This is topic 13 LineChallenge - Snow/Ice and Faith/Resolution - ENTRIES in forum Writing Challenges at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by Tiergan (Member # 7852) on :
Please Post all entries in this thread. And if we can keep all discussions and questions in the other thread.

Thank you
Posted by telflonmail (Member # 9501) on :
#1. Carry Me Home

I am ****ed.

I let the expletive cross my mind as I lay trapped in a deep ice crevice about ten meters from the surface for the last two hours. The attempt to lift me with a single rope harness was a failure as the lower part of my body is wedged in the ice. The excruciating agony in my left leg is returning as the pain numbing drugs pumped in by my suit is slowly wearing off.

“Brother Thomas,” the familiar voice of Brother Salvador breaks in over my radio channel, “we’ll be sending down a replacement battery and oxygen packs soon. Hold in there Brother. The Lord is watching over you.”

I have nothing to say as I look up toward the surface. Jupiter is high in the sky eerily reminiscent of Joseph’s multicolored coat.
Posted by axeminister (Member # 8991) on :
#2 Where I wake

Today I woke up with snow on me. Yesterday, cold but clear. It rained last week. I am an in-the-moment weatherman. I can tell you what's happening. In the morning, anyway, when I awake in the woods..

I considered building a shack, a destination for my night-wandering self, but I probably wouldn't use it. Just continue to curl up on a patch of brown leaves in autumn, green ferns in summer, and white snow in winter.

I used to lock myself within my home, but my sleepwalking self is more clever than my awake self. Consciousness unbound, I can resolve any problem when faced with only the one. But the real question, the one I perpetually avoid, is why?
Posted by tesknota (Member # 10041) on :
#3. Beneath This Sky

My brother sees things that others cannot. I always believed that his eyes were blessed by the gods, even though he said it was silly.

“Shen, I can teach you to see things the way I do,” he told me one snowy afternoon as we played by the river. “It's simple. Here's the secret: you can't just look. You have to notice.”

We had been molding a small army of snowmen - fourteen of them weaving a line between the willow trees. I noticed that mine were just slightly more misshapen than his, even though I tried my best.

My brother placed a hand on my shoulder. “There is a girl on the other side of this river. She's been there for a while. Did you see her?” I nodded, pointing. My brother smiled. “Now, did

[ January 14, 2016, 08:43 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]
Posted by pdblake (Member # 9218) on :
#4. A Burning Question

The question burned in the air in front of the magic mirror. The word flared with a fae brilliance only magic could supply. Then the mirror awakened, snapped from its slumber, ice cracking across its reflective surface and throwing the mystic light around the room like exploding particles of glass.

The crack of winter crossing the glass was felt as much as heard. A cold breath of wind sighed from deep within the mirror, cold tongues of air from a world beyond that none would ever see. The sigh was the beginning of speech, the first utterings of a voice that was the interface between the world and somewhere else.

Cara feared the answer to the question even as the magic flames fluttered and died, sizzling in the icy embrace of the mirror.

[ January 14, 2016, 08:44 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
# 5
Far Ice and a Sight-See

Moored at Ceres docks, vessel Constance was readied for a deep Oort Cloud survey mission, the start line targeted from Okeus 100 K-Au. Okeus: Alban Gaoul's prompter read, transient dirty ice cometoid on the outer Solar boundary. 100 K-Au: 100,000 astronomical units, 1.6 light years from Sol.

Survey, my backside, Gaoul thought, an idle tourist ride-along on a remote controlled drone -- a drone monstrous as a battleship, though, shaped like a vitamin gel capsule.

The prompter displayed Trainee Gaoul's mission script. "Rely on they are the advised commands, your duties," Stellium Corps Agent Hardy Manek said, the boss, really. Gaoul had believed he'd be.

"Dock and lock detail," Gaoul read aloud, barked with angry heat, "dog all airlocks. Hold aft dock clamp. Release spare clamps and

[ January 14, 2016, 10:19 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]
Posted by Tiergan (Member # 7852) on :
Entry #6:
The Path Ahead

Dorn stared into the frozen landscape, torn and twisted by the never ending winds. Ebony stones rose like fingers from the ice and snow, marking the path that lay ahead, a stark contrast of black and white.

“Stay on the path.” His father's words cut through the night. “Do not stray!”

Dorn nodded, just a slight bob of his head. He could do no more than that. His heart was in his throat.

“They will call to you. Haunt you. But if you stay the path, they can not hurt you.”

His words were strong, stronger than the winds, the ice, and the snow, filled with faith and conviction.

And until the first screams, Dorn believed them.
Posted by Grumpy old guy (Member # 9922) on :
Entry #7 Fairies have spaceships too

They say freezing to death is one of the gentler ways to die. 'They ' are wrong.. They missed the part where the cold gnaws at the tips of your fingers and toes with pointed teeth of icy agony. 'They' failed to mention that you really shouldn't try and pick your nose when it's frozen solid, and they omitted mentioning the ruptured blood vessels in your cheeks as they turn to sheets of tortured, cracked ice.

Lorne McCubbin wanted desperately to meet 'them' and set them straight--if only just once. It would take more than mere wishes and faith to get him out of this predicament. It would need a bleedin' miracle. A miracle in the form of a shiny-bright spaceship, or a nice blue fairy.

What!? Delirium, and then death--and it still hurt. No going gently into the

[ January 15, 2016, 06:15 PM: Message edited by: Grumpy old guy ]
Posted by pdblake (Member # 9218) on :
My votes:
1st #6
2nd #7
3rd #3

A few crits:

#1. Good premise, though the first line of the second paragraph seems to change tense.

#2. Sorry Axe, I don't think I'd read on with this one. It seems a bit rambling to be honest.

#3. I'd read on from this but something needs to happen soon.

#5 I never was a fan of hard sci-fi filled with figures and co-ordinates and what not but I get little sense of the setting here and there are either a few typos in there or just some sci-fi terms I've not got to grips with, "Rely on they?", "dog all airlocks?"

#6 I like this and would read on to see where it's going.

#7 This is one of those things I'm not sure I like or not. I'd read on to find out though.

[ January 18, 2016, 01:25 PM: Message edited by: pdblake ]
Posted by telflonmail (Member # 9501) on :
This is subjective, of course, and is based on incorporating the triggers and my perceived extrapolation that the story will have a satisfying resolution using conflict through faith.

1st 3
2nd 6
3rd 5

Title #5 (for use of a trigger word)
Posted by Grumpy old guy (Member # 9922) on :
I automatically dismissed the first three entries. First person, really? Lazy writing; and probably poorly executed if most first person narratives are anything to go by.

1st #6 A nice set-up for the last sentence.
2nd #5 A 'standard' sci-fi opening; a long awaited development.
3rd #4 A default place-getter really. Although I do see possibilities for further development.

Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
First place: tesknota #3. "Beneath This Sky"

Strong implication of a human condition from the semi-fantastic motif of a difference between see and notice; that is, between indifference and civility. Depth, in other words. The motif also appears to be a direct influence for the action and story movement of a whole short fiction.

Second place: axeminister #2 "Where I wake"

Likewise, implication of a human condition, albeit a reach to grasp one. Stronger cues or cue, anyway, of sleepwalking for a symbolic representation of a human condition, moral, that is, would put this fragment on closer contention for my first place award.

Third place: Grumpy old guy Entry #7 "Fairies have spaceships too"

For spanning both fantasy and science fiction. Almost a human condition unifier from the obstinate disbelief of a cold death is gentle.

Title: tesknota #3. "Beneath This Sky"

The title invokes a mystique of, of all things under this sky, somewhat curiosity arousing from ironic understatement about what might be the clash point, that difference between see and notice, and doesn't prematurely give away the plot -- too directly state what the story is about.

Also rans:

telflonmail #1. "Carry Me Home"

For me, too surface an action, purely overt, too direct. Also, too close distance a use of first person that defuses first person's default close distance and instead opens distance from over-mediated I narration.

pdblake #4. "A Burning Question"

What's the question? No clue given. Artless withheld information, to me.

Tiergan Entry #6: "The Path Ahead"

Physical movement, not much story movement to speak of, for me; likewise, too surface an action, too direct.

Human condition: implication of a moral clash, internal (de se, of the self) or external (de re, of the thing, morals clash between two agencies) or both, congruent to a surface action's clash.
Posted by Tiergan (Member # 7852) on :
1st: Entry #7 - Fairys have Spaceships too - I really liked the voice in this piece. Last line gave me pause though.

2nd: Entry #1 - Carry Me Home - 1st line had me. So real sounding.

3rd: Entry #3 - Beneath This Sky - Curious to see where it goes. Subtle hook.

Title: Carry Me Home

Entry #2 - Curious to see where this goes actually. Seems disjointed to me, but I think thats the authors purpose, so curious to see how it fits into the story.

Entry #4 - This one hit a little to heavy handed to make the top 3. But showed promise.

Entry #5 - A little too much on the heavier side of sci-fi for me, with all the numbers, etc. in the 1st paragraph. Liked the inner thoughts though, survey my backside.
Posted by Disgruntled Peony (Member # 10416) on :
I wish I hadn't missed this contest. Things have been hectic lately and I forgot about it entirely until two days after the deadline. I didn't miss the voting, at least.

Honestly, this round was pretty hard for me: all of the entries were good, regardless of whether or not they appealed to me.

First place: #3. 'Beneath This Sky' definitely catches my attention as a reader. I have to wonder what the brother noticed. I would definitely read on.

Second Place: #7. The descriptions in 'Fairies Have Spaceships Too' are what caught me. I find myself intrigued. (There are a couple of minor typos in the first paragraph: an extra space before an apostrophe, as well as what is either an extra period or missing elipsis. Those are easily fixed, though.)

Third Place: #4. The magic mirror in 'A Burning Question' brings to mind the idea of Snow White, although I don't know if that's the direction the story is headed. I'm curious about both the question and its answer.

Best title: Far Ice and a Sight-See.

As far as the other entries go:

Entry #1 was good, but didn't quite make my list. 'Carry Me Home' is well-written and I would go so far as to give it an honorable mention, but the story hook didn't appeal to me personally.

Entry #2, 'Where I Wake', is interesting but didn't grab me as much as some of the other stories. That said, I would probably keep reading for a bit to see where things went.

Entry #5, 'Far Ice and a Sight-See', was unfortunately too technical for me to immerse myself in at a personal level. However, reading over the opening again I do like Gaoul's character and the situation he finds himself in. If the story had opened with the second paragraph instead of the first and the destination details had been explained in a more approachable manner, this would have appealed to me far more. It might well have made its way into one of the top three spots.

Entry #6, 'The Path Ahead', grabbed me the least out of all the entries here. I think the pacing of the sentences and paragraphs is what threw me off. There's a long stint of short sentences in the second, third and fourth paragraphs, which breaks up the poetry of the narrative for me. Conversely, the single-sentence fifth paragraph feels a bit too run-on for my tastes after all those staccato sentences. All of that said, there is a part of me intrigued by what is out there in that frozen landscape. There's a solid story idea here; I just feel like it could use a bit more polish, personally.
Posted by axeminister (Member # 8991) on :
1: #3
2: #6
3: #7

Sorry I don't have a chance to crit this time around folks. Still, fun to read them all!

Posted by Tiergan (Member # 7852) on :
I guess its that time:

Good turnout, good openings. And every entry received a vote. Rather pleased.

Remember everything is subjective, what may work for one doesn't always work for another. The important thing is we came, we saw, we wrote.

1st Place - Entry #3 "Beneath This Sky" - 14 pts.

2nd Place - Entry #6 "The Path Ahead" - 10 pts.

3rd Place - Entry #7 "Fairy Have Spaceships Too" - 9 pts.

Thanks everyone.

Edited: I hope I added everything correctly.
Posted by tesknota (Member # 10041) on :
Tiergan, wait for me! Sorry, I know I missed the deadline. Got inundated with things and didn't have time to carefully read till now. Even if my votes don't count anymore, I still had fun reading the entries and I thought I'd share my thoughts.

First: #2
Second: #7
Third: #4

I'll post my cmoments soon!
Posted by Tiergan (Member # 7852) on :
No problems tesknota, as my entry is the only one that slides down, I dont see an issue.


First: Entry 3 - 14 votes
Second: Entry 7 - 11 votes
Third: Entry 6 - 10 votes

Thanks again for all that participated. Hopefully we can get another one up next month. Any volunteers?
Posted by Disgruntled Peony (Member # 10416) on :
Originally posted by Tiergan:
Thanks again for all that participated. Hopefully we can get another one up next month. Any volunteers?

I've honestly been thinking about setting up one of these since the first time I saw one, but was a bit shy... I'll see what I can come up with.
Posted by axeminister (Member # 8991) on :
Thanks Tesknota.

My story is about a Vietnam Vet who, while asleep, is searching for something. (Doesn't know this while awake, just finds it a nuisance.) He ends his search in the place in the woods where he wakes up each morning. Which could be a sign. [Smile]

Posted by axeminister (Member # 8991) on :
D. Peony,

Go for it! Just copy paste the instructions and change the dates.

I'm thinking of starting one in March. Probably around the 21st. [Wink]

Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
Just a different trigger or triggers perhaps, perhaps not necessarily.
Posted by Tiergan (Member # 7852) on :
yep, go for it Disgruntled.
Posted by Grumpy old guy (Member # 9922) on :
And, in the meantime, what about a Kick Grumpy's Butt challenge in 1st person POV? Show me what you're made of.


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