Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption (RESULTS)  (Read 1680 times)

Since the last theme for the Fortnightly Writing Competition was a Faustian bargain, I thought about taking it in the opposite direction. The theme this time is redemption.


As English is not my first language, I find the word Redemption a fascinating one in how it encapsulates both divine absolution but also personal amends, making it a very broad term, yet simple concept.
The task will be to write a story about the atonement of someone, and how they are, or try to be, redeemed.
Deadline is August 3rd.
« Last Edit: 16 Aug 2017, 11:29 by Blondbraid »

Mandle

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption
« Reply #1 on: 20 Jul 2017, 16:09 »
Step 8

I rang the doorbell and Candice answered.

I was on Step 8 of the AA program, making my peace with everyone on my list that I felt I had wronged due to my addiction. And Candice, while not at the tippy-top of the list, was in the top five, after my parents and sisters.

Now, I don't remember all that much of our time shacked-up together. I was mining my way deep down from rock-bottom by that point. But I do remember there was blood and violence on a daily basis, and this made me nervous to see her face again. Firstly, for what I would read on it when she saw me, but mostly for the scars that still might remain from whatever I had done to her.

Through the narrowly cracked door I saw her sleepy eye grow round in surprise. Now me, I drank night and day while we were together, but I supposed she was still a night-person, sleeping away the day and indulging during the secret  hours while the judgemental world was sleeping.
 
Her one eye that I could see glanced around, as the last, dusty rays of the red setting sun faded rapidly upwards towards the top of the door, searching for those very judges I suspected. Then her eye fell back upon me, and goddamn if it didn't crease up in that way which meant the impossible...

But, yes, as she threw open the door I saw the beaming smile on her face. A beautiful, unmarked face.

Candice, the delicate, pale beauty that I had dreaded apologising to leapt forward and threw her arms around me.

She said "Oh Joe! I've waited and waited and now you're back! Come in! Come in!".

And her embrace drew me inside and we sat and she asked "How about a drink?", and right there was our drinks' cabinet stocked full of whiskey, vodka, and gin, just like always.

I told her "Candice, that's kinda what I'm here about. I'm on the program now and...".

Her brow furrowed and she spat "NO! That's not MY Joe! You need a drink as much as I do!".

I said "I'm here to apologise. I'm on Step 8 and...".

Her expression softened and she said "Joe, dear sweet Joe, I would only accept an apology over a drink. Just... one... sweet... long... drink."

I looked into her eyes and started to feel dislocated, like the years were ticking backwards, and that, yeah, HELL YEAH, a drink sounded nice right about now.

Gin on ice with a twist of lime, and then a vodka and orange, and then gin on ice, and then vodka, screw the orange, and then gin, screw the ice, and then gin, and then gin, screw the glass, and then...

Through my happy, guilty haze I saw her smile again, but, what the fuck?! Her incisors were growing long and sharp as she leaned in towards my neck. This familar image brought back a flood of memories that I guess my state at that time had fogged. The violence! It was never from me! The blood however...

By this point, I was drunk, sure, but not constantly drunk.

I reached into the neck of my T-shirt and brought out the symbol of my higher power I bought at a thrift store during Step 2.

Yeah, it was a cliché, and I've never been religious, but the crucifix was as good as any other metaphor to represent my "higher power".

Candice hissed and drew back. The crucifix held before me, I forced her down into the corner of the sofa and articulately demanded:

"WHATSH THESH FUCKSH?!"

Her incisors retracted and she glanced away from me in shame and said:

"I'm sorry, Joe. I tried. I really tried. But once I started feeding off you I couldn't get the same buzz from anyone else. It was the booze in your blood that got me hooked, and I can't drink it straight. It has to be a Bloody Joe. Ever since you left, I've preyed on drunks from bars whenever I can, but... I could never forget the sweet taste of our home-brew!"

I felt my fierce expression soften and told her:

"I think I might be able to help you, Candice."

It's now about 4 months later. Candice has been clean for about 13 weeks. She fell off the wagon only once, fairly early on as is expected, on the way home from a meeting when we happened to walk by a frat-house party in full swing...

Yuck! What a scene that turned into...

So now, I'm her sponser and we never miss a meeting.

Candice has finally reached Step 8: Make a list of all those you feel you harmed due to your addiction.

We go home and brew a large pot of coffee for me. She will drink some after I've had a bit.

This could be a very long night...
« Last Edit: 21 Jul 2017, 16:08 by Mandle »

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption
« Reply #2 on: 23 Jul 2017, 22:57 »
Hopefully I can redeem myself this time around. (roll)

Mandle

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption
« Reply #3 on: 23 Jul 2017, 23:53 »
Hopefully I can redeem myself this time around. (roll)

I can see it now!

Quote
REDEEMING MYSELF

There I sat, slaving away over my keyboard in an attempt to redeem myself in the AGS Fortnightly Writing Competition when suddenly...

Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption
« Reply #4 on: 26 Jul 2017, 08:52 »
Queened

"Bae, we can't be pimpin' dis Kimmy-ass shit.  We's only on you-know versal basic income, girl.  Dey gonna 'spect us," Jin said.

"You's one universal basic bitch, is all," Ray-Sa dropped the mic.

Fuckin' whack-ass Macrosoft default headset mic.  Thirty credits, max.  You's jackin' swag from a Techtopia, you gotta go big or go the fuck home, Ray always said. Fo real, shit was headlined on her LifeStream, 'bove the gif of her droppin' her stepmom wit a roundhouse that make Runa Russey blush in her Octagon. 

'Go big or go the fuck home,' --Ray

Ray-Sa stomp that shit plastic microphone to 'fetti.  Snatch the gold-plated 50-billion-karat diamond mic, huge disco-ball-size icy. Like that Egypt-Queen head-thingy from D-Va's music videos.  Something a baller boy might buy you, if boys planetside weren't all scrub garbage nowdays. 

Jin make a bitch face at Ray, check her nano-watch like that rabbit mutherfucker from that Alice in Happyland VR shit.  "You cray-cray, bitch.  We gotta bounce, like yesterday, hoe."

Ray not listenin', "Aw hellz yeah.  I'mma own the 'tubes wit dis fuckin' mic.  Queen of the Livestream," Ray hold the shit up like a trophy, smile glintin' gold with black holes where the teeth gone.

Just getting a fuckin' ticket outta Low-Zone they had to mob some stupid rich ghetto-tourist for the high-status card.  Jin had a MD, fuckin brain surgeon training even, but the robodocs put her out on the street.  Malpractice for a human to even touch someone with a scalpel.  So Jin mostly turned tricks. Ray didn't like it when Jin got fucked by someone other than herself, so Ray did fights for the VR when she could.  Ray was a pitbull.  She could take a wailing -- learned that by getting beat to shit nightly by a drunk-ass dad, after auto-trucks took his haulin' job.  Problem was everyone had a cam and was gladiating nowdays, and only rich hoes with billionaire parents and network pull could make any bank from broadcasts. 

But one day, they'd know.  They'd all fuckin' know. 

Ray was a queen; the galaxy just di'n't know it yet.

Neither did the 5-0.

"Fuck!" Ray yelled. The flyin' po-po sirens holla back up the mall, white Manikins in pearl-Gussacci flickerin'.  Red-blue, red-blue, red-blue.

"I told you! I so told yo dumbass!" Jin smack Ray' buff arm.  Don't hurt but Ray turn around pissed.

"YOU suppose to have that CCTVs and silent triggers all hacked and shit!" Ray yell back.  Sirens get louder.

"I's did my job, bitch!  The cams be down, I jailbreak all'em DRM tags on the swag," Jin fuming, holo-glasses steaming up, "You and your dramas! Makin' a scene when we supposed to be on the DL-"

"Whatev's, let's bail," Ray wrap the Goldiva Mic cord round her shoulder, sling the disco-ball on her back, and they break for the exit.  Judgey rich hoes wit bot-manservants lift they snob-noses at Ray and Jin's ghetto threads.  Ray clotheslines them on the way out.  Leave a tumbling pile of screaming and stilettos and handbags.  Trophy bitches.

Ray-Sa and Jin already got a few-k of merch stuffed in they shitty All-Mart purses, they set, if they can get out, move it on the dark-net.

"Freeze!" The robocops come raining out the flying cop car, hit the ground running.  Mall peepz all diving out of the way, shouting. 

Ray and Jin click they heels together like Dorothy, metal stilt-springs pop out the soles, and they stridin' fast as hovercycles, leaping over fat fuckin' khaki tourist family chompin cinnabon and splash through quartz fountains, disappear through Nikeebok holo-ads. 

Fuckin' robocops is fast though and Jin get her ass cooked by a microwave gun.  She shriek and fall down the escalator.

"Fuck!  Jin!" Ray slide down the rail fast as she can.  Jin on the ground, knee lookin' like it split.  Head all fucked up like she lost a scrap, bloody face, river out the nose.

"Come on, get up!" Ray try to help Jin up, but she just scream and the leg sound like rotten tree branch.

"You... ratchet-ass bitch.  Everything a fuckin' reality-show to you, huh?" Jin spat some tear-juice in Ray face, and wince some more.  "Go.  You get out.  I'll catch you flip side," Jin say, lying back down.

"Fuck that.  I'm the queen.  Undefeated.  Fuck these robocops," Ray say, clicking her knuckles together.  Shit start glowing red with that powerglove mojo. 

Ray decapitate one po-po's head clean off with one uppercut; wires and circuits glittering like diamonds into a Sharper Image.  Everything goes slo-mo, the screaming mall-patrons is stadium applause.  Ray' heartbeat is pulsing techno-victory-anthem.  The cold feeling on her waist is the big-ass belt, 'Queen Ray!  Heavyweight champion of the galaxy!'.

The cold feeling spread, becomes pain.  The million-volts to the back make Ray spasm till everything is full of grey numb unconscious. 

Last thing Ray see is Jin' resting-bitch-face.
« Last Edit: 26 Jul 2017, 08:58 by SilverSpook »

Rocchinator

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption
« Reply #5 on: 27 Jul 2017, 17:14 »
Amazing Stories Mandle and SilverSpook had a nice time reading them.

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption
« Reply #6 on: 27 Jul 2017, 17:16 »
ONE MORE STEP

-Ok, One more step - Cedric said firmly. The hospital room was white and clean; the window was wide open and shows a beautiful spring park. It was early in the morning, and Cedric repeat again-Come on, one more step.-
 Every step reminded him of Randy and the day that changed him forever.
Cedric was an old selfish bad humored Sergeant from the army, those who know him said that he was a heartless mother fucker. He never showed mercy with their enemies but neither with their allies, their punishments were severe; their soldiers in some occasions end really injured, left the army or in some cases went mad. But all crossed the line one day.

<<Randy Sullivan was one of its best soldier, always did what Cedric told him, and give no excuses and he did more than he expected, somehow Randy admired Cedric even though He was brutal with him, like no other. One day in the combat zone Randy was stuck in the crossfire, he took the radio and communicates with Cedric in the base.
  - Sir I’ve been shot I can't walk well, please send reinforcement or someone to pick me up, please. - Said Cedric agitated.
  - I’m not sending anyone you have to come here by yourself.-
  - But Sir we have an armored car to pick him up he’s 200 meters far.- one of the soldier in the bunker replied to Cedric.
  - He has to become a Man, life is tough he has to fight.-Cedric hold the radio and speak- Come on you pussy! I want you here NOW!
  - Sir please I can barely move, please send someone. - Randy sounded hopeless.
  - You coward! Get your sorry ass right here! - shouted Cedric furiously.
  - Please Sir I have a pregnant wife we are almost broke and I’m the only sustain in my family, please send someone, I can die in any moment.-
  - I don’t care about your bitchy wife and that shit of yours, your country needs you here. We don't pay you to cry- All the soldiers in the bunker looked at Cedric with hatred.
  - Fuck you Sir! I’m coming now you bastard, just to kick your ass and I’m done with this.- Randy was pissed.
  - I’m waiting for you stupid little shit, be a Man!-
  The next half an hour Randy crawled till he reached 30 meters from the entrance of the bunker. Cedric went out and shouted- Come on pussy! Come to kick my ass, you are almost here.-
  - I can't you bastard! Help me!-
  - Stand up Randy! Walk here! - Randy crawled. - I SAID WALK!
  Randy painfully stand up and started to walk. 20 meters, 15 meters, 10 meters he stopped and falled on his knees.
  - If you walk, one more step, I pick you up loser! - Cedric laughed while pointing one finger to the air.
  -ONE MORE STEP!-
Randy really wounded try to stand up one more time, he cursed Cedric an all his family while he was doing it and when he was about to walk, a bomb from nowhere landed between them and exploded. >>


Cedric was remembering this now, how he let a Man die due to his stupid ego life toughness shit. He felt horribly guilty.
  - One more step. - said Cedric. Everyone in the hospital room stayed still watching at the scene. –Come on, you can do It.-
So it happened, the infant take one, two, three steps towards Cedric´s Bed, he raise his hands and pick up the little boy and hugged him. - You did it little fella, your father would be proud.-
Since the explosion of the bomb has passed 1 year, Randy died there and Cedric was wounded till the point he cannot leave the bed and he is only waiting for the ripper. In the room there was the doctor, a nurse, a priest, a lawyer, and last but not least Randy´s Wife and her son now in hands of Cedric, he asked – What is this little piece of sunshine name? .-
Randy`s wife took a serious look at him and replied
-Cedric, He´s name It´s Cedric, Randy named his son like the person he admired, I don’t really know why, maybe he saw in you someone that none of us do. He asked me to know you so many time and I refused, more know but I had to come this time at your final hour.- She left a tear stay on her cheek.
Cedric can´t hold the tear too.
-You are right, I´m a bastard, I´ve been all my life alone and angry, maybe for my bad decisions, my family, I have no wife, no kids, no nothing, except my ego. I always saw that this world is shit so I maybe I wanted to let know the other how life it´s unfair and hopeless, so they feel what I feel all this time, I was wrong. I used to think that I was strong but actually I realize that I´m weak and I try to hide it humiliating others and being an asshole for what, to feel a little bit less miserable?, Randy was an exceptional man, I realize know that I was jealous of how example of a good man he was, and my stupid philosophy killed him, I will never forgive me for that, I have nothing to give but one thing maybe could help you my dear and that piece of angel of yours.-Cedric put the infant on the floor and called the lawyer- Marlon, do you have it here?
-Yes sir- The lawyer took a paper from his suitcase and a pen, an approach Cedric.
-Wait! This time I will go there. - Almost with no energy he stands up and went towards Marlon. - He wrote something down and went back to bed. –And now please, everyone go, I just want to die in peace.-
All the people left the room. Of course Randy´s wife went to ask Marlon what was that Cedric Wrote in that note.
Marlon looked at her with a smile.
-That´s Cedric Testament, He wanted to do this a long time ago and he will eventually but he wanted you to be present.-Marlon smiled at her- He is a bastard but a rich bastard, he is giving all his fortune too you, let’s say you will not have to worry for money maybe for 2 or 3 generations.-
Randy´s wife look at the amount that was written, she was shocked and started to cry. She went running into Cedric´s room again, but he was already in peace.
« Last Edit: 27 Jul 2017, 17:29 by Rocchinator »

Sinitrena

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption
« Reply #7 on: 01 Aug 2017, 21:57 »
Endless Story

They close their eyes to fame and glory
and close their hearts to promised deeds.
They heard before of all your feats.
And in the waves they saw your story.

You stand alone before the board
and see not if the monsters sleep.
They wait in shadows, dark and deep
for you to speak the wrongest word.

They listen now but listen not
to every lie and lame excuse.
They see your anguish, every bruise.
If not convinced, they’ll let you rot.

They do not care for pleas of pardon.
They do not care that you once hoped.
They see a battle – unprovoked -
and you, who struck the bargain.

You promise them that you have learned
that what once was will be no more.
You kneel before them on the floor.
They smell it still what here once burned.

They close their hearts to words of hope
and see your change as far too late.
You tell them that it all was fate.
It’s closer now, the dangling rope.

You scream, you pray, you beg for time
but words are nothing to the gods.
You gambled here against all odds
for mercy for a nameless crime.

The monsters howl in darkest corners.
They know your end is all too near.
You tremble now in helpless fear
and turn a last time to the mourners.

They listen as you stop imploring
and listen as you say you’re sorry.
They watch as fear now turns to worry
of how to build and help restoring.

They close their eyes to fame and glory
and close their hearts to pleas of pain.
You stand alone now in the rain
to start again this endless story.

Edit: Can someone explain how I can read through my text three times before posting and not see a typo and then look at it again five minutes later and see one? :confused: Anyway, corrected.
« Last Edit: 01 Aug 2017, 22:11 by Sinitrena »

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption
« Reply #8 on: 02 Aug 2017, 13:59 »
I'm working on something, but I'll probably just make the deadline. (roll)

Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption
« Reply #9 on: 02 Aug 2017, 20:05 »
I'm working on something, but I'll probably just make the deadline. (roll)
I could extend it by a day if you like.

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption
« Reply #10 on: 03 Aug 2017, 21:59 »
The Jolly Abysmal Sinner

   Welcome to the fiery Abyss.  There is the horrible screech of metal rubbing on metal, and then the familiar echoing clang of the bars popping into place.  Some prisoners still scream, especially those out under the whip in the flogging yard, but somehow not with the same manic intensity.  It is now what we sinners in the Abyss call night, though the same garish red glow still emanates from the hell-fires as always.  Some say the Devil invented this downtime to think up new horrors to visit down upon us.  Others think the respite exists just to make the dread of what may come next more acute.  But that's not what I think.  I think the Devil gives us night to be alone in our cells with our thoughts.  I think he knows that the more we dwell upon those wretched memories of our path to perdition the more they will consume what's left of our rotten souls.  Of course, some say I think too much.

   But at night there's not much else to do, alone in a cell not large enough to lay down in, not that you'd want to lie on the sharp stones and accumulated filth of eons.  The only company is three cracked and jagged stone walls too hot to lean up against and the cage of metal down the front.  The walls are too thick to allow contact with the sinners in similar cells on either side, same with the floors and ceilings for the sinners below and above.  Beyond the bars is a catwalk occasionally patrolled by Squealers, half-demonized sinners trying to move up the ladder of damnation by snitching out anybody who looks remotely like they're not suffering enough.  There are no meals, or bowel movements, or even heartbeats to keep the rhythm of time.  There is nothing left but the darkness of the mind.

   Sometimes night in the Abyss is mercifully short.  We shuffle to our cells after a long day of mining brimstone and barely sit down before the gong summons us back out for roll-call, reconstitution, and work again.  But sometimes night drags on, like a broken record of your most loathed song.  There's no such thing as time in this eternity of sameness, when there is no sleep to release the soul and break up the days, but one night this sinner called Davey counted seconds for a thousand hours before we were released again to the relative bliss of burning toil and torture.  Davey likes to spend his nights counting out the seconds.  He says it keeps him from thinking too much.  Some say he's mad, but he seemed saner than most after that thousand hour stint.  I guess to some extent we still get to choose which madness afflicts us.  Me?  I barely stumbled out of my cell in one piece.  If you think the brimstone pits are bad, you should try spending a thousand hours alone in a confined space with one of the most loathsome beings in existence.

   I close my eyes despite myself and see her blood-stained face, staring vacantly up at me.  I open my eyes again quickly.  When the nights are long the first harm I inflict on myself is ripping out my eyelids, but it never really makes the pictures go away.  Every morning we are painfully reconstituted again, making the effort futile despite its cathartic painfulness.   Sometimes the Demons reconstitute us with grotesque mutations, but they are always careful to preserve the eyelids.  I can not count how many times I have been reconstituted, but what I wouldn't give to use that power even once to undo the horrible thing that I did.  Desperately I try to divert my thoughts from the whirlpool of regret and despair down which I am always eventually sucked.  I should ask Davey how many times he's been reconstituted.

   The gong chimes and there is the familiar, spine-tingling sound of metal screeching as the bars open.  Night can not have lasted more than two hours this time, and I have barely dwelt on my wretchedness.  Without thinking I drag my fingernails down my face, leaving great rivers of blood.  To face the morning Demon without injury is to invite a trip to the furnace or the flogging yard.  A second gong sounds and we all step out on the the catwalk for roll-call.  It is a pointless ritual, as there is no escape from this hopeless place.  The only thing it really determines is whether any sinner has hurt himself too much to move or has gone too mad to obey; the consequences for either are The Regimen, a sinister alternation of constant flaying and reconstitution until you learn better.  Most sinners go through it once; no one does it twice.

   I look to my left and right during roll-call to get ideas for future self-mutilations.  It's become something of an academic challenge of mine, a hobby if you will.  This guy called Johny always chews through his cheeks and claws out his eyes so that his face looks like a fleshy skull.  Davey is a hand and arm guy: he chews and burns them on his walls until sometimes he's left with nothing but stubs by morning.  There's this guy down the way who only ever bites off his fingers and toes: no one wants to think too hard on what he does with them for the long hours....

   But now looking more closely to my right I am thunderstruck to notice that Davey is not in position.  I rack my brains: has he not gone through The Regimen before?  The Squealer gets to his name and there is a glaring silence about the place.  All the sinners know what's coming, and it's not going to be pretty.  Most stare at their toes and shuffle awkwardly, thinking of their own flaying.  But I stare at the vacant spot in disbelief.  How could he have lapsed in such a short night?

   Now a Squealer is on the catwalk, strutting slowly down the line, dragging his bludgeon over the bars on his way, singing sweet wake-up songs, clearly savouring the carnage to come.  “C'mon, Davey-boy!  Rise and shine!  Ain't never been a two-time Regimen guy on my block.  I'm right curious to see what comes of it.  Little Dwayne's already gone to fetch Papa-Orc for a bit of sinner-huskin', so get on out here and give us a show!”

   The Squealer reaches Davey's cell, and suddenly the smirk fades from his face.  “Holy sweet mother of -oh shit!” he cries, remembering at the last moment his allegiance.  “He's gone!  The sunnofabitch is gone!”  The enormity of the statement hits the Squealer, as it is his responsibility to account for all sinners during roll-call and his flay-happy boss is already on his way.  I am just quick enough to stare back at my feet before he casts about, looking for a scapegoat.

   In moments Papa-Orc is on the block, gleefully leaping up onto the catwalk to seize his victim.  The Squealer huddles on the floor next to the cell, rocking back and forth.  He knows what's coming.  The whole block knows what's coming.  Demons once summoned don't ever leave empty handed.  The Squealer shrieks as he is dragged off for his second Regimen or worse, and we are ordered back to our cells.  The time passes, but without the usual haunting memories, for there is too much activity on the catwalk to keep my interest.  Demons and imps of various ranks and hues arrive intermittently to study the empty cell, and in their absence the Squealers pour over the empty space with morbid fascination.  They poke and knock at the walls, shake the bars, and use various devilry to search for traces of white magic.  All of them leave, shaking heads, muttering about Redemption and that there'll be hell to pay for this.

   This night is long, but there is much on my mind to distract me from my hateful grief.  How did old Davey do it?  There are only two possibilities, each as unlikely as being hit with a snowball through the bars.  Either he truly was Redeemed, or he actually managed to escape.  Without benefit of conferring with my fellow sinners (no doubt the reason for our extended captivity), I am left to play with the possibilities in my mind.

   Redemption.  We sinners know what it means, but no one's ever seen it happen.  I've always understood it to be impossible: to have one's sins forgiven and ascend out of the Abyss.  Davey never spoke about what landed him in the Abyss - most of us don't – but it sure hell must have been something awful.  How do you make up for something like that?  Gallant deeds?  As far as I could ever tell Davey just did whatever he was told, same as the rest of us.  True repentance?  How can you truly repent when all you ever do is count out the seconds so you don't have to think about it?

   That left escape.  But how?  You never knew how long the nights might last.  Half the time you weren't in the same cell, although force of habit usually brought you close.  Even if you could open the bars there were hundreds of unblinking eyes yearning for a bit of distraction on the catwalks.  That left tunnelling, but how?  Sure we used pickaxes down in the brimstone mine, carving out new accommodations for the constantly growing population in the Abyss, but they were too huge to smuggle secretly back to your cell.  And where would you go, even if you could tunnel?  Left or right, up or down, you'd still just end up in the next sinner's cell.

   As I ponder this, my eyes turn to the back wall of the cell.  In the new blocks that I have carved it is a structural wall, thicker than the others, but solid.  But it's the sinners who do the carving.  Sure, the Squealers patrol lazily and the imps sometimes nose around, and sometimes a Demon swoops down to mete out punishment to keep everyone on their toes, but it's the sinners who actually do the work.  What if you could slip away unnoticed and do a little extra tunnelling?  And what if, through skill or luck or infinite patience you got yourself transferred into one of those new blocks?  They do move sinners around, to keep them scared and the rest off-balance.  If you were around long enough - and we all will be - eventually you'd be transferred to a block you helped to carve out.  I try to remember when old Davey arrived on our block.  Certainly after I arrived....

   I stand and briefly touch the back wall, the flesh at the ends of my fingers searing.  Arms burnt down to stumps indeed.  But how did he seal the hole?  Solid rock doesn't just reconstitute itself -or does it?  I contemplate the volume of brimstone that might be painfully smuggled back to one's cell each day to slowly build a perfectly sized cork for one's tunnel.  The rubble could be smuggled out the same way, or left on the floor of the filthy cells: who would notice?

   But where would you go, even if you did escape?  Surely the imps or Demons would hunt you down?  Or would they?  Losing a sinner is a huge cock-up.  Squealers are flayed by Demons, but even the Demons have bosses.  Maybe it'd just be more convenient to chalk it up to Redemption and be done with it.  Maybe the whole thing would be kept quiet either way, so that no one's head would roll?  Leave the rest of the sinners in their cells so long that they are too mad to remember the details.  Then no one important gets the flay, or worse.

   So where would you go, if you got out?  I close my eyes to think, but again all I see is her bloody face and vacant eyes.  I open them again, but this time not to forget.  The woman was my victim, yes, but she was no saint herself.  For the first time I contemplate the fact that she may well be holed up in a similar cell in some distant corner of the Abyss.  I've never heard anyone mention the presence of women down here, but where else would the bad ones go?

   An idea spawns in my mind, so radical that I feel dizzy even contemplating it.  What if I could find her?  Making amends for murder would probably be impossible, but making the effort wasn't.  I could seek her out and... what?  Spending eternity at each others' throats again is probably not a good idea, but I could let her have a crack at vengeance at the very least.  Maybe explain how things felt from my end.  Apologize, certainly.  Listen to her side: I didn't do that enough.  Then... set her free, I suppose.  If she wanted to go.  I closed my eyes to try to gauge her reaction to any of this, but the eyes just stare back at me as vacantly as ever.

   Surely there is no Redemption from the Abyss.  There are some sins that are beyond the pale, some things you just can't take back.  But in the flaming eternity that is left to me I could attempt a personal redemption.  Failure was almost certain, but for the first time in a long time I could feel a glimmer of hope inside me.  I scrape my hands down the wall and the flesh begins to sizzle.

Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption
« Reply #11 on: 04 Aug 2017, 09:49 »
It's nice to see so many good entries this time around!
Very well, times up now and it's time for voting.
The entries are:

Step 8 by Mandle
Queened by SilverSpook
ONE MORE STEP by Roccinator
Endless Story by Sinitrena
The Jolly Abysmal Sinner by Baron

The voting categories are:
Best Character arc
Best Setting/World
Best Writing/Style

Voting ends on August 13th.

Rocchinator

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption (VOTING)
« Reply #12 on: 06 Aug 2017, 20:25 »
Oh It´s Voting time ok

Best Character arc Step 8 by Mandle Intriguing Characters Joe and Candice, I had a good time reading this one.
Best Setting/World The Jolly Abysmal Sinner by Baron loved the description of the place. really imersive.
Best Writing/Style Endless Story by Sinitrena amazing set up I loved it. I imagined someone reciting it.

Sinitrena

  • Mittens Serf
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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption (VOTING)
« Reply #13 on: 07 Aug 2017, 18:05 »
Best Character arc: Rocchinator - Cedric really comes around: from a**hole drill seargent with no compession to really feeling sorry.

Best Setting/World: Mandle - I just like the idea of an alcoholic vampire who gets high on the blood an other alcoholic.

Best Writing/Style: Baron - Technically flawless writing, as always, and creating a vivid picture of hell.

Baron

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  • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption (VOTING)
« Reply #14 on: 11 Aug 2017, 01:35 »
Nice turn out again folks.  And these long voting periods are bliss: when was the last time I had my votes in three days before the deadline?? (roll)

Best Character Arc: I'm going with Rocchinator for Cedric's genuine attempt to make up for his terrible personality in the past.  I thought Mandle's and SilverSpook's characters were well portrayed and gripping (Joe in a relatable way, Jin and Ray in an outrageous kind of way), but they didn't really arc towards redemption.  Joe was trying to redeem himself from a history of violence that never really happened, while Ray was... doing her normal thing (trying to make up for briefly not listening??). :)

Best Setting/World: It's gotta be SilverSpook, hands down.  I love how you portray the insane distopic future of class-conflict, social media obsession, rampant commercialism, and technology embedded into everything.  I've missed you around this comp these past many months, and I want to have your baby. :-*  Mandle had a good idea for a world of vampires addicted to substances in blood, but was unfortunately overshadowed. :~(

Best Writing/Style:  I'm going with SilverSpook again for an almost Shakespearean use of some kind of ghetto vernacular.  I had to read it twice to make sure I understood exactly what was going on, but that's still a better comprehension rate than Shakespeare, so top marks for that. ;-D  Honourable mention to Sinitrena for the complex ABBA rhyme.  I think you intentionally left out details to emphasize the difference between saying what you think people want to hear and true repentance, but for me it was too faceless to really relate to.

Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption (VOTING)
« Reply #15 on: 12 Aug 2017, 03:22 »
@Baron: Thanks for the kind words, and votes!  I have meant to jump into one of these competitions but I've just been so swamped of late!  If it's any consolation (or redemption for myself) I am creating AGS games out of all these dystopian stories, many begun in this very Fortnightly Competition!  My own personal circle of hell involves coming up with and coding Steam achievements, and having the brimstone-carved Windows 10 machine crash and be wiped by infernal antivirus crap every night, restarting the cycle of torture each morning. X_x 

Best Character Arc: Rocchinator. This story, in my mind, had the most sense of a character's change of heart, and an attempt at redemption.  The sergeant is two different people in the first and second half.  Although it's apparent English isn't the author's first language, the bomb drop scene was spot-on.  Crushing!

Best Setting/World: Definitely Baron. Dante had a run for his lira with painting a horrifying hellscape in this story. You could almost feel the flaying and suffocating hopelessness, here. I really liked the way the guy counting the seconds for a thousand hours was later referenced as all part of an elaborate jailbreak out of hell, also. I'd greenlight that prestige-TV miniseries to Netflix, I tell ya!

Best Writing/Style: Tie between Mandle and Baron.  This was too close for me to call.  I loved Mandle's immediacy and voicing of the character's actual headspace, especially this part:

Quote
I looked into her eyes and started to feel dislocated, like the years were ticking backwards, and that, yeah, HELL YEAH, a drink sounded nice right about now.

Gin on ice with a twist of lime, and then a vodka and orange, and then gin on ice, and then vodka, screw the orange, and then gin, screw the ice, and then gin, and then gin, screw the glass, and then...

Baron's of course pro-level prose doesn't need explanation.  But I honestly couldn't make up my mind here, so I'm copping out! :D
« Last Edit: 13 Aug 2017, 01:42 by SilverSpook »

Mandle

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption (VOTING)
« Reply #16 on: 12 Aug 2017, 13:48 »
Hi guys, I just got back from Australia and too tired to read/vote tonight... Tomorrow I will catch up on the stories and vote!

kconan

  • After⇐---—---⇒Before
Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption (VOTING)
« Reply #17 on: 12 Aug 2017, 20:52 »
Best Character Arc: Rocchinator, for Cedric
Best Setting/World: Baron
Best Writing/Style: SilverSpook  (I kept going back and forth between Mandle and SilverSpook on this one, not easy)

Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption (VOTING)
« Reply #18 on: 14 Aug 2017, 18:32 »
Well, the deadline for voting is over, but depending on how you count SilverSpook's vote it's a tie between the entries.
However, since Mandle mentioned being about to vote later, I'm willing to extend the deadline one day further.

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Redemption (VOTING)
« Reply #19 on: 15 Aug 2017, 17:51 »
Well, the deadline for voting is over, but depending on how you count SilverSpook's vote it's a tie between the entries.
However, since Mandle mentioned being about to vote later, I'm willing to extend the deadline one day further.

Cheers, and sorry... I will read all tomorrow and vote...

Got a bit busy with tidying-up work on a commercial project... Exciting news coming soon!