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  1. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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    SS Comp 03

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Ferret, Jun 25, 2007.

    Okay ,guys, here goes:

    The object of the weekly writing group is to promote writing on an active basis, and, as such, this contest will go on to be done weekly. For those of you who competed in the poetry contest, or those who did the ss contest way back when (and more power to you - I hope we get the same sense of awesomeness that I did, back when I did it then), this will be a pretty much mirror image of the poetry contest.

    All those who submit will be eligible to vote in the contest in which their pieces are entered in, and the winner will get nothing but a warm feeling on the inside.

    I will be "running it", which means I make the thread, and that's about it. I will listen to anything you have to say about the contest.
    Post you entries and questions in this thread, and i'll do the rest.
    Good luck to you all.

    Theme: A Party, provided by Heather. Happiness, drinks, laughing and general hilarity. Some one gets drunk, a fight breaks out, I don't know, it's a party.

    Now, keep in mind that the party doesn't have to take place on Earth, or in this centuray, even.

    Word Limit: 350 - 1200 words. This is, as always, neogotiable.

    Start: June 25th End May 2nd
    Voting: May 2nd - 7th.

    Challange: I only recieved one idea, and it didn't seem appropriate for this week's competition, so I guess we're not gona being doing that anymore.

    Also: I'm thinking about entering this one, if that's okay with the populace?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Why would it not be ok? It's not as if you would be fixing the votes.

    As for the challenge: I wasn't clear that the challenge was different from the theme. I think I understand now what you were looking for, a recommendation to apply a particular technique or approach to the theme. Am I correct in assuming the challenge is meant only to add an opportunity to stretch the writer's repertoire, and is not a submission requirement or voting criterion?

    One more thing - you say in the intro that "All those who submit will be eligible to vote in the contest in which their pieces are entered in." Is it really the intention to ask people not to vote if they did not submit an entry?
     
  3. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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    No, that's just there to make me sound smarter.
    All you need to do is read all the peices before you vote. I'll change that during the next contest.
    And, yea, that' all the challange is.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks. Also, I like the new avatar. Sharp!
     
  5. Whitejd
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    Whitejd Member

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    Did you misspeak on the ending date? May 2?
     
  6. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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    That is a week after the starting, right?
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You my want to check you calendar! :)
     
  8. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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    What, the months go December -> january.
    I don't know how time runs in your demention, but it must weird.
    Wack-o's...
     
  9. Whitejd
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    Whitejd Member

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    I did not mean to cause a problem but was not sure about the time frame of the contest. Your original post was:

    "Start: June 25th End May 2nd"
    "Voting: May 2nd - 7th."

    I was just concerned that you could be ending the contest before it started. I do write Science Fiction so I can live with that.

    J.D.
     
  10. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    LOL he's got a point though!
     
  11. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the point is that May doesn't follow June - July does! Nevermind! I think people just want it confirming that the deadline is the 2nd July (not May which was last month!) :)
     
  12. Bick
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    Bick New Member

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    "Theme: A Party, provided by Heather. Happiness, drinks, laughing and general hilarity. Some one gets drunk, a fight breaks out, I don't know, it's a party."

    Ok I get it has to be a party, but does it have to be that kind of party? The way my mind is, when I think party I think a 5 year olds first real party.
     
  13. Whitejd
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    Whitejd Member

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    Now that I have the date correct I will see if I can write a short story for this contest...that's why I joined this web ...needed some place where I could put my writing in the public eye and have it disemboweled for the world to see. This should also give me the opportunity to have my ego crushed flat.
     
  14. WhispWillow
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    WhispWillow Contributing Member

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    LOL at that!! :D
     
  15. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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    Well, you can write whatever you wan't, people might not vote for it though.

    Ask heather, she's the one who gave the idea.
     
  16. Whitejd
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    Whitejd Member

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    The Party - Comp 03

    This is my first try at the forum weekly contest. Let me know what you think.


    The Party
    by J. D. White

    Ricky was playing Garden Party when I walked into the room. That was his last hit making it all the way to #6 on Billboard and turned Gold in '72. I remember back in '71, I think it was October, that Ricky was booed by the crowd at Madison Square. He walked off the stage and did not return. He was singing his old songs, you know, “Hello Mary Lou” and “She Belongs to Me” and doing a great job of taking the mind of the crowd away from his hippie hair and costume. Those songs had carried him from the little kid on TV with his mom and dad to the top of the charts of Rock-and-Roll. Then he did the third song of the set. It was a cover of the Stones “Honky Tonk Woman”.

    There are almost as many stories about what happened next as there are people who were, or were not, at the concert. Some say that the cops came in at the back of the building and started hassling some kids who could have been doing a bit of weed. Some say that the cops were called in to handle two drunks who started throwing punches at each other and anyone within arms reach. Some say that the old rockers got upset with Ricky not sticking with his old hits. What ever the reason Ricky heard the crowd boo and in his mind they had turned against him. He walked off the stage and watched the concert from the wings and at the end did not return to the stage for the final bow. Later that night he started writing his first song. He had always done covers of other folks songs. One last song from a great rock and roller and it was all his. Words and music.

    I move like a ghost through the room looking into the faces of the folks who, in turn, are looking in to Ricky's face. Most have their eyes half closed, as Ricky does when he gets into a song.

    I know them all.

    In the high wingback chair in one corner sets Jiles Perry “Big Bopper” Richardson Jr., his head back and his eyes closed, his fingers drumming a rhythm on the chair arm. Richie Valens stands near the door lightly touching the arm of Billie Holiday. Charles Hardin “Buddy” Holley sets on the brick step that rings the fire place watching Ricky and waiting his turn to do a song or two. His white dinner jacket and black rimed glasses reflecting the light from the lamp next to him. I move quietly through the room passing Eddie Cochran, Johnny Horton, Sam Cook, Woodrow “Woody” Wilson Guthrie, and Otis Redding. Their time will come and I will remember their stories when they sing their songs. In a corner near a bright lamp I see the three, James “Jimi” Marshall Hendrix, Janis Lyn Joplin and James “Jim” Douglas Morrison.

    I brushed past the three reaching for the lamp switch. Turning the switch, the light fades, scattering dark shadows to the recesses of the room. I turn away from the now vague forms in the corner and move to the lamp near the window and flip the switch. Now only one lamp provides illumination and substance to the shapes in the room.

    I reach the wall switch and push it down extinguishing the last light in the room. I reach down and turn the player off. The music of Garden Party fades. I walk to the doorway and into the hall. I reach the stairs leading to my bedroom on the second floor and stand with one foot on the first step, the other rooted to the floor of the hall. From my vantage point I look back into the den.

    The dim yellow light from the street slants into the den through the windows and I can see an almost transparent image of Ricky. In my mind I hear the closing cords of Garden Party.
     
  17. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    well, here is my attempt at his weeks. i didn't think writing about a party would be soo hard, lol.

    [ warning ] graphic content [ warning ]


    The Night of My Life. (772 words)

    Music bounced around the room, infecting everyone with laughter and movement. People crowded in the living room, grinding their sweaty bodies together and shaking their “booties” in the air. The room reeked of alcohol, cheap vodka and cider that could be bought in bulk for only pounds.
    In front of me my arms flailed around, waving up and down like an octopus. My feet tripped around under my body, and I thought I was dancing rather well compared to the other drunken idiots around me. In the corner of my eye I noticed Rick Carter, a lad from school that was watching me dance. I moved my body as sexy as I could manage, snaking it round in little enticing circles. Rick smiled and nodded his head, inviting me to move closer to him. Putting on my sexy eyes, I strutted towards the sofa where he was sitting. Running my hand down my body he grinned, his teeth showing beneath his beautiful lips. I smiled and placed myself on his lap as he caressed my cheeks and neck. His breath on my skin felt fresh compared to the humid heat of the room.
    Grabbing hold of his hands, I pulled him up to dance with the others. His hands held tight to my gyrating body, my bottom pressing tight into his pelvis as I moved to the beat of the music. Running his hand up my body, he spun me around fast so that we were facing one another. He kissed my lips, his tongue running through my mouth, delicious to taste. Keeping hold of my hand, he started pulling me out of the crowds towards the stairs. Weaving in between hordes of people, we finally reached a bedroom. He laid me back on the soft bed sheets and kissed my body all over. Pulling down my skirt he crawled on top of me and entered my body. It stung, really bad. I laid still whilst he moved up and down, pressing hard on my body making it harder for me breath.
    After a little while he rolled over and laid spread eagled next to me on the bed. I smiled at him and thought about what we had just done. I had just slept with Rick Carter! My mind buzzed with adrenaline and he kissed my neck and shoulders once more, my smile broad. He lazily continued to caress my neck for several minutes before the faint sound of snoring buzzed around the room. Slowly I drifted off to sleep also.

    It was eleven ‘0’ clock when I woke up, my head splitting in two. Rick was watching me sleep, although he must not have been awake for long as sleep was still in the corner of his eyes. His face looked blurred and disgusting, his hair slapped back on his head with sweat. He grinned at me, his teeth just visible through his slightly parted lips. He crept me out with his stare, his eyes bearing down upon me.
    Needing some air I stumbled up from the bed and into the bathroom. A pair of dirty underwear lay across the floor, and a pool of vomit in the bath. My mind spun and I fell hard against the stone floor. Rick strolled to my side and helped me up, sitting me on the toilet seat and kneeling by my side. I looked at him, watched him flick his hair from his eyes. He looked so disgusting now.
    Standing up again I felt a searing pain in between my legs so strong that I had to sit back down again. Looking down I saw that my knickers were covered in blood, stained a deep crimson colour. I heaved heavily into the bath and Rick stepped back out of the way, exclaiming about me getting “spew” on him.
    Later that day I walked myself home as Rick had to be going to Football practice. I crawled in at around one ‘0’ clock, my parents not happy that I had been gone the night. Taking one look at the state of me they knew what I had done. My mind overwhelmed, I collapsed in tears on my dad’s knee.
    That night was the worse night of my life. Rick went around school the next day telling everyone how he had “scored” and every time I walked down a corridor girls would throw dirty looks in my direction. Boys would shout rude comments at me and laugh when I ran away. I couldn’t look my parents in the eye after that as I knew what they thought of me, what everyone thought of me.
     
  18. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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    I should of said this before, if your storie contains graphic content, please, please, please, put some kind of warning at the begging of the post.
     
  19. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    sorry, is that allright??
     
  20. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    I wrote this story all the way through last night, and I had to edit out a lot of it to get it down to the right length. It could be a lot better. This is my first time participating in one of these contests.

    Tiny (word count: 1,993)

    I wake up to the sound of a car engine revving. I let my eyes adjust to the early morning light, and the momentary confusion as to where I am. The lipstick writing on the mirror and the Orlando Bloom poster on the wall remind me that it’s Scooter’s sister’s room. Really, I didn’t have to spend the night here. But it has been three weeks since Ramsey and I broke up, and home isn’t a very comforting place right now. Scooter is leaving for work. Today I have to prepare for tonight’s party.

    I groan as I roll out of the waterbed, and hear my spine crack into place. The wood floor is cold on my bare feet. I slump out of the bedroom and over to the stairs, which make horrible creaking noises as I descend them. This house is so old, and I’m really not comfortable being alone here. All of Scooter’s family is in Las Vegas for the week. That’s why we’re throwing this party.

    I go into the kitchen. The clock over the stove says that it’s almost 9am. There is money and a note on the table. I’m supposed to get supplies from the store, and Scooter will be home at 4:30.

    By the time it starts getting really hot outside, I have the tarps hung around the driveway, the tables set up, and the pool inflated. Scooter always likes to have main events for his parties. This one is wrestling in a pool full of apple pie filling. Interesting idea, also messy. Hence the tarps. At 10:30, I go to the store.

    I’m just about to get in my car when someone pulls up. It’s Dan. He parks and gets out of his car. He comes over to me, and gives me a hug, lifting me in the air.

    “God, I always forget how little you are,” he says. I get that a lot. Is 5’0” and 95 pounds really that tiny, though?

    “I’m going to get party supplies, do you want to come?” I ask.

    “Well, I came here to help set up. So, sure,” he says.

    We pull into the Wal*Mart parking lot ten minutes later. I really dislike Wal*Mart. It’s acres and acres of unkempt shelves and the lower-middle class.

    An hour later, we walk out with two carts full of necessary party items. One of Scooter’s coworkers will drop off the booze later today. I stop at the party store and buy a guitar-shaped piñata and a giant bag of candy.

    After getting home, finishing cleaning, and getting most everything where it needs to be, it’s after 1pm. I feel like having a nap.

    While Dan puts on a movie for himself in the living room, I pad up the stairs back to Scooter’s sister’s room. I cringe as I lay on the chilly waterbed. I fall into a dreamless sleep.


    There’s a tapping on the door. “Steph?” It’s Scooter. I climb out of the bed, my spine screaming at me as the poor thing cracks into place again, and open the door.

    “Hey, did you sleep all right?” he asks me.

    “Yeah, just fine. What time is it?”

    “Seven thirty,” he says. “We’re getting the pool set up, do you want to come help?”

    “Sure,” I say.

    We go downstairs, and out to the back porch where the pool and the tarps are set up. Stacked up on the porch are dozens of gallon-sized cans of apple pie filling, bought earlier in the week by Scooter. He hands me a can opener, and I get to work. Dan is dumping empty cans into the inflated pool.

    Twenty minutes later, after talking and laughing about what might happen at this party, and after our hands are sticky with apples, the pool is ready. After washing our hands, Scooter takes me inside and shows me where all the alcohol is. I help him connect his computer to the stereo speakers, so that we can have plenty of good music. We stuff the piñata, and hang it from the basketball hoop on the garage.

    One of the first people to show up is Ramsey. I try to avoid him at first. I’ve missed him, and really all I want to do is bury myself in his arms and never emerge to the real world again. I keep my distance. He finally corners me while I’m getting a drink, just as the first tipsy partygoers are climbing into the apple pie pool, pawing stickily at each other.

    “We really need to talk,” he says. Someone from outside calls his name, and he pauses. “Wait for me up in Scooter’s room. I’ll be there in a minute, and we’ll talk.”

    He turns to go outside. I take my drink upstairs, and sit on the end of Scooter’s bed. I can hear people laughing and screaming and cat-calling down in the driveway. Twenty minutes go by. Forty-five. An hour. I already know he’s not coming.

    I sneak down to the bar and commandeer the bottle of vanilla vodka, and retreat back up to the bedroom. So what? I don’t need these people to have fun at a party. Thirty minutes later, or thirty hours, I can’t tell the difference, the bottle is half gone. Did I drink all of that? I hear someone coming up the stairs. I laugh. The joke is on Ramsey, because I won’t remember most of the conversation in the morning.

    The door opens, and it’s Scooter. Or is it? I can’t really tell. Whoever it is, they’re sticky, and they smell like Christmas. I thrust myself into this person’s arms, because at this point, it’s all good.

    “Stephanie? Have you been up here this whole time?” this person asks.

    “Of course! I can’t let Ramsey make an idiot out of me in front of everyone!” I say. Though it must not come out like that, because Scooter (yes, it is Scooter) gives me a perplexed look. He sees the bottle of vodka, and his eyes go wide.

    “Did you drink all that?” he asks me. I giggle and nod. Why is the room getting dim?

    “Scooter, I think you have to change the light bulbs in here,” is what I mean to say. God only knows what I actually do say.

    “Okay, Steph, let’s take care of you,” he says. “Come on, the bathroom is this way.”

    He practically carries me into the bathroom. I’m trying to tell him about God. God is a funny ****er, yes. I don’t think he’s listening, though. Or I’m not saying it right. Scooter starts the shower, and picks me up and puts me under the stream of water. It’s freezing, and I try to run away from it, just I just slip and end up on the floor. I begin crying.

    Scooter climbs in the tub with me. I throw my arms around him, and he holds me. Everything hurts. My heart hurts, my guts hurt. He rubs my back, and I sob.

    “I feel tiny, Scooter,” I say.

    He laughs softly. “Stephanie, you are tiny.”

    I sniff. “Yeah…but I’ve never felt like it before.”
     
  21. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ring In the New Year

    “I love parties!” I said, “Of course I’ll go. What can I bring?”

    Carl stroked his beard thoughtfully. “Well, I’ve got the Champagne already, and a good variety of liquors. Why not bring that hot beef dip you made for the Christmas party? Oh, and beer, if you don’t want Bud. Jack’s bringing beer.”

    I laughed. Jack Pruett always brought plenty of beer, but only Budweiser. “Kay-Oh! Seeya then.”

    Carl Stokes had joined only a few months ago, but for a PhD with three papers published this year alone, the man could party. He had moved here from Colorado, and his wife Cheryl would be following as soon as she finished her contract job. Tall and charismatic, he often joked about his luxuriant hair, all of which was on his chin.

    When I arrived, the party was in full swing. Rick Young was at the stereo, picking through a stack of tapes, and Juliana Alvarez was setting out a brightly decorated cake on a table already loaded down with food. Music pounded out a beat that on any other night would be sure to call down noise complaints.
    Carl stepped out from the kitchen. “Hey, there you are! Need to zap that?” He reached for the covered porcelain dish in my right hand.

    “Thanks.” I looked around, and saw the ice chest next to the wall. Jack was loading it up with cans of Bud. “Hey, Jack, leave some roon for the good stuff!”

    Jack turned his head and grinned. “You still drinking that moose piss?” Jack had been the one who hired me, two years ago.

    “You’d appreciate it more if you weren’t filtering it through that cheesy ‘stache,” I retorted.

    Anne Chandler wrapped her arms around Jack and kissed the bare spot on top of his head. “Never mind him, he’s just jealous.” Anne was stunning, as always, in a snug red sweater and black pants that showed her athletic build to best advantage.

    Rick slapped his hand between my shoulder blades. I hadn’t notice his approach. “Heyyy,what’s doing, man? About time you got here.” Rick tipped back his beer, and frowned. “This can’s defective, it’s got a leak.” Jack handed him a fresh can, and Rick gave him a quick salute. Rick, a second-generation Chinese-American, was brash and outgoing to a fault. I wished I were as half as confident as he was.

    Rick hurried to the door and opened it. Melinda Carver stepped in, her arms loaded. I started over to help her unload, but Rick had already done so.

    “Hi,” I said, and felt my face warming.

    “Hey,” she said, smiling, then turned back to Rick, and began telling him what needed to go to the table, and what needed warming first. I watched her disappear into the kitchen. I popped open a bottle of beer and drank down half of it in one breath.

    Carl held out a platter of steaming hot Teriyaki wings toward me, and I piled three of them on a paper plate. “These are great,” I said as I bit into one.
    “Old family recipe,” he said, and nodded toward a take-out menu next to the phone. He headed over toward Jack and Anne, who were sitting snug together on the couch, talking to Joe Zales.

    “Hey, when’s Cheryl moving here?” I asked, but Carl kept moving.

    Rick poked me in the back and hissed, “Shut it. She’s not coming here.”

    I looked at him.

    “She asked for a divorce. I thought you had heard.”
    Great. I drank the rest of my beer to wash down the taste of my foot.

    A few beers later, and the party was louder and closer to the floor. Juliana’s gaze was locked on the ice cubes floating in her Scotch and soda. Rick was deep in conversation with Melinda, and she was nodding and smiling. Jack and Carl were loudly debating hockey. Anne laughed and interrupted often, pointing her cigarette for emphasis with her other hand entwined with Jack’s.

    I finished yet another beer, and noticed the clock. “It’s almost midnight,” I called out. Carl nodded and flipped on the TV. He carefully stood and made his way to the kitchen. He returned with the Champagne and a clear plastic bag with plastic Champagne glasses. He sat heavily on the floor. Joe looked up and blinked, and helped him set up the glasses. The countdown on television began, and we joined in.

    “Ten seconds… Five! Four! Three! Two! One!” Carl twisted the cork with a loud POP and began pouring. “Happy New Year!”

    As Carl passed around the glasses, we toasted and hugged as the television continued. “Goodbye, 1975, and hello to 1976, our Bicentennial Year! This year promises to frobble the klarny blook…” We downed the Champagne and Carl passed around what little was left. Someone switched off the TV, and we all roared out a sloppy rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

    The last note was drowned out by a loud wet series of sobs. Juliana, still staring at her ice cubes, was blubbering loudly, tears streaming down a face now splotchy red. “Nobody will ever love me. I’m ugly and nobluddy cares..” She trailed off into a wail, punctuated with hicups. Carl, Jack, and Anne tried to comfort her, but she just seemed to dissolve deeper into hysterics.

    Rick tapped me on the shoulder. “C’mon, we should all leave.”

    “Shouldn’t we stay and help?”

    Carl looked over at us, “Thanks, but we’ve got to get her calmed down and get her into bed.”

    I hesitated.

    “It’s ok. Really. Thanks for coming.”

    Rick pulled me toward the door. “I’ll give you a ride home.”

    I looked around. “What about Melinda?”

    “Her boyfriend’s on the way.”

    “Oh right. I thought – never mind.”

    He looked at me, and shook his head in disgust. “Party’s over. Let’s go.”

    Soon, I was carefully climbing the stairs to my empty apartment. I pulled a beer from the refrigerator, and sat in my recliner in the dark. I sipped the beer as the room slowly drifted around and around.

    I love parties.
     
  22. PAwriterwannabe
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    He didn't want to be here. Jack told him it would be good for him.

    "Drinking cheap beer and being with people who will just want to tell me they're sorry will be good for me?"
    “Shut up Tyler. Just get in the car.”

    But here I am. Jack left with me about 10 steps into the building. So I’m alone at a party full of strangers. I see the bar and I head over.
    “Kamikaze.”
    “That’s a rough starter. Are you sure?”
    “Yes. I’m sure.”
    She makes my Kamikaze. These things shock my mind away from whatever I’m thinking about. I drink the Kamikaze and sit at the bar alone. I look so out of place. I haven’t shaved in four days. My jacket isn’t ironed. My shirt is untucked and has a stain on it. I’m wearing jeans for god’s sake.
    “You look pretty uncomfortable.” She is talking to me but I don’t want to listen.
    “Yea, you could say that.” Why am I continuing this?
    “What’s wrong?”
    “A multitude of things.” Don’t tell her. She doesn’t care.
    “Start me off easy.”
    I look at her.
    “My girlfriend overdosed 4 months ago.”
    “What?”
    “Yea, you heard.”
    “Oh my god. Are you okay?”
    “Physically? I’m fine. Emotionally though … that’s where I’m ****ed.”
    “Oh my god, I’m so sorry.”
    “I’m not as much worried about me right now as I am worried about Brendan.”
    “Who’s Brendan?”
    “Our son.” Why am I telling her? She just wants a tip.
    “Oh my lord,” she holds her hand over her mouth like she’s shocked and like she cares. “How old is he?”
    “Six,” I say. I open my mouth, pause, and then say it. “When he was born he had … he had her addiction. It almost killed him. But he turned out fine.”
    “How is he taking it?”
    I start crying. Regain your composure.
    “I,” I sob. “I told him mommy is staying with her mommy back in Boston.”
    “Oh my god.”
    That’s when Jack comes over.
    “Hey man, this girl Olivia knows you. Come over here Olympia.”
    “Oh my god, I can’t believe you’re really here.”
    “What?” The bartender, Nicole, is confused.
    “This man here is Tyler Gibbard.”
    “Who?”
    “I like girls like you,” I say to the bartender.
    “Tyler Gibbard. He’s only like, the best musician in Boston.”
    “Was the best.”
    “What?” Asks Olivia. Or Olympia. Or whatever the hell her name is. It doesn’t matter, its probably fake.
    “I’m done. I quit.”
    “No, that like totally sucks! You’re in my top 8 on myspace!”
    I stare at her like she’s in idiot then turn to Jack.
    “Jack?” I whisper in his ear.
    “Yea man?”
    “Get this groupie away from me.” I hiss.
    “Ok .. Um.. Do you want to see my car?”
    “Sure!”
    They leave.
    “So are you really a big musician?”
    “Give me another drink and I’ll tell you.”
    She takes my shot glass and make me another kamikaze. Handing it back to me she stares into my eyes.
    “I wouldn’t call myself ‘big’ by any stretch of the word,” I say.
    “How big were you?”
    “People on the street would recognize me,” I begin “but couldn’t quite place who I am.”
    “So what are you doing back here?”
    “Now that Iris is dead I have no reason to stay in Boston. I want Brendan to grow up a nice normal life. I don’t want him to know what his mom was. Or what I was. I just want him to think we’re a normal family.”
    “That’s so sweet.”
    Realizing she’s been talking to me for the past seven minutes she quickly excuses herself and hurries off to wait on other customers. At three o’clock she comes over to me and hands me a napkin with a name and number on it.
    “My shift is ending but if you ever need someone to talk to or take care of your son or anything, don’t be afraid to call me, OK?”
    I look sincerely into her eyes.
    “OK, I will.”
    “OK. Good luck.”
    “Thank you.”
    Her shift was over so she left. I picked up her napkin, crumbled it up and threw it on the floor. Soon after that I left and walked home forgetting all about her.
     
  23. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    The Wild Party

    “President?” Joan Morini asked me. She twirled her gun as she sat at her computer desk. Joan’s just like that.
    “Yeah,” I said, and straightened my tie. “And I can do it, just so you know. I checked the requirements on Wikipedia.”
    “Mm-hmm.” I had Joan’s attention now. She clicked out of whatever anarchist website she was on and turned around to face me.
    “You have to be 35 to run. My birthday was yesterday.” I gestured at my own tie, which she had given me as a cheap-out present.
    “Surely that’s not all,” Joan stated.
    “Well, there’s a bunch of stuff about citizenship, but you know me. Born and raised in South Detroit, straight out of the song.”
    Joan smirked, and punched me. She loved it and hated it when I made fun of her Journey obsession. She’d picked it up in high school, about the same time she picked up me. (But, you know, not in that way. I don’t think Joan is capable of a that way.)
    “And what’s your party?” she asked. “Plus, don’t you need to have money coming out the sun-don’t-shiner?”
    “I can answer two in one there,” I said. “You see, the only thing as good as money in a campaign is publicity. And the best way to get publicity is to be different.”
    Joan saw where I was going. She put her hand on her face and dragged it down, exhausted as always by my stupidity. “Ugh. You know, Max, it didn’t work for Ralph Nader, it won’t work for you.”
    “Sure it will,” I said. “The internet is an amazing tool. Imagine it: Max Rhea for president, running under…the Wild Party.”
    “Oh, I get it. It’s a joke.” Joan sounded relieved, talking as she scanned YouTube for some illegal music video to record and put on iTunes. Joan’s just like that.
    She continued. “You know, I almost believed for a second that you were dumb enough to-,” Suddenly, she stopped twirling her pistol.
    “What’s this?” She said through gritted teeth, pointing at a featured video.
    “Why do you think I’m dressed up all snazzy?” I shrugged. “I just announced my candidacy on the internet. And they love it.”

    --

    “I can’t believe you roped me into this,” Joan groaned, looking like a cross between Joan Jett and baby Bambi as she tried to walk in her high heels and dress. On the other side of the curtain, we could hear the crowd roar.
    “I mean,” she went on as she almost twisted her ankle again, “I’m an anarchist. I like Chumbawamba. How can I get possibly go on the Bleeding Freedom Message Board when they hear I actually helped my friend run for president?”
    “If it makes you feel better, it’s not your fault,” I said, as I signed something for a PR man and sent him away. “Who knew we’d get so much funding? Who honestly knew the public was so sick of how things were being run?”
    “Does the word anarchist mean nothing to you?” snarled my running mate as she adjusted her strapless.
    “Alright, point taken,” I said. “But admit it. Five months, and we’ve come this far purely on donations? I mean, did you see what I did this morning? I shook Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hand. Ahnuld! The governator! I was so excited I had to focus on not pissing my pants instead of making the clever ‘Last Action Hero’ reference I had planned! And now we’re about to give a speech to the adoring public-“
    “The media circus,” Joan corrected cynically.
    “-the public! Who knew the Wild Party would ever take off?” I said.
    It sounded unoriginal and propagandic. But it was honestly what I was thinking, what I had been thinking for almost half a year now. The Wild Party could take off. We could do this.

    --

    Joan stopped complaining around August. She decided it was okay as long as I let her promote her Right to Bear Arms agenda.
    Meanwhile, I concentrated on my own principles: Fix the financial system. Fix the environment. Work on city crime and poverty.
    People told me, “That’s impossible, especially in today’s government!”
    I said, “I’m not today’s government. I’m tomorrow’s.”

    --

    September 30th. Debates. Holy crap.
    Barack Obama is saintly enough to make Gandhi want to punch a kitten.
    Giulani? He tried to hit on Joan. She accidentally stepped on his foot with her stiletto, then fell forward onto his fancy Armani suit while holding her martini. Our popularity in the polls shot up 27 percent.
    Romney and Clinton got into a debate over separation of religion and state. Romney called Clinton a bitch backstage.
    I gave Biden bunny ears. Biggest highlight of my life. Ever.

    --

    November 5th.
    11:58.
    I’ve drunk five high-caffeine lattes in the past hour. That’s my lowest per hour so far.
    I’m sure I can do this.
    I’m just not sure I can do this.
    Joan was right. This was a joke. I never was supposed to come this far. The internet is powerful, yes, but this- this? Ridiculous! I may or may not be given possession of the free world for the next four years. It’s me, Clinton, and Giulani. Joan, in classic Morini timing, is PMSing on top of being a flaming ball of hormones from the anxiety. Last I saw her, she was in the back room of the Waiting Room with Giulani. She’s that nuts.
    11:59.
    I don’t know anything! I don’t know how to solve Iraq! I don’t know about alternate feuls, or economics, or how to be diplomatic to a crazy North Korean! What am I going to do? If? When? If? When?
    12:00.
    The results are flashing across the screen.
    I can’t read. I literally can not read. The stress or the caffeine or the dark of night or something has rendered me illiterate. I can not make sense of the words flashing on the screen.
    But I can recognize colors. And the color on the screen isn’t red. And it’s not blue.
    Oh, God.
    Life is wild.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    As per usual, I took the idea given and put as much spin on it as I could. Hope it still works. (Personally, it does.)
     
  24. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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    The parts of your soul you refuse to recognize.
    Yeah, I'm gonna be gone Sunday through Sunday.
    So:
    Should voting start Sunday Morning
    or
    If you guys can make the polls, make the poll and have another Mod stick it.

    I'm sorry, but I just found out today about this matter. I thought It was going to be next week. I'm horrible with dates.
     
  25. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You never found a chance to post yours. I was hoping to see it.

    If another mod can set up the polling and stickyong, would you be ok with that? That way the schedule can stay pretty close to what it was, and also it won't be as long to the start of the next one.
     
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