All the entries are in and judged. But before I announce the winners, lets take a moment to review the requirements of the contest.
The requirement was simple. The following passage had to be included in the lit piece:
"It first felt as though he were falling, but then he realized he was being sucked in like a vacuume.
And then--nothing. He was just standing up like normal. But then again, nothing was the same. He couldn't think straight and nothing stayed in his head for long. Everything looked clearer; he didn't think there was anything wrong with his vision until now. But even these feelings weren't his! He was normally calm, but he felt so mad--and hurt--and confused. These emotions left him... ambivalent. Where did he even learn that word?!
Wait a moment...was that him? It was! Standing in front of him was a very frustrated-looking version of himself! This didn't make any sense...what was going on?"
And now the winners:
Romancing a Bodysnatcher"Mr. Atkinson."
Leon's eyes darted away from the auburn hair that swayed gently as her green eyes met his. He instead focused his attention on his aging professor who stood at his computer, angrily pointing at the projection of microscopic molecules on the wall. Professor Kennedy had noticed Leon's attention span waning ever since Kat the TA stepped into the room.
"Mr. Atkinson, could you please provide me with the scientific definition of cell division that we have just discussed."
Rupert Kennedy's wrinkled face smirked as if he were pleased with his capture of an inattentive student. Leon smiled, refusing to be outdone in the presence of an auburn hottie.
"What other one is there?"
"Excuse me?" Professor Kennedy demanded as he lowered his arm questioningly.
"You asked for the scientific definition. Is there an unscientific one?" The class chuckled amongst themselves, glad for a moment of entertainment however poor the joke was. Kat's smile glittered across the room and reached
Sample of Their Gallery
My Only SunshineThe chair creaked and groaned as if crying out for an unrequited answer. Anna ceased her relentless rocking, unaware of how long she had actually been sitting there. A slight memory of a crackling fire burned through her mind as the frigid cold took hold of her immediate thought. "The fire
" She murmured to herself, "It's gone out."
As if expecting a reaction from the nearby furniture, she paused a moment, contemplating the last few minutes of intense thought that had made her let the flames die. Excusing her momentary lapse, she managed to bundle up the fabric of her dress and make her way towards the last bits of wood that would keep her warm this Christmas Eve. Placing her small frail hands on the logs of oak sitting next to the fireplace, she took in the fresh smell - one that had once enveloped her handmade home with fragrance and constant comfort. It had faded, along with the fire.
Finishing her chore, Anna gathered up the bottom of her dress, and sighed with the creaking of
"You girls need a ride?"
October looked up, letting her eyes stray from the gravel beneath her feet. She had been walking along the highway for so long she had started counting her steps to pass the time, hoping that when she finally looked up she would see civilization. Abigail ran to the truck driver's passenger door, haphazardly pushing past October as if she had never ridden in a vehicle before.
October glared at the driver's soiled clothes, greasy hair, and crooked teeth. She imagined his smell which made her gag uncontrollably. It was as if his unkemptness was setting off red flags in her head: "Never talk to strangers. And never accept rides from hillbilly truck drivers in the middle of nowhere."
"Where are you headed?" Abigail questioned playfully. Even though she was a few years older than October, it seemed to make her more reckless than wise. Before the driver had the chance to wheeze whatever location in Kansas he was headed to, October yanked the sultry temptress to
The Ballantine Brothers"They were enemies, you see? Brothers made violent by the eruption of the Civil War."
"Oh Dylan, you know JUST what to say
"Be quite, Tiffany! What happens next Dylan?"
The teenagers laid shacked up in Dylan Ballantine's family getaway - a decades old "mansion", remnants of the Ballantine Plantation Legacy. The seventeen year-old boy leaned closer towards his two female friends, smirking secretly at their growing anticipation. There's no telling how many times he'd told the story of his doom-fated ancestors
but the reaction of anyone listening was always priceless.
"I thought you were too scared Ana." Dylan smiled at the raven-haired girl mischievously, knowing she was enjoying the moment more than anyone.
"Continue with your poetry, Shakespeare." She pushed him playfully, egging him on.
Dylan moved forward from his place against the living room couch, scooting closer to the shaking Tiffany. "Civil War tore families apart, right? The same could be said of The Ballantine Br
Contest Love-LiteratureIt was a dream within a dream. Blue eyes opened, and the world was blurry, unfocused. His back ached, and he groaned as he sat up. As time passed, his vision cleared. It was as if he was sitting upon a sheet of glass, and he could see everything below. Clouds swooped past, large and daunting. Everything was quiet and calm. And then the ground beneath him dropped. It first felt as though he were falling, but then he realized he was being sucked in like a vacuum.
And then--nothing. He was just standing up like normal. The earth was beneath his feet, firm and hard. The sky was above, clouds in their rightful place. But then again, nothing was the same. He couldn't think straight and nothing stayed in his head for long. Everything looked clearer; he didn't think there was anything wrong with his vision until now. But even these feelings weren't his! He was normally calm and poised, but he felt so mad--and hurt--and confused. These emotions left him... ambivalent. Where did he ev
Sample of Their Gallery
Rosa's Garden - Chapter One
The sun is the source of everything. Of life, and of death. Its rays provide warmth for living bodies and substance for living plant matter. During summer, it stands high and almighty in the sky, filling long days with light. In winter, it hides in the depths of clouds, discreetly heating the Earth beneath a thick cover.
On this day, the sun had settled itself somewhere in-between summer and winter position. It remained visible under the large, slow-moving clouds that covered the blue in the sky above. Brief moments where the sun was partially covered by these clouds passed, and large shadows danced across the landscape composed of fields and hills. Light, thin clothing quickly became preferable, on this contently warm afternoon. Breezes swept past, leaving prickly bumps on the skin of bare arms, but it was not yet cold enough for a sweater.
Humans and animals roamed about separately. The majority of people ventured to the local market place, where vendors displayed their handcrafted w
The Writer's Guild"We came, we saw, we wrote."
The walls of Mrs. Fenderson's room used to be covered with odd things. Tribal masks hung in a row, their expressions ranging from silly to scary. Autographed portraits of old movie stars decorated the normally boring white school walls. A Latin quote printed in feathery calligraphy on a banner hung above Mrs. Fenderson's desk. Knick-knacks sit happily on her desk. There are two hour-glasses. They are upside-down, and sand dribbles onto the opposite side at a steady rate. Colorful, smooth rocks form a small pile. They are cold to the touch. Then there are tons of papers, waiting patiently to be graded. Finally, smiling faces greet me as I take my seat. A quick glance around the room tells me everything is in order, and I begin to work on the day's prompt. I twirl my pencil in my hand, treasuring the smooth wood and tracing my fingers against the label printed on it. I take a sip of heavily sweetened tea, and savor the warm, cozy feeling on my tongue. I peer
Under the WillowsUnder the young willows,
And over the great hill,
Where the road meets,
Near the old mill.
See the sweet grass grow,
Long and wild and free,
Watch the sunrise,
Hand in hand with me.
Leave behind your worries,
Your stress and loss,
Because when we're here together,
It's just us and green moss.
So I'll see you tomorrow,
At a quarter to nine,
I'll be always waiting,
It's good to know you're mine.
Maybe we'll run away,
From the toils of our lives,
From the concrete streets and highways,
From the sliver stones and knives.
We'll discover the world,
Right before our eyes,
We'll just keep walking on,
To forget all those lies.
So see the branches bend,
And know that I'm here,
You may be gone, sweetheart,
But I still hold you dear.
It's grown so cold,
Sitting all alone,
I wonder when I'll see you again,
Oh, how time has flown.
A PerspectiveAt first it felt as though he were falling, but then he realized he was being sucked in like a vacuum.
And thennothing. He was just standing up normally. But then again, nothing was the same. He couldn't think straight and nothing stayed in his head for very long. Everything looked clearer; he didn't think there was anything wrong with his vision until now. But even these feelings weren't his! He was normally calm, but he'd felt so mad, hurtand confused. These emotions left him... ambivalent.
Where did he even learn that word?!
Wait a moment...was that him? It was! Standing in front of him was a very frustrated-looking version of himself! It didn't make any sense...what was going on?
Suddenly there came three sharp knocks at the tiny door behind him. He looked into the blurred metallic mirror on the bathroom wall and adjusted his hair. He wasn't sure if he'd locked the door
It cracked open and a gentleman in a gray
Sample of Their Gallery
If These Leggings Could TalkThe October wind whistled through the cracks in the barn doors and gnawed at what was left of his soul. His socks barely kept the hardened dirt from convincing him that it was a reality; his misshapen knees wobbled beneath thin boxer shorts as he buttoned up his long-sleeved flannel shirt with stained hands.
He loved Halloween. What he didn't like about it was the choosing over which person he should be for the evening. Last year he took a chance and decided to be his elderly neighbor. The year before that he was his sister. The year before that he was his sister, again. And the year before that he was his father.
So many choices...
His trophies silently swung on rusted meat hooks from the sagging rafters. He paused at each one and sighed in relief as their stiffened toes brushed his grimy face. For the moment, at least, he felt sane.
None of his sleeping friends and family would be able to judge him.
If any of his Halloween visitors judged him, he'd make su
First LoveFirst Love
Is it not always true?
without, such love is naught
when I think back to my first love
I hold the joy she brought
infatuations come and go
the ignorance of teens
obsessive crushes, novelties
each falsity demeans
wisdom comes to us with age
someday it all seems clear
if one should throw it all away
the heart proclaims it dear
too late my hindsight verified
and slowly did the math:
that this poor soul once lost his way
outside his fateful path.
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