1. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Past Contest Submissions CLOSED for Short Story Contest 162 - Theme "Escape"

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest Archives' started by GingerCoffee, Aug 23, 2014.

    Thanks for your patience.

    Short Story Contest 162
    Submissions & Details Thread
    Theme: "Escape" courtesy of @BookLover

    Submissions will be open for ~2 more weeks. Our new contest schedule is changing to every three weeks so that one contest ends/starts per weekend.

    IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ THE CHANGES!

    If you wish to enter the contest post the story here directly in the thread. It will show up as an anonymous author.

    This contest is open to all writingforums.org members, newbies and the established alike. 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. As always, the winner may also PM me to request the theme of the subsequent contest if he/she wishes.

    Entries do not have to follow the themes explicitly, but off-topic entries may not be entered into the voting.

    Word limit: 500-3000 words
    Deadline for entries: Sunday the 7th of September, 2014 1600 (4:00 pm) US Pacific time

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

    If we reach 20 entries, the maximum number of stories for any one contest, I will consider splitting the contest into two. Only one entry per contest per contestant is permitted.

    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 basis to decide its legitimacy 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 may not be posted for review until the contest ends, but authors may seek critiques after voting closes for the contest. Members may also not repost a story anywhere, or bring attention to the contest in any way, until the voting has closed.

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

    If there are any questions, please send me a PM (Conversation). After the entries close, posting in the thread is open for comments.

    ***And thanks to even more long hours put in by our very special mod/member @Wreybies, winners are now awarded with olympic style medals displayed under their avatars.

    Thanks, and good luck!

    Be sure to preview your entry before you hit 'reply'.
    Check italics and bolding as sometimes the end code for bold or italics doesn't copy/paste affecting large stretches of text. If you need to fix the formatting, hit 'control a' to 'select all' and clear all bold and italics code. Then re-add it back in using the board's font controls before you hit 'post reply'. Same thing with extra line spaces, delete them directly from the post before hitting 'post reply'.
     
  2. BeckyJean
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    BeckyJean Member

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    Trolling for Tuna (3135)

    It was nearly ten PM. Lance and Rick parked their van around back, next to the dumpster behind McMurphy’s Bar. They were coming from Lipsticks, a topless joint up the road. Lipsticks had fifty-cent shot specials on Saturdays; their way of keeping customers liquored up and hitting the ATM for cash for the dancers. They had both gotten in on that action; the shots and the dancers. Rick had that soupy, loose feeling in his bones… just how he liked it when trolling for tuna.

    As they entered McMurphy’s, they noticed a band setting up on the small stage in the corner. Excellent. There was sure to be lots of tuna. Double bonus.

    The two men bellied up to the bar and ordered two Bud Lites. Lance chugged his in five gulps. Rick took a drink of his and turned to give the room a once over.

    He saw a pretty blonde in white shorts seated on a stool holding a cue stick. He liked the way the stick looked between her legs, leaning against the inside of a bare, suntanned thigh. He also liked the way both of her hands were wrapped around it, one on top of the other. His gaze narrowed when he saw her bright pink nail polish. Pink polish was his favorite.

    He could feel the twitch near his left eye waking up. It did that when he trolled.

    She must’ve felt his eyes on her because she looked up. Her face did that thing some women’s faces did when they saw him; a blend of confused disgust with an undercurrent of fear. He didn’t understand it, and frankly; it pissed him off. Who the fuck did they think they were? Princess Diana? Bitches. All of them – bitches. He took another swig of beer.

    Then a tall, hulking dude in a tank top approached her. He took the pool cue and kissed her cheek. The boyfriend, Rick thought. He watched as the blonde bitch whispered something in his ear. Then the boyfriend turned and faced Rick, the warning clear on his face; back off or I’ll rip your throat out.

    Rick tipped his ball cap at the dude, offered a friendly smile – or what he believed was a friendly smile – and, trying to look casual, averted his eyes.

    Fuck that piece of tuna. Her tits were too small anyway. Rick’s eyes settled on a girl with long red hair close to the stage. Yeah, her tits were just fine.

    ~~~

    Lance was having a little trouble standing. He’d done a lot of shots at Lipsticks. More than his share. Downing his beer just now might’ve been a mistake, too. But he needed the liquid courage for later.

    He could tell Rick wasn’t as drunk as he was. He never seemed drunk, though – even when Lance was sure that he was. He stole a glance at his friend. He sure is funny looking, he thought for the hundredth time.

    Rick had a stout physique with an oddly thick waist that almost hour-glassed in the middle. He had a wide, round ass and little girl hands. But that wasn’t the worst of it. That was kept hidden under his loose tee-shirts.

    Rick had what was referred to in that Fight Club movie as bitch-tits; full, jiggly, just-shy-of-needing- a-bra man-boobs. They never talked about them. And Lance was careful not to stare.

    Rick’s face stayed buried under a scruffy beard, and his thinning hair was always hidden by some version of filthy ball cap. Lance figured the beard and cap was designed to counter the rest; make it clear to anyone looking that he was a man. Otherwise he was just as likely to be mistaken for a dyke.

    Sometimes Lance caught Rick looking at him with a strange expression. The envy he saw was obvious. After all – he was the polar opposite of Rick. Lance was a strapping six feet four inches tall. He was broad chested and well muscled with cowboy good looks that garnered female attention wherever he went.

    He wondered if that’s why Rick sought a friendship with him in the first place; for better luck with the ladies. Because in the beginning their M.O. had been for Rick to take a shot at Lance’s leftovers. Every so often he’d actually get lucky.

    Things had changed though; their dynamic shifted. But they didn’t talk about that either.

    It was an odd friendship. There was the age difference, for one. Rick was closer to fifty than he might readily admit. Lance was in his early twenties and had just graduated college two months ago. He would be moving back home to be with Mama soon; next week, probably.

    The truth was; Mama didn’t like him being away from home. The fact that she’d survived his going to college on the other side of the state still surprised him. Mama was a very clingy, needy woman. Lance figured most mothers were, though; especially if they didn’t have a man of their own. Probably all single moms with handsome sons were close in the way he and Mama were. It made him feel better to think that, anyway.

    Rick had mentioned more than once that he despised college boys. All except for Lance, he supposed. He said they looked down on him and men like him; blue-collar union men that sweated for their pay. Rick worked at the shit n’ piss plant on the edge of town. They never talked about his work, though. Come to think of it; they barely talked about anything.

    Except for titties. They were both big-tit-men; the bigger the better. It didn’t matter to Lance if they grew in that way or were professionally installed. For him, one was just as good as the other.

    Rick was pickier, though. He liked them au naturel. Fewer and fewer of the big, juicy ones came naturally these days, though – something that frustrated Rick to no end. Lance wondered why it mattered. Boobs were boobs, right? Lance was a simple man. He tried not to complicate matters with particulars.

    Aside from their age and appearance, their lifestyles were completely different. Rick was into big game hunting and sport fishing. He never ate any of his kills, though, saying he did it just for fun. He watched NASCAR, pro wrestling, and Cops reruns and lived on frozen Totino’s Pizza, buckets of KFC, sugary cereals, and Bud Lite.

    Apparently, according to Rick, Bud Lite is the manliest of all beers. Secretly Lance wondered how a light beer could be considered manly. But Rick was a conundrum.

    Lance felt pressed to acquire a taste for junk food and Bud Lite just to shut Rick up. He harassed Lance constantly about his daily gym visits, his multivitamins, his protein drinks. He was the bitchiest about the beer; making fun of the Heineken or Fat Tire he would order - like it was chick beer, calling it Lance’s ‘wine’. Caving in on the Bud Lite was His final compromise.

    It always felt strange to Lance how Rick picked on him; like he envied everything about him, but resented that he did. Like Rick knew no matter what he did he was stuck with what he was. Because how do you change little girl hands into masculine ones? And how do you rid yourself of man-boobs? Exercise and vitamins wouldn’t touch either. He’d need breast reduction surgery – and wasn’t that for chicks?

    Lance wondered if Rick’s bitch-tits were connected to his trolling for tuna. They each had their own reasons; a thing that triggered it. They’d never discussed the why’s of it, though. They just rolled with the feeling when it took. It was more fun that way.

    Thinking about trolling suddenly made Lance nervous. And excited. He needed more liquid courage. He waved down the bartender and ordered another beer.

    ~~~

    Lisa and Natalie were giggling. The dorky guy in the three piece suit was giving Lisa the sexy-eye from the next table. Laughing was mean. They knew it was, but c’mon. How could someone like that think he stood a chance with either of them? They weren’t the prettiest girls in the world, but they were hot. At least that’s what they’d been told.

    The two sisters, also roommates and best friends, worked hard at being hot; treating it like a job – a business. It took several hours a day and a ton of product to get their hair straightened just right and their faces put together just so.

    Picking the right outfit was paramount to being hot, too. It had to give off the right message; be sexy, show a lot of skin, but be classy.

    Class, though, wasn’t what the rest of the world saw when they looked at Lisa and Natalie. Tiny, barely-there clothing on chubby girls was far from classy.

    “Look. He’s here. I knew he’d be here tonight.” Natalie said excitedly to Lisa. She was staring at the handsome guy at the bar; the tall, tanned cowboy next to the short, creepy fella.

    They were whispering, their heads close together, when the tall man turned and looked directly at them. Natalie touched her hair and sat up straighter, thrusting out her chest a little more. She had a great rack. Everybody said so.

    From her periphery she could see Lisa doing the same. She had a great rack, too – even if her rack wasn’t real. The sisters liked that they could offer a buffet of breastage to the men they choose. Tag-teaming the really stunning ones was a sport they enjoyed on occasion. Maybe tonight would be one of those times.

    “What do you think?” Natalie asked Lisa. “He’s pretty gorgeous. Seems to know it, too.”

    Lisa laughed, making sure to toss her hair and cast a flirty glance his way. “Yep. But what about the troll next to him? Aren’t they together?”

    “Maybe they’re just standing next to each other. Christ, I hope that’s all it is, because he’s just gross. I think I actually see man-titties!” Natalie scoffed and made a face.

    The tall man had been leaning down, mouthing something to the stumpy one. When the short guy looked at Natalie and saw her expression - his face went from curiosity to pissed. The gorgeous one, though… he was smiling, beckoning them over.

    They gathered their purses and pushed away from the table. “Let’s do this,” Natalie said, grinning and hooking arms with Lisa as they went.

    ~~~

    “How’s it going, ladies?” the cowboy said immediately. “I’m Lance. This here is Rick.”

    “It’s so nice to meet you.” Natalie, batting her lashes, extended a hand to Lance. His was large and burly. It completely engulfed hers, giving her a little thrill.

    She turned to Rick then. He did nothing initially. Finally he stuck out a small, pale, feminine hand with skinny fingers. She simply gawked at it at first. Then she grasped and shook only his fingers before quickly letting go. She had to work to not fling it away.

    Seeming not to notice, he gave Lisa a cursory nod and turned his attention back to Natalie; or rather, back to her breasts. His eyes seemed to see and not see her at the same time.

    “So, have you two lovely ladies heard this band before?” Lance asked, nodding toward the stage, breaking the uncomfortable silence. “I hear they’re really good,” he lied. He had no idea who this band was. He just knew they drew chicks, and chicks meant titties, and titties meant… well, they meant what always came next for him and Rick. It would be his last hoorah, a great sendoff before he headed back home to be with Mama.

    “We love this band!” Lisa oozed. “We saw them at The Voodoo Lounge last month.” She spoke in a rush, anxiously; like she didn’t want to get left out of the conversation.

    “Why don’t you two join us?” Lance said. Without waiting for an answer, he moved to the empty four-top close to the bar and took a seat. Rick followed in silence. The girls looked at each other, shrugged, and also followed.

    “Who wants a drink?” Rick asked. He smiled at Natalie; an odd, greedy smile that was meant to ease her. It didn’t.

    “How ‘bout a round of shots?” Lance asked. His eyes twinkled and gleamed as he looked expectantly from Natalie to Lisa. “Let’s have some. It’ll be fun, I promise!” He raised a long, muscular arm and caught the attention of the waitress. “Hey there, beautiful!” he said as she approached. Lance had his charm-volume turned all the way up, even for the flat-chested, plain looking waitress. She probably wasn't called beautiful very often, if ever. “Let’s have four shots of Cuervo and four Bud Lites, pretty lady.” He didn’t bother to ask if that’s what the girls wanted.

    “Salt and lime with that?” she asked in monotone.

    “Salt, no lime. Bring lemons.” His eyes twinkled some more. “Okay, gorgeous?” He smiled up at her; he was feeling generous.

    She rolled her eyes. Seems his wiles didn’t work on plain-Jane, flat-as-a-pancake waitresses.

    It didn’t take long before she was back with their order. After their drinks were passed around, the girls laughed and made faces as they downed their shots and sucked on lemons. Rick and Lance exchanged a look before they drank theirs.

    With half his beer gone, Lance got unsteadily to his feet. “I need to drain the pipe. Be right back.” he said, and left the table. In less than a minute, Rick stood as well.

    “I may as well drain mine, too.” he said in a flat voice, chuckling awkwardly and waddling down the short hallway toward the men’s room.

    “I thought only girls went to the bathroom together,” Natalie said, raising an eyebrow.

    “I wouldn’t be surprised if the ugly one actually is a girl - ?” replied Lisa. They both laughed.

    ~~~

    Lance was standing with a hand braced against the wall as he peed. Rick came through the door and stood next to him. A moment later he was hitting the urinal cake with a stream or urine.

    “So?” Lance asked, giving Rick a sideways glance.

    “I don’t know, man. I’m not really feeling it. Besides, they’re kinda chunky.”

    Rick looked glum, which wasn’t unusual; he was often glum. He had the worst time meeting chicks, and the two at the table made it pretty clear they weren’t interested.

    “True. They definitely have that Midwestern girth. But does it really matter? I mean, shit,” Lance laughed, “It’s not as if we’ll keep them around for…” he stopped, realizing he hadn’t checked the shitter-stalls for feet. “Uh – I mean, does it matter? For us, I mean?” He was stammering, afraid he’d said too much. That last tequila had really done a number on him.

    “I don’t think either of them will do it for me tonight.”

    Lance finished peeing, shook off, zipped up, and went to the sink to wash his hands. “Look, we’re already here, and it’s only getting later. So if we’re gonna roll, we need to do it now.” Rick’s wishy-washy attitude suddenly annoyed him. “Decide quickly, man. This is probably my last night to do this, and I don’t wanna blow it wasting time.”

    He dried his hands, shot Rick a stern look, and went out the door. It occurred to Lance that all that booze had given him liquid courage after all. He never spoke to Rick that way.

    I’ll decide when I’m fucking good and ready!” Rick yelled through the closed door, oblivious to the way it sounded coming from a men’s room. After he peed he stood in front of the faucet, but didn’t turn it on. Sullenly, almost defiantly, he left his hands unwashed. He smirked at his reflection in the smudged mirror and headed back to the table.

    Lance had one of the girls (Lisa with the fake boobies) out of her chair. He was teaching her some goofy dance. The other one, Natalie, looked on with something akin to jealousy. She smiled through it, but Rick knew she was ticked. She had to be.

    Then his eyes dropped to her chest; to her plump, full breasts. He made up his mind. He gave Lance the signal. “Why don’t I get some more beer?” he asked cheerfully.

    “No need,” Lisa said, entangled in Lance’s arms. “Nat and I already bought a round. Got us some more shots, too; Sex On the Beach.” she said suggestively.

    “Let’s drink up!” Natalie said enthusiastically, passing the shots around. “One, two, three… GO!” and they all drank. Natalie seemed suddenly excited; primed for a good time.

    I’ll show you a good time alright, Rick thought, beginning to simmer below his belt. That tick near his eye twitched twice, waking up again.

    “I have an idea,” Lisa said, still wrapped around Lance. “Why don’t we get out of here?”

    The men exchanged another look, and then Lance flashed the girls a smile. “I think that’s an excellent idea.” He hadn’t planned for things to go so quickly, but why the hell not?

    “Our car is right out front.” Natalie said.

    “Why don’t we take mine, darlin’?” Rick said, sounding oddly pleasant.

    Natalie caught Lisa’s eye and then turned to Rick. “Okay, let’s do that.”

    Lance couldn’t believe their luck; how easy was this? Candy from a baby, he thought.

    Rick’s twitch was wide awake now. He pulled his cap down to cover it. “Shall we?” he gestured toward the Exit.

    Like sheep to the slaughter, the girls followed him out the door. Silently, they walked around the building to his van, saying nothing about where he’d parked; how far away it was from everything else.

    The sisters crawled into the back seat, Rick got behind the wheel, and Lance took shotgun. The two men turned to one another, all set to give their mental high-five.

    Flies in the web, hook, line, and sinker, or fish in a barrel… however they wanted to term it; there was no escape for tuna once they got in the van.

    And now the fun could really begin.

    Except that Lance was suddenly dizzy. And his head felt way too big for his neck. He wasn’t just seeing double; the whole world was a blur. And then his vision was tunneling in – getting more and more narrow, a fog of blackness gobbling up the air.

    He managed to look toward the driver’s seat. Rick was already slumped over the wheel, drooling. Panicked, Lance tried to look behind him. Everything was going dark fast. He turned just enough to see Natalie pulling a rope from her purse. And then Lisa was climbing toward him; something long, sharp, and shiny in her hand.
     
  3. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    CAN OF WHOOP-ASS [568 words]

    Lexa's boyfriend cheated on her the Saturday before last at the Tiger's game under the bleachers with the school tramp named Michelle. She decided she'd had enough of his serial Philandering by now and personal freedom was much more important. So we rallied to plan her Escape.

    We met at the usual table by the dessert rail and soda machines. I took a Hostess Cherry Pie and Lexa and Didi drank Cokes.

    "You guys," Lexa said once we had assumed our seats. "I'm dumping Josh completely."

    "What?" Didi exclaimed.

    "Thank God." I chimed curtly.

    "Marsha was at the game and said she saw him with Michelle. They were doing the Tuna under the bleachers."

    "What was Marsha doing under the bleachers?" Didi asked, and I snorted.

    "I've decided to plan my Escape." Lex continued, "but not in public. And I want my reputation preserved."

    "You could always write him a note." Didi offered.

    "Yeah." I agreed. "That might do the trick, alright. Several copies strategically placed." I gave her a sly look, and both girls looked at me.

    "Alright." Lexa said, fishing a pad and pen from her purse, "Where do we start?"

    I smiled coyly. "Start by telling him you know what he did." I said, "Then tell him about all the other times at the Prom and in the gym hall bathroom."

    "And the tennis court." Didi added, rolling her eyes at the ceiling. "The equipment closet, the staff room, and the 3D Lab in the Science wing on the third floor."

    "And the roof." Lexa frowned. We paused for a moment.

    "Now go ahead and tell him that in the interest of Preservation and a desire to protect your spotless reputation you are dropping him, effective immediately."

    She scribbled and nodded her head.

    "Tell him you've tried to look past this. You've given him the chance to right his wrongs. Tell him that even though his cheating ways have wounded you to the core, you have no wish to humiliate him in public. At least not yet. Tell him you forgive his many transgressions, but there's one thing to do in return. He's got to apologize to everyone he's messed with."

    There was silence, and Lexa looked pensive.

    "That's going to take a long time." she said.

    "Maybe years." Didi added.

    "Trust me." I said. "Fold it up and deliver it, but let me make a few copies."

    Days later the school was abuzz with the news that Josh had been dumped. Suddenly girls from over the city began to get notes in their emails and Twitterfeeds, demanding a heartfelt apology. Few if any were dispensed, and over the space of several weeks the Cornerback's star was gravely diminished. His credibility weirdly eroded. Lexa achieved her goal, and personal Freedom was assured. We met in the cafeteria.

    "Well, thank God that's over." Lexa said with Coke in hand.

    "I knew it would all work out." Didi said with a knowing smile.

    "Guys like that drop IQ points for every crap they take in the bathroom." I said.

    "No shit." Didi concurred.

    A few months later we were together again at lunch when Lexa's new boyfriend was caught the day before cheating at a party. She decided she'd had enough of his serial Philandering by then and personal freedom was much more important. So we rallied to plan her escape.
     
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  4. Drue Bernardi
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    Drue Bernardi New Member

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    Finger of God (2,072 words)

    Scott stood in the middle of the field, taking in the scenery and enjoying the cool breeze coming off the massive supercell. The churning storm in front of him revealed its secrets only to the well trained eye. The entire cloud was like a hovering alien mother ship, slowly rotating in the thick Oklahoma air. A bolt of lightning flicked out of the storm and a crackling rumble filled the air. There was nothing more beautiful in Scott’s eyes than a perfectly sculpted supercell thunderstorm. Such magnificence, such grace, such overwhelming power, it really made a man stand back in awe. This storm was not the monster the media portrayed it to be, this storm was the epitome of how stunning Mother Nature could be. Another chilly outflow wind rippled through the grass around him, cutting through the humid spring air with ease. This storm was dying, years of chasing had taught him to recognize the signs, but even in death the supercell was easily the most beautiful thing within miles. An odd shiver ran up and down his spine, having nothing to do with the cool wind from the storm. Something seemed wrong about today, this last day of Tornado Season. It had been nothing if not an average season as far as the storms themselves, and Scott had enjoyed an above average number of successes on the expansive plains. Still, he could not shake the uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach.

    “Hey Scott! You read me brother?! Scott, you there?!”

    The loud noise came from his chase vehicle, a sleek black (although heavily modified) Ford Escape he had chosen for its peppy EcoBoost engine, great gas mileage, and surprising agility. The CB had crackled to life unexpectedly, breaking Scott from his meditation. He walked back to the small SUV and reached in through the window, grabbing the microphone.

    “Yeah I got ya Ben, what’s the good word?”

    “Where the hell are you right now?!”

    “Will you cool your damn jets? About nineteen miles South-Southwest of OKC. Why?”

    “YOU’RE WHERE?!”

    “Jesus, Ben, do I need to spell it out for you? Three miles west of Newcastle, 16 or so miles south of OKC. I say again, WHY?”

    “Holy hell! Scott you have to get out of there ASAP!”

    “Why Ben? There’s nothing here but a dying supercell which I am missing because you’re having a panic attack.”

    “Scott listen to me, you hard headed nutcase, in behind that supercell by about ten miles is another one. It’s feeding off the moisture left behind by the one you’re under. And not in the good way either. Scott this thing is gonna get violent, and it’s gonna get violent in a real hurry.”

    Scott paused before replying. Ben had always been one to jump the gun on these things, an over excited kid not long out of college known for getting more than a hair too close on more than several occasions. Still the word “violent” was worth at least a cursory check of the radar. He swung his door open and sat in the seat, door still hanging open. A couple of clicks on his laptop produced the latest radar image which was…uninspiring to say the least.

    “Look Ben, I don’t mean to be an ass but I’m looking right at the radar and I don’t see anything violent about this cell. It looks like a textbook late season supercell. Why are you getting so worked up about this?”

    “Because that storm has formed into a cell that size in half the time it’s supposed to take, that’s why. Because it bears a striking resemblance to a cell I chased with you when you were my college professor instead of my friend. Think Scott, for the love of God think!”

    Memories began flashing in front of his mind’s eye. A black wall of debris, houses and cars flying through the air, entire cities being shredded and flattened by a churning cloud of death, the roar of the eviscerating three hundred mile per hour winds. How could he ever forget? Maybe Ben was right, maybe it did deserve a second look.

    “Ben, you seem to have the jump on this storm. I’m gonna take your word for it. I’ll get back to you when I get myself out of this field and back onto one of the main roads.”

    “10-4 Scott, drive safe brother.”

    Scott begrudgingly took one last look at the dying supercell, and started up his Ford. Some careful maneuvering got him out of the field and back onto the dirt road he had come up to reach this spot. In the distance he could see the billowing towers of the second cell. That seemed awful close for ten miles away though. Scott came to a stop in the road, throwing on his hazard lights despite the extremely slim chance of anyone traveling down this road. He refreshed the radar image, something that only took a matter of seconds even with his satellite internet setup. This new image showed the storm approaching much closer than he had expected. In fact it was only about four miles to his south west at this point. And what was worse, he could see the telltale hook echo forming on the back of the storm. This storm was either about to drop a tornado, or it already had. He turned off his flashers and took off down the dirt road again. He still had a while along this road before reaching a rural road that would eventually get him back to a highway.


    As he traveled the dirt road, the uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach became more of a tumbling feeling. He was in danger, far greater danger than he was accustomed to. Worst of all, he was alone. His normal navigator was home with his newborn son; his photographer had taken the last week of the season off. He was alone in the Ford Escape that threw up pieces of rock and chunks of red dirt as it tore down the road. With a splat a huge rain drop nailed his windshield, followed by another, and another, soon becoming a torrential downpour that sent his wipers into overdrive. Scott soon found himself fighting the wheel and playing with the throttle as the hard packed Oklahoma dirt became sloppy red mud. This was definitely not the thing he needed with a tornado approaching. Finally, with his chase vehicle traveling more or less at a 45 degree slide, his tires met pavement and with a quick right turn and a slight wiggle to shed the mud he was headed north toward OKC. And, perhaps by luck alone, the rain slowed and stopped allowing him to see around him. He instantly regretted this sudden ability to take in his surroundings as a glance in his rear view mirror revealed a monster lurking behind him.


    “Sweet zombie Jesus…”

    To the untrained eye it appeared as if a massive black wall had enveloped the horizon, but to Scott it was simply his worst nightmare. This impossible supercell had spawned a mile and a half wide entity of pure destruction. A certified killer capable of reducing everything in its path to nothing more than blank slabs, piles of rubble, and scoured earth. There was no beauty, there was no magnificence, there was only raw unhindered power being unleashed upon the world. This thing was headed directly for Oklahoma City, and between the two was Scott. And to make matters worse, the tornado was gaining on him. He stomped the gas, the front tires chirped as the Ford kicked down into passing gear and took off. He felt the vehicle shudder slightly as it met the inflow winds of the approaching supercell, which didn’t surprise Scott a bit. Something that big is bound to have hellacious inflows, and the aerodynamic body of the Escape was handling them just as he was hoping they would. He glanced in his mirror again, and again regretted the decision. The tornado had grown larger, and was closing in on him as impossible as it seemed. Something flicked across the road behind him. Great, just what he needed, the storm had spawned satellite tornadoes that were now circling the main vortex like wolves in a pack.

    “SHIT!”

    Scott swerved to miss a flying object of some sort, possibly a garbage can. The inflow winds were getting stronger and the satellite vortices were sucking in their own debris and chucking it as if they were a two year old in a tantrum. He struggled to keep the vehicle on the road as he fought the winds and dodged debris. How could this happen? How? He was one of the most experienced chasers in the country, the first one to preach safety, the one who never got too close. Now the Finger of God was breathing down his neck, threatening with each passing second to grab him and send him flying like a missile, something Scott was sure he wouldn’t survive. Dirt and dust flew through the air past him as the inflow winds carried it into the storm, reducing his visibility and turning the danger up yet another notch. A thin black shape stretching far above his range of view flicked across the road just in front of him and with a loud POP every piece of glass except the windshield exploded in a hail razor sharp shards. He swerved, another black tendril swept into the side of the car and he was noiselessly lifted into the air. Time slowed to a crawl, silence filled the air. This was it. He was going to die right here in the fields of Oklahoma. And yet, a strange peace came over him. Yes, he was going to die in the most ironic way possible, the chaser being chased down, but yet he would be known for dying doing what he loved. He would leave behind research that would help save lives. His story would be used as a warning that could save future chasers. His reverie was broken by a loud THUD as the Ford slammed passenger side first into the Oklahoma mud, and everything went dark. His thoughts began to run wild.

    So this is death huh? Not so bad really. Don’t feel any pain, I’m less stressed than I have been in years, and I feel like I’m in my twenties again. Maybe they were right when they said it’s like slipping off into a deep sleep.

    His thoughts were soon invaded by a muffled voice.

    Hey wait a minute, I thought I was alone here…what are they saying…are they saying my name? Maybe I’m being called to the other side.

    The voice became clearer and a bright light illuminated his eyelids from the outside.

    “Scott! Can you hear me?! Stay with me Scott! Come on buddy stay with me!” the voice called.

    Huh, that voice sounds odd and OH GOD THE PAIN, THE HORRIBLE PAIN!

    He jumped awake, and realized the bright light wasn’t from the other side; it was the light in an emergency room. He was alive, although it would seem just barely. His legs, his ribs, his neck, his arms, everything hurt and his skin seared from the cuts along it. This agony only lasted a few more moments as he felt a sharp pain in his arm from the I.V. and suddenly the pain drifted away. The world around him began to swim, and he drifted off to sleep, his vital signs finally stable. What Scott didn’t know is that he was in Norman, Oklahoma after being helicoptered out of the field the tornado had thrown him 300 yards through. What Scott didn’t know is that the mile and a half wide tornado had ripped through Oklahoma City, flattening everything in its path and killing hundreds if not thousands of people. And perhaps worst of all, what Scott didn’t know as he lay there in his hospital bed, is that the man who had warned him to run was among them. The next day, Ben’s chase vehicle would be found lying upside down and destroyed in a field much like Scott’s was. Unfortunately for Ben he had been chased up a dead end back road by a satellite tornado, and he was swept up in the wrath of the main vortex. He had no chance to escape.
     
  5. ranjit23das
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    ranjit23das Member

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    My sweet Jane (1030 words)

    I don’t know how long I was out for. I regained consciousness to the sound of my mobile phone buzzing. I was disorientated and felt a heavy weight on my chest. The cutting pain across my neck and shoulder was intolerable. I gasped for breath. I was dazed so the sounds were dim and distant. I remember cold air on my face, the smell of her perfume.

    My memory slowly began to recollect. The loud thud and then the car jack knifing and somersaulting through the air. I saw everything in slow motion. The contents of the car flying around me; the CDs, my sunglasses, the mobile phone. The impact of the car landing on its roof threw my head against the door frame. I feel a stinging pain above my eye and then pass out.

    The mobile phone buzzed again. I had no idea how long I had been passed out for. The CD was still playing. How bizarre it was that Frank Sinatra was merrily singing ‘fly me to the moon’ whilst I lay upside down; my seat belt holding me in my seat and debris spattered around. I tried to move but the pain was too much. I could feel blood oozing out of my forehead and into my hair. The rush of blood to my head and the gash in my forehead made it hard for me to remain conscious. I recall thinking of Jane before I passed out. Hoping she was safe.

    The steady beeping sound stirred me and I attempted to open my eyes. I could feel the throbbing of my vein in my neck and hear my own rasping breathing. I could only open my left eye and gradually the room came into focus. I saw I had my right arm raised on a support and in plaster. I had a drip in the other arm and various monitors surrounding the bed. The neon ceiling lighting burned my eyes. My body ached and the searing pain in my head made it hard for me.

    “You’re awake I see,” chirped a voice. I craned my neck towards the sound to find a young nurse looking down at me. Her beaming smile was reassuring. “You gave us quite a scare Mr Knowles. Thankfully you had a lucky escape.” She advised.

    “W…W…Wader,” I croaked. My tongue felt heavy and dry and I struggled to form words. Luckily for me the nurse understood and poured me some water. She gently cradled my head and lifted me up to drink. The cool water cooled the back of my throat as I gulped it down.

    “Yes, quite a lucky escape,” she continued. “You broke your right arm and leg unfortunately and took quite a bump to your head. But a few weeks in hospital and you will be as right as rain.” She beamed.

    “And my wife, Jane?” I whispered.

    The nurse’s smile dropped instantly and she struggled to hold my gaze, “perhaps . . . perhaps Doctor Aziz can explain tomorrow when he does his rounds. I … I am not the best person to . . . you know, tell you these things,” she stumbled out.

    “Where is Jane?” I pleaded. The effort of speaking made my head ache. I tried to reach for her hand but struggled to raise my arm more than a few centimetres. I did not realise how weak I was.

    “Please, Mr Knowles, don’t exert yourself too much. Take some more rest.” she soothed, patting my arm and gently placing it back on the bed. She walked round to the intravenous drip and said, “I’ll just increase your pain medication so that you don’t feel uncomfortable.” Before I could regain my strength to protest I felt the warm sensation of the pain killers oozing through my body and I fell into a slumber.

    Jane and I had been celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary that night. My sister had offered to baby sit the twins. “You both deserve a night out,” Cathy had encouraged. “Let Jane put on a party frock and get glammed up instead of running round trying to keep up with Jamie and Duncan. Lord knows you are no help on that front,” she had chided.

    My sweet Jane. She had been so thrilled when I surprised her with two tickets to The Phantom of the Opera and pre-theatre meal. She had polished up beautifully, her auburn hair up the way I liked it and wearing her little black dress. I swear her blue eyes shone like jewels that night. I recall the tiny freckles on her nose and smell of her perfume when I went to kiss her.

    After the nurse left me I broke into a fever. I spent the next few days in and out of a delirious sleep. A vision of Jane holding my hand as I drove along, talking about the boys and how much she missed them. Then the car somersaulting and jolting us in our seats. Jamie and Duncan on their fifth birthday feeding cake to mummy. Cathy urging me to take Jane out to celebrate. Our wedding day. The deer running in front of the car. The loud thud and windscreen smashing as the car crashed into it. Strangely Jane did not scream.

    The funeral was a quiet family affair. They had had to wait a few weeks for me to suitably recover before holding the service. The boys were lost without mummy and daddy. Cathy did her best to be a surrogate parent; bless her. I attended the funeral in a wheelchair, arm and leg still in plaster. It had been a closed casket. Seeing their mum would have helped the boys get closure, but it was not possible.

    The nurse was right I had been lucky to escape relatively unhurt. Ten years on, the boys are ready to leave the nest and go to college. We all still miss Jane and rejoice at the memories she left behind and the happiness she bought us in her short time with us. Jamie has her blue eyes and Duncan has inherited her freckles so in a way she is still with us. My sweet Jane.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  6. CastleEra
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    CastleEra Member

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    "Crawling on my Skin." [772 Words]

    All I saw was blackness. A darkness so thick that I could feel the nothingness upon my flesh like a thousand tiny legs prancing about my being. I tried to escape the darkness that covered my body like a net. I crawled forward with no thought or motive other than to escape. To somehow keep going until I found myself in a different place and a different time. I don't know how long I crawled, but I know that I moved as fast as I could and yet I never reached an end. I never touched a wall or barrier. I felt nothing but the blackness all around me and cold floor beneath my feet. It was like being stranded in the middle of an ocean of darkness, where no matter which way you swam you would drown long before land ever entered your sight. I was alone. I knew I was alone.

    Was I alone? For all I knew this expansive arena that I was trapped in was home to other people. I cried out as loud as I could. I called out to whoever might hear me and know my plight; hoping for someone to share this burden with. I begged and begged for there to be another soul within this forsaken place. Fear shook me. Every time I raised my voice without a response was like stabbing myself with a knife. Each time I called out I knew no one would answer, and so each time when the nothingness responded in silence my heart broke anew. My legs gave out as sorrow rocked my core.

    I hugged my knees, sobbing in them with all my strength. There was no hope left within me. Nothing inside my being told me that everything would be alright. When that final flame of optimism died, then I whole body shut down. I felt nothing because I knew that there is nothing left to feel. The darkness of this room was too thick and the sorrow of the heart to strong to allow for anything to survive.

    Soon the tears stopped. Not from a rise in spirits, but from a lack of tears to be shed. I had cried them all away. There were none left to drip and fall to the floor. Escape from this place was impossible. No one would ever find me. No rescue would ever come. Nothing would happen except for at some point I would simply stop existing. Either from lack of water, food or just will to live.

    What would I say when I had accepted that death has at last found me? What do I do when fear and sorrow are all that grip my flesh and bones? What thoughts pass through my mind when all I knew was the blackest darkness possible? I didn't know, and so I did nothing. I just stayed there, immobilized by my helplessness. Escape from this hell was impossible.

    Suddenly I felt myself leaving the ground. It was so jarring that I instinctively struggled, preferring to stay in what I knew rather than go to places unknown. All I knew was the darkness, but surely whatever had me must have been much, much worse. I fought the sensation. I wiggled and struggled and tried my hardest to break free from the mysterious grasp. But no matter what I did I felt myself rising ever higher off the ground. Maybe this was the escape I had given up hoping for. Maybe at last I would be free from the confounds of the prison that held me. This was it! Freedom at last!

    I looked upon the face of my rescuer and a smile broke out over my face. There was no one in the world I was happier to see. I couldn't speak. I tried to open my mouth and express something, anything, but all that came out was gibberish. In that moment, I was so happy that I did the one thing that came naturally to me. I giggled.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Mary smiled as she rocked her giggling baby. She had turned her back for a few seconds to check on the cookies she had baking. The moment she had heard her precious son cry out she turned and ran to him. The moment his cry pierced the air her baking was forgotten. Scooping him up in her arms, Mary held him close. She kissed his cute, little forehead and rocked him gently in her arms. As she walked back towards the kitchen, her wonderful son safe in her arms, she couldn't but wonder at what had made him cry out so violently.
     
  7. Alexa C. Morgan
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    Alexa C. Morgan Member

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    Specimen B [2151 words]

    Cold Water Hot text.
    Pete sits in his bathtub, situated off the kitchen of the small and unpleasantly yellow apartment he shares with his brother Derek and friend Warren, and tries not get his (oh, ok its stolen) laptop wet... The dirty water is getting cold as quickly as his beer is getting warm, but he is paralyzed by his umbilical connection to the Internet.

    Yes sir! He is online and talking dirty to a total stranger!! He tries to persuade himself that he is researching for his upcoming screenplay. But in fact he is getting his ya-yas off with what could quite possibly be but a mere computer in space somewhere, cleverly programmed to reply to him in the form of a cute, thin and of course blond girl named Nancy, who enjoys shaving her pussy and doing it doggy-style. Apparently there is no such thing as cyber-shame.

    Pete has written four previous, and admittedly terrible, screenplays. Not only were they poorly written and lacking originality or imagination, but they were of the porn-genre. A failed writer is one thing, but a failed porn-writer is something else indeed. His current project is advancing rather slowly, since he has no ideas for it good or bad, nevertheless, this is the piece if work which has been appointed the responsibility of making Pete feel proud and fulfilled, and also re-paying back rent and expenses to Warren and Derek. Who, incidentally, become less and less tolerant of the “eccentricity” exhibited by the lump that occupies the third bedroom, the jilted couch, and now more frequently, the bathtub.

    All that’s left for Pete now is to dry off, locate and consume the remaining Pez candies from their Yosemite Sam dispenser and watch re-runs of "Wonderwoman" feeling a bit depressed. And wishing he had a joint to smoke.The last Pez has been crunched and swallowed and is rapidly attacked and dissolved by the acids of his otherwise empty stomach, as well as those of the cheap Napa wine he found in a glass on the floor, and is pouring down his neck. For medicinal purposes of course. With the final death-cry of the little orange candy, comes a synchronous urge to be horizontal and unconscious. As Pete sinks into the ugly green sofa of disturbed sleep, someone is entering his atmosphere…

    Oh Fuck – Sleep paralysis again? Shit, I can’t move, Pete confirms to himself, his eyes wide open, staring directly at the crumpled-poster version of Salvador Dali’s Narcissus which hangs over the (oh, ok its stolen) TV, masterfully scotch-taped to the wall at a slightly crooked angle. What the fuck??? He inquired to himself, at the first of many cold pokes and jabs in his ribs. Unable to move, or tear his gaze from the only artwork in the room, Pete wondered what the hell was going on. He had suffered from this before, finding himself somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, without being able to push himself in one direction or another, as neither the body nor the mind responds to commands delivered during such episode. However, the poking was new.

    Then, he blacks out completely. When his eyes open, this time with mutual body control, he finds his surrounding has metamorphosed into something quite unlike the tartar-yellow environment of the apartment In fact, a conference room containing several hundred small oriental men is roughly the opposite of his accustomed habitat. He is mildly alarmed.

    Having virtually no language skills, English being the only tongue moderately grasped oral or written, Pete fails to recognize that the rapid chattering emanating from the little men is not Chinese, as he assumes nor is it similar to any dialect of any other oriental language. What the frig am I doing in this room fulla WonTons? Pete asks himself, a question that leads to a sudden craving for General Tao Chicken.

    His question unanswered, the WonTons proceed to wheel Pete to the middle of the room in the chair to which he is strapped. It is at this point, being generally a little slow to react, that he notices his restraints, his nudity and the somewhat frigid temperature of the room. On display, and suffering from mortifying shrinkage, Pete is straining to recall what medical testing he may have recently volunteered for in exchange for the standard $125 and free lunch. He draws a blank. He turns his thoughts toward the free lunch and hopes for some egg rolls to go with the chicken.

    Pete’s mind now fully engrossed in plum sauce, the little men are free to examine, hypothesize, and effectively determine Pete’s fate. Amid the plethora of possibilities are anal probing, mental torture, and general dissection as these small oriental flavored guys do not in fact come from the Far East, but much Further West, depending on your perspective. Not too far from that big lumpy start that clearly identifies the Southern Cross. Yes, Pete’s destiny could easily become brief, and unpleasant in sort. However, despite the claim he makes regularly, that he was “born under a bad sign”, and that luck is something that never touches him, in this instance, Fortune is smiling upon him, all teeth showing. The need of these little yellow friends for a human subject is certainly right up Pete’s alley. Too bad he doesn’t know about it yet and is still obsessed with the idea of food.

    One of the resident aliens featuring a pointy rice hat made of tin foil, leans over Pete’s confused expression. Without even opening his thin lipped mouth, he introduces himself as “The Leader”. But Pete with his shrewd sense of observation, worries not about how he was spoken to, in complete absence of words. Holy shit batman, what’s the drug man, makes me understand Chinese, how awesome is that? Is Leader your last name or first name?

    It is clear that The Leader is impervious to camp humor. He responds in a deep narrative voice-over tone, which reminds Pete of a Mazda commercial:

    This summer... leave everything behind… and forget everything you know… Specimen-B… we apologize for the inconvenience... of the selection process… Specimen-A is malfunctioning…

    You will take his place... the alien adds, and before the human could make more idiotic retorts, he sticks his bony index finger with a blob of mucus at the end, right into Pete’s ear, or into Pete’s right ear, with the same result. Pete shrieks like a little girl. What the fuck is that for? Wait…whaaa, but he doesn’t finish his sentence, suddenly preoccupied with the sharp-spike pain drilling into his brain.

    Momentarily, Pete can’t move his jaw shut, to prevent the copious spillage of saliva, now cascading freely onto his naked chest. Maybe this wasn't worth it, debates Pete contorted in pain, while "The Leader" takes an enamel cup with rust pre-dating first World War, and collects the dribble coming out of his mouth. The aliens share the findings taking turns in tasting Pete’s slobber, as if they were on a culinary adventure tour hosted by Chef Ramsey.

    That is so disgusting!! I bet that’s how you broke Specimen-A guy, freaked him out with your weird Chinese spit eating rituals, exclaims Pete finding command over his vocal cords, 20 seconds later.

    Specimen-B, you are mistaken. We are not Chinese. We come from the Fifth Star of Right Wall of Heavenly Market Enclosure or as is known by humans, a star named Chow. Pete doesn’t need another Wet-Willy of splitting ear-drum-doom; This time his jaw drops instinctively, and a little stream of slob resurfaces in the corner of his mouth, prompting his captors to rapture in cheers. Does that mean I’m getting no Tao chicken? Is there any Chow at all?

    The fellow aliens shake their bubbly heads, disappointed. One of them, Pete labelled as the “Almost Leader” because of a smaller tin hat, elbows "The Leader" and in consequence, he is given the important task to write something on a thin, transparent tablet. The group whispers “aha’s” and “that’s interesting” and more elbowing occurs, before the boss returns to Pete with an answer.

    Specimen-B, we find you as grammatically challenged as Specimen-A; there is a clear difference between a Noun and a Proper Noun. Our mission is to locate and replicate samples of any kind of chow that other alien life forms formulate, so that we can restore proper nutrition for our constituents that are presently starving, on our mother planet, Chow.

    Pete laughed, tear-eyed and heartbroken. On one tied hand, he found the “chow for the planet Chow” mission hilarious, on the other hand - that he managed to free from the bounds of the thin rope - he was mortified he was not going to eat anything any time soon but perhaps more of that torturous gooey liquid, little less General Tao’s chicken dish. If he had a third hand he would have slapped himself out of this Pez inducted nightmare. Or maybe Warren switched my Pez for E and Derek poisoned the wine, he thought, feeling homesick.

    It is not a laughing matter, "The Lead" voices out, measuring Pete’s balls with utmost care. Actually, all of them were so taken with Pete’s private parts, poking at them and debating out loud about “what is adequate versus inadequate size” that Pete manages to free both of his hands without them noticing. Right when the human was to jump out of the seat attempting a no-plan, no-brainer escape, "The Lead" inserts his index finger into Pete’s belly button, depriving him of both legs usage into a semi-paralysis. Oh fuck, growled Pete, you know what, I bet you anything that Specimen-A has a bigger one you know, if that is what you want- and probably more slobber!!

    Because there was no bodily fluid coming out of nowhere this time, other than Pete’s eyes of course, the aliens took off their tin foil hats and scratched their heads humming, puzzled by the fail results of the experiment. It is not a laughing matter indeed, Pete, wake up man, for God’s sake. It is a dream. Just a dream. You can do it, big boy, thought Pete looking at his minuscule flap of manhood.

    With considerable effort, he jumps out of the chair and rams into the group of little yellow folks, who scatter around in disarray. It’s a dream you mother fuckers! I need to wake up, where is the exit, Pete screams, launching towards the big exit sign conveniently pointing at a massive door. Then he stops to carefully read the weird hieroglyphs just above the red lever. What does it say? What does it say? Oh, fuck it, I’m going to open this hatch anyway!

    Specimen-B, you are mistaken. It is not a dream. Just like Specimen-A, you were found through a suite of tests lead from cyber-space, conducted over an extensive period of time. Earthling’s obsession with food and procreation are an advantage over other species when it comes to voluntarily disposing of their precious bodily fluids. It is our mission to collect the chow and replicate it so that our planet Chow survives.

    Pete remains unconvinced. Heard that, he thinks, trying to remember the name of his mother’s shrink, he wants, no, he must, book an appointment as soon as he gets back to the wakeful reality.

    If you open the hatch, you will suffer the same terrible fate as Specimen-A, continued "The Leader". Humans cannot survive a temporal dislocation without severe repercussions. Please, take a look for yourself, and he swipes his tablet. From the ceiling of the conference room, a white screen comes down and "Almost Leader" fumbles with an antiquated and incredibly large remote control. Cheesy music blares through, and a suite of PowerPoint slides depicting Tom Cruise getting out of whack on Oprah’s couch, come into Pete’s astounded view.

    Right, he yells back, hand on the lever, desperately trying to move it from the A to the B position. Ha ha ha hah, good one! Tom Cruise is Specimen-A? Now I know it is a dream! Anywayze, what’s the worst that can happen? I become a Scientologist?

    The latch clicks open. The Yellow aliens wave sadly, humming under their funny hats the lyrics of Simon and Garfunkel: Bye, bye love, Bye, bye happiness, Hello loneliness, Think I'm gonna’ cry…
    Pete almost feels bad for them. Asian hipster aliens, on the brink of extinction; What a strange dream indeed! The sound of his gurgling stomach reminds him he needs to wake up at once.

    All’right, here I come, box of Chinese leftovers buried under Derek’s dirty socks!
    Then he cranks the door outwards into what appears to be a black lumpy void, and jumps.


    THE END
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
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  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Specimen B ^ [word count 2114, language]

    Please read entry requirements, thank you. :)
     
  9. Alexa C. Morgan
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    Alexa C. Morgan Member

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    I was just adding that :) but thank you.
     
  10. Fan7asticMrFox
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    Fan7asticMrFox Contributing Member Contributor

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    Spirit (1,776 words)

    I will escape. Yes, of that I am sure. And when I do I will return and bring about the end. I will crush their miserable little existence and tear their world asunder, pulling them down into a pit of darkness, this pit of darkness, to complete my revenge. Their screams will be drowned out by the wails of my banshees and my minions will drink their blood and feast on their souls. I will cackle as they all beg for mercy and grind every single bone into dust and then, and only then, will my rage be sated.

    They have done this to themselves. They have done this to me. He has done this to me. A boy – a mere child. Trapped in this abhorrent abyss by a feeble being, skinner than a pitchfork and no taller than one of my own imps. Pah! If he were here now I would squeeze the life right out of him, my shadows would tear him to pieces and, and, and…

    How was it even possible? Their greatest champions had armed themselves into dazzling silver, with swords as sharp as vipers’ teeth and shields that were one man fortresses. They would march gallantly up the great mountain, struggling in hard fought combat with my minions and braving the treacherous upper heights. I decimated them. Slaughtered every single last one. When these so called champions reached the top and saw me, and looked upon the greatest evil they had ever known, their fear enveloped them; their teeth chattered together and their eyes grew wide and I purged them of their souls. It was so very… easy.

    Once I had finished with them I cast shadows down upon their village, blackening the sky in thunderous storms, and I watched the mortals with feverish glee knowing that soon they would be mine – my next victims. This was where I made my mistake, a mistake I will not make again. On my return to their realm I will vanquish every last pathetic soul and I will do so with haste. But in that moment I toyed with the mortals and engulfed their homes in wild flames and laughed as they fled in fear.

    But not the boy. He stood there in the cobbled street, the thatched houses a wall of flame all around and he looked up through the blackened sky with tears welling in his eyes, and stared right at me on my great mountain. The audacity and fearlessness angered me, but I smirked with arrogant pride and decided to retreat my darkness back to the summit. It was my little invitation, to show him what fear really was.

    Of course he accepted. There was a light inside the child like no mortal I had ever encountered, but I merely played it off as foolishness and ignorance. The boy placed a helmet on that was twice his size, and dragged a warrior’s sword in his two tiny palms before marching through his own burning village, past dead friends and family, towards the base of my mountain.

    My corruption had already spread through the forest at the bottom of the mountain, a thick darkness inside with trees twisting and scratching at the boy while he pushed on through. The skittering of my pets along the dying branches did not deter him and he delved deeper within, where the forest became pale and white. It was hauntingly quiet too, no wildlife to squeak or howl, only the fiendish skittering of my pretties circling around their next victim.

    And suddenly the boy stopped in a small clearing where a single slanted rock rose out from the middle and here is where I knew I had him. With a devious grin I sent my eight legged pets to spin the boy, catch him alive and bring him to me. They danced along the overhanging trees and through the clawing grass, ready to spin their web when unexpectedly the boy cut across the slanted rock with his sword – not once, not twice but thrice. He struggled greatly under the weight of the sword, yet his strikes were swift and true, and sparks burst out from the blade and into the trees. Much to my dismay the branches caught ablaze, bringing light to the shadowy grove. The spiders displeased me greatly when they skittered away like cowards, all the while the boy walked out of the forest completely unharmed.

    This only added to my growing anger and so my evil closed in, the hungering black surrounding the boy as he braved the mountain face. I could taste the anxiety deep in the pit of his stomach, the sweet fear that rattled in his bones and yet, he clawed hand after hand up the jagged rocks and even when his palms cut and bled he kept climbing.

    So I darkened his world even more. I had had enough of this. The games were over and my contempt for this vile scum had become intolerable. I conjured storms together in my grasp and thrust them down the mountain. The tumultuous skies roared together, over and over, a crescendo of violent noise that never ceased. Savage forks of lightning snapped at the boy, desperately trying to fry that insignificant little worm. But the bolts missed, by a fraction and by a mile, bursting the rocks around him in shrapnel. The splintered fragments exploded and cut and burrowed into the boy’s skin, but still he climbed. Still he defied me!

    Why was he still going? Why was he not defeated by the ever present doom that lay before him? All the champions before had merely buckled under the weight of their own fear and suffering. Some were conquered before they even made the climb, others died on the side of the mountain at the hands of my terrifying minions, while a select few made it to the top, to see me with their own fearful eyes. Each of them had attempted to confront me for the same selfish desire. Glory. Their names were meant to be in folklore and midwives would sing songs of their gallantry and imperial beauty. Ha! I fed off these sinful thoughts, feasting hungrily on their greed and their vanity. Their souls were fattening and sweet, dripping with hidden darkness.

    But I did not know the boy’s desires. Even now as I sit here trapped in my prison, I contemplate his sinful thoughts – if there were any, I could not find them within. All there was deep inside the boy’s heart was a glimmer, a golden light that burned bright like an eternal flame. It was a light that had to be eradicated, something I realised all too late. I had to stop him. My minions would make sure of it, or suffer my wrath.

    With my command the minions descended from the blackened skies and they were ravenous for blood and so very eager to please me: the screams of my banshees tore across the darkness, their hideous forms circling down with claws sharp and menacing; the dead rose from the mountain out of the parched and cracked earth, brought back to serve their new master; and red eyed gargoyles flashed across the sky bearing their teeth in savage delight.

    I could no longer see the boy, my demons crowded around him in their thousands and I perched up on the summit of my mountain with claws dug in, leaning over intently. My eyes lit up at the sight of the hordes marching on the mountains from all sides, the thunderous storms shattering down from above and eventually my anger subsided and transformed into relief. The boy would surely not survive the night. And so I removed myself, rested at the top of my mountain and slept.

    I do not dream. In my slumber I see nothing but the cold black that fills my heart. It is a soothing darkness, one that is impenetrable to the light and good of the world. And yet, that night, I saw a spark. It faded and flickered at first, enough that a single breath could cast it out. But it lingered like the foulness of hope and grew in such a way that it reminded me of creation and the despicable offspring of life. It made no sense. I am the nightmare! I am the harbinger of terror, the master of suffering and pain! But the light… it burned! So bright – a golden cave of treasure inside my mind, piercing me, blinding me, burning me – I had to stop it… I had to look away.

    The light forced me awake. Lifting up from my slumber I saw the mountain summit, my blackened brimstone throne. It looked different somehow, lighter almost, and I glazed my eyes over the horizon at its pinkish hue. The cold dark had reigned for so long in my presence but now colour invaded my control. Before me the horizon shifted and brightened and burned from pink to peach to gold and somehow, the shining orb that was the sun began to rise. And suddenly he was there. Standing there atop of my mountain, in my domain, with a sword of burning light and a shadow as large as a king, was the boy.

    It was simply impossible. What had possessed him? How could he possibly be standing there, looking upon me, upon my face? There was no fear within his soul and no desires or sinful thoughts. All there was inside him was hope.

    There was nothing I could do. His spirit could not be broken, his mind could not be made corrupt and I – the nightmare, the evil, the menace – was terrified. The sun rose higher behind the boy and I began to yelp and scream, the golden rays tearing me apart like paper in a flame, burning like my dream. Wisps of darkness shed from my body, flittered away in the sunlight and transformed into the purest white. My strength fell away and my soul slipped downwards into the nether and in my final moments I watched what was left of me shine like diamonds.

    I will forever remember the face of my fate and those haunting, innocent eyes. I will never forget he who trapped me here for eternity. Yet he is mortal. He will grow old and he will eventually die. There will never be another one like him. There can’t be. It is impossible. And that is when I will have the last laugh. I will wait a thousand years if I have to, plotting my revenge in this darkness.

    I will escape. Yes… of that I am sure.
     
  11. Schrite
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    Schrite New Member

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    SEED (2,627)

    You plant a seed and you wait.
    That was always the worst of it.
    Ideas take time and the changes usually only come when no one is watching.
    You sift the dirt and have to walk away, leaving something buried deep in whatever recesses, and all you can do is wait for new life to stem into daylight. You wait for some sign of growth.
    Regeneration.
    Blooming.
    Action. Consequence. You plant your seeds and hope for the best.
    The electricity went out first. Then running water. In short order food began rotting. Decay. The earth fed indifferently on blood, sucking it slowly from whoever let it.
    The cities are only so much concrete and silence, rare forms shifting through their various shadows. The interminable din of humanity faded, mutating over trudging months, reconstructing into stench and vile, warm winds blowing about, weaving their ways through catacombs scraping the heavens.
    Only rumors exit regarding the change. How everyone died. Why.
    Speculation blossomed.
    Assumption grew into “truths”, time nourishing their shallow roots.
    No one knows, but everyone believes…
    A war annihilated the masses. Poison crept from dirty bombs. Atmospheres turned rancid, feeding cancer and breathing pestilence.
    Two generations later, subtle wars continue to break out.
    Every chance encounter.
    Every unexpected visit.
    A seed of distrust fed by rich carrion scattering the earth.
    The bodies continue piling up. And we refuse trusting one another, fending only for our own and for ourselves.
    Life is scarce and growth is slow but the world is slowly forming itself back into the hands of humanity. We till its earth. We form its refuse. We build and salvage. Rumors haunt conversations. Dreams of electricity tease those who sleep, drawing them toward the southern coasts.
    Plant the seed of hope and watch as men follow. They uplift their shelters, weigh their backs with chattel. They trudge south through the world, dropping like flies for any number of reasons, hoping to see that sweet blossom of truth. Hoping to catch sight of electric sun rays severing the night’s pathetic moon. Hear music in speakers. Control small climates.
    Hope leads some to their death and others to life, and some people manage only to hang on.
    But it’s better than nothing. That tiny seed, it’s something to watch for.
    In last year’s spring, clean water wound its way down from the northern hills.
    Sarah and I watched the river beds rise, rolling out of the earth, crystal clear, freezing waters swelling the shores around them. Tucked away in nowhere, we ripened awhile there with the ground, feeding off the surrounding life.
    And then we lost our own, a tiny heap of flesh left in a small hole, far from the waters which had been bringing life.
    Nameless. Breathless. It left the world never having entered it.
    Sarah noticed the shifting first.
    The northern hills had blackened along all the rivers. The water changed somehow, drawing the cancerous black down through its veins. Winds gathered up a stench of rot and raked the sick attar down toward our valley.
    We made our way east, as we had done before, gathering rains to purify them.
    The world flattened and spread and we tried the horizons, looking for the dark teeth of cities.
    Our old city had fallen to the paranoia of man. More and more streets shone with red tints of sun, sticky gutter wash smelling of copper. Like the northern hills, rivers chased us away from the city and we made our way east.
    Months shifted the night’s constellations. Well sheltered from October’s grim chill, we’d found a new refuge on the outskirts of some city. As Aquarius watched, pouring his water, I planted a seed and we waited.
    I scouted the city on whose outskirts we squatted, leaving Sarah in warmth. Over the course of a month, I found myself welcomed, if not with a hint a insecure fears.
    November found us among strange sorts of people, but the comforts were greater and the food was abundant.
    Still, the nervous city shifted, uneasy shadows twitching at times.
    Paranoia and distrust lapped at our feet. Trepidation lingered in our strange periphery.
    Accepted and working, eyes still watched us too closely. And we watched them back. But with trembling nerves and uneasy words, we survived the harsh winter’s fits. Each of us.
    And the seed I had planted found itself blooming inside the depths of that city.
    In spring, Sarah and I made back to our shelter, happy to leave those people behind. They were the closest to humanity we’d yet to experience, but volatility haunted each meeting. Hostility waited outside each conversation.
    So we tended ourselves once the winter broke free and summer found us as three in July. But Sarah passed only a month later as August brought that black rot east from the hills. A speck had arrived, tainting the western horizon, its form growing larger over the days. That black rot was following the speck and he made his way toward us.
    I left Sarah to meet him, departing too early one morning. A mist dragged itself across the plains and hung weary. I emerged like a wraith and found the man trembling, the silver barrel of a pistol leveled at me. His eyes had a poison, like the field around him. That black rot had spread through the stranger and his eyes pointed at me the color of ink.
    We have too little. Veer north, I said, dropping a small pack and clean water.
    I backed away, watching the fog swallow him, not turning my eyes until I saw only mist.
    The form of his body was still closer that evening.
    I took more clean water. More clean food. And I left them beside the shape of his body sleeping and casting belligerent shadows. Pubescent flames danced at his back, their nutrients cursed and rotten. The fire smelled of stale rubber and smoke rose thick enough to blacken your flesh.
    The man dreamt, mumbling incoherent pleas as his shadows gnawed the cast ground.
    His hands were up when I saw him again late morning the following day. His eyes had cleared and his trembling was less and he begged me for food and clean water. A breeze came from the west, bringing that familiar stench of rot with it. He wretched at the smell before begging again.
    My gun leveled on him, I tossed the man two packs and told him to veer north. We have too little I repeated, but he was tearing the packs open before I was finished.
    I kept watch at the house the rest of the day, and I followed the man’s form across the north spread. He made his way slowly, stopping too often but always starting again. The sun set on the man’s back and as the evening drew on he made for the city, his shadow creeping east to greet it before him.
    Our sleep was uneasy.
    Sarah shook me awake.
    The first hint of dawn had only begun discoloring the eastern sky. I could barely make out Sarah’s pointing finger as she whispered something. My eyes kept falling too far away, too close to the city. When I saw the man’s form, massive upon the landscape, my heart stopped.
    His back hunched, his shape black, he made slowly across the property line.
    I grabbed our shotgun and snuck out the side door.
    The morning approached, dim hues stirring and waking, and as I crept around, coming behind the bent man, I could see his trembling had vanished completely. Cocking the shotgun, his shape stopped a moment before turning its head. The sky growing brighter behind me, I saw the glint of his barrel glowing silver in the shade of his hunch. I saw the man’s eyes, nearly void of the black rot.
    He just wanted food he assured me, but the gun was drawn up.
    Leveling my shotgun he took a step back.
    I just need to eat food.
    I insisted we spared what we could, pushing him back with my approach. With the light as low as it was even I couldn’t see the thing he tripped over, but a shot cracked the morning awake as he hit the ground.
    His eyes bulged at the pistol he’d fired, a dumb look stretched over his face, and I saw the shattered window behind me. With the shotgun I kicked up a small spread of soil and dirt too close to the figure, another deafening crack ringing the morning.
    A step closer, loading the next round and leveling the gun straight at his face. His body dragged itself backwards, eyes shining dimly.
    The city has food if you’re willing to work, I tell him. He keeps backing away.
    Putting a foot on the pistol he dropped, I keep the shotgun leveled until he’s too far to shoot. I watch him for an hour more, colors rising around him as the sun cuts through the city.
    When he’d fallen backwards, I hadn’t heard anything more than the pistol.
    Hadn’t heard the window break.
    Hadn’t heard Sarah’s thump.
    She was dead before hitting the ground.
    And by the time I looked up from my wife’s body, the man’s figure was lost to the distance.
    Sarah was buried in clean soil—before the early winter hit and the black rot made its way toward us.
    We left that place and made for the city, winds too chill scraping their way westward. The rot closed in from behind. Winter lay waiting before us. Less than a month passed since Sarah was buried but the city became refuge in the first days of September.
    I thought little of the man who’d killed her until the city’s bones blotted the sky. Uneasy welcomes came from familiar faces who’d aged too hard over the summer. Paranoia and unease still wandered the streets, but there was work to be done and food to be had.
    Small gardens littered the buildings, lined against windows facing the south. Fires burned continually, heating the rooms, and plots were laid strategically to utilize the sun.
    We worked in teams, as we had the year prior, fights breaking out over the smallest of things. Unease had poisoned our minds. Distrust layered the air. Whatever famine killed off the world, its remnants still strangled our thoughts. Trust seemed something reserved only for those you’d known your whole life.
    Inside the city, buildings don’t lose the dark of their bowels. Daylight claws its way forward, crawling the sky, a lazy thing not bothering our buildings. Shadows scuffle and shift. Narrow glints of fear peer out from their depths.
    I saw the man hiding in one, his eyes clear now of the rot I had seen. His voice trembled from the corner he’d nested, pleading for food in a weak hush. I brought him rations, my child fed first, bits of my share going saved for the man.
    There’s food if you work.
    Day after day. Meal after meal. There’s food if you work.
    By November he crawled from the shadows, a frail thing older than I could remember. His eyes almost shone in their clearness. But his thin limbs struggled against him.
    The gardens kept blooming and his strength soon provided the rations he’d come to know as his own. Every noise turned a leery eye though. Every peep kicked up his fears. But he worked what he could, needing to eat.
    It was only a week ago, mid-December, the man’s limbs fattened a bit, that we worked together two stories up in a strange little garden. The vegetables had died. The fires had dwindled and the room had frozen, smothering the food, killing that batch. We warmed up the soil, fires burning again, and planted new seeds and covered them in earth.
    I thought of my first child.
    And I thought of Sarah.
    The black wandering down from those Northern hills.
    Looking out at the city, sun cutting shadows across the grim landscape, I thought of it burning, wondering why we still lived here.
    The man finished his seeding, jerking nervously as the building creaked. His eyes widened, hand steadying at his hip. He had a knife there, and like a record scratching his hand flipped to it every few minutes, time after time, eyes scouring his surroundings.
    The building groaned. A sound snapped through our ears, cracking like gun shot. The ground below us angled, shifting the whole world with it. We stumbled and watched as the garden slid toward the windows, settling against them with a quiet thump.
    I remember telling the man we have to go. I remember making my way up to the door. He followed behind and the building shifted again. Its foundation was rotting. Just like the world.
    Outside the room, darkness took most of the building, slits of light skewering our blindness, lighting a path with archaic sings. The building’s interior opened up to a square. Our walkway was lined with black-ridden banisters. We fumbled about as the earth shifted our construct, crashing into the railing lining our walk.
    In the darkness the old man tripped into me.
    The building shifted again, roaring with noise and settling itself sideways. The stranger fell—as if I’d smacked him—tumbling into the railing lining our walks. I heard the snap of rotted wood. Heard the grasping of frail limbs.
    As I turned, my eyes adjusting to the darkened world, I saw the man tumbling over the walkway. I saw him falling toward that blackened existence.
    Something snapped and I lunged through the dark, hand outstretched and finding his by some miracle.
    Among the building’s curses I heard the man hiss, groaning and spitting about how I’d pushed him. Dangling in my hand, muscles taut through my shoulders, I can barely make out the shine of his eyes.
    You bastard, he grunts, swearing I pushed him.
    Dangling there, the world goes silent.
    The building hushed into its nook.
    The planes of reality settled around us.
    Almost blind in the darkness, my ears ringing with silence, I hear the man breathing and wanting to curse me.
    You killed my wife.
    The words come like venom.
    I see his eyes shift.
    You killed my wife, I said, breaking the silence.
    And he remembered the day.
    Even in the depths of that black building, I saw his eyes shift toward recognition.
    He only then knew who I was.
    He only then remembered his stumbling.
    How it set off the gun when he’d come back for food.
    My hand like a claw, my voice like a judgment, I watched him hang over his death.
    You killed my wife, I repeat, hearing the echo of his own curse.
    I saw in his eyes the end of his life. His mislaid belief that I expect him to die.
    This world’s cursed with the distrust of man.
    This world’s poisoned by fear and paranoia.
    And he knows what he’s done.
    And he knows that I know it.
    You plant a seed and you wait.
    That’s always the worst of it.
    Ideas take time and changes only come when no one is watching.
    You sift the dirt and have to walk away, leaving something buried deep in whatever recesses.
    And all you can do is wait for new life to stem into daylight.
    You wait for some sign of growth.
    Regeneration.
    Blooming.
    Action. Consequence. You plant your seeds and hope for the best.
    I pulled that form up, out of that darkness.
    His frail body shone like a wraith haunting our fears. But I’d brought him back, sifting a seed. Planting a hope against the fears of my world.
    Hoping a change might stem off the rot.
    Hoping my child might escape my existence.
     
    Alexa C. Morgan likes this.
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Anyone have any last minute entries, now is the time.
     

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