Updated Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Monday, January 28, 2008

Story time!

I like to enter online contests from time to time, especially writing ones as I get to pretty much do whatever I want. I saw one today and the entry caught my imagination before I'd even read what the prize was. I started writing almost immediately - this was their setup:

It was a cold snowy day up in Alaska, and after being trapped indoors for several weeks, Curly was getting a pretty nasty case of cabin fever. Against his better judgement, he layered up in a parka, boots and several pairs of long johns and ventured out into the
white wilderness. He hadn't been outside for more than 10 minutes when...

Now Curly is the website's mascot - a cute, anthropomorphic pig - and needless to say, I had way more fun writing this than I thought I would. My continuation of their story follows below:

... a low rumble fills the air.

In the distance the echo rolls across the frigid white plains and Curly snaps to attention - he knows that sound. The rumble steadily becomes a roar – a roar heading in his direction - and he knows that he’s in trouble. He sprints to the shed as fast as his little hooves can carry him, plunging through drifts and trying desperately not to fall into the deep snow that would surely signal his doom.

He can see the avalanche coming now - as if the roar of thousands of tons of collapsing snow hadn't given it away.

Fumbling with his keys he finds the lock and throws the door wide as the sky begins to darken. Jumping into the shed the wall of snow hits it square and it begins to slide forward, torn from its foundation.

Another roar, this time from an engine as Curly's skidoo bursts free of the collapsing shed, the tangle of wood falling around him.

Out now, into the crisp light of morning, Curly grips the handlebars, his knuckles white inside his gloves, his eyes tearing up from the cold winter wind.

Behind him the earth shakes, trees and boulders and cars all consumed by the tumbling mass. He dares to glance behind him and fear grips him cold – it is gaining on him.

The machine whines as he snaps the throttle open, Curly begging the machine to hold out long enough. It’s a crazy plan to be sure but the tumbling cloud behind him makes it clear that his options are limited - and this is one side of bacon that’s not going down without a fight.

In the distance the cliff beckons, he'd been there before - he knew the drop of more than 100 feet could... could… He clears the doubts from his mind; there was no chance of beating this down the hill. Better a slim chance than none at all.

Faster now, the snow screaming out from beneath his treads as the cacophony reaches its fever pitch; He feels the spray bouncing, making rivulets on the back of his parka and knows that there will be no other chances.

He clamps down on the handlebars and focuses his eyes - "eye on the prize", as his dad would say. Jumping with every fiber of his being he feels his muscles strain as the machine leaps forward into the air, defying all laws of physics --

-- well, for at least .325 seconds.

Gravity pulls at him, trying to separate him from his only chance of survival. The ground rushes toward him and he closes his eyes, fighting the dizzying doom of vertigo. Gritting his teeth he prepares for impact.

Then it comes, but not from where you’d expect. The snow slams into him from behind, having arched off the cliff and followed him in his path to the ground below. It pushes him, cushions him, cradles him as it slams into the wintery abyss at the bottom.

And like that - silence. As if the world had come to a complete standstill. Curly lay atop the mound, his skidoo half-buried beneath him. The icy chill of melting snow in his boots and parka bring him back around. He lays there, slowly wiggling his fingers and hooves, nothing broken.

A gasp rings out and Curly groans toward the sound.

The crowd watches him as he gets to his feet and bursts into applause when he stands. From the city below they had come with their camcorders and cell phones to witness the spectacular beauty of nature in action - and had seen his amazing feat.

A young man in snowboard gear helps him from the mess and cleans the snow off his jacket.

"Dude! That is SO going on YouTube!"


So I finished the story, spent a good half an hour cleaning it up - in total, took me about an hour and change to write - and sent it off. It was only then that it hit me: "Hey, what am I actually doing all this for?"

I clicked the prize link and I couldn't help but laugh - I realized that was playing for 100 piggy points.

Essentially: 10 cents.

I wonder if I'll win.


No comments: