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ZD Writing Competition Round 18 - Voting

Which entry was your favorite?

  • Entry #1

    Votes: 6 54.5%
  • Entry #2

    Votes: 5 45.5%

  • Total voters
    11
  • Poll closed .
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Welcome back to another voting round of the writing competition. This round's theme was Rebirth. Last time, an unusual entry sparked quite a bit of conversation, so I'd appreciate if we could get some dialogue going about the two submitted pieces once again. You can find them in the spoiler tag below. Be sure to vote for your favorite entry once you're done reading.

Entry #1

James walked slowly to the site. He knew only grief on these walks that he did so often to the same place… He deserved all of the guilt, grief, and emotional pain he was dealing with for this…

He approached the site. There she was, as peaceful as ever, but a lot dirtier, and it looked like the insects had their fill of her while he was gone for the past week.

He could never forget what he’d done. His tears wet the dirt he was standing on. Slowly they came down. Slowly, like how she had died…

James remembered the incident like it was yesterday. It never left his mind. The gunshot had been ringing in his ears since this terrible accident happened.

He sat down on the slightly wet dirt, cross legged, with his head looking straight down at the space between his crotch and his legs. He knew he’d never forget the terrible day. He knew he’d never forget her last words…

It was about two weeks earlier that the event happened: James went hunting with his rifle in search of Deer. It was then, that he saw a deer out of the corner of his eyes. He quickly turned to face the deer, and automatically pressed the trigger. Direct hit!

When he reached the deer, he heard strange gasping, and sputtering sounds coming from the ground. It was a woman, not a deer! He knew he had to act fast!

Quickly he tore off his sweater, and put pressure on her chest where the bullet had pierced her. All the woman could do, was fight to stay alive, but of course, he knew, and she knew. There was no saving her.

A few minutes later, she spoke to him:

“How could you do this?”

She was dead after a few more seconds.

James had this scene playing in his mind since it happened, never forgetting his initial excitement at the excellent hit... Never forgetting the once-satisfying sound of a gun firing off a bullet…

He got up, and brushed himself off. He walked away from the woman very slowly, and reverently.

Another week later, James walked back to her. Same tears blocking his vision, same scene playing in his mind over and over like someone would play their favorite song, but unlike someone playing their favorite song, there was no emotion on his face, except deep sadness, and regret.

When he arrived at the scene, he looked at her body once again. Her face had been very visibly eaten by something, and many maggots were feasting at her body as well.

From her stomach, he saw a small plant taking growing. It was so small, and harmless. It was magnificent.

After seeing that, he had no more collection for his wits. He dropped to his knees, and started crying like he never had before. His head was in his hands, and he was shaking somewhat violently.

He quickly stood up, with his head still in his hands, and walked around frantically, still crying in a very loud fashion. He took his hands off his head.

Wham! James punched a nearby tree as hard as he could. He didn’t care that his hand was now bleeding profusely. Wham! He hit with his other hand. Wham! He attacked the tree with his entire body, still crying very hard. This time, however, instead of backing up for another blow, he held on to the tree, hugging it like a baby would hug their stuffed bear. He stayed there for a while, crying as hard as ever…

He came back the next week. The plant had begun to blossom. It was beautiful… So beautiful… James just stood there, staring at the flower. The beautiful flower...

Entry #2

The rust stings my eyes.

Surely the salt is a menace.

Don't patronize me! This predicament is your design!

I did not wish this...

That's exactly what you did.

Would that this had not been my wish.

Insincerity. You envied them their youth, their vitality. You were jealous of the squalor into which you plunged your kingdom, and humiliated by it. You could not allow another to purge your domain so you, "Went down with the ship", as it were. *chuckles* Vanity. Pray, has your unparalleled selflessness eased your spirit?

Puns, blackguard? A low stoop for a king, 'fore a king.

You're a shipwreck!

And you, a stone. And now both keep company with the fish and eels. My failings are my own, and you are the worm, calling the lion low. You coveted the fortune of your neighbor and would have robbed the new generation of opportunity! Your craven carcass rotted in a festering citadel as you stole the light from the eyes of the remaining good souls of the world! Curb your accusations, spineless wretch...

Ha ha ha...your shame has weakened you, brought you to your knees, shattered your defenses. You point condemnation in every direction and claim pure intent. You hide behind a straw wall, thinking yourself above question. But your greed robbed her of her heritage, your envy stole her innocence. You are, yourself the theif who snuffed the light.

Circumstance found you and your people plagued by famine and drought. And when at last, only you remained, you were left holding the weight of your regret and burden of your impotence. You misplaced your anguish at your ineptitude and pined for those things which had passed.

...blast this corroded spike and its maker and the wind that brought you blessing! It itches and burns, it writhes through my head and burns through my mind! A thousand ancient curses on you!!!

Your quarrel is as dated as your oaths, fiend.

A quarrel that began in the scorching desert at your cold shoulder. As in life, you shirk responsibility and wield blame as this blade! You witnessed the plight of my kin yet held your nose to the sky. May the wind of guilt score your conscience and topple your self-righteous ego!

And now the heart of the matter, your refusal to accept your gross negligence and failure to lead your pack of cut-throats in a manner befitting the title, "King of Thieves". Once again, you play the martyr, twisting history to your whim and casting aspersions with prejudice. Your world's fate can be credited to none other than yourself.

Our world's fate came about at your hands, Daphnes! Your heart is a hard as...as mine is now!...GAH! Curse the fire of this sacred blade! When finally it dissolves in the salt of this foul sea, I will again rise and you, you will remain restless in the pit of the world forever!

That pain is but a shadow of my agony at my failure to lead Hyrule to prosperity! Blaze with pain forever, swine! May the name Ganondorf be ever reviled! May the tongues of Hyrulians spit the syllables with contempt! May your memory be an indelible strain upon the memories of every generation!

And you, "Deposed King of Hyrule", may your name be forgotten to the ages, may your line end in disgrace and obscurity! May Hyrule languish in paucity and fail utterly as its scattered tribes debase themselves to ruin! Desolation overtake even the echo of your title!

Long live the King of Nothing!
 
Last edited:

Alita the Pun

Dmitri
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Location
Nintendo Memeverse
Gender
A Mellophone Player... Mellophonista?
Both posts here are quality writing. The first is very gruesome in my opinion, but also meaningful. You have to look a little deeper to get it. it seems that, other than remorse, the man has no consequences for killing this woman and I'm not sure how much I'd agree with that, it's not very realistic. But other than that I thought it had a good progression. It had the success of getting a good hit, the grief of realizing what he had done, after coming back a week later, and finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I see this as less of a literal story and more of a symbolic story. The woman shows the process of dealing with a tragic accident with the flower. Surprise, grief, and then moving on. That's my takeaway.
 

Hyrulian Hero

TheGuyWhoSqeezedOutAHeartPieceInTheStockPotInn
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Location
PNW
Both posts here are quality writing. The first is very gruesome in my opinion, but also meaningful. You have to look a little deeper to get it. it seems that, other than remorse, the man has no consequences for killing this woman and I'm not sure how much I'd agree with that, it's not very realistic. But other than that I thought it had a good progression. It had the success of getting a good hit, the grief of realizing what he had done, after coming back a week later, and finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I see this as less of a literal story and more of a symbolic story. The woman shows the process of dealing with a tragic accident with the flower. Surprise, grief, and then moving on. That's my takeaway.
It's weird, I pictured a post-apocalyptic setting for the first one and I think it was specifically because there were no other people mentioned in the story coupled with the fact that he seemed desperate enough to blindly fire at anything. The woman's face being part-way eaten also called to mind zombies although I'm sure it was just insects.
 

Kylo Ken

I will finish what Spyro started
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Location
Ohio
Entry 1 blew me away; bravo, writer. The tone, pace, and sentence structure is downright inspirational.
 

Hyrulian Hero

TheGuyWhoSqeezedOutAHeartPieceInTheStockPotInn
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Location
PNW
I planned on participating but I couldn't cause I was out of state. I'll participate next time and hopefully win.
I thought these things were going to be two weeks to enter and two weeks to vote, I'm excited! Do enter, I really love reading the entries.
 

YIGAhim

Sole Survivor
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Location
Stomp
Gender
Male
It's always great when more people submit entries. I'm glad I could participate in this one, and look forward to competing in more with you all!
 

Mamono101

生きることは痛みを知ること。
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Location
The Makai
I thought these things were going to be two weeks to enter and two weeks to vote, I'm excited! Do enter, I really love reading the entries.
They used to run like that, but now we run the competitions one at a time in rotation. It just happened that ALIT was able to get two rounds done in a row this time as no competitions had been done for a long time in this section. Since there was sufficient interest, we decided to try running the other competitions again.
 
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