Hey guys, I won the #PW1K at the awesome Heather Howland‘s blog!
Yay, I’m super excited.
Thank you all who voted on me and helped me with this =) Really, it was awesome!
Recapping for those who don’t know,
Once upon a time, there was a picture. And writers were invited to write a story of up to 1000 words about the picture. The best four became finalists and put up to anonymous voting. My story was among those finalists for August. And I won!
Here is the picture and the story:
I didn’t have time to stop and think about the pebbles scratching under my feet, nor the exhaustion winning over, nor the object secured in my hand.
I couldn’t afford wasting time. I had to run. I had to get away.
My mistake was to glance back.
My heart skipped a few precious beats and I tripped over my own legs out of fear.
The terrifying Knights of The Order kept coming, running faster than I ever could. Soon they would catch up with me and it would be my end.
I blinked the panicked tears from my eyes and forced my legs to their limit. No, I couldn’t give up that easily. I had come this far, hadn’t I?
With the black lake as my companion, I ran through the stony white sand, wishing there was salvation beyond the horizon, beyond the edge of the lake and the mountains behind it.
The horizon came. I froze. A long hill stretched down for tiresome miles, the black water reaching along with it for many miles, beyond my sight.
A raspy sigh escaped my lips and I locked my wobbly knees before I fell onto the ground and into desperation.
There was nowhere to run to and the Knights were getting closer and closer. Nowhere except for a bare wooden pier that lingered long and high over the lake. With no options, I ran to the pier.
At the edge, I skidded to a stop and peeked at the water, many feet below. It was daunting and entrancing at the same time.
The wind picked up and I felt cold brushes scraping against my skin. A shudder took hold of my body. I closed my eyes and let the wind bring new air, fresh air, into my lungs. Hopefully, it would bring clarity into my mind too.
Under my feet, the wood boards shook. I glanced back only to find my pursuers moving into the pier.
My heart jumped to my throat.
What could I do now? Where could I go?
My gaze found the black water beneath me. The breeze came back, from the other side this time, gently pushing me forward. Was it the response I needed? Was it the solution to my escape? Jump and hope I made the long fall?
I squeezed the pendant in my palm until I could feel it thrumming against my skin.
I stepped closer to the edge, closed my eyes and inhaled deeply, filling my lungs with courage.
If I had to do this, if this was the only one to save me and save the pendant, I would do it. I would do it. I would … fear crawled up my arms and I peeked at the dark abysm ahead of me. Gods, would I do it?
The boards shook harder now. I could hear their voices as they got closer, shouts and loud orders to kill me as soon as they put their hands on me. Not too long now.
I slid to the edge until my toes were hanging free of the boards. I curled them and leaned forward. The tight knot on my stomach wouldn’t stop me. Nor would my shallow breathing, or my shaking hands.
Perhaps the water god would be merciful and allow me to enter his realm unharmed. Perhaps he would provide me with shelter until I could surface and head home. He would escort me away through a safe path underwater. Or the sky goddess could interfere and blow a powerful gust of wind during my fall, carrying me to the other side of the lake, from where I could run away on my own.
After all, the pendant was sacred to all—even the gods.
Yet, fear clutched my heart and gnawed at my stomach. Gods weren’t very fond of helping humans. Hell, they weren’t very fond of anything other than just sit back and laugh of our puny lives.
It didn’t matter now. This was my only chance. I could pray for the gods’ help, but I didn’t have time. My only wish was to survive the fall and swim away, with the pendant secured in my hand.
A shudder swept through my back as I spread my arms to the sides and waited for the wind to come back, waited for the wind to push me into the air.
“In the name of the King, surrender!” I heard one of the Knights yelling. He was too close. Too close.
The wind came, bringing relief to my tense muscles, and enough force to push me forward. I helped, titling my body toward the edge. The gust thrust me from the pier just when gloved-fingers rasped my wrists, trying to get hold of me. But now I was free, falling down.
Was this death? It had been so quick that I was fortunate to not feel any pain, not even for a second?
Coming from above, the Knights’ enraged shouts pierced my ears. I was not dead?
My eyes fluttered open and I gasped, my heart hammering against my tight chest. I found myself floating on the air, halfway through the pier and the black lake. More important, before me stood two gigantic figures, their robes flowing, their skin glowing, their eyes wide and knowing.
The water god and the sky goddess.
I swallowed down my fear and surprise. My mind bellowed “You’re doomed” and I knew my mind was about right. I was doomed.
Thank you for voting, reading and appreciating it =)
It’s called A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words or #pw1k for short.
Ms. Howland chooses a picture and asks writers to write a short story or an excerpt of a story (up to 1000 words), and send to her through the contest email.
She then reads all entries, chooses the finalists and post them on her blog, opening up for vote. The winner will receive a short critique—and I’ve heard Ms. Howland is a superb editor.
The picture above is the one used on the August contest.
And I’m a finalist for August.
And I would like to win that critique. #shamelessselfpromotion
You can read (and vote for) the other three entries on her blog.
I’ve started this week much better!
Monday = 2726 words
Tuesday = 1000 words
Wednesday + Thursday = WriteOnCon + reading (couldn’t put it down!) + Real Life
Friday = 5,500 words
Total week = 9226 words
And ended it with a really great number … but I’m embarrassed of Tue, Wed and Thu. Jesus, why didn’t I write more? Even if it was to write aaaaaa, bbbbb LOL Kidding =)
Anyway, hope next week is better.
Today I’m featured as the volunteer for the Red Pencil Thursday series at Mia Marlowe’s blog.
Click here to access the goodness and share your opinion =)