About Us

We are a group of several aspiring writers, who thought it would be fun to get together and challenge each other on a monthly basis. Judging is done by adding the total number of stars up and dividing by the total number of votes, so having the most stars or most votes doesn't necessarily mean you win, it's the overall average. Whoever wins gets to pick the subject matter for the next session's short stories. Please read each story and vote them all appropriately. The voting boxes are to the left of the page and are marked by story title. If you would like to leave a comment simply click on the story title above each entry, but please keep them constructive. Again, thanks for reading and I hope that everyone can get as much enjoyment out of this as I have.

User Directions

TO WHOEVER VISITS THE SITE WITH AN INTENT TO HELP, WE WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF YOU VOTE ON ALL STORIES RATHER THAN JUST THE ONE YOU LIKE MOST. RATE ALL STORIES BASED ON HOW MUCH YOU LIKED THEM EACH. IN THIS WAY WE CAN GET A MORE ACCURATE TALLY FOR JUDGING THE WINNER. THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR TIME AND VOTES, WE APPRECIATE IT VERY MUCH.

Contest Subjects

December's subject was chosen by myself and is... "A large stone was found in the middle of a field in Iowa."

The first subject for January was chosen by Sgt. Hubbard and is... "A locked box is left to you in a will."

The second subject for January was chosen by myself and is... "A person is found in the desert with amnesia."

The first subject for February was chosen by Stan Weiss and is... "The baby sitter is snooping and finds your many passports, each with a different name."

The second subject for February was chosen by T.J. Reed and is... "Rewrite a classic monster, ghost, horror story in a modern way and include the story as the title so we know what you have rewritten."


Friday, December 30, 2011

Warning Signs

“Warning Signs”

            Ester Ethel was a lonely old widow who lived alone on an old farm in southern Iowa.  Every morning she awoke at nine am and every evening she went to bed at nine pm.  She shuffles out of bed, slips into her fuzzy pink house coat and fuzzy pink slippers, waddles down the thirteen steps, nine of which creak, and proceeds to pour herself a cup of steaming hot coffee.  The doctor told her that coffee would eventually be the death of her, but at this age she figured it didn't make a difference.  This was her morning routine and she never deviated from it. 
            It had been almost nine years to the day that her husband Henry had passed away, leaving her with a hundred acres of land, seventy-three head of cattle, thirty-two pigs, fifteen chickens, three horses, and a dog.  She couldn't afford to take care of the livestock and didn't have the energy to do it herself so when all was said and done she had to sell all the animals and most of the acreage.  Now it was just her, the old farmhouse, the dog, and twenty acres of unkempt land. 
            As she sat in silence at the kitchen table something pulled at her senses, like the feeling you get when you know you are being watched.  She quickly turned to see Jasper, the old farm dog, staring at her from behind the screen door. 
            “Oh Jasper, you old buzzard!  You scared the bejeezes outta me.”
            She shuffled over to open the screen door and let him in, but instead of rushing in like he always does, he turned and headed off the porch.  Ester thought this odd, but she payed it no heed.  Several minutes later while lounging at her favorite recliner and watching an old episode of Matlock, she was beginning to nod off.  Then, again she got that odd feeling.  Looking around the room she once again spotted Jasper peering at her silently through the screen door.  With some effort she managed to get up from her comfortable rest and open the screen door, but as before the result was the same, Jasper turned and headed down the porch steps. 
            “What seems to be botherin you boy?  Is there a storm a comin, or perhaps somethin else?”
            Jasper didn't howl, or whimper.  He just walked forward about ten feet and paused to look back.
            “What?  Do you want me to follow you?”
            Ester threw on her overcoat, took a step toward Jasper, and the old dog started forward.  When she stopped to take a breather, he stopped.  When she began walking again, so did he.  It went on like this for what seemed like half a mile, until they both came to an old broken down, half buried tractor.  She needed the rest, considering that half a mile is much farther than she'd walked in many years, so she sat for a moment on the old worn out foam seat.
            “Well it's no recliner but it'll do, eh Jasper.  Where you takin me to anyway boy?  There ain't nothin out here but wild grass.  The ground's been barren for years.”
            Again there was no answer from the old dog.  He just turned his head, walked out about ten feet and stopped, waiting for Ester to follow. 
            “Fine then, but you had better be takin me somewhere with some coffee, cuz I'm startin to get the jitters.”
            The two came upon a slight hill, which slowed their already slow-as-a-snail pace, but when she reached the top her eyes widened.  Jasper howled loudly into the morning sky and it was Ester's turn to be silent.  There in the valley below, centered by a ring of flattened grass, was a large glittering rock.  The stone, black in color with purple crystal-like protrusions, was roughly the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, and in the shape of a flame frozen in time.  Ester was drawn to it like a moth to a porch light. 
            She walked with outstretched arms, inching closer and closer until she could feel the heat that it was producing.  Every step brought her closer to the anomaly, every step closer to an excitement, to an anticipation that she hadn't felt in years.  It was exhilarating and frightening at the same time.  She felt young again, off on some adventure, like a modern day Jacques Cousteau on the verge of a great discovery.  Nothing would stop her from touching the stone, nothing would keep her from achieving victory. 
            Suddenly she stopped.  Something had barred her path.  What could it be?  Ester wrenched her gaze away from the stone for just a moment, to see what was there and to her surprise it was Jasper that had prevented her from touching it. 
            “Jasper, you nutty dog!  Didn't you want me to see the stone?  Why bring me all the way out here just to stop me before the end?”
            Again he made no noise.  But when she looked up it was gone.  No stone, no crushed grass, no sign that there had ever been anything other than a dying empty field.  She sat down in the grass, sullen and unfulfilled.  Then suddenly out of nowhere she heard a sound, which she recognized, but could not divine the source.  It was her deceased husband's voice.
            “Is that you Henry?”
            “No.  But hearing a familiar voice should make what we have to say easier.  What we have shown you is a vision of something from our world.  Deep in the center of our planet, in fact all planets, resides a rotating molten core, similar that that which we have shown you.  Ours has ceased rotating and as a result our planet has been on the brink of death.  Our whole ecological system has came to a screeching halt and we as a race are dying along with it.  We fear that what fate has befallen us may also effect the whole universe and so we have sent similar messages as you have just seen to all the outlying worlds.  You are the first to receive the message on Earth and we have not enough energy to replay it.  You, and you alone, must warn your people!”
            “Well now... that's a lot to take in.  I guess all I can say is, thanks for the warning other Henry.  If you ever come across the real Henry out there, let him know I said hi.”
            “It doesn't quite work like that, but if it will ease your burden we agree to your terms.  Farewell, and good luck to you.  May your planet thrive and live to see better days.”
            With that the voice faded and Ester began to see shimmers of wavering light.  Soon after, she passed out and when she woke up, was back in her comfy recliner.  She was still wearing her fluffy pink robe and fluffy pink slippers.  A quick glance at the television revealed the same episode of Matlock playing as was before.  Had it all been a dream?  No, it was way too real!  She knew it to be so and within an hour she was dressed and headed to the car, off on a new adventure.

Epilogue

            Ester awoke at nine am, same as she had for years and slipped into her white fluffy house coat and white fluffy shoes.  She shuffled over to the door to get her morning coffee, but the door wouldn't open.  She glanced around the room.  Where were her photographs, her curtains, her old wooden sleigh bed?  Nothing remained but flat white walls, covered with some odd padding.  She banged on the door to be let out. 
            Suddenly a man's face appeared in the glass.
            “What is it this time Ester?  Are the aliens talking to you again, or is it your dead husband?  Is the world gonna end at the hands of some magical glittery rock?  Just lay back down in bed or I'm gonna have to tranq you.”
            It all came flooding back to her.  She backed into the corner, buried her head in her hands and cried deeply.  And as she realized the truth, her heart began dying within her, just as the Earth's heart was dying within it also.