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WCT - The Writing Competition Thread [September Round]


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Hey, I'm not complaining. I've been running some ideas through my head, but all these exams have been destroying my will to write (as if I had the time, HA!). An extra week might just be enough for me to get something out there.

With an extended deadline, I for one am more likely to procastinate more than I have been and wind up forgetting about finishing my story in time.

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My submission:

Reaching Out

Matt and Ed chewed absentmindedly on their bagels as they ogled the girlie magazine. It was only midmorning for the two traffic officers; an eye-opening brought on by high-class erotica would work much faster than coffee. One particular photograph, beautifully shot, featured an unfathomably gorgeous female sunning nude at some paradisiacal shore. She seemed too perfect to be real. The caption beneath her read C.C. Dimitra and dated—

“This is about a couple of years old,” Matt reasoned. “I heard she got hitched with some actor.” He skimmed through the interview adjacent to the photo, but let out a sigh of disappointment. “Well anyway, he and she live somewhere in this city. She loves cats, you know, and cooking. Maybe I can visit her and—”

Ed’s laughter cut sharply though Matt’s speech. “You really love this girl, don’t you?” He closed the magazine and moved it away from the dashboard between them. “She’s hot, yeah, but she’s probably ugly. You know… inside. Plus you said she’s married, so what’s the point?”

“It’s a marriage of convenience! Dimitra wants to break out of modeling and become an actress. The husband’s probably got connections in the business. There’s no real love there.”

Ed pinched the bridge of his own nose in frustration. “You’re a traffic cop, Matt. Be serious for a minute. So it’s convenience. She is not gonna leave that for you, no matter how much you read up on articles and journals and find out what her favorite color is. You’re reaching out too far, man.”

A searing whirr of rubber against asphalt ripped though the street nearby. A monstrous shout and a deathly scream soon followed it. Matt drew out his speed-reader seconds before seeing the motorbike collide with a parked pickup truck. The bike riders flew off of their vehicle and skidded viciously over the road. For a moment, all that could be seen was a mass of pale flesh. The glinting light from behind almost made it seem attractive. The abandoned bike dashed by itself and stopped after grazing the curb.

Matt set down the digital display that had read off the disastrous speed. The two officers deftly climbed out of the patrol car and, after observing the results of the vehicular accident, one replied, “How can people be so dumb?” Ed, the tallest of the officers, quickly walked over to the bodies and jotted the license plate of the bike. It was when he attempted to inscribe the number of the red pickup that he realized it had no identification. “This is straight off the lot, Matt!” the policeman realized. The plate holders glinted in their blankness.

Matt, the shorter of the two, leaned toward the truck window to check for a driver, but found only a photo of what appeared to be a very happy and delighted couple. The other walked to the back of the pickup to discover the absence of a plate there as well. Matt straightened, suddenly thinking back to the image of that lovely woman from the magazine. After a few seconds, he cried, “Hang on!” The photo of the couple and of the woman coalesced in his mind. “That’s Dimitra!”

“What?” uttered Ed. “Stop clowning around.” The immense heat of the day made him feel as if a vulture would swoop over them both. Thick blotches the shape and color of a chessboard formed in his eyes. He would have to shake them away physically to retain the image of the mangled victims. A glimpse of Dimitra disrobing vanished as quickly as it came. Squinting, he looked to the side of the truck, which stood quite unharmed from the collision. Near it laid a helmeted female, her arms outstretched to the other bike rider, who was sprawled several yards away.

Matt had never seen such a grotesque sight in all his life. His eyes twitched quickly to and away from the foul mess, not wanting to look at it for more than he had to. Ed couldn’t help but notice his actions and immediately drew closer to him. He knew from the gruesome angle that the woman’s neck had completely snapped. Kneeling downward, Matt lifted open the helmet visor of the female. Her eyes still held that slight look of embarrassment associated with wearing such things. The texture of her cheek felt unpredictably soap-like and dry, flaky. The officer suddenly drew back his hand and attempted to calm his own sharp breathing. He felt as though he had just dropped into a lost, dark episode of CHiPs.

Dimitra. Dead.

An onlooker discreetly snapped a shot with her digital camera from across the street. The brand she used was an expensive one, Matt saw. The lens might as well have been the cold barrel of a gun. A harbor of disgust filled him at her actions. Dimitra would never allow the image of her body to be captured in such a twisted way. But the tourist took as many she wanted, as if it were the site of a Halloween sculpture. Perhaps the bodies should be erected beside large pumpkins?

The officer looked toward the vast cityscape, that blinding pile of numbers and cars. Why was there such a fascination with them here? After all is said and done, they just take the public from place to place, to their vomit-inducing fast food and dirty toilets. Just a few miles eastward existed nothing but barren sand. If he were high enough off the ground, he would spit on it all. While Matt stood immersed in grief, Ed could sense that vulture swooping in again…

Vague shadows of a timeline formed in Matt’s head. He could briefly see C.C. pushed against a brick wall by a looming figure. A list of “C” names flooded into his head before deciding on Cellie. The blank page that was the scenario rapidly filled with a logical interpretation of the events leading to the crash. He saw Cellie had left a pressure-sealed pot of gumbo for her husband, not expecting him to be home early.

“Happy anniversary,” said the husband, with something resembling sinister singsong. After reaching into his vest, he retrieved a photograph revealing a shining red pickup truck sitting proudly in its factory-perfect state. “It’s a pickup,” he said, as if she could not understand the concept. “We’ll use it to go up to the hills, find a place to camp.” It wasn’t a question.

Something inside Cellie wanted to lash out at him, to scream, I don’t want to be with you! I don't love you, and I never will! It was hopeless, she knew. “I can’t,” she tried. “There’s a shoot I have to be in, I’d be back too late—”

“Obviously you don’t understand the finer points of our arrangement.” The husband placed the photo beside the steel pot. “We are going tomorrow.” With unerring precision, he twisted the lid, which emitted a tiny squeal of depressurization. A machine-like shake of the container caused the contents to flow into a plate. He stepped away and headed toward the dinner table, leaving Cellie exhausted from fear.

At last, downstairs lusted. She left the bottom step of the grand house, a monument encircled by endless shrubbery. She could finally visit her lover, perhaps for the last time. The cyclist had a pair of eyes with droopy lids that aroused and inspired her. He had such delicate hands for someone who tuned up rusty engines all day. Cellie would gladly sit astride his motorbike, gripping his waist tightly before they sped off.

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Ooh, an extension. Maybe I'll finish my entry tomorrow. Hey would it still count as a short story if it's pure dialogue (like a story in the form of a chatlog)?


and so much for the extension...I've got nothing =/

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Not much more I can do.


“What do you mean you don’t know what the problem is?”

“I’m sorry, sir. Everything looks fine from our end.”

“Well”—it’s nipping cold out here and you’re not helping because I don’t get reception in that hole of a room and that’s why I’m trying to set up this backward primeval landline in the first place seeing as how you claim to offer free service with this all-exclusive package deal I’m paying way too much for—“what could be the problem?”

“It could be any number of things, really. Frozen or shorted wires are out because you claim to have received telemarketing calls. The simplest explanation would be if your phone wasn’t compatible, sir.”

Not compatible. “Thanks anyway.” I’ll show you just how compatible my foot is with your—

Peter clapped the phone shut and stuffed his hands into the pocket of his sweatshirt. The exhale came long and drawn, a stream of pale smoke as if from some ancient car on the last mile of its life. It was only then he realized how rooted his legs felt on the snow-coated concrete. He was mildly surprised to find no jagged and menacing formation of inch-thick ice had developed during his half-hour on hold.

The previous week had recalled one night several months prior. A fire drill, rotating through every dorm, was announced to occur “shortly after 7:45 P.M.” An hour of dawdling, no one daring to be absent from an opportunity for candy points, and finally the alarms—weak and dreadful things that couldn’t portend to wake even the lightest sleepers when hidden behind their soundly muting room doors. A fire drill, of all things!

It was out and back in; everyone fell prey. Maybe the heat of a real blaze would have helped them, but no. Not yet winter and still a cold front no weatherman had predicted stalked its way in. The whole process became truly counterintuitive, with the boys who meant to evacuate returning to grab coats, jackets, blankets. The last one of them slipped out fifteen minutes later.

Now winter was three months gone, the unseasonal weather was just as bleak and Peter was wearing the very same sweatshirt, which he paid $20 for at some long-forgotten concert. At the time, sure, it was the singular experience of his life, but before a month he moved on. The garb was only the only remnant.

Remnants. That was essentially all he had: experience and moving on. Claiming the club frisbee championship and moving on. Dark horse victory as valedictorian and moving on. Only now, where had he moved?

Expansive winters catching the witless unawares. Frozen wires and fire drills. He turned and ambled back inside.

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Thanks Imagery. I also realized just now that I forgot to update the first post. I don't have time tonight, but there are four entries:

"Barber Shop" by Barnsalot

"Deviance" by darklink42

"Frozen" by Imagery

"Reaching Out" by just64helpin

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If anyone is still planning on voting, there's only four days left. Remember, this is open, so you don't have to have a submission this round to vote. If you have submitted to *any* writing competition in the past (on OCR), you are eligible to vote.

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