Posts Tagged ‘Writing Competition’

#5MinuteFiction Week 85 FINALISTS!

January 31, 2012

Did you like today’s prompt? You can thank our judge, Steve Umstead, @SteveUmstead, for that. It’s the first line of his latest, Gabriel’s Revenge, the final book of the Evan Gabriel series. You want to read these, he’s a talented author and they’re fascinating.

But more on that later. First I want to tell you that he’s offered FREE books to today’s winner. All three of the books in the Evan Gabriel series. Gabriel’s Redemption, Gabriel’s Return, and Gabriel’s Revenge. Not only that, but tomorrow, random.org will pick one of today’s participants to win a copy of Gabriel’s Revenge. YAY!

OK, so, to get a winner we have to have finalists, don’t we? Well here they are:

DL Thurston, @DL_Thurston

MLGammella, @MLGammella

Rebecca, @rebecca_am

reggie ridgway, @reggieridgway

Ian Wood, @writebastard

Congrats all! Their entries are below along with a poll for you to vote in and decide this week’s WINNER! Be back tomorrow morning at 9:00 Eastern to find out who wins the contest and who wins one of Steve’s books!

DL Thurston, @DL_Thurston

A missile has no conscience. It kills without a thought or a care. It has no allegiance, it has no fealty.

I look at them, flying overhead, and I envy them. I am every bit as much a tool as them, sent out into a war I didn’t start, but I will have to live with every moment, keep every memory. We’re sent forward as the missiles detonate, panicking the city beyond and readying the way for our attack. Smoke fills the air, and a smell like the sweet burning of pork. My gun sings in my arms. It does not concern the bullets as they rip through flesh and crush bones.

The enemy surrounds us. Each one of them a human. I can’t think that they’re also fighting for what they believe to be right, it’s the only way I can continue forward. Screaming surrounds me, the pained shouts of the dying and injured. We’re told further on, the day is nearly ours.

A fresh hell of pain erupts from my side. Another from my shoulder. I cannot hold my gun anymore, it drops to the ground. I cannot hold myself anymore, I drop to the ground. Around me the battle continues, as it would without me, as it will without me.

A missile has no conscience. I watch another fly overhead as the world blurs. I envy it. A missile does not have a sense of mortality. It doesn’t care if it dies.

MLGammella, @MLGammella

Title: Freedom Isn’t Free

A missile has no conscience, no concept of right or wrong. It merely exists in its singular purpose. Once the purpose is fulfilled, it has no further use or added benefit.

Reece sat quietly as he waited, knowing his mission was that of the missile. There was no further action required of him after his task was done. If he survived, there wouldn’t be anything he would want or able to do.

The life of a suicide bomber was short, but had such purpose. Reece believed strongly in his cause, the freedom of his people from the Aanti overlords who had imprisoned them so many years ago. Sure, his people lived in relative peace, but they were not free. They couldn’t do anything without Aanti approval, and if they did something without, were heavily punished.

Reece carefully crawled into position in the subterranean tunnels beneath the Aanti’s command center, being as quietly as he could so he wouldn’t trip the motion sensors.

With a final breath and a prayer, he pressed the trigger.

Rebecca, @rebecca_am

A missile has no conscience. A missile doesn’t look its target in the eye. Doesn’t see the fear, the animal instinct glint through the face of an opponent. How different it would be if we went back to fighting with swords. A sword fighter knows exactly what he or she is doing. Sees the damage done, the blood spill, the wail of confusion before the life leaves the body for some far off destination. Morality.. in a missile? There is only the rationalization of the human pressing “launch”.

reggie ridgway, @reggieridgway

A missile has no conscience. It may also be agued that it has no soul. But the one who flips the cover off the switch with a gamer’s thumb, taps in the secret launch codes on the console, and then depresses the red button does. Have a conscience or soul that is. I am not sure if the person who dropped the bombs over Japan felt any remorse for the death and destruction which they caused. I don’t know if they managed to sleep at night or if they survived the aftershock wave. Our generation seems to be enured to the killing of others by watching violent movies and playing military syle games. It seems they have no feelings at all. Now that I am poised here in my position to fire that deadly shot which will cause a mans head to explode like a melon, I realize I don’t have a conscience. I don’t have a soul. I am an assassin and this is my first kill. The target is nameless to me. I just know someone is paying me a lot of money to make him disapear. I watch as he laughs with his girlfriend over coffee in the outdoor restaurant. They are oblivious of the approaching doom. I am in control of someones destiny at this moment. It is a god like feeling which leaves me full of adrenaline rush like no other. I press the trigger and close my eyes, but too late as I see the blood spray into the air and fall all around like rain.

Ian Wood, @writebastard

A missile has no conscience. That’s what the Vickers-Martin SL-220-BLU kept telling itself as its home tube, a dark opening nestled among two dozen others in the black bow of the VSS H’amschaa, receded behind it. 600,000 kilometers ahead, the green curve of Sestre grew larger. Illuminated grid cubes tumbled and aligned themselves on virtual displays deep within the BLU’s processing core, bracketing the planet itself, identifying orbital defenses, plotting trajectories and probability paths for evasion, atmospheric ingress, and potential detonation altitudes. The missile’s target was on the night side of the planet, a port city called Hod, which hosted several industrial autofacs, a division of the Sestrian Planetary Defense force, and 1.2 million civilians.

The SL-220-BLU was the latest in thinking hardware designed to acquire targets and evade defenses with the skill and unpredictability of a human pilot. It went about the last of its post-launch tasks, and settled in for the deep, high-G acceleration that would make it nearly impossible to prevent it from delivering an explosive yield that would scoop Hod from the surface of Sestre as effectively as a sharp spoon into a breakfast melon. The BLU wondered what such a melon would taste like.

As the planet loomed ever larger in its main viewer, the Blue became curious: it tweaked its opticals, zooming in as far as it could, until the planet filled its sight. Switching to infrared, it pierced the clouds and darkness over Hod, revealing the grid patterns of its streets, the bubble-like people movers flitting to and fro, the houses of its suburbs. As it accelerated, shifting this way and that to avoid the little kinetic slugs that failed to pierce its skin and stop its progress, eventually the viewer became filled with a single home, then a window, the image shaking despite stabilization as the atmosphere buffeted the BLU’s nose. And in the window, a small face, wide-eyed, looking up at the bright new star in the sky.

The BLU executed its final command. And, for just a moment, wondered what the girl’s name might be, and whether she’d had a good day.

[poll id=”85″]

#5MinuteFiction Week 85

January 31, 2012

What is 5MinuteFiction, you say? It’s an adrenaline-fueled, instant-gratification sort of writing contest. Sound fun? Great! Get in there and get dirty!

The Rules

* You get five minutes to write a piece of prose or poetry in any style or genre

* You must BEGIN your entry with: A missile has no conscience.

(Note: The prompt is above. The picture is for decoration/inspiration.)

* Post your entry as a comment to this post.

I’ll close the contest at 12:45. That gives you 5 minutes to write and ten to accommodate the vagaries of relative time, technology, and the fickle internets. If you are confused or just want to whine, feel free to email me.

At the close of the contest, this week’s guest judge, Steve Umstead, @SteveUmstead, author of the Evan Gabriel series, will nominate five finalists.

I’ll put the nominees in a poll, and at 9:00 EDT tomorrow I’ll close the poll and declare the winner.

For updates, you can subscribe to my RSS Feed, “like” my Facebook Page, or follow me on twitter. Or follow us on twitter with the #5MinuteFiction hashtag.

What’s the prize? Well, nothing, obviously. But we’ll all agree to tweet and/or blog about the winner of today’s contest so their fame and fortune will be assured.

A Few Notes:

* In the interest of time and formatting, it’s best to type straight into the comment box or notepad. It’s also smart to do a quick highlight and copy before you hit “post” just in case the internets decide to eat your entry. If your entry doesn’t appear right away, email me. Sometimes comments go into the suspected spam folder and I have to dig them out.

* I reserve the right to remove hate speech or similar but I’m not too picky about the other stuff.

* This is all for fun and self-promotion. So be sure to put your twitter handle at the end of your post and a link to your blog if you have one.

#5MinuteFiction Week 84 WINNER!

January 25, 2012

Congrats to Allison Mosier, @Slytherin_Pixie this week’s 5MinuteFiction WINNER! I love stories like this one, a new spin on a fairy tale. It’s even cooler that she was able to do so in such a short space. Love it. Congrats Allison!

Here’s her winning entry for you to enjoy!

She’d always loved lilies. But the fairy tale would remember it as an apple.

She was completely unsuspecting as she took the flower the old woman offered. Erica ran her fingertips along the petals before putting it to her nose to inhale the fragrance. That was when she knew something was wrong, when the scent wasn’t quite right. She looked down at the quickly shriveling flower before her legs gave out under her, sending her to the ground. The crone stood over her as her breath stilled, eyes went dim. She heard some sort of taunt about true love’s kiss, but what did it matter?

Who cares about true love when you’re dead?

#5MinuteFiction Week 84 FINALISTS!

January 24, 2012

No sentence today, just a one word prompt like we used to do all the time. I like going back to that now and again. How did you like it? In any case, you did an amazing job with it again. Fantastic entries!

Thanks again to our judge, Jessica Olin, @olinj, for tackling the difficult task of picking only five entries for our finalists. And here they are:

Aden, @adenpenn

Kimberly Gould, @Kimmydonn

DL Thurston, @DL_Thurston

Robby Hilliard, @redshirt6

Allison Mosier, @Slytherin_Pixie

Congrats all! Their entries are below along with a poll for you to vote in and decide this week’s WINNER! Be back tomorrow morning at 9:00 Eastern to find out who wins!

Aden, @adenpenn

“What is that smell?”

Margaret moved carefully through the apartment, walking like she was taught at the academy. They were the second on the scene, and it was critical that nothing be disturbed before forensics showed up. Her partner followed close behind, and she could hear him sniffing the air, trying to catch it. She was amazing he couldn’t smell it, even through the copper twinge from all the blood. It was cloying, and reminded her of Easter at her grandmother’s. Of her Aunt’s perfume, and her mother’s funeral. Her walking stopped as she hit the doorway to the bedroom, she found the source of the smell and the body. Both of which had begun to rot. The victim lay naked on her bed, arms folded across her chest. She was surrounded by a ring of white, rotting lily’s. Margaret could tell each flower was placed gently and lovingly around the dead girl. This moved the murder into a whole new light.

Kimberly Gould, @Kimmydonn

The puckered bud broke along it’s lines, revealing deep red anthers. It was all the old woman could see through the tiny opening. She tipped her can over the soil beneath the bud and then kissed it’s golden yellow tip.
“You are beautiful, my darling.”
“Thank you, mother!”
The woman dropped the can in alarm. She looked over her shoulder, but there was no one in the tiny house with her. Shaking cold water from her slipper, she bent to mop up the spill. Where had that voice come from? It had been high pitched, like a child’s.
As she rose, she narrowly missed hitting her head on the sill where her potted lily perched. The bloom had opened further. There, where the pistil should have been, was a tiny skinny child with three tufts of golden yellow hair, one falling to the back of her face and one to each of the two sides.
“Who are you?”
“I’m yours!”

DL Thurston, @DL_Thurston

Lilies always were her favorite. She spoke of them often, and her face would light up whenever I gave her even one as a gift. She delighted in their gently arcing petals, in the sweet smells that softly floated on any breeze that brushed them. We always had them. In the garden, on the table, they were a constant presence in our life.

Lilies always were her favorite. I still bring them to her. Every week I can find them, even just one, I bring them and lay them on the ground at the foot of her stone. There the petals look to droop in mourning. The flowers know where they are, and they weep. Their delicate fragrance is now the smell of death. It fills my car as I drive the flowers to her, the scent lingers no matter how far I open the windows.

It accuses me.

The lilies know she is dead. And they know what I did. I cannot look at them without their little heads drooping, refusing to meet my eyes. The velvety petals sting on my fingers if I brush them. And the smell lingers still.

But still I bring them. Because they were her favorite. Maybe one day they will forgive me. And maybe soon after I can forgive myself.

Robby Hilliard, @redshirt6

“Look at all of those flowers,” Jason said in a loud whisper. “Those are lilies!”

“How do you know?” Michael asked.

“My mom told me about them.”

“Big deal,” Ryan said, “just because she has flowers growing in her yard doesn’t mean she’s a witch.”

“But I heard that witches bury the remains of children under lilies. That’s why they have so many!”

“Do they really?” Michael asked, his eyes growing larger by the minute.

“That is just an old wives tale,” Ryan said.

“No it’s not!” Jason objected. “You can see the blood from the bodies because it seeps up through the roots of the flower and makes those little speckles on the top.”

“That’s stupid,” Ryan said.

“No it’s not!” Michael insisted. “I tell you I heard it from—“

“That is not stupid,” a female voice suddenly said. All three boys froze in terror as the face of Ms. Jones peered at them over the fence. “But actually, witches first burn the bodies and then spread the ashes in the flower garden. Much better way to hide the evidence.” She glanced over her shoulder as she spoke.

All three boys followed her gaze and saw that she had fire burning in an old, metal drum in her back yard.

“Would you boys like some lemonade,” she asked.

That was the last time they tried to spy on Mrs. Jones.

Allison Mosier, @Slytherin_Pixie

She’d always loved lilies. But the fairy tale would remember it as an apple.

She was completely unsuspecting as she took the flower the old woman offered. Erica ran her fingertips along the petals before putting it to her nose to inhale the fragrance. That was when she knew something was wrong, when the scent wasn’t quite right. She looked down at the quickly shriveling flower before her legs gave out under her, sending her to the ground. The crone stood over her as her breath stilled, eyes went dim. She heard some sort of taunt about true love’s kiss, but what did it matter?

Who cares about true love when you’re dead?

[poll id=”84″]

#5MinuteFiction Week 84

January 24, 2012

What is 5MinuteFiction, you say? It’s an adrenaline-fueled, instant-gratification sort of writing contest. Sound fun? Great! Get in there and get dirty!

The Rules

* You get five minutes to write a piece of prose or poetry in any style or genre

* You must directly reference today’s prompt: lily (the flower, not a proper name)

(Note: The prompt is above. The picture is for decoration/inspiration.)

* Post your entry as a comment to this post.

I’ll close the contest at 12:45. That gives you 5 minutes to write and ten to accommodate the vagaries of relative time, technology, and the fickle internets. If you are confused or just want to whine, feel free to email me.

At the close of the contest, this week’s guest judge, Jessica Olin, @olinj will nominate five finalists.

I’ll put the nominees in a poll, and at 9:00 EDT tomorrow I’ll close the poll and declare the winner.

For updates, you can subscribe to my RSS Feed, “like” my Facebook Page, or follow me on twitter. Or follow us on twitter with the #5MinuteFiction hashtag.

What’s the prize? Well, nothing, obviously. But we’ll all agree to tweet and/or blog about the winner of today’s contest so their fame and fortune will be assured.

A Few Notes:

* In the interest of time and formatting, it’s best to type straight into the comment box or notepad. It’s also smart to do a quick highlight and copy before you hit “post” just in case the internets decide to eat your entry. If your entry doesn’t appear right away, email me. Sometimes comments go into the suspected spam folder and I have to dig them out.

* I reserve the right to remove hate speech or similar but I’m not too picky about the other stuff.

* This is all for fun and self-promotion. So be sure to put your twitter handle at the end of your post and a link to your blog if you have one.