Thanks to everyone who entered the Write On! Online October Challenge – Boo! Write on a Genre that Scares You! Here are the winners:

1st Place:
Cara Holman
Favorite Genre:
Non Fiction; Genre that Scares Her: Fiction
(Prize: A medium-length (or 21,000 word) one-reader iScript; the 1st Place stories are posted below)

2nd Place:
Aimee Laine
Favorite Genre: Romance; Genre that Scares Her: Young Adult
(Prize: Save the Cat!® Goes to the Movies by Blake Snyder)

3rd Place:
Susie McEldowney
Favorite Genre: Children’s Stories; Genre that Scares Her: Narrative Writing
(Prize: The Writers Digest Guide to Query Letters by Wendy Burt-Thomas, compliments of The Writers Store

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THE OCTOBER CHALLENGE: BOO! WRITE IN A GENRE THAT SCARES YOU!

1st Place Winner – Cara Holman, “The Eyes Have It”

The doors hiss open at the Zoo stop, and two men step aboard. My nostrils are immediately assailed by the scent of unwashed bodies, mixed with stale cigarette smoke. Involuntarily, I recoil. I sense, rather than see, the younger one stumble towards the adjoining empty seat, and sit down heavily next to me.

I surreptitiously sneak a peak at him. My mother’s eye notes, with disapproval, that he has dirt beneath his fingernails, and a mangy head of tangled blond curls. He wears a large ill-fitting overcoat that hangs almost to the floor.

“Go ahead,” a voice barks out, “Press the emergency button, I dare you.” I turn to see his companion arguing with a well-dressed businessman.

As I stare, the speaker suddenly whirls around, and fixes his piercing eye on me. “And you,” he spits out, “Look at you with your middle-class white fear. You think I’m going to hurt you, don’t you?”

I cower closer to the window, my heart-pounding painfully in my chest, in staccato rhythm, as the train continues to barrel through the darkened tunnel. I stare fixedly at the lights illuminating blue at regular intervals and begin counting them. One, two … surely he wouldn’t try anything in this crowded car … three, four … almost out of the tunnel…

I have all but forgotten my seatmate, until I suddenly hear the sound of soft, tremulous notes floating through the air. He is playing some sort of wooden instrument, nothing I can put a name to. I listen transfixed, to this modern day Pan, as he moves from one tune to the next, now an lilting Irish melody, now a soulful Scottish lament. With bowed head, studiously avoiding eye contact, he resembles nothing so much as a hunted animal, but his music, oh, his music.

From the corner of my eye, I see his companion reaching into his pocket, fumbling with an object. Five, six,…why doesn’t that businessman do something already? They say a knife is deadlier than a gun at close range.

“Aha, gotcha,” the man says, laughing loud and derisively. “Had you all quaking there, didn’t I?” The object he has extracted from his pocket is merely a brown-spotted, overripe banana, which he proceeds to deliberately peel. Nervous laughter erupts all around him, as we suddenly emerge from the tunnel into the bright and glaring sunlight.

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Thanks again to all who entered. Remember, the deadline for The Write On! Online – November Challenge: Write Your Turkey! is November 30th. Also check Write On! Online on December 1st for information on The December Challenge!

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  1. […] 2nd Place Write On Online! October Challenge […]

  2. Aimee Laine 9 years ago

    Yeah! This is awesome! Congrats to #1 and thank you for my #2!!

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