Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Weirdly Contest

No, it is not a misuse of an adverb, but the name of the collection of short stories, “Weirdly – A Collection of Strange Tales”, which includes Bernita Harris’s “Stone Child”.

Bernita had the wonderful idea of organising a short-fiction contest, where the winner gets a copy of her book (never fondled and even autographed!). All you have to do to enter is write a piece of fiction, 250 words or less, using the image below for inspiration. The deadline to send in your story is Friday, December 14th, at midnight. For details, please read the official rules.

And this is what those trees told me:

The Right Package

“That was no lightning strike.”

“This was Lugh again, toying with the natives.”

The Commander was annoyed. Each of their planetary vehicles was unique, tailored for their owner’s chemistry, the exhaust trail a sure signature. But even without the spectral analysis, everything was telltale. The absence of leaves, the subtle carbonisation, the twigs twisted at a specific angle, the grass in the clearing almost imperceptibly shorter.

“The Controller’s arriving in three days. We’ll all be kicked off this quiet little planet if we don’t cover this. Lugh was my responsibility. Unless…”

“Could we use the man from yesterday? What did he call himself?”

“A …druwid.”

“Funny little fellow. Was he speaking to the oaks in the grove, or was he trying to contact us?”

“Do you think he knew of us?”

“Certain details might have leaked from Egypt, lately. Horus was discontent last time I saw him…”

“I wonder… This area only has some animistic attempts at explaining the reality. If we could persuade them to take up some human sacrifices… Any sacrifices at all. A belief in the reincarnation of the soul, at least. We’re in dire need of some fresh soul energy. And we can’t fool the Controller. We could sell them a good kit, complete with a resident god to start with.”

“Do you fancy becoming their own little god?”

“No, I’ll leave it to Lugh. That’ll teach him to behave – to be bound to this place forever, or at least till ‘they’ grow bored with him…”


Bernita said...

So nice of you to blurg the contest, Vesper!
Thank you.

strugglingwriter said...

Nice entry.

I surely have no hope of winning with you all in the contest. Still great fun though :)


Ello said...

I was so happy to see your story entry at Bernita's! Came right over to tell you I really liked it! Very clever and very unique! I think you've got a bigger story here that I would be eager to read!

Vesper said...

My pleasure, Bernita. I'm sorry though that I don't have many readers who don't already know about your contest...

Thank you, Paul. On the contrary, I think your entry is very good. I liked it very much!!! :-)

Ello, thank you so much!!! But where is yours?
My little piece of fiction is a bit unusual, being all dialogue; you're right, I've had the idea for some time and never put it down on paper before. Bernita's contest seemed like a good opportunity. And, you're very kind! :-)

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Brilliant writing, Vesper!

I noticed Bernita's competition posted over at Rob's place too so now I'm off to take a look!

SzélsőFa said...

An interesting take!
I second Ello's suggestion: perhaps this idea displayed in 250 words needs some expansion.
I'd love to read that,t oo.

Vesper said...

Thank you, Vanilla! I hope you'll feel inspired to write something for the contest. :-)

Thank you, Szelsofa! I really appreciate your words. :-)

Aine said...

"We could sell them a good kit, complete with a resident god to start with.”

Ha!! Loved this! Very creative take on the photo. Good job getting all that info into dialogue. I like reading very active stories (as opposed to narrative description).

I, too, would be eager to read an expansion of this story.

Jeff said...

I enjoyed your story, Vesper. I would also be interested in reading an expanded version. :)

Emperor Ropi said...

sounds fun, I wrote a story

Vesper said...

Thank you, Aine! I'm glad you liked the use of dialogue. I didn't feel I needed description beyond a quick one of the scene. Also description of feelings or gesture seemed irrelevant in this case. It wasn't so important even who was saying what. Thanks again! :-)

Thank you, Jeff! Much appreciated! :-)

Thank you, Ropi, and your story is very funny! :-) You have a thing for Canadian pandas... :-) :-) :-)

Ello, Szelsofa, Aine, and Jeff, thank you for trusting me with an expansion of the story... You'll be the first to read it if I'll ever come up with it! :-)

Shameless said...

Nice take on the pic. Very intriguing! :-)

Sarah Hina said...

More, more! :)

Super imaginative, Vesper. And perfectly paced. Not a bit too much, or too little. Really enjoyed your fun, intelligent take!

Anonymous said...

hey, I liked your story over at Bernita's. I'm a bit slow on the uptake.

Vesper said...

Thank you, Seamus! :-)

Sarah, you're very kind! Thank you so much! :-)

Thank you, Wayne! :-)