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April/May Short-Story Competition!
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Tikanni Corazon

Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 1286
Location: Running through the plains of my mind, my wolf spirit at my side (but doing so in the UK!).

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:07 am    Post subject: April/May Short-Story Competition!  

Hey all!

A little late, for which I apologise, but the April Short Story Competition is now open for entries! The theme for this month has been taken from an idea that Seraphi put forward, and it is a revamp of a classic fairy tale! *points up* Made a banner to coincide with the theme too, depicting an illustration of fairies by Arthur Rackham, who did illustrations for Peter Pan and numerous other fairy tales! :)

So, just to clarify, the theme for this competition is the a classic fairy tale revamped into any genre you wish. The word limit for this month will be 4000 words.

The prize will again be 1000 fables!

The Rules

1) This is a short story competition and therefore there is a word limit of 4000 words. Please keep within this margin.
2) Minor swear words are okay, but please try to keep it to a minimum. There are younger people on this site, after all.
3) You must include the single prompt stated below in order for your story to qualify.
4) There must be a classic fairy tale theme to the story, in any genre.
5) The closing date for entries will be April 19th. After that period, it's time to vote for your favourite entry. Voting will last until Midday April 30th.
6) The competition is open to everyone.
7) All entries must be posted to me via PM, so that each entry is anonymous and the votes will not be swayed through friendship/dislike/etc. Should I discover (with proof) that anyone has attempted to override this rule by convincing people to vote/not vote for someone, there will be consequences.

And finally, your prompt for this competition. This prompt must be included, or your story will not qualify. The prompt for this month is:

An unfamiliar sound

As with the others, it has to be significant. It doesn't have to take over the story, it just needs to play a part and stand out, even if it's just mentioned in one paragraph.

And so the competition is now open! Any questions, feel free to ask!

Good luck to all who enter!
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Tikanni Corazon

Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 1286
Location: Running through the plains of my mind, my wolf spirit at my side (but doing so in the UK!).

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:02 am    Post subject:  

Our first, fabulous entry! :)

Story One ~ The Golden Key

Ulrich was a boy who dreamt of many things. He could be anything in his dreams - a daring swordsman slaying a large dragon, a king. And he could have anything he wanted – one hundred gold pieces, a mansion atop a flowering hill. Always he dreamt of happiness.

But never did he dream of cold porridge.

“Eat, Ulrich, eat,” his mother urged as she cradled his baby sister to her breast.

“Mother, why must we have cold porridge?” he asked lifting his spoon and watching as the sludge-like gruel fell off of the utensil in clumps, splattering back into the wooden bowl.

“Your father has yet to return from market in the city and we haven’t enough money to spare for extra firewood from the merchant. Please, Ulrich, eat,” she said again as the baby began to fuss.

“T-then I will go gather wood myself!” he said with determination, his eyes glittering at the possible adventure. “There will be plenty by the forest across the stream.”

“Do not be foolish, Ulrich, it is too far and that forest is dangerous. Haunted. You should never go inside.”

“I did not say I would go in, just walk along the edge. Please, mother! For Audrina?” And as he said this, his baby sister let out a pitiful wail and his mother, who had none of her own warmth left to give, sighed wearily.

“Very well.”

Ulrich jumped up from the table and, after putting on his shoes and hastily knotting the laces, hugged his mother and kissed his baby sister on her forehead. He waved farewell and left the small stone hut, emerging into the crisp winter day. Ulrich grabbed the sled leaning on the side of the house and set off.

They lived on a very flat plain, so even though the forest was clearly in sight it took a considerable amount of time to get there. Snow had fallen during the night covering the ground in a blanket of white. As he walked, the boy scooped the cold snow into his mouth, marveling at how it melted on his tongue.

He imagined himself a great wizard that could walk on air and created the clouds. Each puff of breath became something different. This one a dragon, that one a knight, another his mother’s washing pan.

The boy gasped as he suddenly stumbled and fell into the snow. Spluttering as he emerged from the soft whiteness, he looked to his feet.

“Ha!” he cried reaching down and picking up the stick that had tripped him. “You dare to make me fall? Take this!” He grunted as he tried to snap it in half, but it was too thick and tough, and soon he was panting with the effort. “Fine…if I cannot break you, then I will tame you,” he swished the stick through the air, swatting at imaginary ghouls and goblins.

After taking a few moments to vanquish his invisible foes, he continued onwards across the stream, tucking the stick in the rope he used as a belt for his pants, until he finally reached the edges of the forest. He stared into the space between the barren trees, unimpressed. He was nine years old now and he was a smart boy. He knew the stories about the forest were only made up by his mother so he would not wander too far from home.

“Hello!” he called into the trees. There was no answer, and he nodded in smug satisfaction before stepping into the woods and beginning to pick up stray twigs and branches that he dropped onto the sleigh he drug behind him.

He had gone a ways into the forest, half his sleigh half full, when he stopped. A strange noise reached his ears. At first he thought it was his imagination, but then it sounded again. Was it a whistle? He shook his head, it was softer. The wind? No, the air was still.

Shrugging he continued to pick up wood, but this time at a quicker pace. He suddenly felt very cold and would have liked nothing more than to be at home, sitting by the warmth of a fire.

You have all the wood you need to build a fire here.

“Who goes there?” he jumped and took the stick from the rope at his waist, brandishing it in front of him. He turned in circles, but there was no one to be found. Surely there was no one there with him. He would have heard their footsteps crunching in the snow.

It is so cold…will you not you build a fire?

A shiver ran up his spine. It sounded like the voice came from inside his head.

“W-who are you?” he shouted. “W-what sorcery is this?” He began to back up towards the entrance of the forest. This voice could belong to nothing good.

I promise to show you something nice…if only you build a fire.

He stumbled on the root of a tree and came crashing to the ground, the stick dropping out of his hand into the snow beside him. He sat up quickly, grasping for the stick, his only means of defense. As he brushed away the snow to find it he saw a bright glint. Curious, he picked up the object and found it to be a golden key.

“Is…is this what you wanted to show me?” He asked the empty air. Maybe the voice was not so bad after all.

A gift…keep digging.

He hesitated at first, but eventually he began again. He brushed away the rest of the snow and started to dig into the earth. Soon his fingers scraped something cold and metallic. Becoming excited he began to dig faster, removing a large amount of dirt until he uncovered a small iron box.

“What is in it?”

Everything you could ever dream of.

Ulrich thought of his dreams – to be a knight, to be a king, to be a rich man and live with his family in a grand castle. He pulled the iron box from the earth.

“But what is this? There does not seem to be a keyhole,” he muttered. He turned the iron box around and around in his hands, becoming increasingly frustrated. Just as he was about to give up he saw it, so small and covered in dirt that it was no wonder he had missed it at first.

He brushed off what dirt he could and pushed the key into the hole, turning it gently. His breath caught in his throat as he heard the lock click. He wanted to open the box, but he was nervous. Could this really contain all his dreams? This simple iron box? Faintly he heard the strange noise from before again, this time louder. His heartbeat quickened and he started to lift his head, but the voice began to whisper to him again, soothing him, reassuring him, giving him courage.

Emboldened, he ignored the noise, grabbed the box on either side and lifted the lid.
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Tikanni Corazon

Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 1286
Location: Running through the plains of my mind, my wolf spirit at my side (but doing so in the UK!).

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:05 am    Post subject:  

I'm extending the deadline for this an extra few days, so let's give entry number one some competition people! :P
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Tikanni Corazon

Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 1286
Location: Running through the plains of my mind, my wolf spirit at my side (but doing so in the UK!).

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:54 pm    Post subject:  

I'm changing this to a joint competition for April-May, as there's little point in starting a new one. So this will now be open until the 16th May. :)
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Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 503
Location: Penna, having a hot cup of tea

Posted: Mon May 06, 2013 4:56 pm    Post subject:  

Bumping this quick (hope you don't mind, Tika). There's only 10 days to the deadline!
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