March Writing Contest


Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone!  As I announced ahead of time, this contest does have the holiday theme.  Hopefully you all will enjoy writing for this month’s stipulations.

For those who are new to the contest, or haven’t participated in a while, pay close attention to all the details. The stipulations and rules will be listed below.  For further information, stop by the Monthly Writing Contest page to see the complete listing of rules and other information that you should know (along with who the previous winners are).  You will have until March 28th at midnight (EDT) to submit your entry.  That is approximately eleven days from now.  On March 29th, I will announce the finalists for the contest and open up voting.  There are typically three finalists, but if more than ten entries are submitted, I may select four.  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.

As a reminder, the first and second place winners will receive a prize.  First place will receive a $20 Amazon gift card, and the runner-up will get a $10 Amazon gift card.  Both will be announced after voting is over on April 1st.

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

Stipulations:

1) The story should take place on St. Patrick’s Day and have drinking* involved.

2) There must be an evil leprechaun as one of the main characters.

3) Someone should get pinched.

4) The color “green” must be mentioned at least three times.

5) The length requirements are 400-800 words (this is one of the shorter contests).

*I didn’t say what kind of drinking!

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General 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. Light profanity is acceptable.

2) Making me laugh will gain you favor in my selection, though 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 in the comments section of this post. Do not email it to me.

4) Ensure you include your name (even if it is only a first name or nickname) and a title for the story. Neither of these go toward word-count.

5) Anyone who has won a prize in 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.

6) Any story submission posted here can be posted elsewhere after the competition is over. The only thing I ask is that you put a disclaimer saying that it was written for a contest on this blog (a link back here would be nice).

7) Must be your original writing that has never been unpublished before.

8)Anyone may enter the contest (regardless of country of origin) but must be able to receive an Amazon gift card (they are not transferable).  I will convert US currency to the currency of the Amazon country site requested, based on current exchange rates.

9) In the event of a tie during the finalist voting round, I will ask (at a minimum) three previous winners who are not involved in this round of the contest to vote anonymously (via email to me) and use the majority of their votes to make the decision on who will win. ***New Rule***

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That is everything you need to know.  Come back on Thursday (March 29th) to see who the finalists are and vote in the poll for your favorite candidate (or maybe even yourself).   The poll will stay open until midnight (EDT) Saturday, March 31st.  That is approximately three days for voting.  On Sunday, the 1st, I will announce the winner and runner-up.  They will both receive their Amazon gift cards at that time via email.   Good luck!

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~ by Suzie on March 17, 2012.

61 Responses to “March Writing Contest”

  1. “Services Rendered”
    Charity Parkerson
    504 words

    Glowing green shamrock shaped lanterns hung from the ceiling of the overcrowded bar, making Liz want to puke. She hated St. Patrick’s Day. A person with her dark complexion and light-colored hair did not need to wear green. Not that she should have bothered, she thought bitterly, after the third drunken reveler pinched her butt. With her patience at an end, she desperately sought the exit, and didn’t draw another easy breath until the cool night air brushed her face. Her ears rang after the extended exposure to loud music, and that’s why it took her a minute to hear the tiny cries for help. Following the sound, she spotted a silver trashcan right inside the alleyway with two tiny legs sticking out. They kicked out in every direction as the person attached struggled to escape.
    “Oh, my. Are you okay?” Liz cried, as she rushed to help.
    The kicking stopped and tiny voice sounded from inside. “Would you mind terribly helping me out?”
    “Of course,” Liz answered, feeling a bit embarrassed that she had not immediately done so.
    Grabbing the tiny legs, she braced her legs apart, and pulled with all her strength.
    At first, she thought it was a child, but after setting him on his feet, she realized it was a tiny man dressed all in green.
    “Why were you in the trashcan?” she asked, trying desperately to focus on the reason they were there and not her shock.
    His eyes were almost the same shade as his clothes, and even the dark they twinkled. A bright smile lit his face as he answered. “It’s a tall tale, of that you can be sure. It is wicked and twisted definitely not for the pure, but if you wish to know how it is that I came to be here, then lean closer to me and I shall whisper it in your ear.”
    Despite the odd circumstances, curiosity drove her to do as he bade. With her ear close to his mouth, he continued. “Temptation and greed will drive men to be cold, but the secret is they shall never get my gold!”
    Before Liz could absorb his words, he kissed her soundly on the mouth, and tweaked her breast. With a cackling “tee-hee” he scampered away. Stunned, she watched him race down the alley as fast as his tiny legs would carry him. He leapt in to the air, clicking his heels together in glee as he ran, and singing all the way. “I’m the very first Leprechaun. That’s who I be, and so long as I live they shall never catch me. If they think to try, then they will surely die, exactly like the man I stuffed in a pie.”
    By the time Liz arrived home, she’d almost convinced herself that the excessive consumption of green beer caused her illusion, but as she removed her clothes to prepare for bed, a gold coin fell from inside her bra, and she swore she heard his tiny voice singing in her ear.

  2. Thank you!

  3. Leapin’ Leprechauns

    “You may not believe me but I tell you it is true.” Rose O’Malley wrinkled her nose. “I saw it with my own eyes.”

    Patrick O’Malley shook his head. “I don’t believe for one moment that you saw a flying Leprechaun.”

    “I did not say he was flying, I said he was leaping. Do I have to repeat myself?”

    “Yes, leaping or flying, I still find it hard to believe a grown woman would be telling her husband about wee people. Maybe, if we were in the old country but here in Texas…I don’t think so.”

    “This is the last time I’ll be telling you this so you best be listening to me. I was in the meadow picking berries for our supper. I heard some music but I did not see anyone or anything at first. Then I saw something pop up through the flowers. It was green. I thought it was a grasshopper at first.”

    “Aye, are you sure it wasn’t?”

    “Hush, let me finish…please.”

    Patrick nodded.

    “I went back to picking berries then I heard an evil laugh. I looked up and saw him about a foot away. He was dressed in Kelly green from pointed cap to curly-toed shoes. He was about 6 inches tall. He stared at me.”

    “My name is Thomas O’Grady and if you give me a kiss, I’ll turn into a handsome prince.”

    “I already have a husband, why would I be kissing the likes of you?”

    “So you are married, where is the unlucky guy?”

    “So much for the handsome prince routine, what is your real story?”

    “I’d tell you but then I’d have to pinch you.”

    “Really, why is that?”

    “You are a glutton for punishment…I think I like that about you.”

    “You hardly know me.”

    “I’ve been watching you.”

    “Have you now? Why pray tell, would you be doing that?”

    “Truth be told, I don’t know maybe I’m just into ugly women.”

    “Let me guess, an evil witch cast a spell on you and made you say evil things to everyone.”

    “If only…no I’m afraid I was born this way. I have a subtle kind of madness that comes from first cousins having children together. At least they said they were cousins…I suspect it was a much closer relationship than that.”

    “You don’t mean…”

    “Yes but I have no proof. Anyway, they had me and I was evil from the very start. Instead of the doctor slapping my bum, I slapped his face.”

    “You didn’t…”

    “Yes I did. He’d been drinking at a St. Patty’s Day celebration and he nearly dropped me on my head.”

    “So today’s your birthday?”

    “Yes, that’s why we have the music over there.”

    “I thought I heard something but I could not see a thing except a grasshopper jumping.”

    “That wasn’t a grasshopper…that was me.”

    “You…since when do ‘wee people’ fly?”

    “I wasn’t exactly flying, I was leaping. I wanted to get a better look to see if any more of my friends were coming. Then I spotted you picking berries. I come to see if you wanted to have a drink with us.”

    “I best not, my husband will be looking for me.”

    Thomas reached over and pinched Rose’s ear. “Ouch,” she yelped, “why did you do that?”

    “First of all, you aren’t wearing green. Second, you got my story. Third, I’m just pure evil. I told you that.”

    “Oh, I think the real reasons are because you love me, you are jealous that I am married, but mostly because you are mad I will not drink with you and your friends.”

    “That could be true…if you weren’t so ugly.”

    “So why would I come run off with you then.”

    “Who said I wanted you to run off with me?”

    “The way you were talking and the tiny green suitcase behind your back, gave you away.”

    “That’s not a suitcase, it’s my fiddle.”

    “He began playing it and all his friends came over sloshing drinks everywhere. I swear Patrick, that’s what all that noise was and why I smell like a brewery. I told you he was an Evil Leapin’ Leprechaun.”

    “Woman, that still doesn’t explain the suitcase behind you?”

    “Aye, well that’s what I’m going to put the wee people in. They’ve passed out from all that partying. When they wake up, I’ll be getting them to tell us where that pot of gold is.”

    Patrick shook his head, followed his wife. To his surprise, she went into the meadow and 6 wee people were lying in sweet repose. He leaned over, kissed his wife, and patted her bum. “Well done, my darling Rose.”

    Written by Lynn Hallbrooks for Musings of Mistress March 2012 Writing Contest – all rights reserved.

  4. Two great entries already…! 🙂 Well done to Charity and Lynn.

  5. Great job, Lynn!
    Thank you, Anthony!

  6. Declan’s Dig (800 words)
    by J Bryden Lloyd

    It had all been grass, every square foot of it. Lush, green, and trimmed with the utmost care and precision.
    Declan stared around him at the dark brown mound of earth, the deep, dark oval hole, and the spade he had been using to dig since dusk, three hours before.
    “Oi!” the little man pinched his thigh, bringing him back out of his trance with a yelp, “We’re not digging for potatoes. If yer wantin’ a share, get diggin’!” the melodious voice said mischievously.
    Declan reached into his pocket and pulled out the half bottle of 20-year-old whisky, which had been full when this particular escapade began. He flicked the cap, took a mouthful and smacked his lips as the warmth registered in his throat, “And what if I’ve decided I don’t want a share?” he gambled, “What if I walk away to me bed, right now… and you do yer own damn diggin’?”
    The smile left the small man’s lips for a moment. He twisted his fingers into his curly red beard and then tilted and straightened his emerald green hat, “Now that wouldn’t do at all… no, no, no… not at all.” he muttered, “I thought we had an agreement, Declan O’Gara.”
    “Aye, so did I,” Declan drawled, “until I realised I’d be doin’ all the damn diggin’!”
    “Fair’s fair,” the little man in green grinned, “I knew where to look, you knew how to work the spade!”
    “I’ll show yer working the flamin’ spade!” Declan grasped the handle, and in one neat turn he swung the flat of the spade towards where the little man’s head was. ‘Where’d he go to?’ he thought to himself as the spade passed effortlessly through the empty air.

    With the momentum of the swing and the alcohol, Declan pirouetted a perfect five-forty and gracefully dropped into the hole, face first.
    The ‘tee-hee’ of mocking laughter filled the air as he lifted his mud-caked face from the soft, wet surface at the bottom of the hole.
    He pushed himself up onto his elbows and spat out the mouthful of cold mud.
    “Ah, to be sure, you’re an entertainer, Declan O’Gara!” the little man laughed, “But see, this bein’ the Saint’s day, You’ve only got until midnight to find the gold, or it’ll be gone for another year!”
    Declan scraped the mud off the face of his watch. 11.38pm.
    “Right! I’m diggin’, I’m diggin’!” Declan threw himself into the manual labour with renewed vigour, and no more than ten minutes later, he was rewarded with a hollow thud beneath the steel blade of the spade.
    “Well I’ll be,” the little man declared as he peered into the hole, “To be sure, I think you’ve finally made contact!” he chuckled gleefully.
    “At last!” Declan cried out in triumph, “Fifteen years! Fifteen attempts! And THIS time, I’ll have my share, ya wee green…” he finished the sentence with a celebratory swig of whisky, “Now! Get down here and give me a hand!”
    “Ah, but that’s not how it works, Declan O’Gara… and well you know it!” the little man tee-hee’d again for good measure, “The rules say the treasure must be placed upon the green grass for the bargain to be made.”
    Declan stared, taking in the four feet of earth between the bottom of the hole and merest hint of the grass that would be the finishing post. Quickly, he picked up the spade and began to search for the edge of the treasure he had discovered.

    He easily found East and North, from his perspective, and began back-stepping in search of South. A few minutes later, he had found the four sides and stared, blinking at the six-by-four foot outline he had located.
    “I’ll never be getting’ this out on me own!” he protested, “Come on and give me a hand!”
    “By my watch it’s almost midnight, Declan O’Gara. Even if I was to come down there and heave it out with ya, I doubt we’d do it in time.”
    As if on cue, the distant sound of church bells striking their chimes brought a look of despair to Declan’s face. The little man laughed loud, danced a little jig, then clicked his fingers and vanished.
    Declan howled in anger and threw himself at the dark earth, slipped, fell, and landed hard.

    The morning rain came and Declan’s eyes snapped open, his head pounding from the hangover at the front and the lump at the back.
    He struggled to his feet, just as a familiar voice hit him like a rock, “DECLAN! WHAT IN GOD’S NAME ARE YE DOIN?”
    He brandished the spade, “Diggin’ fer the gold!” he raised the spade and prepared a fresh assault.
    “STOP MAN! FER GOD’S SAKE, THAT’S THE GAS TANK! Now get yer backside off this golf course!”

  7. Great job!

  8. Cheers ladies. I’m sure I’m not eligible until the next one, but these are more fun than the usual grind.

    I actually ditched the one I spent a week playing with. By the time I got halfway through it I had no idea where it was going, so I reverted to type and started from scratch.

    So, if you want to have fun with these, just go with the flow…

    Lynn, Charity… two superb and fun-filled entries!

    • Thanks J., I typed mine out ahead of time too. Looked at it a couple different times. Revised the ending a couple different times to this one. I’m so glad that everyone likes this version.

      Susan, I think I like the being able to work on it ahead of time thing. It makes it better because you can leave it and come back with fresher eyes. 🙂

      • Glad that you found it better to get more notice for the stipulations, Lynn. I was hoping people would use the extra time to their advantage 🙂

    • I’m glad you contributed a story anyway, Bryden. I enjoy seeing what you come up with!

    • Thanks, J. 🙂

  9. Sticky Situation Vacant

    “Damned phone” he muttered as the loudly ringing phone caused Shiloh to wake and lurch up in the bed. He had been having the very best dream just minutes before of the most beautiful girl with green eyes. “Yes” Shiloh answered as he held the phone to his ear. After listening to the voice a few moments he hung up the phone with a look of surprise. It only took a few minutes to get out of bed and put on his clothes. He made sure that he was wearing something green because of the day it was before heading out the door.
    Shiloh couldn’t believe that anyone would call for an interview on St. Patrick’s Day and a Saturday at that! Even if it was a bar that was calling, really? On St. Patrick’s Day of all days. Well, Shiloh had been looking for a job for several months and it was the first response that he had to all of the applications he put in.
    Double checking that he was at the right place, Shiloh gazed at the sign. The green shamrock sign said all that he needed to see,”The Irish” in neon emblazoned upon it. He went to the door, opened it and entered the bar. Quite a number of drinkers were sitting, nursing their beers. A couple of others were downing shots of whiskey on the stools. Shiloh walked over to the middle of the bar as one patron pinched another patron. A steam of curses were uttered at the one doing the pinching as Shiloh reached the bar.
    Just about every seat was filled in the entire place ”no wonder they need a bartender” he told himself. This little short guy jumped up on the bar in front of Shiloh and demanded “what do ya want”? “I was called in for an interview” Shiloh answered, just about stammering as he realized he was looking at a leprechaun. The short guy glanced to his left stating”you’re not wearing green” to the patron that was sitting there. “Well, what of it” the patron responded to the little short guy. The leprechaun then pulled out a knife which he thrust into the patrons eye. The patron’s beer went flying, the glass bouncing on the rubber mat behind the bar. After shocking Shiloh with that exhibition he turned to Shiloh and asked,”can you start now”?

  10. I’m loving this month’s entries 🙂

  11. Hello everyone!

    My name is Ray. I’ve been lurking here for a bit and I’ve chosen to blow my cover to put in my $.02 for this month’s contest. This marks the first time I have ever let “strangers” (please forgive the term) read my material. Some of you already know my wife, Marla.

    Here, then, is my entry into the local March Madness, weighing in at 797 words:

    ***************
    O’Malley and the Wee One

    “All I know ‘bout bein’ Irish” he complained to the unfortunate stranger on the next bar stool “is people expectin’ me to wear green … gah! I hate green! That, an’ all the crap I take ‘cause my name is ‘Sean O’Malley’. Yeah, I get lotscha crap – ‘speshelly now, on Schaint Paddeesh day.”

    Sean turned unsteadily to survey the room, then his gaze froze at the back corner booth. His eyes grew large and he pinched the stranger’s arm, motioning toward a diminutive older man quietly occupying a booth in the shadows. “Lookee who’s inna back boof! Issa Leprechaun! Y’know if ya grab a Leprechaun heesch gotta give ya wassin his pot ‘o gold!”

    “Dude, I think you’ve had too many” the stranger muttered, and turned away.

    The fellow in question wore a threadbare emerald wool jacket and a dog-eared bow tie to match. His skin was pocked and ruddy, and his face was framed by thick curly snow white hair and a bushy beard. His feet dangled well off the floor. His most captivating feature, though, was his eyes – they glowed the color of carefully tended grass on a summer morning. He stood and exited through the back door. He measured less than a meter tall.

    Sean rasped “ I gotta get him!” to no one in particular as he stumbled out the door in pursuit.

    In the alley behind the bar Sean grabbed the little man’s arm. A brief scuffle ensued but the outsized quarry relented when trapped in a very dark corner with Sean gripping both lapels. Here the emerald glow from the stranger’s eyes seemed stronger than before, more un-natural.

    Sean sneered “I know what ya are, Mishter Leprechaun, an’ you know ezzakly what you gotta do for me!”

    Calmly the tiny man spoke in a creaking, weak voice: “Aye, ye’ve caught me haven’t ye? Me name’s Dubhan. I suppose you want what’s in me pot ‘o gold.”

    Sean nodded vigorously “‘Zackly!”

    Dubhan looked up to meet Sean’s hostile glare: “Ye’ve heard a legend. But th’ legend, ya see laddie…”

    Suddenly the air became piercingly cold. Sean’s flesh crawled as Dubhan’s voice changed from a feeble tenor to a resonant clear bass devoid of its previous Celtic lilt. The glowing eyes changed color from emerald to hell-fire red.

    “… is incomplete.”

    Sean’s grip on the lapels held, but he found himself instantly preacher sober.

    “You have been taught that while you hold me I cannot lie?”

    Sean silently nodded.

    “It is fact. Captive I can speak no untruth, do no harm, play no tricks. You also know that I can do magic?”

    A shiver ran through Sean’s body as he again nodded.

    “With a mere thought I can kill you” then a chilling pause, “… or worse.” another pause, “Now we negotiate for my release. We will both be blood-bound to our agreement. You can indeed take the contents of my overflowing pot of gold if you choose. If so, you agree to take it all – leave nothing behind. This leaves me room for more in the future. If you choose not to take, simply release me. All will be forgotten and no harm will come. Do you understand?”

    Sean the suddenly sober nodded his understanding.

    “Your decision is binding. Renege and you will die … or worse”

    Somber, sober, shivering Sean nodded again.

    “You must now choose. Will you take, or not?”

    Sean answered incredulously “That’s the ‘catch’? Take it ALL? OF COURSE I’ll take it!”

    “By your own choice, so it shall be.”

    An unsettling peal of thunder rumbled out of the clear starry night.

    Suddenly the air warmed, Dubhan’s voice again became a feeble brogue, and his eyes returned to their emerald color. “Loose me, Laddie. We’ll take ye to me overflowin’ pot ‘o gold.”

    Sean released his grip. Instantly they stood not in the alley, but in Dubhan’s home. Dubhan opened a nearby door, motioned Sean through, and followed him in.

    Unfortunately this was not Dubhan’s treasure vault – it was his bathroom. The familiar fixtures were all there in reduced scale, but not made of porcelain – they were made of gold. Cheerfully Dubhan indicated the fixtures one at a time. “There’s me bathtub ‘o gold! and there’s me sink ‘o gold! “

    Without warning the chill air, sepulchral voice, and terrifying red eyes returned. “And there” Dubhan intoned, indicating the grossly overflowing toilet, “is my POT OF GOLD!” The Leprechaun’s evil laugh pierced Sean’s very soul as Dubhan vanished.

    An indescribable putrid stench emanated from the forsaken repository. Gagging, eyes watering, Sean glanced at the vile overflowing “pot” to consider the contents that he was blood-obligated to take. As the vomit rose in his throat he involuntarily choked out the words: “Oh my GOD! It’s GREEN!”

  12. I wish everyone could hear him read it as well. He does the voices perfectly!

  13. 🙂 Thanks, everyone.

  14. […] to thank everyone who submitted an entry.  Anyone who has not read them yet can see all of them here.  The following contestant’s are the ones who are up for voting.  Please do congratulate […]

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