Friday, July 9, 2010

Writing Competition #3

Today we are posting our third writing competition, and the same rules apply from last week. This week the 'prompt' is Write an emotional scene.  It can be a happy emotion, a sad emotion, or anything inbetween.  Make your readers feel for your character - make them feel the emotion you're trying to convey.  But never tell us "I feel sad"  or  "They felt happy".  The word limit is 500-3000 words.

In order to vote, your comment must include:
1) Which writing piece you're voting for (1 or 2)
2) Why you chose one writing piece over the other.
3) Any critiques (optional)
*4) Bonus points if you can tell the emotion we're trying to convey.
Again, there is no rhyme or reason to whose piece is put with which number, so please do not try to figure it out. Judge the piece for what it is, or what it isn't and base your vote exclusively on this.

This will be our last competition for a few weeks, due to the fact that Charlie will be taking a vacation and will not have time to write on prompts. Also, we feel we need a few more followers. So if you have any writer friends, or have any cool ways to help us, well then - help us! (If you wish.) *winks* I'll give Ya'll a cookie :)

If you want to enter a piece of your writing to be voted upon by Charlie and Hanna, please email it to us. To email Hanna: To email Charlie:

Voting and entry deadlines are Wednesday,  July 14th, 2010.
Piece 1 -

How could you…
How could you do that to me, when I specifically told you not to? I trusted you with my secret – believed you would keep it. I thought I knew you – I guess I didn’t. Still, I wonder… how you could have done something like that.
I know, I am nothing special – you have clarified that theory with your friends. I know, I am nothing to look at, nothing to waste your breath on. I am human after all; at least that’s what I thought. But no – no, I am not human, so you say. What you say, is right. That’s what I believe. I wonder why I believe everything you say. I guess it is because of the love I feel for you. The love inside – that’s what really counts. That is what really matters in life – true love.
How could you do it? I repeat because I am just so flabbergasted. I never thought you would have done something like this. After I trusted you – I trusted you, with my secret.
You say I am not human. You say you are always right. Maybe that is true – maybe. I might not be human – but I have a heart, I have feelings, just like everyone, everything else does…
So how could you do it? How could you… do it? Tell my secret. Not just to her – or him, but to everyone. I believed you cared. Maybe I was a fool. Maybe I loved you too much. Yes. I did love you too much. But no. I was not a fool. I was not a fool for telling you – my secret. Telling you, my feelings – telling you I loved you.
You laughed at me. You laughed. With him – and her, and everyone else – you just laughed. I ask again, how could you? My feelings are hurt – and now you ignore me. Ignore me, even though I try to talk to you. Yes, I hate you – yet I try to contact you. But I only hate you, because I love you too much. I cannot let you go. I will not let you go – without a fight.
Please – I believe I can do it. I believe I can change. I know I am nothing special. I don’t have the looks – or the brains, or anything. But I think I have the love. I could love you for ever. I do love you – and will love you for ever. Don’t you know that?
Don’t you know that what I did… why I said it was for you to know… the truth. Besides, isn’t that what matters after all – the love someone shares. It’s not about the looks – despite the fact you have them.
I know your secret. I know what you are deep down inside. I never told anyone, not one single person. Yet, you can tell the whole world my secret – that I love you. You are horrible and heartless inside – that is your secret…
But wait, then I have another secret I wish to share… another secret.
I fell in love with a heartless person – and I am not ashamed to say, I love you for what you are. Whatever you are – I love you.
Now I understand – how a man could still want to be with his cheating wife, even though she broke his heart.
Now I understand, how Bella fell in love with Edward – despite the fact he was a vampire, despite the fact that he had killed. Now I understand.
Now I know the truth – now I know, and so do you – and so does the whole world.
I love you – I fell in love with the heartless girl.

Piece 2 -

“And then the princess kissed the frog and - ” I read aloud to my mother, just as my phone started buzzing. Groaning, I glanced at the alarm going off. “Shoot, Mom, I have to go. Didn’t realize I’d already been here for two hours.” I shoved myself up from the soft summer grass, standing there just looking down at the gravesite. “I’ll see you next week. We’ll finish the book then. I love you.” I sighed, bending over to somewhat wrap my arms around the tombstone. Leaning in, I kissed the top of it and walked away.

As I drove to the restaurant, thoughts of my mom filled my mind. How long had I been going there? Once a week, every week, since I was sixteen and could drive. Reading, every time – countless times over “The Frog Princess”. Eight years now, I guess.

The day she died also popped into my head. I was five, and she had had cancer since I was born. One day I woke up and my mom wasn’t there anymore. My dad told me that she’d gone to visit my grandparents in Heaven.

Pulling into the parking lot, I forced all of those thoughts away. This was supposed to be a happy night. Dinner with my boyfriend and my family.

“You’re late,” Josh whispered in my ear as he embraced me.

“I know,” I replied. “I was with Mom.”

“I figured. It’s Thursday.” Without another word, Josh pulled out my chair for me, sitting me between him and my dad. My family greeted me warmly.

Throughout dinner, my family, Josh, and I were laughing as we shared family stories. After dessert, Josh turned to me, looking somewhat nervous. He looked around the table and was met by smiles. Finally settling his gaze back on me, he said, “Katie, I love you. Love you so much my heart feels like it could explode. I can’t imagine my life without you. Will you make my life complete by becoming my wife?”

My heart froze, and immediately I wasn’t sure how to answer. Could I marry him? Could I be that selfish? Of course, I did love him, and wasn’t that what mattered? But, still…

“Josh,” I finally managed to whisper brokenly. “You know I love you. I-I just…need some time to think…I’m sorry.”

Before Josh could say anything, I got up from the table. I knew he tried to grab my hand, but I pulled away and began walking to the door. My family called after me, but I couldn’t bear to look back.

Once in my car, my hand hesitated putting the key into the ignition. But I forced myself to, so I wouldn’t second-guess myself. I began driving around absentmindedly, but soon realized where I was headed.

The cemetery.

The sun was setting as I got out of my car. I found my mom’s grave effortlessly. I pulled the princess book out of my purse and said, “You used to read this to me all the time – it’s the only thing I remember about you.” I continued reading where I left off and soon finished with the iconic ‘And they lived happily ever after.’

I sat there in the twilight silence and took a deep breath.

“Do you think happily-ever-afters really exist? I mean, it didn’t for you – and it can’t for me, not after losing you. Do they exist for anyone?”

Tears began to fill my eyes. As they escaped, I realized why I had come here. “I didn’t know where else to go, Mommy. I can’t go home right now. You know, it’s not fair. And I know, life’s not fair, but it’s really not fair, me having to grow up without you. Daddy didn’t remarry until I was eighteen, and you left when I was five. Cancer just sucks. Sucks the life right out of anyone it effects, and their families. Sucks the money right of the bank account. Sucks everything bone dry. I never attended your funeral – I never had the choice to.  And that kills me every time I think about it because I never got to say goodbye. I hardly remember you. All I know is that one day I woke up and I didn’t have a Mommy anymore. You didn’t get to tell me that my first crush wouldn’t last forever. I didn’t get to have you when I went on my first date, or when I had my heart broken for the first time, or when I went to prom, or when I graduated. Or when I met Josh.” The mention of Josh made my heart ache. “He asked me to marry him today. But I can’t. I can’t let myself be so selfish and grant myself such happiness…not when you can’t be with me.”

I sat there for a long moment, realizing the sky had gone dark. A tingling sensation touched my arms and I swear my mom was hugging me, reassuringly. Knowing visiting hours were over, I hugged the headstone and kissed the top.

Heading home, I found Josh on our couch. “I wasn’t sure you’d come here.” He said quietly.

“Where else would I go? I couldn’t stay with Mom all night.”

Sitting down next to him, he sat forward on his knees, his hands together at his bridge, as if praying. “When you walked out of the restaurant like that, I thought…” He turned to face me, pain in his eyes, wet with tears, but I didn’t let him go on. Pressing my lips to his, I knew he was surprised, but pleased. “What was that for?”

“For me being an idiot.” When I said nothing else, he gave me a questioning look.

“Which means?”

“Which means,” I drew in a long breath, making sure of myself. “If you’ll still have me, I’d be honored to become your wife.”

He was silent for a moment, but then cracked a smile and burst out laughing. “Of course I’ll have you!”

He slid the ring on my finger and kissed me long and hard.

One Week Later

Josh and I got out of the car at the cemetery. I led him toward the grave taking a long, shaky breath on the verge of tears.

“Katie, you really didn’t have to bring me here, if it’s too personal.”

“No, I need to. I need for you two to meet and I need for her to approve.” I didn’t care how stupid that sounded, I couldn’t hide from him something this important to me.

We continued walking and when we reached the grave I introduced them. “Mommy, this is my fiancĂ©e, Josh. Josh, this is my mom.”

I could tell Josh was uncomfortable, but still he said, “Mrs. Ruth, I love your daughter with all my heart. I promise I’ll take care of her.”

As we stood, wrapped in each other’s arms, a warm breeze blew. It caressed my face and each inch of our bodies.  Wrapping us seemingly in a blanket of fairy tale bliss – the embrace of an angle.

She approved of us.


Carly Gaile said...

I feel like an American Idol judge! I liked the second story the best-- I know the prompt wasn't exactly a story, but an emotion... but I love stories. I love plots, and problems, and soloutions. I think it makes a story, and drives an emotion. I think the emotions were well written in the first piece, but without a plot they seemed all scrunched together. Just my thoughts. I couldn't tell the emotion in the first piece, there were so many! Love, hate, betrayal, depression... a typical relationship :) However, in the second piece, I could tell the ending emotion was acceptance. And good old-fashioned loooooove. Great job you guys :) ALSO-- Thanks for the encouraging words on my story. When I write a story for the next prompt, I won't skip tenses!