Writing Challenge #13

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WEEKLY CHALLENGE #12

~Paid Publication Opportunity~

A Long Story Short has been publishing writers for thirteen years, since July 2003. Last year, it grew from an online magazine to a print magazine, as well.  The top three placing members of this challenge will have the opportunity to have their winning stories or poems published in the August 2016 issue of LSS. Exciting, right?  Not only will the top stories or poems be published, the winners will also receive a PRINT copy as part of the prize. The story or poem that places first will be on the cover of the magazine.

Visit A LONG STORY SHORT here: http://alongstoryshort.net/

  1. WRITE: For this challenge, you can write either a flash fiction story or vignette, no more than 200 words, or a poem, no longer than sixteen lines. There is no specific theme, but keep in mind that we are a family-friendly magazine and have reserve the right to reject stories or poems if they are too graphic in nature. Please also note that the winners of this challenge will be required to sign a contract with A Long Story Short. You can find all publication information, terms and conditions here: http://alongstoryshort.net/submissions/

LSS AprilCOMMENT: You MUST comment on FOUR other entries to qualify. If you do not, your entry will be disqualified from the challenge. Give and take… Keep the cycle going.

IMPORTANT In order to qualify, you MUST vote for your TOP TWO choices. If you don’t vote, you cannot win this challenge (even if you receive the most votes!). To vote, you need to reply to the email that goes out for the Weekly Challenges. In that email, if you scroll to the bottom, you will see all the information you need to vote for this challenge.You must join our mailing list in order to receive the weekly voting email. 

DEADLINE: Tuesday, June 21st at 11:59 p.m. PST. Voting booth will open for this challenge on Wednesday, June 22nd, and the winners will be announced the following Wednesday, June 29th.

CONGRATULATIONS: To the winners of Challenge #11… LIsa Doesburg, Cynthia Baker and Craig Lincoln!

THIS CHALLENGE IS OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS!

Have fun!

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Author Notes

318 Comments for “Writing Challenge #13”

Stephanie Walker

says:

“No, really!”, she said. Her old back creaking as she lifted her granddaughter onto her lap. “There really was a time when you could drink water right from the tap in the kitchen sink. I mean, some people bought water in bottles but back then it was to be fancy, not because that was the only way.”

“But how could that be true, Grandma? Those huge unsalting machines take so long to clean just a bit of ocean water. How could there ever have been enough to come right to a house?”

Carolyn laughed. “You mean the desalination machines, Libby. You just turned 8 years old, but believe it or not, when I was your age about 60 years ago, we used to waste water!”

“Waste water?” Libby gasped. “Grandma! And they didn’t put you in jail?”

“No, honey. We didn’t know back then. We just didn’t know how little freshwater we had left.” Carolyn said, hugging her granddaughter close as she looked over to the rusty old faucet over in the dry, unused kitchen sink.

“We should have paid attention honey, but we thought we had time. Now we have to pay so much money for one whole gallon of desalinated water.” Carolyn laughed again sadly. “It reminds me of the days when gasoline was so expensive.”

“What’s a gasoline, Grandma?”, asked Libby, eyes wide with wonder.

Carolyn smiled at Libby and said, “Sit with me for a little while longer darling and I will tell you all about the gasoline.”

Little longer than 200 words. Hope that is okay. 🙂

says:

What an important message, Stephanie. The public is deaf to the crisis at hand, a crisis that we humans are creating. People need to read your story here, Stephanie, because it rings of grim possibility.

Stephanie Walker

says:

Thank you so much. I catch myself thinking about the future while doing the dishes sometimes. I imagine saying to someone years from now, “We used to let the water run continuously out of the faucet while we did the dishes or brushed our teeth.” And just realizing how horribly wasteful it is and how we would look back on these days and wish we could go back in time to change our actions.

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

Lisa Doesburg

says:

This was excellent, Stephanie! What a great write to raise awareness of the potential loss of Earth’s greatest bounty, water.

Stephanie Walker

says:

Thank you! I have never written about the subject before but it just kept pushing itself out front and center when I was trying to decide what I was going to write for this challenge. Hee hee.

L.E. Gibler

says:

t’s terribly cliche, but there comes a point in everyone’s life when they have to make a choice to keep fighting or give up. After months in constant motion, with the death of friends and family alike, I had reached that point. It was a miracle I was still standing. With the super human strength I still possessed, I turned to face my combatant.

“You’re going to have to kill me, Sam,” I said, my voice rasping.

She snarled, still very much the predator. “Don’t think I won’t, Scarlett.” She shifted, coiling her body for one last effort.

“I forgive you,” I said softly. “And I hope one day, you can forgive me.” My words stopped her cold. Her fire fled in an instant. She suddenly looked every inch the lost teenager she was.

“I have to do this,” she whispered.

“I know.”

She charged. I didn’t even think to fight. Instead, I waited for the blow that never came. Opening my eyes, I watched as she took one giant leap off the tower wall. Shock drove me forward; I didn’t know what to think, or how to act, but then I remembered:

Sam always did land on her feet.

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Cool! You could continue this, if you wanted. I think you’d find a happy and willing readership here among us WC peeps!

Tim

L.E. Gibler

says:

Hey Tim, thanks! This is an idea that’s been working around in my head as the end of a trilogy, and I’m hoping that after I finish my rewrites on the 2nd book, I’ll be ready to delve into it further. I’ll definitely keep WC updated!

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

Lisa Doesburg

says:

Good one, L.E.! I love the imagery with the line ‘coiling her body’. I didn’t expect the great leap off the tower, either. I’d love to see this one as a longer story.

L.E. Gibler

says:

Thank you! It’s always easier for me to go longer than shorter! This will definitely be developing into more:)

Michael Decker

says:

“We have to get them the supplies.” Carlos wiped his brow and looked at flatbed truck piled high with food, medicine, and water. “But the people are looting. The city is desperate and they will kill us to get to the truck.”

Eduardo shook his head. “I will not send anyone over there just to be killed. There has to be a way.”

Carlos stepped back and thought of his recent trips through Port Au Prince. “I wish that we could give everyone what we have. The way the kids look at me as I walk by, their little hands in the air.”

“We will help them brother – but we help our people first. Tell me, are there any vehicles that pass through unnoticed? Red Cross, perhaps?”

“No, those are the first to be stopped. The only trucks that no one touches are the ones carrying the dead. You see one pass about every hour, covered in a blue tarp and a masked man sitting on top.”

“Then get a blue tarp, Carlos. Put on a mask and sit on top of the supplies. Today we transport life under the guise of death.”

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

Marcia Yearwood

says:

What a great concept Michael! Desperate times call for desperate measures. I’d love to read more & see what happens next.

Mariah Breiner

says:

The smell of destruction pairing nicely with nativity was prominent, my nose began to tingle and itch. The unwanted presence had been here, always dragging Mother Nature into its problems. I watched as the flames licked up and down the trees…enjoying the taste of my home..my offspring. Nowhere to go but away from the fire now, I could always bare more offspring elsewhere.
Following my instincts to lead me to safety, my back turned to the fire but its smoke seemed to invade my thoughts. Fire was scary, but not as scary as what had started it. I had survived though; I would find a new mate and continue to succeed my species.
Time passing since the fire, green life covered the blackness of death now. It seemed fit for living, but the unwanted had made stay here so I remained in the outskirts. Surviving on sparse food and little water was no easy task but the instinct of survival is not stifled easily, not even by the spite of fire or the unwanted. Living in the open, I didn’t have anywhere to hide the shot me out in the open, like the deer in the headlights… but at least my offspring made it…that was my goal.

A little over 2oo words but I had fun writing it I hope you enjoy it. It’s basically about a deer struggling to survive after humans have destroyed her home, took over her home and finally took her life but the cycle of lfie conintues. Maybe I just need to rewatch bambi lol…

Marcia Yearwood

says:

The cycle of life in nature. As I was reading I knew it was an animal but not until the end did I realize it was a deer. What is it that draws us to deer? Well, me at least. I saw a doe and her fawn in my back yard just this morning; makes me smile & feel so at peace for some reason. Go figure…

says:

Thank you for that little description at the end, it was much appreciated! A good nature post capturing the essence of human impact on the environment- we need more of these. The only two tidbits I have:
1) in the fire, killing the doe’s initial offspring, I feel as if it would be more devastating to her as a mother. I mean, I’m not a deer, but I know that in the animal world, mamas are usually protective of their children!
2) since the narrator is a deer, I would avoid the simile “like a deer caught in headlights”, unless that’s how the deer actually dies. It creates a better effect that way!
Good work, Mariah, happy writing!

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Hey Mariah,

You’ve got some storytelling talent, I think.
I like that you took the POV of a deer, and thought you captured the imagery well.
Sadly, I’ve seen too many tales like this. The panicked doe, trying to get her fawn(s) to safety while being hunted, burned out, or otherwise made to leave their home. You bring back those memories very well.

Very well done.

Tim

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

Lisa Doesburg

says:

I love deer, so this story was especially good to me. Loved the POV! Bambi was the first cinema movie I ever saw so it’s one of my favorites!

Marcia Yearwood

says:

She sways slowly, humming the familiar music but not knowing the French words. She remembers the romance of Paris, in his strong, loving arms. With eyes closed, she’s lost in the moment when he walks in and happens to twirl his way. She smiles and winks coquettishly as she freezes in her best Mae West pose. Smiling widely, he quickly strides up beside her, takes her hand and twirls her under his arm. As he dips her slightly, she squeals with delight. He whispers “Sweet Nothings” in her ear, then kisses her neck with butterfly kisses. They continue to dance in sweet embrace, withered cheek to withered cheek, to a tune that only they can hear. One day away in the past, they knew then their love would last.

says:

I feel like I’m looking in on something I shouldn’t be seeing, a personal, yet beautiful moment, a display of love. Great write, Marcia.

Marcia Yearwood

says:

Hummm…I thought I had made it PG at least…it was my intention anyway. I do love to read and write romance, but strictly romance…not blatant sex or erotica. But yes, it is a personal private moment when we get to be a “fly on the wall” so to speak. LOL Thanks for the read!

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

Carol Moore

says:

The little girl was an adventuress. She lived on the mountain with her mom.
Her mom caught her crawling on the ground eating caterpillars. She tried to open the door for the pretty kitty cat, which was a skunk.
They had a wringer washer. She caught her left arm in the wringer trying to help do laundry.
She was into everything her mom bought her a sturdy tricycle, she not only took it apart but ate the wheel bearing. She almost lost her left big toe sawing a tiny little branch on the sawhorse with a two-man lumber saw.
Her favorite uncle sits in a chair by the pot belly stove in the living room, singing on Top of Old Smokey. She loved sitting listening to him. She thought country music was the only music there was, she would sit by the radio listening to the music. She would sit in the window watching rabbits in the snow.
Her grandfather grew potatoes, it was her favorite food.
When she became an adult, she would remember this as the best part of her life. A time when life was simple and special. She would forever be a part of the mountains.

Anisa Claire

says:

Good attempt at flash fiction, Carol! I like the ending… when life was simple and special. Glad to see you’re still posting and participating 🙂

Anisa

Carol Moore

says:

A piece I made up out of my Bio since I had writer’s block. Hey I got a few pieces for starters of new stories 🙂

L.E. Gibler

says:

What a wonderfully descriptive piece. It really gives the imagery without getting stuck along the way. I particularly liked the cat that was actually a skunk:)

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

says:

Some force of nature slows your steps to a halt. There seems to be a pulse in your feet- perhaps they are wondering, as you are, where your destination is anyways. After a few minutes, you realize you’re posted in front of a grand bay window, on a white-paneled house that has been kept up with well. The family who calls it home opens presents under the happy watch of their Christmas tree- the little boy wallops in joy as the snowman wrapping falls away from his new train set. They’re unaware of your presence, and for once you hope it remains that way. The bottle slips in your hand, but you grip it by the neck before it can crash to the ground. The liquor sloshes in it enticingly, as if diverting your attention to your real home.

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Sounds/feels like a homeless person losing themselves in another family’s joys on Christmas day. A good story, this. One can feel the person’s desire to be a part of what he sees, even as he remains a slave to his addiction.

Well done, Annalie!!

says:

Hey, Tim. I used this as the entry for writing prompt #85, asking us to create a plot around someone observing a family during Christmas time. The winner for that contest was undecided, but I like this little bit and wanted it to be seen somewhere! Though it isn’t the greatest entry under this week’s contest, I’m glad it’s feeling some love. Thanks, Tim!

says:

I remember reading this haunting scene. The ending totally floors me, as I realize the poor state the man looking in the window is in. You deliver the divergent world comparison very clearly. Very nice writing, Annalie.

Write On!
Becky

says:

I really appreciate that Becky, I’m glad it has the intended effect! My dad and I were talking, and I think the window that the narrator gazes through is symbolic of a tangible division between different kinds of lifestyles, and I hope it served to clarify the divergence that has always existed between social classes.

says:

An eye opening moment. If the beginning and middle could only stop the alcoholic ending. But life is not like that. This writing is very reflective. Nice work.

says:

Thanks, Patricia! An interesting way of looking at this piece, chronologically. I went for the comparison of divergent worlds, as I discussed with Rebecca, but your comment makes me wonder about the narrator’s past life leading up to this very moment. Thank you for your input!

Anisa Claire

says:

Ah yes, I remember this prompt. I had fun writing a response to it! This is great, Annalie. You paid attention to detail and it call came crashing down, literally, at the end. One nit, ‘anyways’ should be ‘anyway’.

Anisa

Michael Decker

says:

1) Not many people can pull of writing in the second person, but you did!
2) I really want to know more about what the drunk has lost.

Great work

says:

I figured I would try and catch the reader’s attention using second person point of view, and make the piece more familiar. Perhaps not everyone is an alcoholic, but I’m sure most people have yearned for something out of their reach. Thanks for your comments, Michael.

Marcia Yearwood

says:

well done Annalie! it’s sad, a tear-jerker in fact. I’ve seen what can happen in the face of addiction and it’s never good. Nothing changes until the addict hits bottom & seeks help on his own. Makes me wonder…if this perhaps is the family he lost to the bottle?

says:

A creative take on this, Marcia! Perhaps you are correct. Anyways, I tried to be careful when writing this piece, because I did not want to offend anyone who has had more experience than I have on this front. I hope I did the topic justice, and emphasized the effects that addiction can have on maybe not just one individual, but his entire family.

Marcia Yearwood

says:

Oh yes, you definitely did it justice Annalie! It’s your writing that made me think of it, don’t you see? In the past, I felt the pain because of a family member so I know how it affects the entire family unfortunately. Keep on writing!

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

Tim Hillebrant

says:

It always struck me as odd, in many science fiction books and movies, humanity always seems to have some dark event from which it arises to become better than it was.
This thought again struck me again, while sitting in my window office, watching trucks laden with military hardware moving west. The skies above showed the condensation trails of military aircraft as they soared high overhead, going in the same direction. There was no mention of all this movement anywhere. Not on the TV, radio, or even online.
A drive out to our local Guard Armory supported my theory something was up. Where once tanks and other vehicles sat, their spaces were empty. The pads where the helicopters parked were also strangely vacant. It was the wrong time of the year for them to be on their yearly duties. I pondered this while I typed the numbers in front of me, compiling a report for my boss.

Movement next to my car caught my eye. A man in blue coveralls and dark glasses stood up from next to it, then ducked into a sedan parked nearby. Chills ran down my spine, and I wondered, what the hell is going on?

says:

Very intriguing beginning to this story, Tim! Is this a vignette/excerpt from a longer story? I hope there will be more. 🙂

One nit:
-This thought {again} struck me again,

Write On!
Becky

Anisa Claire

says:

Hmmm… Very curious, indeed. What is going on here? Good one, Tim! I noticed this: This thought again struck me again. Looks like you have an extra ‘again’ in there.

Anisa

Marcia Yearwood

says:

oohhh, that definitely is very unnerving ! A scary scene that I wouldn’t want to be in! Created tension for sure.

Michael Decker

says:

Man, really good. You sucked me in and left me wanting more!

I remember driving down the highway once and a convoy of military vehicles passed going the other way. Probably something routine but still scared the bejesus out of me.

Really ice work.

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

Stephanie Walker

says:

Tim, this story is intriguing. Possibly on the brink of war. Scary thought. I wanted to read more! 🙂

Sonja Biberstine

says:

Tempting Death

It was over.

It was finally over. I felt a twinge of relief as the ground reached up and pulled me on top of itself. This would be where I died.

As I lie there, face down, pain seared through my veins. My shins ached from the remnants of burning flesh, something was ripping the muscle in the arch of my foot away from its bone, and I fought to remind my lungs to take in oxygen.

The necessity of water came and went. Why bother?

But it was over.

It was over, and though I felt like I should be, I wasn’t dead.

Wait. I wasn’t dead.

I did it. A new wave of emotions washed over me. My strength began to return and the pain ebbed slightly.

Pushing myself into a sitting position, I watched as others crossed the finish line.

I just completed my first 5K and I wasn’t even last!

Pride overtook me.

I did it.

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Wow! Nicely done, Sonja!
You captured this perfectly. The pain of completing the 5k read like someone being transformed. At first, I took it to be some kind of monster- maybe a vampire or warewolf. But you took it in a great direction, and still the transformation- going from setting the goal, to accomplishing it. Most excellent work here!!

Sonja Biberstine

says:

Thank you, TIm! That’s exactly what I was going for. I’m sure the gross over-exaggeration that appeared in my Facebook feed the day of my first 5k looked just like this story. lol

Anisa Claire

says:

Hahahaha. Yep! That would be me after a 5K run, too. You managed to pack a lot of humour into this small write, Sonja. Well done.

Anisa

Sonja Biberstine

says:

This was me after my first 5k too! Shin splints, a torn ligament in the arch of my foot and an asthma attack later….!

Michael Decker

says:

Ahahahahaha

That was unexpected, and also 100% correct for describing the sheer exhaustion after running anything over a mile 🙂

Stephanie Walker

says:

I definitely did not see that coming! I thought it was a horror story for sure. Very clever and well written.

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

Lisa Doesburg

says:

It was the moment of truth. The 2045 Presidential Election. The presidential candidates were getting prepared as the citizens of the United States watched the broadcast from bars, living rooms and malls as the spectacle was live-streamed by Earthcam. Thousands gathered in Times Square to watch the most important event of the quadrennial. The whole world was tuning in to America as this year promised to be the most brutal election of them all. The event, held in The Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan, promised to be the most brutal election of them all.Because of the nature of the event, it was mandatory that presidential candidates be no older than thirty, and no younger than twenty-five. Citizens sat on the edge of their seats as celebrity Naomi Comstock made her appearance for the countdown.

“Ladies and gentlemen!” she shouted into the mic, “welcome to the fourth quadrennial election! This year’s election promises to especially entertaining as the candidates will battle with doubled edged Chinese longswords. Now, without further ado, let the election begin!”

Dressed in their finest garb, the candidates entered the arena to fight for their seat in the White House, swords held high, looking to draw first blood.

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Nice, Lisa!! I love it!!!
Reminds me when I was younger, and often thought Reagan and Gorbachev should put on trunks and box out the two countries issues like Rocky and Apollo Creed. Not sure if it was feasible, but it sure would have been entertaining. As I imagine this would be. This had a bit of a Hunger Games feel to it, I thought. Very enjoyable.

Tim

Lisa Doesburg

says:

Thank you, Tim. This whole election has a been a real crock of shit, ‘scuse my language, from the beginning. Our choices boil down to dumb and dumber. I couldn’t resist!

says:

Wow. Look what we have come to, in only 29 short years. What a farce on our political system. It is a carnival of horrors, all right. Shaking my head in shame. Nice work here, Lisa. 🙂

Write On!
Becky

Lisa Doesburg

says:

Thank you, Becky! Seems to me this year’s election is just one big horror show, all right. Those are the choices we have to trust to run our country? I feel as if something bigger is happening here. Can’t explain it.

says:

Oh my, I just see Trump and Clinton, him with his lip curled looking as if she smells. Her slitted eyes and a blank look from the botox shots administered before, squaring up to him. Great job well done. Topical to say the least.

says:

It seems that this is the way things are going, doesn’t it? Anyways, creative piece here, leaves me with a Hunger Games kind of feel. The one tweak I would make is the repetition of “promised to be the most brutal election of them all”. I could understand if you were going for a poetic feel, but the phrase was too long for me to evoke that sort of vibe! Otherwise, good work, I like this!

Anisa Claire

says:

Well, now… that would be one interesting way to play out an election! Lol. Two things I noticed, ” The whole world was tuning in to America as this year promised to (be the most brutal election of them all). The event, held in The Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan, promised to (be the most brutal election of them). The other thing was “This year’s election promises to (be) especially entertaining as”

Anisa

says:

Great imagery. This is what they do with words and subterfuge, nice to see it out in the open using blades instead of words. Let the best candidate win!

Michael Decker

says:

Topical and frighteningly plausible. Even though she’s not as tall as her opponent, I like Hillary’s chances this year…

Wait, this won’t happen until 2045? Forget it then

Nice work

Marcia Yearwood

says:

Hits too close to home (USA) here in good old 2016… but nevertheless, it definitely makes one think. With all the emotional and mental shots they aim at each other anyway, how much different would it be to have a sword fight? Good write!

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

says:

TRUTH

I encountered truth one fateful day
And challenged him in every way.
As he raised his fist at me
He begged for me to let him be.

Truth said. “Leave! And make it quick!
As we both will become quite sick”
The facts are never nice to hear
The weight is too heavy for one to bear.

I muscled all the strength I had
And truth knew the crap was bad
He opened up his bottled mouth
And parts of him came tumbling out.

Truth hit so hard he caused me pain
A mighty fire swept through my brain.
Maybe I should have taken heed
And let truth simply rest indeed,

says:

So much to ponder on in this one, Claudine. I was proud of the person speaking their truth, but sometimes, it comes at a great cost. Very much enjoyed the message here. It isn’t easy. The truth is hard to hear, and sometimes even harder to say. The repercussions could be deadly.

Write On!
Becky

says:

I love this one Claudine and was most excited to read it. Excellent personification of truth as a brawler, because yes, the truth does hurt. A little bit of grammar fixes, but the overall feel of this poem is too familiar to not enjoy. Liked this a lot.

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

Anisa Claire

says:

CONGRATULATIONS, CLAUDINE! The member votes are in and you’ve placed FIRSTS in this challenge and your story will be published in the August 2016 issue of A Long Story Short. Please email us at writerscarnival@hotmail.com for full details. Thanks!

says:

Light and Dark

You ask me, “Why?”
Why do the nice people always get hurt?
I answer, “I don’t know.”
But, the question continues to lurk.

I think it’s our energy
Light attracts darkness
Sparks and flames are exciting, at first
They hope it will rub off on them

Selfish darkness needs comfort and hope
Light is a giver, a healer of pain
Pain sucks us dry, and the light disappears
Smothered by darkness and replaced by fears

We want to heal, but instead, we enable
Adapting to their needs, neglecting our own
When our glow has been extinguished
Darkness moves on to find a fresh source of radiance

says:

A very strong message in this piece Becky. I do like how there is hope at the end as the darkness moves away but unfortunately it settles somewhere else. Well done cheers

says:

I am pleased that you understood the parting lines. Unfortunately, darkness will claim another victim. Maybe it will get lucky and discover its own inner light of happiness, but, odds are it will not find a reason to change its ways. Darkness is often very satisfied with its misery and passing it on to someone else.

says:

Rebecca I like this poem. Nice people do have a defect. A blindness. Bad people are like a way to correct the fault. The good and bad all serve a purpose .

says:

What a positive way to view this. And it makes so much sense, too. The blindness is real, often self-imposed, and it is a fault that needs to be corrected. All situations, hopefully, teach us something to make us stronger. Thank you for this insight!

Sonja Biberstine

says:

Misery loves company. Too often we believe that we can create a spark in someone else from our own fire. This usually results in ashes.

Great poem, Rebecca!

says:

You are “right on the money” with this response! Yep. That is what this is about. And if we believe that, we are just as at fault as they are. Thank you, Sonja! Great to see you here!

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Someone wise once said, to recognize the good things in our lives, we need the bad from which to compare. There can be no light without dark, no joy without anger, no happiness without sadness, and no love without hate. Nature abhors a vacuum, so both must exist in an ever-changing dance of endless rhythms.

See, this was so good, you went and had me waxing philosophical instead of my car. Well done, Becky!!

says:

A cool take on the answer to such a universal question. It did take me a few times to read it over to completely understand the message you were promoting, and I can’t really identify your rhyme scheme, but again I think the concept you created is cool and spiritually probable. Very creative Rebecca!

says:

Reminded me of a poem I read when I was a teenager about lovers drifting apart- the line about they hope it will rub off on them. Shot me back to that old poem where there was a line about a lover brushing the living fire of their love out of her hair. (much more poetic and evocative in the poem. Wish I could find the darn thing, I think it was in a book called Fire and Ice we had in high school English)

says:

Thank you for your comments, Nancy. That this poem triggered your thoughts and memories to a beautiful piece of writing from the past is a great compliment. That poem sounds very intriguing! The metaphor of brushing her hair and brushing the living fire out of her hair is so passionate. I would like to read that poem, too. 🙂

Marcia Yearwood

says:

Love this Becky, it’s deep! Favorite line: “We want to heal, but instead, we enable.” Oh my toes! Been there, done that. I think I understand what your poem is saying about light & dark. Sadly, sometimes, since opposites attract, marriages begin this way; then divorce with reasons such as the last couple of lines of the poem.

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

says:

A Farcical Man.
Ridiculous, preposterous, ludicrous, absurd, laughable, risible, nonsensical.

He was all the above and more,
Threw accusations until I was raw,
His hate stole a chunk of my life.
Once, cut my wrist with a knife.

Living on the edge looking in,
I took blame dished out of a tin
Life teetered on wisps of string.
While he was seen as a king.

From this ridiculous man,
I ran away; as only a wife can.
While he downed another glass,
I watched what came to pass.

Now I live a new kind of life
There’s only cheese on my knife.
I’m here and I make a stand,
To condemn that farcical man.

says:

The rhythm teetered a bit at some points, but I’m rooting for the speaker here as she makes a transition from victim to victor. Good poem Ellen, best of luck with everything!

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

says:

OPENING NIGHT

“The stage is in perfect arrangement from the peep-hole in the wall to the left of the column, to the graffiti on the wall to the right of the column,” exclaimed Michael Porter in a nasally voice to his boss, Elliot Snelling.

Perturbed by receiving no answer, Michael looked quizzically at the balding producer standing beside him. He was studying the dramatic effect of the theater-barn stage.

“Something vital is missing.” Elliot stroked his smooth chin. “I can’t detect what it is.”

“The players!” teased Michael, relieved to hear something as insignificant as one of Elliot’s persnickety whims troubled him.

“Lighten up, old man.” He thumped his superior on the back. “It’s a case of opening night jitters.”

The play opened as scheduled and a full audience was in attendance. At the end of the third act, a rumble shook the antiquated dwelling. Theater-goers ran toward exits, bodies of different sorts pushing and shoving each other through the doors.

Inside, brick walls toppled, burying the cast beneath spiraling, smoky debris. Off-stage, Snelling raised his arms in an attempt to shield himself from the flying stones. He groaned, “I’ve got it now! The mason didn’t mortar the bricks!”

says:

Two! Patricia! Now I never thought of leaving two entries. Cleverly done and so different.
Something was definitely missing, you write conversation well and the last line is perfectly placed. Good job.

says:

Thanks for your comments. I’m a new kid on the block here. I’m under the impression the contest is for flash fiction and a poem. Hope I didn’t make a whoops!

says:

Hi Patricia, It is the first one I’ve encountered like this, so it’s anybody’s guess. I didn’t read that you couldn’t leave two; I enjoyed both. It is great to have you here. Fresh eyes on everyone’s work often ups the game keeps us on our toes. All is good.x

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Hi Patricia,

No whoops here. You’re fine. It was either a flash piece not to exceed 200 words, or a poem not to exceed 16 lines. Theme is your choice. Just a minor misread is all. 🙂
My suggestion is let Anisa know which one you’d like to have entered for the contest. You can do that through the Contact Us link above.

You really did a great job with this piece too, and I love the way you write dialog. I took notes and lessons from this.

Michael Decker

says:

Ha! Those pesky masons and their shoddy construction.

Seriously, though, I think that we have all had that moment during a huge project (or after a huge disaster) where the one detail we forgot haunts us and we can’t get it out of our minds. Nice way of illustrating that.

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

says:

BABCOCK LAKE
There is no need to proclaim
her scintillating presence.

The air about her is
delightfully pure.

She dresses fashionably
in shades of blue.

Her movements are graceful
as she flows down wind
past stately pines
and leaning birch trees.

Lapping boats
anchor to weathered docks.

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Babcock Lake sounds like a serene and blissful place to be, Patricia. You do it justice here. Nicely done!

says:

As Ellen phrased it, a “visual feast”. Loved the imagery that coincided with this, it’s certainly a way to capture my attention! Beautiful poem, Patricia, good work. I understand it that you are to choose one of your entries to qualify for the contest, and my advice is to choose this piece here!

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

Stephanie Walker

says:

I enjoyed the personification of the water. Especially her “dressing fashionably in shades of blue”. It made me immediately imagine the lake as this flowing, light, goddess of sorts. Pretty.

says:

What do I see when I look inside
I see a life that I cannot hide
I see a man with a past to endure
I see a man with a past to be sure
Others will have their opinion of me
What they decide will depend on me
Relationships made and then lost
Again and again no matter the cost
Children to sire then to raise
Children with whom to share the days
With family and friends my time is well spent
With family and friends my life is content
At work or at play I gave it my best
To all of life’s challenges I set to the test
What do I see when I look inside
I see a man with nothing to hide

says:

The master at work, the lack of spacing compliments and drives this forward, Thoroughly enjoyed this thanks for leaving it here, the man described I believe is a good man. Lots of luck Craig.

says:

A life well-spent, and something to be very proud of. I had a great sense of accomplishment at the end.

Two suggestions:
-Children to sire(,) then to raise

-At work or at play I gave it my best ( You might replace “gave” with “give”. I don’t feel like this man’s life is over or that he will stop doing the things you have described.)

Write On!
Becky

says:

Important little poem, Craig! I read it from the point of view of a man reflecting on his life, and I’m glad to understand that he has no regrets about it. That’s the best way to live, isn’t it? Just some grammar nits, but otherwise an introspective piece that I hope we will all come to reflect in our own lives one day.

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

Marcia Yearwood

says:

Well done Craig! Introspection is hard for lots of folks but (it’s been my observation) especially for men. This makes me think of the average Joe who knows he’s messed up in the past but wants to make up for it now. And BE the best man he can be! Your poem expresses determination and hope; and definitely tugs on the heartstrings. I really enjoyed reading this.

Anisa Claire

says:

I’m not actually entering, obviously, just for fun 🙂

It comes ’round these parts but once in a while
If you’re chosen to enter, you’ll leave with a smile!
With its flashing bright lights and it’s candy-fueled fun…
It’s the greatest thing going under the sun.

Acorns for tickets, fresh water galore
Coasters, ponies, prize booths and more…
Step up to the line, try out your luck
Knock ’em all down for a big rubber duck

We’ve got rides that’ll lift you up into the skies
We’ve got twirlers and twisters, and giant bowties…
When day turns to night, you’ll stay for the shows
For magicians, and strongmen, and the dancing white crows

When you leave this place, tell none what you’ve found!
You were lucky you found us the first time around…
Because just before dawn, we’re gone in a flash
To set up another Carnival Bash…

says:

Loving the carnival theme, Anisa. 🙂 The “fresh water galore” line makes me want to go to a water park! It is so friggin’ hot here today. Great job and great fun!

Write On!
Becky

Tim Hillebrant

says:

This was great, Anisa!
For some strange reason, it reminds me of a movie Disney did back in the day, called “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” It’s hard to find, but worth a look- it’s one of the darker stories they told, and is creeptacular.
Your intro and ending are the strongest in this, but it has good rhythm and flow all the way through.

Nicely done!

says:

Hey I know of a Carnival that comes around these parts, but I enjoy telling everyone about it! Especially my fellow authors in my school’s literary magazine 😉 a poem full of images Anisa, well done. You are a rhyming genius, the rhythm and scheme occurring here are perfection! Love this piece a lot. Did I ever tell you that I love the name Anisa? It’s pretty!

Anisa Claire

says:

Hahaha! Thanks, Annalie 🙂 And glad you encourage people to attend this Carnival. I like your name, too! We can have mutual name admiration. Lol

Stephanie Walker

says:

I love how fun your writing is. I like that you can take a situation and bring out the shenanigans. Hee hee.

Dutch

says:

Aha! The entensity that stir the emotions. The passion that is a part of conflict. Each so necessary and included. Very nice.

says:

The Night Mare

The Nightmare gathers her herd about her
Swirling clouds of black and grey
The thunder of their hooves shaking the ground
Throwing their raging breath to bend the trees

Holding fistfuls of lightning bolts writhing in her hands
The Nightmare leads the charge from the northern skies
Tears of fury sear the skies stripping leaves from trees
Her anger solidifies and turns her heart to ice

Hail slashes across the prairie, the great white combine
Harvesting the farmer’s future and handing it to him
In a bucket full of holes and empty of hope
A blue-black fist punches a hole in the sky

The whirling dervish of the Nightmare’s displeasure
Dances over the barley, twisting the hollow grain bins
Like a spoiled child wreaking havoc
Her rage finally satisfied, she moves off toward the mountains

Anisa Claire

says:

Interesting poem, Nancy! Did you meant for the title to indicate that it’s about a Night Mare(horse) or was that a typo? Because in the poem you say The Nightmare. Very descriptive, epic-style poem. The word ‘sky’ was used a bit too often, in my opinion, but still a great read overall.

Best of luck in the contest!

Anisa

says:

Hi Anisa, It should be Night Mare all the way through. It refers to a Celtic myth, the Night Mare is the dark side of the Great Mare Mother. This poem was actually inspired by a violent storm I got caught in.

I used the word ‘skies’ once and ‘sky’ once. I could have used clouds but was more concerned with using it too many times.

:~) Nancy

Anisa Claire

says:

Oh, I was wondering because your first line is “The Nightmare” and so is the second line of the second verse and first line of the fourth verse. I count ‘skies’ twice and then ‘sky’. I think it stood out to me because of how close together they were. Still a great poem!

L.E. Gibler

says:

What a wonderful piece! As a fan of all things horses and most things Celtic, I really loved this:) Particularly liked “Whirling dervish”. Well done!

says:

Thanks L.E. I study Celtic myths and use them in my writing. The Night Mare (and I should have fixed that word in the poem has always intrigued me. I’m a horseman too, so most things I write have horses in them.

says:

Hi Nancy,
Other than the nits mentioned I see a super rhyme. ‘Holding Fistfuls of lightening’ A brilliant way to describe the power in the reigns… ‘Tears of fury’ your descriptions are powerful.

says:

Hi Ellen, thanks for the kind words. We got caught in a wicked storm a couple of summers ago on the highway between Red Deer and Lacombe and this poem came out of it.

says:

I loved this line, “A blue-black fist punches a hole in the sky”. I felt the storm as an angry mare, and loved the analogies and metaphor spread throughout the poem. I could see the storm passing across the prairie, and then the mare galloping off, taking the storm with her toward the mountains.

Just fix the lines using Night Mare in the body of the poem. Loved the imagery and power of this piece. 🙂

Write On!
Becky

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Hi Nancy!!

I loved this poem, and am familiar with the Celtic Myth from which I think this came.
I think you did a great job with this, and the homage to that culture cannot be ignored.
This sings to the heart of my Celtic Roots!!

Tim

Anisa Claire

says:

WRITING CHALLENGE #14 IS UP

For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

Hope to see you participate! Enter here: https://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-challenge-14/

***Don’t forget to vote for this challenge! Unfortunately, people who don’t vote will be disqualified. You can email writerscarnival@hotmail.com or reply to the email that announces the WW#14 challenge. Best of luck in the voting booth!***

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