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Author Topic: Fiction Writing Contest  (Read 28098 times)
AIONIA
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« Reply #15: August 06, 2007, 11:08:55 pm »

HeartShadow, ShadowCat and I have come up with the idea to have a fiction writing contest here on The Cauldron. If you would like to participate, please read the following rules:

I'll join just so no one else will feel bad about their work... My writing is BAD...
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« Reply #16: August 06, 2007, 11:20:11 pm »

I'll join just so no one else will feel bad about their work... My writing is BAD...

It can't be that bad! Glad to have you aboard.  Smiley
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"It's only forever
Not long at all"
~~Jareth

"Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time"
Changes
~~ David Bowie

"Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?"
~~James Thurber
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« Reply #17: August 08, 2007, 08:46:37 pm »

HeartShadow, ShadowCat and I have come up with the idea to have a fiction writing contest here on The Cauldron. If you would like to participate, please read the following rules:

Well, since I'm one of the judges of the contest and it would be quite tacky to enter my own story into it, I'm going to go ahead and post it up here. Hope ya'll enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Bitter Harvest

The woman shuffled slowly down the hall to her front room, her stooped shoulders and haggard face belying her forty-two years. Pausing once to sweep the straggles of hair around her face into the knot pinned messily on the top of her head, she shuffled slowly onward to her favorite chair where she sat and reflected on her life.

Esmeralda Watkins had once had it all. Married at eighteen to her high school sweetheart, she had two kids by the time she was twenty-one. Her husband had become CEO of his company at twenty-eight and she was High Priestess of their coven, Coven of the Rising Star, with him at her side as High Priest.

Their kids, Shayna and Malachi, had everything they ever dreamt of and were now attending Ivy Leaguers. Their house was a grand show piece on two manicured acres with a small grove of trees where they held their rituals from Beltaine til Samhain. From Samhain til Beltaine, the rituals were held indoors in the one-room cottage they’d had specially built for just that purpose.

Esmeralda’s life had been peaceful and idyllic until her fortieth year. That’s the year the rumors and fighting began.

The old members of their coven had drifted away or been kicked out. The new members gradually began trying to undermine and usurp her authority. Her husband looked the other way and let them do it, too.

There were rumors that he was sleeping with one of the new members. In fact, the affair was supposed to have started when the girl was just sixteen and was Shayna and Malachi’s babysitter. But she didn’t listen. She never listened.

Esmeralda had complained and begged and nagged her husband and kids, never once seeing the invisible wedge she was driving between them and her. Finally things blew up in her face at Lughnassadh. She had worked ceaselessly from Mid-Summer onward trying to make the coven’s Harvest Celebration wonderful. She’d beseeched the Gods and Goddesses for Their help in making the celebration one to remember. She swore to her family, “Everything will be great; you’ll see.”

In her blindness, Esmeralda hadn’t noticed the coldness of her husband and children towards her. She hadn’t noticed the unease of her covenmates when they were around her at the Sabbats.  She hadn’t even noticed the distance of the Gods and Goddesses when she invited Them to the Circles. She never even noticed that what she held nearest and dearest was slipping out of her grasp.

At the Harvest Celebration that year, things went from bad to worse. First, she couldn’t find her favorite silver circlet and had to go without it. Then she couldn’t find her best cloak and had to settle for her second best one with the small burn on the hem. Then, in her haste to get ready for Circle, she tripped on the edge of the throw rug in her bedroom, fell and hit her face on the lid of her wooden chest sitting at the foot of her bed. Surveying the nasty purple bruise on her cheek in the bathroom mirror, she grimaced as she realized that no amount of make-up would hide it but would, in fact, make it look worse.

Finally dressed and ready for Circle, she hurried to the grove. As she got closer, to her surprise, she realized that they hadn’t waited for her. Her, the Coven’s High Priestess!

Horrified, she entered the grove and tried to enter the circle to take her place before the altar. Unfortunately, she found that she was blocked from entering by a force she couldn’t see.

Standing just outside the circle, she screamed, “Stop! In the name of the Lord and Lady, I command you to stop!”

Hearing laughter, she raised her gaze to the altar where Paul, her husband, stood with Sara, the babysitter.

“Paul,” she cried. “What is going on? What is she doing up there? I am the High Priestess of the coven!”

“Not anymore, wife,” he sneered. “We have voted you out and elected Sara High Priestess in your place.”

Taking Sara’s hand in his, he continued, “By the way, you will find divorce papers on the kitchen table. I’m tired of the nagging, complaining and begging. The kids are tired of the nagging, complaining and begging. Sara has done more for me and the kids in the last year than you ever did in the past twenty-one. I’m done with it and done with you. The kids and I will be staying in town with Sara this weekend. You have until Monday at noon to remove your personal items and get out. Now, if you don’t mind, we’d like to continue the celebration of the harvest. Good bye, Esmeralda.” With that, Paul and Sara turned back to their covenmates and continued the celebration.

Weeping bitter tears, Esmeralda fled back to the house. Using the weekend allotted to her, she gathered all her belongings, put them in the car and moved them to a cheap apartment she’d finally located late Saturday night. Taking one last trip to the house that Sunday, she put the few remaining things of hers into her car and, after one last look around, sped down the driveway and away from the life that had been hers for twenty-one years.

Sitting in her favorite chair now, one year later, in the tiny, cramped apartment she could barely afford to keep with her waitress’ wages, Esmeralda knew that she now reaped what she had sown for so long.

It was a bitter harvest. A very bitter harvest indeed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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"It's only forever
Not long at all"
~~Jareth

"Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time"
Changes
~~ David Bowie

"Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?"
~~James Thurber
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« Reply #18: August 08, 2007, 08:56:12 pm »

Well, since I'm one of the judges of the contest and it would be quite tacky to enter my own story into it, I'm going to go ahead and post it up here. Hope ya'll enjoy!

Ditto.

I pondered trying to submit mine to something like PanGaia, but really, I dwanna.  so enjoy!

***

Sour Grapes

"You're doing it all wrong!" Maggie snapped out.  Only here, she was Lady Rowan Starchild.  Here she had meaning.  "You're supposed to arrange the altar with the grapes in the center!  Do I have to do everything?"

Jennifer rolled her eyes behind Lady Rowan's back.  Rowan whipped around.  "And I don't want any of your attitude, either.  Not if you want to continue to study with me.  You're an adequate student and helper, but no better.  Don't make me regret taking you on."

"Yes, Lady," Jennifer said meekly.  How had Rowan seen her, anyway?  She set up the rest of the altar in silence as the other coveners arrived.

When all was ready, Lady Rowan went to the center of the room.  "We come together to celebrate Mabon and the harvest!" she said grandly.  "Together we will celebrate the gods and their bounty!"

"And your ego," someone muttered.  Rowan spun about.

"Who said that?"  No one answered.  "Speak, or I will curse you with my mightiest curse for mocking the gods and their priestess!"

"And so you speak for the gods?" mocked another voice.  Rowan spun again.

"I am the gods' handmaiden!" she snapped out.  "Insulting me is insulting the gods!"

"Ego indeed," said the first voice.  Rowan bit back a scream.

"We are here to honor the gods.  If you don't want to do that, you can just leave."

"But you invited us," purred a silky voice from Jennifer's body.  Rowan felt a chill when she realized it wasn't Jennifer's voice.  "You called upon the Lord and Lady.  Are you so surprised we answered?"

Rowan stared as Jennifer glided towards her.  It wasn't Jennifer.  Not with the way she moved, the way her hips rolled and her eyes sparkled.  Not with that knowing smile on her lips.  "Begone, evil spirit!  Leave this child be!" Rowan called, but her heart wasn't in it.

Not-Jennifer just laughed.  "That won't work.  We aren't evil just because we're saying things you don't like.  You should know that."

"We are here," said David.  Only he wasn't David, either.  "We're not going to disappear just because we're not what you expected."

"You have been cruel and petty.  You have called on us to use like servants, doing those things you did not wish to sully yourself with.  We are not here to serve you.  It is time you learned that."

Rowan stared, and tears sprang into her eyes.  "Please.  Why are you doing this to me?  I have honored you!  I have celebrated every sabbat.  I have brought others to you.  Why are you treating me like this?"  For she believed that these were the gods.  She did not want to, but she could feel it was true.

"We are trying to show you what you are, child.  You have asked to see the truth and know how to live, how to serve.  We have whispered to you before, but you never listened.  Now we tell you here.  You have wished to grow closer to us.  Behold, we stand in front of you.  This is your harvest."

Rowan stared at David and remembered when she'd said those very words to him.  It was when she'd stripped him of his role as high priest because he'd been upstaging her.  But she'd said he'd angered the gods with his constant questions.  She'd never been able to admit that she simply didn't have all the answers.

Jennifer and David began the ritual as Rowan stood off to the side, tears continuing to trickle down her face.  She watched as Jennifer and David included all the coveners together, celebrating the harvest and the life in a way she'd never been able to.  This was what she'd always wanted to achieve, and always failed at.  The voices came together in song, and Rowan let her head tip back and her voice join the others.  Her eyes closed as she drew close to the others in the song, and slipped into trance.

By the time she opened her eyes again, the ritual was over.  Everyone had left.  She stood, alone in her living room, leaning up against the wall.  Moonlight slid through the window, puddling around her feet.

Her life and choices were her own.  But for now, she had to take of her harvest for what she'd already done.  She walked over to the altar and took the grapes that were left from the others, and slowly ate them one by one.

And every one was sour.
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AIONIA
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« Reply #19: August 09, 2007, 01:30:34 am »

I'm going to go ahead and post it up here. Hope ya'll enjoy!

I want to show mine off so badly. I really like it, but it's not only about the harvest festival. It's about the...

Will wait. Celtee e-mail hurry! Someone needs to see it!
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« Reply #20: August 09, 2007, 01:55:12 am »

I want to show mine off so badly. I really like it, but it's not only about the harvest festival. It's about the...

Will wait. Celtee e-mail hurry! Someone needs to see it!

I pm'd you the address already.

Now where's the mail?  Grin
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"It's only forever
Not long at all"
~~Jareth

"Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time"
Changes
~~ David Bowie

"Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?"
~~James Thurber
AIONIA
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« Reply #21: August 09, 2007, 11:38:00 am »

Now where's the mail?  Grin

Just sent it. Critique and tell me about it, I'm not sure about it it doesn't have as much to do with har...

Just read it!!!
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Celtee
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« Reply #22: August 09, 2007, 07:13:39 pm »

Just sent it. Critique and tell me about it, I'm not sure about it it doesn't have as much to do with har...

Just read it!!!

Read it and will be forwarding it onward to the other two judges. You must wait on pins and needles now to find out what's gonna happen with it.  Grin

Seriously, tho, I liked it.  Smiley
Logged

"It's only forever
Not long at all"
~~Jareth

"Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time"
Changes
~~ David Bowie

"Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?"
~~James Thurber
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« Reply #23: August 10, 2007, 02:18:04 am »



Just emailed you my story, I hope you like it.
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Celtee
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« Reply #24: August 10, 2007, 02:30:56 am »

Just emailed you my story, I hope you like it.

I've received it and forwarded it on to the other two judges as well. Quite a story!
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"It's only forever
Not long at all"
~~Jareth

"Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time"
Changes
~~ David Bowie

"Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?"
~~James Thurber
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« Reply #25: August 10, 2007, 04:22:45 pm »

Quite a story!

*blushes*
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« Reply #26: August 23, 2007, 01:27:29 am »

HeartShadow, ShadowCat and I have come up with the idea to have a fiction writing contest here on The Cauldron. If you would like to participate, please read the following rules:

I'm bumping this to bring it to your attention.

We've got several participants, a few submissions already and would like to have more.  Anybody interested?
Logged

"It's only forever
Not long at all"
~~Jareth

"Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time"
Changes
~~ David Bowie

"Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?"
~~James Thurber
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« Reply #27: August 23, 2007, 02:59:54 pm »

I'm bumping this to bring it to your attention.

Thanks for the reminder!  I've managed a very rough draft, but had laid it aside for a bit and forgot all about it.  Eventually, I will have a submission for you.  Smiley
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« Reply #28: August 23, 2007, 07:57:04 pm »

Thanks for the reminder!  I've managed a very rough draft, but had laid it aside for a bit and forgot all about it.  Eventually, I will have a submission for you.  Smiley

I hate to admit this but I'd forgotten about this myself until last night when I was in my pm box and ran across an old pm about this!

I know Cat's back in school and Shad's busy so I wonder if they've forgotten too.   Undecided
Logged

"It's only forever
Not long at all"
~~Jareth

"Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time"
Changes
~~ David Bowie

"Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?"
~~James Thurber
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harvestmoon13


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« Reply #29: August 23, 2007, 08:00:40 pm »

I hate to admit this but I'd forgotten about this myself until last night when I was in my pm box and ran across an old pm about this!

I don't feel so bad then.  It's that time of the year when everything seems to be going on at once and I can't remember my own name some days in the rush.   Smiley
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