Sarah told me she spent 2+ hours reading and rereading, trying to determine which was the best. Erica told me this was the best batch of entries she'd seen yet, and that they could have all be honorable mentions because they were so good.
So way to go, guys! Next Monday morning, the next round will be announced, so make sure you check back.
Here are the winners and their entries:
S. J. Bouquet
Gillian Adams (also placed first)
By Gillian Adams, first and second place
When a fellow has an appointment with destiny, it’s usually best not to be late.
Still Alex hesitated, crouched behind the monolithic stone lions guarding the Academy entrance. He eyed the uniformed sentries flanking the door. No spurs. Not knights then, mere squires.
A few more minutes couldn’t hurt.
Sweat ran down his face and he longed to swipe it away. How did the sentries stand so still? He fumbled with the unwieldy collar of his new page’s uniform. So constricting. Like a noose. He shuddered. Best not to think about nooses, not with what he was about to do.
The judges say: A totally delicious opening line and well done grounding me in the setting./I loved this! It was so humorous, so attention grabbing, and is action packed.
By S.J. Bouquet, first place
It was hate at first touch. A rough hand pounded against my chest and sent me flying. My spine shot fire through my body; my head smacked the cool, dark cement. I was out of breath, chest pounding, limbs aching. My brilliant plan of escape just demoted itself to a fantastic way of getting tossed back into the Fortress of Archaeus.
“Alex, going somewhere?” Felix ripped my mask off my head.
The frown on my face flitted upwards for a moment to hear the gasp escape Felix’s lips. My black hair fell to my waste.
“That’s Princess Alexandria to you.”
The judge says: I picked this because the descriptions were wonderful, the word choice was excellent and the story had an unexpected twist, even if it was only 100 words.
By Rachel Crew, second place
It was time for the deed to be done. Alex sprinted through a pile of wet leaves, the bundle pressed to his chest. He dodged an empty swing set and leaped over the short fence. Forty more feet to the statue—thirty—twenty.
“Stop.” A dark form stepped in front of him.
Alex jerked backwards, barely managing to keep his feet. “Out of my way, Dodger.”
He leaped to the side and took a few more steps toward the statue.
As both men crashed to the ground, the bundle rolled away. An infant’s cry punctured the midnight silence.
The judge says: Great action and a twist ending that caught me off guard.
By Rachelle Rea, third place
For a moment, I thought my plan would work.
“Alexandra.” Colwyn hissed my name, his eyes saying he wanted to strangle me.
How many times do I have to tell you? “Alex.”
“Who taught you how to hold a sword, Alexandra?”
I glared at him. He grinned. Taunting me.
“That is none of your concern.”
“You are my concern.”
I blew out a breath. True. “Much to my dismay.”
“By my troth, this promises to be an interesting journey.”
So my escape had been foiled by this belligerent knight. No matter. I would find a way to Aristae somehow.
The judge says: Chosen because there is conflict and tension right away between the characters and so much potential screaming from this entry. A story begs to be written from it.
By Faye Oygard, third place
“Wait, you don’t understand!” I cried, stumbling a few steps after the jailer. “I have to get to him, tonight.”
“Your father can’t have any visitors, Alex. I won’t go against the king’s order.” The warden dropped his calloused hand onto my shoulder. “I’m sorry, boy.”
I twisted away from his grasp, unwelcome tears coursing down my cheeks. I had only tonight, in the morning it would be over. My father would be beheaded.
A hand clapped over my mouth. I struggled against the iron hold. “I can take you to your father.”
The hand slipped away. “Come.”
The judge says: This story gripped me; it was so full of emotion.
By Paulina Czarnecki, honorable mention
Alex glanced at her watch again. The meeting was happening, it was happening now, and it was happening whether she was there or not!
Alex was part of an elite group of only the richest, most beautiful seniors at Rushmore High—the Prom Planner Committee. And she was about to be late for the first meeting. Because of Rob. Of course.
She’d only gotten in by pulling a few strings with the chairman—who said money couldn’t buy happiness? But now her boyfriend Rob was late, a-gain. And if they threw her out, she couldn’t do what she was really there for…
The judge says: Great job at telling a story in so few words. You really did a great job setting up the story and told you’re reader a lot about the character in a short time.
By Lindsey Bradford, honorable mention
“I’ll be there by five. Love you.” Alex hung up the phone. Hopefully Sophie would understand his cryptic voicemail and have a car waiting by the time he crossed the border.
Alex swung the duffel bag over his shoulder and sighed, looking down at the prison. They would soon realize what he had done. The guard in charge of roll call would hear silence after his name. The warden would find an empty cell. He would be gone without a trace.
Alex pressed speed-dial 2 and walked away.
The prison exploded behind him.
He hoped Sophie had that car waiting.
The judge says: Gets an honorable mention for the wow factor. It felt like the opening to a movie.
By Kaitlyn Evensen, honorable mention
“Are you really leaving us Alexander?” I sigh and turn away from the saddle bag I am packing, “For the last time, call me Alex.” My sister crosses her arms, a frown etches itself into her delicate face, “You don’t have to go.” She says as she absent mindedly pets my horse, “Of course I do, this is my chance Esmeralda. I could be the finest knight in Elderdon!” I take her hand in attempt to cheer her up, instead her eyes grow dark, “A storm is coming Alex. And if you go you will be the heart of it.”
The judge says: You did a great job capturing the emotions in this scene with your actions likecrossed arms, hand touch, and dark eyes. Very well done.
By Katie Scheidhauer, honorable mention
Trains sounded in the distance. Alex pulled his scarf tighter around
his face, trying to hide the unmistakeable scar on his right jaw. It
would be recognized immediately. He had to cross through Nazi
territory without arousing their suspicion.
"Halt! Your papieres, please." The soldier's voice was impatient.
"Of course Herr. Just let me find them." He feigned a search for the
papers that weren't there. He had left them behind when he had become
one of Hitler's most wanted enemies. But he couldn't tell the waiting
gaurd that. And he wasn't about to be taken back.
The judge says: Gets an honorable mention for a unique setting and circumstances.