Tag Archives: writing challenge

Envy – Post 2

English: Table of the Mortal Sins Invidia (env...

English: Table of the Mortal Sins Invidia (envy). Nederlands: De zeven hoofdzonden Invidia (afgunst). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grab the beverage of your choice and sip your way through these mighty offerings:

Lisa from Lisa Wields Words: (Lisa your paragraphs did not come through so I popped them in where I thought appropriate.  Let me know if you want anything changed).

Happy Ever After Not Guaranteed:  Edith

When Edith arrived, I had high hopes that finally we would be welcoming someone who would truly appreciate all we had to offer her. Her disheveled, hand-me-down appearance at the portal in the woods suggested that she was seeking access to a better life. Edith blinked and looked around.

“Where am I? Who are you? Where are the others? They ditched me, didn’t they? I knew it.”

Once I could get a word in, I answered, “You are home. My name is Mrs. Dalrymple, and I am here to make your every wish come true. The only other people here are my fairy helpers.  I’m sure your friends were simply not deserving of life here at the Manor,” I pointed to the lovely house and gardens a short walk away.

Her face glowed as it transitioned from confusion and suspicion to awe and delight. Edith had the best reaction ever, which gave me hope that she was indeed the one. “That looks like my dream home,” she whispered as if afraid that speaking would destroy the illusion.

“Welcome home, my dear! Allow me to show you around.” Her excitement grew as she saw each aspect of the manor, from the beautiful gardens containing all her favorite flowers to each room especially her bedroom up in the turret.

“It’s like you broke into my hidden dream box and gave me everything I’ve ever wanted,” she said as she twirled around in the turret. “How do I thank you? Who do I thank?”

“No need to thank us, dear,” I said. “We are here to fulfill your dreams.”

For a timeless moment, everything was perfect. The fairies and I surpassed ourselves providing her with the best of everything her heart could desire. We threw her parties filled with handsome fairy folk, where she became the belle of the ball. We built her decadent baths and created clothing made of sensuous material. She ate whatever she desired. Any dream she ever had, we provided.

I should have known things were changing when she began saying things like, “Where are my friends? I bet they are together dancing with princes and having fabulous adventures. Are they wealthier than me? Do they have bigger houses? Are they thinner, more beautiful?”

“I don’t know anything about them,” I explained. “Besides, this is the home of your dreams. This is the life of your dreams.”

“Why didn’t they come with me if this is the place of dreams? That was the whole point, to go to a land where our dreams could come true together. They just used me, didn’t they? They needed a seventh person for the spell to work, and they tricked me into thinking that I was finally part of their group.” She began looking out towards the dark woods surrounding our home.

“How do I get through the woods? I must find them. I have to prove I am as good as they are.”

“The Woods of Discontent are dangerous,” I warned. “Only those with true self-confidence and sense of purpose survive.”

Her eyes flashed green as she snapped, “I think that I am as good as they are, and I intend to prove it.”

I knew we had lost Edith then.

“This place is falling apart,” she said, and of course the Manor, sensitive to her thoughts, suddenly looked old and tired.

“Mrs. Dalrymple,” she ordered, “pack my bag. I will not let them win.”

“This isn’t enough!” Her final words as she strode into the looming darkness. The silence built to a scream.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Next, from Audrey

 Adrenaline junkie, that’s what they called her.  They didn’t understand it wasn’t the thrills that kept her coming back.  It had morphed into so much more.  And now this poser stepped in.  A glory hound and experience fiend wrapped in one – just like her.  And he had stolen her spotlight.

Her green eyes flashed at the thought.  If he was good, she would just do better.  Jealously coursed through her veins as she watched him basking in the adoration of the capricious mob.  Not for long…  Not long.  Frustration brimmed to the surface while she watched them fawn over him.  The sheep, stupid sheep in adulation, always looking for the next best thing.  He was nothing!  A copy-cat.   A cad.  The sinewy vines of envy wrapped around her heart, choking like ivy until her chest ached.  But she would do what it took to surpass him, she would become unforgettable.

It was her turn.  The crowd, that fickle and spineless following – she needed and loathed them at once –thronged behind.  She stepped onto the platform and the world went silent.  Suddenly one of the more astute piped up, “Where’s her bungee cord?”  She smiled.  Unforgettable.  Let him try and beat this.  She jumped, screams of the horde following her over the edge and then the falling, surrendering to the blackness in an elegant swan dive.  Her last thought was smug satisfaction.  Unforgettable.  And him?  He would fade into oblivion now.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

And an offering from Katie at frametale.wordpress.com (Katie your paragraphs also did not come through so let me know if you wish them to appear other than as I put them).

 Breaking Down

She was the pinnacle of what a human being could achieve, and I had never realized how far I fell short until she was there to show me where the bar was. When she spoke, her words were insightful, articulate, effortless, and those listening would latch on with affirmation and praise.

When I spoke, the ideas fled from my head halfway through and I’d forget the point I was making, or realize it was inapplicable, and anyone who was actually paying attention would remain silent, hoping the event of my blunder would fade along with the sound of the words.

We never spoke. I think she smiled at me once, so innately friendly. But she wouldn’t remember me. She was mean to stand out, to excel. And I fade into the background.

Just as she was, the man she chose was tall, clean, and shining. I could not help but still when I saw him or caught his voice nearby. As glorious as I found him, a simple question scuttled in the depths of my thoughts. The origins of my feelings for him rival that of the chicken or the egg. Did I admire him for who he was, or because he was with her?

I doomed myself by following her, buy securing myself in the misery of the consciousness of our differences.. In my choice of career, in my wardrobe of carefully gathered pieces, in my attempts at being outgoing; all predetermined to fall short as long as I had her to compare myself to.

I remained alone. Not knowing who I was or how to be her, I could never have seemed a stable person to anyone. And I was busy. She, too, was busy; she and her husband were succeeding, buying a big house, having a baby.

What a gorgeous baby. I’d never seen one that so completely fascinated me. With her as a mother and her husband as its father, the baby was guaranteed the kind of life we all dream of, with loving and encouraging parents.

Then there came a day when that cradle was open to me. She had turned away. The buckle parted before my pinching fingers and I lifted that child into my arms as smooth as if I’d practiced a thousand thousand times. For once, I was a natural at something. I could not take her beauty, her intelligence, her natural grace for life. But I could take this.

It was hard not to look back, to see her reaction. But I can imagine it. She turns to her stroller, leans down into the bowl to smile at her little one. The time of day escapes me but I paint sunlight on her gentle face, watching it deepen to alarm. She moves the blankets, but already knows there is not enough mass in there.

She stands, she whirls, she screams.

She shatters.

And I fade into the background.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Remember, you have until May 31 to enter this round, “Envy”.

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Filed under 7 Deadly Sins Writing Contest

The Deadly Sin Series – Who is In?

 

Hieronymus Bosch - The Seven Deadly Sins (deta...

WHO?  All the blogging buddies, writers, writer wanna-bes, friends, strangers, and others.

WHAT?  A contest series based on the Seven Deadly Sins (Gluttony, Pride, Envy, Lust, Anger, Greed and Sloth).

WHEN?  Starting today (or whenever I get the drop box set up) and through May 4th, 2012 entries will be received for the first round in the series  which will be “Gluttony” (chosen at random).  Topics for subsequent contests will also be chosen randomly until all seven topics have been exhausted.  A definitive schedule has not been determined but as long as there is interest, and I am physically (and mentally) able,  I will continue the series.

WHERE?  Right here on WordPress.  I will host the series, gather the entries, select a panel of judges, post the finalists, post polls for reader voting, and award prizes.

WHY?  Because we can.  And because I want to.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I think it is quite ironic that one of the questions in my “Let’s Play 20 Questions” interview this week with the Byronic Man was pertaining to the 7 Deadly Sins.  Learning that continued practice of Gluttony as a favorite deadly sin could, in fact become deadly, I chose Sloth as it’s replacement.   Just today, Lisa over at Woman Wields Words wrote about Envy.  I guess, perhaps, it is true that great minds think alike.

This is an idea that I have been kicking around for quite some time now.  I am proposing a series of writing contests, each centered around one of the Seven Deadly Sins.  If you wish to participate, and complete the series, you would have an anthology of pieces that would reflect your ability and range.  When someone asks to see a sample of your writing, you could toss your scarf over your shoulder and oh so casually say, “Well, I do happen to have an anthology based on the Seven Deadly Sins which showcases my talent”.  Or some such.

I will host the series, gather the entries, and post them.  From all entries submitted, a selection of 5 finalists (as determined by a panel of judges) will be posted for a vote for each round.  Readers will vote on their favorites via a computerized poll.  After all the rounds have been completed the winning entries of each round (7 Deadly Sin entries) will be pitted against one another for the Grand Prize.  Which I haven’t determined yet, but it will be something fabulous.

For the first contest “Gluttony” the winner will receive a sinfully delicious (see what I did there?) batch of k8edid’s Top-Secret World-Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies, vacuum packed and shipped overnight to their destination (mainland U.S. only) AND a $20 donation will be made, in their name, to the Food Bank or other hunger-fighting charitable organization of their choosing.  If the winning entry is from a writer outside the contiguous 48 US states, the winner shall designate a local eatery for which they will receive a $20 gift certificate (or cash) – or the winner may wish to have donated, in their name, an additional $20 to the charitable organization of their choosing.  Each contest will have a “themed” prize awarded and a charitable donation made to an appropriate organization, designated by the winner.  (I don’t know, but for “Lust” is there a Hookers’ Benevolent Fund??)

Everybody wins.  You get to flex your writing muscles and amass a themed anthology.  We get to read the fabulous posts.  Winners get prizes…and charitable organizations get donations.  I get to deduct the donations on my taxes!!!  If Darla wins, she will make a fabulous vlog post!!!

Of course, there must be rules.  But they will be simple.

  • Each entry must be 600 words or less.
  • One entry per round
  • You may use the same characters and settings or you may change it up with each round.
  • You may use any genre that you wish for each round.
  • Entries must be submitted by the deadline, which will be announced at the beginning of each round and will be no less than 2 weeks.
  • Entries submitted must be your own original work.
  • You may participate in all the rounds to complete the series; or as few or as many as you choose.
  • Oh, and the series is called DEADLY SINS so in each entry someone should be dead, dying, damaged or in grave danger.

It is going to be a lot of fun.  Okay, who’s in?

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Disclaimer:  I will be also writing an entry for each round (because I want to have fun, too).  However, my entries will not be entered into the judging.

If you want to play along but don’t want to commit to writing seven stories – please consider being a judge.  I   I have 4 people (non-bloggers) in mind, but it would be nice to have a “jury of your peers” to help determine the finalists of each round.  Just let me know, but I’m hoping you’ll write.

 

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Filed under 7 Deadly Sins Writing Contest, General Mumblings, Uncategorized