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Short Story Competition "Love"





truespeed
There was an official short story contest a while back (over a year) with the promise of more,but as with all things frihost it was never followed up,so heres an unofficial one.

I thought the best thing would be, was to have some kind of theme that would connect all the stories together,so i thought it best to choose a broad theme that would allow for a wide variety of stories and give more freedom to the writers.

So i chose a one word theme and the theme is "love"

Although prizes aren't that important,as i am sure those entering would enter anyway. I think its only fair to offer some frih for the best entries.

1st: 750 frih 2nd: 250 frih 3rd: 100 frih.

All entries must be sent by pm to me,i will judge them myself unless someone else wants to volunteer their help in the judging of the stories.

In terms of the length of the story you can get an idea of how much to write by looking at the stories submitted to the official frihost story competition HERE.

I think thats it,any questions then ask away.
truespeed
So far no entries,but its been the holiday period so that was to be expected.

So to try and get this contest going i have sent out a few pm's to those who inhabit the literature forums.

If your reading this for the first time and fancy having a go ,please do,the more entries we get the better it will be.
ocalhoun
What you really need is this to be a featured discussion; that's the only guaranteed way to bring life to a contest.
truespeed
ocalhoun wrote:
What you really need is this to be a featured discussion; that's the only guaranteed way to bring life to a contest.


I will add to the featured discussion suggestion thread,they updated the featured discussions with one of my threads the other week, which surprised me,so hopefully they will add this one.
georgeodowd
Thanks for sending me a PM about this. I really look forward to being able to enter - however, I'm pretty tied up with work and some ineligible writing work at the moment. How long do you propose to wait for entries? If something on the order of 5,000 words or less is acceptable, I might be able to whip something up in a month or so...
truespeed
georgeodowd wrote:
Thanks for sending me a PM about this. I really look forward to being able to enter - however, I'm pretty tied up with work and some ineligible writing work at the moment. How long do you propose to wait for entries? If something on the order of 5,000 words or less is acceptable, I might be able to whip something up in a month or so...


Although there's no definite close date, I think a month is a good time length to run the competition.
georgeodowd
truespeed wrote:
georgeodowd wrote:
Thanks for sending me a PM about this. I really look forward to being able to enter - however, I'm pretty tied up with work and some ineligible writing work at the moment. How long do you propose to wait for entries? If something on the order of 5,000 words or less is acceptable, I might be able to whip something up in a month or so...


Although there's no definite close date, I think a month is a good time length to run the competition.


Sounds good. I'll see if I can't (remember to) whip something up. Hope more people get interested, too.
sana618
how much time do we still have to enter this story compition? as i only saw this yesterday and you had posted on dec 19th, so am not sure if we are still able to join or not?
truespeed
sana618 wrote:
how much time do we still have to enter this story compition? as i only saw this yesterday and you had posted on dec 19th, so am not sure if we are still able to join or not?


A month from now,i should probably have waited till after the holidays to announce it as its a busy time for everyone.

So any time before the first week in February should do.
jsarnold
I've started writing an entry for this competition - but perhaps you could advise as to the expected min/max on wordcount please?

Also - do we just pm you the entry?

Could we have a definite fixed deadline? I only work to deadlines. Without a deadline I become too easily distracted by mundane chores.
truespeed
jsarnold wrote:
I've started writing an entry for this competition - but perhaps you could advise as to the expected min/max on wordcount please?

Also - do we just pm you the entry?

Could we have a definite fixed deadline? I only work to deadlines. Without a deadline I become too easily distracted by mundane chores.


I will make the deadline the last day in February,so it gives everyone enough time to submit an entry.

Yes the entries need to be sent by pm.

In terms of word count,there is no definitive amount, but looking at the previous competition should give you a guide.

See Here
mk12327
This is a great idea! Despite the fact that I could not commit time at this period to participate in this contest, i think it can certainly be a good platform for the storywriters in frihost community. On top of that, it is near valentine's day next month, kind of suits the theme as well. Good initiative. =)
truespeed
1st prize has gone up from 250 frih to 750 frih,thanks to a 500 frih donation by sonam. So thanks to sonam for that.

I have also increased the 2nd prize from 150 frih to 250 frih so theres not too big a gap between 1st and 2nd.

3rd prize remains at 100 frih.
erlyn
I am just a new member, can you tell me how would I join tihs competition? Is it really a story?Tell me more about these?

My Site
http://ontheroadwitherlyn.blogspot.com
jsarnold
Welcome to Frihost Erlyn!

Of course you're very welcome to enter this competition. The topic is 'Love', but you can write a short story which approaches this from any angle you choose. As far as length is concerned, there's no strict limit, but if you look near the top of this thread you'll find links to previous competition entries, which gives you some idea of expected length.

In order to enter, simply pm your story to truespeed by the end of February.

Good luck!
tidruG
I wish truespeed all the best of luck with this competition, and I hope that you all the participants have a good time with it as well.
I'll be talking to Bondings to see if we can increase the prize money with official FRIH$.

I'm thinking of entering as well, but that wouldn't quite be fair, would it?
truespeed
tidruG wrote:
I wish truespeed all the best of luck with this competition, and I hope that you all the participants have a good time with it as well.
I'll be talking to Bondings to see if we can increase the prize money with official FRIH$.

I'm thinking of entering as well, but that wouldn't quite be fair, would it?


Extra frih would be good.

Why wouldn't it be fair for you to enter? The more entries we get the better.
youngabizzle
What
truespeed
youngabizzle wrote:
What


What?
Arnie
What what?
jsarnold
Okay - let's get all the 'what's over with, and move along please. The topic for this competition is not 'repetition', thankfully. Maybe we'll save that for next year.

Have we got any entries in already by the way?
truespeed
jsarnold wrote:
Okay - let's get all the 'what's over with, and move along please. The topic for this competition is not 'repetition', thankfully. Maybe we'll save that for next year.

Have we got any entries in already by the way?


Not as yet,i was hoping to have a couple in by now,hopefully now its been made a featured discussion,more people will have seen it,and are in the process of writng a story.
jsarnold
With four weeks still to go, I wouldn't worry too much about not having any entries yet. I've nearly finished mine, but I'll keep hold of it for a while and re-draft it after leaving it untouched. I usually find that's the best way of being self critical. I'll make sure you have my entry anyway.
tidruG
Can I submit a story I had already written? It's published on another site too, btw.
jsarnold
I'm not sure what the rules are regarding the entry of stories. usually for writing competitions the story must be completely original and unpublished, but I guess it's up to the organiser to decide.
tidruG
That's what I thought. :)

Anyway, I hadn't entered my story in any other competition. It's just been published because I'm a member of this site where writers get together and post/publish their writings.
truespeed
Like jsarnold said,I think it only fair that all entries are completely original,and written solely,with this competition in mind,to allow yours,while i accept it was recently written,it would open it up to people who have old stories they have wrote on their pc's,years back,that loosely fit the theme.

There's still a month to submit an original story tidrug,and if you are a writer of short stories,i am sure you could produce a another story of equal quality to the one you have recently written.
truespeed
Just had the first entry,hopefully it will be the first of many.
blackjack21
i dont know how to write..so i'm just listening. one thing that make me curious...everybody know love,but why not everybody can write something about love
jsarnold
Not everyone feels comfortable with communicating through writing, and creating a good story which captures the reader's interest, holds it, and gives them something in return for their commitment to your words, is not an art many people feel fully at ease with.

Anyone can pick up a paintbrush - even my three year old can daub blobs of paint on a piece of paper, but not everyone can create a work of art that could hang in a national gallery.

To be honest, having just gone through a divorce I can't say that I am altogether in close contact with the concept of love, so I'm having to try to remember the difference between love, lust and hate.
irvine25
is it possible for me to join this kind of competition? I mean, I may not be a good or impressive writer or something but still i can write, and I can give it a try, Can i join this competition? Hope to hear feedbacks from you guys.
jsarnold
Of course you're welcome to enter. The competition is open to all Frihost members; you're a Frihost member, therefore you're invited to take part.

The only restrictions are that the story you enter must be written by you, and must not have been published or submitted elsewhere.

Enjoy writing - and good luck!
hfhhh8
where would the stories be submitteed again???
jsarnold
Send it by pm to truespeed.
coreymanshack
jsarnold wrote:
Not everyone feels comfortable with communicating through writing, and creating a good story which captures the reader's interest, holds it, and gives them something in return for their commitment to your words, is not an art many people feel fully at ease with.

Anyone can pick up a paintbrush - even my three year old can daub blobs of paint on a piece of paper, but not everyone can create a work of art that could hang in a national gallery.

To be honest, having just gone through a divorce I can't say that I am altogether in close contact with the concept of love, so I'm having to try to remember the difference between love, lust and hate.


You can write about how love has treated you in your divorce?
jsarnold
I know they say 'write about what you know', but the one thing I never do is write about my real personal life.

Very often, I write to escape, not indulge in feelings of self pity.

Anyway, I have nearly finished my story now, a little quirky and off the beaten track maybe, but there we go.

Happy Valentines Day to all single people.
sgtspike
This is a poem i write my wife this last valentines day, hope you like it

Because of You


No sacred roses, no hallmark card.
No heart shaped chocolates, no jewels that sparkle

Four gifts to give to you
Because of you I would not buy.

No warmth at night, no smile to show.
No shoulder to cry on, no hunger for wants.

Four gifts from you.
Because of you I would never receive.

No false promises, no broken hearts.
No lying and no wagging.

Four statements to you.
For each I will never do.

Your love, your warmth,
You accept me for who I am.
Your smile, your tears,
You tell me what you feel, with open trust.

With out you I hadn’t found love
With your love has blessed with the greatest wonder of the world.

You!
jsarnold
You have a lucky wife! I hope she liked it.

Very good poem (not entirely sure this is the right thread for it mind?)

Are you going to be entering a love story too? Sounds like you ought to!
sgtspike
i dont think ive got the rescence of mind to write a story, but thanks anyway
jsarnold
Don't forget folks - only 12 days left to get your stories in to Truespeed! Time's catching up quickly.

Truespeed - have we got a few entries coming in? Maybe a few pms might help serve as reminders if needed?

Hmm.. really ought to try to finish mine off sometime too.. almost certainly it'll be the last to be handed in, at 11:59 on the 28th! Typical writer, me.
truespeed
jsarnold wrote:

Truespeed - have we got a few entries coming in? Maybe a few pms might help serve as reminders if needed?


Still only the one submitted entry,which at this late stage i am quite disappointed by,i have it in my signature,i have persuaded a few others to put the code in their signatures,it is a featured discussion,i have also posted in the literature section,so in terms of advertising it on the forum i have done as much as is possible.

I hope we get more,because if we do, it could become a regular bi-monthly contest.
jsarnold
Bi-monthly? Gosh - that almost sounds like pressure!

I'm actually really glad you started this competition, because I spend so much time writing under other people's names (I'm a full-time copywriter and ghostwriter) that I often don't bother to find time to write for me, as it were.

I've enjoyed spending 15-20 minutes at the end of each day curling up with this story and adding to it/improving it - it's been quite therapeutic! You'll certainly get at least one more entry Truespeed, but almost certainly mine will be at 11:59 on the 28th!

Maybe you'll find yourself buried by a deluge of stories on that day... we can hope.

I'm looking forward to reading all the other entries.
Noremac
What do I win?
Kidding.
I'll get one in for sure, just for fun, should it be a strictly straightlaced story of love or can I put a comical twist? I consider myself a little bit creative but not generally the deepest person when it comes to matters of love.

Anyway hope there can be future competitions like this, hopefully with different topics.

Cheers
jsarnold
Love comes in many forms and guises - the way in which you interpret it is entirely up to you.

Make sure you get it pm'd to Truespeed by 28th.
jessicawalker
I sent my entry! I'm kind of nervous, as I haven't attempted to write anything like this in years. I hope you like it.
truespeed
Thanks for submitting your story Jessica,i haven't read it yet,but i will do so,along with the others ,after the closing date.
jsarnold
You'll have mine tomorrow, Truespeed! I said I'd get it to you at the last possible minute, and I'm true to my word.

I think it's on its sixth redraft at the moment, but with 24 hours to go, I'm considering a seventh...

Incidentally, who is judging the stories? It is just you, or is there a group?

And I take it the judges aren't allowed to contribute entries! Wink
truespeed
I was thinking of asking a few people to help judge,saying which story they consider the best,and giving reasons (basically a mini review) then when publishing the stories and results,adding all the reviews below. (including my own).

I think this would be the best option,as if it were just me,then what is or isn't a good story would be down to personal opinion and taste,which i don't think would be fair.
jsarnold
Any idea when the results will be announced?
truespeed
jsarnold wrote:
Any idea when the results will be announced?


I think within a week of the closing date,i will have to recruit a couple of judges,so i can't be exact on it,but i will choose people i know who visit the forum regularly.
georgeodowd
Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to submit an entry, even though I really hoped to. Just too much going on recently. I would, however, love to help judge, if any additional readers are needed. Hope you get more entries and this can become a regular thing!
jsarnold
I've sent in my entry - hope you got it all right truespeed?

I think a regular competition might be a good idea.
truespeed
Yes i got it,and thanks for your submission.

I will choose the judges over the next couple of days,any volunteers would be welcome.
jessicawalker
Yes, a regular competition! I would love to practice writing and have people judge it.
truespeed
This contest is now closed,we have a total of 3 entries,less than i expected or should i say hoped for,but maybe the theme of "love" was a difficult subject for some people.

So thanks to those who did take part.

I have asked 3 other people to help judge the contest,each will give reviews and say which is their favourite. Once i receive these,i will post the stories along with the reviews.
jsarnold
A shame there weren't more entries. Perhaps the topic was a little challenging for a first time competition. But at least everyone who enters will win!
truespeed
The Results

Winning entry....

And in the darkness bind them. - By jsarnold

Link to the story

Quote:
Review 1

And in the darkness bind them.

I like this story,i can picture that desk,the drawers,the room, the house,for the time it took to read it i was there,in that room,with those letters,but unlike "Leland" i wanted to know who Emily was,i wanted to open the drawer,i wanted him to write more letters,i felt disappointed when Father Samms turned up,to perform the exorcism,i was hoping it wouldn't work,for a while i was drawn into emilys world and wanted to know more,of her,and of who she was writing the letters to.

The good thing about the story is that it kept you interested,at the same time,i was never sure where it was going,it wasn't predictable. For me this was the best of the three stories for those reasons,the only thing negative i could possibly add,is that perhaps for a short story,it was too long,it took me from the start of Countdown to the second numbers game to finish it,but maybe im just a slow reader. But stories like journeys ,take as long as they take,so i wouldn't mark it down for that.



Quote:
Review 2

This was a really great story. I really felt for Emily...I wanted Leland to continue the correspondence,
and I was angry he had done the exorcism. I was happy that he was guilty. If a story makes me feel
that way, then that means the character development is very good.
Now let's deal with the bad stuff : Everything is overdone. I don't mean to be harsh, but I've got no
better word. Yes, we know Leland is going crazy, or maybe he is no. Yes, we know Emily is just a
figment of his imagination or perhaps dead. Yes, we know there weren't any other letters in the
drawers. All this has been said for so many times in the story, that often I was tempted to skip those
parts to read Emily's letters.

And that brings it to the next part. I felt this story wasn't suited for narration style at all. It could be
present tense or past tense, I suppose. Telling the story this way has a benefit : the main character
only has to assure himself whether he is crazy or not, and not the reader. The "You think I am crazy"s just tired me out.
All that being said, it still remains an excellent story. It needs a little more touching up, at least to shut the main character up for a bit. To be frank, I didn't like him very much.





Quote:
Review 3

Writing is supurb. Really well written with a wonderful style, obviously by a very accomplished author with a great gift for writing. And a very nice story, really creative in design. Except it goes on for too long. First there is the love for the house and I thought we were going to have a different kind of love here. Then a completely new story evolved about the writing table. It had me gripping in the beginning and then as it was getting to the last few pages, started to make my mind wander. I found myself having to go back to check what I had been reading. If it had not been for that, I would have given Story No. 3 the same score as for Story No. 2. But because of the lengthy issue my score is 8 out of 10.


truespeed
The Runner up...

Dreaming Souls - By jessicawalker


I loved her from the second I saw her sitting there, a statue of a thinking girl. Head tilted to the side, rested on her hand. She was young. She was looking out over the busy street from a small cafe terrace. Her eyes skipping over everything moving and alive. But she was not here, not thinking of anything relevant to this moment. Her face was a face that made you want to climb into wherever her thoughts were and be part of them. How was I to approach such a being? Someone so completely involved with her daydreams? I strolled into the cafe, out onto the terrace and took a table adjacent to her's.

"Hello."

She blinked twice and looked at me. I watched her eyes sharpen and return to this moment.
"Hi," she said.
She brushed a golden curl from her cheek.
"What were you daydreaming of just then?" I asked.
I felt my face burn and knew it was visible.
She smiled knowingly, "I dream of you."
I looked down at my hands and nodded. She reached over.
I took her hand greatfully, "I fell in love with you just now on the street and knew I had to speak to you."
She moved to my table and sat across from me, resting her head on her hands and peering into my eyes in a sort of exagerated show of interest. "What of this love?" she said, "What is this really? You know nothing of me besides my face."
I shook my head and looked out at the street. "You're as familiar as this breath I draw in, as this warm sunight. You're as familiar as that sugar is sweet. I know not of what you do or your worldy things, but I know of your nature and beauty."
She smiled so sweetly then, "And I, you!"


I woke with the music of her laughter fading into nothing. Then the terrible feeling of a beautiful dream vanishing into waking life.

I rode my bike to work every day as fast as I could, not to over-expose myself to the wet and dreary world outside. I worked in a cubicle. A clausterphobic little thing, evenly lit by fluorescent track lighting. I completed my assignments as a man with a cart walked by and handed me another file, and then was on down the line. We didn't speak or look eachother in the eye. We just watched the clock and then rushed to our respective homes through the rain and blaring traffic, passed the looming buildings and industrial parks.

The ocean was something so foreign to me when I was so consumed by that city. I walked through the soft sand, my eyes closed to the breeze. I could see her sitting, her face glowing pink in the sunset before her.
"I was waiting for you," she said.
She watched me approach and sit beside her. I looked out over the glittering waves. She was holding a small, white shell.
"When I was a child, my mother brought me here," she said softly. "We gathered these shells. She made me a necklace of them with fishing line."
She turned the shell in her hand for a moment longer and tossed it out into the sea. She stood then, pulled me up hastily and ran towards the water her clothes floating off behind her. Bouncing curls and laughter. We swam in that perfect moment until the sun was gone and the stars lit up the warm, night sky.


The dreaded awakening. The cold returned to my bones. I layed there with my eyes shut, trying to hold on to it. To that last glimmer of warmth and light.

My home was a concrete box. Reachable by a rusty, rickety elevator and down a long hallway where the lights flickered and the pipes leaked. Some days I just slept through. When I didn't have to venture into that grey world beyond, I simply didn't. Sleep was the only hope that I had to feel that warmth again. To see the light. And then there was the girl. We met time and again. On the cafe terrace. On that rose colored beach. Was I crazy?

I carried on with the routine of my life. Always waiting for her. What dreams I had began to vaguely reflect my daily life and were never even memorable.

My father died. I traveled to my childhood home in the suburbs, outside of the city. It was a small, salmon colored house with a swamp cooler and brown shag carpet. My mother sat in the living room watching soap operas and chain smoking. Her gray hair was yellowed in the front, around her face. I slept in the formal living room, because my old room had, over time, become a storage room for dusty boxes and forgotten furniture. I attended his funeral and I couldn't cry. I wanted to cry. For him, for my mother, for this whole damned life, for that dreamgirl who I loved and longed for... It seemed she was now gone.

I returned to the city.

I was sitting on my bed. The bed of my childhood. With the blue denim quilt and my old, ratty bear. The only light was the wavering blue glow of my fish tank and the glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling. It was good to hear the quiet hum of the tank's pump. I felt so peaceful and calm in this place. It was the only place in the world that was mine and unchanging. She was standing in the doorway. I felt her before I even saw her. "Where are you?" I said with a hint of frustration.
"I'm here."
"I need you."
She looked so sad then, her eyes hazing over with it. No. I swallowed hard and shook my head, "Nevermind that." I forced a smile and she smiled back sweetly, but there was also a longing in her eyes.
"You're older," she said.
I chuckled and rose to her. "So are you," I said.
I held her close in a deep embrace. She smelled like rose petals and something earthy. We sat down and she gazed around my childhood bedroom. She was older, but somehow even more lovely than I remember. She looked at me and the love in her eyes opened me up like a fresh wound.
"My father died," I said suddenly.

She held me as I wept. I wept for him, for my mother, and for the lonely life I would return to when I left this room. The life without her.


I woke myself sobbing. My chest heaved and my pillow was wet with tears.

My dreams ceased after that. Almost all together. I still thought of the girl I first saw on the terrace and the woman she was when she came to me in my childhood bedroom. Life slowly took on changes. In work, I moved from the cubicle to an office with a view. The view, of course, was a constant reminder that the city was always under a dark cloud and the blaring, noisy rush of life and traffic never ceased. I was numb and everything I did was automatic. My face changed into the face of an old man. The eyes that looked back at me from the mirror were grey and empty. I had no family left, as my mother had died years ago. What was the point in any of it?

So I left.

I got on an airplane and when I got off of it, I was in a different land. I walked along a beautiful beach and watched the sun sink into the glittering waves. I rented a house near the water and slept for what seemed like days. It was very beautiful in this new land, but lacking.

I visited the local town. It was a lovely seaside city with so much color and warmth. And then I saw her sitting there on the terrace of a small cafe. Looking out over the bustle of everything. Her face had long since been scattered with lines and those golden curls were more white than golden, but those eyes... Those eyes were now gazing into mine. I strolled into the cafe and out onto the terrace. I took a seat at a table adjacent to her's.

"Hello."

I watched her eyes sharpen and return to this moment. I noticed her necklace made of white shells.
"Hi," she whispered, her voice trembled.
She moved over to sit at my table, across from me. I reached out and touched her soft cheek.
She kissed my hand and whispered, "Is it really you?"
I stood up. I pulled her up to me and held her to my chest.
I whispered, "You're as familiar as this breath I draw in, as this warm sunight. You're as familiar as sugar is sweet. I know not of what you do or your worldy things, but I know of your nature and beauty." She began to cry then. Tears of a long life as lonely and bleak as mine and tears of relief as the burdens from that life slowly melted away. After a few moments she pulled herself away from our tight embrace and looked me in the eyes and said, "And I, you."

Quote:
Review 1
It started off like a bad French movie,my first thoughts were that it was unreal,then we find out that it isn't,this is a dream,a man,who has a grey,boring existence,loses himself in his dreams,with a an untouchable,unreachable woman. These dreams carry on,over time,his father dies,his mother dies,he gets older,and moves away,from his life ,his job,whereupon,his dreams,his dream woman ,become real,she ,like him a little older.

This is well written,i like the way its set up between dream and reality,i like the detail in the scenes,one negative,would be that it wasn't long enough,an odd thing to say in a short story,this story seemed to need more filler,more time to grow,to take into account the passing of time from the first dream,to the time when he met the woman of his dreams for real. I also knew,halfway through the story where the story would end up,so from that point of view it was predicable,having said that,with the theme being "love" there couldn't really be any other ending.


Quote:
Review 2

A very good effort. I felt the monotony of the life of the main character was being told to the extent of losing its meaning. Yes, we know his life is drab and uninteresting. Also, I didn't really feel for the
father dying, because we don't know him well. Backstory of the family wouldn't do, because it is not
relevant to the story. One way you could do is, talk about how he lost the his father's love, and the
protection. So that we'd feel for him losing everybody in the world.
It's a good think the dreams were given in italics, waking up part in bold, etc., because the story has a potential of being confusing. Or maybe it is just me. And the last scene was very good. I loved it very much.


Quote:
Review 3

. Well written, and brimming over with "love". Almost as though one can touch and feel it. A little mystical, but then I guess love is kind'a like that and after all, it is about dreaming souls. English is excellent, style really great. I would give it 9 out of 10.

truespeed
3rd Place........

No Title - Flakkarin

There once was a man and a woman who loved each other very much. They had loved each other for as long as they could both remember, and even before then.
But one night, as they lay together and wrapped their arms around each other’s love for the other, they dreamed the same dream.

They dreamed that the man grew into a giant, until he grew so large that the woman only reached his ankle. She peered up to see a tear grow in his mighty eye. And as it fell and crashed to the ground it showered her and she gave a shriek. At this, the man bent down and held her in his colossal hand. He whispered to her (for fear of hurting her ears), and stuttered between sobs, his anguish;
“I cannot hold you for fear of hurting you. I cannot kiss you; I would smother you, and if you were to hold me, you would only brush me as an insect. And if you were to kiss me I would feel it only as an itch.”
“Then,” she shouted (so he could hear her), “I will scratch your itch, I will whisk away your insect, I will learn to breathe in your kiss, and I will make myself strong so your hold will not harm me.”
And the giant man let out another tear and kissed the woman.

The couple decided to set out on a journey to find someone to cure the man. In their dream they travelled for years, and they saw no one. Not a single person was to be found. Finally the man whispered;
“You must leave me. There is no one to cure me, and there is no future for us, you must find another.”
But she shook her head.
“Have you forgotten? I have grown strong and capable. Capable to love you as you are. And there is no one else.” This was true.
And the man was happy and sad all at the same time, and feeling this emotion should have a name, he called it ‘love’.

And in their dream the couple grew old and finally died together.
And in their bed, the couple awoke and cried and cried, and held each other until it did hurt, and kissed until they could no longer breathe, and rejoiced in their bittersweet emotion; love.


Quote:
Review 1

This is fairytale like in its style,it would almost work better as a picture book,it was different,but i am not really sure if it worked as a short story.


Quote:
Review 2
This story is sweet and short, but you don't feel for the characters. Something longer would have been better, I admit. Or, a twist in the story. Like, perhaps, the woman dying in the dream due to the strength of the man, and the man waking up to find that the woman has actually died, and blaming it all on himself or something.

To make the readers better understand about the love between the main characters, we need a little
more backstory. Their everyday life, perhaps, showing how much they love each other, and how much the care for each other, so that even the readers will feel sorry that the man can no longer hold the woman without hurting her.



Quote:
Review 3

Did not do anything for me. Sort of a "dead", unloved story, when it was supposed to be about love. No substance to it. It was not written very well either, almost in stilted English. Does not flow smoothly. If I had to rate it out of 10 I would give it a 4.

truespeed
I just found another story in my inbox,it was the first one sent in and i forgot about it,so it didnt end up as part of the competition.

I will send the writer the equivalent of the 3rd prize in frih,anyone reading the story is free to comment and review it,i will add a review soon.

Short Love - By Bluedoll


She looked casually over at him and said, “I would love to but no. You can’t do it. Its that simple.”

“Why not?” Bubba had these large eyes that seemed to travel everywhere except to hers.

She was small county girl. Her shoulders leaned forward ready to run across the room but pulled them back in instant.

“It is impossible to link it together,” she said.

She held on with complete determination not to be taken in by this man.

“Oh come babe, give it a chance,” he said.

He had captured her interest and he wasn’t a guy to let it go easily.

There was hush in the room as if everything had stopped dead in its tracks. Bubba the traveling sales man stood in front of this attractive little dish waiting for one little sign to show her his stuff. In his mind he was already holding her, kissing her tender lips, caressing her slowly.

She look up at him and broke the silence quietly.

“Don’t call be babe and its not about chance. It is simply about impossible relationships,” she told him.

Bubba’s lips always seems to finish with a crooked little smirk and although she thought that was cute she didn’t want to encourage him anymore. This country girl had too much work to do to waste any time on some traveling merchant who might only be passing through occasionally. She turned around and faced him more directly face to face.

“We were made for each other,” he said.

She spoke to him with as much clear determination as she could now muster in her voice.

“That is not what I am talking about to you. You have two choices here. I don’t want to be mean but that is just the way it is,” she said in reply to his suggestive comment.

“Ok, what are my choices?”

“One, talk to me politely, respectfully and . . . “

“I am polite,” he now spoke with conviction.

“And two talk about the topic at hand,” she said back at him.

“Well, I am good with my hands,” he said with a Bubba smirk.

She was loosing her patience but didn’t want it to show so instead took a slow breath and started to walk across the room.

“Oh, I bet you are but that is not the point,” she said with hesitation.

“Alright, explain it to me,” he replied.

That did it. She had wished he would have said a please in at least one of his sentences and offer her just one tad of decency. This guy was maybe not listening and that began to eat at her very existence. She was far enough away from him now not be affected by his masculinity and his strong solid body. Turning around she would deliver her explanation and he would behave. She raised he chin up slightly speaking to him in that English dignified way of hers.

“If I must, I will. You can not link people together like that. Writers are people and writing together is like a marriage,” she told him.

Bubba just stood there. Looking at her from a distance he thought he didn’t mind the view.

“Oh, marriage talk. You want to get married?”

“Did I say that?”

“Do you?”

“You are proposing or are you playing around,” she said abruptly without thinking.

“With you, I might,” he said with a big smile.

She was more intent in getting something out of this conversation. So what if he was just a blimp on the screen. He would probably take his merchandise and travel on down the road soon anyway. She was not about to let him bother her or encourage her to leave her course. She would not waste her time one second more. She would get something worthwhile from this foolish conversation.

“That’s not an answer and we were talking about linking stories together. Every writer is different. You can have a collection of short stories but I doubt very much if you can link them together.”

“Babe we can try.”

“I asked you not to call me that,” she told him.

Suddenly the room jolted into a chaotic mess. It was as if some monster had entered the place and was throwing everything around in a fit of anger. She felt as if she was in some dream where the past was the present and nothing made sense. Was she imagining everything or was she actually talking to some crazy salesman that had invaded her lovely domain.

With some spit coming out of his mouth Bubba spoke to her with sarcasm.

“What you want me to call you?”

She wanted to have to passion in her life, yes. She wanted romance. She wanted someone to share her moments of creation with her and relish in ever tender reflection. Now with a little tear of disappointment forming in the corner of her eye she knew she had to quickly banish this guy or reveal to him the truth of it all. She wanted love but this was not going to be the time or the place for it.

“When you grow up come back and see me. Goodnight.”

Opening the door she pointed purposely with one finger to the outside world. Coldly, she looked at him. Bubba looked back at her and wondered what had just happened. He thought about links in a chain and a series of events that had led him to this point in time.
peyote
I follow you trust me...

I am also starting again and got to tell you it is quite difficult..

all I can say is never give up on love for love is the answer..


Remember love you is kind....
jsarnold
Wow - thank you very much! I must say I wasn't expecting that result.

Thank you to all three judges, whoever you are, for your thoughtful and constructive feedback. It is always valuable to have critical feedback, and all three of you said very helpful things.

I very much enjoyed reading the other entries too, and particularly enjoyed yours, Jessica.

Let's hope that this continues to become a regular event in one form or another. It's always good to have one's creativity exercised now and then!

Thanks again to truespeed for organizing the whole thing - nice work.
truespeed
re:And in the darkness bind them

Did you know when you started the story ,how it would end? Was there a temptation to explore Emilys life?
jsarnold
The challenge with a short story is how to keep it tightly within a single idea, and what I wanted to explore was the narrator's perception of the events, rather than the cause of them. I could easily have expanded this, and it took many re-drafts to get it below 6000 words!

I hated introducing the exorcism - I didn't want to. I agree with the reviewer who said that he hated the narrator for doing that. But in order for the story to be short (!) it was necessary. To investigate Emily's background in more detail could have taken the story well past ten thousand, at which point it's starting to edge into novella territory!

It's a long time since I wrote in the first person, and I took this angle more as a challenge to myself. I felt that the topic of love was hard enough, but even harder when distanced by a third person voice.

I'd love to know who Emily was, but I think that a short story should always leave questions and what-ifs.

I spend all day writing, but the vast majority of it is for companies and businesses, which can be rather dry. I love writing fiction, but unless I'm being paid to write, finding the time becomes challenging, especially when I want to eat.

Having a friendly competition provides a focus and an incentive to have a go, and for that I appreciate you taking the time and effort to arrange such a challenge. I'd very much enjoy having another go, and I hope that the breadth and variety of entries received encourages more of those who might have entered this time to become involved next time.

Thanks again for starting the Frihost Writers' Circle!
truespeed
Thanks to sonam for his donation. Thanks to the other 2 reviewers,who took the time to read and review the stories. I was reviewer number 1 , by the way,i will leave it up to the other 2 reviewers if they want to say who they are.

It would be good to do it again,so if anyone has any suggestions for a theme/topic ,then add them here.
jsarnold
Perhaps rather than a theme, either a genre, or maybe a first line?

In light of my entry, perhaps a strict word count limit! Wink
truespeed
jsarnold wrote:
Perhaps rather than a theme, either a genre, or maybe a first line?

In light of my entry, perhaps a strict word count limit! Wink


I was thinking of a first paragraph,it would be interesting to see where people end up,when beginning at the same starting point.
jsarnold
A paragraph would certainly be a challenge. As long as it involved a fair degree of interpretation, and was well written.
truespeed
jsarnold wrote:
A paragraph would certainly be a challenge. As long as it involved a fair degree of interpretation, and was well written.


Well maybe not a paragraph,a couple of lines,like you say a paragraph would almost certainly set the story on its predictable way.
jsarnold
Truespeed, would you be wanting to take part yourself in the next challenge, or would you prefer to run another competition?

It wouldn't be fair for us to expect you to always bee excluded from joining in if that's what you wanted - in which case, it would be better for the job to be passed on to someone else - perhaps me, to relieve you?
truespeed
I would prefer to enter than run the thing,not that running it is any effort,because it isn't really.

Ideally a moderator or admin would run it,as they have access to unlimited frih,so they could set a good amount of frih as reward for the winning entries.

Then they only really need to appoint a couple of reviewers,if they didn't want to review themselves ,then they would need 3 reviewers. They aren't difficult to get as i found out,as there are lots of people on frihost more than willing to help out.

So perhaps if a mod or admin is reading this,they could be the ones to oversee the next contest.
jsarnold
That certainly sounds good - if an admin or moderator could run the competition, then not only would it receive high publicity, and for 'unlimited' wealth, but it would also mean that all of us writers could participate each time.

Let's hope a moderator or admin takes up the opportunity!

After all, with original, interesting short stories being posted, Frihost will be able to expand the quality and range of its content.
saratdear
Well, I'll just say I was one of the reviewers. Smile

In some ways, being a reviewer is harder than just writing. You have to do a lot of mental gymnastics to decide which is the best. And I guess I would like writing better...something to get those creative juices flowing. I hope to participate in the next one.

And yes, here is a theme too : A conversation with a ghost
jsarnold
Thank you for your review then, Saratdear - very helpful, whichever one it was!

As far as a topic is concerned - conversation with a ghost? Didn't I already that!
jessicawalker
Thanks to truespeed and the judges! This was very fun and I can't wait until the next competition is on!
georgeodowd
Sorry I missed this. Can't wait for the next one!
saratdear
jsarnold wrote:
Thank you for your review then, Saratdear - very helpful, whichever one it was!

As far as a topic is concerned - conversation with a ghost? Didn't I already that!


Mine was review no.2 Smile

Oh...and I forgot about that. I was looking at your story from the love angle. We'll have to find something, something which makes this competition BIG Razz
truespeed
I have made a suggestion in the suggestions forum regarding making this contest a regular thing..

See here
Crazy_Canuck
This sounds like an interesting contest. Sorry I missed it. Maybe I'll try writing one next time.
jsarnold
I have just launched the next short story writing competition for those of you interested:

http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-104637.html

I hope you'll all enter!
rvec
unstickied this one, stickied the new one.

Not closing this because there might be some talk about the stories (didn't read anything of the topic so not sure, but since there already are 3 pages ... )
cleverclassic
I which I could be in the contest. I like writing, but I am not the best writer out there. Plus I don't know if I can make the deadline. I just found out about this thing.
sonam
Here is new short story writing competition http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-104637.html and the deadline is Friday 27th April. It is enought time, try and win. Wink

Sonam
jharriman80
Does anyone know if there are plans for a poetry contest? I'm glad to see that there are writers on this site, and short stories are great. I just tend to write more poetry so I was wondering about that. If anyone has an interesting short story, particularly in the fantasy/western/dark humor realm, feel free to send it my way for feedback etc.
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