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WCT - The Writing Competition Thread [Short Story Results]


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Nothing but sweet summer breeze touches my lips,

My mind, in the moment of sweet distraction.

A wispy playfulness, fluid, gentle passing.

A sour note plays in the background, smoke

Clouds that swift moment of isolation.

A round trip ticket to a daydream is far

Too expensive for the time spent there.

Even my imagination has to watch

Its slowly lightening piggy bank.

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Mechasonic: Write whatever you feel will challenge you the most to produce your best work. That is all the advice I can give.

Chickenwarlord: Thanks for the submission! Do you have a title (even "Untitled", or the first line perhaps?) that we can refer to your piece by? It would help a bunch come voting time.

Washington Maverick: Yeah, everything you need to know about voting (including dates) should be in the first post. If you can't find it, or you read it and still have any questions, feel free to ask and I'll be happy to explain.

Speaking of dates: I'm going to be returning the days I previously cut out of the submission and voting stages. This is because the original reason I cut them out is now void. Basically, I was applying to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which would mean two years of full-time dedication to serving the Lord wherever I was called. I anticipated the possibility of being called to leave sometime before the end of August, so I wanted to make sure the contest would be completed before I skipped out on everyone. However, when I got a letter in the mail today saying I would be expected to report on November 5th, I realized it would be kind of silly to rob everyone of the extra days to write and vote. :razz: For those of you not good with dates, this means don't panic! This is not me telling you that once this competition is over I am gone for good. This is me saying I've got one more competition left in me than I thought (September's short story comp.) and I hope it'll be one for the history books. But since we're still in this competition, we might as well make history with it, too!

tl;dr version: dates changed check the first post

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Super Smash Bros. Melee is a video game that was released back in late 2001 for the Nintendo Gamecube. The object of the game is to knock your opponent off of the stage by fighting and building up damage onto their character using a character of your own. KO’s come from knocking your opponent off of the screen. This can be done by sending them flying upwards, to the sides or pushing them off of the stage and letting them fall to the bottom. This game features a various selection of characters from a variety of other video games such as Mario from the Mario Bros. Series, Link from the Legend of Zelda series and even Mr. Game and Watch. Nearly 7 years after its release, people are still playing “Smash” due to a rise in its competitive nature.

Tournaments of hundreds of competitors are held annually across the nation as well as a few international tournaments that feature the world’s most dedicated players. These tournaments can have cash prizes totaling around several thousand dollars. The best player in the world, simply known as Ken, attended a lot of these tournaments and was able to pay for his college education with the $50,000+ that he’s won over time.

Players in these tournaments use advanced techniques to do many things, from chaining as many as 7 consecutive attacks to quickly build up damage for a KO (called comboing) to forcing their opponent away from the stage for a quick KO at low damage. This paper will teach you a technique that is simple but at the same time arguably one of the best to use to keep your opponent from returning to the stage once they have been knocked off. The character used for this is Fox McCloud from the StarFox series and this technique is known as “Shinespiking”.

You don’t need to know very much about how to play as Fox to do this. However, being fluent with the general controls would help a lot. The only things you will need to know well is how to grab onto the ledge, drop from the ledge, use his special move and jump back up to the ledge. On the controller, this can be accomplished only using the joystick with your left thumb and the red (B) button and grey (X) button with your right thumbs. The joystick is used to control your character and the direction they move. The (B) button activates your characters special moves according to which direction the joystick is tilted. You will be using the down (B) combination, which is Fox’s Reflector Shine, and maybe his up (B) combination. The grey (X) button makes your character jump. This can also be done by quickly tapping the joystick up but isn’t used as much since it’s easier to use the (X) button to jump while controlling which direction your character goes with the joystick.

The situation to use a shinespike is when you send your opponent flying from the side stage to KO them but they don’t fly far enough off of the screen and begin to fall back towards the stage. You run to the side of the stage that they’re coming back to by tapping the joystick in that direction and stop. Turn around by tilting the joystick in the other direction, jump backwards by pressing (X) then tilting the joystick towards the edge just enough so that you will fall close to the edge. If done right, you should grab the ledge automatically and be hanging there. From here, you can judge whether your opponent will be able to make it back to the stage or not. If the stage is out of reach then you shouldn’t need to shinespike them. However, some people will still shinespike you just for looks.

All of the characters in this game have a move that is used mostly to get back onto the stage when they are knocked off and can also be used to deal damage. For almost all of them, their “recovery” move is triggered by the up (B) combination. Knowing this, you should be wary of it when you go to shinespike someone. Preferably, you should wait until your opponent is somewhat under you as they are recovering. When they are almost under you, tap downwards on the joystick at an angle to drop from the ledge and make contact with your opponent. This is important because the down (B) Shine that you will use in a second is a very close range attack and needs to connect. When your character is about to make contact with your opponent, press the (B) button with the joystick still tilted downwards. If done right, the down (B) Shine will be triggered as you make contact and stun them as well as send them further from the stage. The Shine will also stall the momentum of your fall for a second.

Another important part of this is making it back up to the ledge. It’s a simple task but it’s very important to remember because it doesn’t look good if you accidentally KO yourself trying to look fancy. When you do activate the shine, whether it connects or not, you shouldn’t hold it for more than half a second. The Shine will only deal damage upon activation; after that, it’s only good for reflecting projectiles. So when you Shine after dropping from the ledge, tap the joystick upwards to jump out of your Shine. If you make it back up to the ledge, then you could set up for a second Shine in the case that your opponent continues to try to come back to the stage. If you are unable to reach the ledge from jumping out of your Shine, keep your control stick tilted up and quickly press (B) to trigger your recovery move. It will stall you in the air for a second before firing you upwards. You can actually control which direction you will fire in so try to aim for the ledge or over it.

Shinespiking is the process of repeating these steps until your opponent is unable to recover and is KO’ed. This usually takes more than one Shine if your opponent is expecting it. If not, then one Shine will get you a really easy KO and a really frustrated opponent. Regardless, most people will not survive if you can connect with 2 consecutive Shines. This technique can also be started by running straight off of the ledge rather than hanging from it. Since Fox is a fast character in running and falling, some people will not be able to defend against it even if they know it’s coming. It’s an easy technique to learn but also takes a lot of practice to get the timing on everything down. Once it is mastered, it will be really useful for quick KO’s and will come with style points.

10 charizards?
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I was going to chastise everyone on how dead the thread is (does discussing religion scare everyone off or something? :?) but then I realized we already have seven entries! I guess I could still berate all you veterans for being silent, because all but one of those entries are from newcomers, but then I'd have to get back to work on my own piece. Grrr, work! Work is always my enemy! Why can't life be lollipops and crisps?

I am having a sort of night sickness. It makes me stay up past healthy hours and act crazy. I will take this break of sanity to remind everyone who is planning on submitting that there are just less than four whole days left. If you're having trouble writing what you want to then you'd at least better write a darn good plea for an extension of the submission deadline!:tomatoface:

Hot months are hot.

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I know of this night sickness to which you alude. It's the only way any of my writing gets done.

And to correct you, there are two entries from veterns. You've neglected my eternal rival Leon "Hajile" K. If it weren't for him, I might have had a fair chance. Sadly his stuff is always so damn awesome that I somehow always feel psychically compelled to vote for him.

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I think I'll post part of my B-K fic after all. Since it's a prologue, it should still be comprehensible outside of the intended context.

EDIT: I'm only putting the first few paragraphs here, to avoid spoilers.

Prologue

He existed at the edge of life. His sight faded in and out with every second; the images struggled into his perceptive range. All sound had been reduced to a dull hum, varying only slightly in levels of intensity. He lay as a shell of what he once was; holding him together were synthetic extensions of his solid form, so unnatural and yet inextricably part of him now. He lived, but he could never truly call himself complete in this condition.

The dreams were stronger than before. He could still see her eyes, fiercely alight reflecting the image of her deadly spell. Those were the only parts of her that were of flesh; the witch’s body had become little more than a skeleton sheathed in tattered cloth. Her lust of dark magic kept her alive, kept her conscious, and kept her wanting vengeance. Nothing would have swayed her from what she had planned and pondered after years of being buried under dense weight. She needed to destroy the duo that had set her under the ground to rot.

That is why it all had to happen, he realized. Only his essence could kill her—only by giving his life would she be defeated truly and forever. Without his willingness to stand up to the witch, all would have been lost. Yet… Here he was, splayed onto something rigid and smooth, barely keeping himself intact. He lived, but knew he would eventually lose his self.

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Okay, eight. We've got eight entries with just over forty-nine hours to go (or less, for GAJK (yes, try pronouncing that! (yes, I am putting parentheses inside parentheses!) Muhahaha!) and... others?). Two more will put us into new record levels of participation and whatnot! And after that?

The sky is the limit. What the heck.

I probably won't be writing any more of mine until Friday (my day off) but I've got a pretty good idea where I'm headed now. But you don't care about that. You care about interesting things! Like the fact that Doulifee and I are working on getting some kind of archive page up and running! And that we are now featured in the A-Z of OCR Competitions thread, which is stickied at the top of the forums! These are the things you care about!

If you don't care about them I will make you care about them.

I need to stop staying awake after work. Or maybe just stop staying awake.

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Thanks.

Also: Contricity, I feel like I've seen your new entry before (copypasta you wrote? Where?). As a judging official I think I liked your other piece better simply because I didn't wonder if I'd have to disqualify it every time I saw it.

Also: Nine hours to go!

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(or less, for GAJK (yes, try pronouncing that! ... )

Mmm...?

Anyway, good news and bad news. The bad news is, I had to cancel my vacation to Myrtle Beach this year because I have a final paper and final exam to do during my vacation week. The good news is, as a result of the previous news, I was able to come up with an entry for the competition! Woohoo!

Such a great tradeoff. :roll:

I literally wrote it in one go, flying by the seat of my pants. Practically stream-of-consciousness, but I did make a few changes as I went along. It probably isn't any good, being a 2-hour writing, but whatever. I need to get back in the writing groove, and a competition is a great way to jump-start the creativity.

Rain on Twenty-Nine Shuffles

Rain. Dr. Campbell couldn’t avoid the depression that settled into his gut whenever rain poured from the sky. From inside his small, dreary cabin, he could hear every drop slapping the roof. This area of the mountains was prone to rainstorms, a fact he wished he’d known before building his new home away from any town or city. Papers were spread across the many tables that filled the cabin. Shelves upon shelves of books lined the walls. The most important library in the world, or so he considered it. No one would ever know, of course.

A single, old book slid out from among its brethren on the bookshelves. Dr. Campbell hurriedly flipped through the pages, searching for anything that might aid his goal. He needed something to lift his spirits. Anything at all. His life’s work would not be wasted. After his family was taken from him, he gave his life to his research. It had rained that day.

He shuffled through the pages. The archaic writing would be dismissed by anyone else as indecipherable, but he put his life into his work. It was a second language to him. Twenty-nine. Twenty-nine. Twenty-nine. The symbols of that number jumped out at him after so many years of study. Wherever he looked, there was a reference to twenty-nine of something. Horses. Castles. People. Always twenty-nine of them. The significance was there, but what was the meaning?

He threw the book onto a nearby table. Despair was weighing him down. In his old age, his temper would flare so easily. He didn’t have time for it. He couldn’t leave his work unfinished. The window to the outside world he had forsaken drew his eyes. It was still raining. He hoped it would stop.

Another book opened before his scrutinizing eyes. It was the most promising book in his collection. Life beyond death. The ancient culture was obsessed with it. Dr. Campbell knew they found a way to achieve it. He wanted to follow their footsteps. The sounds of shuffling pages was drowned out by the storm outside. More twenty-nines. The number littered this book as well, even more than the others, but it wasn’t alone here. The symbols for rearranging and purity always seemed to accompany it. Purity, twenty-nine, movements, in that order.

Movements. To where? It made no sense in the context. Purity. Surely it must be referring to life after death. If the rest was about how to achieve it, he only needed to understand. The cryptic words baffled him.

A third book lay open on the table. Its contents read a hundred times over, Dr. Campbell still drew its pages to his eyes and relaxed. It read like a story, telling of the passing of years for a young man. For their ancient culture, the passing of a year was a shuffle of the lives, as if they lived the life of a new person each year.

Shuffles. Dr. Campbell ran his fingers across the faded symbols upon the page. The symbol for shuffles stuck out in his mind. It was the same symbol in the other books for movements. The man tossed the book aside and picked up the other.

Twenty-nine shuffles. Twenty-nine passing of the years. It was so simple. His spirits raised on the realization. The translation made no sense because the people used the same symbols for different words! How could he have missed that? Yet the other word remained. Purity. The life after death. Twenty-nine years for purity. He was more than twice the age of twenty-nine years.

His eyes gazed out the window. Despair began to settle again at the sight of the rain still pouring from the heavens. It had rained the day his family died, all those years ago…

All those years ago…

All those twenty-nine years ago.

The moment of the epiphany was experienced in silence. Twenty-nine years to the day. Purity in twenty-nine years. Rain that day. Rain this day. Purity. The symbol of purity was rain in their culture.

Rain on twenty-nine shuffles.

For the first time in twenty-nine years, Dr. Campbell opened the door on a rainy day and stepped outside. It felt so cool, so pure. The raindrops splashed against his skin. His senses were absorbed by the cool sensations running over his body. His body completely relaxed, he felt the moist grass touch his cheek. A long, deep sigh escaped his lips.

Finally, he was at peace.

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GAJK. You know how some people try to pronounce acronyms like words? Well try doing it to that one.

Also, arrrrgh! I am having such an awful time trying to wrap up my entry in a satisfactory manner. I always do this when I do nonconventional freeform. I start with an idea I'm really excited about, and it begins to execute well, but then I trip just before the finish line and can't get myself to stand back up.

Well, I am trying. I will have something to post, for sure.

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Now my life has been quite the strange one for sometime. I lived with my father and we were both wanderers exploring the entire world. We went all over the land from the frozen north to the wastelands of the south. My father carefully mapped the lands and marked where we had been so we wouldn’t camp there again, for what reason he did this I know not.

On our travels he showed me basic survival techniques as well as how to hunt and how to use a blade. He also taught me some things that he said would help me in the hard times that the world was facing, such as reading, writing and basic arithmetic. Every time we went over a lesson at supper as we were around a fire, he would also tell me stories of the past, which sounded so magical and mystical that they were almost surreal. After every lesson he would just tell me good job, pat me on the head and say go to sleep.

Sometimes in his stories he would talk about himself and mother but he would always be brief on those stories. Now I don’t remember much of my mother being that I was only five when she left this world but I knew that she was a great woman. He would say things about us living in a peaceful land but never went into detail about it. After he would talk about those stories, he would silently lay down and even though he was silent I could always see tears glazing his sad face.

As we traveled, we would come across something to trade for some bread or wine but mostly we lived on what we found in the uncharted. We lived a meager life always finding some woodland to live in for a while. We ate what meat and fruit that we found and whatever we had left we took with us to town and sold for gold so none would be wasted. When we came to village or town, my father would hire himself out as a scout and leave me in the woodland that we lived in for the time. Eventualy as time passed on he would let me come along but I wouldn’t do much for the job just be someone to make sure that the people didn’t run away without paying. As we would do these things we began to gain a reputation for great explorers and people started to wait for us in the towns that we traveled around. People would over us food, gold and sometimes even weapons to safely take them to some destination.

As I said earlier, these were dark times for the land and rogues wandered the land freely and attacked and killed whomever they could find for there goods. Both my father and I began to be known as Guardians, which people thought as a mercenary group of sorts that fought for the common people. I could see that this would bring my father joy but at the same time, I couldn’t help but wonder that something upset him about this but nonetheless we continued on this lifestyle well into my teens.

As it approached my sixteenth birthday, my father left for a small town really early and came back right when I was waking up with a large package wrapped in cloth. He was saying how proud he was of me and in response gave me the package which contained a longbow made of yew as well as well as a quiver made of what looked like animal skin. As I was looking at these things astonished, my father was telling me he made the quiver with the skin of the first animal I ever hunted, and the bow in the one that I thought looked so neat when I was only a child. The bow stood about 6 feet tall and had iron spikes on both ends as well as small iron sheets on the front ends to act as a close range weapon if needed.

Now my father was never one big on emotion so I was curious as to why he did this, but he wouldn’t really reply only said that we both were going to town to escort a small group of soldiers from the largest province in the land, the Crimson Republic. Now I knew that our group was gaining a lot of praise and glory over time, but I had no idea that the Emperor himself would ever come to us for a mission. We were to go to a village that was the border town of the feuding provinces of the Crimson Republic and the Dukedom of Acta. We were to take this family for conspiracy and bring them before the Emperor. Now as we began this journey I couldn’t help but wonder why we were doing this, because in all of my father’s stories, the Dukedom was a place of peace and harmony and the Republic was nothing more that greedy warlords. Nevertheless we went on, meeting up with the troops and going on toward the village which was about a week away, by foot, from the capital.

The trip was seemed very short mainly because of all the conversation I had with the soldiers. They were mostly new recruits from neighboring villages of the Republic and they were scared of the dangers that were ahead. Mostly we talked about things like fencing, legends, stories and our dreams. All of these soldiers were doing this just to get the money to leave for the Dukedom which led me to believe that my father’s stories were true about the Republic. My father was silent for most of the trip but went off at night for several hours at a time coming back with tears in his eyes and an angry look on his face. I didn’t pay it much mind until he began to act like that in the day when we were approaching the village. One of my friends among the knights as well as I asked him if he was alright but he didn’t answer.

At first we thought it was because of the fact that it was personal but then we saw what was ahead. The village was in flames sending a huge column of smoke up into the sky as well as the ringing of iron echoing through the plains. We all ran toward the village with our weapons armed, but none ran as fast as my father. When we got to the burning buildings, we saw that it was all an attack by none other than the Republic itself. Several knights of the Republic were all attacking villagers but with the diligence they were taking it looked like they were searching for someone. Soldiers began to attack us as they saw us approaching but my father took out his sapphire blue and his obsidian black scimitars and fended them off with ease. As the battle began to take our side, the soldiers on our side as well as me safely got the villagers out and told them to flee to the Dukedom capital and warn them and most obeyed.

After most of the villagers were gone my friend ran back in as well as I to get my father out but we saw him nowhere in the burning ruin. Several of the Republic soldiers were gathered in a spot and we could see between them that my father was one of them. In a blind rage, my friend and I took charge at the soldiers as I got arrows into the back of three soldier’s necks before they noticed us. They grabbed us and held there swords to our throats and my friend and I both began to fear for our lives. My father screamed to let them go but they wouldn’t listen. While they were talking I saw that a small girl about my age was hiding behind my father and I knew that she must be safe so I drew quietly my dagger from under my belt and stabbed the guard as my friend did the same. We both ran to my father’s side and stood there as he stood almost like a monolithic wall guarding us. He told us to run toward the wastelands as he slipped me his notebook with all his maps. After he did that he walked toward the soldiers and said that he would surrender himself if we three could flee. I started to cry furiously trying to run toward him, but my friend held me back as we both began to run out of the wreckage. As we were at the southern edge of the village beyond the burning I saw both of my fathers scimitars with a piece of parchment tied to them. The parchment read this short message:

Son, these are two of my most prized possessions and they will get you safe haven with the people of the wastelands. I know you will survived because you are my son so I only ask that you look out for your friends as I looked out for you. Always know that both your mother and I have never been prouder of you.

With this message, I took the scimitars very carefully as I began to cry again we all ran toward the south following my fathers maps. We were all very scared and very nervous, but we went on nonetheless going toward our goal. We took refuge in a small forest that was, according to the map, the last source of fresh water before the wastelands. Now as we stay in the camp we all talk among one another and give us formal introductions before I lay down to think about what has all happened today. I keep watch for a while to make sure my new friends, Selene and Talus, are ok and then fall asleep on the soft dirt.

----------------

Now playing: Scaredsim - Valkyrie Profile Until You See the Light in Valhalla OC ReMix

via FoxyTunes

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So, I hate AT&T. Not an hour after my last post, the DSL goes down (as it often does at regular intervals, but it's usually fixed by rebooting our router) and no matter what I try I cannot get it to come back up. Finally I get AT&T to agree to send someone out here ASAP this morning, and after doing who knows what to "test" the connection he basically tells me the problem must be our router because it couldn't be any fault on their side. So he has me connect my computer directly (while he fiddles with the modem) and voila, it's working. Even though it was working just fine with our router for over a year. Whatever, I'll plug it back in later and I guarantee it'll be working.

So, since I am both a selfish and a just Judge, and I lost a good four hours of critical writing time, and I am now getting ready to go to work for who knows how long (I hate inventory), I am going to extend the submission deadline through the end of the weekend. If you have any changes you would like to make, or you didn't quite finish your piece already, you've got until 11:59 PM (PDT) Sunday.

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Contricity's piece is copy-pasta of copy-pasta from somewhere. I've seen it on these forums, but I'd guess it either came from Unmod or 4chan. Pretty sure he's not being serious.

Keep in mind that this isn't the first time I've posted this. This is probably the 3rd time I've posted this on OCR alone. And yes, I have posted this on /b/ a few times as well. Yes, that was me. I was trying to force a meme.

Wait.

Is there a possibility that someone else has started posting this too? Heh, that'd be cool if my copypasta got wikichan'd.

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Continuing the trend of my declarations of unending hate: I hate the current state of capitalism in America. And (according to my corporate superiors in the retail food chain) by extension, I hate bunnies, puppies, and sunshine.

Anyway.

Contricity, my problem with the entry is less whether you wrote it (a point on which I would be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt) and more whether you read any of the guidelines in submitting it. You pretty explicity did not write or even heavily revise it to the point of a rewrite within the time frame of the competition, which presents a problem to me. I am going to have to disqualify it. However, feel free to submit the thing you posted earlier which, as far as I know (and that is the key) was written since the competition began.

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Continuing the trend of my declarations of unending hate: I hate the current state of capitalism in America. And (according to my corporate superiors in the retail food chain) by extension, I hate bunnies, puppies, and sunshine.

Anyway.

Contricity, my problem with the entry is less whether you wrote it (a point on which I would be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt) and more whether you read any of the guidelines in submitting it. You pretty explicity did not write or even heavily revise it to the point of a rewrite within the time frame of the competition, which presents a problem to me. I am going to have to disqualify it. However, feel free to submit the thing you posted earlier which, as far as I know (and that is the key) was written since the competition began.

Ahhh, ohk. So Shinespiking 101, it is.
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Yes, it seems so. And please remember to have it up by the end of the night.

Anyway, I think I am temporarily satisfied with my ending. Here goes:

Capturing Truths

The digital 2 on the clock morphs into a 3. It is now 6:33 A.M. Voxtrot bursts from the speakers: “I know that you’re in love with her; I can tell by the way you never touch her or look at her.” It incites thought.

Was it wrong to make you love me if you’d never know love on your own?

A soft click wipes her off the screen. It is almost a noticeable progression, as first the sheen of her deep red hair, then the line where her crooked smile meets her dimple, then the mole on her chin fade into a shot of shadow-casting clouds outside an airplane porthole. In reality all is instantaneous, but instants rarely seem “real” in that sense, anyway.

What good is capturing a moment when it’s a posed lie?

If you don’t want the truth, why try remembering at all?

Several more images captured through that narrow window pass by, all with equally fascinating and landless landscapes. One appears as a floating glacial plateau, another as a dark, stormy tsunami overtaking a bright, calm ocean.

We aren’t meant to fly, but when we do, we might as well make the most of it.

Many more are nothing but blurs of light and shadow. In sight they would send a man into a stupor, but in memory they are flat and lifeless. Something of the immediate impression is lost in the eternal incarceration. It is difficult to place.

I always preferred Monet’s take to photorealism anyway.

If I wanted to see how things looked I’d go look at them.

It’s the impression that lasts long enough to care about.

The skyline of San Francisco from the bay now looms in the distance, with Pier 39 engulfing the foreground like an overgrown gull. The scene appropriately reflects in a half-empty glass of water, the only visible body on the large vacant desk other than the luminous screen itself, as a vague and hazy notion of the city rather than the city itself. Within the reflection is something faint, an almost-echo of the sea lions undoubtedly barking off stage left, but no—it is nothing more than Meric Long's haunting cries as The Dodos’ “The Season” breaks down into its conclusion.

For the sea lions there's a time and a season; why can’t we be the same?

The pop of uncapping the bottle, the gulp of swallowing aspirin with a sip of water, the clink of setting the glass back down. The errant twang of a guitar as The Dodos bang out the beginning of “Walking.” A quick succession leading to, “You can fight the fire that’s in your head...”

But it would take hydrant or two...

Suddenly the brilliance of the screen dims as the next shot portrays the city under cover of night—and of fog. The viewpoint is reversed, looking out on the bay from an intersection of roads somewhere nearby, but with the misty, gray veil lying thick, hardly the light from the streetlamps is distinct, much less the flash of fireworks in the distance. Only she is clear; her back turned as she studies the sky in wonder, bundled up heavily in the leather jacket that isn’t hers, her skirt swaying slightly to her right as the breeze complicates the calculations for the show over the water. And something else—a slight gleam to the left, as of light reflecting off metal, a metal that shouldn’t be there in the cordoned-off street.

A car?

Wait...

The car?

The bumper and a portion of the front hood are a blur of motion, but still clearly visible, inching their way into the picture. But with all eyes focused elsewhere, and not even gunfire audible under the din of bursting rockets echoing in all directions, there was no notice that a jet-black sports car had broken the police blockade, and even less chance that its frantic and distracted driver would spot the girl directly in front of him.

Maybe there are some truths worth forgetting, some lies worth remembering.

The digital 5 on the clock morphs into a 6. It is now 6:36 A.M. A dialogue box appears. It warns that to continue with the action of cropping could result in a loss of information. As a dotted line intended for selection outlines a slender portion of the left-hand side of the screen, the dialogue box questions whether this is really the intention. The cursor hovers over the button marked “Yes.”

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EDIT: "Temporarily satisfied," indeed. I've already made several edits and will probably be making more right up until the deadline.

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Okay, folks, the submission stage is over. We have a total of eleven entries. Here's the list:

SoulinEther - "The Banister"

Random Hajile - "Walk"

thesim - "The Pencil Wrote Its Own Story"

Darklink42 - "Indecision"

Washington Maverick - "No Blues in Derry"

Chickenwarlord - "Distraction"

Contricity - "Shinespiking 101"

just64helpin - "Prologue"

GA Jedi Knight - "Rain on Twenty-Nine Shuffles"

Mechasonic4ever - "Journals of a Lost Soul"

Imagery - "Capturing Truths"

I'll be updating the first posts momentarily. Oh, and also, I had difficulty figuring out the titles of some of your pieces, so I had to infer from the information I had. If you have any corrections to make as far as the title goes, just let me know.

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