It’s #ShortStorySunday, so I have a short story I wrote just about a year ago to participate in WRiTECLUB.
WRiTECLUB is a competition hosted by DL Hammons on his blog. What makes this competition different? You, the reader get to choose who moves forward to the final round.
In 8 bouts, 500-word stories are pitted against each other for reader votes – and feedback. It’s requested that voters leave a few lines of constructive criticism with their vote for each story – that means you get lots of ideas for improvements, even just by reading the comments on other people’s story.
The #1 rule of WRiTECLUB? All the pieces are anonymous – no solicitation of votes is allowed. No matter how many followers someone has, your piece won’t win because it has your name on it. Each piece is chosen on its own merit.
The #2 rule of WRiTECLUB? Shout about it from the rooftops! Tell all your writing friends and reading friends and anyone who has a love of words. Watch for the submission dates, and even more importantly, check in during each round to vote for your favorite story.
Since all pieces must be anonymous and previously unpublished, I can’t share what I may or may not have in the works for this year, but I can share one of the stories I entered last year:
Drip. Drip. Drip. Riccardo paused, listening to the beat of raindrops sliding off leaves onto mossy ground. He closed his eyes, hand moving in time with the rhythm, conducting a silent orchestra. With a deep breath, he began a slow melody, composing lyrics as he went.
“The rain is done. The sun is out.”
Opening his eyes, he continued his rain inspired song. The water droplets shimmered. Pulling his cap off, Riccardo held it under the tree as the music intensified, building in volume.
“The water is ours, to nourish our souls.”
Riccardo held the last word as long as he could, the trees whispering the note long after he finished.
When all was silent, Riccardo peered inside his hat. Multi-colored glass pieces winked up at him, sparkling in rainbow colors. “Pretty,” he breathed, mesmerized by the transformation. How it worked was a mystery, but Riccardo knew he couldn’t keep it to himself.
He was filled with excitement as he carefully folded his cap. The stones that dug their way into his thin-soled shoes barely bothered him as he hurried down the path.
In the abandoned cabin he called home, glass dust covered everything, making the room glow in sunlight. The empty window frame was filled with suncatchers made from the glass he created. He ran his hand through them, sending them swinging on thin strings. They knocked into each other, producing a tinkling harmony.
It was too late to work; the sun would set soon and he had no other light. He laid aside the lead he used to contain the sparkling raindrops and pulled the butcher paper towards him instead. One by one, he took the suncatchers from the window, tenderly wrapping them and tucking them inside the various pockets within his coat.
When the sun peeked into the cabin the next morning, Riccardo was already awake. Carefully, he shrugged into his overcoat and patted the pockets protectively. With a whistle, he caught up his cap, making his way through the woods and into town. Today was market day. Even this early, it was crowded, and Riccardo smiled as vendors waved to him as he passed.
He spotted a little girl, clutching a rag doll, her bottom lip quivering. He pulled the first suncatcher out of his pocket as he crouched down.
“Do you want to know what this is?” He asked, unwrapping it slowly.
She gave a small nod, eyes widening as she stepped closer.
“It’s a rainbow.” He grinned as her eyes lit up when the sunlight hit the glass, casting an array of color at her feet. He pressed it into her palm. “It’s yours now, to remind you there is always light in every storm.”
He doubted she understood as she skipped away to show her mother. That was alright. She would remember when she needed it most.
Dusting his hands on his pants, he smiled. His heart was filled with joy every time he brought light to another’s storm clouds.