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Creative Production => Competitions & Activities => Topic started by: Baron on 26 Apr 2018, 21:15

Title: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Results)
Post by: Baron on 26 Apr 2018, 21:15
Welcome to the Fortnightly Writing Competition, where writers compose an entry loosely related to a given topic over roughly a two-week period.  This is a friendly competition where the goal is to have fun and improve as writers.  Entries can be short or long, serious or silly, timely or deadline-challenged....(roll)  We're not fussy, we just want to read what you can write! This fortnight's theme is:



To quote a frequently misunderstood poet (because he used crazy Scottish words that make no sense): "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley."  What?!?  Think of it like that cat with the speech impediment who could never catch Tweety Bird.  I mean, even if he did eat the little featherball, he'd still get fewer calories out of the deal than he would get on a regular basis from licking the dust mites off of his fur.  It's not just that he can't accomplish what he set out to do, but that the whole goal was ill-conceived from the offing.  My point is that your entry should relate somehow, at least obliquely, to a degree of unsuccessfulness at some endeavour, such as making a peanut butter sandwich with the bread on the inside, or trying to explain a writing competition without entirely thinking through the essence of what you want people to do.  Maybe your characters are coming to terms with failing to meet great expectations?  Maybe someone takes inspiration from the struggle instead of the final flop?  Maybe your entry just ends with a final flush of epic fail?  Either way you cut it, the worse you do at this competition, the better you actually do.  You can't lose!

Deadline:  All entries shall be posted by the close of business on May 10, 2018, unless stipulated otherwise in some random post herein.

By convention we vote by categories, and it is considered sporting to set these out in advance.  Your entries will (probably) be voted on in the following way; at least, as long as I don't have any better ideas in the next two weeks. :)

Best Character: Or maybe worst character....  An extremeness of character, anyway.
Best Fail: Or worst fail....?  You be the judge.
Best Writing: The way you put the words together to make it sound like a real writer wrote it, y'know?
Best Story: Kinda this mix of tangible and intangible factors, bundled together in a vague concept known as "having it".

Good luck to all entrants!
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Deadline May 10)
Post by: selmiak on 27 Apr 2018, 12:43
this is my entry!
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Deadline May 10)
Post by: Baron on 29 Apr 2018, 18:52
Selmiak, you obsequious rule follower, you!  I accept your submission. ;-D
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Deadline May 10)
Post by: WHAM on 02 May 2018, 21:34
An apology

I have failed only once.

I still remember the day we met. The jokes we made. Your smile. The sound of your laughter. I remember how, over the weeks and the months, we became close. How the dinner we were supposed to go to with all our friends turned out to be a trick. They all cancelled at the last minute so that it would be just the two of us in that restaurant. That night, down by the train tracks, we kissed. I was afraid you'd turn away, but you didn't. And I was truly happy.

I'd just graduated. I was free to go where I wanted, do what I wanted. You were stuck in a bad place with no way out. Your home was a trap, or so you told me, a cage you wanted to escape, but couldn't. That one night, after you fought with your parents and I could hear, over the phone, how you all were screaming and shouting, I couldn't sleep for worrying so much. I promised myself I would find a way to save you.

I took out a loan. Found an apartment, a job, all so that I could be closer to you. We practically lived together. When you couldn't spend the night, I felt so alone. So empty. I remember the summer trip to the amusement park for little kids we decided to go on. We wanted to see if the place was anywhere nearly as fun as it had been when we'd been five or six. Oh, how the childhood memories made that place seem far more grand than it truly was. We laughed about all the things that had seemed to wonderful when we were younger, and that seemed to ridiculous and pointless now. The cold water in the swimming pools. The overpriced food. The crappy toys in the stalls. The parents yelling at their children for having too much fun.

That summer we moved together. I'd promised myself I would save you, get you out and give you a better place to live. I succeeded. We cooked dinner together. We watched movies together. We went on those long walks in the woods and listened to the birds whenever the cars on the highway were silent for just a moment.

You became sick then. Well, you'd always been sick. Just not that bad. I knew you had your troubles, I knew of the medication. I promised myself that I would stand by your side and support you, no matter how ill you got. When you collapsed in the kitchen, I kneeled there with you until the pain went away. I told you we'd find a cure. Save up money for the doctors. We'd make it all better. When the medication didn't work and you had to suffer through trial after trial, I promised you I would always be there for you. When the pills changed you, made you forget... I nearly failed then. It was January. I remember when we woke up in the morning and you looked out of the window in shock. You asked me where all the snow had come from. I forced myself to smile and told you it was all right. Played it off as a funny misunderstanding. Over the weeks that followed, I realized you'd lost entire months. Met people and forgotten them. Seen the seasons change and lost that time to the medicine.

We carried on anyway. Money was tight. I worked so hard to make sure we had a home, food, medicine, clothes. You couldn't keep a job. Who'd hire a person when they'd forget entire months. Collapse with pain at random. I promised I'd keep you happy, anyway. I promised we'd be together forever.

I don't remember when I stopped believing it.

We got a dog. We couldn't have children, but that furry little thing was our baby. We raised him. He was our way of showing each other that we could do everything everyone else could. Our way of showing the world everything was fine and we were happy.

The money ran out, even after we moved to a smaller apartment. I kept on working but it just wasn't enough.

I was so tired. When I came home from work I'd just collapse into bed.

We began to have the arguments.

We began to avoid each other in the house.

We grew distant.

I'd promised.

We argued about the dog. We argued about the money. We argued about friends and relatives and the colour of the living room carpet. When the words failed us, it all fell apart. When you struck me, I broke inside. I knew you were in pain that day. I knew how hard it all was for you and how tired you were. I promised myself I would forgive you the pain and the bruises. I promised I would go on and not let you see how tired I was, how spent I was.

The next day I went to work with a smile on my face, explaining the bruise away as me having tripped while walking the dog.

It was a black christmas. No snow had fallen that year. The ground was black and wet, the sky covered in heavy clouds. I'd made my decision. I worked all week. I made us dinner. I watched you eat. I tried to smile even though it hurt.

I don't know when, exactly, I failed, but I knew it must have happened in the last year or two, somewhere. That night I told you the truth. That same night I packed what I could carry and I walked out the door. I hope you took good care of the dog.

We never saw again. You'll never read these words.

I wonder if you'd even care about them?

It doesn't matter. I just had to write them down to make them real. To let anyone who read these words know that, at some undefined point in time, I broke all my promises to us both, and in doing so I failed.

I'll never fail again.

Whoever you are, reading this: thank you for finding me. And this letter.

Please burn it.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Deadline May 10)
Post by: Baron on 07 May 2018, 01:22
All right!  Two entries (kinda)!  Still four more days left to NOT FAIL to enter this competition, so keep those keys clicking.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Deadline May 10)
Post by: Mandle on 07 May 2018, 04:17
NOT FAIL to enter this competition

Awww, I was kinda counting on everyone who didn't enter being declared the automatic winners.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Deadline May 10)
Post by: Sinitrena on 07 May 2018, 19:10
NOT FAIL to enter this competition

Awww, I was kinda counting on everyone who didn't enter being declared the automatic winners.

Unfortunately, you have to at least say that you intend to enter in order to fail to do so. :-D


Job Experience

He knelt behind a hedge and peeped through the window slightly above his head. It might have been a rather undignified position, especially for someone of his standing, but he tried to ignore the feeling. What had to be done had to be done.

His long black robes stuck to his sweaty skin and gave him the impression that he was being cooked alive. But he didn't care. Well, he tried not to care. The same held true for the pollen irritating his nose and the inviting screams and laughter from the pool just a house away.

He adjusted the thick-rimed glasses that always seemed to be askew and tried to listen for the thousands time to the voices in the room he spied on but there were too many other sounds and the glass was nearly as thick as that of his glasses. There was the banter of the couples by the pool, the buzzing of the bees, who really did not want him there, and the even more annoying buzzing of the mosquitoes, who had already decided that he was an inviting meal. He swatted at them but they always came back. Once, he squished one of them under his palm just to get rid of it but of course the voice of his supervisor immediately droned through his head, reminding him of his position and of the fact that he only had one try – and killing a mosquito was not part of his job. And the little bugger got up again as if nothing had happened. Of course.

All in all, the day did not go as he had wished and imagined it.

He was told that he would feel it when the right time came, that an indescribable and unmistakable shudder would run through his very bones. That was the only description he got and it was not very useful, especially not for someone just starting the job, who got already sent out on his first mission all alone.

He was just about to fish the silver pocket-watch from the depths of his robes – why did it always slide down to his crotch? - when a shriek and the unmistakable feeling of a handbag connecting with the back of his head startled him from his musings.

“Pervert!” The woman's screeching was loud enough to get the attention of the pool party and probably the noisy neighbors of the whole street and he had no choice but to scramble up to his feet and run, accompanied by some more hits of a handbag that had no right to be as heavy as it was.

He stumbled over the hem of his robes, fell over the hedge, desperately trying to reach the street and some semblance of safety, and his scythe slid out of his sweaty hands. Somehow, he got up again and then he just remembered running and stumbling for the next few minutes.

Behind the safety of a shed in some random garden he wondered not for the first time how he was supposed to stay inconspicuous in the traditional clothes he wasn't supposed to remove.

“Screw it!” he cursed between heavy breathes and a coughing fit. Why couldn't at least his asthma go away now? Wasn't it bad enough that his eyesight stayed as before or that he was still slightly overweight? It just wasn't right.

He couldn't do anything about the things he always considered shortcomings of his body, but there was certainly something he could do about the stupid robes that even shackled his ankles when he just tried to walk in them, let alone run. He dragged the heavy cloth over his head, nearly knocking the glasses from his nose, and revealed shaggy red hair, yellow shorts that had seen better days and a multicolored shirt that would hurt even the eyes of the most fashion-challenged person ever. He considered removing the heavy high boots that were also part of his uniform but decided against it. It was late in the afternoon and the summer sun had cooked the asphalt for the last ten hours now. There was no way he would walk bare-food over the hellish ground.

He took a deep breath and steeled himself for the walk back. Fumbling for the silver pocket-watch again, he started to walk: slow, as was proper for his standing, but missing all the dignity his teachers had tried to install in him.

Even though he did find the watch, he did not really look at it, only letting it wander from hand to hand and finger to finger. He was proud of his skill to let a coin dance on the back of his hand like it was nothing, but even a small pocket-watch is not the same as a two-euro piece. The watch was thicker and the clockwork made the body rounder and heavier. The silver chain entangled his fingers and the trinket slid through his shaking palm. It bounced a few times on the ground – right into a dog's poop.

“Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn it all to hell!”

Of course he had to pick it back up. There was no way around it. He would lose his job immediately if he lost the watch or destroyed it.

He had no handkerchief or even a rug, though he desperately needed one for his runny nose as well, and so he wiped the silver on the flap of his shirt, adding a distinct smell of shit to an already slightly off-putting odor of sweat. Luckily, he couldn't smell it. His nose felt like it was filled with a whole field and he was breathing through his mouth anyway.

Also luckily, the watch was not damaged. The silver still shone bright and blinding in the afternoon sun, the lines of the engraving were just as impossible to make out as before, and the single hand of the golden inlay of the face still ticked mercilessly closer to its destination. Which it had about reached.

“Oh, shit!”

He started running again. At least, now there were no robes to make him stumble or angry women behind his back. When he reached the street again he sighed with relief. Apparently the screams of the woman hadn't been loud enough to drag all her neighbors onto the street. As a matter of fact, it still lay there as empty and uninteresting as before. The houses all looked the same from the front-yards: A hedge, a driveway, a brown door, a white wall. There was nothing to distinguish one from the other. Even the house numbers seemed to look the same through the hazy gaze of the exhausted runner.

He looked down on the face of the clock again. The hand had nearly reached its destination and he just couldn't remember what number his client was supposed to live in. He had done the research all alone, as was expected of him, he had planned the operation, he had learned the ins and outs of the people living there, but now he didn't seem to remember any of it.

The hand reached its highest point, where on a normal clock twelve would be, and where one of the many markings on his clock was, but he still didn't feel what he was supposed to feel. Hadn't he attuned himself properly to the aura of the man he was supposed to collect? Had he missed a step in his preparations? He couldn't tell what was wrong, just that something didn't go as it was supposed to.

He was out of time. If he didn't reach the client at the appointed moment, everything could go awry, the very fabric of the universe was at stake. At least, that is what his teachers had told him. But the feeling didn't come, the unmistakable and indescribable shudder just didn't run down his spine. He started to run again, without any destination in mind.

And then he heard the scream. He was never so happy to hear somebody scream. And it even came from the right window! Finally, his luck had returned and destiny would be able to proceed as it should. And for the first time that day he felt like somebody who knew what he was doing.

With an audible plop he appeared in the room facing the street and the hedge that had served as his hiding spot. With nothing but his will he made himself manifest behind a young woman sitting in front of a computer and playing a game. White headphones pressed down the pink spikes of her hair and blared music into her ears that he only heard as distant babbling. She didn't react to his sudden appearance.

He stretched his body to the full impressive size of all his 1,71m and intoned with the deepest voice he could muster: “Do not be afraid, for I am your destiny.” It wasn't his fault that his voice sounded slightly squeaky and nervous, was it? “Fear not what is the way of all life!” He was so proud of his words. He had rehearsed them over and over. “I am to be your guide on your path through shadows and...

Unfortunately, the girl didn't seem to hear him. At least, she didn't react right away. Apart from him speaking, the only thing happening was the game going on. The girl furiously mashed buttons on her controller and only when the tiny figure on the screen turned in a circle and fell to the ground in a sea of red, did the girl take a deep breath and sighed. “Not again.”

... death. Fear not the way all must take sooner or later, Link, for I am death incarnate.

The girl wrinkled her nose just as she was about to select Save and Continue on her screen. “Jimmy?” she called to her dog, “Did you poop in the house again? How often do I have to tell you...” She stopped in the middle of the sentence when she finally noticed the stranger in her room. She hesitated, then she took off her headphones, leaving the game and her dead character behind.

“Who are you?” she asked.

He was a bit peeved that nothing seemed to work as it should but he tried to keep calm and dignified. “I am Death – I am Death Incarnate, Guide through the Underworld and I am here -

The girl cocked her head and held up her hand, stopping his speech. “No, really, who are you and what do you want in my room? I'll scream and my mom has a really heavy handbag.”

“I, I am – I am Death Incarnate, tasked to come to guide you, Link, through a world of...

“Wait, wait a second. Link? As in Link, the hero of Hyrule?” A part of her told her to be afraid of a stranger who just appeared out of nowhere in a locked room with a closed window, but she just couldn't bring herself to fear him. He looked too ridiculous with yellow shorts and black boots and a shimmering scythe in his nervously shaking hands. She started to laugh instead.


“Zelda?” And when he didn't react: “You never heard of Zelda?”

“I, I loved A Link to the Past when I was still alive.” He shook his head, trying to clear it. What she was insinuating just couldn't be, could it? A quick look to the screen confirmed his greatest fear. A fairy fluttered on the continue screen. He scrambled to find the right words to salvage the situation. “I am,” he squeaked, “I am – I am Death, I am – I have to reap a soul or else I'll lose my job. Help me, please.” His words ended in a desperate whisper.

The next thing he saw was the darkness of the realm of the reapers and the next thing he heard was his supervisor yelling at him: “We do not reap the souls of video game characters. They die over and over again. They fall under Paragraph 67 a, Exception 88, Immortal Beings in Virtual Environments. Did you not read the handbook? Did you not notice that the clock had millions of end points? Did you not realize that you could not connect to his soul? How ignorant can you be? How dare you show yourself to a mortal still alive and well? How dare you remove your uniform and desecrate our position with such undignified behavior? How dare you...
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Deadline May 10)
Post by: Baron on 09 May 2018, 22:23
One More Day!! ;-D
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Deadline May 10)
Post by: Wiggy on 10 May 2018, 06:24
The Chronological Contraption

My friend The Chrononaut, for such as I will refer to him, had invited myself and some other guests for supper. The winter night was clear and calm so I would forgo the usual hansom ride, and rugged up against the cold by means of a stout woollen coat, scarf, gloves and hat, and proceeded on foot. His domicile was but a mile east from the town square and the streets were deserted. The afternoon's snowfall crunched underfoot and the square's monument to the Hero of Waterloo reflected the moonlight with a hint of spectral eerieness.

Upon my arrival Richardson, my host's manservant, took my hat and coat and ushered me to the drawing room. It was apparent that I was the last to arrive; seated around the table were the mayor, the psychologist, Philby and Bennett each with a glass of champagne. A large fireplace burned healthily filling the room with ambient warmth in all senses of the word. "Ah Doctor!", my host beamed, "Take this glass and be seated, for we have much to discuss..."

Therein followed my friend's exposition of the theory of time travel, a rather technical dissertation not all of which I could comprehend. He referred occaisionally to a large folio of his own notes, written in his usual flowing copperplate script and immaculately illustrated. His dissertatation built to a crescendo, and placing the folio on the table, he exclaimed "Come with me to my laboratory, for the proof is at hand!" We all filed out and made our way down the hall into his inner sanctum.

"Behold the Chronological Vehicle incarnate!" he cried, and we beheld a most strange contraption of wheels, wires, crystals and two ivory handles in front of a seat furnished for the intended occupant. "This very evening at 8:30 p.m. it is my intention to take her on her maiden voyage, to a time ten years past, whence I shall procure evidence of the journey, say, a newspaper, and then return here at the time of 8:33 p.m. I trust you gentlemen will bear witness to the event."
The mayor interjected, "Surely such a journey is perilous! Would it not be prudent to have a series of trials first?"
Philby added "Why the past, would not the future be more enlightening?"
The room was filled with a general sussuration of queries and doubts, to which my friend put paid with the statement "I have conducted tests with two model craft, successful tests, and my journey will be to the past. Were it otherwise, the newspaper might contain an obituary of one of you, and you will live the rest of your days as a condemned man. It might contain news of a most unpalateable nature, such as the realm falling to communism, or maybe the unveiling of a new technology of communication whereby privacy is rendered inoperative and the deeds of men are governed not by reason or morality, but by popularism. No, therein lies a path to certain madness. My decision is made, and I invite you all to await my return in the drawing room. Richardson will furnish you with champagne if you but use the call bell." At that we filed out, I checked my fobwatch, it was 8:29 p.m.

The hall was soon illuminated with a kaleidoscope of flashing lights accompanied by a howling such as if a hundred gales had spent themselves in one second, then silence. I hurried to the laboratory, flung open the door, and the machine had vanished. Returning to the drawing room I poured another glass and toasted "Bon voyage." We then waited the longest three minutes of our lives.

By 8:35 it was obvious that something had gone awry. By 9:00 p.m. we had collectively decided to abandon our posts and return to our respective homes. Perhaps the light of a new day would furnish the answers we craved. Once more I donned my woollen outers and entered the street.

Passing the town square I noticed quite a hullaballoo. A crowd had gathered by the memorial, which listed to one side, the plinth of the statue having been damaged by some form of collision. Making my way to the front I beheld the wreckage of the contraption half-embedded in the monument, and in the seat was a sorry sight indeed. The body was dessicated, huge rents were apparent in the exposed skin, and the shrivelled eyeballs lay outside the sockets as if pushed out from the inside. The body was extremely cold, too cold to touch, and already a rime of hoar-frost had deposited itself upon the surface. Despite the damage to the remains, the clothing, hair and beard left no doubt as to its identity - my friend, The Chrononaut. I hurried back to his house to inform Richardson that there had been an accident, made my way into the drawing room and picked up the folio, which I immediately consigned to the fire.

Returning home, I had a large brandy and prepared for bed whilst reflecting on the evening's events. My friend's experiment had been a total success after all. I have no doubt that he travelled back in time ten years, and then returned at 8:33 p.m. Some might think that destroying his notes was the action of a visigoth, but some things are best left in an un-meddled state. As I took to my bed, I knew that in the morning I would awaken in my house exactly as it was when I retired. The Earth rotates around its axis and around the sun, which in turn is moving away from the centre of the Milky Way, and the bed in which I would wake would be tens of thousands of miles from the space it occupied when I retired. The important point is that we will journey together.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Deadline May 10)
Post by: Baron on 12 May 2018, 02:34
It's voting time! Thank you to all of our contributors for NOT failing to enter this contest. ;-D

Our valid non-joke entries are:

WHAM: An Apology
Sinitrena: Job Experience
Wiggy: The Chronological Contraption

We will be judging these entries on the following criteria.  Given the numbers of entries there will be only one vote allowed per category.

Best Character: Or maybe worst character....  An extremeness of character, anyway.
Best Fail: Or worst fail....?  You be the judge.
Best Writing: The way you put the words together to make it sound like a real writer wrote it, y'know?
Best Story: Kinda this mix of tangible and intangible factors, bundled together in a vague concept known as "having it".

Voting will run until Tuesday May 15, 2018.  Good luck to all participants!

Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Voting until May 15)
Post by: Sinitrena on 12 May 2018, 03:31
Selmiak, you obsequious rule follower, you!  I accept your submission. ;-D

You accepted selmiak's entry. Shouldn't it be in your list, joke entry or not? (roll)
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Voting until May 15)
Post by: Stupot on 12 May 2018, 04:13
I keep missing out on these contests. I've got 34 years of experience to draw on for this topic.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Voting until May 15)
Post by: Blondbraid on 12 May 2018, 10:19
Best Character: Sinitrena
Best Fail: Sinitrena, because it made me chuckle. (laugh)
Best Writing: Wiggy, because I could tell just from the first sentence that it took place in Victorian England.
Best Story: Wiggy, I loved the twist that the contraption worked, and the traveler simply failed to take the earths rotation into account.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Voting until May 15)
Post by: WHAM on 14 May 2018, 08:25
Best Character: Sinitrena
Best Fail: Wiggy
Best Writing: Sinitrena
Best Story: Wiggy
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Voting until May 15)
Post by: Sinitrena on 14 May 2018, 17:13
Two very different entries. This should make it easier to vote - it doesn't.

WHAM: That was one depressing story - or should I say suicide note, because that's what it is. It tells a story, yes, but very limited to the perspective of the writer. To some degree, it treats the reader as someone who should know what it is talking about (the unspecified illness, "That night I told you the truth.") but at the same time doesn't go far enough. It's supposed the be read by the partner of the writer (I was about to write girlfriend, then I realized that you never disclosed the gender of either character.), who would know certain things ("We got a dog. We couldn't have children") It falls a bit under the As You Know Trope ( I'm sure you noticed: These are very tiny details, so all in all this is very well written.

Wiggy: First of all, welcome, I don't think I've seen you here in the FWC before. I feel like I read your story before, not the exact same one, but the same concept: victorian setting, dinner party, time travel, accident. But it must be over ten years since I read this other story, so I can't remember the author or where I read it at all. As Blondbraid already pointed out, I really like that you can tell from the writing alone in what time period this story is set. Other than that, you made me do math! 8-0 Your ending implies that the time travel failed because of three points: 1. rotation of the sun system around the Milky Way (ca. 280 km/s) 2. rotation of the earth around the sun (ca. 29,78 km/s) 3. rotation of the earth around its own axis (depending on latitude between 0 (North and South Pole) and 1670 km/h - this makes for London as the example I will use because it's a likely place for your story: 1039 km/h or 0,289 km/s) The character was gone for three minutes: 3x60x280 + 3x60x29,78 + 3x60x0,289 = 55812,35 km That's how far away the accidant should have happened. Even if we only take the rotation of the earth axis into account (assuming a fixed point of some kind), it is still 3x60x0,289 = 51,95 km (And I really hope I didn't make a mistake somewhere in my logic here and made of fool of myself) Anyway, my point it that your protagonist cannot leave the party and walk, or take a hansom and reach the town square in a reasonable amount of time. Besides, the town square would not be 51 km away from a house in the city and nobody would walk that far for a visit (you can reasonably walk 5 km/h; 50 km would therefore take 10 h). In short: Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale ( ;) (Sorry, I just noticed that the distance seemed off when I casually read your story and did a bit of research.)

Now, after you all struggled through me doing math, here's the more interesting part: My votes:

Best Character: WHAM
Best Fail: Wiggy (I swear it's for the fail of the character, not the writer! :-*)
Best Writing: WHAM
Best Story: Wiggy

Edit: That's my source for the speed of the earth: ( (In German, sorry)
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Voting until May 15)
Post by: kconan on 16 May 2018, 01:42
Best Character: Sinitrena for Link
Best Fail: Sinitrena
Best Writing: WHAM
Best Story: Wiggy
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Voting until May 15)
Post by: Baron on 17 May 2018, 03:37
Voting is now closed.  Now it is open for a bit longer.  Now it is closed again.  Open.  Closed.  Open.  Closed.  Tee hee hee! :=

Well, I'd be a bit (more) of a failure as a writing competition administrator if I didn't put my foot down and not fail to end the whole process of voting, so I actually am ending it now.  I mean right now.  Ok, now.  There.  There's that sense of finality.  Oh yeah....

Where was I?  Oh yes, not failing in my administrator's duties.  See, there was a lot of words written and digital ink spilt over the merits and miscomings of various and sundry entries.  And I want you to know that I agree with all the valid points declared or implied above, and that I unabashedly condemn all the other ones.(nod)  In the end, I think we can all agree that some of the people have spoken and that we have followed the voting process in accordance with the custom and conventions of the competition, thereby observing both the letter and the spirit of the unwritten code of writer's honour that we all of us hold so dear.  Some might decry the shortcomings of the democratic process and I would concur in that sentiment unanimously in that it is the very worst system for settling on a winner, except for all the other such systems ever conceived by man.  And so it is with great pomp and gravitas that I begin to wrap up my concluding statement of this introduction by stating unambiguously that this has been one of the five best of the last eight competitions that I've had the immense pleasure of administrating.  I LOVE YOU GUYS!!1! :=

All right, all right, let's get down to the brass tacks, shall we? 

3rd place with 3 votes goes to WHAM.  You also win the bronze monkey hand trophy that I totally failed to make. ;-D  While I personally find the whole puppy-love-on-a-pedestal thing more than just a little nauseating, I found the earnestness of the main character refreshing and the story compelling.  Like Sinitrena, I'm a little baffled by things left unsaid.  Why write a note (presumably to strangers) without including helpful details?  Unless the note was meant for the ex-companion, in which case why assume someone else would find it?  Unless it was just meant as a vague explanation of motivation (presumably for suicide), which would be a passive-aggressive strike against the ex-companion (which would then technically be two failures against them, negating the validity of the whole "one failure" theme....).  You can at least take pride in striking a nerve: we wouldn't obsess over the story so much if it hadn't sucked us in. :)

2nd place with 6 votes goes to Sinitrena.  I made your digital silver trophy an indoor sundial, but I totally failed to remember to bring it tonight. (roll)  Your nerdy-gamer reaper character was pathetically awesome.  It was the little details that added up, from the awkward dialog to his dressing sense, and everything in between.  You also totally blindsided me with the twist ending, so top marks for that.;-D 

1st place with 7 votes goes to Wiggy!  I planned to make you a golden mouldy potato trophy, but then completely failed to follow through. (roll)  You would have hands-down had my votes for best writing: "... a kaleidoscope of flashing lights accompanied by a howling such as if a hundred gales had spent themselves in one second, then silence."    Pure gold, baby!  Well, kind of purply-gold at times, but I have a soft spot for overdressed language, and it suited the Victorian time period indubitably. ;)  I think since the whole "Earth is constantly shifting absolute location" idea is vital to the plot it would have read better if the Chrononaut planned to return immediately after departing, thus making his slight displacement more plausible, but it's just a small niggle in an otherwise well-thought out story.

So it is now to Wiggy that I bestow the sparkly sequin-encrusted vestments of administrative authority.  Be it on him to come up with a new topic for the next exciting instalment of....

The Fortnightly Writing Competition!
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Results)
Post by: WHAM on 17 May 2018, 07:36
Congrats Wiggy! It was a damn fun story and concept, even if Sinitrena had to bring us all down with actual SCIENCE! What madness!

As for my story and it's rambly, seemingly pointless nature, the key lies in these few words near the end:
"I wonder if you'd even care about them?
It doesn't matter. I just had to write them down to make them real."

Essentially the whole letter is a confession of failure, not to anyone specific and most certainly not for the eyes of the seemingly intended recipient, but rather for the writer themselves. A sort of way to write down and admit to one's own failings in a way that won't harm the people involved in the story, but one that feels real and concrete due to the physical nature of having put that very admission of failure on paper, to be discovered by some unknown reader, perhaps years or decades later. Perhaps never. And hey, considering what was about to happen to them, the author of the letter might not have been in the most lurid state of mind.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Results)
Post by: Sinitrena on 17 May 2018, 18:26
Congratulations, Wiggy. I'm looking forward to the next topic.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Results)
Post by: Blondbraid on 17 May 2018, 19:56
Congratulations Wiggy! ;-D
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - FAILURE (Results)
Post by: Wiggy on 17 May 2018, 23:19
Gosh, a most unexpected accolade. Please accept my humble thanks. I'll put on my thinking cap and try to come up with a new topic we can have a bit of fun with.