April Writing Contest Winner
We have a winner for this month’s writing contest. Please congratulate DOBrien for his entertaining story, “The Other Side”. It looked to be a close race in the early stages, but he pulled ahead the last day winning with fifty-one percent of the votes. He certainly had some tough competition with the other finalists who had very nice stories as well. This is the first time DOBrien has entered the contest. Unlike many contestants, he is not an author. In fact, his real joy is photography. If any of you would like to see his work, please visit his site, The Disposable Camera. There you can find vintage camera reviews, tutorials, and photos.
There is also a second place winner who will be receiving a prize. Everyone should congratulate Sarah Fredricks for her story, “Delphinia’s Surprise”. It was her first time entering this writing contest as well, though she is an author, and I must say she did a great job with her entry. Though both her and DOBrien (as prize winners) are not eligible to win the next three contests, I do hope to see them both back. We have had many who returned during their waiting period just to challenge themselves with another dose of writing under my unusual guidelines (no pressure, though)!
Both contestants have already been sent their gift cards and should have received them earlier today. Thanks to everyone who participated. We had some wonderful entries this month and I look forward to seeing more in the future. For those interested in next month’s contest, I have already posted the stipulations. The theme is alien encounters and comes with some ideas of what direction you should take it. You can find further information on the Monthly Writing Contest page. No one can submit an entry until the contest opens up later in May, but you can at least get started writing. If you are not subscribed to the blog, please do so if you don’t want to miss important updates on future contests.
Finally, for those of you who didn’t see the winning story, here it is:
The Other Side
“It’ll be over quickly!” his parents had said, “You won’t feel a thing.”
That’s the problem with parents – they always try to make up rubbish like that to placate him. They had said the same thing the time Phil had fallen and cracked his head – there was nothing quick or painless about that memory. He had known as soon as those words had been uttered, that today would be everything but a short-lived memory.
“I guess I should be thankful” he mused – he hadn’t had to take a trip past the frosted door into the surgery room before now. Phil had spent much of his young life in fear of the dentist’s operating room, yet up until today, he had only had brief visits with the overweight man who smelled like latex gloves and mouthwash. The dentist had mostly ignored him in the past besides a cursory glance and quick inspection – still, each excursion left him with the crazy, illogical fear that if he ever went behind that door he wouldn’t be coming back.
But today, Phil had a bad feeling. As he rolled the waiting room, he caught a glance of another victim being taken the other way. Their eyes met, and the look of pain was unmistakable.
“I could run. That’s it – I could just make a dash for the door and never look back!”
But Phil knew that his frantic hopes of escape were just that – the dreams of a boy driven half crazy from fear. Besides, his parents were watching from the next room, and the dental assistant looked as though she would have no trouble catching him if he tried. She also wore latex gloves, and Phil had a sneaking suspicion that she did so for a better grip on runaways. No, he would reach the operating room no matter what objections he may have. As they passed the counter he heard someone arguing with the receptionist about the figure on the bill he was waving emphatically in the air – “You think you have problems…” Phil thought as he was ushered past the scene “…I’d trade places with you any day buddy.”
The operating room was bright and clean – sterile. The paintings of rainbows and woodland creatures were almost nauseating – a poor attempt at covering up this room’s real purpose. Many interesting gadgets with colorful screens blinked and beeped at him. Under different circumstances, Phil would have enjoyed inspecting them – if his mouth were working he may have even asked the dental assistant what each one did – but he found little comfort in their cheery chatter today. He knew that serious machines were for serious operations, and the dread of knowing that he was the guest of honor today was worse than any torture. The assistant positioned him facing up towards the bright lights, and went to prep herself at the sink.
The door swung open, the smell of latex and mouthwash riding in on the influx of air.
“…it was crazy, the finger was bitten almost clean off, we saw it! I tell you, the stories we all share at dental convention! I’ll talk to you later, Rita.”
He was here.
Phil listened as the dentist and his assistant went through a rundown of the procedure – he heard many words and terms that he didn’t understand – what he did know however, was that they involved him, and they involved pain. Phil lay there for what seemed like an age, the dentist inspecting and poking around. Every so often Phil would catch mutterings about molars and plaque, but he barely paid attention. The lights above him were blinding – he saw nothing but blurred shapes moving around, the smell of mouthwash making him feel ever sicker. Just when he felt as though he couldn’t lay there any longer, a dark shadow passed over him. With the light momentarily blocked everything fell into sharp relief. It was time.
“Take the scraper, the pick! Just don’t take the drill…anything but the drill!” Phil thought, panic rising within him.
But as the dentist’s hand came down towards the cart, he knew his fate was sealed. As the dentist picked Phil up from the equipment cart, Phil was given a terrible vision of the operating room.
In the chair he saw a young girl, her mouth propped wide open with what was unmistakably an evil glint in her eye,
“I’ll do anything…”
Phil felt the dentist flip a switch behind him – he was being lowered towards that gaping hole of despair.
As he closed in, Phil let out a long, high-pitched scream…