Friday, May 02, 2008

Torn

I had a nice surprise today. I found out I won first place in the March SouthWest Writers Monthly Contest, and I have a certificate and $50 to show for it. Yay!

The topic was show, don't tell, and the goal was to write a short scene or story to demonstrate how much more effective it is to show, don't tell. I had never entered before, but I was in juuust the right mood to have some fun writing an entry. And I did have fun. I'm posting my entry here and hoping it gives you a chuckle, too. So without further ado, I give you "Torn."

Part 1 -- The Telling of "Torn"

He was torn. Part of him wanted to continue on to the Land of Riches, but another part longed to stay in the safe haven of familiarity. Dangers lurked everywhere. Leaving his adventurous side behind, he returned home, safe but doomed to a life where he'd never realize the dreams that once drove him. He was but half of who he used to be--the meek half.

Part 2 -- The Showing of "Torn"

The earthworm crawled over sand toward the coffee grounds the human had dumped into the garden. The smell intoxicated, and the morning breeze carried warmth from the steaming grounds that tickled across the earthworm's four-inch back.

"A little further," the head segment said. "We'd be there already if I didn't have to drag you." His words scolded, but the tail kept watch on the human. She still hovered close by, sorting through her garden implements. Couldn't the head sense the danger? Before the tail could sound a warning, a spade tore through the worm's body, slicing it in half.

The head section writhed in pain a moment then continued his journey toward the fresh coffee grounds, making better time without the reluctant tail. The tail raced to the hole from which he'd emerged, but he turned back at the entrance for a final look. The human was gone, but a sparrow had landed in the garden at the edge of the coffee grounds. The worm's head section--still a foot from his goal--gasped and dug into the soil to escape, but the sparrow's beak plucked him from the ground. The head struggled and cried out before being gulped down.

The tail section sighed and entered the hole, already aware he'd never try to make it to the Land of Riches again. What need did he have for coffee grounds now? His mouth was in the section the bird swallowed.

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