1. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Past Contest Short Story Contest 137: Revenge - Submissions and Details Thread

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Lemex, Jun 23, 2013.

    Short Story Contest 137
    Submissions & Details Thread
    Theme: "Revenge "


    This contest is open to all wf.org members, newbies and the established alike. Please post your entries as replies to this post. At the deadline I will collate all entries and put them forward for voting in a separate thread. The winning entry will be stickied until the next competition winner. Unfortunately, there is no prize but pride on offer for this contest. As always, the winner may also PM/VM me to request the theme of a subsequent contest if he/she wishes.

    Themes: "Revenge " (courtesy of Anthelionryu - since the winner of the last, Azalea, does not appear to be with us any more, it's been a week since his last post). Any interpretation is valid. Entries do not have to follow the themes explicitly, but off-topic entries may not be entered into the voting.
    Wordlimit: 500-3000 words
    Deadline for entries: Sunday 7th of July 2013 10:00 am (us pacific time)

    There is a 10% word-limit leniency at both ends of the scale. Please try to stick within the limit. As below, any piece outside of the suggested limit may not be entered into the voting.

    There is a maximum of 25 entries to any contest. If there are more than 25 entries to any one contest I will decide which are entered into voting based on adherence to the suggested word limit and relevance to the theme, not on a first-come-first served basis.

    Try to make all your entries complete and have an ending rather than be an extract from a larger one and please try to stick to the topic. Any piece seemingly outside of the topic will be dealt with in a piece by piece manner to decide its legitamacy for the contest.

    A story entered into the contest may not be one that has been posted anywhere on the internet, not just anywhere on this site. A story be posted for review until voting has closed. Only one entry per contest per contestant is permissable. Members may also not repost a story anywhere, or bring attention to the contest in any way, until the voting has closed

    Please try to refrain from itallicising, bolding, colouring or indenting any text to help avoid disappointment. These stylistics do not reproduce when I copy-paste them into the voting thread. You may use visible noparse BB code to preserve style if you wish by placing [ noparse ] and [ /noparse ] (without the spaces) around the entire text.

    Please remember to give your piece a title and give its word count in brackets at the top of your story.

    If there are any questions, please leave me a visitor message or PM me. Please do not clog up this, or any other thread, with your questions.

    Please note that only current members are eligible to win.





    Thanks, and good luck!
     
  2. archerfenris
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    archerfenris Active Member

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    The Price of Revenge (Violence/ 1,100 words)

    Heivar gripped the axe handle, his fur lined gloves fighting off the worst of the cold, but still leaving them slightly numb. He sat atop a snowy embankment, in which a grove of trees grew along a hillside, at the base of a mountain. Erland, Heivar’s brother, stood about thirty meters to his right, in another grove of trees. The bow hung in Erland’s nimble fingers, ready for action. Sounds of horses approached along the road, Heivar evaluating them before assessing they were outnumbered. An ambush, however, allows a smaller enemy to defeat a larger one, if fully able to achieve surprise. The two brothers hardly cared about the cold, or being outnumbered. They were determined to kill their sister’s rapist.

    Wyranna was raped by Hrodan, who was a member of a different clan than Heivar’s family. Heivar’s clan was bound to seek revenge, according to custom, but could not do so at the risk of war with a clan as powerful as Hrodan’s. As a result, Heivar decided to kill Hrodan himself. Erland, who’d always been tiny compared to Heivar (though everyone was smaller than Heivar), refused to be left out of the plan. Their sister, and each other, had been all that remained of the family, since their mother died birthing Erland and their father had succumbed to a strange illness three winters past.

    “She was my sister too, Heivar,” he’d said. Heivar had no choice but to let him come along.

    After she was raped, Wyranna exited their house in the dead of night, wearing nothing but her nightshift. She was found the following morning, sitting next to a tree, her beautiful face frozen in thought and ice resting in her hair. Her last view had been of the river, the chunks of ice stemming from the edges, growing closer to the center. The thought of his sister being raped, and the sight of her lying on the riverbanks, young and beautiful, fueled the rage that tickled Heivar’s axe hand.

    The horses came into Heivar’s view, and he identified five of them, with as many men. He quickly drew the snow around him, creating a bowl in which his body couldn’t be seen. Lying still, Heivar dug his head into the snow, while his breath melted it in front of his eyes. Heivar waited patiently; after all, he’d waited a year for this moment already. It was a year filled with blackmails and beatings and threatening, where no one who knew Hrodan’s whereabouts could escape his fury. It was those threats that merited intelligence to Hrodan’s movements, leading Heivar and his brother to this valley.

    The horses stopped in front of the barricade Heivar and his brother had created; a dead horse and overturned canvas wagon. There was nowhere to go in the steep valley, except through the barricade. The moment the first horse stopped, Heivar heard Erland’s arrows fly, and popped out of his frozen tomb, snow and blonde locks flying as he sprung toward the enemy. Chaos reigned as arrows found their targets and men turned to meet their attackers.

    Heivar was met by the lead man, who was charging him on horseback, sword arm dangling like a wasp, ready to strike. Lifting his shield, Heivar timed the charge and waited for the proper moment to strike, before hefting the wooden shield into the air. His shield slammed into the man’s sword, also catching his forearm and slicing it with the shield’s iron edges. The man clutched his sword arm with a scream before falling off his horse in agony, hitting the ground with a thump. Heivar moved on.

    The second man was crushed beneath his dead horse, screaming for his leg trapped beneath the animal. Heivar proceeded to a third man, who came flying at him, dismounted. The Clansman flung his axe at Heivar, slinging it high, toward the face. Heivar easily dodged the attack with a backward lean. The Enemy flung his axe again, the metal singing through the air as he aimed for the face again. Heivar brought his shield up this time, clanging as the axe flew into the wood and stuck.

    The Man, with his flourishes and desire for speed, lost grip of the axe and failed to retrieve it before Heivar lowered his shield. The two stared at each other for a second, a look of horror on The Clansman’s face, while Heivar gave him a grin before embedding the axe into the side of the man’s neck. The clansman touched the haft of the axe in his neck briefly, before Heivar pulled it out with a spray of blood. The Enemy collapsed onto his knees, clutching his neck, the blood pouring out of his hands in quick squirts. Heivar scanned for his next enemy, but instead found his brother, bow slung over his shoulder and two dead bodies peppered with arrows behind him.

    “He’s the pinned one, ain’t he?” His brother asked with a smile.

    “Convenient, isn’t it?” Heivar smiled back. The two brothers approached the screaming man under the horse.

    “Looks like you’re in a bit of a pinch there, Hrodan,” Erland said.

    “Go to Hell, you can see you sister when you get there” Hrodan spat. Heivar didn’t bother with a word, lifting his axe while Hrodan lifted his arms screaming. The axe came down on Hrodan’s face splitting his head with a sickening snap. Without pausing, Heivar brought it down a second time, pulling it out amid chunks of flesh, bone, and brain.

    “My sister deserved better,” Heivar stated, attempting to flip the blood off the axe.

    “I’m glad we-“ Erland’s comment was cut off mid sentence as a knife slide into his back.

    Heivar turned and screamed, “No!” as Erland collapsed to the ground. A clansman stood behind him, right arm still gushing blood from the shield wound.

    “You think a little shield slap would make me cut and run?” he spat.

    Heivar charged, slamming into the man as he felt a knife enter his left shoulder. They both struck the ground, snow flying up with Heivar’s axe hand, before being brought down on the man’s face, just like Hrodan’s. The hand didn’t stop flying, rising and falling again, and again, until the clansman’s face was nothing but a red clump of gore.

    Standing, his right arm covered in blood up to the elbow and his left arm bleeding from the stab wound, Heivar made his way to his brother. Erland was already shivering, rolling in pain as he tried to clutch the wound in the small of his back. As he turned his brother over, Heivar observed the thick pool of red drenching the snow underneath. The older brother stuffed his hand over the wound while he held his brother’s head up.

    “It’s ok. I’m glad we got him,” his brother muttered, skin pale as the snow. Heivar attempted to say something back, but before he could, Erland’s eyes looked off toward empty space, and his pupils dilated. Heivar was left alone in the valley, cradling the last of his family, the snow around him drenched with the price of his revenge.
     
  3. mbinks89
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    mbinks89 Active Member

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    The King and The Jester (780 words)

    The King looked down from his battlement. He was hunched over, and his eyebrows were knitted with worry. He was wringing his hands and the crown atop his head sparkled, iridescent, each gem and jewel glowing with a small glob of the reflected sun.

    The Jester was smiling, leaning with his elbow on a crenel. He whistled appreciatively, his red skullcap dangling down to his waist, where it terminated in a bell.

    Below them: the clangs of swords, the screams of dying men, the whistle of arrows.

    "Tis a dark day for Elginberry. Darker than the Moor's pupil!" The Jester jeered.

    The King groaned. His eyes were slits of rage, but the wrinkles of grey beneath them belied the long nights spent pacing the castle corridors, fretting. The Jester could smell his sour fear.

    “Tell me this, fool, instead of your goddamned jokes. Why, and how, in this great, green land, have forty thousand men revolted against me? Was I not on good terms with the feudal lords?”

    “Indeed, your majesty. But you . . . overlooked something, I think.”

    “What!?” shouted The King. “What could I possibly have overlooked?!”

    The Jester stepped away from the crenel, and an arrow sliced through the air where his head had been. On the battlefield some man shouted that he’d have the king strung out on the rack before the sun’s setting, and already the shadows cast by the forest, a massive black blanket rolling from the castle down to the farms, were growing long.

    “You remember that peasant? That one who came to you? He was able, by some idiocy of your guardsmen--”

    “Ah yes! Him. What about it?”

    “He told you about Lord Tywyn. About how he was beating the serfs. About . . . his, how shall I put it, predilection for the children of the serfs. About his taste for their little girls . . . and little boys . . .”

    The King was glancing from the battlefield to The Jester. “What about it?”

    “And you remember how you had him beheaded? For subversion of authority.”

    “Yes. I suppose you’re going to ask me if I remember sticking his head on a pike. If I remember butchering his family. Yes, I do. I was setting an example.”

    The Jester smiled, but his smile was wry, as if he had just sipped wormwood. “Talk gets around, your majesty. It spreads, snatched up by the wind, deposited in the ear of a serf. And eventually, when the serfs get angry enough, and enough words are swirling through the air, like the pollen of the flowers in Black Forest . . . other armies decide the soil is ripe, and move in like weeds.”

    The King turned to The Jester.

    “How on earth do you know all this?”

    The Jester shrugged. “Words. They get around. Picked up by the breeze, sprinkled into minds.”

    The King rolled his eyes. “Tongues,” he said. “They wag in the mouths of court fools, and loll once the idiots are dead. Words. Nothing but breaths of air with certain sounds.”

    The Jester strolled away, surveying the land below, but also The King, out of the corner of his right eye. The King had turned around, and resumed watching the battle. The Jester smiled, reached under his tunic, and grabbed the hilt of a dagger that was tucked into his waistband.

    “Words,” he said, “are much more than that, my majesty. Words are like swords, men have been known to say, but I fancy words are more like an alchemist’s powder. Sometimes, they do nothing, save maybe embarrass their progenitors. Other times, they sizzle, spark, and dance . . . but still, they can be doused. And occasionally, when the right words are mixed with the right elements, in the right containers . . . they explode.”

    The King looked around just in time to see a flash of silver, a glint of sun on steel, and then there was blackness as the dagger jabbed into his eye.

    The Jester worked fast. He sawed, pried, yanked, and when it finally came squelching off, he held it by the hair. The Jester grabbed his skullcap and threw it on the ground, where it lay like a long red sock, and when he walked to the crenel, his smile full of yellow teeth, he was wearing the crown. He thrust the head in the air. It swung back and forth, and he shouted, “Common folk of Elginberry! Outside liberators! Look at your deposed king now! Look at the bastard Hell has swallowed back!” And below, forty thousand soldiers roared, and then The Jester smiled, and hurled the head.
     
  4. Anticdope
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    Anticdope New Member

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    The West Served Cold (2179 words)

    My right hand moved deftly to the left breast pocket of my worn out leather duster and dug around slowly for my pocket watch. My left hand had, on instinct alone, dropped to the onyx grip of the beautiful, old colt revolver that sat nestled and buckled in its holster at my hip. From my lap the move was slight, barely noticeable to anyone behind me especially with my slumped posture on the bar stool. I dipped my head low and slowly swallowed the last half of my shot of whiskey, savoring the slow, smooth slide as it slinked downward to do its work. The leather on my belt creaked under the weight of my hand and I unbound the Harbinger. Easing back the hammer with my thumb, I slowly let every click of the cylinder resound throughout the hushed saloon. The small spring-hinged doors of the establishment, recently disturbed from their state of rest, swung harshly towards the exit as if they wanted to escape as badly as any of the patrons did, but at the apex of their swing the springs strained and, after a moment, they pulled the door inward once again.
    Three men strolled slowly and menacingly into the room and squinted their sunken, beady eyes as they failed to adjust to the dramatic change in light from the midday sun to the poorly lit room. The sound of their boots thudding against the old wooden floor and the jingle of nickel spurs, fresh off a hard ride, announced that these gentlemen had come for blood. Overwhelmed by the intense nature of the moment, a group of four gamblers ran for the exit. Once they were through the doorway, one of the newcomers, a shorter and excitable man, stepped back outside and promptly gunned them down. The ruffian standing foremost in the room wrinkled up his stubbled, leathery face into a wry smile that raised one handle of his bushy mustache unusually high. The lone gunman, freshly returning from the slaughter that had taken place outside, flicked his piece in a sideways fashion, unsheathing the cylinder and letting the empty shells fall to the floor before slowly and assuredly reloading each chamber and then flicking it back and returning it to its holster.
    As if that had been the cue to speak once again, the leader thrust his hands down onto the hilts of his guns and in a high pitched, frustrated drawl stammered out, “Y-Ya’ll deef? I wanna know wh-which one ya’ll here’s seent Bill Hadley an’ I reckon one ya’s seent ‘im.” If I hadn’t been the very man these foul smelling outlaws had been looking for I’d have bet money on every one of these people leaving in a casket but, luckily for them, there was no money to be won today. Finding my watch I gazed downward, checking the time. Fifteen minutes past noon. I held the watch firmly for a moment, admiring the ornate ivory vines that wound their way through the gold trim and backing. I ran a rough, callused thumb along the edge, feeling every finite detail before dropping the watch thoughtfully back into my pocket and producing a few loose bills to tip the bartender. I slapped the bills down onto the bar and whirled around in a flourish, plucking my empty shot glass up as I spun.

    “Gentlemen! Need I remind you that we are not in some lawless, godforsaken shantytown and you have just violated a few too many laws for the local law enforcement to ignore, but I guess this wouldn’t be the first time, now would it?

    “Bill.”

    “I prefer Will, honestly. Bill has always seemed... overused.”

    “Y-you kilt my brother.”

    As I sat there spinning my shot glass between my thumb and forefinger I held it up toward the men to see how it caught the like that streamed in from the outdoors behind them. The prism of colors that washed around within the glass help me think back to whom this very angry criminal may have been referring. I pulled the shot glass away for just a moment and my eyes caught the face of the man addressing me. A very familiar face.
    Some time ago I had been out on the trail of a particularly nefarious criminal by the name of James Easton. The bounty proposed for this man had caught my undivided attention and being involved deeply in the unflattering profession of catching such criminals, I decided to pursue him. After asking around in some less-than-pleasant places and cashing in on some long overdue debts, the hearsay had brought me several miles from any major city to a rather large abandoned farmhouse. Upon my arrival I was greeted by two haggard men, still in chaps, and with saddled horses tied to the porch railing not more than 30 yards from where we’d stood. The greeting was highly unfriendly in nature, with guns drawn they stood undaunted and asked what my business was. I had explained that I wished to find James Easton and return him to authorities to answer for a series of robberies and murders he had been involved in during the months prior. The two insisted that they did not know anyone by that name but when I pressed that I have a look around, my horse had only walked a few paces towards the dilapidated building before a bullet, fired from one of two large windows facing towards me, planted itself directly in the temple of my equine companion. Fresh, hot blood spewed from the dying animal as it toppled to the dirt, taking me with it. I had just managed to roll away from the undoubtedly incapacitating fall when the two outlaws stripped me of my side arms and hauled my to my feet.
    We approached the front door of the house and the flutter of some old, moth-eaten curtains off to my left caught my attention. A moment later the door opened and I was led into a dark living room where a few chairs sat facing each other and cards, along with a large amount of empty bottles, had been strewn about the floor. I was forced to sit in the most rickety chair of the bunch and one of the men who had brought me in, removed my hat, tossed it towards a large pile of what I could only assume was human feces, and jabbed the barrel of his Colt Walker right behind my left ear. The footfalls of heavy boots marked the entrance of yet another temporary resident of the once beautiful home.
    “What’r ye? Some kind o’ sheriff? We don’t take to law abidin’ types out here in wilds.” The newly approached bandit remarked. His companions squeaked out their derisive laughs and took turns spitting into my hair.
    “Spitting on me’ll cost you fellas.”

    “Whatcha gonna do about it, Sheriff?” One of the men asked mockingly. He slammed the butt of his revolver into the back of my head, knocking me to the floor. the chair had broken as I fell and saw this as an opportunity to gain the upper hand in this unfortunate scenario. One of the men pulled up a new chair while the other grabbed me under the arm and attempted to lift me up. As he did, I made my move. Scooping up a broken chair leg, I swung the bludgeon upward, catching the closest person to me squarely in the jaw. Moving over to his motionless body, I tore his revolver from his hand and fired towards the man who had gone for the chair. Instantly his neck, between his collar bone and adam’s apple, erupted in a shower blood and flesh. A whistle and explosion near my right ear followed. A sharp pain barreled through my shoulder and I reached over to assess the damage. The bullet had passed clean through but the amount of blood flowing from the wound kept the thought of death well in the forefront of my mind. Behind me I could hear muttering and cursing as I slumped over, switching the revolver from my right hand to my left. The sound of empty shells being tossed aside, as my unseen assailant frantically fiddled with fresh ammunition, marked my only opportunity to get off a shot. It would not be clean or graceful but it would have to do. I rolled over the mangled shoulder and onto my back, stifling a growing need to scream in agony, hoisting the revolver. I took aim at the mass that stood facing me and fired until there was nothing left. The stranger still stood.
    He hung there a moment before muttering a few indecipherable last words and then, very pointedly, dropped into a heap. The floor was now matted with a thick crimson carpet and after slipping more than once I worked myself to my feet. I propped up against a wall and found a gun lying near the freshest corpse. Three shots left. Why did he load three? I had no time to think on the mans idiocy. I use one of the shots to dispatch the already unconscious outlaw and the sat in silence for a moment to assure that no one else was in the farmhouse. After a few agonizing minutes I bandaged my shoulder with a few strips of tattered curtain and sterilized it with a half bottle of rather potent whiskey, taking the last bit for myself. I retrieved my guns and holstered them before pulling a wanted poster from my pocket. The described criminal and rough sketch matched my shooter almost perfectly. I decided that I would have to take them all into town to be identified by local authorities.
    Stumbling outside, I gathered up the length of rope used to secure the horses, tying one end to the saddle of a painted mare and using the other to string along the outlaws by their legs. Once they were securely fastened to the horse, I crawled up onto the saddle of the second horse, took the reigns of both and slowly made my way back to town. I could only hope that the bodies would not be too disfigured to recognize. I had lost a copious amount of blood and the recovery from the wound had taken several weeks but when I had healed enough to moved around, I collected my bounty for whom the locals had declared undoubtedly was James Easton.
    I paid the doctor generously for his services and moved on, thinking that the nightmare had ended. I was wrong.
    A concussive blast and the distinct breaking of glass ripped me from thoughts. I looked to my hand to find that the shot glass three of my fingers had disappeared. In shock, I reached up with my other hand to feel my face. Shards of glass dotted my cheek and chin. I reached for for my revolver but it was much too late. A hail of bullets followed, peppering my chest and stomach. I slumped to the bar and looked up to notice the bartender brandish a long double barreled shotgun. I looked to the outlaws then, my heart slowing in my chest, just in time to see one of them lifted from his feet from the blast of the shotgun. A second blast followed and another outlaw hit the ground, headless. The third stood to do more damage but from one of the dark corners of the saloon more shots came, perforating the final gunman and dropping him as well.
    By this time I was on the floor, propped up by my nearly fingerless hand, as the world slowed and my life flowed from every pore. I opened my mouth to speak but where I expected words there was only blood. In that dull moment, where life and death fought over my soul, I reflected. I reached a quivering hand up toward the pocket of my duster once again and swooned as I fell to lay, helplessly, on the floor. Fumbling as I strained to make my hand function, I finally produced the pocket watch. The middle of the watch had been removed by a single and unintentionally precise shot and the back, once beautifully etched with gold and ivory, was now stained with blood. I could have swore I saw the hands continue to tick as I had seen so many times before but no hands remained on the watch. I stared for what seemed an eternity as the scene around me slipped away until only the watch remained. How often did I see time as an ally? When the cards were stacked against me I found comfort in my watch and turned to time to fix the problem. “I’ve got time,” or “Time heals all wounds.” seem to be phrases that I used all too often. But time, my oldest and most trusted ally, had betrayed me. Alone and dying, the darkness swallowed the watch and my thoughts with it.
     
  5. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    The Best Kind of Revenge (475 words)

    Writing this from a cell has been difficult. So difficult in fact, that for a while I didn’t even consider doing it. I’m often powerless when faced with difficult things. Yet, in your hands, you hold a letter. Obviously I got around to it. I had so many other things tugging at me. The morning routine of waking up, being yelled at, searched, and then going to breakfast. We get a cruel moment of free time, alone, to stare at the sky. Then, back to the cells for contemplation. The guards don’t want me to write to you. They don’t allow writing at all, actually, but you know that. You know everything in those walls, right? While I have hours to stare at the walls, talk to other inmates, or ponder the meaning of life, I don’t have a pen.

    Or paper.

    But I procured, well, I wouldn’t use that term so lightly. No, I found, through difficult, arduous work, a way to getting those things. I toiled away, between bouts of boredom. The right words, the right people, and bam, you get what you need. I write a little bit each day, and I contemplate those words carefully, making sure the sentence is just short enough. Just long enough. That the word has the best impact. That the word has some impact. Each time I look at this, I realize I should edit it carefully. I don’t. I’m writing in pen. You can’t go back. You can strike it through, which I’d love to do, but then you run out of paper. That. That’d be silly.

    You see, warden, that getting this letter in the mail today was the start of your bad news. The rest of it will come from this moment forward. You may be realizing that I wrote this letter to you, but you probably can’t account for what else I did with that pen. Who else I contacted. What sort of people I know who would do horrible things to other people they don’t even know.

    You know, that’s kind of awful.

    Knowing that you’re powerless, unable to do anything about something that may already be done. Surely, by now you’ve dropped this letter and ran inside, checking the house, checking the windows, checking for anything.

    Oh no, I’m not sure what happened either. That’s what makes it so sweet. You told me, on the first day you met me, that you’d be in control of every day, every waking moment, and every thought that went through my head. You said being in control of our lives was something we had forfeited, and we needed to accept, via the state, your control. Your bossiness. You wake us up, you drill us, you mock us, you search us, you take away every bit of control we once had.

    How does it feel?
     
  6. Poets3.14
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    Poets3.14 New Member

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