October 2012 Writing Contest- Halloween Theme


I know I’m rather late on getting this posted, but approximately two weeks remain for everyone to submit their stories.  With a Halloween theme this time, it should be a lot of fun.  Hopefully some creative ideas will be sparked by the guidelines given.

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 are listed below.  For further information, stop by the Monthly Writing Contest page to see the complete listing of rules and other information you should know (along with who the previous winners are).

You will have until October 30th at midnight (EDT) to submit your entry. On October 31st, I will announce the finalists for the contest and open up voting for three days.  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 each 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 October 3rd.

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

Stipulations:

1) The theme is Halloween (since it’s that time of the year again).  The story has to take place on the holiday and should be obvious, if not mentioned.

2) The following elements should appear in the story:

a) Mask

b) Wolf

c) Fire

3) There must also be at least one paranormal element involved.  It doesn’t have to be the highlight of the story, but it should be easily recognizable (ie- ghost, witch, magic spell, curse, alien, etc).

4) It should be written in first person through the eyes of an adult (man or woman).

5) Word count: 750-1800 Words

*Be sure to read the rules below.  Some have been added or changed in recent months.

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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 months 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 published or posted elsewhere prior to this.

8)You are allowed to email me about ONE typo mistake/word change per contest that I will go in and fix for you.  Anything beyond that will remain “as is”.  In the past I did not fix any so be grateful you get one now.  ***New Rule***

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

10) 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.

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That is everything you need to know.  Come back on Wednesday (October 31st) 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) Friday, November 2nd.  That is approximately three days for voting.  On Saturday, the 3rd, 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 October 17, 2012.

6 Responses to “October 2012 Writing Contest- Halloween Theme”

  1. […] a $10 Amazon gift card.  Take a chance and submit a story.  They can be a lot of fun.  Click here for more […]

  2. 1. Heir of the Dog
    by NyiNya
    Walking the dog used to be fun. That last walk of the day, when the streets finally cool down and there’s a light breeze, is relaxing and a nice way to unwind. Until the damn werecritters showed up.
    It all started about a few weeks ago, right after my birthday. The weather was hot. Autumn always is hereabouts. I took Oliver, my cocker spaniel, down to the river, hoping it would be little cooler. It’s not really a river anymore, but it used to be. About 30 years ago, they turned the L.A. River into a giant storm cement storm drain that carries rainwater, melted snow runoff from the mountains, and the occasional homeless person out to sea. We call this and the weedy no man’s land that surrounds it ‘The Wash.’ I don’t know why. We just do. A footbridge takes you across The Wash to a little enclave of houses on the other side.. The Wash itself is not for walking. It is home to raccoons, skunks, possums, rats—all the creatures that haunt the fringes of human habitation. And sometimes something else.
    Oliver loves walking the footbridge and going to Stepford…which is my nickname for that weird, perfectly groomed neighborhood on the other side. Lawns are trimmed within an inch of their lives. Shrubs and hedges are so precisely squared off, they must use lasers and a slide rule. The houses are neat, the flower beds weed free, and the appropriate decorations always appear on front doors and in windows as each holiday rolls around. Looks completely normal, which right away tipped me off that something was wrong. It’s not just the anal yardwork; it’s the absence of people that made me smell something fishy. Nobody watering the lawn, no kids yelling and running through sprinklers or riding their bikes and skateboards up and down the street, no smell of hamburgers on the grill, no sounds of splashing from backyard pools. Of course I usually walk there around 10 or 10:30 at night, but still. It just seems, you know, weird.
    And then I met Bonnie and it got even weirder.
    I met her mid-Bridge. She was in her fifties, a little plump, not the kind of person who stands out in a crowd. They never are. She was walking a fat little Doxy…one of those bologna sausages on legs. “Hot night” she said. “Cooling off now,” I replied, while Oliver and her Vollmondy introduced themselves. Oliver took an instant shine to both of them.
    I’d see Bonnie every so often, and we’d stop and chat about the weather and our dogs the way dog-walking friends do. It all seemed almost normal. Until I met her husband.
    It was in early October. A gorgeous night, the full moon making it almost bright as daylight outside, a little bit of chill in the air…not usual at all for this time of year. I was walking Oliver toward Stepford and saw Bonnie. She didn’t have Vollmondy with her. She was with a man…holding hands and gazing up at him adoringly. “NyiNya, you never met my husband. Werner, this is NyiNya.” He was a little on the stout side, a tangle of beard pretty much obscured his face. A knitted cap was pulled right down to his bushy eyebrows. All I could see was facial hair. He nodded and grinned. He had very large teeth. “Werner doesn’t speak much English,” Bonnie said. “He’s a captain on a cargo freighter…he only gets home for a day or two every month or so, but since this is our tenth wedding anniversary, he’s taking a long leave.” She pronounced his name ‘verner.’ “How nice, I said. “How’s it goin, Verner. Interesting name. Carpathian maybe? You from around those parts or something?” Werner replied, “Nah, I’m from Poughkeepsie. The name is Dutch.” His voice low and guttural, just as I expected. “Where’s the puppy?” I asked. “He’s at my sister’s house,” Bonnie answered. “She’s babysitting. We’re, we’re going on vacation tomorrow. You won’t see us for a couple of days.” I could see the moon reflecting in Werner-with-a-V’s eyes.
    “Funny you never mentioned a sister,” I said. “Or a husband. And you didn’t tell me about any vacation either.” Bonnie looked at me strangely. “Well, no, I didn’t…I mean, I only see you once in a blue moon when I walk this way…why would I?” she asked. I stepped a little closer and said “Bonnie, are you hiding something…are you keeping something from me? Some kind of secret maybe?” The uneasy look in her eyes spoke volumes.
    Okay, I’m no genius, but I’m no idiot either. It took me a hot five seconds to figure things out. Werner was a werewolf. Okay, technically a were-dachshund, but whatever. I was intrigued, having met a few of the shape shifters in my time. My first one was the old lady who lived downstairs from us when I was a kid. She was always yelling at me for jumping on the stairs and making noise. She had all her teeth and had to be 70 if she was a day. Dead Giveaway. And her name? Mrs. Wolfe. Like she was taunting me. She was the first one I had to, you know, handle. My grandmother had Second Sight. She saw things. She dreamed that her daughter Stella would wear a crown of fire. The next day, the little girl was struck by lightning and killed. She was the one who told me I had the gift of seeing the beast. My sister swore she said “being the beast,” but my sister never liked me much. I took care of her too. But that’s another story.
    “Bonnie, you can level with me. I know everything,” I said. She looked at me quizzically. “Know what?” she asked. “About Werner…and Vollmondy…which means ‘full moon’ in German. That’s what I know. Your husband is a were-dachshund. It’s a full moon, so he transformed. I’ve heard about this…werewolves mating with dogs. It happens. But Bonnie, how can you stand to be around him? You’re no better than he is for harboring him. Or maybe you’re one of them too.” That’s when I noticed how pointed her nose was, how pronounced her incisors. Sure, now it was all very clear indeed. Bonnie and her husband were both shape shifters. And then the penny dropped. That whole neighborhood was probably crawling with them. Stepford was a nest of shape shifters.

  3. Fire and Chardonnay
    By The Travel Gypsy

    It was my ‘Me Day’. Once a month I dedicated an entire day to doing whatever I wanted to do! I had wine and waffles for breakfast! My self-done pedicure was perfect, and my mud mask was just starting to harden. I strolled to the kitchen to refill my glass of chardonnay, grabbed the latest Shades of Grey novel off the counter, and headed to the living room to curl up with my new favourite book. The bookmark took me to page 97, and after only reading one sentence, panic struck. I jumped off the sofa, threw my book aside, ran to the back door and yelled “FIRE! Again, I screamed…”FIRE!” Just then my little Yorkie came running up the stairs and jumped into my arms. “I’m sorry Fire. Did I lock you outside?” my comments were met with lots of wet kisses and a tiny little bark. “We can’t have you outside when all those trick or treaters come by. No we can’t” I said in my cutesy puppy voice. “You don’t like strangers, and you’re so little someone might step on you! Too bad you weren’t a wolf. That would scare away those annoying kids, wouldn’t it?”
    I took Fire back to the sofa where she quickly fell asleep, and the book took me away to another world. As I tilted my wine glass all the way back, hoping to taste that very last drop, Fire jumped off the sofa, ran to the kitchen and started barking.
    Barking, barking, barking. What was she barking at? Nobody was there? Fire kept her eyes keenly focused on the counter near the sink, and paced and barked and paced and barked. She wouldn’t stop. Then, she started growling. It was a little growl, because she was a little dog, but it was still a growl. The same growl she made when strangers came to the house. I tried to shush her. I even tried locking Fire in the bathroom, but the barking and growling persisted. As soon as I opened the door, Fire ran straight back to the same spot in the kitchen and growled and barked.
    This is ridiculous. I thought. This has totally ruined my Me Day. Not knowing what to do, I called my sister Casey. She was good with animals; maybe she could help. Casey, who lived only two blocks away, climbed on her cruiser style bicycle and rode right over. Growing up, the kids in the neighbourhood used to call us girls, the princess and the hippie. Me, who loved pink and sparkly things, was a sharp contrast to my older sister, who became a vegan at the age of seven, and opened a dream analysis booth during the science fair. But right now, Casey was my only hope.
    Ding Ding went her bicycle bell as Casey pulled up the drive way. I could barely hear it over Fire’s incessant barking. I just had enough time to remove my mud mask and get dressed, when my sister walked through the door. “Hey Sis” called Casey as she shut the door behind her. “Hey Fire!” She said in a sweet melodic tone. But Fire didn’t even acknowledge her. “Fi-re” she sung. But the dog didn’t even look.
    “Well that’s strange” Said Casey, “what did you do to her?”
    “Do? Nothing!” I defended “Wait, she was locked outside while I had breakfast and put on my mud mask. But she was fine when I let her in, she just curled up and went to sleep on the sofa.”
    “Another me day? Didn’t you just have one of those last month?”
    “I have them every month. That’s why I look 25, and you look 40!”
    “Funny!” Looking around, Casey walked towards the counter where Fire was focused. A sudden chill ran through her. It was like the room temperature dropped 10 degrees. “Woah! Feel that?”
    “What?” I asked, as my eyes darted around the room.
    “It’s really cold right here, just in this one spot.”
    “Quit messing around.”
    “I’m not, come over here, feel”
    I rolled my eyes and crossed the room into what was definitely a cold spot. “Must be a draft.” I said shrugging and walking away. “After all it is October”
    “Actually it’s Halloween. They say it’s the day when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest.”
    “Oh Right, you believe in that crap. Maybe she saw a spider? She knows I hate spiders.”
    It was Casey’s turn to roll her eyes. She looked around the kitchen. She laid on the floor next to the yappy Yorkie trying to figure out what Fire was looking at.
    An empty wine bottle?
    “Interesting” She said, as stood up to examine it closer. “You had wine for breakfast?”
    “Ya, so?”
    “Chardonnay? Since when do you drink Chardonnay?”
    “ I thought it would go good with the waffles; and it did! Un-oaked! Perfectly aged! Fantastic!”
    Casey shook her head, grabbed the cork and put it back in the bottle. At that very second, Fire stopped barking, sat down wagging her tail.
    Casey turned her head looked at the dog and paused. She took the cork back out.
    Fire jumped to her feet barking and growling again.
    In went the cork, and the barking stopped.
    “What the?” whispered Casey. “Did you see that?”
    “See what?”
    “Where did you get this wine? It’s not like you to buy a chardonnay?”
    “I don’t know, I think it’s a bottle left over from Grandmother’s wake a few months back. Remember, you took the flowers and I took the wine?”
    “Holy shit, it’s Granny in a bottle!” blurted Casey.
    Just then the cork popped out of the wine bottle and landed on the floor, where Fire secured it in her mouth and ran to hide it.
    “What do you mean Granny in a bottle?”
    “Grandma used to drink Chardonnay all the time. It was her favourite. Maybe she was trapped in that bottle, and couldn’t be released until the very last drop was drunk.”
    “Actually, Fire only started barking once I finished the wine and she never did meet granny!”
    “That must be it! Fire is a ghost sniffer”
    “So you’re saying that having wine for breakfast on Halloween, freed granny’s spirit from her favourite bottle of chardonnay and Fire can see ghosts?”
    “That’s exactly what I’m saying.”
    “Hmm.” I huffed. “Well, cheers to you Granny! Lets crack open another bottle!”
    “Wait! What if that wasn’t Granny? What if it was an evil spirit? Do you really want to take a chance and set another one free in your house?” rattled off Casey.
    “You really believe in ghosts?” I had to roll my eyes, my sister is so strange. Heading towards the wine rack I teased back “That’s so stupid.”
    On the last syllable of my last word, every cork popped out of every wine bottle in my wine rack. As the corks flew everywhere, we ducked behind the island in the centre of the kitchen, panting, trying to catch our breath.
    “You were saying?” shot Casey.
    “Spirits in a bottle.” I had to pause to let it soak into my brain. “Fine, you win. C’mon Fire! Leave Granny alone, let’s go buy Casey a coffee! I’ve had enough spirits for one day”
    The End!

  4. Being a newbie on this site, am I reading this right? There are only 2 entries with 7 hours to go? I suppose everyone waits until the last minute?

    • It varies. Some months have bigger participation than others. It isn’t odd to get some last minute entries, though. I’ve seen them come in at the last hour before.

  5. Guess this is going to be a slow month. Closing the contest now. The two finalists will be announced tomorrow evening on a seperate post 🙂

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