Writing Contest: Voting

Friday, October 8

Vote in the comments for your favorite submission.
A huge thanks to everyone who participated!

"Exit Scene" by Spyroteknik


While the rest of the earth sleeps, I am awake. I see things no one else can; beautiful things, wonderful things… but the vision comes at a price.
Insomnia. It’s a harmless enough word, not one you would think twice about if you read it or heard it. But it is the word that holds my existence in its hands. Insomnia – my gift and my curse. While we live in this world, visions of heaven come at the price of moments in hell.
Do you not understand? Follow me tonight and perhaps you will. I want you to know my mind, see what I see. For my end is coming, drawing nearer and nearer like the advance of dawn. Before it comes, I want to be ready. I want to know that someone else understands what I’ve been through, and what I see. So come with me, please.
Yes? Good. The clock is chiming midnight now. The light is all but gone, lingering only in the pinpoints of the stars that show through the smog. Come, let us go. Walk with me out onto the terrace and I will explain.
Ah, the air is cooler out here and the sounds of the metropolis louder. The noise drives many away, but I love it. When all is dark and the only sound you hear in the house is the even breathing of lucky sleepers, the traffic noise is the thing that reminds you that there are other people still awake and alive in the world.
It started when I was young and my nightmares would keep me awake at night. I would crawl into bed with my parents in those days, but as I grew older my pride won out over my fear and I huddled alone in my own bed, fighting back my imagination.
I’ve discovered a cure of sorts now. Pacing the terrace at night helps me stay sane through the long hours of darkness. And it allows me to see the first glimmers of light that let me go back to bed. Have you never realized how long night is? Right now in the autumn it lasts for nine hours! Have you ever spent nine hours pacing? Not until tonight? Well, how does it feel? It is lonely, is it not? Terribly lonely.
Having someone else with me eases the passage of time. It holds the nightmares at bay and there will be no glimpse of hell tonight. But look! The light is growing, slowly taking over the darkness. Every time I see the sun rise it catches my breath away. My vision is coming, in all its beauty. Wait for it… now! Can you see?
The city is bathed in liquid gold, the Midas’s touch of dawn. See the birds waking! This is glory; this is light; this is hope. Every skyscraper gleams with the sunlight on glass, every street shines with the reflection of the dew on its pavement. You’re turning away from the railing, leaving. Don’t go yet! See the sun rising between the buildings?
This is the one consolation of the insomniac. I have suffered through the torments of utter aloneness, pacing awake at night. But I am recompensed by seeing the majesty of dawn every morning. Who else begins their day with glimpses of heaven, but me?
In my curse, I find a blessing.


The brightness frightened him. James covered his eyes, protecting them from the radiating sunlight that peered through the large window overlooking the city. He had made it. James was a survivor. With a quick glance, he could make out figures that seem to be a daughter, grasping onto her father, looking at the same beautiful city everyone had grown to love. Nothing much has changed, James thought. Half the population was dead, missing, gone, but James survived. He took steps toward the railing, filled with curiosity. The sky, still ashy disappointed James. He had assumed everything would be completely different. He had been unconscious for some time, and he was still unsure of the date. He approached a hooded figure, who was closest to him.
“Uh,” James wasn’t sure what to ask or even if this stranger was the person who could answer all his questions. “Why are we here?” He finally asked.
“No one knows why we’re here.” The stranger replied, and continued on their way. Where was his family? His baby, Jessica, or his wife. He shuddered at the thought, that they may not have survived, but all he knew was that despite the other survivors, he was still so alone.
James wandered throughout what reminded him of the viewing deck of the Empire State building. Impossible, he thought. Manhattan had already been wiped out. Everyone there, had been so easily killed, he recollected of the news report he had seen…a while ago.
“Excuse me—” James tried. “Miss—” Another try. “Can you—” Countless attempts began to frustrate him. Everyone seemed to preoccupied to help, or to care.
“Someone help me find my family!” He finally screamed. This caught the attention of many, who of which quickly turned to gaze at this maniac. Who dared to yell here? It was forbidden.
“Hey, you.”
James spun around to find a female, about his age staring back at him.
“Miss, can you he—”
“Shh. Did you just wake up?” She interrupted. He didn’t know what she meant, but he took a wild guess and nodded. “How’d you get here? You should be in room 313 then.”
“I’m looking for my family!” He pleaded. “Please, help me find them. My daughter, she must be so scared.” The woman didn’t reply. She merely grabbed onto his arm, and lead him to room 313. “What are you doing?! I’m looking for my family!” James resisted, but this woman was much stronger than him. It was almost like she wasn’t human.
“You need to be quiet! You’ll get me in trouble too,” She insisted.
“In trouble? By who?”
“Look, you just woke up, but just do what I say,” She ordered.
They finally reached room 313. There wasn’t anything special about it. Just a room, with lots of empty chairs. The woman left him there, to sit in one of the hundred empty seats in the room. James sat there waiting, more irritated than ever.
“Welcome,” He heard as the lights turned down. “To your new home.”


The sun was setting, turning the storm clouds into colors of gold and breaking it's anger.
It had drawn him to the window and now he stared silently through the pane. Though he tried,
he couldn't capture the feeling it gave him
"What a beautiful sunset," he thought.
Others too had been brought to the window, caught by it's spell.
Birds seemed to come out of the sun's golden ball. They caught the winds draft and followed it wherever it chose to take them, to a destination known by none but their creator.
His eyes glanced downward for a moment and found the floor dreamily mirroring the scene above.
He felt a sense of childhood wonder.
"Though the times are ever changing
and the ground I walk on shakes,
I know these gifts my creator makes
for the delight of his creation," thought he in peace.


Mr. Riley walked into his office feeling tired and alone. He had been a business man, and at work he had thought that he had always been an expert at talking about the things that needed to be talked about in a businessman’s job, but he had obviously been wrong. He had no wife, and therefore no children. He had friends, but none that truly interested him. He was growing old and tired of the world, and slowly but surely he was realizing the fact. He was realizing that there were hundreds of fine men waiting in line for his job, and the fact that his work really no longer needed him made him sad. He was also realizing that he tended to shut inside himself, and so his friends didn’t really need him either. He wanted to make a difference to someone, or something. He wanted to do something or say something that would make someone need him, or want him. Perhaps his friends did need him, even if his work didn’t, but didn’t know that they needed him because of his naturally quiet personality . Perhaps if he stated his opinions more than he would make more of a difference. Somehow he doubted it. Perhaps someone did enjoy his company but he didn’t know it. He doubted that even more. Mr. Riley looked out of the giant glass wall, and watched the sunset fall behind the looming city of New York. It was a bittersweet thing to see. It made the world look as shadowy and gloomy and lonely as he felt, and he wondered if maybe the rest of the people in the world sometimes felt this way. That made him feel good. But that made him think of the people he knew in particular. He thought of all his business partners at his retirement party. He could imagine them talking and laughing, not caring that he had left the party early. He thought of all his collage friends, who didn’t need him then and who, even though he hadn’t changed much over the years, would not notice him on the streets. He could almost see the family he could have had. A beautiful wife, beautiful children, and a beautiful home that he could come home to after work, along with a freshly prepared meal. But he didn’t have any of it. He tried to convince himself that he mattered, but he felt like no-one would notice if he disappeared off the face of the earth. He started to pack up his work things and he knew that this was the last time he would ever be in this office. He glanced up out the window again. The sun had left the darkness to rule the city, and Mr. Riley felt like it ruled him too.

9 comment(s):

Squeaks Saturday, October 09, 2010  

They're all very great entries! Good job to everyone :) After a hard decisions, I choose to vote for entry 2. The reason? It displayed an excellent undercurrent and an exciting theme...I find myself wanting to know more of what happens :P

Signed sincerely,


Celtic Traveler Saturday, October 09, 2010  

They were all great...But I vote #1.
Maybe because I can relate to it;)

Sananora Saturday, October 09, 2010  

Great stories...one thing though I would suggest, if ever you have another contest you should put the stories down without giving the voter the knowledge of who wrote it...I don't know...

Sunshine Saturday, October 09, 2010  

#3. I like how descriptive it was. Interesting desciptions :)

Sananora Saturday, October 09, 2010  

And if the writers get the right to vote...I'd like to vote for #4...

Story Weaver Saturday, October 09, 2010  

@Sananora: Good idea.
@Liz: Participats can vote.
Everyone else: Thanks for voting!
Those who haven't voted: Vote!

Liz Saturday, October 09, 2010  

Yikes, I meant #2... sorry!
They're all awesome! But 2 was my favorite.

Anonymous,  Sunday, October 10, 2010  

Do the writers get to vote? Can we vote for our own? If so, than #4. If not than #2. I liked how you didn't really know what was going on, and you could relate to his confusion.


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