Not sure when the next contest will be since the NextGen contest is currently open. Stay tuned to the blog, and I'll look for a spot in the schedule that we can squeeze another one in. I so love getting to read all the wonderful entries. Like these:
By Rebekah Hart, first place
I was out long enough for the blood to seal my eyelids closed. I pried them apart, cringing as my shackle deepened the bruises on my face. The silence breathed, sending cold whispers around my ankles.
“If you’re trying for ‘creepiest dungeon,’ you’re doing a fantastic job.”
“Ah, good, you’re awake.” Tagon returned his chair’s feet to the floor. “You do seem to enjoy your rest.”
“Yeah, I’ve a bad habit of taking a nap whenever I get punched in the head four or five times.”
He smirked. “You’ve until nightfall to surrender your rebel troops, or we’ll attend my sister’s execution.” My jaw hardened. “Yes, I know how you’ve been getting information,” feigned pity coated his voice. “Choose carefully-your fiancée or your pathetic revolt.”
The judge says: Excellent. Creative, compelling. Love the description and details. Love the line, “The silence breathed, sending cold whispers around my ankles.”
By Lindsey Bradford, first place
The pain wakes me. I have a handful of Rye’s hair before my eyes are even open. She shrieks, not in pain or fear but in anger as I wrench the shard of bloodied metal out of her hand. She must have crept up on me in the night to kill me and run off. It angers me that she could get so close.
I hold Rye’s makeshift weapon in front of her baleful eyes. “Did you really expect to kill me with this? It’s weaker than tinfoil. You’d have to try much harder to kill me in my sleep.”
Rye glares at me like a child whose plans have been thwarted – which, as it strikes me, she is – and announces solemnly: “I can wait.”
The judge says: Interesting action, characterization, and detail in very few words. Great job!
By Elyssa Blow, second place
The first thought to cross the newly sentient mind was a simple one.
As a concept, it was not original. Still, the mind was proud.
“I am,” it voiced, savoring the feeling of consciousness. “I… exist.” The euphoria of such a discovery was so great that the next notion appeared almost by chance.
“I feel. Pain.” The thoughts came quicker now, “I can sense…” almost faster than the mind could comprehend. “I am flesh. I have eyes to see.” They built upon one another unbidden, like stepping stones from places unknown. “I was created; I was begun. I was named. ” Ideas fastened together; forming structure, depth. “I feel pain… because I am broken.”
“I am Ajax.”
“I am flawed.”
I am alone.
The judge says: Fascinating premise. Wonderful writing. I’m immediately drawn into this character and want to take a journey with them.
By Skye Hoffert, third place
My eyelashes fluttered open, revealing a swirling vortex of color. I blinked and the world realigned itself. The clear blue sky formed above me, and I was suddenly aware of the dew covered grass that soaked through my thin, white dress.
“Izzy” a voice called, clearing away the last of the sleepy fog. I rolled over onto my stomach and glared,
“Alexander, you know I hate that name.” I said.
He grinned. “Please accept my apology then, Miss Isabella Hawthorn.” He said as he gave a formal bow. Looking the part of a gentleman in his black trench coat and fitted waistcoat, but his devilish smile and mocking eyes gave him away.
“What do you want?”
He raised his eyebrows, “Mother has requested your presence.”
The judge says: Great! Drew me right into the story. Descriptions and writing style are lovely. Lots of personality on the page
By Margaret Paquette, third place
I’m jerked out of my blurry dreamland by my head striking the stone floor, sending vibrations down my back, my fingers.
“Kartik, you fool!” the Obsidian King screams, towering over me. “How did she escape?!”
I stare at him, clutching the floor to make it stop tilting. The princess? She escaped? “I-I don’t know, Your Majesty.” Each word pounds in my head. One minute I’m interrogating the princess, the next, my mind is spinning like a crazed top, slamming with pain… I stare at the tankard on the table. Was beer all it held? “They must have drugged me.”
Fury glints in his black eyes. “Get out! And don’t come back!”
I should have known we were never allies. I am just another pawn.
The judge says: Good beginning. I like it. You managed to include lots of detail and a perfect balance of dialogue and narrative. Also, I can picture the scene and I’m not confused, but intrigued enough to keep reading.