Monday, October 28, 2013

Scariest Writer Writing Contest Results!

I had a good laugh when all of you who read the post about writers that were TOO SCARY and promptly wrote the scariest things you could think of. Talk about writer's revenge! I'm sleeping with one eye open for the next year!

Thanks to everyone who entered. It's always a lot of fun to see what you come up with and this contest was particularly filled with great entries.

Herewith the results:

Special recognition for adding a word to my vocabulary (I needed that after taking this test)
susurrus (whispering, murmuring or rustling) Kat Waclawik 10:29am

Special recognition for the horror of writing!
Kitty 10:07am

Special recognition for a cameo by the author of Dr. Sleep himself!
Carolynnwith2Ns 10:38am

My new favorite phrase:
"Sarcasm smells like brimstone." Writer of Wrongs 10:27am

Special recognition for a great line:
He's beautiful, like barbed wire twisted around a tree trunk.
Dave 12:14am

A gorgeous example of ambiguity:
We have food enough for another day, only if Old Bill Wilcox passes tonight.
Madseasongirl 10:47am

Not quite a story but great:
Kate Higgings 11:02am

Not quite a story but utterly heartbreaking
french sojourn 12:08pm
Kim C 6:23pm

Special recognition for flat out fun gore
Colin Smith 11:03am

Special recognition for tenacity in getting her entry done:
DKChildress 11:06am (thanks to Anne Marie too!)

Why my days of eating spaghetti are over for a good long while:
Mike Comrie 1:19pm

Why my days of taking out the trash are over for a good long while
Josh Johnstun 4:17am

A phrase I intend to use as often as possible
I smiled and guided my love craft into her harbor.
Steve Forti 9:29

Were your ears burning? No? Your eyes?
J. William Latimer 9:08pm

Not quite a story but YOWZA!!!
Becke Davis 1:27pm
JaredNGarrett 5:02pm

Not quite a story but YIKES!!!
Seth's Dad 4:12pm
Calorie Bombshell 1:17am

Not quite a story but Zowie!
lindseylee 7:46pm

Oh thank you, this is going to make the next power outage so much fun!
Madeline Mora-Summonte 4:28pm

A gorgeous example of subtlety:
Wendy Roberts 1:56pm
Violet Ingram 1:23am
Heidi 9:06am

What a great twist!
Just Jan 7:15pm

Absolutely cracked me up
Sheila JG 9:15pm

And here are the ten count 'em TEN  finalists:
I've highlighted phrases and words that particularly appealed to me

(1) Ashley Whitt 10:26am
You're the guy?" the awaiting voice asked.

Riley shouldered past the skepticism, and put his hand out to feel the lock.

With a pick he'd crafted himself he set to work. He loved this part. Soft clicks and catches, careful turns and prods. He pictured the shining interior of the mechanism. The lock gave way beautifully.

"Whoa, he did it." Another voice in the night.

Riley shrugged. It made sense, he thought, that a blind man would make a good locksmith.

"Get out of the way."

He felt a shove and heard another sick click, recognized it immediately. A handgun.

(2) Writer of Wrongs 10:27am
"Next! Step into the light. "
I inch forward. This is unexpected, no harps, no halos, only a disembodied voice behind the shining orb.
His sigh scratches like wind at the door.
"Traditional or self-published?"
"Neither. Yet."
I steel myself for rejection.
"What's your schtick?"
"Oh, horror. "
"Lovely. We never get that here." Another sigh. "Here's the deal. Souls are a dime a dozen. We need bodies."
"Consider it research. You hone your craft, we hone ours. I'll throw in immortality."
"How about an agent?"
"Whatever. Destiny awaits."
Sarcasm smells like brimstone.
Oh. Damn.

(3) Kat Waclawik 10:29am
He finished my ears first. I heard his muttering and mumbling, the scrape of his tools as I awaited my beginning. I heard the susurrus of dust, the scratch of sandpaper as he crafted my body from a marble chrysalis. I heard him tell me I was beautiful.

When he finished shaping my last lash, I opened my eyes into his. I saw the love shining from him.

I smelled his fear when I took the chisel from his fragile fingers.

Like me, he felt everything.

(4) LynnRodz 10:43am
He awaited this child with dread. A beautiful little thing - shining skin, rosy and plump, and tiny fingers like miniature sausages.

He loved his children and he crafted a plan. He turned on the oven to 350°F and set to work. The child began to cry. He cut the small apple he'd saved for his dead wife and placed it over the baby's mouth.

Butter, he needed butter. There was none; lard would have to do. The pair of eyes looked up at him and he turned away. Tonight, his seven starving children would eat. Tonight, there would be food.

(5) Kelli Carley 11:21am 
His head is on the pillow. Underneath mine; a knife, handcrafted for the most particular of butchers. Outside, the paloverde whispers, the desert beyond awaiting fresh skin and beautiful bones. Skin to feed the coyotes. Bones to add layers of dust. Around my eye, a shadow of sunset purple. A little girl in the next room, broken. If I'm quick, she won't hear a thing.

I slide my hand under the pillow, fingers feeling only cool sheet. Nothing but his cackle and a shining flash of steel. A rough hand over my mouth. Still I scream. Hoping she will hear.

(6) Lisa Jackson 11:35am
The boat awaits him, a shadow on the turbid waters. He would love to stay but its time for the other shore. On other nights he might have thought the moon beautiful, but tonight it is shining on the ferryman and the empty seat.

He knows the old tale and its warning, but halfway across, the ferryman bends double at the waist and lets the rudder slip, he grabs that old stick before they're rudderless, then steers them to the shore. It's the ferryman who descends.

He turns the small craft around; there are other souls waiting to cross.

(7) Scott G 11:55am
I love to hang out at college campuses. Beautiful ladies await. A perfect place to hone my craft.

The sun shining down on their glistening bodies makes my dick hard.

I make up some ruse to get one of the lovelies to take me home. I invite them inside. Tell them my mom will want to say thanks. Maybe give them ten bucks. Or a cookie.

Shit, my mom hasn’t been home for two months.

That’s when I swoop in for the kill.

They never see me coming.

I’m ten.

“Hey lady, would you help me with my bike?”

(8) Jared X 12:06am
Desperation ain’t beautiful. But who don’t love a problem to fix?

She pounds on my door. Her boyfriend’s ten minutes behind, she says. There’s barely time for introductions before he shows, headlights shining through my window. I craft some bullshit to get rid of him.

Watch yourself, he says. You’ll become the next “boyfriend.” He turns and I see the blood.

No sooner he’s gone, she’s counting the cash from my bureau. Take it, I say.

Too easy, she says. Where’s the fun?

I wanted to help, I say.

Her cackle sends chills. She tells me my reward awaits me.

(9) Terri Lynn Coop 12:44am
Tongues wagged as the newlyweds left the courthouse.

"That old fool. He must have thirty years on her."

"Forty. She's nineteen. Grew up in the County Home after the big fire."

"So beautiful. So much love shining in her eyes."

"Stacked to the rafters, and them legs go right on up to her neck."

"Damn, what a honeymoon awaits him. Bet he wants to get started."

They were wrong. The groom could wait. His exquisite bride was totally alone. Always meticulous about his craft, he would go slowly. The taxidermist had waited a lifetime for the perfect trophy wife.

(10) KONO 9:38am
Just Two

He was reluctant. He loved her, of course. Would die for her, kill for her. But make their duo a trio? That song was uncertain.
Nights, he’d stare at the sky--a million shining questions--thinking.
Months passed. He crafted reasons. She, so beautiful, dispelled them.
Finally, he acquiesced. Watched her shape change. Watched the moon change shape, too.
Then, it was time. He held her. She screamed. And what followed was a silence so severe he trembled.
The long-awaited babe was here. She wasn’t.
Not a trio.
Him. And the boy.
Just two.

And the winner is #3:

(3) Kat Waclawik 10:29am
He finished my ears first. I heard his muttering and mumbling, the scrape of his tools as I awaited my beginning. I heard the susurrus of dust, the scratch of sandpaper as he crafted my body from a marble chrysalis. I heard him tell me I was beautiful.

When he finished shaping my last lash, I opened my eyes into his. I saw the love shining from him.

I smelled his fear when I took the chisel from his fragile fingers.

Like me, he felt everything.

This was a VERY tough decision. Congrats to all the finalists and shout outs!  All the entries are much appreciated!

Kat, if you'll get in touch with me (Janet at FinePrintLit dot com) we'll get you the autographed edition of Dr. Sleep. If by some reason it's TOO SCARY for you, we can come up with another book!


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

And my job here is done... - "Oh thank you, this is going to make the next power outage so much fun!" :)

Congratulations to everyone! Kat, that gave me the chills!

french sojourn said...

These entries should be printed and published.

Each was a standalone work of art.
To many favorites, and none that didn't belong. Well done everyone.

As usual thanks to the big shark for taking her time and reviewing all the submissions.
Cheers Hank

Lance said...

Shivers and laughs. Congratulations to the recognized and finalists and to Kat. Thanks Ms. Reid for taking the time for another fine contest. Great competition.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I KNEW when I read Kat it was the one. I loved it, the best.

Regarding Mr. King.
After driving by his house (twenty times)and marveling at the amazing wrought iron fence, the person I was with told me if we passed again someone would call the cops.
That person knows King and the family. As a fan (not, ah-la Kathy Bates) I felt privileged to at least stalk for a few minutes.
That was twenty years ago and I'm still talking about it. I need to get a life.

Madseasongirl said...

Once again, wonderful entries! Way to go Kat, I can totally see why this won. And Ms. Reid, always a pleasure :)

Micki Browning said...

Excellent entry, Kat! Congrats.
Thank you, Ms. Reid, for a fun opportunity to stretch.

Colin Smith said...

Yay! Special recognition within a field of 97 entries--especially of such high caliber--is humbling. Thanks, Janet--I'm glad you enjoyed my foray into horror-poetry. :)

And big congrats to Kat. A well-deserved win. :D

JD Paradise said...

janet: Thanks for the contest, Janet!

Kat: Your entry blew me away. Like, "where can I buy something by this writer," blew me away. While I'm disappointed I didn't make top ten (I *liked* mine!), I knew from the moment I read that last line that there was no way it was beating yours anyway. Fantastic!

HollyD. said...

OMG. Janet Reid listed my entry under "A gorgeous example of subtlety". I will be flying high on that complement for weeks.

Congrats to everyone. These entries were fantastic.

Sheila JG said...

Ha ha! Janet, I was thinking the same thing as I read the entries - didn't she just say she hated scary?

Kat, your entry was outstanding, well done! And congratulations to the other finalists, and everyone who entered. Thanks, Janet!

Kitty said...

Congrats to the finalists and to Kat, the winner. As always, Janet, thanks for the fun! I love these contests because they're the best writing exercises ever.

Anonymous said...

HATE, HATE (yes, I'm yelling) I missed this!! Congratulations to all finalist, and especially Kat - what an entry!

Christine Finlayson said...

A much-deserved congratulations to Kat and the other finalists! Wow.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

A total thank you for this wonderful contest and I am honored to have made the finals.

Utter humble bow to Kat and her entry that is a monument to subtlety. And, if you manage to clone The King from the fingerprints on the cover, I would really like a copy please . . .

Superb contest! One of the best.


LynnRodz said...

Congrats to you, Kat, well deserved! A finalist - wow! Thank you, Janet, you made my day!!! Great job everyone, I enjoyed reading every entry under covers and in the dark. (Hmm, I wonder why I had trouble going to sleep afterwards!)

Kat Waclawik said...

Thank you so much! As an inhabitant of Polite Form Rejection Land, I am beyond thrilled. I think we can all agree Janet is the best thing since sliced Tyrannosaurus.

In addition to learning a lot from the other entries, I got to enjoy some fabulous (and thrilling!) writing.

And thank you for your kind, wonderful, uplifting comments. I will be printing them off and sticking them on the wall next to my writing nook.

Off to write with wings on my fingers...

Lisa said...

Yay! So delighted to be a finalist. Thanks you kindly, Ms. Reid. :D

Congratulations, Kat!!! I knew it'd be a tough contest when I read your story.

hillary said...

Kat was my pick too, when I read the entries before the contest ended. It's a poem really, in how perfectly enclosed it is. Congratulations!

Just Jan said...

Another fun (and scary!) contest with lots of fantastic entries. Congratulations, Kat, your entry sent chills up my spine.

Cindy C said...

Congratulations to all. Great entries! I will also be sleeping with my lights on for the foreseeable future.

Scott G said...

Congratulations to all the finalists, and to Kat the winner. Some truly amazing entries.

Janet, I hope you can hear my standing ovation to honor you for all the time you Spend on your blog helping writers.

Don said...

On the subject of Susurrus, I have an amusing anecdote on the topic:

Jeanne said...

Congratulations to the winners and mentions! I, too, was particularly uneased by Kat's entry and it's no surprise that she won. :-)

I've been absent for a while so for me, it was just good to get my feet wet again with my submission attempt. (Though I'm dying to read Doctor Sleep. I love Stephen King.)