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Old 11-17-2013, 08:51 PM View Post #1 (Link) Halloween Contest Winners!
Infinity_Man (Offline)
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Hello everyone! Judging is finally in, and we have the winners for The YWO Halloween Short Story Contest and the YWO Halloween Poetry Contest!

To review:
Writers had to submit a Halloween or Autumn themed poem/short story no longer than 25 lines/3000 words, respectively. Writers submitted to me, and I sent the submissions to the judges with the writer's name removed for the most objectivity. Judges for the short story contest were Dabs and Lykaois, while poetry was judged by Julian and Wig.

The prize for these contests are a feature in the October spotlight, as well as a custom user title (winners, please PM Shaun about what you would like).

Without further ado, here are your winners.

THE POETRY CONTEST


In Third Place, we had...

Spoiler:
Lalodragon, with "Eulogy for a Tuesday"

Eulogy for Tuesday

You were one to paint each leaf
its own swirl of paint, the gild
misting over the green

and not drench a whole tree orange
like a block of wood. You would mix
on a big china plate, picked

like the sun lands a certain way.
You would hold up a palm full of paint
and it would turn flame.


In Second Place we had...

Spoiler:
Peppermental with "Why You?"

Why You?

Don't call me the kill unless
you mean it. My baby sister
behind a shed ten states over
puking up her daddy's eyes and
maybe I made it so. Hell, maybe
I let Him practice poaching on
my peach-fuzz. Would it hurt
if we weren't weather-veined? If
I soul-mated our sakes before
we met? There's something speech-
less about Autumn. If you
look between the blind-spot
and the gun-shot, you'll see
a pair of blue-eyed burns we'd
call our kids. You said rot
makes family of us all. Spent
October in Carolina, breathing
that chill like cigarettes after
sex. That's why it's always you.
I've never had a word for the Fall.


And in FIRST PLACE, it's...

Spoiler:
Spoiler:

Spoiler:
Spoiler:

ROSE [removed by user]


THE SHORT STORY CONTEST

Unfortunately we didn't have enough entries that I thought it was appropriate to have a top 3, so we'll get straight to the winner, which is...

Spoiler:

Spoiler:
Spoiler:

Spoiler:

"THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH JUST A TASTE OF WHAT YOU PAID FOR" by RANIA

Spoiler:
There's Nothing Wrong With Just A Taste Of What You Paid For


"Legend has it that some men with black blood and blue beards evaded death by feeding off the fear of others. It is whispered that they only killed their victims after draining all their fear, and that they hunted clean-shaven, so that the blue beards they were named after wouldn't give them away…" - paraphrased from Fearless by Cornelia Funke.


One minute she was there, and the next, she disappeared in the throng of moving bodies. They masked her scent, but fear rolled off her copper skin in waves. It was a heady aroma.

Charging through haggard slaves, I ventured deeper into the market, a string of protests ringing in my ears. I ran into a guard who scowled down at me seconds before the hood fell off my head. He stumbled backwards. A few gasps echoed and then silence. Soon enough, everyone scurried away, gluing their backs to stalls or ducking into nearby alleys. A mother crossed herself as her little boy clutched her tattered skirts. Dread hung in the air, making it all the harder to clear out. I sighed once, and took off after my prey.

Turning a corner, I came to the public square. A crowd gathered around the platform, and I forgot the girl for a moment. Terror, thick and sweet, wafted from the stage. I pulled on my cowl as I edged closer and made my way to the front line. A bulky man gripped a gaunt criminal from the scruff of his torn, bloody shirt. The slave was in his mid-forties, and he stank of piss. His raised eyebrows dug wrinkles on his grimy forehead, and a few veins bulged the skin around his widened eyes. He scanned the crowd for a sympathetic face. None dared meet his eyes.

I watched, enthralled, as he was dragged to the guillotine. The man struggled, but it was futile. His scrawny frame was no match to his captor. Hauling him across the stage, the headsman pushed him to his knees, neck resting on the curve of the wooden block. He had a few seconds to make peace with whatever god he worshipped, tears spilling down his hollow cheeks, before the heavy blade slid down and severed his head. I ducked out seconds before his blood gushed in spurts out of his neck, spraying the horrified onlookers.

A chuckle escaped my mouth. I had fed on some of his fear before death claimed him. My senses sharpened and I caught her scent once again, a mixture of lilies, sweat and spices. She worked in the kitchens and fetched water from the well. Her mistress had asked for a hefty price on her, even though she was one of many in her household. I paid her and vowed to myself that her day will come. Fear forgot no one. She rang a bell and the beauty was thrown at my feet, a jittering mass of femininity. I offered her my hand and she hesitantly took it, her shallow breaths music to my ears. We strode off towards a carriage and I helped her up. She gave me a tentative smile then. I grinned back.

We were soon on our way to the inn where I stayed. It was a shabby place, but the food was good. A sweet smile here, a few winks there and I'd get myself a big portion and second helpings from the landlady. I helped the girl down and patted her hand. Her shoulders sagged a little and her expression softened. Inside my room, I motioned to the only chair. She sat down and scrutinised me.

I gulped down a swig of mulled wine and offered her the bottle. She shook her head. 'You can talk,' I said, perching on the bed.

She tensed and her gaze locked with mine. I mustered a toothy smile, but she averted her eyes, contemplating the creaky floorboards. 'Hello, master.'

'Call me Ian.' Her lips twitched, quirking up at the corners.

'What does Ian want me to say?' She tapped on her leg, clicked thumb and forefinger, pressed her hands together, and hid them between her calves. I let my gaze rove over her, savouring every curve and crevice. She was a beautiful sight, and all mine to do with as I pleased.

'Anything.' I lay on a saggy mattress on the ground that night, after I'd drained the entire bottle. She tossed around on my bed, muttering as she dreamt. I could've had her then, but I didn't. I wanted to revel in my new possession a little longer. That was my first mistake.

After a few hours, her breathing evened and I drifted off to the rhythm.

I woke up with a headache the following afternoon. The girl was nowhere in sight. Hastening to the basin, I studied my reflection in the mirror. A blue hue sprouted on my chin. She must've figured out what I was and bolted for her life.

That was a few days ago. I found her twice after that, but she managed to slip away both times. The night she fled, I came upon her buried under a pile of litter in some narrow street in the slave side of town. The foul odour hid her trail, but not enough to throw me off. Her big eyes widened further at the sight of me. She then leapt to her feet and sprinted in the other direction, plunging into a cluster of unwashed bodies and haunted faces. The second time was yesterday. I spotted her among a few lads, shovelling dung onto a carriage. She had sheared her long curls. My eyes narrowed as I watched her from a distance, and my lips thinned to a grim line.

'Ariana.' She turned to gape at me. The spade lay still at her feet after it clattered on the cobblestones.

'How did you find me? I did everything… I...' Her voice faltered and a torrent of sobs escaped her mouth.

'Ariana, your fate lies with me,' I murmured. 'You can't escape it. Give in and let this be over.'

'You want me to walk willingly to my grave!?"

I shrugged. 'Well, if you insist on putting it that way, then yes.' In a moment, she was gone, scampering around a corner. I hurried to follow, but the boys blocked my way, determined expressions etched on their sunbaked faces. I closed the distance between us and they scattered like flies, each one fighting to get away before the other.

'Bluebeard! Bluebeard! Bluebeard!' I haven't shaved since she discovered me. I didn't see a point in it.

***
Today, she changed tactics. It took me hours to locate her, and when I did, she made a run for it like a cornered rat. That was earlier in the market. Dusk fell rapidly now. The crowds thinned as people gathered in the temple for prayer. Slaves weren't allowed inside. They prayed on the tiles that the sun had roasted during the day. I knew the girl wouldn't head there. She'd be a sitting duck.

Spotting a boulder only a few metres away, I raced towards it and clambered up. Clutching the ridge of a low house, I heaved myself on the roof. Townsfolk headed westward, where they milled about before settling into formation. I scanned for a russet head, but to no avail. She wasn't among them. People were lesser eastward, all setting out for the temple, but a slim figure dashed against the crowd. I knew I had her then.

I climbed down and rushed through a deserted lane. Buildings blurred and nothing existed save me and her. She put on a good chase, but her time was up. I had some unfinished business with her former mistress before I moved on to the next town, and she had wasted a lot of my time. Part of me wanted to make her pay for that.

I reached the end of the street. All around me, visitors clustered to marvel at the headless slaves that adorned the coast. Corpses were in various stages of decay, all hung on wooden gallows. Hearing a startled gasp, I spun around. She stood not far away, her expression ashen.

'Well, hello there.' She stumbled backwards as I came closer.

'Why won't you give up?'

'Because I need your life to prolong mine.' I smiled at her, and she cringed, turned around and vanished into a narrow alley. Darting after her, I caught her elbow as she went around a corner. She screamed and kicked and punched, though we both knew it was futile. Our little game had ended.

'Just let me go… Please…' Tears glistened on her eyelashes. Her struggles lessened even as her fear escalated and coursed through my veins, fuelling my immortality. She faltered and I pulled her closer.

'You know I can't.' I touched her mouth with mine then, nipping on her lower lip. She regarded me with a glassy expression, her arms limp at her sides. I tugged on what remained of her hair and shoved her against the wall, plundering everything she had to give. A few more heartbeats and she fell on me, muscles relaxing, skin tightening. Her copper complexion paled to a faint shade of grey. I laid her down then, gazing into her vacant emerald eyes one last time before melting into the shadows.







So congratulations to those who won, and thank you all to those who submitted!
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						Last edited by Rose; 11-25-2013 at 09:45 AM.
					
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:54 PM View Post #2 (Link)
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Congratulations!
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:05 PM View Post #3 (Link)
Rose (Offline)
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OMG. ME? D:

Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu <3333

And congrats to all of you. You are all awesome and I love you :3
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:06 PM View Post #4 (Link)
Dabs (Offline)
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So many spoilers! congrats to all.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:06 AM View Post #5 (Link)
Julian (Offline)
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lol, you three are so predictable, stylistically . Wig and I kinda guessed from a mile who you were.


Congrats, Rania!
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:54 AM View Post #6 (Link)
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Congrats to all
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:24 PM View Post #7 (Link)
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Originally Posted by Julian View Post
lol, you three are so predictable, stylistically . Wig and I kinda guessed from a mile who you were.
Blind judging is a sham, I told Wig she'd know me.
Thx <3
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:04 PM View Post #8 (Link)
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Originally Posted by Julian View Post
lol, you three are so predictable, stylistically . Wig and I kinda guessed from a mile who you were.
Originally Posted by lalodragon View Post
Blind judging is a sham, I told Wig she'd know me.
Thx <3
I didn't get Peppermental's but I got the other two -- and I knew which one was Derez's.

/browniepointsforemma

Congrats thoughhhh!
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:20 PM View Post #9 (Link)
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Originally Posted by Wig View Post
I knew which one was Derez's.

/browniepointsforemma

Congrats thoughhhh!

You just had to find the poorly written poem that was trying to be poetic.

Should have entered the short contest.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:22 PM View Post #10 (Link)
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Yay! Thank you! And congratulations to the other winners
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