Also, a thanks to Voldy! He went over each of them so we could compared marks to rank each of them, and he also helped me with each of the little comments. So thanks Voldy (:
To put in a little bit more suspence, I'm going to list those who did not get first or second place, in no particular order with just a little comment on each. This is so everyone can have a look at each other's, learn and stuff. Plus, people came up with such different things! It's really interesting reading them all.
Footsteps echoed quickly down the hall. James ran full pelt. The wind blew through his jet-black hair. Green eyes scanned the world around him. Strong legs thumped at the ground. Arms pumped across his body. A gunshot screamed past his face, grazing the smooth tanned face.
Up ahead a large window sat quietly in its frame.
“Not for much longer.” James thought. His only chance of escape was through the window and into the forest below this building. He was on the fourth story.
As he neared the window he pulled the katanas, strapped across each other, out of their sheaths. Another bullet whizzed past his body, only being deflected by the blade of his katana, and his quick thinking and movement.
Loud bangs were heard every second. There were the thumps of fifty feet running after him. The shots deafened him. He was only able to hear, when a bullet crashed through the glass as he jumped through, making life a little easier.
He landed softly on the ground, from a four-story drop. The crunch and the loud groan almost made James stop, but he had no sympathy for a man who had been trying to kill him. He deserved whatever he broke trying to follow him through the window.
James ran through the forest quickly weaving through the trees. His breath blew up in front of his face in a thick mist, slamming his face as he ran on this cold autumn morning. The cold morning air stung his face. The beads of sweat froze as they dropped off his face.
No sound around him was made, not even his footsteps were heard as he ran over twigs, and leaves. His feet only touched the ground for a millisecond as he ran.
Up ahead, was his picture perfect refuge. A small cottage owned by a dead hermit. Snow fell on the roof, creating a fluffy sleet on top of the structure. That was the only indication of its existence.
Five meters away the door to the cottage opened, and James stumbled through, stopping within a nose’s length of the wall. James peeled himself from the wall, and buried his hands in his pockets looking for the reason of his adventure. He retrieved a small film canister, and chucked it at the man in the shadows.
A small pop filed the room, as it opened. The small USB stick slid out of the tube, and was inspected by the man. His murmurs were un-audible, even to the most trained ear.
“Well, Pa? Is all good?” asked James.
The man looked at him, and stepped out of the shadows showing an extraordinary resemblance to James. He nodded.
A kick at the door triggered both men to run to the windows, ready to jump through and escape. Another quick kick on the door with an order to open up or they would kick it in, and kill you on sight.
They counted to three, and the door came crashing inwards.
As the all flooded in, James and his father jumped through the windows and ran off through the forest. Screams were heard from behind them as orders were given to pursue hem, and by any means possible bring them back to the building.
They ran through the forest, bullets flying past. There was no way that one could him or his father, but a scream erupted in he forest, as James’ father got shot in the back. James stopped and knelt at his side.
“Dad, no. You can’t go. We have to finish this war,” James said,
His father ran his hands over James’ scar across his face. A memory of a fight won.
“Destroy the USB, that is where all their information is. Without it, they can’t make any weapons.” his head fell back, and his eyes rolled back.
I ran off promising to follow his instructions.
What stood out about this one was that it went straight into the action, catching our attention straight away. The short sentences at the beginning to emphasise the fast action etc. And it gives hints at a large backstory, a war or something.
What lost the author marks here was their grammar and the flow of their writing. Things such as full stops before a speech mark ending, (ie. "Blah blah blah." he said") forgetting to capitalise letters etc. At times it also contrasts itself, for example "He landed softly on the ground, from a four-story drop." As this character seems to be human, you've got to play to the restrictons of that character.
The night was a hot and the window was left open, however, no breeze blew through it. Rosalind lay with her bedding sprawled onto the floor, her arms and legs spread across her bed. Sweat rolled down her body, making her sheets stick to her body. She wore her usual pajamas; boxers and a sports bra. In the corner her radio-clock blinked the same number: 12:00. She reached for her cellphone on her nightstand and it lit up: 3:00. She groaned and placed it back.
Rosalind got up from her bed and crossed the room; a cat whined. She gave it no notice and decided to run herself a cool bath in the adjacent bathroom. She turned on the light.
She caught her reflection in the bathroom mirror and sighed. She had cut her blonde hair short for the summer season, which was a blessing. She was thin, with a bit of baby fat still around her stomach; her arms and legs were long and gangly. People often told her she looked pixie-like. Her eyes were a deep blue color with a tint of green in the centre and her face was thin, her chin came to a point. Her skin had gotten slightly tanned from the several games of football she played over the summer.
She returned to her room and took a seat in her chair. She had just completed year ten of school, her school uniform was scattered around her room. Her soccer uniform hung from her chair, the colors were gold and purple.
In the other room she heard her mother snoring gently in the other room. Her mother was an elementary school teacher and she worked for the nearby school. They both had lived in a small apartment before moving to a small sized house. The only reason they moved was because she had gotten into her high school of choice. She never knew her father and her mother rarely talked about him. But she did get all smiley and her eyes would go distant when Rosalind would mention about him. When she got too nosey her mother would tell her to drop it so she did.
Something crackled. "Rosalind," something whispered.
Rosalind raised her head and looked around. She swore she heard something saying her room. "Rosalind." There it was it again. "Rosalind, look on your nightstand."
Her eyes wondered over to her radio, she rubbed her eyes. "Huh?" She stared at her radio. Did her radio just talk? Was she crazy?
"No, you're not crazy," it said.
Rosalind jumped and fell to the ground. "You...j...just talked."
"And?" It asked.
"Radios aren't supposed to talk."
She heard her radio give a sigh. "What to they teach you in schools these days?"
"How can a radio talk?"
"Uh..." The radio paused. "That is a very good question....ummm....don't freak when you hear this. But the reason I can talk is because of magic."
Rosalind snickered, which soon became a full hearted laugh.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I hope you've had your laugh, but it's true. How else do you explain it?" He asked her. She stopped and looked at him, she wiped away her tears. She shrugged, the radio did make a good point. "By the way I'm Steve."
"Steve," she repeated. There was a moment of silence between them.
She soon heard water splash against the floor, she gasped. She rushed to her bathroom and tripped over her school jumper. She landed to the ground with a thud and got back to her feet. She shut off the water and sighed. She grabbed an extra towel and mopped it up. She pulled off her clothes and got in. She was surprised she was taking the talking radio thing rather well. But her gut was telling her that it was normal.
Here the author scored alot of points for the history of the character, and also did quite well on describing events and their writing technique. The writing flows nicely, the grammar and spelling is good and the plot itself is something really different! This was the first one I read, and I was so surprised by where it went - I really didn't expect it.
The author lost a mark or two on writing technique for unnecessary repetition of words in the same sentence, ie. "Sweat rolled down her body, making her sheets stick to her body." The descriptions, though detailed, are quite narrated but on the other hand, the description of the character was nicely woven into the story through a mirror.
Peter walked into the dark building with his sword holstered and his gun in hand. He couldn't see anything and since his flashlight didn't work he would have to hunt this demon blind. "Hello" said a voice from behind. Peter jumped ten feet and quickly turned to see the voice. It was Gabriel. "DON'T DO THAT" Peter whispered loudly. Gabe just chuckled.
"Look this demon is hunting a soul of pure light."
"Meaning Peter its your job as the Angeric to stop him, so stop lallygagging, baby"
"Hey! I never wanted this job, the big fella up there decided for me. Aren't you my guardian angel, shouldn't you be helping me?"
"Well not without a please"
"please" Peter said irritated.As he said this a light shone in his eyes, he turned away and held his eyes in pain. As he opened them he could see everything. "Night vision, cool" he said impressed. He looked to where Gabe was but saw nothing. "he left, that bastard" Peter said angrily. Well nothing much he can do about it now he thought as he walked, as he turned the corner he heard something from behind.
As he turned he saw two beat red eyes staring him down, it was the demon. "uh... Hi" Peter said backing away. He had dealt with demons before, though most weren't drooling acid. As he backed away he slowly lifted his gun, that and his swords were specifically designed to hurt demons.
He shot at the demon but it swiftly dodged it. Damn its fast. Thought Peter as he looked around for it. As he turned he saw a bright light shining in his face. "The soul of pure light?" he questioned quietly as he turned off his night vision. As he looked he saw the figure step closer. "PETER!" it said. He recognized that voice. "Zack? what the hell are you doing here" Peter asked . Zack stepped closer revealing his face. Zack had been Peter's best friend and was the only mortal who knew of Peter being the Angeric. "You ditched school so I figured you must be on a mission." he said. "Wait how did you know I was here? I never told you where the mission was." Peter asked.
"There's a homing beacon in your left shoe"
"You programed a homing beacon"
"No Lacy did, she's been worried about where you are heading off to so often, but I convinced her to make one for me to place on you and disabled hers"
"Even so it's to dangerous for you to be here"
"Why? I can handle myself, I've done so before, and besides I've come with you on missions before and have proven I would be better at hunting demons sometimes than you" He said accomplished as two red eyes opened behind him. "There is something really bad behind me isn't there" Zack said as Peter just nodded.
Peter moaned inside his head as he took out his gun and shot it at the demon. Zack rolled out of the way of the shots. The demon was able to dodge them again and get away. "So having fun" said Zack chuckling. "Sad part is I am" Peter responded as he took out his sword and blocked a slash by the demon. He thanked his employer/god that he had a slight six sense as he back kicked the demon. He turned back on his night vision and tossed his sword to Zack, who caught it with ease. Peter raised his gun. "Ready?" He asked Zack. "Always" Zack said.
The idea behind this was really interesting - it hints at a bigger, more complex plot which is what role-playing is all about really. We also learn quite a bit about the character through this introductory post.
However, the author lost quite a few marks on grammar, writing style etc. When a new character speaks, there should be a new line. Commas, etc after speechmarks are also missing. And capitalisation of entire words, especially those that are meant to be whispered, tend to be avoided in writing.
“Once upon a time…”
I stared at this sentence, crumpled the sheet with an exasperated grunt and tossed it into the trash bin next to my bed. I allowed the worn feather to roll from my hand and threw myself into the back of my chair, nearly toppling over.
Dawn broke over the horizon just as I edged myself from my seat. Light pooled onto the desert sand as though someone in the heavens was pouring it from buckets above. I stood from the chair and rubbed my grizzly chin. It was turning out to be a beautiful day, hot, windy and sandy--if one can actually call that beautiful.
Sighing, I turned my back on the world and glanced around my disaster area. It had not been cleaned at all. Hardly surprising considering I hadn’t given myself a lick of hygienic work either since I started this mad escapade to write something—anything—worthwhile.
My usual dusty hair was darker than ever, greased together and hanging raggedly over my face. I brushed it out of the way and headed to the small wash room.
First things first, though, I needed a shave. I looked in the mirror and oh my God, it wasn’t just grizzle, it was most of my face. Hair, that is. I shaved hurriedly and finally I almost looked like a presentable human being. After a long, cold bath I even noticed a vast difference in my scent.
I stepped into my small, one room hotel room and take another glance around. I took one look at the over-flowing trash bin and winced. Words my parents had said to me years before swirled around in my head like goldfish in a bowl.
‘A writer? You couldn’t write a sentence to save your life. Boy, you don’t even know how to read,' my father barked a laugh.
‘He’s just dreaming,’ my mother said airily.
‘One day he’s going to have to learn how to separate dreams from reality, then. There is no way in this world that you’re going to become a writer.’
‘I’ll learn!’ I had offered. ‘I’ll get someone to teach me!’
My father laughed again. ‘Like we would waste the money on you.’
They were right. Though my mother had eventually slipped me the money to get lessons on reading and writing, I was still a failure. I can’t write. There’s just not enough inspiration in the world.
I dressed myself hastily and exited the building, heading for the bar down the road.
Once inside, I ordered a drink. It was hardly sustenance but I had lost my appetite somewhere between ignoring the inn keeper demanding money and the walk here.
Half way through my drink, a tall, burly man entered the bar. His face was hairier than mine had just been. He was taller than me—but not by much—and much stronger. I’m scrawny.
“Sal,” the bartender nodded.
“Barry,” the man said gruffly.
I looked back and forth between the two.
“Heading north?” Barry wondered, wiping the inside of a glass with a greasy looking dish towel.
“Yup,” he replied. Wordless, Barry got him a drink as well.
I decided to say my piece. “North? Like, the uncharted lands?”
“That’d be them.”
Silently I tipped my glass back and forth between my thumb and forefinger and made a spontaneous decision. “Do you take passengers?”
The bar went quiet, quieter than I thought a bar was capable of being. The only movement were the tiny dust motes surfing on rays of light.
Sal looked at me “Got a name?”
“Um, Daniel. Daniel Fredricks.”
“Got a reason?”
Did I have a reason? I wondered. I thought I just needed to get away.
“I’m looking for inspiration,” I replied without hesitation.
Sal held out his hand and I shook it. “Welcome aboard,” Sal grunted, turning back to his drink.
What I loved so much about this one is the way a reader can associate with the character! Havn't we all had writer's block at one point or another? The description is detailed and we learn quite a bit about the character's history, without it being narrated straight to us. The end is also brilliant for a role-play, as it leaves an opportunity for the plot to go almost anywhere and for a whole range of characters to join in!
The only thing that lost this author points was paragraphing. Paragraphing is terribly important, otherwise it gets hard to read which can put you off.
Now, for second place we have...
Lae drifted silently through the trees, stalking his prey with the disciplined air of a true hunter. The multicolored foliage decorating the surrounding trees and ground masked his slight frame like a cloak. Virtually invisible, Lae slipped stealthily by.
The dead leaves that carpeted the forest floor would usually crunch under the weight of a hunter, but not under Lae. The power of the black diamond medallion he wore around his neck prevented that. Extending its field of enchantment around he who wore it, Lae’s graceful elfin feet were like nothing more than mist as the medallion bore him over the ground. With the magic of the medallion and the cunning of a hunter, Lae made no more noise than a spider crawling over its web.
The stag halted in its run and looked around, searching the trees carefully before lowering its head slowly to the water hole.
Lae smiled nastily, the action contorting his narrow face into an ugly sneer, and nocked an arrow against his bowstring. The stag froze and slowly lifted its head. Lae aimed briefly at the neck and released. The arrow soared through the clearing, and Lae anticipated the great creature’s fall.
But the stag was too quick for the arrow, which buried itself instead in the stag’s flanks. It leapt aside and took off through the trees, darting amongst the autumn browns and golds to safety. Lae broke into pursuit, drawing out another arrow as he ran. His shiny black hair broke free of its tie in his speed, and the dark strands whipped at his cheeks.
But the beautiful animal was wounded badly, and after only a few moments staggered to a halt and collapsed on a leafy bed. Lae drew close and bent beside it, chuckling softly. The stag’s eyes were full of fear, but Lae’s own green ones contained no mercy. With a low chuckle he laid his bow on the ground and drew a sharp knife from his belt.
Blood gushed from the new wound Lae was carving in the stag’s back. The animal howled with pain, kicking and struggling, bashing its antlered head against a fallen log. Lae only laughed. He dug the blade in harder, relishing in the agony of his prey. When he thought the torture enough, the elvin hunter pulled off his gloves and cupped his hands under the flow.
The dark liquid was hot against his tapered fingers, and Lae laughed again, a sound of death. As he washed in the blood he was reminded, as always, of his own life. Lae always thought it ironic that he should think of life as he bathed in that of others. The stag had stopped struggling in its pain, and now lay limp as Lae’s fingers probed within it.
Lae had lived in the elves’ hunting village on the outskirts of the Great Forest his whole life, and had been raised to support others with his kills. He had quickly mastered the arts of archery, swordsmanship, and painless slaughtering, but Lae had never been interested in any of it. He dug his fingers in deeper, and the stag’s whole body spasmed. Ever since he had found the black diamond medallion, all Lae had ever wanted to do was cause pain.
The animals in the Great Forest offered him that. He would return each night to the village with a small deer or fox, silently relishing in the brutal slaughter of a much larger animal decaying in the forest. It was a horrible addiction Lae could not rid himself of.
His green eyes were possessed by a hunger that took hold of his entire being. Lae removed his bloody hands from the flanks of the stag and, with quivering fingers, pulled the medallion from his neck and dipped it lovingly in the crimson pool. Lae’s eyes turned black as diamonds, and he threw back his head and laughed.
There's really not much I can say as way of comments for this or the next one - read it yourself, you'll see why they can second and first.
And now, drum roll please.
Nathan lounged on the sill of a tall, arching window. A book open, but now disregarded, sat in his lap, the gentle breeze licking at the corners of the pages. Leaning against the cold stone he could see the view outside - the castle grounds were overgrown and the cobbled paths all but swallowed up by the dense bush, but there was a wild beauty to it that he appreciated. Beyond that, a forest stretched until the end of the earth - or as far as Nathan could see. His sigh was brushed away with the wind. 'If only there was something more...'
He watched as Isabella stepped out of the shadowy trees so far below, carrying an armful of firewood. She looked like a virgin priestess with leaves in her black hair and twigs in her white dress. She waved, and Nathan blushed; he looked quickly away, pretending he hadn't seen her. When he looked back she was gone, and he thought himself foolish - humans weren't for love-making, especially not human slaves. And yet... He hoisted himself back up onto the sill and closed his eyes to the ground 300 feet below. Isabella was so gentle, so graceful. So unlike any of his own kind. She was a rare, untouchable treasure.
He let the sun warm his cheeks and the breeze dry his sweat, so warm and inviting, and then stepped over the edge.
Adrenalin pumped through his body as he fell, so quickly, through the air - and then his tawny wings opened and he felt himself being hoisted back into the sky. When he opened his eyes again he was high above, looking down at the neglected relic of a castle. Trees and hills and mountains, and this lonely, broken palace, were all that he knew and all that he could remember. He reached out a longing hand towards the mountains. 'What adventures lie beyond you?' he wondered.
"Nathan!" Nathan's stomach lurched at the icy shout from below - and for a second his wings forgot to beat and he dropped a few feet in the air. Standing in the window Nathan had left was a hardened, cold eyed man. He was young and handsome, but there was an edge to him that suggested years of hardship, battle and pain.
To this angry man Nathan owed his life and his servitude. Nathan belonged to him as much as Isabella belonged to Nathan.
The man disappeared from the window and Nathan flew as quickly as he could into the courtyard. How could he have been so foolish? In minutes the man was upon him - black eyes and black wings, tall and imposing; this was the most feared and powerful man in the coven. Nathan knelt, head down, at his master's feet, and barely cringed as he was dragged up again by the collar of his shirt. Tears of guilt, not pain, stung Nathan's eyes.
"Did I bring you here, save you from the violent wars beyond our sanctuary, so that you could give our home and our people away by your selfish desire to fly?" The man spat in Nathan's face and then thrust him roughly to the ground.
"No, my Lord," Nathan whispered.
"That's right, my beautiful, ungrateful slut," the man said nastily. "Fifteen lashings for disobedience, and then I'll see you in my room."
"Why don't you leave him?" asked the slave pityingly after dealing the final lashing. "With wings like yours you could fly anywhere." Nathan didn't reply. The human wouldn't understand - Nathan could never leave his master. Even while there were other things he desired, he was chained unconditionally to what he desired most of all. He waited until the slave was gone before whispering quietly to himself with a strange feeling of giddiness, "I can't." He stood up shakily, feeling the new rips in his skin open further with the movement.
"I can't," he repeated madly to himself. "Because I love him."
And there we have it! Our first and second place entries being Winter and hollyshort_reconjock, congratulations to both of them! And congratulations to everyone who gave it a go!
The next challenge may appear within the next three days. Constant vigilance!