Hi everyone! Thank you to those who have submitted to our competition so far! We love reading your stuff and can’t wait to read more throughout the month of August. We know a lot of you are on vacation, and we will be as well, so we’re going to dedicate August to reading your submissions! We will post reminders every week with links to the submission guidelines for any new readers. Remember, we accept submissions from Kingston University students in the categories of fiction, poetry, and flash fiction. Please click here for specific submission guidelines (and remember to include ‘Competition’ in the subject of the email!). We can’t wait to read your work!
Hi everyone, we here at WPN will be extending our summer writing competition until the end of August! For specific submission guidelines, please click here. We really look forward to reading your submissions! Remember, we accept poetry, fiction, and flash fiction, so if you’ve got something you think is great, send it in! We will be posting reminders for the next few weeks and if you have any questions, please feel free to email us!
Last week we opened up our inbox to submissions for our 2016 writing competition and this week we would like to clarify some details. We will be accepting submissions of poetry, fiction, and flash fiction entries from any Kingston University student. Short-listed entries and winners will be published on the blog and one winner from each category will receive a cash prize that is yet to be decided.
The guidelines for entry are as follows:
- send an email to kingstonCWMA@gmail.com
- the subject line should be “[Genre (Poetry/Fiction/Flash Fiction)], Competition, First and Last Name”
- Include a short bio in the body of the email.
- Include your piece as well as a photo of yourself as an attachment.
- Flash fiction entries should be under 1000 words and fiction entries should be between 1000 and 3000 words.
Thank you and good luck! We are also still open to submissions for publication on the site to authors from all over the world through our usual submission guidelines.
This week Words Pauses Noises is opening our inbox for a writing contest which will run through July, with a cash reward for the winner(s)! If you have something you’re especially proud of, submit it here! We accept prose, poetry, and non-fiction. To submit, simply email us at kingstonCWMA@gmail.com with the subject “[Genre], Competition, First and Last Name” and include a picture and a brief bio. For more specific submission guidelines, click here. We will notify winners by email in early August. We look forward to reading your work!
Today we have a horror story for Kingston University MFA student Sophia Yamamoto. It features twin sisters who must become become one via a very twisted family tradition. There is not much more that can be said about this story without giving too much aways, so we will leave you with the story.
I watch as the rest of my family eats tonight: pork medallions in a light wine sauce, broccoli crowns steamed perfectly to tenderness on one side of them and some saffron rice on the other. My mother and father laugh as if Lucy and I weren’t here. They ask Lucy to clean up the dishes, and then leave the table. Both kiss my cheek and tell me that I’ll be fine before going up to their room and shutting the door tightly. Lucy clears the table and starts to load the dishwasher. She picks off the spare bits of fat and stray bits of rice that had become dry and hard. When she’s done, Lucy comes back over to me with a smile on her face.
“Don’t worry, Sarah,” she says, taking my hands in her grip. “We’re going to do this.”
“I don’t like that we’re doing this,” I say. “It’s. . . inhuman. I can’t just–” I feel myself want to cry, and I fight against it.
Lucy smiles at me. “It’s okay,” she says, wrapping her little six-year-old arms around me. “I understand. We’re the same person, remember? Just in two different bodies.”
“You’ll get through it all, right?”‘
“I will,” I promise her. “Can I have some water, please?”
“Sure. I’ll get it,” Lucy says, then gets up to pour me a glass of water. It’s flavored with some fizzy vitamin supplements. Lucy gives it to me. I drink the chalky water eagerly. I don’t bother trying to get used to the taste. It is the most flavor I am going to get for the next week. “Let’s go to bed,” Lucy says, taking my hand that looks exactly like her own. “It’s for the best.”
Today we have a series of poems inspired by various stations on New York City’s Subway system. The poet is one we’ve published on Words, Pauses, Noises before: Best of the Net nominee, Joan McNerney. Her words convey the feeling of having little, human things on the mind while being surrounded by the chaos of a subway station.
Underground – New York City
Tracks filled with coal.
Grey maggots sludge to the station.
Bars of iron strand wrapped
by grime, tin can signs.
bleed upon the rails.
Blue, white flashes
leap in joy.
They move, they move
constantly they move.
Faces of horror
press forward in
casually crushed newspaper.
Laying on neatly boxed ads,
they stare at pinched bolts.
to the roar
of the engine.
Press your mouth
against rigid glass. Continue reading
Writers and cartoonists! This week we are letting our readers know about an exciting opportunity for prizes and publication. The editors at Verbolatry blog are hosting a contest, Laugh-a-Riot! Follow the link if you are interested and would like to submit! And for our own submission guidelines, please click here.
Verbolatry contest guidelines: http://devyaniborade.blogspot.com/p/promoters.html
The editors of Words, Pauses, Noises. are taking a week off from publishing . We would like to call your attention to our submission guidelines and remind our readers that we are open for submissions of poetry, short stories, or creative nonfiction from writers from all over the world and from any background. We look forward to reading your work!
This week we have another riveting short story by Thomas McDade, who brought us ‘Skydiving‘ last week. In ‘Suffering Saints’, the prose is quick and punchy, with McDade never lingering on any one event, whether it be a priest smoking pot or an attempted bleach-induced homicide by a lover. The flow of the piece is fluid and perfectly-paced, the narrative voice is unique and humorous, and the characters do well to keep the reader’s attention throughout.
Lofty the Saint Maven had “gentle” stamped all over him as obvious as the scar on his face. He thought I knew about St. Lydia before we met but it wasn’t until I heard him reeling off Saints for the dwarf dishwasher that I looked up my name. A reference librarian gave me some of the information. A St. Cloud Chapel priest I’d stumbled upon smoking pot at nine p.m. sitting on a park bench served up more details. I was walking a manic Jack Russell Terrier when I whiffed weed. Father Todd was wax bean of a man with a clump of unmanageable blond hair. A sexton who saw his shadow on a wall said it looked like a royal palm but teens whispered “royal pain.” Continue reading
Welcome back to Words, Pauses, Noises. This week we have an exciting short story from United States Navy veteran and writer, Thomas McDade. The style of this piece keeps the reader in the moment, seeing things as the protagonist sees them as the events unfold.
After exiting the cab, I cautiously walked the half-mile or so, the words from the Boss’s letter crossing my mind like the old Times Square news ticker. “Clint is in bad trouble. He’s in a cellar, 22 Hargrove Street. It’s the sticks.” Step by step instructions followed, ending with: “There will be help.” Two sets of keys were enclosed, a house key and an odd looking one, reminded me of a skeleton key to my grandmother’s old house. A rabbit hobbling across my path scared hell out of me. Well, least it wasn’t a black cat. All of a sudden, I walked taller, increased my pace, hands in tight fists. I felt like a soldier on a WWII recruiting poster. I couldn’t imagine Clint screwing up. “Clint zigs when he should zig, zags when he should zag,” the Boss always said before warning us about keeping a sensible distance from clients, physically and emotionally.
I slowly walked up the four creaky steps. A breeze squeaked the glider. A squirrel leapt off. I didn’t flinch. The key could have used a shot of 3-1 Oil. I opened the door without a sound, switched on the flashlight and shaded it with my free hand. A man was sitting on the easy chair, calico cat in his lap, dim lamp on a small table. According to the Boss’s note, the guy had been drugged at the VFW. I could hear him breathing. He had grey hair and long sideburns. The cat jumped to the floor. Sleeper stirred. I froze as if standing at attention, a general inspecting me. The cellar door was warped, some finessing required. A silver horseshoe fell off. I caught it with my foot and took a deep, deep breath while replacing it. The cat sat up tall a couple of feet away, observing. I shut the door, using as much pressure as I could because of the warp, then I started down the stairs. My beam found plenty of objects to foil an intruder on either side of each step: three of four cowbells, containers of this and that. I half expected to find absolutely nothing, all a prank. Tools, pieces of old furniture, paint cans, and a roll of insulation filled the space like any other cellar but for the cage, about six feet high by seven or eight feet long and wide. Weld marks spotted the bars. Sleeper must have brought in the metal, built it in place. He never could have gotten it through the door and that was the only entry as far as I could see. The two windows had sheet aluminum where glass should be. Clint was slumped in a cage corner. I saw a light switch, flicked it, high noon. I clipped my flashlight to a belt hoop. A couple of five-gallon pails beside him must have been his toilets judging from the stench. A tray like what I ate off of in my merchant marine days was in the middle of the floor, full of moldy spaghetti. Syringes sat on a one-by-ten two-foot board with prescription looking bottles and foil packets. No chains on Clint. The key wasn’t a snug fit and took some trial and error to open. He looked like a werewolf. I could see needle marks in his arms. A tattoo: “Diana” on a banner across a heart looked sliced with a razor blade in an attempt to scab over her name I guessed, Christ almighty. Clint wore a sleeveless t-shirt and Bermuda shorts, probably had pneumonia. I shook him. He looked up, goofy grin. Swinging him around, I got my hands under his armpits, dragged him out. I worked his dead weight up against the bars. He was breathing heavily. I tried not to; the poor guy stunk. I got him walking a few feet, his arm around my shoulder, mine across his back as Sleeper nearly stumbled down the stairs. He was waving a pistol. “Drop him, or I’ll kill you both!” I eased Clint down. “Say your prayers and out loud,” Sleeper demanded.
“Now take it easy,” I cautioned.
“You’ll take a bullet easier.” An 8X10 color photo safety was pinned to his khaki army shirt. Pretty smiling face, long black hair, looked like a blown up yearbook photo. I started the slowest “Lord’s Prayer” in history, pounding heart a distracting choir. Close to done, I tried to recall the Protestant ending in case he wasn’t keen on Catholics, as if it would matter! As I found the first words, “For thine is the kingdom.” I spotted a kid who couldn’t be more than twelve or thirteen creeping from under the stairs on all fours. The Boss was recruiting them young. “The power and the glory,” left my lips.
“Hurry up or I’ll blast the Amen for you,” yelled Sleeper, straightening his arm for better aim. “Diana, oh my Diana,” he moaned, close to tears. The kid poised himself like a stalking cat that cornered its prey behind Sleeper. He gritted his glitzy braced teeth and widened his eyes as if begging me to do something to make Sleeper take a step back.
Suddenly, the jump pin on his shirt above the photo magnified a hundred times. I’d seen a WWII movie on TV just last week, soldiers shouting “Geronimo” before jumping from their plane. I screamed it. Sleeper jerked back and toppled over the kid. He got off two shots into the ceiling. He was out cold, motionless. I hoped to hell he wasn’t dead. The kid stood, grabbed the gun and shoved it into his belt.
“Whoever you are, you are my hero, Lone Ranger and Superman combined,” I blurted.
“Batman,” he corrected.
It was a chore getting Clint up the stairs. I don’t think I could have done it alone. At the top, I nearly tripped over calico. Opening the front door, I neatly blocked his exit with my foot. We sat Clint on the glider. The kid asked for my flashlight, signaled an SOS into the trees. A pickup truck slowly approached. Clint was able to get in on his own. “I’ll take the keys,” said the kid. I happily complied. “All I needed was a window and these,” he added, lifting both arms and flexing like Charles Atlas. We shook hands, wished each other luck. He spun the pistol on his finger then ran off. The driver signaled me to jump into the truck bed.
Clint was dropped off at a storefront with a sign that read “Jesus Hates Heroin.” It was crazy, a world class pusher ending up in such a place. I cringed, imagining the Sleeper regularly injecting him, had to be that way. Was Diana his daughter, an overdose victim? I jumped out of the pickup at a gas station that doubled as a taxi stand, thought about running away: Canada, Mexico. A silver limo appeared. The kid jumped out, held the door open for me. Scratching my pulsing head, I got in. The woman on Sleeper’s shirt was sitting on the other end of the seat, smiling. Two tourniquets and syringes sat neatly on a small console that separated us.
Diana switched on a light, started the procedure. “Clint” was tattooed on her bicep. “You are number one now,” said the driver. The voice belonged to the Boss and cut across my being like a straight razor.
Did that ending catch you by surprise? What did you think of it? Please let us know in the comments!
If you would like to see your own work published on Words, Pauses, Noise, please check out our Submission Guidelines. We look forward to seeing your work in our inbox soon!