Monday, February 21, 2011

Time for Blog Readers to Pick!

Okay, so we've chosen four winners. (Patience!) But we can't decide on a fifth. So I'm going to ask you to choose a READERS' CHOICE WINNER!


Here are the rules . . .

1. ONLY REGULAR BLOG READERS are allowed to vote. Please don't call your grandma and ask her to vote for your story. It isn't fair. If I suspect such things are happening, I will stop the contest. (And do I even need to say that each person only gets ONE vote?)

2. If your story is one of the six posted below, please don't reveal your identity until the contest is over.

3. Please do not critique the stories posted here. Vote instead.(LOOK TO YOUR RIGHT!)

4. Have fun. This portion of the contest will end at midnight New York time!


I woke to light. Not blinding, but bright nonetheless. It scattered around me like translucent stars. I stared at my surroundings. Baby blue walls, paint chipped in the corner, the stain on the rug to my left from the night the power was out. It was all there. The same as before, but why did it feel different? Why did I feel as if everything had changed? I stared at the clock above my door frame, seconds melting away for new minutes. I wracked my brain for the truth, the right in all of this. I replayed our final moments together before I walked away. He’d wanted my help, I’d wanted him. There had to be an explanation, but it seemed every time I was able to disprove him I fell short. Dreams were just mental images, things I’d made up to make the pain subside. It couldn’t be true. It was my fault though, I’d believed him as I supposedly had in the past. Those letters proved nothing, only his craziness. I rolled out of bed, hearing something drop to the floor. The necklace. He’d given it to me our last night together. Sitting back down on my bed, I stared at the intricate design placed on the locket, feeling the catch on its side for the first time. Opening it I found an old photo of people whom I felt I’d known once. To the left of the photo the inscription read: Until the moon falls behind.

STORY #2: Á-entulë (The title is in Elvish; this means, literally, “come back”)

Come with me. Be a guest to my Eternity, where Parallel Universe
unites with camomile field. Amidst the field, someone built a lonely
skyscraper and left the word TRUTH in white paint on the brick wall.
This is probably a shard of the world once forgotten. However, my
shard seems to be alive. I know it is glad to see me return to the
skyscraper's dandelion-covered roof from trips to another dimensions.
There's nothing reminding of the outer world's motley hustle. Just
wind is kneading the grass, butterflies are dancing in the air and
clouds drifting by. Let's ride a cloud and get near the old tower
crane. We can climb down, clinging to the warm rusty boom that was
once yellow. Down there, in the thickets, my guitar is waiting for me.
I will play my songs for you, and maybe you'll recall them. And then,
we can get back to the roof, and just sit on the edge, staring into
each other's eyes, with my heart skipping beats. When you inquire,
“What if one jumps down?”, I'll simply reply “Nothing!”, jump over the
edge, and then climb back.
— Do you realise what this means?
— …I am dead now, right?
You'll remain silent.
— Anyway… could you visit me again sometime?
And I'll be watching the sun until it blinds me, then get it in my
hands and share with you. I'll draw runes on the sand with my bare
foot: “Á-entulë.” Come back soon.
— I will.


A dark ally—great place for a murder scene. Shadows slowly danced across the fence. I turned on my heal unable to breathe. Then I ran four, five houses down stopping at a yellow house realizing I had no idea where I was. The bushes rumbled I hopped the fence and heard a gunshot. I awoke in a cold sweat. A strange man in a charcoal black suit took my hand and the next thing I knew I was in a limo with windows tinted so black I couldn't see out of them. We arrived at a place I can only describe as futuristic and cold. He led me in after blindfolding me for "protection" and I swear he led me in circles for an hour but finally removed my blindfold and I stepped into a black room with a bright light in the middle. I was thrown into a corner and the heavy door closed. I screamed but nothing happened. The light flickered out and I saw a dark figure advance towards me though I didn't see the door open the figure was just my older sister who had been dead since I was seven, no big deal. She told me I wasn't safe here, but it was too late. I fell asleep and never awoke.


It’s him. Even through the hazy smoke of the club, I can see the
glint of a diamond on his finger, the silken bronze hair tumbling
behind his ears, a smile that bathes the room with an eerie glow. His
name forms on my lips, and I run toward him, weaving around drunken
models in sparkling dresses and business men flashing wads of money.
He turns toward me, the girl he has undoubtedly dreaming about for as
long as he can remember, and a recognition forms on his face. I can
see the pain and desire on my face echoed in his eyes, the sapphire
eyes I have always dreamed about.

I have seen no other eyes, looked into no other faces. He is
the one I am destined to be with, forever. Every moment of my dreams
was taken by this mysterious stranger. His name, a mystery. Then, the
eve of my eighteenth birthday, I saw him. His hand waved out to a
taxi, and my heart fell when I realized he was accompanied by two
tipsy blondes. One of them, stumbling in spiked heels, called out his
name as she fell. Coldly, he turned, slinking back into a club
pulsating with music. Abandoning all thought, I ran, dodging limos
with bad tempered mafia bosses and taxis with club patrons spilling
onto the sidewalk. I entered the club. My name on his lips as I run
toward him.

He leans down, and slowly whispers, “I’ve been waiting.....”


Father’s jaw is clenched tight. Orion chatters nervously, like a bird trying to fill the silence. He’s never seen a bird before. Most people in the Third Class of the Columbus haven’t. Maybe, down on the Earth, Mother saw one. Orion drums his heels on the bench. Mother has been gone fighting for five long years, and Orion has forgotten her completely.

Finally, a tired nurse leads them to a bleach-scented hallway and then to a narrow room. Father pulls open the door and collapses in a chair, Orion trailing behind.
She’s small for a soldier, and there’s a foreboding pallor underneath her skin.

Father takes her hand. “Bellatrix?” he whispers.
“Take me home…” she murmurs plaintively.
“You’re home, Bella… on Columbus,” he explains.
Her eyes snap open. “No…” Her shaking hand gestures at the porthole. Orion gazes at the ball of green, blue, and white.
“Earth…” Bellatrix rasps. “I need… we’re meant… to be there…”
“There’re savages,” Orion says shyly. “That’s why we’re fighting, see?” Her eyes wander until they find him, her only son. Tears roll down her emaciated cheeks.
“Orion…” He nods, terrified of the desperation she exudes. “Promise me… you’ll go home…”
“I promise, Mother,” he swears softly, tears clouding his vision. Her breath rattles painfully in a sigh, and she turns her haunted gaze to the porthole.

Father taps his shoulder, pointing to the door. Orion wrenches it open and breaks into a run. He has no mother. She stayed on Earth with the savages.


When I was little, legends circulated all around town, whispered between the children. We whispered about dolls. They were all the same: pale porcelain skin, red velvet dresses, glossy brown hair, innocent brown eyes. They were beautiful, really. Beautiful and deadly.

After the first death, the legends ceased. Nobody dared speak of the dolls anymore, lest they hear us.

The dolls were given as gifts, usually, by ignorant parents, for their children’s birthdays. Birthdays became dreaded occasions. I remembered the first death, the girl I’d found lying on the sidewalk, looking like she was sleeping. But she hadn’t been. That could be me.

“Don’t give me a doll for my birthday,” I kept saying to my parents. “Please.” If only they knew.

On my sixth birthday, my nightmares came true. My parents had somehow gotten the idea that my warnings had actually been hints. I saw a present sitting on the table, wrapped in satiny blue paper. Shuddering, I walked toward it, eyes wide and alarmed. It couldn’t be. I’d told them not to.

With trembling fingers, I removed the wrapping paper. Inside was one of those perfect little dolls. I knew that as soon as I turned away, it would kill me. So I stared it at, at its curious, knowing smile. I blinked, once, twice, but nothing happened. I wondered if it was one of those defective dolls. I turned around.

I barely even had time to scream as I felt its fingers closing around my neck.


Anonymous said...

Wow, they're all beautiful!

When will we find out who the other 4 winners are?

The 355 said...

They're all GREAT!!!! It was a hard choice but I made my pick! Great job to you six if you are reading this!

Anonymous said...

I have to find out who the four other winners are!
I've been checking all day...
PLEASE PPOST THE OTHER 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Violet said...

Story no. 6. Definitely story 6. They were all really good, though. I wish I could read all of the contest entries!
Again, story number six.

Anonymous said...

Confession time:
I wrote three stories just so I could join in the fun. Only my third story, the best of the lot, is in the same league as these "People's Choice" selections. And it'd be in the "basement" of that league.

I've made my vote -- but it was really hard to chose between these six.

Robert in San Diego, looking forward to reading more under 250 word stories soon.

Kirsten Miller said...

Violet: Did you vote in the poll on the upper right hand side of the blog?

k said...

I agree with Violet. They were all great, but #6 was the best. AMAZING!!

And I've been refreshing the blog page like CRAZY waiting for the other 4 winners to be announced!!! I am an extremely impatient person.

Anonymous said...

Me too I like them all but story 3 was my favorite

Anonymous said...

Wow...#5...very powerful.

Anonymous said...

> #5
Definitely good.
Kinda reminds me of Alexander Zorich (russian sci-fi writer).
This is the one I voted for.

katy in wonderland said...

number four gets my vote, but all the others are AMAZING.

Anonymous said...

mine is not there... does it mean it's among the worst?

Kirsten Miller said...

Anonymous: the worst? There were over one hundred entries! Many of them were wonderful--but just not right for this particular contest!

Anonymous said...

Love them all! #1 was my favorite though.

Anonymous said...

I'm abstaining from voting. They're all so good. Whoever wrote them, I'm really impressed. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

They're all so good!... It's so hard to decide... I think one...

Jamie said...

Really great job to all those here... I like 5, but I like 1 too...

cool cumber said...

Oh idk if im too late! My internet connection is down, but I LOVE story 1.

Undiscovered Universe said...

oh nevermind, i found the poll and im too late. Sorry!

(ps the last post ia ccidently posted under my sisters screen name cool comber, but I'm undiscovered universe)