“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
― Ray Bradbury
― Ray Bradbury
Our new schedule has its ups and its downs. On the positive side, you have two chances each week to stretch your creative muscles. On the negative side, of course, you have less time with each of them. The purpose of said cruelty is simple: to keep you writing. And reading. And then writing some more.
We had some excellent submissions this week, despite the shortened timetable. With less time to judge, we editors were even more careful about reading the responses as they came in and discussing them one-by-one. I can honestly say that I read your responses more carefully this week than I have any week in the past. And I like that.
This week's winner was Amanda with her dark, moody piece In The Details. As we said on our Facebook page, she had us at the gray matter sliding down the wall. Amanda's strength, as we see it, is her ability to create a mood for the reader. She pulls you in with her craftily-worded narratives.
The beast is in the details.
There is a page ripped out of the travel magazine in the caddy next to the armchair. The needle is stuck on the record. Dinner sits abandoned and congealing in a pan on the stove. A drawer has been jerked open on the night stand. A scream has been stifled. The butt of a gun, smooth and heavy and iron, sparks against the stained porcelain of a pair of front teeth. Coffee rattles in all the cups. Men behind their newspapers sigh like they do. This town is a puddle of ketchup and smoke from a frier.
Still, there is a plane ticket in the back pocket of a pair of worn size zeros. There is an intention as lofty as any, hanging in the air like the lingering smell of gunpowder. There is the matter of a broken heart and a baby on the way; a belly that won't grow. There is the matter, gray and transparent, sliding down the wall behind the bed.
Downstairs, in the diner, Alda Mae will be checking the clock again, cursing under her breath. "That girl," she will mutter. A man in a plaid flannel jacket will shift uncomfortably in his seat and order another coffee. He will barely be able to contain the problem in his pants, she should have been here, by now. She should have been here.
Second place goes to Carrie from Views From Nature whose writing is consistently top notch. This week she gave us Transformation, a piece so beautifully described it's impossible to not fall into the scene yourself. If anyone needs help with setting, Carrie is your girl. (Note: Carrie, I'll be getting in touch with you.)
Third place goes to Columbibueno with her piece The Legions Dare. Columbibueno's ability to twist language is remarkable. Each week, she has me falling in love all over again with the same words I've heard since birth. I'm not sure how she does it; I only hope she keeps doing it.
And now on to our first ever weekend challenge. Remember: these prompts will go up on Friday and close on Sunday. You have only three days to write, and the prompt will change weekly. For the weekend challenge, you need only adhere to the rules listed in the post. If word count is not mentioned, you don't need to limit yourself. If a definition is not given, you are free to interpret the words as you wish.
The first weekend prompt is as follows: write a love story in 33 words. You are free to interpret that prompt however you wish, but your response must be 33 words exactly.
Good luck, fellow Trifectans.