Posts Tagged ‘short story’

In May, I wrote a post  giving you guys two pictures and asked you to write me a scary short story… and you guys didn’t disappoint.

Last week, you read Nigel Blackwell‘s brilliant story, Eye of Death. This week, we have Ewelina Rymsza with ‘Unreality’.


My bare feet tapped on the cold cement out of a blinding excitement. Root had found this place, slobbered over with a thick, white fog, but alive with unending riches. My hands pounded on the old bench, and I wished he’d come sooner. After the End, our ancestors emerged from stone walls into a field of desolation. Places like these were less than rumors, more untrue than myths. The monuments here towered and crumbled with their epitaphs weeping over earth-hair.
“Root,” I murmured now heatedly but still quiet, “Root, would you get over here? I’m cold!”
I finally got up and decided he would steal what he found anyway. I was told brothers are supposed to lie and cheat, but I never understood it.
I walked slowly into the earth-hair. I’d never walked in it before, and it felt strange beneath my feet. I could feel some between my toes. It wasn’t hard like the cement I was used to; but it was chilling, too, and numbing even moreso.
“Root.” I had to be quiet. We were stealing artifacts. Root said he saw this place in a dream, and that’s how we could find it. He told me all of the artifacts would be underground, and I agreed to going despite not believing him at first.
“You shouldn’t be here, little girl!”
I heard a voice cut the fog, chiseling away the air like a saw. The music to it was jarring but undaunted. A disfigured darkness formed ahead of me.
“You shouldn’t be here, little girl. You shouldn’t be here. You shouldn’t be here.” And on that last word, it became to scream. I saw its knees buckle, and the belt of its body collapse. It kept screaming: “You shouldn’t be here. You shouldn’t. You shouldn’t.”
Chills shot into my veins and burst and kept bursting, and I felt compelled to weep but stood my ground to this anonymous shadow. It stopped abruptly and climbed the fog back up. It beckoned me closer then with its four gnarled hands. I shook the fear from its earlier plead and followed deeper into the white, changing sea.
The image became fainter and fainter, and I ran to catch it. My legs sprung in a furious dance while I hurdled over monuments and rocks. The curiosity in my bones grew its own marrow, birthed a life more invincible than mine. No fear any longer. No fear.
The shadow then stopped and vanished. I knelt into the earth-hair, and I began to cry. Where had the shadow gone? Root hadn’t even crossed my mind until then, and I mustered up the strength to wander in search. The fog thickened as if to mock my venture, and I lost myself further in this foreign place.
   You shouldn’t be here kept seeping more deeply into my thoughts, and I again began to feel the fear burdening my gut. You shouldn’t be here. You shouldn’t be here.
I called for Root again but walked onto a ribbon of unbroken tar instead. I was used to crushed tar, tar with alien growth between its cracks. This was smooth and paved. And then I saw me.
I saw myself curled into knots; and although I saw only my back, the clothing was mine. The hair was mine. The way she cried was my own. I stumbled back slightly with my eyes almost instantly tearing up.
“You shouldn’t be here,” she screamed in a voice unfamiliar to me. But it was me. It was me. I was sure.
I walked very gently towards her, and her sobbing started more strongly now.
“It’s okay,” I whispered, attempting to console what was a strange kind of ghost it seemed. A whisper of myself. I knelt down a foot beside her to give her room. That’s what I would’ve wanted. But instead, she snapped over to me, and I screamed.
What I knew as plants were growing from our insides, spun branches that hung out of us like desperate, dying trees.
   “You shouldn’t be here. You shouldn’t be here. You shouldn’t be here.”
And in that moment, we became one: Watching with the same knolls and our stomach swallowed by “trees.” We retched the same and bled the same, and I knew this was not my dream. This was not my dream. I shouldn’t have been here.


Next week, I’ll post another one.

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21st July: From Idea To Story

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In May, I wrote a post  giving you guys two pictures and asked you to write me a scary short story.

Well, you didn’t disappoint. I’ve picked out the ones I liked and without further ado, (and in no particular order), I give you the first one by brilliant writer, Nigel Blackwell.

The Eye of Death

I watched her walk in the mist, up the hill from the pub, light steps, tight clothes, curves that screamed for testosterone’s attention, and her whole body lithe with life. If fair was fair in this world, it would have been a life that were mine, because well I knew her, but life ain’t fair.

It was the hook that did it. One minute I was watching it swing, maneuvering giant buckets for it to collect, ducking as it came by, covering my ears as it crashed into the lifting ring, and watching as it vaulted a ton of scrap metal high into the air, as easy as birds lift worms, winching it away to smelt in the furnace in that place of fire and iron and darkness, a place where men spoke in grunts and spit.

It weren’t a place for girls, especially ones with long, coal dark hair and skin paler than lime, not ones with skirts black, all tighter than tight and shorter than short on legs that were longer than long. No, it weren’t a place for them, but she were there. Radiant, dazzling, and winking at me. And I winked back. I took me eye off the hook, I did, an’ the hook took me eye off o’ me.

It swung back, lazy and smooth. Right into my eye. A hundred pounds of iron, twisted to a point and cast, fishing for my eye, its tip squeezing easy through the jelly, spearing my skull, stabbing out the back, cracking open my eye socket, sweeping me backwards, upwards, hanging me by me skull. I grabbed and pulled and yanked at the chain, lifting myself by pathetic inches from that godless scythe. I balled my lungs, ripping at my throat, near tearing out my voice box.

The hook arced me down, back to where I had stood; only not standing but legs thrashing crazy, hands clenching the hook, and concrete unmoving. My left foot snapped clean off, my right leg speared straight up, bones ripping soft organs, tearing open my lungs, leaving me wet rasps or nothing. My flesh and bones were tossed to the furnace’s pig iron river. I were naught bar a flame and a flash, and gone, but they buried me proper. Not there were much left to put in the ground.

That were then, see, and now’s now, and now she were not in that place, she were in mine, my yard, my graveyard.

Through she walked, crashing the gate, kicking the gravel, singing loud. Bad singing. The tonelessness of alcohol and pub songs half remembered. But that were good, not the singing of course, I ain’t stupid, but the alcohol, that were good. Good for her.

She staggered to the stones that ringed the yard and passed for a wall. Over she went, legs in the air and tight skirt tightening before she took pity on the heartbeats of men unseen, an’ smoothed it back into place.

Her heels sank in the cloying grass and suckling ground. Her head picked up, hearing the noise, same as I heard, a roaring of exhaust and a crashing of gears, a lorry straining up the hill. Not just any lorry, the big one from old Sawbuck’s yard, the one for towing, towing with a hook, a heavy hook. He was late from a job, like always. He’d be fast, like always. He’d have one headlight out, like always. And he’d turn at the corner of my yard, turn by the lane to her home.

She made it to the road, her singing forgotten and her arms out to keep from falling. The tarmac was firm to her heel and she swept across its glistening blackness, its white line, its potent danger, and over to the other side.

Sawbuck’s headlight clawed up the hill, close now, splashing left and right, drunk like she. It took a bend with a squeal of tire, the old man pushing to get home, just like she.

Her arms went out again and her toes poked forward, testing her shoes and her weight and her balance on the mud of her lane beyond the road.

The roaring came upon us, tarmac shining in myopic light, and glittering cats-eyes welcoming weary travelers. And her eyes glittered, too. Her skin reveled in fifty watts of headlight, her arms waving to keep herself upright. She lifted one foot to step back, away from the road, away from the thundering lorry, away from its danger.

It weren’t right and it weren’t fair, and neither were I, so I winked. Six feet of moldy flesh and bones, and a single eye for a single wink.

Her eyes bulged, her lips puckered round, and her cheeks lost their muscle. Her arms dangled, and her one leg kept still in the air. I held her rapt, like she’d held me.

The exhaust thundered and the wheels squealed. The single light swept past, taking the corner, marking the path of its curvature the tangent to its momentum.

But momentum weren’t for the hook. It swung free, slashing wide, snapping its wire taught, whipping back, following Sarbuck’s homeward and ignorant dash.

She weren’t ignorant, though, she saw it all, the swinging, the snapping, and the whipping. She felt its pain, too. The blunt hammer of sixty mile an hour iron crushing her ribs, folding her in two, lifting her up, spinning her careless. She felt the wait of moments before the smooth tarmac rose up to meet her, wrenching her head back, snapping her neck, splashing her limp on the ground.

And the light were away, with Sawbuck on home.

I waited for her to spread upon the road, and she to bid adieu to warm blood. Perhaps they would bury her near me, the same yard and within a yard, perchance.

It weren’t fair, but I ain’t a man of fair, because I ain’t a man, I’m dead.

And all’s fair in the eye of death.


Next week, I’ll post another one.

If you want more of me, try checking out FacebookTwitterGoogle+GoodreadsKloutBranchOut and Linkedin

Upcoming classes:

14th July: Getting To Know Your Characters

21st July: From Idea To Story

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As of late, I’ve been totally rushed off my feet while I strive to make a writing deadline. Don’t get me wrong, I love working under pressure. It helps me kill more easily. But, while I’ve been busy focusing on mutilation and blood splatter, my blog has been neglected. I know, I know, I’m a wicked, wicked person. So, what I thought would be fun is to hand over the reigns to you guys. No – I’m not dishing out passwords and secret pin numbers so you can actually access my blog…. Intead, I want you budding writers out there to send me your stories.

Okay, the rules.

1.   The theme is anything creepy. That means it has to scare me 🙂
2.   Look at the image above. This is where your story STARTS.
3.   Now look at the background image on my twitter page (by brilliant photographer, Rosie Hardy). This is where your story has to END.
4.   There are to be absolutely NO VAMPIRES.
5.   As I like my posts short and sweet, your stories are to be no more than 1,000 words long.
6.   Email all stories to pointwelldonna@gmail.com by 15th May. The best three will be posted.

I will pick some of the best ones and publish them on this blog.

Good Luck xxx


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This weeks competitions that have caught my eye:

FICTION: Via First Writer

James White Award Short Story Contest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st January 2012
Fees:   £0 for one entry.
Prizes:   £200 for first place. Also magazine publication.
Details:   For science fiction stories up to 6,000 words by non-professional writers.
Contact:   James White Award Administrator, 48 Spooners Drive, Park Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL2 2HL
Country:   United Kingdom
Website:   http://www.jameswhiteaward.com

James Jones Fellowship Contest
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   1st March 2012
Fees:   $25 for one entry. $28 for online submissions.
Prizes:   $10,000 for first place. $750 x 2.
Details:   For novels in progress by US citizens who have not had a novel published.
Contact:   James Jones First Novel Fellowship, c/o M.A./M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Wilkes University, 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766
Country:   United States
Email:   jamesjonesfirstnovel@wilkes.edu
Website:   http://www.wilkes.edu/pages/1159.asp

Science Fiction Short Story Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:  31st May 2012
Fees:   £3.50 for one entry. £30 critique fee.
Prizes:   £50 for first place. Runner-up £30.
Details:   Open to new and published writers in the genre. The winner, runner-up and up to 12 other winners will be published in a Science Fiction anthology in August 2012. Winners will be announced in July 2012. Entries can be made by email in Word, Open Office or PDF format. Please write Science Fiction Entry in the subject line. Maximum length: 3,500 words.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   wjwpublishing@gmail.com
Website:   http://wjwpublishing.wordpress.com/

€100 can be yours!
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   15th March 2012
Fees:   €5 for one entry.
Prizes:   €100 for first place.
Details:   Maximum length is 1500 words. Theme – anything you like, so long as it makes us laugh. For the full list of rules and regs, visit our website, where you can also read the winning entries and runners-up from the first four competitions. So, join in, get writing and have fun.
Country:   Portugal
Email:   competition@cheerreader.co.uk
Website:   http://cheerreader.co.uk

Stony Brook Short Fiction Prize
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   1st March 2012
Fees:   $0 for one entry.
Prizes:   $1,000 for first place.
Details:   For short stories up to 7,500 words by full-time students in US or Canadian universities.
Contact:   John Westermann, Director, Stony Brook $1,000 Short Fiction Prize, Stony Brook Southampton, MFA in Writing and Literature, 239 Montauk Highway, Southampton, New York 11968
Country:   United States
Website:   http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/southampton/fiction/index.shtml

Valentine’s short story competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   6th February 2012
Fees:   £0 for one entry.
Prizes:   £10 for first place. Web publication and possible print publication. (Alteternative to cash – £10 vouchers).
Details:   We’re looking for romance this spring. Send us a short story of no more than 1,500 words including 1) a spilled drink and 2) a case of mistaken identity. Your story can be any genre, so long as it contains a romantic element. Any sexual content should avoid explicit or graphic detail and be relevant to the story.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   competition@thegreatesc.com
Website:   http://thegreatesc.com/writing-competitions

Meridian Writing Spring Competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st March 2012
Fees:   £5 for one entry. Additional £3 for a basic critique
Prizes:   £100 for first place. Second place – £50, and Third Place – £25 plus a firstwriter.com voucher for each winner
Details:   Short stories accepted of up to 3,000 words – with no lower limit – in any genre or theme. Open to new and published writers. Critique service available – please see website for full entry details and services available.
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   info@meridian-writing.co.uk
Website:   http://www.meridian-writing.co.uk

Chudleigh Phoenix 2012 Short Story Competition 
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   31st January 2012
Fees:   £5 for one entry.
Prizes:   £100 for first place. £50; £25.
Details:   For short stories up to 1,500 words. Open theme.
Contact:   Chudleigh Phoenix, The Granary, 3 Palace Mill, Rock Road, Chudleigh, TQ13 0JJ
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   chudleighphoenix@heathside.com
Website:   http://www.chudleighphoenix.co.uk/2012comp.html

Blue Cross – War Horse story competition
Category:   Fiction
Closes:   29th February 2012
Fees:   Ł0 for one entry.
Prizes:   Ł0 for first place. Ł50 book voucher.
Details:   To accompany the War Horse film, we are asking young writers to write 500 word story on: A day in the life of a war horse during the First World War, from the horse’s point of view or a story about a soldier and his horse during the First World War, showing the relationship between the horse and his rider. Two age groups: under 11s and 12-15s.
Contact:   War Horse Competition, The Blue Cross, Shilton Road, Oxon OX18 4PF
Country:   United Kingdom
Email:   warhorsecomp@bluecross.org.uk
Website:   http://www.bluecross.org.uk/95895/short-story-competition-for-young-people.html


Langport Festival,
Closing date: 31st of March
Prize:   1st £125, 2nd £75, 3rd £25.
Details on our website www.langportleveller.co.uk (don’t forget to download the attachment on the site).


2012 Prism Contest
Sponsor: Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal Chapter
Fee: $30–35.00
Deadline: March 20, 2012
Eligibility: Books with publication date of 2011.
Entry: Novels and novellas with both romance and paranormal elements.
Categories: Dark Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Light Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Futuristic, Time Travel/Steampunk, Erotica/Romantica, YA, Novella, Best First Book, Best of the Best.
Judges: published/unpublished.
Top Prize: gorgeous Prism Award, certificate, pin.
FMI, www.romance-ffp.com or PrismContest@romance-ffp.com.


Actor/Producer is looking for a festival ready short film to produce. Drama, Action, Romance are welcolme. NO SCI FI please! This is a ultra low budget. We’re looking for a project that’s 6 pages max. Would like to work with writers possibly on a long term basis to develope feature. Please include your synopsis along with resume. Send inquiries to info@RonBRobinson.com. Thank you.

I am looking for a writer to collaborate with on a feature film screenplay. Genre is Black comedy, action and or stories dealing with black culture of the past few decades. Films such as “Coming to America” “Five Heartbeats” “Spook That Sat By The Door” “New Jack City” “Love Jones” “Cooley High” “Jungle Fever” “Love And Basketball” “Love And Basketball” “Mo’ Better Blues” “Malcom X” etc. Etc. I have a few ideas in mind, but I am willing to start fresh. Contact me at rodneydwira@alphabetproductions.com. Thank you.

Screen Writer needed for feature length documentary to complete and polish existing voice over dialog for two hour film. Some plot points may need polishing as well. Duration of work shall run for two weeks and require writer to take on style of host/talent in documentary. Previous documentary experience a plus. Salary is negotiable. Job is to be filled right away. Non WGA only please. For more information please contact us at info@hollywoodrequest.com.

Eclipse Talent are currently seeking scripts for a pilot Sitcom.We are looking for ideas for a sitcoms set to the style of shows such as; Benidorm, Phoenix Nights,The Royle Family, Early Doors. If you would like to work with us please write a spec script or short scene with your ideas and treatment. Send material to eclipsetalent@aol.com. Thank you.

Director developing feature version of a science-fiction action story based on short film is searching for a co-writer to collaborate on the feature script.  The script will be independently produced later this year in Michigan, and some equity financing has already been secured. The film will have a budget of less than $500,000, but our goal is to utilize digital filmmaking and groundbreaking special effects now available to everyone, to produce a film that looks and feels like a $50M movie. This is a great opportunity to get some of your work professionally produced and hopefully distributed to an audience. The ideal candidate should be a great writer, love collaboration, be passionate about movies and science fiction, and be fun to work with.  Also, you would be able to stay on the project for help re-writing and polishing the script until we shot in August. Agency representation is a plus. Please send writing samples to scifiwritersearch@gmail.com and tell us a little about yourself in the email. Compensation will be available on a deferred basis, but cash payment may be available upon financing completion in March.

Production Company looking for FILM NOIR scripts to make into feature film. Must have some commercial appeal, but would love a FILM NOIR script that stays true to classic FILM NOIR. Please submit script with IMDB link or resume to deppich22@gmail.com.

We are looking for a talented screenwriter who will work in collaboration with the director to develop a full length screenplay based on his idea. It’s “work for hire” which means the writer will not own the rights to the screenplay. The writer will be paid once the film goes in production and will receive a screenwriting credit on film. It’s a mixed genre concept with philosophical tones to it. Please apply only if you have written feature film scripts previously. Attach a pdf with samples of your work. If you don’t provide any samples, we will not consider you. Please contact us at mail@millionsofpixels.net. The imdb link to the director’s filmography is: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0162157/. Thank you.

We are looking for the writer of our up and coming TV Pilot ‘Cast a Star’ we want it to be a scripted documentary style reality TV piece; that will cast our next film ‘Dissection’. The short-listed actors will then be put into a house to do daily tasks, that relate to the filming process. The actors we like the best will be cast into roles. The show will incorporates a range of shows that you would have already seen, for example: X-factor, Big Brother, The Hills, Made in Chelsea, The only way is Essex etc. By putting them together we will produce something that is new and exciting for audiences, interested in the arts. The writer will be paid £300-500 plus 1% of net producers profit depending on experience.

Production company is working with investment group and interested in producing feature length animation and/or fantasy and is seeking scripts for review. Any scripts based on books or TV stories must have full rights obtained prior to submission. Please submit logline with synopsis for review to us at info@jninemedia.com. If our company is interested we will contact you for further information. All scripts must be WGA or have copyright. Pay is “Paid option agreement.” Thank you.

Please remember to check out legitimacy of all contests before you enter, and to copyright all your work.

Good luck and let me know how you get on.

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