Play With The Prose II, Challenge 8: Crisis

This week our main character in 59 words had to diffuse a crisis of some sorts.  This week I was contestant #2.

The sun was blackening. His brethren were banging on pots and drums to scare away the dragon. Yang Tsen knew better. His family long held the responsibility of protecting Chengdu and he could think of no greater honor. He handed his katana to his eldest son, kneeled, and awaited his glorious sacrifice. The sun would live another generation.

MATHEW: Story 2 borders on the epic, and it’s really effective storytelling for 59 words. WINNER: #2

Novak – #2 is fantastic. Especially the double entendre in the last line. Ultimate sacrifice, cool fantasy setting… I feel like I haven’t been rewarding these enough this season, since I usually love ‘em, so I’m glad to give #2 the nod this time.

ANDY: #2 is my favorite piece this week, and one of my favorites of the whole competition. Everything is working for me here: setting, voice, character, language, originality. The story is very nicely contained within the word limit as well. I loved it. Easy choice for #2.

Result vs. AMRWIN (3-0)

Current Record: 5-3

Next Match-Up: Ian Pratt (7-1)

For those who aren’t familiar with ancient Chinese history, many apparently believed solar eclipses were the result of a dragon trying to eat the sun.  Yang means “sun” and Tsen means “man of sacrifice.”  It was unintentional that I had a pun in the last line, but I like it all the same.  It wasn’t until later that I realized that katanas are Japanese weapons, and didn’t even exist until the last millennium.  Thankfully, that gaffe didn’t seem to bother the judges.

So, another sweep and a four-week winning streak after starting the season slowly.  I’m still tied in a logjam for the final playoff spot.  Now I have to somehow become the first person to beat Ian (his only loss was a week where he didn’t submit an entry).

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