Literary Maneuvers August 2020: The New Normal

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Thread: Literary Maneuvers August 2020: The New Normal

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    Literary Maneuvers August 2020: The New Normal

    Literary Maneuvers, August 2020

    "The New Normal"

    650 words, deadline 23:59 GMT / 18:59 EST, Sunday, 16 August


    This month you will be following the prompt:
    The New Normal

    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 Feb 2021 Grand Fiction Challenge which carries cash prizes.


    The judges this month are SueC, Tiamat, and one other (me if I can't find a volunteer). For those interested in judging, let me know via PM or in the new Coffee Shop. If you wish to know more about scoring, take a look at the NEW JUDGING GUIDE which also includes a template to use for your scoring. Please use this template for consistency.


    All entries that wish to retain their first rights should post in the LM WORKSHOP THREAD.

    All anonymous entries will be PMed to myself and please note in the PM if you want your entry posted in the workshop

    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.

    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: If you could send the scores no later than August 31st 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.
    Last edited by Harper J. Cole; August 4th, 2020 at 06:30 PM.

  2. #2

    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge

    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    - Propaganda, "Duel"


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

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

  4. #4

    Tape 62 - 393 Words - August 2020 LM

    Tape 62

    Track 01

    [Papers shuffle]

    Roberts: The window’s rather interesting isn’t it, Mr. Charlie? Or is it my guard?

    Charlie: F-forgive me, Jack—

    Roberts: Please call me Chief Roberts, Charlie.

    Charlie: Ha...sorry.

    Roberts: Stop stuttering.

    [Fingers crack]

    Roberts: Let’s cut to the chase,’re...creations?

    Charlie: My robots? Yes...I knew it. They’ll change the world. No, no...they the world. The new world…

    [Incoherent mumbling from Charlie]

    Roberts: Let’s keep our head here, right Charlie?


    [Roberts clears throat]

    Roberts: And why are you so confident in them…”changing the world” you say.

    Charlie: Well imagine, Ja—er, Roberts, you have some sort of physical disability...or, heck, even mental, and there’s a robot to fix it? Or a part of a robot to replace it?

    Roberts: In theory, Charlie, it sounds fascinating. But what about these?

    [Papers slap on desk]

    Charlie: Oh...minor setbacks.

    [Roberts exhales sharply]

    Roberts: These people, Charlie—may I remind you...people—are seriously injured, or…

    [Papers shift]

    Charlie: Ugh. People. Bodies. So...weak. Was it my fault...really?

    Roberts: You seem to be much more interested in preserving your robots than people. She could...die, Mr. Charlie.

    Charlie: And what would that mean? Another body gone...for the sake of more bodies my creations!

    Roberts: Charlie, you’re testing my patience.

    Charlie: I really am a genius, Roberts. You’re not understanding this. No sickness or injuries! A new normal! All because of me!

    Roberts: We would be more robot than human!

    [Charlie slams hands on desk]

    Charlie: That’s it, Roberts! That’s it!

    [Charlie laughs]

    Roberts: Well, I’m sorry, Charlie. But what you’re doing isn’t legal. We’re going to have to arrest you, and disable your—

    Charlie: NO! Not my creations! Please! If I’m locked away, they won’t be able to function! And you can’ can’t...disable them!

    Roberts [mumbling to Johnson]: We have to put him in an asylum instead…

    Charlie: Oh, can it, Roberts! You can kill me and I wouldn’t care! This body is useless! Just don’t destroy my creations!

    Roberts: Johnson, handcuff this man.


    Charlie: NO! Don’t do this! I’ll be back, you bastard! You will rue this day! I will come back! I will! I send armies and armies and armies of my creations all on you! Every last one of you!



  5. #5
    The Enchantment Over Woodward City

    Judge Entry (649 words)
    "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.

  6. #6

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    I threw a glance at humankind and saw them treacherous and feeble.
    Severe judges, cruel, unkind and fools who are always close to evil.
    Before their frightful, anxious mob, indifferent hate forever rages.
    Not learnt the lessons from the ages!
    What use are wise and tempered words?
    "Sometime, in my sweet blindness" - Pushkin

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