1. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.

    Past Contest Submissions CLOSED short story contest #146 - theme: 'Goodnight'

    Discussion in 'Monthly Short Story Contest Archives' started by GingerCoffee, Dec 2, 2013.

    Short Story Contest 146
    Submissions & Details Thread
    Theme: 'Goodnight'

    Currently the weekly contest will recur fortnightly, and maybe adjusted to weekly in the future. Entries for the new contest will be accepted during the voting for the last contest.


    If you wish to enter the contest please send your story via 'A Conversation' (aka a PM) to me to enter the story via this thread. Don't post the story here directly or it will not be counted as entered into the contest. This is to ensure anonymity, and to make this contest fairer for all - having each story judged based on their merits.

    This contest is open to all wf.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. Unfortunately, there is no prize but pride on offer for this contest. As always, the winner may also PM me to request the theme of a subsequent contest if he/she wishes.

    Theme: 'Goodnight' (courtesy of @Thomas Kitchen, our last contest winner). Any interpretation is valid. 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 15th of December, 2013 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 25 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.

    I believe with the new board software, italics and bolding are preserved when I copy/paste, but justification is not. If I have to do too much by hand to restore the entry to its entered formatting, I reserve the right to ask the author to adjust the formatting.

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

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

    Thanks, and good luck!

    The following entries were NOT AUTHORED by Ginger Coffee. The authors identities will remain hidden until the contest ends:
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
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  2. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.
    A Simple Goodnight [813 words] By @BrandonrockstheAM

    "Amanda, turn off your f*cking computer! It's 10 o'clock, for heaven's sake!" George shouted up to my room. I read through the last paragraph of the short story I was reading, then I sighed. The time for nightmares; for suffering and pain had come. Last night, a murderer had sliced my friend Sterling in half. It had then leaped at me, toppling me over onto the ground. It had raised it's hatchet, his face a flat square of skin with M'ms for eyes, then chopped my head off.

    I slipped off my glasses, placing them carefully on the table away from my desk. Last night I had tried stuffing myself with candy to make myself too tired to have any nightmares; that had worked out magnificently. An article I read last week about snoring had informed me that people who are snoring did not dream; why didn't I snore? I had even tried pretending to snore, but it hadn't worked, of course.

    I flipped off the light, then slipped into my covers, my eyes begging to be shut. The last time I had a peaceful night's sleep was the day before my father had to leave for Afghanistan. He had kissed my forehead, as he always had, whispered "good night" in my ear, then had quietly left the house. I remember receiving the note that he had died valiantly in service. For 5 years I've been having these nightmares... eventually I gave up looking for ways to end the suffering.

    I remember doing everything I could; I had looked up research on nightmares and how to stop them. I had tried manipulating the nightmare, I had tried relaxing and none of it worked. Many of the methods were unavailable to me as well. I didn't have a romantic partner with whom I can snuggle or talk to, for example. This was a side effect of the nightmares; I was not a pleasant person to talk to. Neither did my stepfather have sufficient funds to justify a trip to the doctor's every night to get an injection which would put me into a dreamless sleep. Plus, I would have a hard time convincing him anyway. Ironic, since I was a high school student with a hobby of psychology. I knew everything about the mind and the complicated diseases that effect it; however, I was plagued with the simplest disease of all, and I couldn't cure it.

    No, I must think positive. I just hadn't found the cure. Maybe it was something so stupidly simple that my mind had skipped over it...

    Why did I have this plague? Was it because I had found security in my father always being there in the night, and my mind didn't think I was safe enough? Did it think it wise to send me visions of all the horrible things that could happen? Was it a genetic disease of some sort that I hadn't heard of? Was I too stressed out over the whole thing? I didn't know, and it frustrated me.

    My phone rang next to my bed, the opening for Phineas and Ferb. Momentarily surprised, I wondered who had called me. I had only given this number to a few people, and none of them had called me within the last 5 months.

    "Hello?" I said.

    "Oh, uhm, Hi! This is Jeff, from Physics class." He replied.

    "Oh, hi, Jeff. What did you call for? Help with homework?" I raised my eyebrow, curious.

    "Nah... I was just wondering if you were okay. I haven't had the guts to tell you since now, but all through this class we've been having together... you're constantly tired. You always look desperate and exhausted. I want to make sure you're getting enough sleep." He replied.

    "Why do you care?" I ask.

    "Well... you're my classmate, you know? You're smart, you're sarcastic comments surprisingly make my day, you're pretty, and you can be nice when you feel like it." I held my breath. "Yeah... if it's not obvious, I like you."

    "Oh." I felt a surge of warmth to my cheeks. How the heck did I attract a genius like him inadvertently? Don't people usually flirt or stuff like that before becoming interested?

    "Yeah... so please go to bed soon. I worry about you." Jeff said, the concern and nervousness clear in his voice.

    "Uhm... I will." I scratched behind my ear. What should I be saying? Damnit, I'm so tired...

    "So... bye." He said.

    "Bye..." I murmured, then I quickly stopped. I was going to try something. "Could you... tell me goodnight?"

    "What?" He said, mystified.

    "Just... say it, please? Then you can hang up." I said.

    He replied, "Um... alright... Goodnight, Amanda."

    "Thank you. See you tomorrow." I smiled.


    He ended the call, and I flopped down where I had been lying before. Within minutes, I was snoring.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  3. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.
    Goodnight, Dragonslayer [536 words] By @A.M.P.

    Between George the elephant, Snuggles the monkey, Tiger the lion, and two dozen other stuffed animals, Tommy Baker lay motionless in bed.

    His Superman footy pajama kept him too warm under his Spider-Man sheets, making it hard to fall under Sandman's spell.

    The moon shone brightly into his room and with it came the shadows of quivering branches of the old apple tree outside. They zigged and zagged across the room and cut up the shadows of his toys splayed on the walls.

    Tommy knew not to be scared. The monsters aren't real and they're only in his dreams. He was still scared despite the comforting knowledge. It was different at night, and so were the monsters.

    Overhead was a troll, big nosed and covered in boils.

    “Goodnight, Billy,” Tommy whispered. “I'll give you my lunch money tomorrow too. I know you need it for food and new shoes.”

    By the top of the left wall was a witch on her broomstick. Her crooked nose jotted out from underneath her pointy hat.

    “Goodnight, Ms. Wickerbottom. I know you're mean to us because the other kids make fun of how you look.”

    Directly across from the window stood a pair of feathered harpies that whispered for him to come to the window.

    Tommy wiggled out from under his sheets, went to the window, and snapped the lock in haste.

    “Goodnight, Isabelle and Melanie, I know you'll pick on me tomorrow but that's alright. You both try to so hard to fit in and be pretty, I understand you need to vent your frustration somewhere. I'm just glad I'm there to help you.”

    Turning back to his bed, he saw the darkness that lay underneath. Anything could be hiding under there but Tommy bravely took a step forward.

    “Goodnight, Jason. I don't know what tricks and pranks you'll play on me tomorrow but I'm glad you found something you're good at,” Tommy said as he made his way back to bed.

    Shrugging back under the covers, he saw the shadow of a dragon draw across his jumbled sheets.

    “Goodnight, Daniel. Mom thinks you're saving to buy her a wedding ring but I know you're keeping it for a car but that's alright. Mom's car isn't very good and a new one would be good too.”

    No, Tommy knew monsters were not real. They were people, just like him who were hurting deep down. But he was a dragonslayer and he will be brave, he will be strong, and will defeat them.

    Finally, Tommy said, “Goodnight, me. Tomorrow is another adventure with new monsters to defeat. I'll need my strength so it's time to sleep.”

    With a squeeze to George the elephant, a pat for Snuggles the monkey, and a cautionary look at Tiger the lion, Tommy finally closed his eyes.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  4. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.
    Speakers in the Forest [1601] By @rhduke

    Winter sat against a tree and between the slits of his helm, gazed upon his leader who glared coldly into the dark of the forest. He hadn’t said a word since assigning Winter to be on watch alongside him. In the distance, the rest of their companions slept on the ground. Soft snores permeated the silence alongside the hoots of owls and the ruffling of leaves from animals in the trees. Even so, a wordless dialogue had been exchanged. He saw spite in his leader’s pale eyes, and in Winter’s quiet, a reluctance to speak a friendly word regarding the night, he had admitted his guilt.

    “The breeze carries a bitter frost but winter is still long away.”

    Winter made no response but he could feel it. The air was warm and the wind passing through felt like it had traveled from the northern continent.

    “Do you know why I stand awake beside you?”

    Winter bowed his head. “Because you don’t trust me to watch them.”

    “I stand here to renew the trust I have lost in my men.”

    Winter did not understand.

    “Before their eyes closed tonight, they saw me here standing with you and they knew I would punish you, blame you for the men that had died.” He raised the point of his sword to Winter’s neck, but his grip was loose with no intent to strike. “The fault had been mine for tasking you with the responsibility of command, and that mistake has broken their trust in me. Now I must repair it.” After a moment, he lowered the weapon. “You’re a true fighter, Winter. You just aren’t a leader.”

    Though he spoke with kindness, Winter knew he was angry with him. Talking like this was his way of showing the graces of command. “Then I’m not to be punished?” Winter felt like a child for asking. “The sorrow in my heart is there and unrelenting. I had gotten to know most of those men. They had told me stories of their wives and children, of moments that made them laugh and of ones that did not. They’ll never speak those tales again. Denounce my lance so I cannot fault your army once more. You must do this.”

    The flat end of the sword smacked the side of Winter’s head, just hard enough to startle him.

    “I’ll do no such thing. Being one warrior less during this war is the last thing we need, and I never said I wouldn’t give you a thrashing, did I?” He sheathed his sword. “Tomorrow morning, in front of the men we will have a discussion.” He glared at Winter as if waiting for a sign of apprehension.

    Winter nodded.

    His leader turned away. “When the punches land in your gut, think about killing our enemies for the men we have lost.” He paused. “The hour’s watch is yours. Goodnight, Winter. Do not wallow in heavy thought.” He hummed a tune as he walked away and soon found an empty space among his men where he nestled himself under a blanket.

    Winter rose to his feet and walked a few paces from the camp. The air had become colder and he could have sworn that snowflakes had fallen in the distance. Wrapping a blanket around his shoulders and with a spear in hand, he stepped further into the dark.

    For twelve years, he had bloodied his weapon. One victory after the next, headless corpses had lain before him as the blood under his skin ran hot, but he had been no one—a lone mercenary, a killer from the shadows. He carried no greater purpose like the templar knights or even the conviction of a farmer defending his home. Finding a place where he fit in the world had been difficult, but that began to change when a man took him under his wing and saw a part of him other than the killer. Winter was still unsure what that part was.

    He came to a clearing in the forest where he remembered there being a bed of water, only when he looked down, the water did not stir. Frowning, he crouched at the edge of the pond and touched it. It had turned to ice.

    “There’s a lonely man. He touches my frost and I feel nothing because he’s just as cold.”

    Winter stood erect, eyes widening at the woman with silver hair, floating with her toes inches above the ice. In the moon’s light he saw that animal furs wrapped her body and along her slender arms and legs were tattooed vines.


    “He speaks from fears of stories told.” She paused to study his expression. “But he realizes I am something else entirely.”

    Winter recalled a demon of the forest that froze the hearts of men before tearing them from their chests. They had been a myth, a realization that frightened him because he would most likely not survive this encounter. He wanted to flee but believed turning his back on the creature would offend and sway it to attack.

    “Have you quarrel with me?”

    “He comes to my waters and asks if I quarrel?” Her laugh was warm, something he did not expect. “He speaks with swords but it is plain that he is frightened. Shall I put on masks as he does, or will I speak plainly as is expected?”

    “No masks.” Winter let his spear drop to the ground. “Speak, if you must.”

    She smiled. “Here he is and there,” she pointed over his head, “lie his other kin. They have unknowingly trespassed into my forest and the price is what they carry in their chests. Because much of him has turned to ice, I see that he is like me and so, I will give him a choice.” She floated closer to him and snow began to fall. Her eyes were like a serpent’s Winter could not pull away from. “If he lets me have them in their slumber—quiet like a watchful bird, then I will spare his life and allow him to leave this forest unharmed. If however he chooses the life of his comrades, then he will take my hand and I will drain away the remaining warmth. I will bestow upon him unending life and we will live together in cold desolation.”

    Winter took his spear from the ground.

    “He must believe no other choice is possible.”

    “What fool do you think I am? Even if by some forsaken act of God I went with you, there’s no guarantee you would leave them unharmed. You speak of talking plainly when you’re the one spinning cunning webs like any wretched demon. Attack me now. If you’re that desperate for a husband, you’ll have to cut off my limbs first.”

    She stopped her approach and reached into the air as if to lay a palm on his chest from afar. “But the sorrow and pain. When he touched the water I felt the strength of its presence. Why does he fight it? Why doesn’t he give into the cold?”

    “It’s there—deep inside of me is a block of ice, but the cold does not consume me as much as you think. Perhaps if you encountered me years ago in my loneliness, I would have gone with you…But not this night.”

    Her arm fell to her side and she looked down somberly at the ice. “His younger self would have gone with me?”

    Winter lowered his spear and realized she had never intended to rip his heart out. In her catatonic expression, she revealed her sorrow she had probably been living with for lifetimes. She was searching for a soul mate, someone who despaired as much as she did.

    “Can I ask something of him?”

    “You cannot take the lives of my men.”

    “No. I ask for the essence of his younger self to be with me. It would not be forever but it would be worth what little time he offered.” She saw his puzzled expression and set her feet on the ice. Slowly, she walked towards him with the same vacant stare. “He doesn’t need to fear.” She raised a hand to his chest.

    He grabbed her wrist, which unsurprisingly was like grasping an icicle. He stared into her eyes and he saw hopelessness. “Were you once human?”

    “Yes. I have forgotten how long ago.”

    Winter let out a heavy breath and let her go. Her fingertips touched the center of his chest and after a moment, he felt a sadness course through him, a feeling from his past. As she pulled her hand away, a green light came out of his body. The light started to take form and soon it looked like Winter, only younger.

    She pushed a finger into Winter’s chest. “I have taken some of the ice, but most of it is still there inside. He wouldn’t be the same man if I took it all.”

    The duplicate of Winter held the woman’s hand and together they rose in the air and disappeared into the trees. He couldn’t help but think he would have turned into something like her had he continued on his path of killing, succumbing to a solemn life.

    The snowfall faded away as he made his way back to the camp. After waking one of the men to take over the watch, he lied under a tree and closed his eyes. The devotion to the warriors around him had never felt stronger. For the first night in many nights, he slept with a less burdened heart.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  5. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.
    I Never Knew "Goodnight" Could Be So Complicated [558] By @Carlee

    I just laid there. Staring at the ceiling. Wondering where it all went wrong. How could I have let this happen? How could I be so stupid as to think that someone like him would actually feel the same way that I felt? Boys don't really have feelings do they? Not like the ones in the movies. Or the books! Definitely not like the ones in the books.

    I traced back my thoughts to when we first went out. A simple get-together with some friends. We went bowling. No big deal. Second date you can't even call a date because we ended up getting stuck running around doing errands for his mom. And now the third date, which was tonight. Our first real date. Typical sort of date, actually. We went out to dinner and walked around town. Sounds wonderful doesn't it? Well, no, not exactly.

    The food was fine, the conversation never dropped, and the weather was perfect. He walked me up to my door and kissed me. On the lips.The lips!? How did I get a kiss on the lips? No one has ever made a gesture that made me think they would want to kiss me! And on the lips of all places! That is a huge step forward in our relationship. Well at least for me it is. I don’t know how it works. Do people just go around kissing everyone they see? Is it just a polite thing to do? Was it out of pity or obligation? Did he feel obligated to kiss me and that’s why he did it? I could come up with a hundred different reasons as to why he kissed me and never know the real reason. Maybe he actually likes me. A geeky girl like me finally has someone who likes her. That cannot be the reason. It was definitely a pity kiss.

    It doesn’t matter if it was a pity kiss. I mean who cares? Kissing is overrated. What isn’t overrated though, is word choice. After he kissed me, and after I got out of shock, I smiled and said, “Night, Harry.” And what does he reply with? “Goodnight, Kim.” Goodnight? Who the hell says “Goodnight” anymore? That’s old-fashioned word choice that he deliberately said just to confuse me. And believe me, it’s working. I have spent every minute since I shut the door picking apart every meaning behind his little “Goodnight”.

    The possibilities are endless. Did he actually have a good night? Maybe he’s only saying that to trick me into liking him so that he can crush me later. The scariest possibility is that he might actually like me. I’ve never had someone genuinely like me before. I mean it’s not like I didn’t have fun when I was with him. And it’s not like I don’t think he’s cute or funny or polite or spontaneous. And it’s not like I don’t like him… I do. I do like him. And maybe he does actually like me and that “Goodnight” was sincere. I’ve never let anyone in before because I’ve been too scared of this happening. I guess it’s too late to change that now, he’s already in. Well, no sense staying up and picking apart every last detail of this date, I’ll just have to wait for the next one. Goodnight, I guess.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  6. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.
    'Where's The Thing?' [1,114 words] By @Joe C

    The yellow wall. It’s by the yellow wall.
    ‘The yellow wall,’ he said. ‘I think it’s by the yellow wall.’
    He (the other he, the one on the bed) nodded. ‘OK.’
    He nodded too and walked out.
    Good work.

    He walked back in again, only this time two days later.
    He on the bed looked cross. He had his eyebrows pointing to his nose.
    ‘There wasn’t a yellow wall.’
    Maybe they’ve changed the wall colour. Or changed the room. To confuse us.
    ‘Yes there is.’
    ‘No, there is a brown wall, a red wall, a green wall and a blue wall.’
    There is no green wall.
    ‘What green wall?’
    ‘The one between the brown wall and the blue wall.’
    This isn’t right. Something has gone wrong.
    ‘What sort of green is it?’
    ‘Murky green.’
    ‘Like a bruise?’
    ‘Sort of.’
    ‘That’s the yellow wall. It’s the bruise wall. It’s by the bruise wall.’
    Didn’t think of that. Well done.
    Thankyou, he thought, and walked out.

    He sat on the third red chair, second nearest to the water cooler, facing the purple and black striped wall in meeting room B. Kromar T sat on the eighth red chair, nearest the corner between the purple and black striped wall and the orange wall. Kromar T sat on the back of the chair with his trainers on the cushion (and his feet in his trainers, obviously).
    ‘Where is the thing?’ asked Kromar T.
    Throw him off.
    ‘I’ve been thinking,’ he said. ‘I don’t think there is a thing at all.’
    Kromar T looked unhappy. Don’t make him too unhappy.
    ‘There is a thing. You know where the thing is. Tell me.’
    He shrugged. ‘I think that George created the thing.’
    Kromar T stood up and walked over to the pink wall, opposite the orange wall, and folded his arms. You made him unhappy.
    ‘I want the thing.’
    I shook my head and you say, ‘Goodnight Kromar.’

    I think we’re being watched. Don’t say anything.
    Don’t open your eyes. It’s the nurse. It’s the nurses, they’re talking about you. Listen.
    I can’t tell their voices apart.
    Me neither, he thought.
    The poor dear. Had to clean up his chin. His chin? And order him some new clothes. Likes his red shirts he does, won’t wear anything else. So the blood wouldn’t really matter. Well it’s more the smell to be honest. Where are they putting him? On his own for a few days. For his own good.

    Act natural. Pretend like nothing ever happened. Don’t let on.
    They know, he thought. They can see it.
    They don’t know why or what or who or when. Don’t let on.
    ‘What happen to you?’
    ‘Where did you get that black eye?’
    ‘Who you been fighting with ey?’
    ‘What happen to Kromar? Who done that to him?’
    ‘Shhh, the TV’s on. Look look, it’s Tom and Jerry.’
    The television. You can hide the thing in the television. Everything is in the televsion, the whole world. They’ll never find it.

    There isn’t a thing, he thought, there never was a thing. They made it up.
    Shut up. Obviously there’s a thing. You have the thing.
    But I don’t have anything. It wasn’t by the yellow wall. Why would it be there?
    Well it was, so that’s fine. And now you have it.
    But what do I have? I don’t have anything.
    Don’t you see it. It’s there. It’s the thing. It’s in your hands, you’re holding it. Can’t you see the thing?
    He looked at his hands. But there’s just hands, he thought. Empty hands.
    Look again.

    He on the bed rocked backwards and forwards and sideways and other sideways. He stared at the end of the bed. He made a whining noise.
    ‘What’s wrong?’ he said.
    But he just kept making a whining noise.
    Tell him to snap out of it.
    ‘Hey! Hey! Look at me!’
    But he kept whining and rocking.
    ‘Why are you whining? What’s wrong?’
    He kept whining.
    ‘Look they sent Copter away for this. You don’t want to get sent away do you? They won’t give you anything there. They don’t even have beds. You don’t want no beds do you?’
    Just whining. Try harder. Get him to talk again.
    He grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, but the whining just got even louder.
    He is trying to drown out the world. Wake him up.
    ‘Hey! Hey! Wake up! Hey! Come on! Wake up!’
    But the whining got louder and louder.
    He said, ‘Goodnight.’
    And he whined like he was screaming.

    ‘Where they take him?’
    ‘I think they sent him away.’
    ‘I heard he got cut up.’
    ‘Who cut him up?’
    ‘Ripped up.’
    ‘What they send him away for? He ain’t crazy.’
    ‘Maybe he went crazy overnight. Or maybe he had the thing. Maybe they wanted to get the thing and he wouldn’t give them it so they took him for questioning.’
    What if he’s right? he thought. What if they’re after the thing? I should get rid of it. Give it someone else.
    No. Keep hold of it for now. It’s better to have it.

    Knock Knock.
    Don’t answer it.
    Knock Knock.
    Don’t answer it, they want the thing. They’re after it.
    Knock Knock.
    Stay silent. Don’t let them know you’re in here.
    ‘Will you let me in?’
    Don’t answer.
    ‘I’m going to come in now. Are you ready?’
    Just avoid eye contact. Don’t talk to him. Don’t give anything away.
    He came in.
    ‘How are you today?’
    Just look at the wall. He’ll go away eventually.
    ‘Are you going to answer me?’
    ‘Can you even hear me? Huh?’

    After a few hours he looked to his left and saw there was a window, and there was someone else on the other side of it, face and hands pressed against the glass.
    Talk to him. Tell him where the thing is. He can look after it while you’re in here.
    ‘Can you hear me?’
    The someone smiled, like a chimp.
    ‘Listen to me, do you know the thing? Do you know what that is?’
    The someone tilted his head and looked at him.
    ‘The thing is in the television. When you get out and go back there, get it out and put it someone safer. Don’t let anyone else find it.’
    The someone slapped his hand against the glass a few times, and then stuck his tongue out.
    He understands.
    Good, he understands.
    The thing is safe.
    He curled up to keep warm, and waited for food time.
    Sometimes when the nurses turned the light off and said, ‘Goodnight,’ some of them start screaming or cursing or whining, and then I just smile to myself.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  7. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Sleep [589 words] By @ChaosReigns

    In the blood that I have just shed
    I write a story
    So vile, so terrible, that no one will believe it,
    Here it is,
    The one thing that keeps me from
    Going entirely insane.
    The reason why I still exist

    My Story.
    Listen Close, for I shall only tell it once.

    Staring at the empty page before me, patterns of an empty life come to light. I sit here unrepentant of the things that are going on in this world and what I do, as it is something that I will never forget, let alone forgive.

    No one for that matter is perfect I think to myself putting my pen down, this night is one that is dragging on, I think to myself. I get up and go make myself a hot drink, hoping that the break from the empty pages may spark some flow. I hear a noise coming from upstairs. Not thinking any more of it, I go back to my desk in the study and look at the page. Picking up a pencil instead, I allow my thoughts to wander, the smell of the peach and raspberry fruit infusion going up my nose making me feel almost dreamy in a sense.

    Completely and blissfully unaware of what is going on I write and write, pages being filled up with not a blank space spare for me to edit. Little do I know that the family I have, the family that I do this to support, are being heartlessly killed in their beds by some unknown force. I keep writing, still unaware, every so often I take a sip of this drink , the fruit flavours bold enough to keep me awake, despite its lack of caffine.

    By the time I have come round from my night=dream and writing session, I feel like I have had a good rest, even if I have filled several large pages full of writing. I walk back to where I made my drink and make another one, this time, a little stronger so I can read through what I have done, I always like taking a few minutes to read the writing that I have done, even if its subconciously.

    The piece I had written completely lacking grammar of any form, was rather astounding, I knew that it could be worked into something truly magical, which is where I left it for the night, knowing that I was going to start proper in the morning.

    Getting up, I walk out of the room and up to where I sleep. I can only imagine that the reason that my partner and I sleep in different rooms as I have the tendency to wake up middle of the night with some crazed ideas or something. Id got to my room, the window tight shut, I hated this room, the wind was always so noisy it was blowing quietly tonight, so much that I could hear next doors nightly shouting before they go to bed, I'm lucky, I have just caught them at this point, otherwise I would struggle to sleep. As everything quietened down I kept hearing sounds. For some time I couldn’t make out what they were saying, but as I strained my ears to listen, I kept hearing what sounded like

    “night, have a good night, sleep. Sleep, for in the morning all will be well, all will be quiet, all will be peaceful for you to sleep, no one shall wake you.” This was the last thing I remember.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  8. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Glass Lake [1,980 words] By @L.T.

    Why my mother had chosen to move here was still a mystery to me. There wasn’t anything good about Goodnight, Missouri other than the peace and quiet when it was time for bed. Thus the name I imagined. The town practically dripped with boredom.

    With a population of only 388, the town wasn’t big enough to have its own movie theater, or any of the other hangouts I was accustomed to. Everyone knew everyone, except for us of course. I felt like a circus freak every time I stepped out of the apartment. Our neighbors had obviously not been taught the significance of manners and the constant stares got on my last nerve. Even with the minute population, I was bound to run into someone every single time I left the apartment. It was the price you paid for living in a town less than one square mile with all the stores and houses pressed in close together. Again I questioned my mother’s sanity as I rounded the corner to the general store.

    ‘Milk and eggs’ she had said. I had begged her to let me take the car, but of course she had said no. It wasn’t like she let me do anything other than the occasional grocery run. It didn’t matter that the high today was only going to reach thirty-six degrees, just barely above freezing. ‘This town’s so small you could spit across it’ she had told me, throwing my own words back in my face. ‘You can walk.’

    I mumbled to myself as I hugged my arms tightly against my chest, thankful that my long red hair provided some barrier to the cold as it cascaded around my shoulders. If I thought this was bad, wait until I had to carry the milk. I dreaded the feel of the cold handle in my grip.

    “Gray Dawson, right?” I heard behind me as a figure sprinted up beside me. I turned around and regarded the first delightful thing I had seen since arriving a week before. He looked to be about my age with wavy dark hair that stopped just short of his shoulders. His deep brown eyes seemed to appraise me as he waited. Maybe my mother wasn’t so bad after all.

    “Yeah, I’m Gray. And you are?”

    “Jayden Thompson.” He said putting his hand out to shake mine. It confused me a little. Most of the teenage boys I knew back home were not into shaking your hand. That was something I thought was reserved for stuffy old men with professions such as doctors and lawyers. Maybe it was considered normal in a small town.

    I reached out and took his hand and momentarily forgot about the frigid cold around me. The feel of his hand against mine was warm which matched the sensation that formed in the pit of my stomach. His lips broke into a wide grin and it was then that I realized I was still holding his hand. My face must have turned at least ten different shades of red as I let go.

    “So how do you like Goodnight?” He asked. Better now, I thought, but bit my lip as I considered my answer.

    “It takes some getting used to.” I said politely.

    “That’s one way of putting it.” He laughed as if he was aware of what I was thinking.

    “Have you lived here long?” I asked, genuinely curious.

    “I was born here.” No wonder he had seemed so ecstatic to introduce himself. If I lived here all my life I would have jumped at any opportunity to see something new. Despite his obvious good looks, I pitied him.

    “I’m sorry.” I said and he laughed a deep throaty laugh that I couldn’t help but find irresistible.

    “It’s not that bad once you get used to it. I was afraid you might be ready to throw yourself from the Dantzler Bridge any day now, so I thought I should let you know there’s still hope.”

    “There’s a bridge I can throw myself from? I wish someone would have told me sooner.” I said lightheartedly and he grinned.

    “I’m glad they didn’t.” He looked down the sidewalk in front of us. “So, where are you headed?”

    “To Buck’s General Store. I have to get a few things for my mom.”

    “When you’re finished, I’d like to show you what’s so unique about Goodnight.” Well this I had to see. “Do you mind if I tag along with you?”

    “Sure.” I shrugged my shoulders indifferently while on the inside I was leaping for joy. Goodnight was looking better and better.

    When we finally reached the entrance to my apartment twenty minutes later, he seemed to sense my hesitation and handed me the milk. “I’ll just wait out here.” He said.

    “That’s probably a good idea.” I agreed. “My mom can be a little overdramatic at times.” I opened the door and took the groceries inside.

    A few minutes later after barely convincing my mother that I wanted to go for another walk after complaining earlier about the cold, I emerged to find Jayden waiting patiently for me.

    “So where are we going?” I asked.

    “You’ll see.” He said with a wink and grabbed my hand, taking the lead. For a moment, I wondered if I was as crazy as my mother. Here I had just met Jayden and now I was running off with him. I didn’t even know where to.

    I frowned when Jayden came to a stop on the outskirts of a frozen lake. There wasn’t a shelter in sight other than the covered dock that extended out over the ice.

    “Where are we?” I asked uneasily.

    “Glass Lake.” He answered and I hesitated when he pulled me towards the dock. “Trust me.” He said. “I want to tell you a story.” I eased behind him as we walked out onto the boardwalk and soon forgot about the cold. The ice seemed to sparkle and dance before my eyes and I was drawn to its undeniable beauty.

    I was surprised when I realized that Jayden had started talking again. “I used to think it was only a myth or that I was crazy. Until I saw you.” I cocked my head to the side, unsure of what he was going on about.

    “What myth?”

    “The story of Glass Lake. The whole reason that Goodnight got its name.”

    “I never knew there was a reason.”

    “Everything has a name for a reason.” He insisted and I felt lost in the intensity of his eyes when he turned to face me. “It’s a Cherokee legend actually.”

    The story goes that Atohi and Noya were young and in love. They looked forward to the day when they would finally be wed. Part of the Cherokee ritual of marriage was that the groom exchange a ham of venison with the bride while she would give him an ear of corn. This symbolized his intention to keep meat in the house while her gift symbolized her intention to care for and nourish their family.

    Unfortunately, even though corn was plenty and Noya would have no problem with her end of the ceremony, Atohi was a bad hunter. Determined not to let Noya down, Atohi set out early one morning and vowed not to return until he had taken down a deer.

    Three days passed and Noya began to worry that something had happened to her beloved Atohi while he was out in the forest. Noya knew that her people had just recently captured a Shawnee medicine man. As was their custom with prisoners of war, he had been tied to a pole in the center of the village and left to die. The medicine man had claimed to have the ability to see the future and had tried to bargain for his release, but her tribe had refused to listen to him.

    One night, Noya, still worried about Atohi, snuck out to the medicine man. She begged him to tell her what the future held for her and her betrothed. The medicine man told Noya that if he granted her request, she must set him free or risk the same fate as he. Without even considering it, she agreed.

    The medicine man told Noya to go to sleep with something dear to her placed under her pillow. As soon as she woke the next morning, the medicine man told her to go to the lake and cast her treasure in. She would then see their future in the ripples of the water. He cautioned her not to retrieve the item again, but to leave it in the depths of the water forever.

    Noya did as the medicine man told her and took a necklace that Atohi had made for her and put it under her pillow. The next morning, when she cast the necklace into the lake, she saw her and Atohi making love under the light of a full moon. At first she was ecstatic at the vision, knowing that Atohi would be successful and they would soon wed. However, she began to second guess her decision to simply cast her cherished keepsake into the water and worried that Atohi would be upset with her. Disregarding what the Shawnee medicine man had told her, she dove in after it.

    It took Noya awhile, but she was finally able to retrieve the necklace. When she returned to the medicine man to thank him, she found he had died in his sleep while she had been searching for the necklace.

    That evening Atohi returned with the ham of venison. Not wanting to wait a second longer, they wed and made love under the light of a full moon just as she had witnessed in the water. After kissing Noya, Atohi stroked the hair of his beautiful bride and wished her goodnight. That was the last words she ever heard. That night, she died in her sleep.”

    At first, I stood there mesmerized by his story as I looked out over the frozen lake. There would be no ripples in the water anytime soon. I looked up at Jayden uncertainly, “I don’t understand. I thought you were going to tell me a story of hope. That story was the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.”

    “It is sad, but legend has it that you can do the same thing that Noya did and see your future. You just have to remember that once you give your treasure up, you can never get it back. When I was a little boy, my father gave me a watch just before he died. I never took it off. I even slept with it. When I was thirteen, I heard the story of Noya and Atohi. I decided to take a risk and after sleeping with my father’s watch under my pillow, I threw it into Glass Lake.”

    “Did it work?” I asked and he nodded to confirm it. “What did you see?” He turned to me and I will never forget what he told me as long as I live.

    “I saw you.” At first I didn’t know if it was simply the most ingenious pick-up line known to man or if there really was magic still left in the world.

    When the long winter finally ended and the ice thawed, I was finally able to put my own experiment to the test. I ran to the water’s edge with my locket in hand, the piece of jewelry that I treasured most. It contained a picture of my family from happier times. I started to throw it in when I saw Jayden coming down the trail to the lake. A sense of relief came over me and I clutched my locket protectively against my chest. There was no need to give anything up. I already knew what my future held.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  9. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    I have added authors names to each story.

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