This month I'm going to try something different--mix it up a little. I'm going to post the 4 top finalists, then let the readers decide which one should win. This is an experiment, so let's see how it turns out. Depending on how it goes, I might keep it this way or switch it back or change it again, who knows. Inevitably my only goal is to give writers a place to get their work scene. Deadline is Saturday, July 31st.
Below are the 4 finalists and there's a poll to the right with the corresponding letters to vote for. Good luck to the finalists and thanks to all who submitted there was some terrific scenes which didn't make the final 4.
A- Leah Petersen:
She brought her lips to his again. “I love you,” she murmured, her lips whispering against his.
He stiffened and pulled back just enough that she could see his face. His eyes were wide.
And why not, at such a shocking declaration? She was young, and beautiful, and heir to lands and titles and fortunes. And what was he?
He was dead.
His body slid to the floor with the gracefulness she’d loved in him. The life in his eyes was already gone. It had been very quick. She was accurate in everything she did.
She slid her knife from his breast and wiped it clean on her own skirt. All of the other times she had used the clothes of her victim and what did it matter to them? But this time it mattered, to her.
Matthew would make her pay for this, make her howl until she had no more voice and still he would hurt her. She hadn’t failed, she had defied him.
She could have made the boy suffer, as she’d been told. She could have made him die slowly and in terrible pain. She knew she was capable of it. So there was some victory in this. That she had killed her lover quickly and painlessly not out of weakness, but by choice.
She stood and looked down at him.
One tear escaped and she brushed it away, not realizing that she’d replaced the tear track with a smear of his blood.
B- Lindy Rahn
They picked up her things and began along the pier towards the Sydney Aquarium, holding hands. Luke’s grasp made her feel safe and comfortable. It was the one thing that had been missing and now she had it back.
‘How did you find me?’ she asked, curious. After James, Flora had made very sure that she would only be found be those she wanted to find her. A very small list of people had access to her whereabouts.
‘As soon as Juli cancelled the wedding, I ditched my job and went back to Perth only to discover that you’d taken leave and were off travelling. I’ve been following you ever since with the help of PJ and Louise. They forwarded me the emails you sent to them.’ He held up his Blackberry waggling it in the air. The wonders of modern technology. Then he regarded her sternly, ‘you know, if you were a regular twenty something it would have been easy to find you… I could have just checked your Facebook status or sent you a text. But not you. Tell me again why you don’t have a mobile phone?’
Flora was silent. They both knew she didn’t trust mobiles anymore. Still, she smiled, ‘Well, it’s lucky I’m not a regular girl. Then you’d never have loved me.’
‘What do you mean ‘loved?’ I love you more than I ever did, even though I never said it… and Flora?’
Luke fell to his knees. There, in the middle of the queue to see the seals, he gazed up into her aqua eyes as the crowd around them began to clap and cheer. ‘I don’t ever want to be apart from you again. I want to marry you.’
Flora could feel the tears welling. ‘Is this the part where I say ‘yes’?’
‘Hmm. Well, alright, but on one condition.’
‘Oh God.’ He hoped she wasn’t going to make him dress in some stupid top hat and tails or something. ‘What?’
‘We need to go back to Enrico’s before the wedding so you can learn to waltz. Your timing really sucks.’
C- Cyndi Tefft
A hazy sheen of smoke was visible in the moonlit room, wispy tendrils silently jostling one another for space on the ceiling. “Oh shit!” I cried, my mind finally coming up to speed. I leapt out of bed and raced down the stairs. The acrid stench of smoke filled my lungs and burned my eyes as I grabbed the fire extinguisher from behind the refrigerator. I batted at the smoke with my free hand and it taunted me, moving away and then quickly circling back. I pulled the pin on the extinguisher and squeezed the handle, praying that it would work. A spray of white foam poured from the container and I swept it back and forth over the base of the flames.
My eyes were watering uncontrollably and I squeezed them shut, focusing all my energies on putting out the fire. My arms and legs began to shake as the extinguisher spit out its final droplets of foam. I scrambled over the floor toward the door, tripping on the footstool and knocking my forehead against the hardwood floor. Crawling on my hands and knees, I strained to make it to the door to the outside deck. The suffocating pressure in my chest held me in place and I reached out in desperation before my arm fell limp and all strength was gone.
I called to him in my mind with my last conscious thought, then surrendered to the dense grey fog that consumed me.
D- Ali Koomen
“Is it you? Is it really you?”
The girl nodded. “My name is Mallory, and you are my mother.”
Geneva’s hand went to her mouth. It was impossible to take her eyes from her daughter’s face. Eventually, she recalled Scott’s presence and turned to him. “Scott, I don’t—”
“Please, don’t be angry with him,” Mallory said. “I knew I was adopted--when I was twelve, I found the adoption papers. I have always known something was missing. I’ve always wanted to find my birth parents, and now you have found me.” She paused, her voice heavy with tears. “Scott told me about how young you were, and how he wanted you to get an abortion. But you were so brave, travelling to a country halfway across the world. I’ve had a wonderful life, almost a fairytale existence, something I would not have known had you not been so courageous. Thank you, for loving me so much, for being so selfless.”
Geneva looked at Scott. “Thank you,” she whispered. He nodded his head in acknowledgement.
Mallory looked from one to the other. “I think that you two need to continue to find your way back to each other. If nothing else, could you do that for me?”
Scott looked at Geneva, and she could see the old daring-do in his eyes. She turned to her firstborn, and said what parents have said since the beginning of time, when they’re not completely certain of the outcome:
“We’ll see, dear. We’ll see.”