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Last Call · Original Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
#1 · 8
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder: one of the blurry faces saying: "Come and see." And I saw. And behold, a white page.

There are some men goin' 'round takin' fics.
And they decide which to throw and which to pick.
Everybody will be treated all the same.
Some of these names will be reaching down.
When the Writeoff comes around.

The hairs on your arm will stand up
At the terror with each post starting to pileup.
Will you partake of that last offered cup
Or disappear and never claim the crown
When the Writeoff comes around?

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers.
One hundred million ringtones singin'.
Multitudes are logging in the small museum.
Voices callin', voices cryin'.
Some are torn and some are hidin’.
It's Alpha and Omega's Kingdom come.

And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
The authors are all sharpening their quills.
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
It's hard for thee to grind against the mills.

In measured hundredweight and penny pound
When the Writeoff comes around.

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, and I looked and behold: a blank page. And her name, that sat on it, was Calliope. And Eloquence followed with her.
#2 · 2
· · >>devas >>Rao
What are the chances everyone is too busy polishing their entries for Jaxie's contest and I can score an easy top 10 again?
#3 · 1
>>Zaid Val'Roa
It does feel a bit empty right now, yes
#4 · 1
>>Zaid Val'Roa
Probably pretty good, but since it's mini-fic I will make a concentrated effort to enter to make sure you have to put in all your best effort, too. Not that you didn't deserve top-10 last round, of course. Your story was very nice.
#5 · 3
This is so Cash. Thank you for it.
#6 · 7
Secret Knowledge, Unsaid Apologies, Indecision–Mid or Feed.

And Then, Things Got Worse. Fire(d)! Now is the time to talk about gun control.

“I Wish I’d Thought of That Sooner.”

“You’ve Got to Be Kidding! I Don’t…”

*music plays*

Freeze Frame. Insert Thing Here.

Last Ride of the Day, The End of a Cycle. Last Call!

That Which Eternal Lies In a land far, far, far, far, far, far away, Fly Away Home. Live for the Eon. Many Is Better Than One.
#7 · 1
Good luck to all involved!
#8 ·
I'm out, lots of social obligations this weekend. Might be able to read? Here's hoping!
#9 · 3
I'm usually not much for the original rounds, but for some reason I'm feeling it this time. We'll have to see how crazy St. Patrick's Day night gets. (Where "crazy" is defined more by the difficulty of getting kids to bed than ought else...)
#10 · 4
I finished so early. Don't know if that's a good sign or a bad one.
#11 · 3
· · >>Zaid Val'Roa
I have something in.
#12 · 2
Get a doctor to check it out.
#13 · 1
· · >>Monokeras
Alas, the spirit is willing and I'm 450 words deep into something but the kids keep waking up and I'm losing the battle with fatigue & concentration.

#14 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion
Mine has not slept an hour last night because of otitis. We’re expecting a doctor.

Hopefully my entry was ready before we went to bed :)
#15 · 3
Someday - some glorious day - I will finish a story before 3am.

But it is not this day.
#16 ·
So how many entries this round?
I bet less than 10.
#17 · 2
Made it with a whole seven minutes to spare.
#18 · 3
Submitted with one minute and forty seconds left.
#19 ·
· · >>Miller Minus
No prelim this round, I suppose. My slate has all the stories.

Not many entries, but prestigious authors!
#20 ·
· · >>Monokeras
Yay! More entries than expected.


I think there's still prelims and finals. But everyone gets all stories in their slates because it's only 9000 words in total. A cinch to read in 6 days.
#21 ·
· · >>Miller Minus
>>Miller Minus
If anyone gets to rate all the other stories in the first round, there’s no need for a follow-up!
#22 ·
· · >>Monokeras
Your logic is sound! But the timeline at the top is on my side, no?
#23 ·
>>Miller Minus
Only because Roger had no time to mind this yet.
#24 · 3
· · >>Monokeras
Otitis? Ear infection? Ah, that's not great. I hope you can get some rest, and that the little one gets better. Our oldest eventually had to get ear tubes because of recurring ear infections. I remember it well, even after years. :-(

Anyway, I'll toss my partial entry out here in all its fabulously incomplete (non-)glory. Right now it ends at a terrible moment but I think I could've fit a conclusion into the word count. I might actually repurpose it for Equestria Girls of all things.

"Breaking the Law"

Grey mist washed over Trey’s face, making him squint his eyes and hunch a little deeper into his ragged blue hoodie. He stamped his feet against the narrow strip of concrete separating northbound and southbound traffic, and his craggy fingers clenched tighter onto his cardboard sign. It was a rotten day to be out, but the grumbling of his stomach reminded him that it’d be worse not to.

Cars passed by in a multicolored blur. Some honked, some splashed water from the road onto his already-stained jeans (he thought it couldn’t be on purpose, with as wet as it was out). Most days, he could count on a handful to slow down so the driver could stretch their hand out with a green bill that he might catch if he didn’t shake hard enough. But with the day’s iron-grey rain, fewer windows had rolled down than usual.

So it came as a surprise when Trey heard someone say next to him, “Looking for work, buddy?”

Trey jerked up from his reverie and stared into the green eyes of a thin-faced white man in a glossy black sports car with a window rolled down. Loud honks made Trey hop again, as the line of cars behind the man made their displeasure known.


“Yeah,” Trey said in a rumbling baritone.

“Then this is your lucky day.” The man grinned, then reached across his passenger seat and popped the door. “I’ve got a quick job that’ll pay great.”

Trey frowned. “I can’t just…”

“Why not? Might as well get out of the rain for a while.”

The chill of the rainy day, and the cacophony of the drivers behind the man’s car, spurred Trey to step off the divider and shuffle toward the door. He touched it, then opened it fully.

Inside, beyond the dark leather passenger seat and center console, he could see the suited man holding the steering wheel in one hand, and a pistol in the other.

Trey stepped back, but the man pointed a few times at Trey and the seat. Eventually he relented, climbed in, and closed the door. He felt an urge to hold the cardboard sign up as protection, though he knew it wouldn’t stop a bullet.

The man barked a laugh and hit the gas. Trey was pressed back into his seat by the sudden acceleration. The car dodged around others, moving back and forth at ever-growing speed, leaving countless rain-washed storefronts behind. Trey wanted to speak, but was too overwhelmed.

“You’re gonna need this,” the man said, turning the gun in his hand and offering it to Trey.

“F… for what?!

“For when you shoot me!”
#25 · 1

Nah, no infection. Just a cold which caused, as usual, the swelling of the eustachian tubes. This mechanically closes the middle ear and causes otitis. So mainly nothing to do, except acetaminophen to bring pain down and antibiotics to avoid a superinfection.

Ear tubes. One of my colleagues’s son had them too (we call them “yo-yos” here). They amounted to nothing. As soon as they fell, the boy got otitises again. So now they’re going to a spa next summer in hope waters can fix this.
#26 · 3
· · >>Miller Minus
And now all stories have at least one review.
#27 ·
>>Zaid Val'Roa
I would argue that (backwards K) is still one short. But, like Mono, I don't know enough about baseball to really put my thoughts into words.

Might hit it up later and give it a swing though.
#28 · 6
Mashups: Insensitive Edition!

Le Roi en Septembre - Our Main Character tries to grasp the intricacies of The King in Yellow, but his efforts are cut short when his friend invites him to a coworker's after-work party in their office on 200 Greenwhich Street.

The Only Letter You Need is Tee - When Sarah became a chaos mage, she didn't imagine she'd end up destroying half of America. Especially Lower Manhattan.

Warmth Can't Melt Steel Beams - A man reminisces on the events which led up to him dying under the rubble of the World Trade Center.

The Last Stop - Journal entry of the hijackers of American Airlines Flight 11 prior to the September 11 atacks.

One for the Air - Two gentlemen of arab descent have a nice chat in the airport bar about the good old days before boarding their plane.

911 - A cop answers to a routine call for domestic violence on a hotel. The Marriot World Trade Center.

Debris In Silent Witness - After getting to a safe spot in WTC-1, Stephenie Greenhaven calls to emergency services for help. Sadly, a piece of debris hits her on the shoulder and she falls off.

Closer, and Closer, and Closer, and Closer... - A boy imagines a fantastical tale to cope with the horrors of being trapped in the daycare of the World Trade Center on a September morning.

I Am Alive for Now - A computer gains sentience and ponders about the fragility of life. Sadly, it's the on-board computer of United 93.

Metaphysical Grief Counseling - A fairy runs a special therapy session with survivors of the 9/11 attack.

A Close Call With Dad - "I want to say I thank you for not telling me you were a 9/11 truther."
#29 · 2
· · >>Monokeras
You know, just as I posted, I realised the oddly poetic coincidence of making 9/11 jokes considering the, uh, ethnic qualities of my username.
#30 ·
· · >>Zaid Val'Roa
>>Zaid Val'Roa
Because of “Zaid”?
#31 ·
· · >>Monokeras
I've been told you get put on watchlists for less than that.
#32 ·
>>Zaid Val'Roa
Well, then I should worry because my name comes from Lebanon…
#33 · 3
· · >>Miller Minus
So the number and size of entries is small enough that my slate contains everything? Hm. That means it'll be obvious what I wrote if I review my slate, and I hate writing fake reviews, so I'll compile my thoughts, but I won't post any of them yet. I'll post my reviews of the non-finalists once they're revealed, and if my story is among them (which is very likely, as I rushed an entry and didn't do any revisions--mostly, I'm hoping to add a big, beautiful "best new entrant" award because it's highly coveted and it's ridiculous I'm even eligible for it), I'll post all the reviews, though pretty late in the day tomorrow, as I'll be out of town until late afternoon.
#34 ·
· · >>Pascoite

mostly, I'm hoping to add a big, beautiful "best new entrant" award

And here I thought I was the only one doing that...
#35 ·
· · >>Miller Minus
>>Miller Minus
Oh crap, you're a new entrant, too? I'm boned. My entry was whatever I could crap out in 30 minutes, so it's not going to beat anything you've put actual thought into.
#36 ·
· · >>Pascoite >>Pascoite
I wouldnt be so sure. I think that several entries could top mine. But I did really like it so... TBD
#37 ·
>>Miller Minus
I'll be surprised if mine passes the first round, but I thought that would be enough to get the trophy. Oh well. I can still shoot for it in an OF short story round, I guess. But that's probably more time than I'm willing to sink into writing OF.
#38 · 3
By all that is holy, who voted mine into the finals? That was unexpected. Well, my reviews of the other finalists will have to wait until after everything's done, but as promised, I will commence posting my reviews of the ones that should have ranked above mine but were somehow cut.
#39 · 3
Thanks, everyone, and congrats to Baal for winning.
yours was my pick of the lot :)

I'll have a better retrospective when I recover from being appendectomy'd. I just hope I don't see a nurse with a bandana...
#40 ·
· · >>Miller Minus >>Baal Bunny
>>Miller Minus
And apparently there isn't a best new entrant award anymore. I don't see one on the results page or the overall scoreboard. And so goes my motivation to try an OF short story round.
#41 ·
· · >>Pascoite
Seems Monokeras won it? What's the little hat mean?
#42 ·
· · >>Pascoite

Actually, the little mortar board hat appears on the results page beside Monokeras's name. I don't know why, but there it is.

#43 ·
>>Miller Minus
>>Baal Bunny
Oh, okay. I thought that was the one for having the fewest people figure out what you wrote. But hovering the mouse over it reveals the truth.

But how is it that Miller didn't get it? He fits all the criteria.