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ZD Writing Competition Round 33: Results

Which Entry is Your Favorite?

  • Entry 1

    Votes: 4 66.7%
  • Entry 2

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • Entry 3

    Votes: 1 16.7%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .

Spiritual Mask Salesman

CHIMer Dragonborn
Staff member
Comm. Coordinator
Site Staff
Welcome back to another round of the writing competition! To kick off a new year of creative writing, let's start with the theme we've all been waiting for: please write a short story with a minimum of 500 words about Doc, talk about Doc's well defined jawline, how he never ever cries because he says so, and depict him fighting crime and doing cool backflips, ju-jitsu, and stuff.

Jokes aside, with Valentine's Day around the corner I decided a pretty good open-ended theme would be: Infatuation

It can be a love story that ends with legitimate romance, or maybe write a horror story – I'm interested to see what everyone comes up with. This month I'll be accepting short stories as well as poetry.

Send your entries to me via DM by February 21st, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST (GMT -5). As always, if you have any questions get in touch with me, and have fun writing!

Spiritual Mask Salesman

CHIMer Dragonborn
Staff member
Comm. Coordinator
Site Staff
This month we got three entries to vote for. Additionally, I recieved an entry from a member who wants to get back into writing, but would rather remain anonymous. Their entry will not be available to vote for, but definitely tell them if you liked it down below!

Voting will end February 28th, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST (GMT -5).

“A Fool’s Infatuation”

A lovely glance that would drive any soul wild,
Words as smooth as her silken skin,
A temperament no one would dare call mild
Are what have my heart in the enraptured state that it’s in.

Her smile carries all the warmth of the crackling fire
I’ve dreamed of us embracing by night after night,
Joyful visions I never tire of seeing
Before sadly meeting the morning light.

Her perfume fills my head
Like her visage I imagine all throughout the day.
Yet her absence in the evenings
And the coldness I’m always feeling
Does the truth of my lonely existence betray.

The touch I long for,
The kiss I crave,
The hand I so desperately dream of having clasped in mine,
The love I need
Is nothing but a product of my imagination,
A poor sap’s fascination,
A lovesick fool’s infatuation.​

The City of Golden Lights.

A place where you can accomplish anything and be anyone.

At least that’s what they say. But it’s not all that it’s pegged out to be.


“Hey, watch out, kid!”

Damien scooped up the little boy from beneath the wheels of a speeding vehicle. It grazed his side and he lurched forward. Breathing heavily he asked, “Are you alright, kid?”

“Yeah. Thanks a lot mister. You saved me.”

“Okay, don’t go playing by yourself on the street again.”

“Hey, you!” a police officer said motioning towards Damien. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? You could have been killed.”

“That boy would have been killed if he’d relied on your sorry asses to get here on time.”

“Pfft, acting like a tough guy is only going to get you killed one day. If you really want to save people, you should join the police force. And you might want to get yourself checked out at the hospital while you’re at it. I’ve known guys whose pride got in the way of checking their injuries, and they’re rolling in their graves right now.”

“Whatever. Leave me alone.”

The image of the burning building entered Damien’s mind again.

“Not now,” he muttered. “Not now.”

Damien darted off in the direction of his house.

Wheezing, he had to stop himself after just a few blocks. Maybe he really should have listened to that police officer.

“Hey, Damien. You don’t look so well. Don’t push yourself too much.”

He couldn’t mistake that friendly voice.

“Hey Laura. What are you doing here?”

“I was just doing some grocery shopping for my mom. And it looks like you’re getting yourself into trouble again.”

“You know me. Just trying to follow in the footsteps of my father and help folks out.”

“Here,” Laura said, “put this on,” as she took out a rubbing alcohol pad and some gauze. She was always prepared for stuff like this. Her mom was a doctor after all.

“Thanks. I owe you one.”

“I’ll see you at school tomorrow.”

“Yeah, I’ll see you at school tomorrow. Don’t do anything stupid before then.”

Damien headed back home.

“Hey, sorry for getting into trouble again,” he said as he picked up an old family picture in the living room.

“I promise I’ll become a police officer just like you dad. I promise.”


“Damn. Hope did it get to this?” Damien asked as he chugged down another beer.

He was a 35 year old living in a rundown apartment with no future of his own in sight.

The image of what had happened at the police department all those years back haunted him every night. He had been in peak physical condition and easily passed the physical test, but he flunked the written test and poor judgment meant he also failed a disaster simulation. A hurt bystander passed away from his negligence because he didn’t disinfect an injury he had overlooked on their thighs.

Ever since then, he felt a deep pit in his stomach whenever the thought of applying again crossed his mind.

He was the son of the legendary police officer, Jin Giwara. Jin had saved countless citizens throughout his tenure. He never backed down from the worst-case scenario.

But he met his tragic end in a fire one day on the job. Jin had made the mistake of thinking it was instigated by accident. Unfortunately, this miscalculation cost him. A killer on the loose from a neighboring city had let loose and Jin wandered right into his trap. He was shot dead on the spot.

It turned out that there was a syndicate of criminals who had conspired to take Jin down, so they had planned a fake disaster to lure him in.

Damien turned on the TV. He needed to take his mind off these old memories.

“Hello. Welcome to XYZ, the premier 24/7 news channel of the City of Golden Lights. Another drug operation was busted today by the legendary police officer-”

He turned off the TV. A look at that blonde figure told him all he needed to know. She had busted another case.

He had never expected it back in the day, but Laura had become a police officer. She now busted series after series of crimes. Laura had become who Damien always wanted to be. She had a strong sense of justice imbued in her from her mother, but she decided to save lives in a different way. She wanted to punish the wrongdoers.

Well, he couldn’t be bothered to do anything that day. Maybe it was time for Damien to let go of his dream.

He got up and headed out to buy some more beers.

Just as he rounded the corner to the nearest liquor store, he heard a voice exclaiming, “Put your hands in the air. Hand over the money and no one gets hurt.”

“Freeze. Put the gun down.”

It was Laura.

A shot went off.

Damien peered through the glass and saw that she had been shot in the shoulder. A second goon had been concealed in one of the aisles.

He needed to act fast or his friend would be killed. He pulled out his phone from his back pocket and put on some Metallica on YouTube. The sound made the gunmen take their eyes off Laura for a moment. She pounced and took the gunman nearest her to the ground and hid behind the counter as the second started firing at her.

Damien hurled his phone into the store. The approaching sound startled the second gunman and Laura made her way towards him. He fired as she hid behind some produce. In the gunman’s frenzy he missed Damien sprinting into the store. Damien threw a can of tuna at the gunman and knocked the gun out of his arms. He wrestled the man down to the ground.

“Hey. I didn’t expect to see you here,” Laura exclaimed.

“I didn’t expect to see myself here either. It looks like the job is done,” Damien replied as he kept the second goon pinned.

“Yeah, I’ll call my superiors and have these guys rounded up.”

“Hey, by the way, if you’re nervous about people making fun of you for failing that tests so many years ago, don’t sweat it. People have short-term memories when it comes to anyone but themselves. I think you should give it another shot.”

“I’ve been avoiding reality for so long that I’ve forgotten what my dream was. I’m embarrassed to try again not because of my failure but because I’ve let my dad down and what he stood for.”

“Don’t give me that crap. I know your dad would want you to keep trying until you succeeded” Laura retorted.

“Yeah, I think I’ve been too afraid for too long. You’re right. I can’t keep running away forever.”

“It’s time to turn a new leaf. It’s time to do what my heart is set on once and for all.”

Roses are red
Violets are blue
The colors of the rainbow
Shine dull next to you

Daisies are white
Tulips are gold
If kingdoms could buy smiles
Yours would be sold

Orchids are pink
Lilies are gray
Luckiest of men I am
To glimpse you today

Poppies are peach
Pansies are too
May statements of love
Live always in you

Strong Eyes

I can see her, still sitting on that park bench where she was two hours ago. Old Pruney. I guess that's not very accurate, since her skin actually seems pretty soft. But she looks so old! Maybe she gardens. I don't know. I heard that helps, I think. Doesn't her butt hurt? She seems... unhappy. But not sad. Maybe happiness and sadness are on a spectrum, and you can be a little bit happy and a little bit sad. Wait, she's getting up. Finally! I wonder where she's going? I'll follow her.
I'm silent like the grave. A deadly shadow, dodging and ducking between the people on the street, always keeping a distance, never losing sight of my mark. I am stealth incarnate. I get distracted by a funny looking man in a Statue of Liberty costume. He's spinning a sign. I wave at him, and he does a special flip just for me. Wait. Where did Old Pruney go? Phew, there she is. Thought you could lose me, didn't you? She's turning into a big white building. Hospital.

Narrowly dodging through the closing electronic door, I look around the interior. I think it's cozy, with bright wood finish walls and a thick carpeted floor. Keeping to the corners of the room, I tail Old Pruney unseen. A pretty lady working behind the desk smiles at her. Old Pruney speaks, but her voice isn't what I expect. It's clear, and strong! Strange.

"I'm here for Mr. Packer," she says to Pretty Smile. Pretty Smile starts tapping on her computer. "He's here on the first floor, room 112."

"Thank you so much!" Pretty Smile nods, looking back down at her desk as Old Pruney walks through the door in the back of the Hospital. I move to follow her. Pretty Smile notices me somehow. She raises an eyebrow at me. I can see a hint of mischief in her eyes. I give her my biggest smile. She smiles back and asks me where my parents are. Thinking quickly, I point in toward where Old Pruney went. Her eyes change. Sympathy, I think? I make a note to myself to practice looking sympathetic. It makes me feel good.

Thinking quickly, I tell her, "I'm trying to find my grandma."

"Oh? Can you tell me your grandma's name?"
Thinking quicklyer, I reply, "Grandma Packer." I think that's a better answer than Grandma Pruney. That answer is apparently the right one, because she nods with her pretty smile and tells me to run after her.

I can see Old Prun- Grandma Packer, I mentally remind myself, sticking to my new cover story, just barely turning into a room with an attendant outside the door. He's tall, with very dark skin, and even taller hair. He sees me right before I can engage my stealth mode and calls out to me.

"Hey, kid! You really shouldn't be wandering out here alone," Tall Hair says, bending down on one knee.

"I'm not alone. I'm following my Grandma."
He smiles and pokes his head back into the room.

"Ma'am, your grandson is out here." I start to panic. I hadn't planned for this. Time to improvise an escape route.

Old Pruney steps back into the hallway and smiles at me. "There you are, grandson! I thought I told you to wait in the lobby, you little rascal." That voice is still so strong, but in a comfortable way, like how you can only stick your finger so far into chocolate frosting. I smile back uncertainly.

"Well, come on. If you found your way here you might as well say hi to Grandpa," she says, holding out her hand. Her eyes are trustworthy, so I take her hand and she gently pulls me into the room. It's a bedroom, I think? But it doesn't have any toys in it. Instead, it has science machines. An old man is laying in the bed. At first he reminds me of my dad in that funny bed, cause his skin is a bit see-through, but then he coughs and raises his head, propping himself up on some extra pillows. He has less hair than Old Pruney, and his nose is really really big. I look at Old Pruney, trying to figure out her MO. She has eyes only for Big Nose. Her soft face somehow melts even softer looking at him. She seems infatuated. I look into her eyes. Something stronger is in there, almost angry, but happy about it? She's dedicated to Big Nose, for some reason. I can see a little sadness in her eyes too. I don't really understand. Strong Eyes winks at Big Nose. "Your grandson wanted to say hi," she says.

Big Nose sizes me up and chuckles. "Hiya, sport! You're getting big, aren't you? Here, these flowers are for your mother." He pulls out a handful of smelly flowers from a jar and gives them to me. I take them, surprised at the generosity of the old man, even if they do smell bad. I look back at Strong Eyes. She pats me on the head and tells Tall Hair standing at the door to make sure I find my way to the lobby.

I have no trouble getting back to the lobby, and don't even need Tall Hair's help. I wave goodbye to him and Pretty Smile, then slip back outside. The day feels just a little bit warmer. When I get home, I pat Mom on the head and give her the smelly flowers. She's hunched over at our table with the dim kitchen light on. She looks up at me and seems emotional. I guess she really does like the flowers. I look her straight in the eyes and look sympathetic. I can see her eyes change. Strong, like Strong Eyes' were in that bedroom. Mom and I hug each other.

Spiritual Mask Salesman

CHIMer Dragonborn
Staff member
Comm. Coordinator
Site Staff
With voting concluded, let's get a round of applause for the winner of round 33 of the Writing Competition: @twilitfalchion!

And thank you to all the other participants, and I hope to see you all again in April!

Entry 1: @twilitfalchion
Entry 2: @A Link In Time
Entry 3: @funnier6
Entry 4: Anonymous

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