October 2012 Writing Contest Winner
We have a winner for the October writing contest. This was a very close vote in the polls with both stories being very good. In the end, The Travel Gypsy pulled a bit ahead for the win. This is the first time she has entered the contest here on my blog, but I get the impression she has done them before sometime in the past. She certainly had a fun and unique idea with her story. For anyone who would like to know more about her, she is starting up a new blog here that you can check out.
Our runner-up for this contest pops in every now and then around here and has her own brand of sense of humor to offer. NyiNya is a previous contest winner and I never get tired of reading what she writes. If you haven’t read her reviews, they are hilarious. I’m always glad when she drops by here to make a contribution.
The two winners have already been sent their gift cards and should have received them in their email. Thanks to everyone who participated. We had some fun entries this month and I look forward to seeing more in the future. For those who are interested in the next contest, it will begin on November 15th and extend all the way to December 15th with a holiday theme (open to all religions/backgrounds/ethnicities/etc). The finalists will be announced one at a time after the contest closes with a separate blog post for each of their stories before voting begins. Also, the prizes for this contest will be greater than usual, including a third place prize. For more information, check out the Monthly Writing Contest page to get all the specifics.
Finally, for those of you who didn’t see the winning story, here it is:
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?”
“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?”
“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”