Monday, July 21, 2008

Time and Again

Another great contest has ended at The Clarity of Night. It was again a wonderful opportunity to sharpen our writing skills (ah! nothing like the 250-word limit!) , to delight into the work of old blogging friends and acquaintances, and in the discovery of the talent of new ones, to feel the huge power of this ever-growing community of writers. Thank you, Jason! Looking forward to the next…

Maximum congratulations to all the winners!!!

Last but far from least, many thanks to all those who were very kind to read my story and comment on it. This is what Jason’s photograph has spoken to me:

A ride from TIMEAGAIN Inc. was the perfect gift for a boy who lived for his hologame motorbikes; a boy who has never been …outside in his eighteen years. Mickey.

Adam had been a child when they sealed the Cities forever but he remembered playing among the last tufts of grass, under the dismal clouds of pollution. Now he could offer his son something infinitely superior.

In the bare launch room, the fastest bikes awaited them, three Suzukis Hayabusa, splendid antiques from the late 20th century.

He noticed Mickey looking for the neural net as he straddled his Suzuki. “No, boy, this is the real thing...” How he loved his son’s puzzled look…

He’d planned everything meticulously. Three rides to gain Guide Harlan’s loyalty and arrange the security details. His remaining fortune for the fourth.

The engines roared. The wall swirled in a psychedelic curtain and, as they charged through it blindly, air hit their eyes through the open visors. Sweet real air.

The sky held hues of bright pink, telltale of the impending sunset, stars already lit above the snowed peaks of Sierra Nevada.

Mickey’s braking reflex burned a black snake on the white concrete. He climbed down, staggering like a perpetual mariner cast to shore, and knelt, hugging the bike, sparkling tears in his eyes.

“California,” Harlan smiled. “Welcome to 1999…”

They tied Harlan well, to exonerate him of their escape.

“Happy birthday, son. Come on!”

They raced to the track’s fence, then onto the winding road beyond.


Anonymous said...

I said this on the site, but I'll say it here. I liked this and especially liked your unique take on the story.

Thanks for the maximum congrats! :)

Scott said...

I for one am baffled that this story didn't crack the top five. And just so you know, I voted for yours as my second favorite. Aerin took my top choice, who took an honorable mention. Yours was a unique take on the theme, and a lot of story in so few words. And a great story to boot. I was a little envious that you had used your imagination to such an extent.

So there you have it. There's at least one guy out here that thinks you deserved more. There was some stiff competition out there, but for my tastes I like to see some movement.

Sarah Hina said...

Thanks for the congratulations, Vesper. I really enjoyed the sense of camaraderie all around. :)

And I loved your take. It really was one of the most wonderfully original of the bunch. Such a feeling of exhilaration at the end. Great work!!

Vesper said...

Double thanks, Paul, and you're very welcome! :-)

Scott, you're a great guy and your words go to my heart. :-) It's needless to say that your comments made my day, not once but twice... Thank you! :-)

Sarah, you're right, the sense of camaraderie was wonderful.
Thank you again for your kind words. :-)

Bernita said...

Yes! Like Scott said.
A delicious and unexpected take and the subtle psychology of freedom need.
Well done!

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

What a great take on the image, Vesper! Such a powerful story, so well told. Really so well done.
'Fraid, given my blogging hiatus, I missed the Clarity competition but hopefully there'll be a next time!

Lisa said...

I finally had a chance to go and read the winning entries and I'll echo the sentiment here. I am being completely truthful when I say this story and your rendering of it was by far my favorite. I'd have given you 1st prize.

Vesper said...

Bernita, thank you for reading my story and for your kind comment. I highly appreciate your opinion. :-)

Thank you so much, Vanilla! I'm sorry I didn't think of telling you about Jason's contest. I won't forget next time. :-)

Lisa, thank you for your words of appreciation! I hope you're always completely truthful in your comments here... ;-) :-) :-)
There were a lot of very good entries in the contest, and they all used different approaches. Some focused on a scene, others hinted at a bigger story. Some were more poetic than others, some were sad, others hopeful... It's very interesting and an incredible exercise. Maybe you will want to give it a try next time.

Thank you again! :-)

SzélsőFa said...

I also liked your story at Jason's contest.
With its psychological hints and a very unique take on the original photo...Congratulations - if not for winning a title, but for having written it.