Ashley Masterson was the prettiest girl in school. Thanks to our names, she sat directly in front of me.
“I heard you won the school chess tournament, Rollie! Can you teach me sometime?” Her smile was radiant. My palms were sweaty.
“Earth to Roland!” boomed Mr. Daniels.
Ashley turned around–for real this time–and giggled.
K: Poor Roland. Not only is he daydreaming about a girl, he’s also daydreaming about a nickname that sounds less dorky than his actual name. Before I changed dramatically in about ninth grade, this hopeless romantic daydreamer was me. I roll my eyes at Rollie, even while totally understanding and loving the kid. SILVER
MD: Isn’t this a scene in Mean Girls? Well, the sexes are switched, but I’m pretty sure it’s Mean Girls. That’s the thing that’s bringing this story down — it’s a semi-cliche picture of a nerdy guy’s school existence. I otherwise have nothing against it. It’s clear, succinct, and a perfectly fine portrayal of a scene in everyday life. Technically, the other story is all of these things, too. It just includes a tiny bit extra imagination (from the writer, and not just the characters), and so it gets the nod from me. SILVER
W: Wow, both of you decided to use children for your stories today. I love that Roland succeeds, but not through his initial plan (well, ok, his initial plan was working, but getting called out by an authority figure clinched the deal). The stakes are small, but this story is very cute and accessible. GOLD
So, I lost the finals on 2-1 ballot. My opponent’s story was very good, so no qualms about losing this one. It was fun to get to play every week. And I’ll be participating in another writing competition in a couple of months, so look forward to more stories then!