13 STEPS TO EVIL Writing Competition Winners

Yesterday, Sacha Black announced the winner of her
13 STEPS TO EVIL Writing Competition.

The assignment was to write a short piece (exactly 208 words) with a “seriously kick-ass villain.” Fortunately, I’d just read Sacha’s book: 13 Steps to Evil, which is full of awesome tips about creating dastardly bad guys.  Now, I swear I’m a nice person, but this challenge was irresistible, and I’m honored that my story placed first in evilness. Congratulations to Charise de Becker and Judy E. Martin for their winning submissions. Pop over to read their evil writing at 13 Steps to Evil #Writespiration Writing Competition Winners.

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Barus

The woman studied him in silence. Barus sensed her eyes on his face, begging for a glance, on his hands as he cleaned the delicate needles and polished his blades. He possessed exquisite hands, long-fingered, soft and nimble. Hands for caressing the cheeks of children and lovers.

His preparations complete, he faced his charge. “Are you comfortable?”

Her brow furrowed, and he sighed, for how could she answer such a question? “An unfair inquiry. My apologies. Are you in pain? Thirsty?”

She shook her head, the gag preventing all but a muffled reply.

“You must understand the empire’s need for a flaying, a warning to all who flirt with rebellion. Your ordeal will save hundreds, perhaps thousands of lives.” He took a stool beside her chair, brushed a bright tear from her eye, and stroked her iron-bound arm. “I shall be quick.”

Her fingers curled into a fist. He withdrew his touch, the time for compassion ended. The life of his young son depended on unbearable pain, and he, the emperor’s latest executioner, would comply.

He unbound her gag, and she spat in his face, cursed his spirit to the shadowlands. He smiled at her prophetic appeal. Needles first, then knives. The entire city would hear her scream.

Writespiration – Drawn Towards the Sun

in-the-titleLast week I participated in Sacha Black’s Writespiration – It’s All in the Title.  She gave us a list of titles that she’d gathered from our WIPs the week before. We were instructed to pick one and write a story in less than 200 words. I chose the title Drawn towards the Sun. Here’s my story:

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Drawn Towards The Sun

I was afraid to open the door, afraid the light would burn my eyes after so many months in the burrow, attuned to its shadowy corners. The others crowded behind me, their eagerness pressing on my back. “Close your eyes,” I warned them and thumbed the latch.

My vision reduced to slits, I cracked the door. The sunlight burned, a white-hot flame searing my retinas. We gasped in unison and paused, breath locked in our chests. I eased the door open, slowly, wider, the heat tumbling down from above with a miasma of foreign smells.

The world had changed. Despite our intelligence and will, despite the technology wielded at our fingertips, mankind hadn’t been able to halt its advance. It rolled over us, unstoppable, transforming the landscape into something ancient and new. I’d expected it, but I was startled, nonetheless.

I shielded my half-lidded eyes. “I’ll go first.” I took a tentative step and climbed the stairs, my hand tracking the wall for support. The heat baked through my clothes. Creatures stirred in the crooked branches and thorny brambles, and I inhaled the fecund scent of the land. The sun flared and I smiled. Spring had arrived.