September Writing Contest


The September writing contest is here.  It is time to test your skills once again.  We have had some excellent stories submitted in the past and I hope to see many more in the future.  Anyone is welcome to submit a story whether they have participated before or not.  The only people who will not qualify for a finalist spot are the ones who have won in the last three months.  For more information, you can find previous winners, links to earlier contests, and basic details on the competition here.

The prize for this contest will be a $20 Amazon gift card awarded to the first place winner.  You have from now until Friday at Midnight (EDT) on September 30th to submit your story. After that, I will select the top three stories and open them for general voting in a separate blog post (if there are more than ten entries, I may make that four finalists). It will remain my right to use assistance from outside sources in the selection process if I cannot decide easily. Those who judge will have no stake in this contest or its outcome.

Now, here are the stipulations and rules.  Follow them closely or you will be disqualified!

Stipulations:

  1. The submission must be between 350-750 words. I will allow no more than a five word variance from this. Titles are required as well, though they do not count toward the total.
  2. The story must involve a fight scene with two or more characters where one side clearly wins (through death or submission).  You can use a various assortment of weapons including knives, swords, hand-guns, rifles, whips, snowballs and fists.  Do not use advanced weaponry such as nuclear missiles, grenades, rocket launchers, machine guns, etc.
  3. At least one of the combatants must be human.
  4. Include the reason for the fight, even if it is a petty one.  It could be as simple as a bear attack and a person trying to survive.
  5. Ensure the story is well-edited and broken down into paragraphs.

Basic Rules:

  1. No extreme language.  There are people here who do not want to see it and I prefer we not have anything that might be too offensive to the average reader.
  2. Making me laugh will gain you favor in my selection, but it isn’t a requirement.  All genres of writing are welcome (if you are erotica, try to keep it mild please).
  3. Post your story here in the comments section.  Do not email it to me.
  4. Ensure you include your name (even if it is only a first name or nickname) at the end of your work.  That does not go toward word-count either.
  5. Anyone who has won any of the last three contests is not eligible for a finalist position.  They can submit a story if they wish, just for fun, but they cannot win.

That is everything you need to know.  Come back next Saturday (October 1st) to see who the finalists are and vote in the poll for your favorite candidate.   The poll will stay open until midnight (EDT) Monday, October 3rd.  That is approximately three days for voting.  Tuesday morning, I will announce the winner.  That person will receive a $20 Amazon gift card.  If you have any questions, you may email me for clarification (see my About Me page for the address).

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~ by Suzie on September 23, 2011.

26 Responses to “September Writing Contest”

  1. Okay, since I can’t actually officially enter, and since my story kept fighting to be longer…I let it be 🙂

    The Wrong Guy
    a 1276-word short story
    from “Maine’s Other Author”(TM)
    Tim Greaton

    A turmoil of thoughts crowded Grady’s head. He’d been born a coward and he knew it, but somehow fate had brought him here. He held his breath and gazed down at the wind-whipped desert below. He had to do something. He knew it, but terror filled his mind. The Eguar were down there. Ghastly eight-foot tall, four hundred pound lizard beings, they had eerily high IQs and were now focused on just one thing: obliterating any chance humanity might have of joining the Alliance and stopping the wholesale slaughter of their entire race.

    Grady’s knee throbbed. He couldn’t bear to touch the swollen flesh and worried the kneecap had shattered. The thought made him sick to his stomach. Kevin had died defending them, while he had…what, run from the battle and even then manage to screw up and maim himself.

    I’m sorry Kevin!

    The wrong man had definitely died.

    Kevin, his best friend, a commander and a bona fide war hero laid dead several clicks to the east, while he set on a rock shelf and felt sorry for himself. Worst of all, somehow Kevin had seen fit to make him second-in-command. He’d left the fate of the entire human race in the hands of a man who had scarcely even seen a rifle before, forget fired one.

    Grady pulled his goggles off and wiped at the grit that tended to build up on the lenses every few minutes. Between gusts, he tried to see his soldiers—

    His soldiers? What a joke. How must those valiant soldiers have felt knowing their fate had been left in the hands of an incompetent civilian? Brent and Suzie, like the other half dozen brave young men and women who had volunteered for this, were battletested soldiers who had defended people like him in the hundreds of skirmishes that had all but wiped out the human race. Every member of this game team had been qualified to be here…all except him, a failed college professor who had only survived this long because his Marine best friend had refused to leave him behind. And now the only two brave soldiers left were stuck on the game world with him in charge.

    No one knew how the Septum, the insect race, had forced the other brutal races of the Alliance to give them a spot in the game, but all humankind knew this might well be their last chance. If the small cadre of human warriors didn’t somehow triumph and win a seat on the council, the last vestiges of the human race might well disappear forever. Since the Eguar had conquered Earth and sent its pathetic forces scurrying in defeat across the galaxy, things had only gotten worse. Earth had long-since been destroyed and all but three of the human armadas had been destroyed. Grady’s last count put the human race at just under one hundred thousand souls.

    Wiping away tears that had dried into a sandy crust against his cheeks, Grady slipped his goggles back on. The radios didn’t work. Hell, none of the human technology worked in this godforsaken place where the other races had rigged every form of cloaking and technology muting gadget they could find. Little did they know, the Eguar had found a way around those dampening effects and had used everything from laser weapons to what looked to be energy nets to round up and kill soldiers from all the other eight races competing for either a first-time seat or a better position within the Alliance. Only the humans had somehow managed to survive this long, possibly because they hadn’t grown so dependent on high technology for their fighting or more likely because the other races hadn’t been concerned with them.

    Yes, humans had definitely been an afterthought, and Grady knew Brent and Suzie’s chances of surviving a head-on encounter with the Eguar, complete with invisibility cloaks and energy weapons, were less than slim. He absently scraped his fingernails across the sandstone cliff.

    Unless—

    Grady knew what he had to do.

    He reached into his pocket and gulped down all his remaining painkillers. Ignoring the lightning bolt of pain that shot straight from his knee to his brain, he half-slid, half stumbled down the steep slope and limped out away from the base of the incline where he felt certain he’d heard the Eguar only a few moments before.

    Even with the tablets, the pain was almost unbearable. Grady’s body felt sluggish but he forced himself to remain upright and aware. His rifle at the ready, he hollered into the wind.

    “Hey you scaly bastards, come and get me! Come on and get me, you cowards!”

    Grady didn’t expect to see his attackers, and he knew he couldn’t count on a billow of sand falling at exactly the right moment. But he hoped for just one hint that they were there, one clue that they were in position. If nothing else, the noise of his encounter with them might alert Brent and Suzie that they were coming.

    Grady watched and waited.

    Finally his clue came…in the form of two giant, suddenly appearing lizard creatures strolling out from around the side of the cliffs. They must have shut down the cloaking devices.

    Probably thinking that one puny human being is no threat to them.

    As though under water, they strode toward him in comically slow motion, weapons hanging like multiple packs from their arms and shoulders. As they drew closer, Grady could see their gray military uniforms bulging from the powerful bodies beneath. Nearly three times larger than men, they had clawed hands, broad shoulders and two-inch white fangs. Smoldering red eyes added to their nightmare visage. Large green tails flicked dangerously behind them. It occurred to Grady that by swinging those tails back and forth in the sand, they could effectively erase any tracks they might leave in the soft sand.

    There had been no tracks near Kevin’s corpse!

    His anger flared.

    In slow motion, both Eguar soldiers lifted black, cube-shaped weapons toward him.

    Grady began to raise his own weapon and found that he, too, moved in that same slow motion. Had the drugs increased the speed of his thoughts and awareness, or was it something else? Didn’t something similar happen to people just before they die.

    Two more Eguar waded out from behind the shear stone face, also arrogantly visible.

    Grady smiled. As Kevin stated not long before he died, “I think it will end there at the cliffs.” His friend had been right.

    His rifle was still only half-way up when one of the black cubes flashed.

    Agony ripped through Grady’s left arm. But it was too late for fear, for anything but what had to be done. He fought the waves of nausea and focused on the nearest Eguar’s blood red eyes, the eyes of Kevin’s murderer. The nozzle of his rifle continued to rise.

    Another blast.

    Searing pain sliced across his right thigh and threatened to buckle his leg. But his rifle had reached its apex, aimed at the sandstone bluff directly behind and above the group of Eguar. Forcing his wracked body to remain upright, Grady pulled the machinegun trigger and struggled to control the weapon as it chewed great chunks out of the soft cliff face.

    Another cube flashed, sending an explosion into Grady’s chest, but not before he saw tons of red-brown sandstone collapse on top of all four alien soldiers. For them, there would be no escape.
    And, somehow, miraculously the human race had won its reprieve.

    Neither Brent nor Suzie returned from their patrol in time to hear Grady’s final whisper.

    “’Not a hero.”

    • Ha ha, you broke two of the stipulations, but you were right that it was okay since you couldn’t qualify for a finalist position anyway. Great story, loved reading it. Nothing quite like seeing a cowardly man do one last act that required bravery. Nice of you to use my name in the story as well 🙂

    • Good story Tim. Glad to see he redeemed himself in the end.

    • Tim says: Five words over? PFFFFFFFTTT! I Laugh at your five words over! Mwahahahahahaha

      and in the process, entertains us all with another great story 🙂 thanks Tim!

  2. THE COST OF LOVE
    By Debbie L Moore

    “THE HUMAN, JEFFERY, IS YOUR REPLACEMENT. YOU HAVE GROWN WEAK. PURE FAITH HAS WEAKENED YOU. I WARNED YOU NOT TO UNDERESTIMATE HER CHARMS, AND NOW YOU WILL SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES. LOVE NEVER COMES WITHOUT A PRICE. . . .

    Molech was wailing on Nash, who lay at the bottom of the pile.

    “Not the nose . . . not the nose!” Nash shouted at his brother.

    Of course, that’s the next place Molech targeted.

    “Damn it!” Nash shouted, taking Molech by both arms, rolling him over so Nash was now on top. He pinned Molech’ arms with his knees, giving himself enough time to heal his nose, but not before a few traces of his blood had run onto Molech’s face. Now healed, Nash’s eyes lit up and he directed his power into Molech’s eyes, blinding him.

    “More blood . . . Nash,” Molech strained to say as he put his hands over his own eyes to heal them. “I’m going to spill every pint you have. I hate you so much!”

    Nash smiled, “but I love you,” only enraging Molech further.

    Molech put out his left arm and used his power to dislodge one of two antique swords that were displayed on the dining room wall.

    Nash levitated quickly off Molech and did the same, the other sword now in his grasp.
    “Come on!” he roused.

    Michael nodded his head in approval. At least a sword fight was a less archaic form of combat, requiring more skill than simple blows.

    Molech struck first, Nash ably blocking Molech’s weapon with his own. Then clank, clank as the two went at it, their swords striking each other with such force, that sparks were created.

    Grace began to approach Jeffery, now cowering in the corner on the opposite side of the room. Her intentions were to continue with her assault until Jeffery gave in to her completely.

    “No!” Faith shouted, running after Grace, afraid she may somehow get caught up between Nash and Molech.

    Nash turned, hearing her scream and fearing Faith was in some sort of danger.

    Molech ran his sword through Nash.

    “Oh . . . shit,” Nash groaned, gasping as the sword went in, sharp pain vibrating through his body. Nash fell to his knees, upset with himself that he’d made such a careless blunder.

    Faith turned, crying out upon seeing Nash kneeling on the floor, the sword’s tip visibly protruding out his back. Faith’s heart ached with the fear of losing him, which strengthened Nash’s righteous power to an extreme he had never felt before.

    Nash rose to his feet and pulled the sword out of his gut.

    “Ah,” he groaned in painful relief as he felt the blade come out. Nash threw his sword along with Molech’s in his direction, but Molech was able to deflect one with his power. That sword flew back spinning, Nash ducking, hitting the wall near where Faith and Grace stood, and getting stuck there. Nash’s other sword stuck Molech through the chest.

    Molech fell back, holding his wound in shock.

    Faith watched, directing her love toward Nash as he raised his arms, white-hot lightening shooting from every fingertip.

    Molech convulsed as the power began to overcome him. He looked at Nash in horror as Nash finished him off. Molech exploded in hundreds of chunky, blood-soaked pieces.

    Nash lowered his arms, dropping back down to his knees. A single tear ran down his face, mingling with his sweat.

    With everyone intensely watching Nash’s final battle with Molech, no one had been keeping an eye on Jeffery.

    Jeffery pushed Grace aside as he ran Faith through the back with the sword he had removed from the wall nearby. He quickly pulled it out, dropping it upon realizing what he’d done.

    “Oh . . . Nash,” she sighed as she fell to the floor, coming to rest on her back.

    Nash spun around with no regard to his own pain. “GOD, NO!” he shrieked, immediately materializing by her side.

    “Stay with me, babe. Stay with me!” he whimpered as Faith lovingly looked at him, her eyes becoming glossy.

    Everyone ran to gather around her, crying.

    Nash looked up at Michael with pain and fearful doubt in his tearing eyes. Michael was now physically holding Jeffery, standing behind him.

    Nash knew what to do. He picked up the sword lying next to Faith, and stabbed Jeffery with it. Using all his might, he twisted and turned it until Jeffery’s lifeless body slumped to the floor.

  3. Fight School
    680 Words
    by Goran Zidar

    The clean sand had been raked smooth before the two opponents stepped into the ritual combat circle and faced one another. Both men wore simple leather armour and were armed with only a single long bladed sword. They bowed to one another, then drew their weapon and assumed a fighting stance; knees slightly bent, one leg before the other with the sword grasped firmly in both hands. They were ready to begin their bout and judging by the crowd of students that had formed to watch them it was a highly anticipated one.

    Palan looked his opponent Avraan in the eye and waited.

    The Weapon-master’s clapped his hands together and the combat had begun.

    Sword fighting came as naturally to Palan as did breathing, his technique was highly polished and the years of training had developed his endurance and speed but Avraan was the school’s most decorated student and Palan could not afford to take the man lightly.

    Their swords met twice as the two combatants struggled to position themselves with the sun at their backs. Palan gave several paces of ground and his opponent charged. Their blades clashed several times as Palan tried to fend off the blistering onslaught. Avraan’s skill was evident and it was all he could do to keep the attacks at bay. The assault continued and eventually Palan was forced to spin away and concede the better position to the other man.

    The gathered crowd applauded and Palan could not deny their praise.

    Over the years Palan had plenty of opportunity to study Avraan’s style. It was heavily reliant on offense which ideally suited the man’s strength and speed but it meant that his defensive skills were not as well honed. Palan realised that he needed to be more aggressive if he was to win this bout. With this in mind he stepped forward, his sword arcing toward Avraan’s head. The blow was blocked and Palan reversed his swing, sliding the blade into the gap between Avraan’s sword and shoulder.

    Avraan stepped aside and Palan’s blade glanced off the tough leather armour.

    Well that didn’t work, Palan thought.

    Palan then stepped back and drew Avraan towards him then struck low. Once more his blade was intercepted but Palan followed through with his body, rolling to the ground under his opponent’s feet.
    Avraan was knocked to the ground and Palan quickly jumped upright, his blade pointed towards his prone opponent as took a few steps back and waited.

    The crowd was silent while Avraan regained his footing.

    “You won’t get lucky twice, half-caste!” Avraan said. He spat at Palan’s feet and once more assumed the fighting stance.

    Palan smiled, he had nothing to lose by being defeated while Avraan had his reputation to protect.
    After several furious exchanges Palan began to tire allowing Avraan to take control of the fight. Avraan aimed a blow high and Palan raised his arm to ward off the strike. Avraan had clearly anticipated the move and changed his swing mid-flight, turning it instead into a sweeping cut aimed at Palan’s unarmoured legs. Palan just managed to leap over the blade as it passed under his guard turning what would have been a crippling strike into a glancing blow but it allowed Avraan to get behind him.

    The crowd cheered at the move, none of them noticing the blood that now flowed freely from Palan’s right leg.

    Avraan loomed behind Palan, his victory all but assured. He held his sword in an overhead chop and brought it down toward Palan’s head. Palan dropped to one knee and raised his sword above his shoulders behind his head. Avraan’s sword struck and Palan barely maintained his grip as he angled his opponent’s blade down and to his left causing Avraan to overbalance. Palan then reached behind and pulled Avraan forward over his shoulder to land flat on his back and knocking the wind out of him.
    Before he could move Palan brought his blade down and held it against Avraan’s throat.

    The Weapon-master clapped again.

    The bout was over and Palan had won.

  4. An invitation to spar.
    By Ella Stradling (Ixtila)

    With a delighted grin, Miyam copied Evelar’s move and they progressed to simulated combat. The previous work on the patterns now flowed seemlessly into active use, the moves guiding their hands, the parry and thrust of swordplay tempered by practiced technique. Beneath the cut and dodge the observers heard grunts of effort, the force of the movements peppered by the timed vocalisations that added power to the swing and brought mind and body together. This was no easy bout.

    It was not an even fight. Miyam, less experienced and still raw with the left hand, could not be expected to match the artisan in his prime. He held back none of his strength, yet she matched him for a while. Still the first cut went to Evelar.

    “What is he doing?” said Delsi to her husband. “He has drawn blood!”

    “Hush, love,” said Ardel. “It is their way. It would not be a real test if there were not the risk of injury. Miyam knows that.”

    They watched, Evelar cool and calm, Miyam holding her ground with teeth clenched and face set with determination. With a cry of triumph, Miyam slipped through his guard and scored the second cut. Evelar just grinned and she laughed delightedly.

    “Don’t get cocky, my love,” he murmured.

    They threw themselves into the fight for the third cut, which would end the bout. Miyam danced, light on her feet, quick and agile. Evelar stalked, his movements weaving through and around hers, accepting them calmly and answering with power and precision.

    Amid the grunts and growls, laughter bubbled, the adrenalin of a wildly enjoyable bout getting the better of them both. The clash of sword on sword rang out again and again, meeting and rebounding, locking and releasing until quite suddenly all sound, all movement, stopped. They stood, swords crossed between them, pushing against each other but drawing closer in their effort. His wide grin belied the stalemate and her shrewd look from under lowered brows showed that she knew he was playing with her.

    The observers murmured, thinking the fight over, but Atwin hushed them.

    The artisan took his left hand away from the hilt of his sword, holding it firmly in his right. The freed hand slipped sensuously about her waist and pulled her close pressing them both hard against the swords between them.
    Over the top of the crossed swords, he leant forward and planted his mouth firmly on hers. In perfect unison, they slowly drew their swords outwards and free of their bodies. At the exact same moment both swords dropped to clatter on the ground. Evelar’s arms tightened about her and her arms slipped about his neck as the kiss deepened.

    Ardel began to chuckle. Atwin lifted a hand to quiet his father-in-law.

    “It is not over, Sir,” he whispered. “Watch.”

    Miyam’s right hand was doing something strange behind the artisan’s head. She gave an almost imperceptible jerk of the wrist and something glinted in the sunlight as it danced above them, laughing at the passionate embrace. The watchers held their breath as the tiny silver knife dipped and cut, slicing through the red sash that was wrapped about Evelar’s brow holding his hood in place.

    The scarf fell between them, catching on their noses and he pulled away, one hand clutching at the red cloth as it fell. He stared at it for a moment, then his eyes widened as he felt the tiny blade at his neck. His gaze was captured by the glimmer of triumph in his wife’s brilliant green eyes.

    His hand went to his neck as she held his eyes and allowed the knife to slowly and gently brush the skin of his neck, drawing a thin line of blood, a mere scratch. She had won the third cut.

    Atwin laughed aloud and Ardel chuckled. Netta smiled and her mother just shook her head.

    With a smile of pure unadulterated pride, Evelar caught the tiny knife between his fingers and brought it back to her, sliding it once more with a click into the ornate sheath hidden in her green sash.

    “Well done, my love,” he murmured as he took her in his arms again. Then he pulled away with a hurt look. “You cut my sash!”

    She laughed delightedly, snatching it from him. “I guess I’ll have to mend it now!” she said with a grin.

  5. “Boris – A Starlight Hodgens story”
    By M R Mortimer (749 words)

    Starlight dashed quickly through the doorway, slipping the data card into her flight suit as the doors closed behind her. She heard the leader of the criminal cell, Dimitri Longarm, shouting after her.

    “Stop that bitch! Send Boris! If she gets off this rock alive, I’m skinning somebody and I don’t care who!”

    His voice behind her screamed at his underlings as she bound the perimeter hedge and headed for the Phoenix. Mission accomplished, although she had hoped not to be discovered. The data card had the real identities of all the agents in this cell. They took the name Longarm on entry, but now they could be rounded up at their family homes and brought to justice. Whoever this Boris was, she was far ahead of him now.

    Starlight ran as hard and as fast as she could. She thought she caught a swift shadow pass in the corner of her eye, but turning there was nothing there. She reached the crest of a rise and charged on. Something was….

    *FLASH!*

    Starlight stumbled for a moment, unable to see.

    *SLAM!*

    Groggily, Starlight sat up. Suddenly she was in the trough between two rises. Had she blacked out? She wasn’t sure. She stumbled to her feet. Something must have hit her head pretty hard. Turning, she could see where she had tumbled down the slope. She flicked on her com circuit.

    “Janice, can you hear me? What was that?” she said as she turned to walk up the next rise.

    “Starlight, I’m not reading anything here. Whatever it was hides its heat well. For a moment there was a spike in readings for your area. Be careful. It might be a…”

    *FLASH!*

    Starlight missed the rest of that sentence as she was abruptly surrounded by white.

    *SLAM!*

    Her head snapped back at the blow and she fell hard to the ground again as something rushed over the top of her.

    “Starlight, you there? I think it’s a flash rabbit. You hear me Starlight? You’ve got a bunny!”

    Her head spinning from the blow, Starlight climbed back to her feet again.

    “Yeah, thanks for telling me the obvious Janice. Where is it now?” Starlight said.

    “It went dead ahead, the way you’re facing” Janice replied.

    Starlight span on her heals and bolted up the rise. The blue hull of the Phoenix sat in the distance, the fiery bird on its flank reflecting brightly. Stooping down, she picked up a heavy rock.

    “Ok Boris, it’s your turn.” she said as she closed her eyes.

    Hefting the heavy rock in her right hand, Starlight held her left arm across her eyes and turned back the way she had come. She waited. The seconds passed. It would take the creature a few minutes to recharge the photovoltaic membrane of it’s ears before the fluorescent fur inside them could flash that light again.

    “Janice, how can they have one of those things? I thought they were illegal. Outside of zoos at any rate.”

    “Who knows where they got it Starlight, but they have it. This is Longarm we’re talking about.” Janice replied, surprised at her friends question.

    She had run out of time to talk. Through her closed eyelids, Starlight saw the halo of the flash as it lit the peripheries, bright beyond her protective arm. As it faded, she lowered her arm, and opened her eyes. The creature was charging, head lowered, preparing to strike.

    Starlight swung the rock. She struck the beast in the head as hard as she could, sending it rolling to the side with a yowl of startled pain. Starlight turned, and ran. The sure way to end it with a flash rabbit, was with a brighter light. She had to escape. The Phoenix was still too far away.

    Starlight sensed it there before it swung, it’s foreleg sweeping her knees as it overtook her. She went down. Landing on her back hard, the wind flew from her lungs. She rolled over, heaving for air. Starlight got to her feet again, grasping a second rock as she spun.

    That move was just in time. She collected the beats left eye with the rock as she spun, and felt the ripping of flesh as it screamed. Not stopping to look, Starlight rushed as fast as she could towards the Phoenix.

    Boris, whimpering from his lost eye, gave up and headed back to his master.

  6. “Just one of those days”
    by
    Charity Parkerson
    550 words
    Jane Hughes could remember over the years, having heard several stories of people who claimed that they had not thought about the consequences of their actions, before tossing themselves into the fray of an ongoing fight. She could claim no such virtue. While walking to her car after a little late night shopping at the Clearview mall, she came across a mugging. She would like to say that she jumped straight in helping the hapless woman, but that is not what happened. Instead, she carefully catalogued each item of her clothing wondering how easily it be ripped off. After all, no one wanted to end up like one of those women shown on Cops, handcuffed with one boob hanging out. Deciding that her cotton shirt and Reebok running shoes would most likely withstand the assault, she flung herself bodily onto the woman’s attacker.
    The sight, sound, and smell of a fight was completely different in real life, she noted absently, as the woman she’d been trying to help landed a sharp elbow to Jane’s gut. Sucking in a sharp breath, she drew the sickly scent of cheap perfume, mixed with blood into her lungs. She had known there was a chance she’d get her butt handed to her, when she made the choice to step in. The tiny brown haired woman seemed to be holding her own against the sleek muscle of her attacker, but Jane knew it would only be a matter of time before he would wear her down. After several long moments of trying to force her way between them, she landed a few solid kicks to the attacker’s shins, only managing to elicit a grunt from him.
    Jane backed away reassessing the situation. Never once did it occur to her that she should call 911. Her only thought was of winning. The longer she thought of the plight of women everywhere who were denied the right to shop alone at night, and not ruin their jeans, the more outraged she became. Rage rolled through her veins, and with a warrior like roar, she launched herself bodily into the man’s side like a linebacker. He went down hard. Unfortunately, the forward momentum sent her sprawling as well, her forehead cracking his jaw solidly on the way down. All thought came to a screeching halt, as she rolled to her side clutching her head in pain.
    The sound of heeled feet slapping the pavement, alerted her of the woman’s final escape. Gentle hands tugged at hers.
    “Did I win?” she asked, between her fingers.
    He chuckled lightly. “Yes, you did. Now, let me see.” The concern in his voice caused her to drop her hands, meeting the eyes of the supposed attacker for the first. His eyes were the greenest that she had ever seen, and the gentleness she saw in them seemed so at odds with what she witnessed him doing earlier, that the question fell from her lips unbidden.
    “Who the hell are you?”
    Reaching behind him he quickly flashed his badge. “Lt. Robert Hall. You just let my shoplifter get away.”
    Taking note of his perfect smile and manners, her mind accepted her fate as her lips admitted it aloud. “Well crap. I guess I’m going to have to pop a boob out after all.”

  7. 🙂

  8. As I’m not eligible to enter, I’m going to cheat and post a fight scene from my forthcoming novel, just for fun.

    From “Wicked Problems” by Alex Le Soum
    498 words.

    It was the smell of abuse that hit him the hardest. He’d come across it before on some of the desolately impoverished worlds, untreated and festering open sores, uncleared excrement from underfed and disease ridden individuals, and the general odour of wretchedness that always lingered around those exploited beyond all possible hope. The close confines of the mine only concentrated the stench and sparked his anger beyond its limits.
    It took a moment for his eyes to become accustomed to the gloom. Then the red mist flashed as he saw the whip snap across the back of a young female. She was scratching at the bare rock with empty hands, not surprisingly making no progress as she tried to dislodge large boulders clearly far too big for her to lift. She sank to her knees as the wheal puckered across her skin.
    The overseer drew back the whip again, and found it caught on something as he tried to complete the forward thrust. He turned in surprise to find the end of the lash wrapped around the hand of a large and extremely angry looking stranger.
    ‘Get off, you arsehole,’ the overseer shouted.
    Hammer continued to wind up the whip, pulling in the thong until he reached the handle. Then with a ferocious lurch forwards he head-butted the man on the bridge of his nose, making him scream in agony as the cartilage shattered.
    The man relinquished his hold on the whip to place his hands over his blood-streaming face. Stepping back to give himself room to manoeuvre, Hammer cracked the whip heavily across his forearms, and then carried on mercilessly over and over again, bombarding him with blows until his shirt and every inch of exposed flesh was scarlet with blood and he lay piteously on the floor begging for mercy.
    Others were getting involved now. He’d lost the awareness of who or why; he only knew a burning fury that had to be released. He swung the whip around his head, stopping them approaching too closely. Someone pulled a laser and he cracked it out of their hand. He lashed someone else around their lower legs and drew a gaping gash across the face of another, before discarding the whip and pulling out one of his own lasers, blasting at least five to their deaths before someone grappled him round the shoulders from behind.
    He slammed his elbow hard into their shoulder and slipped a knife from his belt, thrusting down into their thigh, twisting the blade deep into the flesh as he turned to confront them.
    He holstered his laser momentarily, drawing out a second knife and dragging it across his assailant’s throat, before spinning quickly round again to face the oncoming onslaught.
    Farla stood in front of him, a look of dumbfounded astonishment on her face. ‘We have the others contained,’ she said with a certain amount of discomfiture. ‘It would have helped if you’d told us it was supposed to be an offensive.’

  9. Why yes, I am submitting this within the last hour.

    Snowballed
    687 words
    by Sheenah Freitas

    Billy peeked around the large mountain of snow; he could see his breath. The older boys were hiding somewhere within the forest — the only line of color as far as the eye could see. He hunkered down and rubbed his hands together, hoping to regain some circulation. His mittens lay forgotten on the ice adjacent to him — the snow stuck to them, making it hard to roll a perfect snowball.

    He took another peek at the forest lining. A shadow moved. Was it the enemy? A lump of terror rose to his throat. No. He had to stay strong! He had to do this! He had . . . Billy froze as another shadow moved. Two. There were two that he could clearly spot. Where were the other three?

    He hunkered back down behind the hill, hoping no one had spotted him. Unless the older boys noticed his shock of red hair beneath his white toboggan, Billy assumed he’d be hard to spot in the snowy landscape with his pale skin and white coat. It made sense to him to ask for a white winter ensemble. With the blinding white snow, perfectly untouched in this field, it was the perfect camouflage. This year he would beat the older boys and prove he wasn’t some child.

    A crunch alerted him. Billy stole a peek around his hill. He didn’t see anyone . . . but someone caused the snow to crunch. He scooped up some snow and began packing it into a tight ball. His hands were red from being exposed in the elements for so long.

    Crunch!

    Billy’s heart raced. His grip tightened around the snowball.

    Crunch!

    Did the older boys know where he was? Was all his planning for naught?

    Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!

    “I swear he was around here,” a voice said from afar.

    “Probably fled like the little wuss he is.”

    Billy dropped his current snowball and rolled up more. He needed ammunition. The enemy was so close . . .

    “I knew he’d run. Any kid who’s got any sense would run.” Billy heard the boy spit.

    For a moment, Billy stopped. It was crazy to go up against five experienced older boys. Maybe the best thing to do was to run . . .

    No. He shook his head. The leader of the pack, Johnny, had crossed the line. If he and his friends had just bullied Billy, Billy would’ve been fine with that; would’ve never felt the need to do something as stupid as this. But Johnny — no, that jerk — had insulted his family. Called his sister a — dare he say it? — slut for being pregnant out of wedlock! Said his father was a poor drunken slob that wasn’t any war hero, but a coward, and his mother was a dirty whore.

    Fueled by the memory of the insults, Billy became enraged and gripped the snowball until his knuckles turned white. He stood up, took aim, and flung it straight at Johnny’s head. The pack of boys immediately huddled around their leader, protecting him from the onslaught of snowballs. Billy had blood pounding in his ears, deafening him, so he didn’t hear the first pleas to stop until he saw one of the boys crying. Billy dropped his snowball. He had made one of them cry! A swell of victory swooped through him until he realized Johnny was bleeding; he had been cut by a rock that had slipped its way inside the snowball.

    Johnny’s right hand man stood up as Billy neared to get a better look at Johnny’s swollen face. And the blood! His nose was like a faucet of blood.

    “I should kick your ass for what you did to Johnny!” the second in command threatened.

    Billy didn’t flinch or cower. His eyes were glued onto Johnny’s face. He had done that?

    “No,” Johnny said in a hoarse whisper. “He’s proved that he’s no kid anymore. Let ‘im go.”

    The boy glanced at Johnny reluctantly, but did as he said. The other boys followed suit and shifted out of Billy’s way as he strode passed them, never looking back.

  10. Okay everyone. Time is up for any more contest entries. Thanks to all who participated. I will be announcing the finalists tommorow by mid-afternoon. That is early Sunday for you Ausies, and Saturday evening for the Brits.

    Comments will be closed in the next few minutes to prevent any late entries.

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