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July 2017 Writers' Challenge

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  • 17 Sep 2017 9:46 AM
    Reply # 5264572 on 4927520
    Sherri Hollister (Administrator)

    Wow Keenan, what a great visual. I can see this in a movie or graphic novel! There were a couple of minor edits but a fabulous story. I'm so glad you shared your work with us! I hope you will share more!

  • 16 Sep 2017 2:19 AM
    Reply # 5263255 on 4927520
    Keenan Dupree

    “I’m comin’, V. Just hold on, I’m comin’,” he thought to himself moving onto the highway.

    It was dark and damp as he ran down the long, vacant stretch of road. The cold of the night air condensed his breath as he breathed vehemently to fuel his inhumanly strong body. Swiftly, his heart raced, but not just for him running the speed limit. He feared for his brother.

    “Is this the right way?” He thought checking his surrounding as he ran. “Did I take a wrong turn?”

    Suddenly, he looked overhead as a bright flash caught his attention. It appeared as if a storm was brewing high in the dark clouds. He looked as lightnings boomed and streaked across the black sky, and they were all flowing in the same direction: the direction he was running. Looking back down at the roadway as he reached the top of the cresting road, he saw the unnaturally bright lights of the city. He hurried his pace.

    Once he reached the city, he could hear the wild crackle of electricity, and the boom of the lightning had grown much louder. From his location, he could see the lightning striking down into the city, disappearing behind the buildings. He winced through his goggles at the bright flashes.

    “V, what are they doing to you?”

    He continued no. Once in the heart of the city, looking up, he could see that the lightning was being drawn down by the antenna of the tallest building in the city. He looked back down at the front of the building and charged.

    He ran straight through the glass door. He then took off for the stairs. The 100-floor building had a 1,482-stair climb but he could traverse them much faster than the elevator could lift him to the top, so he ran. He moved so swiftly that when he rounded the corners he ran up onto the walls in a low arc. The booming and crackling grew louder as he neared the top. Then, suddenly, he began to hear screaming.

    “VIM!” He cried as he hurried is already feverish pace.

    He soon came to the door to the roof. It did not stand a chance.

    He burst through, out onto the roof, and there on the roof he saw his brother. He was locked in metal restraints to a metal chair attached to a lightning rod. He was being used as a generator. Usually, Vim can take and even withstand an influx of electricity, but because he was receiving so much at once, the process was killing him. Vigor spent no time thinking. He rushed over and grabbed Vim’s restraints.

    The massive electrical power surging in and through Vim’s body and chair sent Vigor soaring. Straight back he flew, slam into the second-to-last floor of the adjacent building. As he lie there on the floor, he opened his hands reveling a squeezed metal cuff and a large piece of the other cuff. Back on the roof, Vim had an arm free, and was pulling desperately at the remaining cuff. As Vigor came to, shuttering from the residual effects of the electrocution, he was greeted most unwelcomely.

    “I hate drones.”

    They were small, shiny, dark, metallic, flying spheres: about the size of a volley ball.

    “Ow!”

    And they shot lasers. Vigor dove out of the way then rolled onto his feet. The drones were coming at Vigor from the other building, through the window he had just crashed through. He ran at them and leaped. Stepping on each of them lightly and briefly, he hopped, skipped, and jumped his way back over to the roof of the other building. But right before he could stick the landing, all of the drones turned and fired on him.

    Vigor went flying forward, landing on his face. Then, swiftly, as he stood to his feet, he plunged his hands into the roof and pulled up a hunk of the roof itself. He then turned and hurled it at the nearest drone. It crashed into the drone hard, putting a large scrape in the side of its armor plating and knocking it for a loop. It spun around violently and crashed into another, blowing up both in the process. Suddenly, another drone swooped in for him, rapidly firing blast after blast. He jumped at it and snatched it out of the air, crushed it in his hands, and hurled it at another.

    Just then, hearing him yell out once more, Vigor turned and ran for his brother. As Vigor neared Vim, Vim noticed his brother running toward him. In between jolts from the lightning rod, Vim managed to focus his mind and his energy. He then stretched out his hand and blasted the remaining drones with a bolt of lightning that forked out to hit each one of them. Vigor reached Vim and grabbed the remaining restraint. He roared as the massive electrical energy surged through his body, fighting to free his brother from the torment of the machine. The metal began to yield under his great strength. Then, it finally gave. He snatched the leg restraints off like they were paper, seized Vim, and hoisted him out of the chair. Almost immediately, the machine that was seconds ago so lively was now inactive and silent. Vigor dropped to his knees with Vim over his shoulder then set Vim down in front of him. He was breathing heavily. He was propping himself up with a hand on the ground while the other stayed hooked around Vigor’s shoulders. Vigor himself had an arm around Vim’s ribs holding him up, with the other hand on his chest giving support.

    “Vig… Vig…” said Vim in between breaths.

    “Don’t talk. Get your wind back first,” said Vigor.

    Vim breathed. He was exhausted. Vigor, kneeling there with him, rubbed his back in an attempt to soothe him and ease him through the initial recovery period. After a time, Vim’s breathing slowed. He lifted his hand up off the ground and patted Vigor twice on the shoulder briefly.

    “Thank you, Vig… Thank you…”

    “I’ve got your back, little brother.”

    Vim’s hand went back to the ground, heavy. He continued to breathe deep.

    “Just rest. We’ll get whoever did this when you can stand. And this time… we’ll stand together.”


  • 20 Aug 2017 4:06 PM
    Reply # 5039108 on 4927520
    E. Lettick

    I enjoyed this, Louis, as I do most of what you write. Your writing is detailed and thoughtful and carries a certain panache. Although this seems like a spiritual piece, it appeals to youth, especially those who enjoy fantasy and a good gory battle. Nice job.

  • 20 Aug 2017 9:07 AM
    Reply # 5038610 on 4927520
    Sherri Hollister (Administrator)

    Louis, this is a fabulous story. I can see it in a graphic novel for teenagers. It's a great way to demonstrate the battle we all have to face. Very good!

  • 19 Aug 2017 7:07 PM
    Reply # 5037980 on 4927520
    Louis Edwards

    Heaven


    Michael stood along the desolate highway staring at the ominous clouds overhead. Sharp penetrating tentacles of light streaked across the canvas of black illuminating the hordes that loomed above the little town of Haven. He knew this mission would come at a cost. If he and his army failed, the town would lose all hope and faith would be lost. He was thankful for his brothers in arms, Uriel and Kushiel. Like him, they were battle hardened and ready to answer the call of their commander, Yahweh.

    “My brothers,” Michael looked at his two legionaries. “Haven is under seize and I think I may know who the commander is.”

    Kushiel spoke up. “Who?”

    “The Prince of Persia.”

    Uriel and Kushiel drew their swords, raised them to the air and said in unison. “In the name of Yahweh, we will defeat him and his imps.”

    Michael raised his hand. “Put away your weapons, they’ll be plenty of time for that later.” He appreciated their zeal, but the battle would be fought on a different front this time. The enemy would be expecting them, and he didn’t want another twenty-eight day war like they had in Babylon.

    He turned to Uriel and placed his hand on his shoulder. “Uriel, my brother, I need you to take a few of your hosst and go the prayer warriors house. Kushiel and I will create a diversion and draw the Prince of Persia and his minions away. Make sure you protect her at all cost. She must get through to the mayor.” Uriel drew his sword, slapped it across his chest and with a sharp snap he bowed his head. Michael returned the gesture and signaled for Kushiel to join him.

    The two entered town and stopped in front of the prayer warrior’s house. The sentinels stationed around the house drew their swords.

    Michael stood with his arms crossed. “Do you really think you can stop me?”

    A gravelly voice broke through the chatter among the hoards guarding the house. “They may cower and run but I never will.”

    Michael grinned and looked at Kushiel. “I think we found him.”

    “Was there any doubt. “ Kushiel drew his sword and both of them turned their attention to the front door when the Prince of Persia materialized.

    “So we meet again.” A sinister grin crossed the Prince’s face. “This time I have the upper hand. Look around you.”

    Michael looked around. He knew the enemy had a stronghold on Haven, but there was still hope as long as the prayer warrior didn’t give up. “You’ll never win this battle, and even if you do, Yahweh will have the final say.”

    The demon’s eyes narrowed, his nostrils flared at the name of the one who made and controlled the universe. “We’ll see about that.”

    The Prince yanked his sword from its sheath, sprung from the porch and aimed for Michael’s neck. Michael ducked and signaled for Kushiel to follow him to lure the Prince and his minions away from the house.

    The Prince barked. “After them you imbeciles,” and followed in pursuit.

    ###

    Uriel watched in a distance, and when the enemy left the house, he and his host swooped in to take advantage of the moment. Before entering the house, he instructed part of them to set up a perimeter while he and the others entered the building.

    As they entered, Uriel caught a glimpse of movement from the corner of his eye and ducked in time to miss the blow of a sword. Before the demon could strike again one of his team cut the vermin in half sending him to the abyss. Chaos alerted the others in the house causing a black mass of swirling demons to appear. While the two hosts battled, Uriel snuck into the kitchen where the Mayor and prayer warrior sat discussing the word of God.

    Spotting his foe standing behind the mayor with his black talons wrapped over the man’s shoulders, Uriel drew his sword. He knew his enemy wouldn’t give up and the battle scars that marred his body told him this wasn’t his first battle.

    The beast drew his weapon and sliced through the air. “Do you think you’re going to stop me?”

    “I come in the name of Jehovah the mighty God of heaven and I will stop you.” Uriel lunged toward the creature, their swords clashed and the sound of thunder filled the air. The beast unleashed a volley of blows that Uriel was able to ward off. With each pass, he could feel the heat from the searing sword.

    Uriel could feel his strength getting stronger by the minute. He could tell by the mayor’s expression his heart was getting softer, and the energy emanating from the prayer warrior filled the room. The blows from the demon grew weaker with each strike. Uriel scanned the beast’s armor looking for a venerable spot.

    ###

    Michael could feel the power and was thankful the Prince was so consumed with anger that he couldn’t see his army slowly falling apart. Michael drew his sword, “You’ll never win. You sealed your fate the day you decided to follow Lucifer.”

    The prince’s scaly body grew darker and the scar that ran across his eye intensified as the demon glared at Michael. “I’ll show you who’s going to win.” His voice filled the air like rolling thunder. Michael prepared himself for the evil that was about to be unleashed and instructed Kushiel to stand ready.

    ###

    Uriel saw what he was looking for, a chink in his opponent’s armor just under the fifth rib. He waited, and as the demon lunged forward, Uriel plunged his sword deep into the brute’s chest. The adversary screamed and faded into a pile of black dust.

    ###

    As the prince started to lunge, a brilliant light pierced the darkness overhead sending him and his host scattering like roaches. In one last cry he said, “It’s not over.”

    Michael and Kushiel joined Uriel, and the trio celebrated another victory over one more soul.


  • 06 Aug 2017 12:27 AM
    Reply # 5014592 on 4927520
    Sherri Hollister (Administrator)

    I love this story Ed. It's a fabulous memory and shows how awesome your dad was. He taught you more than working on a car. He taught you about patience and grace. I look forward to more of your stories.

  • 05 Aug 2017 3:18 PM
    Reply # 5014144 on 4927520
    E.M. Satterley

    Eddie Oops

    By E.M. Satterley

               

                Ahh, 1960. Those were the days. Dad was assigned to Fort Devens, Massachusetts, as an ignition instructor and the days for a twelve-year-old boy like me were care-free. Our family lived near a small New England town just a few miles from the Post in a newly painted barn-red house. It sat on a hill and the dirt and stone driveway led to the double-car garage built underneath the house. My thirteen-year-old brother and I and a few neighbor boys spent our summer days hiding behind moss-covered boulders imagining we were cowboys or soldiers or just playing hide-and-seek. The farmer across the narrow country road did not seem to mind if we played in his pasture land. The only negative about playing there was that we had to look where we stepped. The cow pies were all around. Also, at the appropriate time of the year, we enjoyed running across the countryside finding wild blueberry bushes. We would always bring home enough of the blue ripened delicacies to add to our corn flakes for at least a couple of days.  

                One late, sunny afternoon, Dad called my brother, Jim and I into the kitchen. I noticed right away that he was going to be telling good news. On his garrison cap, he displayed a new set of captain’s bars. They gleamed almost as bright as the smile on his face. “Eddie, Jimmy, I’ve got some good news.” Mom was behind Jimmy holding our baby sister.  “I’ve been promoted,” he said proudly.

                “Wow,” Jimmy and I said together. I’m guessing that we weren’t quite experienced enough to offer our congratulations but we soon learned.

                Mother stepped around and gave Dad a kiss on the cheek, “Congratulations, sweetheart.”

                “This means that there will be some changes around here,” Dad continued.

                I asked, “What do you mean, Dad?”

                “First of all, I am raising your allowances.”

                I looked at Jimmy and we were both smiling. “Yep,” Dad said, “now your allowance, Eddie, will be a dollar a week and Jimmy’s will be a dollar and a quarter.”

                I felt a little slighted. I mean Jimmy and I were only a  year and a half apart, why did he get more money than me? When I looked at Jimmy’s face again he was sneering as thought he was saying, Ha ha, I’m getting more than you! He was silent then but pushed it in my face later that day and for about a week afterward.

                Curious, I asked, “What other changes?”

                “You remember that little car that Mr. Hosington was selling? Well, I’ve decided to buy it.”

                 The sports car was a classic British 1954 MG TF convertible. I remember Dad often retiring to the garage to work on his new toy. My dad was a perfectionist and he wouldn’t show the car off until it was in perfect condition. Near the end of the summer, Dad had the car almost completed. One last required item was a new glass tail light lens to replace the cracked one that came with the car. It was ordered over a month before from Lucas Electrical, an after-market electrical parts store.  Dad was anxious to receive it not just so he could finish the project, but then he could then show it to his friends.

                Then the day came when he received a call from the parts store in Ayer. “Your lens finally came in, Captain, will you be coming in today to pick it up?”

                “What time do you close?”

                “Three today and we’ll be open ‘til six on Monday.”

                “I’ll be right there, wait for me,” Dad said with a look of urgency on his face. He didn’t ask if anyone wanted to go with him, he just flew out of the house, into the family car and then sped down the road out of sight.

                An hour later, he pulled up the inclined driveway to the house. I happened to be at the window when he parked the car in the shade, tucked a small cardboard box under his arm and opened the garage door to reveal the back of his pride and joy.

                I ran down the inside stairs to meet him below. I found him rummaging through his toolbox looking for the perfect screwdriver. “Hi Dad! Did you get it?”

                “Yeah, finally.”

                “Can I help?” I said.

                Silence from Dad. I now surmise that he was thinking how to answer that question. Really not much you can do, it’s a one-man job. Besides, I wanted to finish…to put the last piece in place.  

                As Dad unwrapped the lens from the box and packing paper, I also bent down to watch.              “Here, hold this.” Dad handed me the lens as he unscrewed the broken one from the light fixture and smoothed the rubber gasket with his fingers. Just as he motioned for the lens, it slipped from my hand and crashed to pieces on the cement floor. My heart pounded in my throat and my body flushed from head to toe. I was afraid to look Dad in the face.

                “Oops,” I said.

                “Oops?” Dad repeated. I was expecting the worse. Yelling. Screaming. Maybe even a smack to the head. I was squeamishly avoiding his look and waiting for the eventual explosion.            

                But all he said was, “Oops?” I guess he counted to ten before he made any rash outburst choices. I was glad of that. In fact, even days later (and after he re-ordered the same part) it was not mentioned until he started calling me “Eddie Oops” on a regular basis. In fact, I was beginning to think that was my new name. Had I realized that for the next twenty years he would always refer to me as “Eddie Oops” I would have opted to stay upstairs when I saw him enter the garage on that fateful day.             


  • 01 Aug 2017 3:49 PM
    Reply # 5006825 on 5004495
    Anonymous
    Christina Ruotolo wrote:

    The Lightening Artist

         I barreled down the desolate highway, the anticipation springing out as sweat on the inside of my palms. Summer storms are relentless as afternoon heat rises off the pavement pulsating into cool evening air. The two meet along the fault lines of the highway and build into the roaring and tumbling Romulus clouds overhead. I bolted to my car, silver poles in hand right after I felt the tingle of a storm as goose pimples on my arms and heard the thwack of thunder overhead. I threw the poles in the back and headed out past the hay and tobacco heading north to the sea. It won't be long now I thought.

         Patsy Cline’s smooth melodic voice wined through the broken front speaker and crackled as soon as the sky sprang out in a wide, jagged plume of defiance. Right after Daisy's Dinner Diner, the road stopped curving and stood flat and black ahead of me. I turned my old pick-up into the front spot next to the tiny weathered wooden pier. Dandelion Beach was empty, the impending storm having sent the school children to the safety of Frozen Palace arcade and ice cream shop just a short walk up the main street. You could hear the faint click and ding of pinball machine and the full, wide laughter of summer. The roll of lightening and smack of thunder were more to my liking. This was his time, my place, a few solitude minutes to find myself among the sand, sea and swirling storm above.

         I grabbed the sleek, silver poles and headed down the beach into the mouth of the storm. Once more, the storm rang out and wide patches of lightening streaked against the darkening sky overhead. Many people call me crazy for doing this, but there is no other way because the angry storm creates beauty underneath the cool, kernels of sand. I am a seeker of beautiful things. As soon as I place the silver poles into patterns along the sand, each at least a foot deep, I go back to my truck, sit and wait for the show to begin.

         Within moments, the lightening is building and the sky is once again wide and alive with energy. The angry clouds dance around the edge of the sea that is lapping in and out with ferocity. The first lightening strike is quick and loud like someone kicking a tin can down a street. Then, comes another bright, wide bolt down snapping its electric fingers on the silver pole in the ground. I smile as the show and dance of light and electricity presents its beauty before me. Twenty minutes later, the storm has rolled past and left the calm salty spray of waves that begin their decent back. I make my way back to the poles and one by one slowly pull them up and deposi them with waterlogged and sandy stumps back to the back of my truck.

         I takes my tiny metal shovel and begins to dig around the first indention in the sand where the silver pole was minutes earlier. Within a few minutes, I wipe away the sand deposits and pull up a clear and crystal-like object dusted with white bits of sand which glisten and shine against the backdrop of the sea. Each piece of lightening glass is shaped and formed differently like snowflakes or fingerprints. Each piece is unique and beautiful. Each piece I relish between my fingers, and smile at knowing how mother nature has made them beautiful. Oh, how I longed to be this beautiful. It takes several hours to dig all of the sand creations up and each is dusted off and wrapped in towels with care and concern.

         After the last piece of fulgurite is loaded into the back of my truck, I step back and examine the number of gifts I have been given in the late evening glow. There are dozens of treasures just waiting to be brought to life. I close the back of the truck, hop in the car and head back along the desolate highway toward home wondering when the next storm will find me. Sometimes beauty comes with will and patience and that is something I have a lot of of, time to wait for the beautiful to come.


  • 01 Aug 2017 3:46 PM
    Reply # 5006822 on 4927520
    Christina Ruotolo

    Thanks. I also noticed I changed POV in one place.


  • 01 Aug 2017 8:42 AM
    Reply # 5005345 on 4927520
    Sherri Hollister (Administrator)

    Christina, a very visual story! I can see it all happening, the excitement of the storm and the beauty of the glass.

    There are a couple of edits that need to be made, you added a couple of "S" that shouldn't be there but still a fabulous story!

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