Below are the three finalists for October's contest. A real diverse group of genres. Use the poll on the right to vote for your favorite scene. The winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card, plus at least one literary agent will read the winning submission. Good luck and vote.
A- Nicole Scheller
As if she feels your stare, she lifts her head. In the dimmed light you can't make out the title, but the fact that she sits here alone on a Friday night, holding a book, makes her attractive enough.
She smiles at you. Her far too perfect lips reveal a set of white teeth. You know it's rude, but you can't hold her gaze. Ashamed, you look away, into your glass. When you take a sip, you sense her eyes scanning each inch of your body.
Another sip. It feels warm, comfortably warm. Slow, but confident footsteps on the wooden floor. You listen carefully, your grip tightens. Five, six, seven, eight. Then, they stop. The scent of flowery, expensive perfume penetrates your nostrils.
'You are waiting for someone?' she asks. Her voice surprises. It is nothing like you thought it would be. Much deeper – not displeasing, though. A faint accent gives away she is not a native. It sounds inviting. You shake your head in response to her question.
'Would you mind me sitting here?' Without waiting for an answer she lays down her book and takes a seat. Its author is no-one foreign to you.
B- Wayne C. Rogers
I’m going to die, he thought.
Then, everything changed as Freeman heard the most wonderful sound in his entire life.
It was Betty’s loud, ferocious bark.
She’d somehow managed to get her leash untied from the post and had come racing to his rescue.
God, he loved that dog.
The stranger in the overcoat heard her bark, too, but reacted too late as the dog leaped into the air, knocking it off her master’s back with the sheer force of her weight.
Freeman heard a shrill cry.
The dog was tearing into the creature, going for any part of the body she could sink her teeth into.
Pushing himself up to a sitting position, Freeman lifted the .45 with his good hand and took aim. That was when he saw the creature grip Betty’s snarling mouth with both of its hands. In an unbelievable feat of strength, the stranger tore the lower jaw from the dog’s mouth and then bit into her throat, tearing at the flesh like a starving animal, shaking its head wildly from side to side.
Blood flew everywhere.
“No!” Freeman shouted.
C- Kirsty Logan
Painted and smiling, I balance on my trapeze. Luka is poised ten
metres away, his muscles shining under the lights. The ringmaster, his
moustache oiled to needle-sharp points, announces glory and wonder. I
pull sawdusty air into my lungs and start to swing. As I build up my
momentum, I smile down at the crowd stacked up in the tent: blinded by
the lights, all I see is a mass of teeth and eyes and restless limbs.
From the corner of my eye I see Luka, hanging from his knees, patting
his hands together so the talc can absorb the sweat of his palms. I
wait for the twitch of his thumbs that lets me know he’s ready.
I curl my toes around the painted bar, spread my arms like wings, and let go.
For two seconds I’m weightless, as helpless as a newborn with its cord cut.
Then Luka’s hands are on my wrists, calloused and hot, swinging me
round. Below me the crowd gasps, claps, cheers. I look at the world
below us: the restless crowd, the glare of lights, the motes of
sawdust in the air.
Then I let go.