Literary Maneuvers Dec 2019: Write An Epistolary Story

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Thread: Literary Maneuvers Dec 2019: Write An Epistolary Story

  1. #1

    Literary Maneuvers Dec 2019: Write An Epistolary Story

    Literary Maneuvers, December 2019

    "Write An Epistolary Story"

    650 words, deadline 23:59 GMT, Tuesday 17th Dec


    This month you will be writing in the style of an epistolary story, or a story as a series of documents (typically letters, though that can vary). Pick your own title, write about whatever you want, as long as it fits the prompt. You have 650 words of fiction in which to do this.

    If you win, you'll get a badge pinned to your profile, plus the chance to write for our yearly Grand Fiction Challenge which carries cash prizes. Pretty neat, eh?


    The judges this month so far are Ralph Rotten,
    -xXx-, SueC, and velo. For those interested in judging, let me know via PM or in the Coffee Shop. If you wish to know more about scoring, take a look at the Judging Guide


    All entries that wish to retain their first rights should post in the LM Workshop Thread.

    All anonymous entries will be PMed to bdcharles

    Lastly, why not check out this ancient text on how to best approach this task.


    • All forum rules apply. The LM competition is considered a creative area of the forum. If your story contains inappropriate language or content, do not forget add a disclaimer or it could result in disciplinary actions being taken. Click here for the full list of rules and guidelines of the forum.
    • No Poetry! Nothing against you poets out there, but this isn’t a place for your poems. Head on over to the poetry challenges for good competition over there. Some of us fiction people wouldn’t be able to understand your work! Click here for the poetry challenges. Play the prose-poem game at your own risk.
    • No posts that are not entries into the competition are allowed. If you have any questions, concerns, or wish to take part in discussion please head over to the LM Coffee Shop. We’ll be glad to take care of your needs over there.
    • Editing your entry after posting isn’t allowed. You’ll be given a ten minute grace period, but after that your story may not be scored.
    • Only one entry per member.
    • The word limit is 650 words not including the title. If you go over - Your story will not be counted. Microsoft Word is the standard for checking this. If you are unsure of the word count and don't have Word, please send your story to me and I'll check it for you.

    There are a few ways to post your entry:

    If you aren't too concerned about your first rights, then you can simply post your entry here in this thread.

    You can opt to have your entry posted in the Workshop which is a special thread just for LM entries. You would put your story there if you wish to protect your first rights, in case you wish to have the story published one day. Note: If you do post it in the workshop thread, you must post a link to it here in this thread otherwise your story may not be counted.

    You may post your story anonymously. To do so, send your story to the host of the competition. If you wish to have us post it in the workshop thread then say so. Your name will be revealed upon the release of the score.

    Everyone is welcome to participate, including judges. A judge's entry will receive a review by their fellow judges, but it will not receive a score, though some judges are happy to let you know their score for you privately. Please refrain from 'like'-ing or 'lol'-ing an entry until the scores are posted.

    Judges: In the tradition of LM competitions of yore, if you could send the scores no later than three days after the closing date it will ensure a timely release of results. Much later than that and I will have to post with what I have. Again, please see the Judging Guidelines if you have questions. Following the suggested formatting will be much appreciated, too.

    This competition will close on:
    Tuesday 17th December at 11:59:59 PM, GMT (not BST), on the dot. Please note any time differences where you are and be mindful of daylight savings time.
    Last edited by bdcharles; December 17th, 2019 at 10:36 AM.

    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge

    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"


    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous


    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!

  2. #2
    Deer Santar Clars (636 words)

    Saterday Desember 12 1993

    Deer Santar Clars

    I am ritin to you about my presants. I think I have been good this yaer. So pleas can you bring me a Segga Megga Drive. I wood also like a RC Ford Rangar car that is blue an a new HOT WEELS big track because Jess broke mine.

    Pleas rit me back. Thankyou. I love you.

    Max age 7


    Sunday Desember 13 1993

    Halo Satar Clas

    I still did not here back from you yet I am sorrey if the mail man lost your lettar. Daddy sayes he does that sometime. Mamma toled me I canet have the Segga Megga and the RC Ford Rangere until I quit wettin. Said can have only one beside they don not fit in your sack so pleas bring the Segga Megga an HOT WEELS aswell ok?

    Pleas rit me back I love you

    Max age 7


    Teueday Dessember 15 1993

    Deare Satarc las

    I wood also like pleas may have more HOT WEELS pleas the cars. I hope you are good. I am fine. My daddy got mad this mournin bc I am still wettin so an he took all of them the HOT WEELS becaws said I cant have back. Daddy sad not uttil I stop it that wettin can I have back my HOT WEELS. I tried tellin mamma later when she get home how I donow and im sorry but I dono howt go use the batroom when I am sleepin becass I am sleep an dono. She toled me I have to do bettar for daddy or I wont be good enut for presants. Daddy said I am a baby for wettin. Pleas bring presants. Pleas rite back to me. I promiss I am good.



    Fry day Desembar 18 1993

    Hi Sata Cl

    Pleas can I also hav a jumbo jet they are smallar than the RC Ford Rang so can fit in sack no probblem and also bring MICRO MACHINES for the Segga Megga please tank you. Jessica she wants a Megga too but copyin me I saw first. I dint wettin last nite so daddy was happey. Mamma was happey too. She said I shud quit askin you rite me an Satan only comes at nite an he is too busy makin toys to rite no letters. Wen you comon Crismas E please wil you wake me up. Sometime I sleep real hard. Only one time I dint and woke up an there was some in my room. Not you Satna but a some thing else. A big bear I thught givn me hugs. Dint like it but was dreamin I gess. Well I wetted thatnite too. Daddy was not mad that time but becass I was small like Jess. Wont wet agian ok. Pleas bring some candy too ok. I like milky ways best.

    I love you

    Max age 7


    Sun Day Desembr 20 1993


    I wetted gen. Dadd he got rel mad ts time he gave me spankn. Rel hard spankn. Mamma said he shd just have made me sit in room but daddy was too mad. It was hard I cudt stop cryn for lon tim. Sorrey if paper is wet and pjams too I am serrey. I tryed telli mamma about that bear I toled you abot in the las lettar but she said no bears in Wes Scon Sin. Then dddy cam in sed I was a baby. Sad babys dnt get pressents. So I startd cryin gen and he got rel mad an then he hit me in the hed an i fell over. I am serrey for bad. I love you an I love Cris mass.

    I havt stop ritin now. I cen hear the bear. He out si the door.

    I love you.

  3. #3

    Invisible Plea (638 Words - Language)

    Last edited by Shockhawk; December 9th, 2019 at 03:44 PM. Reason: First time copying Link
    Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands! - Auron, FFX

  4. #4
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.

  5. #5

    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge

    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"


    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous


    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!

  6. #6

    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge

    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"


    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous


    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!

  7. #7
    The problem with understanding people is: the more you understand, the less you will believe in miracles.

  8. #8
    Collapsing Reference Frame
    (625 words)
    Content Warning

    November 13th

    I met her last week. My angel. And I lost her.

    That’s why I haven’t written anything for a while. Been preoccupied.

    I met her through Jimmy. The bastard didn’t even introduce us, just left us alone in the study room. She said she was struggling with tensor fields in relativity. Not surprised, the way prof. H covers the material, took me ages to undo his bad habits; at least half the reason I’m so far behind.

    Her name was Sophie, and I could actually talk to her. I think she is French, but clearly went to international school. Was able to explain that she needed to lose the idea of privileged reference frames. I mean really lose it, not just say OK, try to crunch then math, then be surprised you don’t understand it even if you crank out the ‘right’ answer. And she did. Was able to pick it up faster than anyone else.

    So we met up the next day. And the next. Then an entire week had passed and we were getting on to 3rd year material. I’ve never met anyone like her. So intelligent and kind and beautiful. I can’t remember the last time I felt this good. Not sure I ever have.

    I’m not sure what I did wrong. Just being my idiot self as usual I guess. She used to laugh at my jokes, but now I realise she only laughed when I took the piss out of myself. Laughing at me, not with me. Then she said she didn’t want anymore tuition. “Let’s not meet up for studying again”, her exact words. The last she would ever say to me. She was the one who was supposed to save me. My angel. But I couldn’t hold on to her. Now she’s gone.

    In other news the Prof. H rejected my thesis proposal. Said it was too ambitious for an undergrad project. Didn’t care I already had the data. I hate him. I hate them all. I hate myself the most. The tablets arrived today. I calculated the dose.

    If anyone finds this diary, tell my mum I’m sorry.


    Hello Sarah! The best penpal a girl could wish for!

    I know it’s your turn to write, but I have something I just have to share with someone and there are too many gossips around campus.
    Met a nice guy from class the other day. I know, I know, I said I’d never date anyone from class, but he’s in year 3, so technically not in my class… Real shy guy, but smart. I mean there are plenty of smart guys in class, but he really understands this shit on a deep level. Apparently he’s fallen way behind on the material, and it’s easy to see why, he spends so long on each subject making sure he really understands it before moving on. I’m sure I can help him keep pace though. He’s got that British self-deprecation thing down to an art. I wasn’t sure whether I should laugh at his jokes, but in the end I couldn’t help it. I nearly laughed some juice back through my nose one time.
    The only problem is that he’s too shy to ask me out, just keeps wanting to do study sessions. I told him I didn’t want anymore ’tuition’. I mean, I still want tuition obviously, I’m going to finish top of the class at this rate. But hopefully he gets the hint and asks me out. Otherwise I’l just have to ask him out myself, but apparently I scare the boys when I do that (I’ll tell you about THAT another time).
    Anyway, I’ll keep you posted.

    Love, Sophie.

    P.S. Hope the rabbit is feeling better.

  9. #9
    December in the Singing Ringing Land


    We moved south again last week. We’re following the warm weather ‘cause the equipment runs better when the night stays above -80 F. We’re all sort of restless, but otherwise fine. We play a lot of cards. I read, mostly old newspapers and silly magazines from Earth. They’re comforting, somehow.

    Most remarkable is the sky—rosy pink, just soft enough that I forget it’s there sometimes, but when I remember, and look, it stirs my blood in a way I can’t describe. It’s too strange to be believed. Nothing like the pictures.

    Say hi to A. and Mom for me. Greg sends his love.

    - Mark


    Well, we had the first Mars Christmas, I guess! Packages from home and beers all around. Cozy, all crammed in one pressure-tent!—but, you know, a little odd. Everything feels different here. A Mars rhythm, and we’re playing an Earth melody on top of it. Discordant. Kind of beautiful, in its own way.

    Also, I don’t want to worry you, but something funny happened with Cade last night. He went out without explanation, and now today he’s sort of incoherent. Seems okay, though. Cabin fever, I guess.

    Merry Christmas!

    - Mark


    We moved our tents south again. Walking on the surface is pure joy—I still can’t get over how light I am! You would absolutely love it. Where we are now there’s rocky peaks everywhere, and if you time it right you can leap from peak to peak. Imagine, if there’re native Martians anywhere, what they’d think of us!

    Speaking of which, last night, just before dawn, I heard this strange sound. Very quiet. Sort of like—Warbling? Singing? I don’t know. Like if you took a baby’s laugh and drew it out far too long, and with only one note. It was nothing I’ve ever heard before. I told Capt. Erwin about it; he said it was the wind. I know it wasn’t, but how could I defend myself? It stirred me the way the pink sky does—except more frightening, because I was that close to going out and seeing what it was.

    Much love.

    - Mark


    Cade and I had a long talk a couple days ago. I think Mars is getting to him. I know, because he’s happier than he’s ever been. He was telling me about this movie he saw as a kid, about a rat and a mole, and how in the autumn the rat heard the South calling him. He said he thought he was being called, somewhere, he didn’t know where. He laughed at random moments, as if he were taking part in some other conversation simultaneously, one that I couldn’t hear.

    Please don’t worry though. Each morning I feel more alive. What I look forward to most is nighttime—There we are, cradled in a little pocket of Earth, deep inside an ever-encroaching alien landscape, cold, barren, terrible—but not hostile, Em, that’s the thing! It’s sheer, all-devouring delight—a child’s planet. Not kind, but at least good.

    Love forever.

    - Mark


    The beauty here is formidable. I think of you and Mom at home and it makes it that much better—or worse! I feel my heart is breaking. Once or twice I’ve woken in the middle of the night, and then I see the impossibly cold temperature on the weather reading, and—Em, can you understand? Maybe if you’d read Bradbury, or Wells—it’s alien, Em. I feel there’s two of me—an Earth-me, a stranger, a funny little shell—and a Mars-me, stretching out newborn fingers into the cotton-candy pink air. Cold into the cold night.

    It’s a child’s planet, or at least we’re children to it—but you know how children can be so consumed by their play, how something as small as a rag doll can steal their very soul? I’m afraid …

    The night is the true Mars, Em. I realize that now.

    - Mark

    "So long is the way to the unknown, long is the way we have come. . ." ~ Turisas, Five Hundred and One

    "[An artist is] an idiot babbling through town. . .crying, 'Dreams, dreams for sale! Two for a kopek, two for a song; if you won't buy them, just take them for free!'" ~ Michael O' Brien,
    Sophia House

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.


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