JUNE WEATHER 106 – Short Story Contest

TOPIC: UNUSUAL WEATHER

THEME: Atmosphere

SETTING: The climate goes from one kind to another. You decide if the climate goes from dry to humid, sunny to cloudy, hidden to revealed, calm to sudden disaster, non-habitable to habitable, etc. Throughout your story, your character experiences a race against time.

SUBMISSIONS: Post your story in the comment section below.

3 HIGHLIGHTS (include): a race against time, a wise person, something falls from the sky

WORD COUNT: 750-1,500

DEADLINE: The deadline is always the 25th of the month – Friday, June 25, 2021

PRIZE: Winner receives a book!

AWARDS: Each story will receive an award!

SUBMISSIONS: Post your story below in the section provided while the contest is open.

3 PROMPTS TO GET YOU STARTED:

1.) Your character lives in a secluded, desolate area called the Hanging Gardens where only ten people can live. A wise teacher has taught your character how to read and write, and how to survive harsh conditions of regular derechos (fast moving windstorms) far away from civilization. Trouble sets in when an eleventh person is added, due to a love relationship. Your character is chosen to leave or die. You decide if your character leaves or if your character make the new person leave or some other ending.

2.) Your character is a wise engineer who must save a historical monument from getting destroyed, perhaps it might be destroyed by a powerful time bomb or a group of rioters. A villain might be seeking revenge against an organization. You decide which monument is at risk. You decide which organization is being terrorized. You decide if a tornado wipes out the criminals or if a thunderstorm strikes one of the criminals. You decide if a flood or a firestorm stops the criminal from carrying out his criminal activity.

3.) Your character speaks to a wise person who tells him the worst blizzard in history is going to hit their town. Your character must hurry to the story before the blizzard hits. Three or four people get in his or her way. An angry neighbor does not like your character. Another person is selling something. Another person needs help which slows your character down. You decide if your character ever makes it to the store.

WINNER(S) and AWARDS will be announced on July 1, 2021.

OPTIONAL RESOURCES:

You can find additional optional conflicts in “Writers 750 Emerald Workbook” written by H.M. Schuldt

ITEMS THAT MUST BE INCLUDED

1.) A race against time

2.) A wise person

3.) Something falls from the sky

Creating Atmosphere

Explore the five senses. Use better verbs and adjectives. Use personification such as “scratching his brain.” Use topical terms from a category of your choosing

Figures of Speech

Analogies compare two things in order to show a similarity between something known and something more unknown. Include similes and metaphors. Explore onomatopoeia, puns, hyperbole, and assonance.

A wise person

Wise people include a scholar in a particular field, philosophers, scientists, writers, political critics, artist, theologian, humanist, mathematician, physicist, astronomer, botanist, geologist, and novelist.

CONTEST GUIDELINES – Skip over this section if you are familiar with the Writers 750 Program.

GENRE: Fantasy, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Mystery, Crime, Comedy, Romance, or a mixture (No erotica)

PURPOSE –
The main purpose of this contest is to practice the skill of writing fiction, explore conflict and character development, write a new short stories, and receive good feedback.

RULES & DIRECTIONS –
• Type in English – a minimum of 750 words; a maximum of 1,500 words

• Post your title and word count total in the first line of your story posting.

• Writers are responsible for their own copyright. Authors keep all rights. PRIVACY POLICY IS ENFORCED. COPYRIGHTS AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS BELONG TO INDIVIDUAL AUTHORS. THIS CONTEST DOES NOT GRANT ANY PERSON THE RIGHT OR LICENSE TO COPY OR USE OTHER STORIES. EACH STORY IS PROTECTED BY THE COPYRIGHT OF THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR.

• ONE entry per person, must be the writer’s original work, a final revision, and a new piece of writing. Please do not delete and re-post since this becomes confusing to the readers. Make sure to post your final revision.

Post your story in the comment section below.

2 replies on “JUNE WEATHER 106 – Short Story Contest”

CHEERS
by tturner 1073 words

Michael reclined on the sofa with a cheap bottle of scotch on the coffee table in front of him. He was oblivious to the howling wind outside pelting the window panes with tiny pieces of debris as he stared at the flickering flames of the two candles burning on the table. He had finished a second glass and was working on a third when his mind sailed away to another place, to a parallel world, if you will. It was a place where he felt warm and safe since she left him on that cold stormy night which seemed liked years ago. Although, it had been only two days since that fateful night. Why did she have to go, he repeatedly asked himself, to God, and to anyone who would listen?

Then, he heard the door open and when he turned to look, there she stood. Her clothes were wet and rainwater dripped from her long brown hair puddling on the hardwood floor. He couldn’t believe his eyes. She had come back after all this time.

“You alright,” she asked in that familiar sexy voice he was so used to. That was one of the things about her he loved.

A bright bolt of lightning flashed outside behind her as she stood in the doorway giving her a ghostly appearance. Then she closed the door and walked toward him as he stood up to greet her.

“No. Don’t get up, Michael. I don’t know how long I will be here. Time is moving fast and we have much to talk about.

He sat back down slowly, brushing tears off his unshaven cheeks.

“At least have a drink with me,” he said, reaching for a clean glass.

“That would be nice,” she said.

He poured a glass of her favorite wine and passed it to her as he searched her dark brown eyes for answers, grasping to understand what had happened.

Their glasses clinked together. “Cheers!”

The sound of glasses clinking was music to his ears. It was like old times but somewhere deep inside he knew it would never be the same again.

“If I had not been drinking that night, the accident would not have happened,” Michael said, covering his face with his hands as he began to cry. “It’s all my fault. I am so sorry, Dana.”

“It might have happened anyway, Michael. We should have known better than to go out in the bad weather. There were warnings of strong cyclonic winds and I think it was a combination of the slippery surface of the road and wind that sent us over the side of the hill and into that ravine.

“Yes, but if I had not been going so fast………………”

“Stop!. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Let go of this life and me. Go outside and look around. Only then will you understand and be able to move on to where you are meant to be. In time you will come to understand what has happened and then, and only then will you find peace and reconciliation.”

Reconciliation. He didn’t like that word. It meant to accept something that is not desired.

“I love you so much, Dana. I don’t want to reconcile. I want us to be together again like it used to be.”

“Please do as I say, Michael. You are not to blame. I need to go now. Know that I love you with all my heart. Be strong. Everything will come right in time.”

She stood and walked to the door.

“Where are you going, Dana?”

“I am being called back. I told you I didn’t know how long I would be here,” she replied.

Another bolt of lightning flashed brightly through the room. Michael was blinded momentarily then, she was gone. He felt a sudden ache in his heart and a sense of loneliness.

He rushed and opened the door in time to see her silhouette passing through a dense mass of swirling grey mist.

____________________________

Dana had no sense of feeling. She could only perceive herself floating near the ceiling of the hospital room. From that suspended position, she could see her body lying on the bed with an IV in her arm and a tube inserted up her nose. Her head was wrapped in a white cloth and her arm was in a cast. A nurse was attending a machine that was monitoring her vital signs and a doctor had just finished using a defibrillator to restart her heartbeat. The nurse looked at the doctor and the doctor raised his hands as if to say, ‘that’s all I can do for her,’ and turned to leave.

Dana began to descend but stopped when a loud beep emitted from the monitor.

“Her heart has slowed and is very weak,” the nurse said to the doctor.

Dana began to travel, outside of time and space, floating through a tunnel, faster and faster, toward a bright light. She passed through sunny landscapes with songbirds, brightly colored flowers, and butterflies which then changed rapidly to chaos, violent storms, then desert followed by a black leafless forest. Finally, she arrived somewhere else that had no surface or walls, only translucent light. Her body glowed as though it was made of sheer energy.

A beautiful presence appeared near her. She felt she knew him but no. She perceived he was very wise and was the essence of pure love.

“Dana,” the man said. Yet, he spoke no words. He was communicating with her spirit. “Michael is suspended in time but he will realize, after I sent you to him, that you are not going back. He will soon continue his journey. So, you must return to resume your life without Michael. It is not your time to be here.”

The man then rose like a vapor and disappeared into a golden light above as thousands of shimmering particles showered down around her.

Instantly, Dana was again suspended above the hospital bed. The nurse was adjusting the IV. The doctor was standing by with the defibrillator in his hands ready on a moment’s notice.

In a flash, Dana became one with her body and she could hear the nurse talking to the doctor.

“Her heartbeat is stronger now, doctor. It has returned to normal,” the nurse said excitedly.

Dana slowly opened her eyes. The doctor bent down close to her face and smiled.

“Welcome back, Dana Sherwood.”

My entry for the June Contest True Genesis – 1496 words Also added on the Goodreads page

True Genesis

To those stealthfully watching, concealed by the trees, despite the howling, worsening tempest, they looked like lightning that flared on but failed to flicker out. For the daring few creeping closer to inspect the scene in better detail, they appeared to be beautiful fair-haired people, mainly women.

Their dresses were not simple beast-fur fashioned into raiment, but some silky white gossamer threads, as though spider webbing had been spun into cloth. It seemed as impossible as the little wings that kept the strange-people from touching the mud with their feet.

The dark hued, hairy-faced, slightly stooped observers kept moving to stop themselves from getting stuck in the quagmire that had been a dry trail only that morning. Their legs were caked in filth. Bizarrely, the winged people were not wet, though the
rain touched them just as it hit the cold, saturated audience for who the trees offered no weather protection whatsoever

“They see us,” Abitha said, in her own language, which sounded like sweet bird song to any listeners other than her own kind.

“I know. We are safe though. It is the ones whose lower jaws slope backwards; not those tall, arrogant and brutal cowards who slew Magdus. These forest dwellers fear us, respect us, and won’t come closer.”

Abitha sighed. “Eresha, the tall ones plan to attack us, and they also have bloody plans for their distant cousins here. They covet their lands. Now we know their daggers can harm us, we must do something about the situation soon.”

“Lord Oberon already knows of the problem,” Eresha observed. “He proposes starting a war between the two races of man. He thinks their mutual destruction is our best protection“

“We don’t know that for sure, sister. It is mere rumour, and such talk is not permitted. You know that. Oberon wants us all to meet here shortly for his official announcement of intention.”
“Is that why you brought me here?”

“Yes, Sister. Look, the rest of our friends approach. Lord Oberon comes too. We are about to find out what must soon be.”

More living lightning bolts flashed on, illuminating the leaves and branches of several trees. They formed a circle around a single figure, an organic amphitheatre for his presentation. The mortal watchers shielded their eyes and retreated a little, continuing to watch, unaware that their presence was easily detected.

Unlike the rest of the Fairie, Oberon wore gold leaf. He too was unaffected by the incessant rain. “Children,” he said, in a dark mournful song, “I have taken my deep reflective council and reached my conclusions. Many of you have slandered me with desire to cause a war between the two species that are rising up before our eyes from their common ape ancestors. I forgive you such thoughts, for I did consider such avenues, only to reject them in favour of action I will now divulge to you.

Already, the mortals of both species have forgotten how they found the secret of fire, and a few already experiment with wheel power. Each has people who see us and people who do not see us. The swarthy ones fear us, and hide from us. They venerate us and lay flowers at shrines in our honour. They would bond with us as more than distant allies if they could. We know that dare not come to pass, for our kisses can poison their hearts too much with love. They are not ready to fully unite with us.

The others fear us but do not venerate us. They see us as a threat, aiming to eradicate us. The death of Magdus at their hands will make them bold. They know that they can hurt us. We are too few to hold out in straight battle and our magic alone can now save us.

I propose a radical change in our World, in which we and the race we call Neanderthal shall survive unharmed but largely unseen. The others will largely perish. Their survivors shall see us only as mythological, and a fantasy story at best. A few who will get to know of us and dare try to talk of us to others shall be dismissed as lunatics.“

“Forgive my questioning, my Lord, but how shall this change be achieved?”

“Dear Abitha, you ask what I am about to relate anyway. I propose what I have already started to unleash upon the new sapiens. This unseasonal and un-natural rain is my doing, as you know, and it will get much worse. The mortals live by necessity close the mighty rivers, like here, by the Jordan, and around their globe they live in villages close by other rivers. Their need for water means they set up cities close to such resources and rarely move more than twenty miles from home and fresh water. The water will be made to flood by the rains. They will face floods like they never experienced before. Most will perish. Some will find high ground or boats. “

Abitha cut in, and her tears made it look as if the rain had soaked her face despite her charms. “What of the dear animals also needing the waters of life? Surely they cannot be allowed to drown too?”

Oberon smiled. “Most won’t. Many will come with us to the hidden realms. Others will be saved by the humans we allow to survive

“Who are the survivors to be, my lord?” asked Abitha

“A very good question, child. I have studied the mortals, and they are a superstitious lot. They struggle with extremely limited science to grasp how they came to be. Their shamans peddle folklore about how they were generated. I intend to present them with evidence to fuel such notions. I have developed several religious visions and prophesies, to inspire them to create a whole industry of belief. It will help take their minds off us as they seek out what isn’t really there at all. It begins with a human near here, by the name of Noah. I will appear to him as a servant of a god, perhaps for him, the only God, and tell him of the flood to come. I will give him time to build a boat to round up the animals of the vicinity and take them with him. He can have the goats, cats, dogs, mice, rats, etc. In time, in relating the story set down about him his descendants will probably imagine a greater menagerie than he is capable of carrying, After all, he is not likely to catch tigers or bears at short notice, and he knows nothing of Kangaroos or other marsupials. It could be centuries before they discover the lands we travelled round mere hours ago.

Nevertheless the stories we will feed Noah’s mind will hide us and the people in the woods right now from harm. The fact that their religions are false will punish them for the death of Magdus too. Within a few generations we will be forgotten in favour of greater entities who have no real being. Only after death will the murderers and their descendants learn of their foolishness, an instant before their oblivions. That is my plan. It seems better than slaughtering the mortals this very night for their crimes.”

“A lovely plan, Lord”, Eresha said, smiling. “But please don’t let Noah have the unicorns. I want them to come with us.”

“As you wish, child. The new sapiens will not get any of the unicorns.”

As the people in the rain watched, the lightning finally flickered out, though a few bolts now flickered on close to them. A smiling lady reached out a hand and the men found themselves bone dry despite the increasing rain. yes” The lady spoke, and not in birdsong, but in a voice they understood, though it stayed as sweet as birdsong. “I have important news for you. The rain will not stop. In fact, it will get much worse. These plains will soon be deep underwater. You must move away for your own safety. Come to shelter with us for a while, by a fire that never goes out, and where mammoth and unicorn roam aplenty.”

After negotiation, the men followed the lady in spider-web dress and were never seen in the land of the rains again, except by a very privileged and gifted few.

The thunder made itself known to the terrified Noah as he tried to shelter from the storm in a narrow cave. Its baritone voice boomed out, “I am making an end of all flesh, for the Earth is filled with violence through the flesh. Behold, I will destroy the peoples of the Earth. You and your family are alone to be spared. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood…”

The instructions continued for a while. Noah listened and fled in fear, awe and faith to start work on the tasks ordained to him.

Oberon rejoined his own people, laughing. “That’ll teach them…”

Arthur Chappell

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