Yesterday, some twenty-odd writers gathered in the Halls of the Goblin King
to play the first Write Off of Janaury 2013. Aided by Circa 1986 David Bowie
, we drew prompt words from a hat and gave our writers just twenty minutes to write a piece of prose of poetry based on that word.
Here's what these clever sausages came up with:
'Isolated' by sodacat“Fine morning, isn’t it dear?”
Oliver sipped his tea carefully to make sure it didn’t touch his beard. Not for the sake of the tea, but because the last time the filter drink had touched his hair it had turned it white for a week.
His companion had no reply, but then she never did, because she was a plant. Her name was Isabella (although she prefered Mara after a character from the penny dreadfuls she would never admit to reading in the night) and her petals shined an even more vibrant pink this morning than most. A single bead of condensation dripped down her dombed glass container. Unlike oliver she did not need any complicated aparatus to eat or breathe in their cramped seafloor home; she had been designed to live forever on only her own beauty.
“Wish those damned trout would keep it down at night, however.” Oliver reached for his bible automatically to have something to read. It took him a few minutes to realise that he had done so, and he quietl
'Whistle' by AnzelyaThe train in the distance whistled and and the people waiting seemed to get more nervous. It’s not like they wanted to get on it. To them, that whistle meant pain and suffering. Had that train run off the tracks, none of them would think twice to celebrate. Sure, the innocent lives on the said train would end, yet what is a stranger’s life compared to your own? They would not care, if it meant they would not have to get on it. „Please crash, please crash,“ mumbled an older man while stroking his beard. It seemed almost like a chant and his eyes did not move from the tracks on the ground. „Please crash,“ he said again and closed his eyes. The train did not crash and whistled again to announce it’s inevitable arrival to the station. How far was it? One minute, two? The tension in the air was feelable. Perhaps it was even worse than being on the train. The train towards where food was scarce and disease plenty. Why were they doing this? They had d
'Isolated' by DamonWakesBarry danced and twirled, the tutu fluttering unenthusiastically above his hairy man legs. Prance, prance, pirouette, he danced across the stage. He wasn’t on top form—even he’d admit—but this was just a rehearsal. The real performance would come tomorrow night.
Barry was proud to think that he’d worked his way up from the bottom. He’d built the stage. He’d swept it. Soon, he would perform. “Soon,” he said aloud, “I will be a star!”
“Not if you flap your arms around like that, you won’t,” came a voice from the audience.
“Shut up, Craig!” shouted Barry. “You don’t know nothing about nobody! I’m gonna be a superstar ballerina! You’ll see!”
“Fair enough, your footwork’s getting better,” said Craig, more diplomatically, “but you definitely should watch your arms. Move them nicely, gracefully.”
'Devil's Kitchen' by SchongSlipperIt’s harder to climb down than it is to climb up.
There was a hillside in Utah leading down to the devil. They call it Devil’s Kitchen, and you can look at it from a nice little viewing platform. There’s a thin, forgotten trail to the side of the wooden walk that’s supposed to lead down. I followed it because there wasn’t a sign saying not to. The path was steep, but it didn’t have switchbacks. I ran out of impatience, legs sinking with every step, and he caught me and now I’m stuck down at the bottom of his hill.
If he didn’t keep stomping the ground it would be fine. I could deal with it. I could climb back up. But instead he squashes the earth into tiny pieces, like a bomb range that should have been put out of commission long ago. Little pieces of clay are thrown up, stacked into the columns that all those tourists gaze at from where they’re supposed to stay, where I was supposed to stay. They keep growing because he keeps danci
'Vacant' by Makaras00I am prompted by a word.
My anxiety makes this challenge absurd.
There's no pressure involved beyond my lack of mind. How ridiculuous it feels when I can't decide. It's not a a choice of "A, B, or C" it's a choice between "Me, me and me?!"
The fool who finds a ride and can't enjoy the tide, the benign thoughts which fill my head. I know what I need, I know what must be done to clear my head. I must be vacant.
Gathered and collected, calm - the flow must not guide me, I NEED TO BE THE GUIDE. But I can't clear my mind - my anxiety is the ride. Even when I ride it out, it just goes back again. But no, the experience has wisened me up, I know what needs done. It's a matter of unoccupation, of the vacancy which I've filled.
A hole?! That's it, you oversimplify everything you twit! IT'S MORE THEN A HOLE, it's a fire waiting to burn - I am NOT VACANT, I AM CHAOS IN FORM.
'Vacant' by Bakmah-The-DragonOh the vacant mind.
It's powers removed from life as it is known
It slips from existince and from all memory that has been kind
The death of it is more prone
Oh the vacant mind
It slips away from existince and dies in the cold veil
It then wakes and steps into the kind light
The darkness of space is no longer for it to feel
'Vacant' by DezmarGreg walked around the small two room living unit. It had little going for it. No wall coverings, a metal floor, one window, and many, many pipes visible in the ceiling. He swiped his ID tag at the door and selected viewing for rent/buy.
The door slide open with a soft hum sound and he step in. From the inside it was clear that the room had all the necessary hook ups for living appliances and even a few others he didn’t recognize. He peaked his head into the Bathroom/Med bay. It was obvious that before being renovated this was meant to be a small emergency Med Lab.
He walked outside and swiped the ID tag again as the door closed and locked. Vacant. He knew that this sorry excuse of a living unit would last long in this neighborhood. It wasn’t priced high enough for it to be ignored, but it wasn’t low enough to make people nervous about it.
He knew he’d buy it eventually but for now he’d need a place to stay. He swiped his ID for a third time and watched th
'Whistle' by MonstrooooJonathon Inverdaleshireton was an ordinary man in a fairly ordinary world. Like most people, he had eccentricities - for example, he could only prepare or order dishes which had an even number of eggs (including, of course, no eggs at all). He once had to return a very nice looking ham, eggs and chips from a fancy restaurant because it came with only a single egg - and not, as the carelessly worded menu so coyley suggested, multiple eggs. But like most people, he was by and large ordinary. He'd eat three meals a day, snack just a little too often, and complain loudly about the British National transport system.
There are, however, two facts which made Jonathon Inverdaleshireton stand out from almost the entirity of humanity:
1) Jonathon Inverdaleshireton liked, as a little personal joke, to omit the spaces from his favourite meal, and simply request a 'hamegganchips'. This not only demonstrated his complete lack of sense of humour, it also annoyed the hell out of his (then) long-term g
'Vacant' by thatguy-ovurthurrsonthat blank and vacant expression on their faces never ceases to creep me out. watching the monitors of the cryovaults is certainly not a job for the faint hearted. a deep and pervasive chill surrounds you at all times, and a pervect void of silence vacant of any faint hum, of any footsteps to break the silence. sitting here in the cold darkness, lit only by the viewing screens, i watch an endless parade of unseeing eyes travel across the screen i suddenly sense a voice. not heard, sensed. deep in my mind it speaks to me. it asks why i am doing this. i give the same reply that i have told it every night. i am here to forget. it askes me what i want to forget. i say i want to forget the vacant eyes of my on.
how do you think to do that here, surrounded with the same expression?
i plan to drive it from my mind by making it an every day sight.
why not just end it?
because i am weak. because my flesh wishes to hold my soul here.
i can end it for you.
i am them.
this is different from o
'Vacant' by ArmyWitchher heart was vacant,January 2013’s Write Off Entries
covered in a steel blanket,
oh so jaded,
love so faded,
her eyes burn bright,
through the night,
the stars twinkling,
like a gentle sprinkling,
but she lets her heart withhold,
for its only her brain that will behold,
shes more than smart,
with less a heart,
but does that make her false?
for her to have social withdraws?
leave her be,
let her see,
that a heart is impossible,
because love is impassable
Each piece was written in under twenty minutes, as is testified by the fact that they were submitted to ~writeoffentries
within two minutes of the end of the round.
If you'd like to take on any of the prompts in your own time, here are the prompt words that David Bowie circa 1986 drew:
Round 1: Isolated
Round 2: Rhythm
Round 3: Whistle
Round 4: Bazooka and Climb
Round 5: Vacant
This evening, our admin team will sort through the entries and put together a shortlist of three (or maybe four) deserving winners. We'll then build a poll for you, our esteemed members and friends, to vote for your favorite. We'll be back in a few days (no more than a week) with the shortlist. In the meantime, feel free to check out a couple of the entries!
Our mystery guest, David Bowie Circa 1986
We're currently collecting points via donation over at ~writeoffentries
. If we receive 400 points, we'll offer a three month premium subscription to this month's winner
If not, we'll put the donated points to next month's event and just offer a one month subscription. You can support this event by donating a few spare
and raising the stakes for the winner.
Thanks to everyone who turned up to the event, and welcome to our new members from #WriteRoomies
We'll be back with the Shortlist in a week or so, and with another Write Off in late Februrary. Hope to see you there!~monstroooo