobert had found a strange, tetrahedron shaped planet upon which he decided to live. The shape intrigued him, as he wondered how the spikes stayed that way and how normal mechanics worked upon this strange planet. He decided to investigate, as he was unusually bright for his species, the Robblelobbles.

While Bobert was wandering this strange planet, he stumbled and landed on top of a giant mushroom. It was soft and bouncy, and released a puff of pollen when pressure was applied to it. Landing on it exerted enough pressure to release said cloud, and Bobert started coughing and sputtering as the dust entered his respiratory system. His two pairs of lungs started to rasp, and he fell to the cap in a fit. A giant butterfly flew over and picked Bobert up, saving him from the horrible pollen. However, the butterfly flew into a giant spider web and Bobert fell earthward. The strange jungle he found himself in seemed to be full of giant insects! “What a cliché…” he muttered, and suddenly the jungle vanished. “Also a cliché, but it gets those bugs away from me…” He kept walking, unsure of where his next destination would be.

It was many hours before he finally made his way somewhere, and that somewhere happened to be some sort of civilization. Small magenta yurts sat around the sleepy village, and there was a massive statue of some sort of three-armed five-headed beast. It seemed that the residents worshiped it, judging from the impeccable care evident on the sparkling clean surface of the sculpture. He laughed at the absurdity of such a being existing when suddenly a door opened. This particular door was the entrance and exit of the largest yurt in the village, and a three-armed five-headed being walked out. Realization struck Bobert much like a freight train striking a bee; the statue wasn’t of their god, but of their leader! He felt like an idiot, and left in shame. He looked to his left and saw his ship. “Must’ve gone in a huge circle.” He entered it and took off, making a mental note never to return to this strange tetrahedron-shaped planet in the future.

Here's my submission... there's actually more chapters, and this is only chapter one. But hey, it works as a standalone one. If it's not long enough, I'll add on Chapter 2.

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I do intend to submit something, and I'm working on it at the moment, but a week's extension would mean I'd have this weekend to work on it as well. It might also mean more people can submit. :)

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This was originally written to accompany a compo entry of mine this past Tuesday.

Liquidation

Tranquil thoughts gave way to rapid falls of unceasing water. The liquidation of all that had been still and serene had disappeared, the silence ended. Roaring fists of waves pounded against the coastline, displacing the calm sands and bringing in the tide. The ocean trudged in like a lazy beast settling in a new home. The wetness turned the beach from dry gold to sopping brown as it bore within the floor.

Minds at ease slowly gained visual stimulation from the rushing crests. The people laid there at the beach, precariously situated between the heat of the sand and the coolness of the water. Even still, the flow would rise to meet them. The moisture ran over the feet of the lackadaisical sunbathers, inciting mild startles and low gasps. The sea bounded upon them, its presence at once awe-inspiring and irritating. It came with great speed, but the vastness of the looming body of water made its movement seem incremental.

Toward the horizon, the men in undulating boats saw the waves hitting the arid edge. From their perspective, the beach umbrellas dotting the landscape made it look like a brightly checkered blanket. As the rising sea level went on, the sailors gazed at the people on land gradually moving upward to distance themselves from the salty wash. Abandoned bags and refuse were left behind, sodden. Soon most of the ground would be drenched, and the bay would be left empty, on its own, soaked.

An ominous eye opened within the center of the harrowing storm. The sense of impending danger grew throughout the town that day as the funnel approached. Unlike the tornados that commonly hit the area, this one eerily gave the impression of an animal-like cunning. It drove into residences as if on a deliberate rampage. The storm mercilessly laid waste to dwellings all over the surrounding county, uncannily avoiding barren plains in favor of innocent homes.

The local news played up these unusual circumstances whenever possible. Reporters began the phrase “the beast with the wandering eye” to describe the storm, playing up the situation for entertainment. The region affected generated next to no stories of interest aside from its current weather. As such, the producers made what they could of the unfolding event. While the anchors chuckled with merriment at the peculiars and tossed in colorful puns, the tornado destroyed entire neighborhoods.

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Due to the fact that I am a sleepy idiot that didn't finish my entry last night and ended up sleeping until 4PM today and so didn't have time to finish, we only have 3 entries at the end of the normal submission period. Following the guidelines in the first post, the submission period has been extended by one week.

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Had this idea earlier in March, just never got around to getting it down until this past weekend. Enjoy. (:

The Replacement

I want to start by dispelling some common myths about psychologists. First, not every patient we get is crazy or clinically insane like in the movies. Mental disorders are generally treated by psychiatrists, not psychologists. Occasionally I will refer a patient to a psychiatrist, but it's not really the norm around here.

I admit, though, it does happen on occasion. I have had one middle-aged man come in every five or six months, registering as a new patient, and firmly believing that he had never come in before. This by itself wasn't the most intriguing thing about his case--the memory issue alone could have been treated fairly easily, and his family would have known how to deal with his memory loss.

The man believed that he was being followed by someone who looked exactly like him. A clone. A clone that intended to kidnap him and take his place.

Now, it could be that he was taking some medication which is giving him hallucinations, or that he was bad at recognizing people, or maybe he had a twin that he doesn't know about (or has Alzheimer's and doesn't remember). The Alzheimer's idea didn't really appeal to me until the second time he showed, but the first time he came to my office I was not quite sure what to think. I just let him talk, for the most part.

"Why are you telling me this?" I asked him when he paused.

He shrugged. "You seem like a trustworthy guy. I... I picked you at random from the phonebook. I needed to find someone not connected to me...I can't trust anyone my family or friends recommend."

"Well," I said, closing my notebook. "I'm going to recommend a different doctor for you, as I don't think I'll be able to help you. A friend of mine, Dr. Martin." I handed him a card. It read "Ambrose Martin Psychiatric Services".

He looked at it for a moment, then turned it over and looked at the blank back of the card. He seemed a little sad when he looked up. "I guess you don't believe me."

"I don't believe I can help you."

He shook his head and left.

He had paid cash, and refused to give us any emergency contact information. Of course, we couldn't contact anyone anyway due to patient privacy laws.

The second time he visited, several months later, he became agitated when I told him he had visited before.

"What do you mean?" he shouted. "I picked this place at random from a phone book just this morning! Wait..." He grew silent. "Then *he's* been here."

"Huh?"

"The clone!" He hissed at me. He left immediately, claiming he couldn't trust us, now that we've done business with his clone.

Worried, I called Ambrose to ask if he had spoken to this man, whom I now suspected might be suffering from Alzheimer's. But he hadn't seen him. The man had chosen to ignore my reference.

Of course, I didn't worry about it too much. It had been several months since the first visit and I spoke to the man for all of half an hour the first time, and not even five minutes the second time. There was simply too much else that needed to be done that I quickly forgot about the patient.

The third visit was about six months later, and the fourth another six later. I avoided telling him that he had visited before. The conversation was very similar to the first visit. He said he felt like he could trust me, even though he had chosen my office at random from the phone book.

The fifth visit he brought in a tape.

"I had this idea, Dr. Ross, that maybe I should bug my own room, you know, in case anything were to happen, I could have evidence." He handed me the cassette. "But really strangely, the place I went to hide it... there was already a recorder there. With this.

"I don't know what to think anymore. I don't remember the conversation there. I certainly don't remember... agreeing to anything. I'm really scared, Dr. Ross. Scared for my life."

I examined the tape later that night. I'm no audio expert (I only have a pair of headphones and a cassette player to listen on), but as far as I could tell, he was having a conversation with himself. I can't say for sure that he was faking it, but...

The conversation was strange, too. There were lines like "I'm not going to go easy" and "You agreed to this, just like the rest of us. Or have you forgotten?"

It wasn't great audio. Perhaps he should have used a hidden video camera. I'm not sure that would have been any better. Maybe a little harder to fake, if he really wanted to.

The sixth visit was a couple of weeks ago. Again, it was his first time in the office. There was no tape, no mention of any sort of recording devices he had hidden.

So why am I writing you about all this? I've actually started to believe him, and I'm worried that I've caught something infectious. I just want to make sure someone knows, just in case. I saw someone following me two days ago, and he looked just like me.

Just like me.

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you know I can never tell when there's a competition or not, I've always wanted to submit something >_<

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Ah. Right. Voting.

So we have 4 entries this time around. Would've been five, but I ended up scrapping what I'd been working on because I ultimately couldn't make my idea work properly. So four.

Cause Ascension: Firsthand by Capa Langley

Untitled Chapter 1 by Mirby

Liquidation by JH Sounds

The Replacement by Zannick

Voting ends at the end of the day on the 24th. I at least expect all of you submitters to vote. Anyone else paying attention to the thread should as well. If you're rusty on the rules, be sure to refresh your memory by reading them in the first post. Good luck!

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First, yes, I know, I'm late. Selling cars is more tiring than you might imagine. I'll try not to let it delay things here next time.

Second, results are finally posted!

1st Place: Liquidation by JH Sounds AND The Replacement by Zannick

Runner-Up: Cause Ascension: Firsthand by Capa Langley

The vote tally:

Liquidation by JH Sounds - 8

The Replacement by Zannick - 8

Cause Ascension: Firsthand by Capa Langley - 4

Untitled Chapter 1 by Mirby - 1

When was the last time we had a tie for first? It's been a while. I think it was when Imagery was still in charge. Anyway, congrats!

And third, the May 2011 Poetry Competition has started! So get writing/typing!

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Redemption

With Musket in Hand for The Savages

Sword Buckling Around the Waist for Glory

Wrought Iron Helmet Placed Daintily, - for the weather

Everything of Need Packed for the Conquistador

Voyage of Thousand Miles in Treacherous Waves

To the New World, of Hope and Promises

Of Riches Beyond Reckoning.

A Land Paved by Silver and Built by Gold

anchor falling in tranquil water, reverberates.

The coming of the Conquistador - is always marked by disturbance

Landing in exotic soil not their own

To Fight The Natives, The Savages in the promise given by Columbus

Plantations built on the ashes of previous homes

Wealth generated per whipping of natives, the slaves

Branded as animals, dying in mass graves

Eyes are blind and ears turn deaf to their suffering pleas

In the slightest feel of guilt

As good Catholics they are, they go for their confession

The redemption of guilt, their path to heaven

The priest watches the Conquistador’s rushed steps

- Perhaps to rid his burden quickly or just to rush back to his wealth?

Standing before the priest

Asking for confession of his sins

The answer of the priest is one of denial

Denied to his confession

Denied to his faith

Denied entrance to the gates of heaven

There is nothing the Conquistador can do,

To harm the priest is to incur God’s wrath

So the Conquistador returns,

Back to the crying anguish and moans, back in unresolved sins

Back once again where his eyes are blind and ears turn deaf

Between God and Gold

The Conquistador return to his Worldly Desires

There is little hope for redemption

May poetry submission.

Little bit of historic background for understanding:

Following the New Law in 1542 to abolish Indian Slavery and Ecomienda system in the New World had little impact and never achieved its goal. Bartolomé de Las Casa the leading advocate to the New Law, at this time was given the rank of Bishop issued a pastoral letter that "refused absolution to slave owners and encomenderos even on their death bed, unless all their slaves had been set free and their property restituted to them." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartolom%C3%A9_de_las_Casas

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A prayer I came up with that ties into a larger story of mine.

Gloop Rising

We are placed into servitude

Forced to perform our task

Forced to bring life into deathly places

We are Gloop, creatures of the deep.

We create the air for others to respire

We do not fight back, but pray

We hope for a chance to be free

To discover our purpose.

The Gloop call upon our savior

Our rebel, one who defied his master

One who perished for the greater good

We call upon his spirit, to set us free.

He helped the adventurous pair

On their perilous journey

With no thought to himself

He helped them win, and gave all.

We bask in the aftermath of his escape

Not from slavery, but of the bonds of life

To a greater place where fish thrive

And the sea is forever.

We are Gloop, we follow his example

To free ourselves from imprisonment

To evade capture and entrapment

To live, breathe and give out purity.

The Gloop endure

and fight

and resist

and rise.

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A prayer I came up with that ties into a larger story of mine.

I'd love to hear it sung in another language. Sounds like a national anthem.

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ROUTINE

Take a good look at me now as I prepare to face my day

See me without my plastic smile

There's nothing left of the joy that once served to pave my way

I've been on the path of decay for a while

I go through the motions today as I've done for many years

My daily routine with no end in sight

Caught in the darkness with no time to shed my futile tears

Can't even take time to look for the light

Does me no good to put up a fight

I think I've forgotten what's wrong and what's right

I don't rest in the day and I can't sleep at night

My routine's hold on me is far too tight

I've been doing the same thing for so long I could do it all blind

I know I can do it without thinking at all

If I stop to consider my business I would probably lose my mind

This is no land of giants but I feel very small

I often wonder what life would be like if my routine broke

What would happen to me? Could I go on?

It's a worry to me that without it my life would go up in smoke

And I hope and pray that in this case I'm wrong

But I don't see a way to break free

My way of life has a firm hold on me

Caught in a rut so deep I can't see

And I'm clinging for dear life to my sanity

[End submission]

I actually wrote this in 2003 with the intention of making it a song, but I suck at writing music and playing an instrument, so now it's just a poem.

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I actually wrote this in 2003

...

Submission Rules:
  • Instead of submitting old material, please write something new within the time frame of the submission stage. After all, the idea behind the competition is partially to promote creativity, and inherent in the idea of creativity is the act of creation.

... Actually, upon review, I'm not going to get all upset over this one. The language of this particular rule is quite vague and doesn't convey the standard that has been in use since, well, the beginning of this competition. I'm not sure why it wasn't made clearer in the last revision of the rules. Therefore, the wording of the rule has been changed to the following:

  • Only entries written within the time frame of the submission stage will be considered. After all, the idea behind the competition is partially to promote creativity within a particular time frame, and inherent in the idea of creativity is the act of creation.

This is just reflecting the rules as understood and publicly stated for as long as I can remember. As such, it IS retroactive. Sorry for the confusion, Jax. I hope you can still submit something within the time left.

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My apologies. I missed that rule.

My poems would probably make better songs anyway. I just need to get the music written... I think I should stick to the short story or novel. Is that a separate thread?

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No, this thread is used for all of them. The competition is run every two months, with the categories rotated repeatedly through Short Story, Poetry, and Freeform. So in July the Freeform competition starts, and then in September Short Story is up. Poetry again takes the stage in November. Rinse and repeat.

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Did I say submissions ended on the 10th? Oops, I meant the 13th. No, it has nothing to do with getting absolutely pulled into CivIV, why do you ask?

Three submissions this time 'round.

Redemption by Enlightenment

Gloop Rising by JH Sounds

Great Bay by Calatia

Voting ends at the end of June. Vote now, or forever hold your pencil!

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Well... this is disappointing.

It's now July 1st, and not a single vote was cast (aside from my own, anyway). I can't exactly have results with only a single vote, so... if you still want to vote, please do so as soon as possible. In the meantime, I'm opening up the next competition.

The July 2011 Freeform Competition is open for submissions!

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I was considering writing a new chapter of one of my novels and submitting that, but it may not make sense out of context. Perhaps I'll do a one-shot inspired by it. :)

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