Saturday, December 15, 2007

Weirdly Contest Closed - Last Entries

Thank you.

I am astonished and gratified by the number of responses to the contest --that so many of you took the time to compose an entry.

I an not, however, at all astonished by the quality of the submissions and by the talent displayed.

I already knew you were good.

Baring dither (which, as you will perceive on reading the entries, is perfectly understandable) I hope to name the winner Monday -- or Tuesday.

Entry # 27: by Wavemancali:

The Summoning

The full moon and ground mist combined to lend an eerie nimbus to the druidic circle. Twelve cowled figures, each chanting at a feverish pace, surrounded Nerava as she slipped from her own dark coverings.

Her blade flashed down into the sacrifice, making it seem black in the colorless night.

“With this soul I call thee, Razbach come do my bidding.”

A barely perceptible shadow appeared.

“What task would you have of me?”

“Seek out my master”, Nerava said. “Kill him, but let him know before he dies whose hand brought about his death.”

“Your master is powerful”, the demon replied. “Know that if this task is not possible, it is your soul that is forfeit. Give me these others and I will return to the depths and allow you to live.”

“Go!” she commanded. “Go to the task I have set you."
The demon approached the slumped figure of the great druid. His journal before him outlined who had betrayed him and named his successor.

The shadow began thinking of his first torment for the priestess. Death could not come twice.

Fall had been tortuous; each leaf torn from her limbs was like a lash from a whip. Today she stood desperately trying to store some warmth, her branches grasping at the sun.

Without leaves to provide her food the winter was a long harsh hunger.

Who knew that hell could be so cold? What new hell would she have to endure after this one?

Entry # 28: by Hoodie:

Milk and Cookies
By Hoodie

“Mom, are markers made out of poop?”
“Not that I’m aware of.”
“Gwen at school told me that the writey-part of markers is made out of horse poop. I said ‘no way,’ but then I smelled it and it really did smell like poop!”
“I find it highly unlikely.”
“Then what makes that smell?”
“The ink.”
“What’s the ink made out of?”
“Umm, octopuses.”
“Mom, are you joking?”
“I think so. What are you drawing?”
“A finger tree. It tickles you all over.”
“Wow, did you make that up?”
“Well, Mr. Barr sometimes pretends to be a finger tree. At first it wasn’t my favorite game, but then he taught me how to do it, like this.”
“I see.”
“He says I’m the best finger tree he’s ever seen! It's this cool special game. He says I'm so, so good."
“Hmm. Okay. Will you draw me another picture? I’m going to be on the phone for a while.”
“Are you calling Daddy?”
“Yes, and maybe some other people. I’m going to try and solve that marker mystery for you, okay? We’ll find out the truth.”
“I told you, Mom. I really think it’s horse poop.”

Entry # 29: by David:


"I'm ready now," he said. "Let's make love."

She turned to him, smiling. "You are a romantic. Maybe you should buy me dinner, big boy."

"I'm serious."

Her smile slowly faded. "You are serious. Here? You want to do it here?"

"Yes, now, here. Yes, I am deadly serious. I want a child. I want a child with you."

"Here? In the grass? Aren't there people around?"

He smiled. "No, look around. There is no one around. I lay down mycoat and we are under the skies, among the breeze."

"Among a bunch of large dead oak trees?"

"Look, I know this sounds crazy but it makes perfect sense." He took her shoulders gently in his hands. "These oaks aren't dead. We had them at my house growing up. You think they are but they still have a lot of life in them."

She put her thumb between her teeth and looked down the hill, then past the row of large oak trees. "So, you do want a child? We talked about it and you . . . well, never wanted to talk about it."

"Yes," he said, "You know I do, I just didn't feel like it was time. For some reason, now, now, I feel . . . it's time."

Her smile met his and he led her under a large oak tree, void of leaves, its bark jagged and coarse. Its trunk was mammoth and it was there at the base, that I was conceived.


Anonymous said...

You've done a good job and attracted some lovely work here. I wish I'd had the time to participate. If you're still doing these when my course is done, I'll be joining in. Good stuff!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Wayne.
Sorry you couldn't.
It's been a week of terrific reads.

Billy said...

Thanks for sponsoring this, Bernita. The entries are terrific. I appreciate all of the work that goes into this, from posting to judging.

Sarah Hina said...

Wavemancali, this was a deliciously dark revenge tale, with a perfect ending. Very accomplished and atmosphereic writing, too. I loved, "Who knew that hell could be so cold?" Gave me shivers!

Hoodie, I don't know what to say. You have this amazing talent for skewering innocence, while still leaving the husk of it intact. I want to beat Mr. Barr with a stick from that tree. The writing was perfect.

David, I love the idea of new life springing from the old tree's roots. This was a spontaneous decision, but obviously the right one for the couple (and the child). I enjoyed this romantic rendezvous!

Jeff said...

I have really enjoyed reading all of the entries. The wide variety of stories the photo inspired and the quality of writing are both quite impressive.
Good luck to all participants, and keep writing!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

The quality of entries for the competition has been amazing! You've really attracted some brilliant writing, Bernita. I don't envy you the task of judging!

Ello said...

It has been wonderful to take a break and come read this awesome stories all week. I'm sorry for myself that I just didn't have the time to prepare an entry. Between papers and the story I had promised Pacatrue, I didn't have anymore creative energy. But I have thoroughly enjoyed reading everything and I could not pick a favorite because the talent has been fierce! Thanks for hosting this Bernita. It's been great fun.

Bernita said...

~hunched in a corner, sucking her thumb, knowing full well she brought it all on herself~

Charles Gramlich said...

A lot of good starts to tales here too.

SzélsőFa said...

Bernita :)
- your hosting this was a wonderful opportunity not only to participate for those who did, but to read all those fine and interesting entries.

The judging part? Is quite tough, I agree!

Travis Erwin said...

Dang, I really wanted to enter, I had a story in mind and everything, but I just never quit got the time to put my thoughts on paper.

Jaye Wells said...

I liked all three of these for different reasons. In fact, I've liked every entry in this contest. So many great voices and visions. Might I suggest Eenie Meenie Miney Moe, Bernita?

Bernita said...

Travis, I hope you will forgive me for saying I'm just as glad you didn't? Would have made my job even more difficult.

Jaye, she said darkly, it may well come down to that.

Scott from Oregon said...

I don't think I could whittle down my favs to under ten.

You poor, guilt ridden, tormented judge...

We should all send you gift certificates for spa and therapy sessions...

Hoodie said...

Maybe you should just give out more prizes. :P That would make it easier, right?

Bernita said...

"You poor, guilt ridden, tormented judge..."
Scott, you have no idea...
I am hoist on my own juice and stewed in my own petard.

Seriously, Hoodie, I am already considering that.

Julie said...

I know! Archery Competition...first person to score a bullseye on a Sherwood Forest Oak gets it....