Here are the winners from last round's writing prompt:
Ellyn Gibbs (also placed first)
Alyssa Liljequest (received 2 votes for HM and placed second)
Savannah Daniels (also placed third)
Morgan Sutton (also placed second)
Rebecca Pennefather (also placed third)
Jenna Blake Morris
Wow. That tells me that there were a LOT of good entries. Congratulations everybody! Below, for your reading pleasure, you'll find a sampling of the winning entries:
Ellyn Gibbs, First Place
She knew he'd come back someday, but he couldn't have picked a worse moment."Uncle Vinny!"Beside her, Lance was trembling, his hand as sweaty as a fish in her grip. She let it go.Uncle Vinny's face looked like something that had been pickled and then forgotten, and his breath stank like vinegar. "What is that creature?"Carlin shuffled her feet in her flip flops. Beside her, Lance was making quiet, strangling noises, as if he was about to faint. "That, Uncle, Sir?""Yes." Uncle Vinny's wet mouth curled into a sour smile. "That.""It's a - a boy, I guess," said Carlin.
The judge says: This absolutely pulled me in from the get-go. The descriptions are fabulous. I feel awkward right along with Carlin and Lance, and I really want to know what happens next. Great hook, great descriptions, great characters. And that last line made me laugh out loud.
Abbie Mauno, first place
She knew he'd come back someday, but he couldn't have picked a worse moment."Ainsleigh." His voice shook as he spoke, and so did his hands. His shoulders that I remembered so rock-solid were drooping."Dad," I began cautiously, "why are you here?"I mean, why? Why would my dad, whom I hadn't seen since I was 10, just show up without notice when I was 19?Had he come to make amends? I could see Mom refusing, even going into depression again..."I just wanted to see my daughter again." He smiled weakly. "Is that a problem?""No, not really. Except, well.." I glanced at an outfit in the corner."I'm getting married today."
The judge says: Your dialog is right on target. You drew me in with your real-sounding conversation. I cared about your characters.
Esther Wong, first place
She knew he'd come back someday, but he couldn't have picked a worse moment.“Dad,” the words fell from Cori’s lips, “What’re you doing here? The wedding’s tomorrow and—” she paused. He already knew. And she knew why he was here. Because she was his one shot at killing the rebel’s greatest leader. Her fiancée. His enemy. Cori stared at him, the king, who’d killed millions. And now, wanted her to kill the man she loved.“Why are you here? You know I’d never—”she began, but was interrupted with the deadly words she’d always wanted him to say. The words, she knew, would eventually reign her under his control.“I love you.”
The judge says: Nice ending. Good job!
Alyssa Liljequist, second place
She knew he'd come back someday, but he couldn't have picked a worse moment. In less than 24 hours, Margaret had planned to be in church watching her eldest daughter, Katie, get married. But she knew all too well that plans could change. Now the important task was keeping Charlie from finding out that he had a daughter."Hey, Maggie." There it was. That buttery voice that used to make her melt. Used to make her lose all reason.She glared at him. "I don’t want to have anything to do with you.""I’ve changed. I’m no longer the irresponsible teenager that left you standing at the altar."Margaret wished she could believe him.
The judge says: This was a very cool twist on the “left standing at the altar” idea. I’m intrigued. I feel like there’s a whole lot of backstory here, and I’d love to keep reading to find out what that is. Also, it’s just really clean writing.
Morgan Sutton, second place
She knew he’d come backSomeday,But he couldn’t have picked,A worseMoment.Her old life was gone,Vanished in the wind.He was a mere memoryOf violence and drugs.He cursed at everything,Destroyed all.Her suicide attemptsWere now only a dreamWhere she tried to break freeAnd live in Heaven.Oh how those shiny blades had tempted her,The look of blood was addicting.He beat her constantly,Tortured her mom,And raped her sister.Then one day he left,Bringing only the dog.But now he was back.Back to ruinHer lifeAgain.
The judge says: Oh, my, oh, my. Great way of breaking the rules and making it work. Love how you set this up and you snagged my heart, too!
Kait Culbertson, third place
He knew she’d come back someday, but she couldn’t have picked a worse moment. Mark turned away from the lock he was picking and met the eyes of Irene. The moon’s glow splashed across her flaming curls and reminded him of the flames that had licked the walls of that building...the building she was supposed to have been in. The investigators had never found her body, but Mark had hoped...“Hey, handsome. Didn’t expect to see me again, did ya?”“Hello Irene” Mark replied coolly. “What’re you doing here?”Her wry smile said it all.This was his moment. There was no way she was going to burst in and steal his glory.Again.
The judge says: This person did a great job of putting the characters in an unexpected setting from the very beginning. That was enough to catch my attention. Also, the twists were engaging. Not only do I want to know why Irene is supposed to be dead, I want to know why Mark had hoped she was. There’s a lot of great tension here!