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The Short Story Contest

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It was a wonderful day in Portland. It was winter, I think, but there was an unseasonable amount of sunshine. Water was dripping, making a pattering on the pink brick sidewalk. It was one of those days that made me like Portland...sort of. I would normally be outside playing. Not today.
Me, Theo, and Elizabeth were sitting at a small table in the middle of the Telling Room. The place we usually sat, the polka-dot couch, was taken, or something. No. That wasn't it. The laptop that Elizabeth was using had to be plugged in.
In case you think that the Telling Room is a coffee shop, I'll explain. The Telling Room is a writing thing in Portland. There's workshops, but this was open hours, where you came and worked on your own stuff.
The problem was that we weren't really working. Theo was working, but she was getting bored. Elizabeth was stuck. And my mind was a horrid blank.
“I wish we could do a story game,” I muttered, more to myself than Theo.
“Me too, but I really need to get this done.” Theo, however, looked ready to toss her computer in the trash.
Elizabeth didn't say anything, just look rather glum. We were big writers, and all writers hate being stuck.
I silently gazed at the blank screen. If I was at home, I would have walked off and done something different. But I was here to write. What a wast of time if I didn't do any work.
“I wish there was a contest, so I wouldn't have to wonder what to write, or what to write it for,” I found myself saying. Well, maybe I didn't say those exact words, but it was something to that effect.
“We could have our own contest,” Theo suddenly said.
“Cool idea,” murmured Elizabeth.
Theo closed her laptop. “We should have timing and length requirements.” she said.
I'm not sure who came up with the theme idea. All I remember is that we talked about it for a very long time and finally settled on fairytales.
At first, we weren't supposed to look at each others stories, but we got rid of that rule soon. Theo and I kept passing ours back and forth. Elizabeth didn't. She kept steadily writing, pausing now and then to ask for a good name for a character.
Theo finished first. Of course, thinking back on it, I'm not surprised, considering how manny Nano Rimo novels she had written. It also was the darkest one. It was really creepy. I finished mine second. It was short, but I thought it was funny.
Having expected that we would pick different fairy tales to mess around with, I was surprised to find that Theo and I had been writing versions of Little Red Riding Hood, while Elizabeth had been inventing her own story.
We all thought that our stories were good and I thought it would be a great idea to judge them (it was a contest, after all). The problem was we weren't sure how. We considered voting on the stories. At least, I did, but nobody else liked that idea. Finally Theo remembered that there were volunteers and we could get them to judge. Theo and I hunted down three judges and started to read our fairy tales.
Theo's story was called Mabel and like I said before it was her own version of Little Red Ridding Hood. In this one, Ridding Hood bumps into a witch who gives a mind control potion and once she gets rid of it Ridding Hood reveals that her real name is Mabel. I don't need to tell you that it was creepy, with the mind control and all.
I was next with Little Red Party Dress. It's plot was the wolf, who'd failed to eat Riding Hood, try's to have Party Dress for dinner (and fails). Everyone thought it was very funny.
Elizabeth's was kind of strange. It was about a gnome who was searching for a griffin to ride instead of his leopard with his magical pals. The weirdest bit was that it had both dragons and robots in it.
Once we had finished, our judges went off in a corner. I can remember how we ended up with categorizes but some how we did. So I got funniest, Elizabeth got weirdest, and Theo got darkest and first prize.
We weren't thinking of having any real prizes but that's what we ended up with. Our judges were so kind as to get us posters plus a post card for Theo for being first. All three us went home looking forward to next week (not that we wouldn't anyway).
The next Wednesday, we did another contest, with the theme of mistaken identity. We did six weeks of contests, and sometimes we think of doing another contest.
It was very fun, and I think it was one of the best times I've had with my two friends.



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