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Seven-Sentence Story Winner(s)!

I had fourteen entries for the seven-sentence story contest, and they all were fun.  Since the exercise started with my creative writing classes, I recruited a crew of them to judge.  I decided that I would pick a personal winner, and they would pick a winner.  If they were the same, then I would award one prize.  If we disagreed, I would go with two prizes.  For fun, I made them pick a top three, and so did I.  We did our judging after school today in separate rooms, and then compared the results.  Evidently they had a lively discussion about the fairness of semicolons before deciding that there was no rule against them, and they are a legitimate form of punctuation.  I thought it was funny that we both gave Jay's story a special mention but for different reasons.

Here are the students' top three:

#1)  Chris Clarke: "A Tale of Seven Seas"

#2 )  wldhrsjen3"Butterfly Wings"

kara_gnome"Leah Wants a Ghost"

Special award for mentioning the teacher: jaylake:  "Seven Sentences from Here to Hell"

My top three:

#1)  Chris Clarke:  "A Tale of Seven Seas"

#2)  brni:  "Tonight She Has Chosen to Shine Brightly"

#3) jetse:  "I compute, therefore I am"

Special mention for the inside joke:  jaylake:  "Seven Sentences from Here to Hell"

I will send Chris his prize as soon as he chooses his book and sends me a snail mail address.  Thank you, everyone for participating.  My classes got a lot out of this.

And here is the unanimous winner from both judging methods:

A Tale of Seven Seas

by Chris Clarke

I will tell you a tale of the high seas, of pirates and cannibals and buried treasure, of lust and greed and betrayal, of a map found in a dusty chest and a captain, I, Reggie, Sir Reginald Cornwallis, who sailed to the edge of the world in search of Red Rasmussen’s gold.

I borrowed HMS Phoenix during an expedient smoke-filled moment at the Battle of the Nile and sailed her down the African coast intending to round the Cape and sail for the East Indies, but His Majesty’s squadron at Cape Town put paid to that little misadventure; a court martial and deportation to Botany Bay is a small price to pay for the pursuit of a dream, wouldn’t you say.

In Australia, while indentured to Colonel M. A. Munro, a wealthy landowner on the Hawkesbury River, I seduced the colonel (and his fair wife, but that’s another story) with a tale of undreamt riches, thereby securing my freedom with the map, which I had tattooed on my chest for safe keeping, and a promise to guide the expedition; a group of five men in a Bermudan sloop intent on sailing north to darkest Borneo.

Five weeks into the voyage, at the mouth of the Sarawak river, a tribe of bloodthirsty Dayak headhunters came at us from the mangroves like a swarm of mosquitoes, killing Curly and the Colonel, removing their heads with the slice of a sword and tying the three survivors together, marching us into the jungle, God alone knew to what fate.

My escape, at the expense of a few trinkets and baubles and the lives of my less fortunate shipmates, came at the hands of Iban, the chiefs bountiful daughter, who I left screaming like a banshee (as a love scorned is want to do) in the canoe, after she assumed my love for her went further than taking me back to the sloop.

Within the week, Red Rasmussen’s island lay within my grasp, shimmering in the heat haze like a mirage when the sloop ran aground, tearing her bottom out on the treacherous barrier reef, forcing me to salvage what I could from the wreck: some personal effects, a little food, some fresh water, and set up house in the cave, next to the greatest treasure the world has never seen.

I am alone but for rubies and pearls and doubloons scattered like confetti on the cave floor, even more alone now that the last of the scotch has gone, a fact attested to by the bottle you hold in your hand and the note you are now reading, a note with a map on the back where x marks the spot.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 16th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)

I'll take second place, thanks. But... Um... you misspelled my name...
Oct. 16th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC)
Argh. Fixed.
Oct. 16th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)

Thank ye, good sir.
Oct. 16th, 2007 07:16 am (UTC)
Thanks for putting the contest, Jim, it was good fun. And thanks to your students also. Glad to stimulate any debate on semicolans. :-)

Oct. 16th, 2007 11:46 am (UTC)
That's a hell of a story, Chris.
Oct. 16th, 2007 08:36 am (UTC)
Oct. 16th, 2007 11:45 am (UTC)
Congratulations, Chis, way to go!

Hey, my ghosts make it as 3rd for the students? Very cool, as that's a tough crowd with, of course, excellent good taste. Thank you :)

Jay's was classic! I'm curious about the inside joke, though, I must say.

Well, we all done good, and it was fun.
Oct. 16th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC)
Congrats, Chris! Awesome story! :)

And thanks, Jim, for the chance to play. It was a lot of fun, and a great exercise.
Oct. 16th, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC)
That was a fun story! Congrats to the winner.
Oct. 16th, 2007 03:17 pm (UTC)
It was a fun exercise. Thanks, Jim.
Oct. 16th, 2007 10:40 pm (UTC)
''I am alone but for rubies and pearls and doubloons scattered like confetti on the cave floor, even more alone now that the last of the scotch has gone, a fact attested to by the bottle you hold in your hand and the note you are now reading, a note with a map on the back where x marks the spot.''

Are you sure this isn't the Nigerian Scam? I know there's no bank check in this bottle, but something about this just sets me wondering. ;)
Oct. 17th, 2007 05:58 am (UTC)
Nice work, everyone.

I had a fun time doing mine. It was a useful exercise.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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