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Holiday Writing Contest 2012
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luc pfeiffer
luc pfeiffer

Dec-20-2012 17:51


We finally found Snuffles the Bloodhound and Klondike the Reindeer (he was stealing Clyde the Moose's carrots down at the Zoo). So, as promised, here we go... :o)

The Directors of Wish On A Star have held a holiday writing contest for several years. And while we're starting this just a wee bit late (sorry bout that, folks), we got together and decided, why not, we'll put this up and see if we get any bites. This year's offering includes some traditional requirements, like entries should not exceed the length of 3 posts; and some new hurdles, like the ones below. goes!! ;o)

We would like you to have your stories set, at least in part, in New York City, and in the time period of 1920 to 1945 or so (i.e.--the Noir Era). We want you to set your stories up to be about a holiday between November 20 and January 20; however; we don't care which Holiday you choose. (Yes, even Druids qualify.) Naming the Holiday is not sufficient; the authour should include what the character(s) do to honor that particular festive occasion in their story. Does the story have to be a mystery? Nope. It can be, but it can be a comedy, a drama, a role-play, whatever you want.

We want you to include one Townsperson or other major NY character (Big Lucy or her staff, a Faction Head, Ella May Viddel, Cabaret Singer, Marcus Cairn, Head Librarian, etc.) in your story. You need to do more than just list the person's name and job; we want you to describe the character, develop what personality traits you think this person has, and include this person, even if only in a minor role, in your story.

Final part of the boring stuff: We would like you to include a theme of music in your story. We want authors at least to allude to one piece of music in the entry. But!! Naming a song just won't cut it. We want you to describe the music in some way and incorporate it into your story in a meaningful way. All music must be written/published/copyrighted BEFORE 1945.


luc pfeiffer
luc pfeiffer

Jan-1-2013 12:17

Happy New Year All !! I just put out a challenge to Vampiric Crypt. Are there any other agencies that want to send in a communal entry? I'd love to see what Fat Kitten would come up with... Have fun all! L

Andrew Corelli
Andrew Corelli

Jan-1-2013 12:32

It wasn't just like any other cold night. It was a special night, the kind of night any man can remember, and he had a share of memories about one particular night. It was before the crazy days, before the arrival, before the wet land and the bullets, the explosions that surrounded them day and night. Before that last winter, because he doubted there would be one after.

He didn't feel the cold wind. He didn't feel the rifle in his hand. His hands didn't feel the winter. For a minute they remembered the feeling of warm skin, soft and warm skin. They felt like gold.


Gold. The man savored the wine sparkling in his mouth and for a moment he thought everything was gold: the dim lights, the musicians preparing the wooden instruments, the tables around the ballroom, the mahogany parquet, the big golden clock ticking its slim needles that were about to mark a new era, a new year.

Everything was gold... and the girl, especially the girl, a golden girl: dressed in a silk chiffon evening gown, gilded high heels, and an amber cloche hat that framed her face. She was champagne.

"Oh, Vincent, listen, that's the waltz I was talking to you about, Brahms Waltz Opus 39--"

"If you would excuse me, Countess, I have to talk to the mayor." There wasn't time to waste on any gray countess.

The man gave his glass to a waitress and walked next to a table. The golden girl was looking at a silver locket on her neck. The stern Mayor Joseph Hollis was looking at her; his expression made Vincent think of a sailor trying to find earth.

"Do you dance, Miss?"

The girl looked at the man and her eyes widened for a brief moment. She composed herself. Hollis stared at both of them.

"Oh, Mister, I..." The girl looked at the mayor, who glared at the young man and nodded.

"Thanks, Mayor." The young man bowed.

Vincent felt her hand posing on his shoulder, trembling.

"Jeanette, is everything alright?"

She looked at his eyes and nodded.

"I just--"

Andrew Corelli
Andrew Corelli

Jan-1-2013 12:33

"Shhh, Angel, this isn't the moment for sad things."

"I heard him, he thought I wasn't listening, you--"

"Shhh... let's enjoy this moment."


"It's about time, Vincent, we should return, please. He must be looking for me, maybe we can--"

The people started to look at the big clock, chorusing the last numbers of the year.

"Don't do that, Jeanette, just for this night." Vincent was holding her hands.

The fireworks started, her amber eyes opened, and the man thought of bubbles, sparkling bubbles. He leaned in and kissed her, a brief kiss.

"No more champagne for you, you're drunk!" She feigned her anger; it was easier to hide her blushing.

He smiled a warm and distant smile.

"One can be drunk from other things."

"We should return." Jeanette bit her lips. She was anxious, looking for someone in the crowd.

He followed her to the center of the ballroom, his fingers touching her back, feeling her soft and warm skin.

In the ballroom, Joseph Hollis was talking to his associates, shaking hands and smiling, but his eyes were focused on the couple.


Vincent put on his gloves, staring half-absently at his cold breath.

The doctor was annoyed. "Are you listening, Lieutenant?"

Vincent nodded, but the doctor explained himself, the same way he'd do it to a young boy: there wasn't a chance that Vincent could keep his hand. It was already black and it could bring more problems. It was either the hand or the life. For Vincent it wasn't a matter of choice. There wouldn't be any more ballrooms, caresses, dances, or coy smiles, just that... that life of trenches, cold nights, less food, and certain death.

"I'd like to think about it, Doctor." Vincent's smile was polite.

"There's nothing to think about. You need surgery, and with your rank I can take you out of here, to a hospital in Paris. I can do the transfer now, Lieutenant, you'd be home in a couple of days."

Andrew Corelli
Andrew Corelli

Jan-1-2013 12:33

Home. Why would he want to go home? He felt the letter Jeanette wrote him, burning in his pocket. It was her writing, there wasn't any doubt, except that this time it was usual formula. He once read one that belonged to another soldier, but they were all the same: the politeness, the heavy consciousness weighing on every word, and the same result: No.

Vincent kept the polite smile and left the doctor and his improvised hospital. Outside he saw that the soldiers were forming little groups, chatting and singing. A soldier left one of the groups and saluted him.

"Hey, Lieutenant, want to drink something? It's New Year's Eve."


"Johnny knows how to play the violin, would you want to listen to something? There are no girls with whom we can dance, but..."

The lieutenant smiled.

"Do you know that waltz that goes like: tan, tan, tan, taa ra ra ra ra ra..? No? It's alright, it's just an old song."

Someone shouted orders and a loud explosion fell on the other side of the trench. The enemy didn't respect the truce. The lieutenant pulled out his rifle; he knew the drill, but this time there was one more voice resonating in his head: "No more champagne for you, you're drunk!"

Yes. One can be drunk from other things.

The fireworks started.

luc pfeiffer
luc pfeiffer

Jan-1-2013 13:03

HOORAY!!!! YIPPEE!!!! WE GOT A LIVE ONE! Thanks for all your work. Now you get to sit back and watch everyone else (including the judges) sweat. Good luck and it looks great! L

Vampiric Smile
Vampiric Smile
Safety Officer

Jan-3-2013 00:47

Memories, memories!
It was Cyrus Tibby that introduced me to Howard Phillips. How he learn about us it is not clear …although I suspect that Shady played his role. Shady knew me from the Doomsayer story and I suspect that he has given the info that Howard was after in his quest for the absolute truth (or should I say absolute eternal nightmare?).
Howard was 35 when he visited NY. He told me that he was invited by his friend George Kirk in NY and that he was living at a townhouse at 317 West 14th Street. Cyrus knew that I was obsessed by the music that he heard (he was bottling blood for us at that time) entering my Ballroom at my house and he had exactly that sound on his gramophone. Hehehe Sleuth Administration was calling Dance room my ballroom but to be honest only Vamps could dance with the sound track of that music and never normal mammalian mortals!
Anyway I was feeling like home (hehe Cyrus was a bit afraid about that and was keeping a distance from me) and in good mood and Howard was a nice guy. Curious (and curiosity killed the cat as you know and I was sure that he was the kind of guy to commit suicide in the future but anyway) but nice. Howard was hunted by the idea of cold and he was asking whether cold could preserve not only the bodies of the dead but also the life of the body too?!
I explained him that only life can preserve life and that cold can only preserve dead things from dedication and nothing more. To keep being alive for ever …I told him…you need to have the right DNA that makes you able to consume energy (Prana they called it in Eastern cultures) or blood. He showed me his manuscript (Cools Air was the title) and I told him that it was pure fiction as Doctor Muñoz could never had survived and I invited him at the Crypt to celebrate with us the coming of the new year and see with his own eyes our ways .
When I left Cyrus stopped the music at once.
“What a horrible sound…and some call it music!”…he said
“Don’t go Mr Howard, You are a fiction writer …but they are real! Avoid them or you are entering a very sli

Vampiric Smile
Vampiric Smile
Safety Officer

Jan-3-2013 00:48

slippery path! …ask Shady if you wish”…he added
Shady was very skeptical “Howard simply don’t go there. For God’s sake read his Bio, Look at their motto!...but anyway the choice is yours”
Howard felt like entering twilight zone when he stepped in the Crypt. The same music theme was playing making the shadows dancing
“What are these he asked showing the decorated bizzard plants?”
“These are my collection of Carnivorous Plants I am very proud off”….said Guiltfinder with a smile…’’Mortals decorate a Christmas tree…but we decorate Carnivorous Plants!”….he added
“And that body lying under the plants?” …asked Howard
“o… this is what you mortals call present under the tree” …said Turtledove with a sarcastic smile that was not able to hide his growing fangs…”She is Mary "Praying Mantis" Corleone my latest trophy from the last Villain Hunt” ….he added. “Isn’t she perfect to make our famous Bloody Mary "Crypt style”…He asked
January the 1st 1926 found Howard lying unconscious outside Crypt’s door. “I must have passed away”…he thought trembling. And then the horror came back as a flash in his mind. “OMG the OLD ONES are back” he whispered to himself and he started running like crazy

Trusted Informer

Jan-3-2013 09:38

Through lidded eyes I watch a snowflake settle on my nose, as I hear people skating on the frozen lake. Nimbly hopping off the pile of cardboard boxes on which I'd been sleeping, I yawn and stretch to shake off the tiredness. I saunter down the empty alley and idly watch a large family across the street, braving the gusty winds to festoon their windows. A slight tremor runs through me, and I'm once again grateful for my warm if ragged cream and orange coat.

Suddenly midst the cheerful din of merrymakers, I hear plaintive sobs unbecoming of the festive spirit. Unable to help my curiosity, I follow the sound to an old swing, in a rather deserted corner of this bustling neighbourhood. Seated on it is a young boy, tears streaking his red cheeks and shivering despite an expensively tailored green sweater. As I step on a twig, he whips around with a hopeful, "Dad?!"

He's crestfallen to see I look nothing like his father. Nonetheless dismay gives way to an amiable smile. He hops off the swing and clumsily trudges through the snow over to me, running a hand through caramel brown hair. He bends a little, for unfortunately he stands taller than me in his green boots.

"I've seen you before. They call you Poppins around here, don't they?"

Well even if we spoke the same language I wouldn't tell him that some call me a common street pest. Not all though, by far. Not the Bransons and the Wendlands, who compete with new holiday recipes. Not the Bartletts and the Cranes, whose children make snowballs and pelt eachother silly every year. Not the-

I'm jolted from my reverie of the friendly folk, as small cold hands dig into my coat.

"Sorry," he mumbles, "it's just that I left my gloves with dad...and...they were big for me...and..."

Trusted Informer

Jan-3-2013 09:39

His words are drowned out by pitiful sobs that ring out in the awkward silence. From whatever is interspersed with the blubbering and stuttering, I gather that our little hero was unceremoniously separated from his father in the mad rush of exuberant crowds. Having never gone unchaperoned anywhere, he was lost and had come stumbling here.

I'm also not sure why he felt the need to tell me any of this, but I am nothing if not a patient listener and curious observer.

Apparently we aren't the only ones to wander into this nook. A pair of drunk teenage urchins come staggering over the snow and one of them even bumps right into the swing. The other one snorts loudly, guffawing even as he notices that they aren't alone.

"My my, Benny, what've we got here?"

My companion stiffens right next to me, sobbing as the more clumsy of the two urchins straightens up and looks our way.

"Looks like Santa's gone all out, Dan. Fancy sweater, fancy boots, and goodness knows what fancy stuff lies in those pockets," he drawls, taking a menacing step toward us.

I don't know what comes over me, but before I know it I've shot past the boy, yowling and swiping out at them. I skid to a stop just in time, glaring quietly. The one called Benny falls on his backside, eyeing me with a mix of disbelief and disgust.

"It's that damned pest," the one called Dan sneers. "I'm not up to hassling a little bugger for holiday pocket money. Not tonight anyway."

He turns and stalks out of sight. Benny sways to his feet and follows, belching and muttering.

Our little hero is still visibly shaken by the encounter and stands staring at the empty swing. I turn and stroll over to him, gently nudging. Jumping a little, he looks at me with confusion before laughing in relief. I watch calmly as his breath condenses in little misty patches around his reddened face.

Trusted Informer

Jan-3-2013 09:50

"Enough of mishaps for tonight," he says with a sudden burst of courage, determined not to let the day end in frightened tears and disappointment. "Where's the lake. My dad wanted to get me skates and-"

Before another meltdown, I swiftly turn and silently lead the way. As expected, my young charge eagerly follows, taking a deep breath and wrapping his short arms around himself. We make a very odd couple, traipsing past brightly decked homes on our way to the lake.

Lovers gripping each other with trepidation as they skid across the ice. Toddlers fumbling to find balance with their heavy skates, clinging to their parents' fingers. Skating was never my thing by any stretch of imagination, but I'm content to watch alongside my young companion, as he gazes rapt at the frozen circus.


He reacts immediately. I turn as he frantically scrambles to his feet, nearly tripping over them in the process, and bolts past me to the source of that welcome voice.

A similarly red faced and caramel haired young man falls to his knees as his arms embrace a small squirming body. For the lack of a better cliche, I witness a holiday reunion. They don't the speak the same language as I, but the how, why and what of the unfortunate episode are irrelevant. Their breathless delight is all that really matters.

Crisp voices singing Auld Lang Syne fill the air.

"Should old acquaintance be forgot..."

"Over here!"

Bertie drags his dad with all his might over to where he left me. Through his son's enthusiastic tales, the man scrutinizes me, bending to read my collar.

"Poppins," he laughs, gently stroking behind the ears. "You're not an acquaintance Bertie will forget any time soon. Merry Christmas, buddy."
Thaddeus Kobayashi hums merrily as he locks up. Sale of woolens for the holiday season has skyrocketed. He jumps as a cream orange cat wraps around his ankles.

"Poppins," comes a gentle rebuke. "No more disappearing today. Home, shall we? I made a blanket for your basket."

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