Thursday, March 1, 2012

Writer's Weekly Winter 24 hour contest - A perch, a prayer and a polar plunge

As I compete in various writing contests this year, there will be a natural lag due to waiting for results.  Since entries are often required to be unpublished, I prefer to play it safe and wait until after results are posted.

This is a 24 hour contest.  I like these because it levels the playing field a little bit.

I really enjoyed writing the story I entered.  So, it was hard to not see my name in the winners circle, or even an honorable mention.  I didn't even get a door prize for crying out loud!  It's tough not to win.  Especially when you know your story is well crafted.  The only thing I can think of is that it maybe was not as original as some of the winners, and perhaps there just wasn't enough POW.  It's a nice story of a father and daughter, but the 'so what' factor may be a little light.

Regargless, I hope you enjoy the story below.  Tell me what you think.  Then check out the winners.

Blue ice stretched to the horizon, fading into the blinding rays of another waning winter sun. She shivered violently as the shifting mass groaned under her feet. She instinctively glanced down, looking for cracks under the transparent sheen. Suddenly, she tensed and dropped to her knees. Desperately clawing at the ice, she screamed...



I have to pee real bad. My toes are frozen. And, I'm bored, wicked bored. I have to tough it out though because it might be the only way to get my daddy back.

He just hasn't been the same guy since mom died. He doesn't talk much. We don't do things together. I had to beg him to take me along today. He'll probably never sweep me in his arms and call me “sugar bear” ever again. Losing mom was hard, wicked hard, but it just isn't fair for daddy to check out too.

A full day on Lake Cedar seemed like it would be a perfect way for us to reconnect. But so far, it's been a total bust.

Despite promising God I'd work harder at school and asking forgiveness for calling Samantha Roberts a cow, I didn't catch the first fish.

"Nice catch daddy!"

"Won’t even make a good appetizer."

We passed most of the rest of the day in silence, staring into green tubes, waiting for those tiny tugs.

I've only caught one fish, but that got me excited, wicked excited, because it was a perch, dad’s favorite.

"A perch!" I boasted.


That was it. My heart flopped like a suffocating fish.

The daylight is starting to fade; I'm running out of time. I think I have to pull out the big guns.

"Dad, did you ever take mom ice fishing?"

"For God’s sakes Mandy, put a lid on it, you'll scare all the fish."

"I don't care about these stupid fish! I think I have frostbite on my toes and my bladder is going to explode."

He stares at me for a few moments.

"Grab your things and head to the truck."

I storm out and trudge across the ice, tears boiling in the corner of my eyes. The ice moans as if it's my very soul. Then it cracks right beneath my feet. I fall to my knees. I scream. The ice crumbles and the cold water punches me in the gut and I can't breathe. I try to swim but all the clothes make my arms heavy and awkward.  I feel something grab me and pull me back onto the ice. It's dad. He scoops me in his arms and races to the truck. He cranks the heat as he peels the wet clothes from my body. I feel the warmth of his bare chest against my shivering body.

"Warm up, damn it." He slams his fist on the dash. He must hate me right now.

"S-s-sorry I ruined the fishing t-trip."

"No baby, you didn't. Don't worry, sugar bear, it's going to be okay."

I can't help it. I start crying. Dad's crying too. Despite being colder than I've ever been and a touch embarrassed to be naked with my dad, for the first time in a long time I feel awesome, wicked awesome.

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