Winter’s Writing War Winners! (6/6)

Something was brewing.

The air was thick and tainted with a heavy sense of dread. The sky to the west of Persepolis had darkened; black clouds gathering into an unnatural storm. The glittering Persian city that normally rose majestically from the desert floor seemed to be shrinking in fear from an invisible threat. People in the marketplace walked swiftly, glancing behind them furtively as they slipped into the safety of their adobe homes, sliding bars across their doors. The birds didn’t sing, yet the dogs howled mournfully whilst their owners peered out of their windows at the ominous sky and whispered among themselves.

Something was brewing…

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Winter’s Writing War Winners! (5/6)

He had left me a key.

It was an old fashioned key, one that – at one time – unlocked doors by being pushed through a hole in the door, where the small teeth would catch the lock mechanism and crank the bolt open. Nothing like the flat plastic keycards everyone carried these days. This key belonged to something old. Something my grandfather had wanted me to have.

I was standing by the freshly turned grave with the other mourners clutching this key as if it were the key to life itself. My grandfather was a scientist of the highest degree. He was the cleverest man I knew: he could give the Latin name for every ingredient in the chocolate bar you happened to be munching, even if they didn’t have Latin names. He knew enough about grasshoppers to fill a library, and if you happened to get onto the subject of time and space, well… if humans were immortal you would still be standing there hearing about it long after time and space had ceased to exist. He was a master. And now, he was also dead.

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Winter’s Writing War Winners! (4/6)

There once were three young ladies who knew what made a perfect man. They were determined to marry well, so their mother gave them their purity as a dowry and warned them not to make any decision too lightly. The maidens kissed their mother goodbye and assured her of their safety. With that, they were on their way. They had not gone very far when they happened upon a shepherd that lived just outside the town.

“What are you looking for?” he asked.

“We’re off to the market, looking to sell some wares.” the oldest blurted out. Her sisters held their peace.

“Be careful that you ask a high price for your wares.” he replied. The maidens nodded and continued on their way.

“Why did you tell him that?” the second sister asked.

“Momma told us to be prudent.” the elder replied. “Such a man need not know our business. He is not for us. A simple shepherd couldn’t possibly be right for any of us. What does he have? No, I will know my husband when I see him. He will give me forever.”

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Winter’s Writing War Winners! (3/6)

I’m called Lee. Lee Harvard Curtis. I don’t like Harvard much, but the story goes that my great-granddaddy Curtis went to Harvard, and ever since then, Harvard has been the middle name for all Curtis men. That’s because my great-grandmother Curtis was so proud of him that she insisted upon it.

We’re moving west, to Oregon Territory. Pa says we’re moving because Virginia is too crowded, that there isn’t enough room for a man to breathe freely and roam as much as he’d like. He’s always been a roamer. Mama calls it wander-lust and says I have it too. I think it will go away once we reach Oregon and carve out a big heap of land to call our own.

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Winter’s Writing War Winners! (1/6)

Winter’s Writing War was Holy World’s second writing contest. The first was in January of last year and had five categories; poetry, short stories, novel hooks, drabbles, and creature description. This year the contest was open only to short story under five thousand words, in three categories: Historical, Science Fiction, and Fantasy. On St. Valentine’s Day, February 14, we announced six winners.

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