CW Survivor – Challenge 17: Mash-Up

Write a story that intertwines two existing stories or characters.

Leonard crashed through the underbrush, muttering to himself, trying to ignore the ringing in his ears and remember where the rendezvous was supposed to be. Behind him, the slow, steady tramping of the search party continued to close in. His only consolation was that they weren’t searching for him, they were all looking for the same thing, he just had to find the guy first. Ahead of him, a distinctively gnarled oak guarded the clearing where he and Harry had agreed to meet once they were out.

He burst into the clearing, panting from the exertion of lugging around his excess weight. “Harry!” he gasped “Come out, they’re right behind me, we’ve got to go.” The two of them had split up after their escape, and though Harry had taken the longer route to this spot, Leonard knew that Harry would have gotten here first, as long as he avoided the searchers.

“Leonard, you made it.” A note of surprise tinged Harry’s voice as he stepped out from behind a tree on the far side of the clearing, looking as calm and collected as anyone could while wearing a red rubber clown nose. “Are you ready for the next part of the plan?”

Leonard’s face fell, “I can’t remember the plan, Harry. I just need to get back to my kids.”

“How many times did we go over the plan? You honestly don’t remember?”

“I had it when we escaped, but you know how the sounds are … my ears are still ringing from the last one and if you hadn’t written me that note, I wouldn’t be here.” Leonard searched his pockets for the note, but found nothing except his old headphones.

Harry sighed. He thought for a minute, until the faint sounds of the search party carried into the clearing. “All right, if I tell you the plan one last time, can you remember it?”

“I will try. The plan gets me back to my kids doesn’t it?”

“Of course, of course. Alright, do you see that hill just on the other side of the river?” Harry pointed behind Leonard, away from the sounds of the oncoming search party. “If you go straight over that hill, there’s a town that has a TV station. That’s the next step. We have to get our message out, and TV is the best way to do it.”

“My kids will be watching TV, they’ll see me, they’ll know I’m coming home, right?”

Leonard started to shuffle toward the hill. He still moved slowly, and there was nothing Harry could do about Leonard’s weight until they had more time. Judging by the noise they were making, the advancing search party would be in the clearing in minutes. Harry checked the gun he had taken from a guard, that might buy him some time.

“Yes, Leonard they will know where you are and what you’re doing. That’s the plan.”

“It’s been so long, I can still see their faces though. I hope they rememb-”

A single gunshot, and Harry was off again, one step ahead of the searchers.

K: Wow, interesting mash-up here. I’m a big fan of both Of Mice and Men and anything by Kurt Vonnegut (in this case, his short story “Harrison Bergeron,” from the book Welcome to the Monkey House). After I realized who these characters were, I went back and read it again, and Leonard’s death strikes me even more now. Damn, this week is a tough one.

This was my back-burner idea for most of the week, but I never came up with anything that bettered it, so I went with it. I thought the stories fit well together, but the clunkiest part was the story that Harry has to tell Leonard, I don’t feel like I came up with a good story that had anywhere near the power of the rabbits in ‘Of Mice and Men’ (but then again, I guess I shouldn’t expect to equal Steinbeck). So, as a result the story is kind of just … there. If I had come up with some motivation for Leonard, I think this would be stronger.

No immunity this week (and no non-submissions to bail me out). Fingers crossed that I get to continue.

CW Survivor – Challenge 16: Misunderstanding

This time the story was to revolve around a consequential misunderstanding.

God and the Devil walked into a bar.

“Ow!” The Devil had pinched his fingers in the door, he made his way slowly to his stool sucking on his bruised digits. He was wearing a ridiculous outfit, the loud print on his shirt somehow managed to sublimely clash with the purple suspenders. He was playing the part of the gringo tourist to perfection. God, on the other end of the spectrum, dressed like the townspeople of this resort village, simple white clothes, cool and refreshing.

They both ordered a beer, and sat quietly for a minute or two, each silently marking the occasion. “Four days until Christmas, eh?” The Devil broke the ice. “That Jesus kid was one move I didn’t see coming. Well played, old man.” God shrugged off the compliment with a bit of a half-smile. He would never admit it, but, even 2012 years after the fact, the praise of his rival always made his day. “Well, I had to do something to counter the whole Tree of Knowledge fiasco right off the start.” The Devil made a theatrical bow, with multiple flourishes, which only served to knock over his bottle, spilling beer onto the bar.

The elderly bartender moved quickly to soak up the resulting mess, and replaced the now half-empty bottle with a full one fresh from the icebox. God watched him intently as he worked, and, when the bartender became uncomfortable under his steady gaze, God spoke. “Do not be afraid, Diego. I have a very simple question for you, that my companion and I have gone back and forth about for quite a long time. Perhaps you could settle our argument?”

Transfixed by the Zen-like calm of his patron, and, having been the arbiter of many bar arguments in his time, Diego nodded. God waved his hand, and all the usual bustle and background noise of the bar ceased. Had Diego been able to break eye contact and look around, he would have seen everyone except himself and the two deities at the bar frozen mid-step. God held his gaze and began to explain.

“Do you know who I am?” Diego nodded, preternaturally calm. “You are God. And that is the Devil.”

“More importantly, do you know who you are?” Again, Diego’s eyes remained locked on God’s while he calmly answered. “I am Diego Lopez Cruz, the 100 billionth human being born on Earth since the beginning of time.”

“Perfect. Well done. Now, to the question at hand. The Devil and I started all this-”

“What do you mean?”

“You know, creation, humans, all that stuff. Anyway, we did it because we had a bet, one that we agreed would be settled by whomever organically resulted from the years of life here on Earth. 100 billion seemed like a nice round number, and big enough that it would distance you from the beginnings, but not so big that it would take too long.”

God’s gaze had intensified, Diego remained mesmerized, although his expression had started to slip from calm toward the beginnings of fright. The Devil glanced at his watch, smirked, and coughed into his hand. God glanced at him, and the moment their stare was interrupted, the bartender sagged onto the bar. He looked up with a wild gleam in his eye. “This is it? This is the meaning of life? We are all only here to settle your bar bet?” He gestured wildly around the room, and then for the first time noticed everyone else frozen in time. “What about them, are they just extras? There is no meaning to their life at all? My wife and children? My friends?” He sank to his knees behind the bar.

“You’re losing him.” The Devil pointed out, trying to be helpful. God jumped behind the bar and tried to re-establish eye contact with Diego, but to no avail. Deep in the throes of existential angst, the bartender would not respond to any of God’s entreaties.

“I don’t understand. I thought it all meant something real, I thought we were more than lab rats.”

God cleared his throat, “Yes, perhaps you were a bit misled there, but the important thing is that you focus here and answer this question. Suppose you’re stranded on a desert island with a beautiful woman—”

“Time!” shouted the Devil gleefully, slapping his watch down on the bar. “There’s been no answer, and we agreed that a tie was a win for me. I got you again!”

“Fine.” God sighed. He snapped his fingers, winking the bar and everything else out of existence. “Fucking self-awareness. That world was screwed up from the word ‘go’. How about we go best out of three?”

K: I love the casual style here, but [an]other one packed more info into this small space and ultimately felt to me like the stronger entry. I like this one, but it feels incomplete, because I have to admit I don’t see the misunderstanding here, even after a couple of reads.

B: I freaking love this story. Every sentence seems meticulously written, and there’s a ton of great, subtle humor. But for the life of me I can’t find the supposed misunderstanding. If I could, it might be worth immunity.

This was the idea that came to me.  After some thought and discussion, it really doesn’t fit the challenge criteria, but I regret nothing!

CW Survivor – Challenge 15: Meeting of the Mimes

A story in which the main characters do not speak.


K: I love how much the visual adds to the style here. It obviously wouldn’t work in a novel, but in the confines of a short story, it effectively added to the tension. Both characters made choices, and both will face strong consequences (inwardly as well as outwardly) as a result. Very fine work here.

There surely wasn’t a dearth of strong writing here, but the most creative entry gets Immunity from me: that being the deep space adventure in [the entry above].

B: This challenge forces the creativity out of everybody. Not sure why, but the simple repetitive letter really does awaken my senses to this other dimension. Obviously, this style only works as a short story, but it maximizes its potential here.

I loved all of these premises, and was amazed you guys came up with nine more original ideas after we had nine great ones last year. … When I’m debating between a couple of entries for immunity as I did here, I think, “Which entry am I going to remember a year from now?” And that one is:
Immunity: Claudia Joins the Unbugs


You should have seen me go back and forth on the best way to format this one.  I liked making the drone a part of the story, but I didn’t like how short I had to make the story in order to keep the thing readable.   I do have a lot of impulses to use formatting and such in my writings, I blame an adolescent fascination with e.e. cummings.

CW Survivor – Challenge 13: Cliche

Concoct a story that uses some overused cliches, but make it good.

It was the beginning of our third week in the jungle when we found the town. Mitchell went first (he always went first) down the empty space between the huts, peering into each of them as he passed until he finally turned and gave me the all clear signal.

Not quite believing him (I remembered his previous guarantees of safety, and had the piranha bites to prove it) I cautiously made my way through the deserted village. Once I was past all the houses there really wasn’t anything to see except the path that disappeared into the jungle as it continued up the hill.

In whispers we discussed our theories as to what had happened to the villagers. The place obviously hadn’t been abandoned for long, and there were no signs of foul play. If they had decided to leave, the path only went two directions and we hadn’t passed them on the way in …

Mitchell took the lead as we continued up the hill.

We stood in the trees watching the two huts. The one that faced us had smoke coming from a hole in the roof, someone was in there. The other could be abandoned for all we knew, there was no indication from either that the inhabitants knew we were out here. Mitchell was the one who finally went in, but when he hadn’t come out in 10 minutes, I decided to investigate the other hut. Knocking politely, and making my presence known, I pushed into the small cramped place.

“Are you from the East or the West?” The man sitting in the corner had essentially become a part of the wall, even after I managed to get my heart back into my chest and looked in the direction of the voice, I had trouble seeing him.

“The East, I guess.”

“That is good, were you not I would have shrunk you to the size of a salamander and kept you in that jar.” The wall gestured to something that may well have been a jar.

“Is that what happened to my friend?”

“Your friend went into the wrong hut. Nothing but savages in there.”

“Excuse me.” I ran out of the hut, charged around the back and barged my way into the first hut.

“Are you from the East or the West?” The man sitting in the corner had essentially become a part of the wall, even after I looked in the direction of the voice, I had trouble seeing him.

Thinking quickly, I decided on my answer, “The West.”

“You lie. If that were true you would have followed my orders to destroy the Eastern village.”

“Where is Mitchell?”

The wall gestured to something that may well have been a jar. From inside came a tiny voice, crying indecipherably.

“Excuse me.” I ran out of the hut, charged around the back and barged my way back into the second hut.

“There’s another village on the East side of the hill that you command, isn’t there?”

“Yes, and they have moved to strike against the West tonight.”

“The other one said the same thing.”

“Then tonight, they will all die, and it will only be the two of us who remain.”

“You have to help me, that bastard shrunk my friend.”

“No one speaks of my brother that way!”

The hut began to grow in size, the man in the corner growing with it to unimaginable size. It was only when he reached to pick me up that I realized I would spend the rest of my days in that jar, with only the wall for company.

K: I adore it. Many of these made the cliches work, but this one actually made the cliches a positive. The keepers are twin brothers? I didn’t see that coming. Considering that this was the last one, it’s amazing how much the cliches kept surprising me when they showed up. Whip-smart.

5 points out of 5

B: Not sure how to review this other than I don’t always like surrealism but this one nails it. You guys are so darn creative that I usually I am glad I am a judge and not a contestant. This is beautiful.

5 points out of 5

CW Survivor – Challenge 12: Fortunately, Unfortunately

Given a prompt, write a story whose sentences alternate beginning with “fortunately” and “unfortunately”.

I tried out for the team so I could meet chicks.

Fortunately, I’ve already met a few, hiding in the dugout.
Unfortunately, I can’t get them to tell me their names.
Fortunately, none of us are going anywhere until after the game, so I’ve got time.
Unfortunately, they really didn’t like it when I tried to pick them up.
Fortunately, my attempt made them finally notice me.
Unfortunately, it’s immediately apparent that they’re needy, loud, and obnoxious.
Fortunately, I know that the fastest way to their heart is through the stomach.
Unfortunately, while I was digging for worms, I didn’t see the line drive that broke my jaw and, after bouncing off my face, drove in the game-winning run for the other team. Chicks are nothing but trouble.

B: Ha! I knew someone would go this direction. Good job holding off until the end, and whoa, this dude has issues.

4 points out of 6

I have one class left before I finish my major.

Unfortunately, I left college twenty years ago.
Fortunately, my field hasn’t changed much.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a reputable Sanskrit program these days.
Fortunately, I think it will soon come back into fashion.
Unfortunately, no one believes my theory this dead language will be the language of the undead.
Fortunately, that means I’ll be the one who leads humanity in their fight against the zombie horde.
Unfortunately, the zombie uprising is starting right now.
Fortunately, I’m one of the few who were prepared. This is my moment!

K: You know, one of my all-time favorite entries to this challenge also involved zombies, and I’m not really a zombie enthusiast. Still, I love this one as well, particularly the initial Sanskrit line and the idea that it’s likely to be the language of the dead.

3 points out of 6

Our team ended up the low scorer this time around.  So I had to spend the immunity chip I earned earlier in the game.  Now I’m out there with no safety net.

CW Survivor – Challenge 11: You’re So Vain

Choose an iconic song.  Explain where the lyrics really came from.


The robot is complete. I’ve written the startup and mission commands into a song that I have passed on to John as we agreed (I even disguised it as Paul’s idea just in case). The Jealously Unforgiving Device for Enemies will be activated to receive commands with a simple “Hey J.U.D.E.” Finally, we won’t have to listen to those sad songs that he’s always writing since Yoko came around. Once it “takes her into its heart” and disposes of her, things will start to get better.

This thing was made to find her, and once it has found her, to go out, get her, and completely consume her so that the body will be hidden under its skin. It’s the perfect plan, I defy anyone to make it better. We could never get a human to do this, but a robot will never feel the weight of this horrible (but necessary) act on its shoulders.

The best part is that I’ve written the commands such that the robot will be completely autonomous. Once it’s directed to begin its mission, there is language in the commands which make it clear that it should not expect any further assistance from anyone. On the off chance that we need to abort the mission once it has been initiated, there is one fail safe command. It is a complicated sequence of nonsense syllables that would take about four minutes to fully verbalize. Thus I can’t see how they would ever inadvertently make it into a pop song.

We must convince John to record the song quickly, so that after its release, some unknowing teenager will trigger the robot making it almost impossible to track the scheme back to us. This plan is too important to fail, the fate of our musical careers rest on the ability of this robot to perform its designated task.

This will work. It has to.


K: This is one of those instances where I have no idea how to do the challenge right until a player shows me how it’s done. It actually makes a twisted sort of sense while also getting in some warranted digs on the most tediously long string of “na” in the history of song (and if it isn’t, please don’t link me to something that’s worse).

6 points out of 6

B: The J.U.D.E. device is kind of funny, but the tie-ins to actual song lyrics are a bit forced (other than the fail safe command, which made me smirk). Also, the plot is ridiculously complex. That’s not a problem in itself, but it feels less like a joke than the author slapping a plot together at the last minute. Either way, I think we’ve had enough Ringo for this competition, eh?

You know what, the second time I read this I like it a lot more.

5 points out of 6

This kind of thing is kind of right up my alley (particularly since Kelly seems partial to my brand of absurdity).  This was not my original idea for this song (initially I was going to ascribe different meanings to each of the “na na na na na na na” lines), but once I started writing everything out, this pretty quickly became the idea that flowed the best. (Yes, Beau’s comments are kind of odd, but he was fried from a bunch of other stuff, so I’m not going to give him too hard of a time.)

Our team was the highest scoring this week, so we continue on with 6 of the remaining 11 players.

CW Survivor – Challenge 10: Seemingly Useless Superpower

Give a character a useless superpower, but make a good story out of it.

The video display sprang to life in the KZZZ news room. Lester cued up the most recent footage from Stephanie, the newest journalist on staff. The story started with her standing in front of a trailer that appeared to be parked somewhere in the middle of the woods.

“My attempt to interview the reclusive Mr. Smith went about as I had expected.”
(footage of the door being slammed in Stephanie’s face)
“But my intuition told me that there was a story here and so I pressed onward, attempting to shout my questions through an unlocked window on the other side of the trailer that I managed to work open.
(footage of a window being slammed closed in Stephanie’s face)

Stephanie continued to document her dogged attempts to interview the subject, but Lester’s mind had already wandered. He couldn’t use this. If this was the kind of crap that they were teaching in journalism schools these days, he was going to have to get out there himself and show … Wait. He stopped the tape and rewound a couple of seconds. Stephanie’s makeshift contraption consisting of a remote control car, and a camcorder, slipped into his house through a ventilation shaft had managed to catch a glimpse of Mr. Smith’s face. With the screen frozen on that oddly familiar visage, Lester moved to the archive room, he knew which tapes he was searching for and soon he had a pile of them carried back to his workstation. He worked his way through each tape methodically, comparing the subjects of countless old human-interest pieces that were never aired with the footage of Mr. Smith.

They were all the same person. How could that be? This guy was uninteresting (although clearly very concerned with his privacy), and none of these pieces had anything remarkable about them. What was this power he had over investigative reporters?

Lester thought about calling in the Z-team and making this their next project. But, who could be better suited to do this than a journalistic veteran like himself? These were his reporters that were falling victim to this man’s strange power over them. It should be his story to break. He grabbed his notebook and a jacket off the back of his chair, and bolted out of the room.

K: I read this one a few times to get the full effect. I’m definitely interested in seeing more, although I worry that the superpower is too useful. It feels more like a film than anything. I don’t know how to score this one. So many good things, so much more I’d like to know about it.

3 points out of 5


4 points out of 5

This is one of my favorite ideas that I’ve had this game.  The useless/impotent superhero theme is something that I’ve always been fond of (see my final entry in the first version of this game), so that’s probably why.

CW Survivor – Challenge 8: Punch to a Quick End

Given two lines, write the shortest story that connects them.  The story must be coherent and complete.  The given sentences are in bold in my entry below.

Your stunned silence is very reassuring. I’m not the dad, the river card won you the baby.  Your look at your new son says “I will need lots of beer.  Better get used to these bars, kid.

I messed around quite a bit with this story idea to get it as short as it ended up.  Toward the end, I started to wonder if I was losing some of the meaning of the story by cutting so ruthlessly.  Judges?

K: It’s a different take on this, but the lines don’t work seamlessly with the story. It’s…awkward, though the story itself is interesting enough to warrant a decent score.

3 points out of 5

B: The grammar here is very awkward. It seems like the tense changes from 1st to 2nd person in the the second sentence. If the entire thing is 2nd person, then it’s not entirely clear. Either way, it’s creative but doesn’t really do much for me.

2 points out of 5

Character count: 149 (2nd shortest of 13; +1 bonus point)

So yeah, apparently my worries were not unfounded.  The idea is that it’s one narrator throughout, but at the end he’s narrating his opponent’s thoughts.  Confusing?  Perhaps.  Awkward? Definitely.

Non-submissions decided this one, so our team continues on with 6 members.

CW Survivor – Challenge 7: Create-a-Challenge Grab Bag

Given a bunch of challenge options (gathered from submissions to the previous challenge), choose one and complete it.

I chose to create a movie and then review it.

Life is Peachy

Given the fact that we have seen jukebox musical movies return to a viable genre in recent years (Across the Universe, Mama Mia!, etc.)  It was only a matter of time until someone took it too far.  Now we have “Life is Peachy” featuring the music of Korn.

The story follows Jonathan, a kilt-wearing, bagpipe-playing child who is going insane (because of the pain in his brain).  To say that he has a rough childhood is understatement, and “Life is Peachy” makes no effort toward subtlety in dealing with his various trials and tribulations.  The pain (in his brain that’s driving him insane) doesn’t need to be portrayed by the actors because we are forced to see every bruise and indignity as it happens.

At the same time, this movie has the sheen and slick production that makes it hard to get inside the protagonists brain (that is in pain, and going insane).  Rather the whole thing seems like it’s a coldly calculated attempt to pander to disaffected youth.  The reader may ask whether disaffected youth of this generation are familiar with the music of Korn.  This critic would say that the makers of “Life is Peachy” missed their release date by about 10 years.

Unfortunately, Korn’s music really doesn’t translate well into any medium other than its original (case in point – and this movie is no exception.  The first song is “Make Me Bad”, which is a command the director seems to have taken to heart.  The music seems particularly unsuited for a musical due to its lack of narrative, instead just spewing a general feeling of anger.  That emotion comes through in this movie very well.  By the time I left the theater I was plenty angry.

Rating – I demand hazard pay if I’m going to have to see movies like this.

K: The runner with the song lyrics repeated in parenthetical form was pretty funny, but it seemed like this idea had more legs than it showed.

3 points out of 5

B: This was the first song I’ve ever heard by Korn, so hopefully there’s no inside jokes I missed. But I liked the running parenthetical joke a lot.

3 points out of 5

Conceived and written at the last second.  That’s becoming the theme of this version of survivor for me.  If I had devoted more time, I think there’s a much better entry in this idea.

CW Survivor – Challenge 6: Create a Challenge

Come up with a creative writing challenge of your own:


I know what you’re thinking: “Did she write six stories, or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself.

Write a story in six parts (300 word maximum for each part) in which each section uses the perspective of one of six different characters.

But being this is Spookymilk Survivor, the most competitive creative writing game in the world, and this one entry could blow your chances at writing immortality, you’ve got to ask yourself one question:

This does not have to be a Rashomon-type story where each perspective retells the same scene. However, all the parts should contribute to the overall plot and combine to tell a cohesive story.

“Do I feel lucky?”

The catch is that once a character’s perspective has been used, that character cannot make an appearance in any of the following scenes.  They can’t be mentioned, referred to, or conversed with after their scene.  That narrative bullet has been shot.  Thus, the first scene could involve all six of the characters whose perspective we will see, but the final scene will have only the character from whose perspective the scene is told.

Well do ya, punk?

Upon submission I kind of wished that I had added some guidelines for a plot or something.  But at the same time, I mostly just liked the wrinkle that I did include, so I was interested to see what the judges would think of this one.

K: More brilliance. At first it indeed read like a retread of last season’s Rashomon game, which I intended on running again. However, if I ran this potentially very difficult but rewarding challenge, I’d simply remove Rashomon because this is better.

4 points on a forced curve (5 point max.)

B: I love this, especially the “catch.” In fact, this could be great as the final challenge. I’d be very excited to see what people would do with this, and thus it gets my top score.

5 points on a forced curve (5 point max.)

Those scores were good enough for me to bank an immunity for the next time our team loses.

CW Survivor – Challenge 5: Dewey Defeats Truman

Take a news story and write one as if something else (the opposite, or at least very different) happened.


The polio virus announced today that it had developed a vaccine that rendered those who were inoculated immune to Jonas Salk.  Viri that had received the infusion of dead cells harvested from the leading medical researcher’s dry, flaky scalp reported no instances of death by Salk.

“While it is interesting that they are aware of the principles of vaccination,” commented Dr. Maurice Hilleman (human), “it is important to point out that Jonas Salk doesn’t kill polio viruses, immune systems primed by immunogens generated by exposure to inactive contagions kill polio viruses.”

Although acknowledging that the news has “gone human” among the viral community, spokesvirus Tetanus quickly clamped its jaws shut when asked what further advances humans would see from viral scientists.

K: When I posted this challenge I said I didn’t know what the best entries would look like. Well, now I do. This one grabbed me with the headline and never let go.

5 points out of 5

B: Okay, this is the first one to literally make me laugh out loud. From the headline to “spokesvirus Tetanus,” this one kills all the way through.

5 points out of 5

This came from an initial thought of “Jonas Salk discovery first step toward eradicating water polo” – which seemed so straightforward that I was surprised that a Google search turned up no other fake news stories using that joke.  Maybe I’ll send it to The Onion…

CW Survivor – Challenge 4: 20 Questions (Team)

Given the answers, our team had to come up with the questions. My contributions are below:

Well, first things first, as they say.

The prophecy says we won’t escape until I’m pregnant, what are we going to do?

This answer was modified into something less clever by my teammates, and so never received judgment.

Jesus was not amused

Peter denied him the bread three times?


That’s what the postman said, but I didn’t believe him

No, I didn’t give birth to our son yet, why did you think the male was here?

Someone else suggested the male/mail thing, but this horrible pun was my doing.

Her choice of undergarments was definitely interesting.

How did she get the nickname “Old Ironsides”?

I thought it would be the lead singer, but it ended up being the drummer.

Most enjoyable post-Beatles career, John or Ringo?

I wanted to, but then Stalin said no.

I’ve never seen anyone eat as much as you did last night, did you purge?


The team won 5 of the 20 points and ended up in last place. One team member down, 6 of us remain.

CW Survivor – Challenge 3: Second Opinion Nursery Rhyme

Write a nursery rhyme from the perspective of one of the other characters.

I’m an informant cat
Who flipped an informant mouse
Still living with the crooked man
and informing on his house.

K: Okay, first impression: if this is merely the beginning, I’m going to be handing out a lot of 5s. Given the soul-crushingly large number of non-submitters, I’m cool with that. Lovely worded, and not an obvious twist.

5 points out of 5

B: Wow, what a start. The rhythm is perfect and it’s hilarious to boot.

5 points out of 5

Blah.  Spent 5 minutes on this.  Wasn’t particularly inspired by the challenge and the losers were already determined by non-submissions.  Consider this a get-me-over fastball.

Knew this was a winner from the start!

CW Survivor – Challenge 2: Bantam Bulwyr

Write the worst opening line for a novel that you can think of.

Delayed 48 minutes, a train pulled into a station where a crowd reminded Calvin of sex offender locator maps of his childhood neighborhood: containing people he didn’t want to meet.

K: The exact length of the delay is a nice bit of uninteresting explanation, and using such a strong subject to make such a thin comparison is the stuff of bad-writing legend.

4 out of 5 points

B: This sentence is so bad grammatically (intentional, I presume) that it’s hard to find it amusing. Still, it does feel like a tragically awful novel is yet to come.

3 out of 5 points

Trying to get this under 30 words did me no favors in the realm of intelligibility, but even so, this wasn’t quite as good as last year’s entry. 3.5 is a nice solid middle of the road score though. Maybe I’ll stay under the radar for a while this time…

CW Survivor – Challenge 1: Fiction 59

As always, the contest begins with a story told in exactly 59 words.

Trevor shoveled until the hole was complete. Now he had to figure out how to fill it. Boss’s self-contradicting command “Kill the snitch and bury him in the desert,” rang in his ears as his gun fired. As Trevor’s body fell into the hole, the elaborate pulley system began to tilt the sand down around him. Job well done.

KELLY: Wow…Trevor is one loyal dude. I won’t forget this one.

5 out of 5 points

BEAU: Elaborate pulley system. Love it! Unfortunately, “self-contradicting” gives this one away maybe a split second before it should, but it is totally saved by the ending. Job well done, indeed!

In fact, this entry rated as my favorite this week.

5 out of 5 points

Off to a good start.  This one fell together nicely as I wrote it (my first draft was only 67 words, pretty easy to shave it down).  Trevor is one loyal snitch all right, I had some backstory in mind that might have made sense of that particular dichotomy, but I only had 59 words, so the world will never know.