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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Come On, Irene: Writing Challenge Responses!

Thanks to all who participated in my Come On: Irene, Writing Challenge! The challenge was to evoke a scene in which two people who absolutely hate each other are trapped under bad/inclement/apocalyptic conditions. I loved reading your responses. I've selected three submissions that demonstrate the range of claustrophobic situations you all imagined for your characters...Interestingly, however, there was a significant romantic thread to almost all of them! What is it about Doomsday scenarios that puts us in a lovin' mood, I wonder? :P


From Lisa Aldin:

I used to think it was only my imagination that Becky Lyons hated me.

But about ten minutes ago I came to the conclusion that Becky Lyons truly, deeply hates me. No imagination or rumors involved.

How do I know this? Well, emergencies illuminate the truth. If she hates me while we're huddled under this pool table, the windows rattling from the claws and teeth of those things outside, then she would hate me anytime, anywhere.

"What are those things?" she asks, brushing a strand of black hair from her cheek.

"Bats," I reply, even though I have no idea what I'm talking about. I don't know why I feel like I need her approval. I do not like Becky. I cannot like Becky.

She glares at me. "You're an idiot."

"How kind of you to notice."

"They look like..." She leans forward, gripping the table leg with her trembling fingers. Through the glass, the sky appears dark, but it's daytime. One minute I was walking along Main Street, a stack of fresh comic books under my arm, and the next thing I knew these creatures had flooded the sky. Their wings blocked out the sun, forcing anyone who was lucky enough to see the black swarm in time to hide, shiver, and fear. The unlucky ones were carried away like fish plucked from the water by a hawk's claw. "They look like angels," she finishes.

I roll my eyes, trying not to notice the green flecks swimming in her hazel eyes. "Now who's the idiot?"


Her beautiful eyes go wide and soft. "Oh, God. They're...coming inside," she whispers, curling her arms around my neck, holding me close. My heart pounds. Crack. I lick my dry lips and whisper in her ear, "Run."

From 16-year-old Janel Lee:

“I can’t believe they’ve put me with you!” I growled as the woman with the clipboard basically shoved me into Ethan’s arms. She gave me one glance that said she could care less about what I thought and moved along, calling out names and pairing people for partners.

“Well,” Ethan started, a smirk on. “Your demeanor screams weak and mine, of course, screams strong and savior-like, so of course they’d pair you with me.”

I glared and looked away, out the window, where the land was barren and dry, begging for water. “Of all--”

“Save it, priss,” Ethan muttered, sounding angry back. I took a glance at him--his brows were furrowed, his eyes angry and focused. “If they paired us, they paired us. Now it’s just a matter of sticking together and pulling through.”

“Since when were you all about surviving? I thought you were the living type,” I snapped back, smacking his hand when it came close to mine. The lady was beginning to instruct us to take hold of our partner, no matter the gender, and all, except us, were following suit.

“I am the living type! Now if you would just--!” He went for my hand again but I pushed him and fell out of line. The instructor looked at me with ice eyes and I stepped back in line. Ethan grabbed my fingers and squeezed them, hard.

“All right!” the lady shouted, standing on a platform. “The goal is to move out as far as you can, searching for water, with the rations we’ve given you. Remember, half of the journey is coming back safely, so ration wisely. The devices on your wrists are our tracking devices--they’ll let us know your health. If it should beep, you either must turn around, or we recognize that you are in danger. Got it?”

I heard Ethan breathe in as cold set in my spine. I only felt his hand holding mine, reassuring and solid. “All right,” he breathed. “Here we go.”

From Dot Hutchison, "Hurricane Party":

Damn mandatory evacuations.

“You know they’re not letting us out of this closet until they’ve heard some action, right?”

I glare at the closet’s other occupant and go back to pounding on the door. “Lily, Amber, let me out or so help me I will skin you in your sleep!”

Drunken laughter spills against the mostly hollow wood, followed by a thunk as one or both of my suitemates falls against the door. “You need this, Delilah!” one of them yells. “You’ll thank us for it later!”

“The hell I will!”

The smell of Tide, Zest, and Axe assails me as Sam turns me so my back’s against the door. Crap. It should not be legal to be that good-looking. Especially given what an ass he is.

“You have to be the only person in this apartment afraid of Postman’s Knock,” he mutters.

“I am not afraid! And it’s a hurricane! Why is there even a party?“

“As long as have to evacuate the dorms anyway, why not have a party?”

“Because it’s irresponsible?” I grumble, but it only makes him laugh.

“A whole semester gone by, and you’re still a freak.”

With a silent apology to my mother and how hard she’s worked to raise me as a young lady, I belt him in the stomach. He doubles over, wheezing, and I can hear my traitor roommates giggling like hell on the other side of the door. I rattle the knob but it’s locked from the other side; they won’t let us out until they hear us making out.

He kisses me suddenly, sparking a blaze that curls low through my stomach, then spreads a fierce flush across every inch of skin.

When the door opens to catcalls and cheers, he walks away without a second look at me.


Content by Lauren Oliver - Copyright 2011. Blog designed by Ella Press Studio - 2011.

Author Photo by Jonathan Alpeyrie - Copyright 2010. Original Font Idea by Erin Fitzsimmons - 2010.