Hiatus - Yes
Contest - No
I didn’t win the Clarity of Night contest. I didn’t place in the top five, or the honorable mention list, or the Top 40 club since you could get a total of 45 points.
Am I sad? No.
I’ll tell you the reasons why after you read my contest entry. Here it is:
Seeking a Deadly Foray
I stare at the red wine on the tray. With her heavy treads vibrating the floorboards of lightened gray, my wife strolls this way. Her rolls of flesh carry the sickly odor of three-day-old nachos lathered in fake cheese spray.
Where did my lovely Clementine take flight? Her once lithe body has vanished into the wreckage of bad breath and 400 pounds of cellulite. I cannot take any more of this sight. Tonight, I will make sure Death wraps bony fingers around her fattened heart and grips on tight. Outside, the windy darkness howls its terror at the coming plight.
My hand shuts the book cover, “How to Poison Your Spouse.” Clementine searches for the hard liquor to become thoroughly soused. In loathing, her eyes throw invisible daggers at me like I am the contemptible louse.
She snatches at the crystal chalice and whips her middle finger high. I cannot lie. The view of it hardens my resolve while I wish she would just die.
After a belch, Clementine tosses the empty glass to the floor. Her crudeness no longer holds any allure. Then she notices the book that will not offer her any cure.
In horror, she realizes the truth within the wine. “Howard, why would you do this to your lovely Clementine?”
I chuckle, “My dear, banish such troubling thoughts and relax. All you drank were several tablets of Ex-Lax. Your lower pipework will rev up to the max, and shed your body of its tonnage tax.”
So that was my entry. Actually, I knew I wasn’t going to win after I hit the “Send” button. I reread the story and shook my head in disgust.
Why did I add so many adjectives?
I don’t normally do this ANYWHERE in all my other writings. In fact, I’ve always been proud about the omission of useless modifiers (versus the necessary ones - yes, there is a difference). Unfortunately, for some reason, I littered the first two paragraphs with modifiers. The only conclusion I have on doing such a thing is that this was the first 250-word contest I’ve ever entered. I think I convinced myself that I needed those extra words to further establish the mood. What I should have done was delete those add-ons and create another sentence to further the storyline.
I’m not beating myself in the head over it, especially since this is the FIRST RHYMING STORY I’VE EVER WRITTEN. That’s right. This was more of an experiment for me than anything else. I proved I could do it while establishing a working plot.
So, did I win the contest?
Did I discover a new element in writing I can improve on?