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CoDZ Forums Writing Competition I


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Greetings one and all. Today I've got something a little different to share - The First CoDZ Forums Writing Competition!

 

 

UPDATE: Thank you all for your entries. This first edition of the competition is now closed and the winners are:

 

@The Dark Aether and @anonymous

 

Congratulations to you too, and to all who entered!

 

RULES:

  • Anyone may enter
  • Submissions should aim to be around 1000-1500 words . Submissions will still be accepted regardless, however please try to be sensible - we have to read this too.
  • Submissions can be sent either as a response to this post or to me via Discord (Cal#8013)
  • Submissions should be a Word Doc/Google Doc or PDF
  • Submission deadline is February 26th 2021 (One week from now)
  • Submissions do not have to use the below prompts, though their use is recommended
  • Submissions that choose not to use the provided prompts and instead stray too far into fan fiction territory (e.g. Ultimis Richtofen goes to Burger King) will likely not be considered - if you're writing without a prompt, it better be good!
  • Submissions will be judged by myself alongside judges from the CoDZ Forum community (T.B.D)

 

PROMPTS:

 

DOCS.GOOGLE.COM

CODZ WRITING COMPETITION EDITION I Prompt 1 You are a civilian who after witnessing an unexplained phenomenon, is now trapped in the Dark Aether. Finding a notebook and pencil in an abandoned department store...

 

Good Luck to all Participants and Happy Writing!

 

 

 

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Finished it! Admitted, it got more grim at the end than I initially thought, but I hope you enjoy it nontheless. Also big thanks to google translate.

 

Here is the doc:

The Pale Man.docx

test.png

For those who want to read it on the Forums, I've added it here (where can I find the spoiler function?):

Quote

Me and the Carlson boys, Hugh and Luke, we loved the unknown. Exploring abandoned factory halls, old ruins and empty houses. We did that since the second grade, I think. Anyway, one day Luke came up with this rumour about an old mansion further north in the countryside. Usually we always limited ourselves to locations within and around the city of New Orleans, but this idea of a house swallowed deep within the rural swamps… I was instantly hooked. From that moment on, my obsession with the mansion kept me awake nearly every night. One week later, we departed to the north. The boys managed it to talk their father into lending his truck to us, at least that was what they said. At 10AM in the morning they picked me up and soon we were on the highway following northern direction, with the sun shining bright at our backs.

 

“You think we are going to see the Pale Man?” Hugh joked. As a kid I was always frightened by a pale eyeless creature, haunting me in the nights. Mom said it was likely an effect the television advertisements of ‘that creepy’ Mr. Clean, but I thought that was her excuse for hiding the fact that she allowed me to watch Harry Potter when I was ethically way too young to see Voldemort. Anyway, Hugh and Luke are no types that forget such things, teasing me ever since with ‘the Pale Man’ every time we go exploring. And, I must admit, the deep fear for the creature vaguely remained within me, even when I had grown up.

As soon as we arrived in the swamps, a dense fog rolled in, blocking the sunlight of what was supposed to be a sunny day. It got thicker the further we travelled deeper in the wetlands, and the moment we parked the truck and started our hike, the mist made it look like the sun was already gone. After walking for nearly an hour in the direction of this supposed abandoned mansion, we noticed a glimpse of purple light in the distance, standing out against the dark, greyish marshes. From this point on, I must warn, things became absurd. The purple light came from a lantern, but something unseen by anyone and probably disproven by physicians: The lantern was floating. It was eerily floating between the trees, slowly swinging while it was moving in the direction we were heading.

 

Admitted, no one of us thought any second of going back. While I cannot deny that I could read fear on the faces of Hugh and Luke, the very same emotion I felt at that moment, we were all intrigued by the purple light. Almost without a consciousness, we followed the lantern like sheep herded by a false shepherd. And guess where it took us! The Mansion. Oddly enough, none of us said anything about the lantern. Like we all just committed a horrible sin which we preferable didn’t spoke about with each other. “Well here it is” Luke said: “Let’s get inside”. And so we did.

 

The door made a crackling sound. When we all got inside and my eyes finally got used to the darkness, I started to notice the air. Not that it had a weird smell or something, but the air itself just felt different, almost like we had left Earth. Carefully sneaking through the hallway, we turned around the corner and there it was. There it stood in bright sight. “This cannot be” Hugh whispered. The creature must have looked exactly like I described it to them. The Pale Man was staring directly at us, if only it had eyes to stare with. Its tall, slender body just fitted in the cramped hallway, its back bend heavily. But most striking were its jaws, its long teeth, that feature that haunted me so long when I was a child. “Am I dreaming” I asked, while Hugh and Luke started to run back. I tried so too, but I was paralysed, my legs being frozen to the floor and my mouth unable to scream. The creature responded on the yelling of my friends, and with a scream vaguely sounding like a tormented human, it ran just past me and set the chase after Hugh and Luke.

 

I heard them yelling in agony that the door wouldn’t open anymore. I heard them scream that we were trapped here. They didn’t had any idea how much that would be true for me. Their death cry sounded more like those of pigs being slaughtered than like the adolescent boys they were. It’s weird how one may have known others for so long, yet the only memories you have of them are the final ones. I didn’t know how long I stood there, nailed to the ground. It may be minutes, it may be days, it may be years. Time flows weird here. When I finally could move and tried to leave the house, it appeared I had left Earth indeed. Through the dense fog that surrounded the house, I could see the atmosphere had turned unnaturally dark. Strange violet amoebic shapes inhabited the skies, and the swamp had turned in a hellish blackness. When I tried to leave the area around the mansion, I would wake up again, finding myself at that exact place and moment I was paralysed in the house, hearing the death cries of Hugh and Luke. I couldn’t leave, and every time I tried to I changed a little. My skin turned pale without the sunlight, my nails and teeth grew longer. But most important of all: My mind altered, like I am inhabited by an evil demon that slowly corrupts me. I have only rarely clear moments like these. The House can have my body, deform me if it’d like, I don’t care. But when it gets my soul and mind, there will be nothing left of me.

 

Once I realized I couldn’t escape this cursed place, I decided to wander through the house. That was when I found out about the rooms. When opening a door, I stand in my old bedroom, with myself as young child staring at me from my bed. Every room is my bedroom, but at a different point in time. It was then when I realized that I was the Pale Man all along. And it was real. This place, this damned place, it is like many paths and many times cross here.

 

At one time, I couldn’t handle this place anymore. I couldn’t escape. I couldn’t even starve. One time, in a rush of despair, I stabbed my eyes out. The thing is, I can still see it. Feel it. This place is cursed, and it has cursed me. I don’t hesitate to murder when people visit this house, simply because my hunger is everlasting. I have lost the ability to be aware of time long ago, but I fear soon I will be driven mad, if not I already am. If you receive this message, don’t save me. Destroy this wicked place, this dark realm. Destroy me.

 

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1 hour ago, RadZakpak said:

Finally got mine done. I may be judging this competition, and if that's the case, then this is just for fun:

 

DOCS.GOOGLE.COM

Prompt: You are a civilian who after witnessing an unexplained phenomenon, is now trapped in the...

 

I have never felt happier to go against my better judgment, I wanted to do this prompt but just knowing you I can already tell you've nailed this! I'll hopefully have mine up tomorrow, mobile is being a pain with proper formatting

 

Edit: my suspicions were correct,  fantastic read as always Rad!

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Welp, I decided to go against the fantastic set of prompts arranged for this and try working on an introduction to Travelling the New World. Unfortunately I underestimated how fast it would take to reach 1500 words, so some details will remain vague even after several revisions. Shoutout to @The Dark Aether for some inspired ideas and grammar adjustments amidst revisions 🙂

Writing Prompt .pdf / Writing Prompt v2 (Minor Changes).pdf

 

Quote

The coffee shop owner stood behind the counter on the cool morning of August 16th, 2023, admiring how much his coffee shop had grown in popularity in the few months since he had taken over the shop from his former boss. Almost every table was packed, including workers from the plaza like cashiers from the marketplace, storage workers from various shops, the main mechanic at the car shop at the other corner of the plaza, and a local postal worker who drops by the coffee shop almost every morning after picking up mail from the Post Office right in the same plaza, the latter two of which were currently praising how much better his coffee was compared to the "new brand of corporate shit across the street", whatever that meant. What was even more surprising to the coffee shop owner was how many regulars were still willing to make the trip, even with the recent fungal infestation that led to quarantine advisories. "If they're willing to make the trip, I'm willing to work through this for them," he kept telling himself. He kept scanning the room, seeing if anyone needed anything and began noticing a pattern as phones buzzed and rang across the room. More and more people in the room were stopping their conversations to look at their phones, the room becoming more quiet and the tones echoing louder in the unsettling air. 

 

Inevitably, he felt the buzz of his own phone reverberate, from his hand clenching it through the now-standing hairs on his arms, and anxiously turn the screen to face him. The illuminated glass displayed the text "1 New Photo Message / 1 New Video Message," along with an icon indicating they were important. He slid his thumb up his phone, opening the message and being greeted with the picture of what looked like a chain of numbers on a computer screen with a scrap piece of paper under it with the words "SCOURGE SPREADING NUCLEAR RESPONSE" scribbled on it. The video thumbnail has a man with a mangled pair of glasses, one of the lenses shattered. The shop owner's intuition seemed to be correct as he looked around; everyone was staring at the same files with confusion and concern. "Everyone, up here!" he shouted, collectively getting the shop's attention as he plugged his phone into the TV screen beside him. Once the face appeared on the larger screen, he turned the volume up and pressed play, listening to what the man had to say.

 

“My name is T̵̘͍̀_̷̧͖̍_̵̫͐e̴̱͐͝_̵̮̅ ̷̡̲̈͝M̶̧̠̍͆_̷̤̾͐_̷̡́_̵͙͐_̸̹̺̊́_̸͚̻̆̚_̴͇̌͜_̷̨͇̔_̵̹̿ṡ̷̨, and I will likely be hunted down for what I am about to disclose" the man said, out-of-breath and continuously panting. “I worked for B̴̲̏_̵̨͉̎_̸͍̓̕k̴̥͋_̷̢̀n̸̳̊̉ ̸͉̄͌A̴̖͕͆̕_̷̠̳̅_̶̢̋ò̷̙͈͋w̵͍̣͊ for almost five years, forced to work on their experiments as they authorized crimes against humanity - all the while under the guise of working for the betterment of humanity” the man spoke, a soft mechanical hum overlaying his voice. “Broken Arrow? Aren't they the government group helping the CDC? They figured out what was causing it and how to contain it, this must be some late joke video, right?” the shop owner asked himself, several people in the coffee shop asking similar hushed questions amongst themselves. “These cowards aren't here to help us," the man in the video continued, "they're here to save themselves by covering their involvement. They lead others away from the trail of destruction they pave, even going as far as convincing the White House to use nuclear force on their own soil to remove any traces of their contributions to the problem.” Several people in the crowd are now worrying and panicking at the latest statement, with the coffee shop owner's attempts to calm them down proving fruitless.

 

“I worked on several experimental enhancement drinks, and instead of testing them safely before distribution, they immediately sent them out to be dispensed by vending machines in your small plaza, using the innocent public as their guinea pigs. Anyone showing noticeable reactions quickly “disappeared”; if I were to guess they were likely sent off to _̸͚̈́̽_̶̡̩̌̏_̷̮̆͐ ̸̳̀S̵͉͛h̵͍͇́_̸̦̯̉̂ň̴̗ğ̸̡̞͝h̷̘̅͊_̴̪́̓_̶̳̍̀ ̴̜̝͊s̶̳̓͝i̵̥͊̔_̸̜̥͐_̶̲̼̈̔, may God have mercy on their poor souls. How many faces have you seen drink anything from that machine that you’ve never seen again?” Everyone’s heads turned to the colorful vending machine sitting in the center of the plaza. It showed up unannounced over a year ago, and strangely only accepted payment in quarters, nickels, and dimes. "Plazas AND vending machines exist all over the state, let alone the country, " the car mechanic pointed out, with the postal worker nodding his head in agreement along with a few other customers murmuring verbal agreements with him. The shop owner, along with the majority of the coffee shop's customers, were more convinced that this man in the video was telling the truth.  Specifically, one of his regulars began showing a reaction not even a week after drinking something from the machine. His skin was withering in patches, and looked leathery compared to the rest. The shop owner had assumed the regular had some sort of skin cancer and went to physical therapy or a dermatologist, but thinking back on it that was at least half a year ago and long before even the recent fungus infestation started spreading over the local area. "Did he “disappear” like others when his skin started reacting that way?" he pondered.

 

“By the time this video ends, I should have a freight elevator ready at the empty storefront between the Mechanic Shop and the Convenience Store. It leads to the leftovers of an underground lab, which was built to survive catastrophic events far beyond even nuclear armageddon. Anyone within the plaza, I beg you to take shelter here, and anyone else in town needs to get to a fallout shelter immediately. I know many of you will not trust me, and I will explain more later, but right now we need to get everyone somewhere safe before the nuke arrives, which could be mere minutes-” the rest of the audio is mangled, and the video cuts off. The weight of despair was heavy on every person in the room, regardless of belief. The shop owner grabbed his phone, inspiringly yelling “Well, you heard him!" at the understandably shell shocked crowd. The first two people that reached the doors pried them open to let everyone else out easily. The shop owner looked around for the entrance to the storefront the man in the video referred to, which was getting harder to spot as groups of people were now flooding the open parking lot. Clearly some saw him exit the empty storefront, as part of the crowd started funneling to the area and making their way inside. As more people made it in, the man himself was now visible amidst the crowds, identifiable by the iconic glasses. He pointed upwards and shouted something inaudible from the other side of the plaza before he began running back to the building. Those that couldn't hear what the man said still got the message as they looked up where he pointed - something was heading towards the town; it was now visible and it was coming in fast. Everyone still outside began scrambling for the elevator, screaming and shouting while pushing others out of the way in chaotic movements and a panicked frenzy to reach it.

 

Despite the chaos everyone managed to make it in, and once the man in the video saw so he reluctantly interacted with the elevator's control panel. The doors began to close, and the people inside it could only hope at this point that nobody would come running to them as the light of the world outside was blocked by the thick steel barriers. With a small rumble, the elevator began to descend as it made the same soft mechanical hum heard on the video echoed while dim incandescent lights flickered from the ceiling. Many people inside were panicking still, wondering if they had made the right decision trusting this stranger despite the incoming object clearly headed their way. The elevator wasn't even thirty feet below when the Earth above rumbled with the fury of the elements themselves, changing the people insides' curiosity to panicked screaming once more. The thick, steel doors that blocked the pathway above were snapped off their hinges like balsa wood as burning light engulfed the elevator shaft from above, only small rays of the energy peered through the cracks between the elevator shaft and the cage. The combination of blunt force from the doors being blasted inwards and the intensity of nuclear fire destroyed everything supporting the cage, causing it to begin accelerating down into the unnerving abyss as the radiant iridescence above became more and more distant. And just as suddenly as the falling started, the falling ended; and with it, the sounds of screaming echoing from the hundreds of people within.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------


Afzzskk Hocdkp Zcxhat

 

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6 minutes ago, Carnage Evoker said:

Welp, I decided to go against the fantastic set of prompts arranged for this and try working on an introduction to Travelling the New World. Unfortunately I underestimated how fast it would take to reach 1500 words, so some details will remain vague even after several revisions. Shoutout to @The Dark Aether for some inspired ideas and grammar adjustments amidst revisions 🙂

Writing Prompt .pdf 81.7 kB · 1 download

A really fantastic read tbh 

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7 hours ago, anonymous said:

@The Dark Aether would you mind making your document accesible for everyone? Or perhaps copy/paste it in a comment here? I'd love to read it

Thank you for reminding me to see if I can do the same for my entry! I meant to do that and time slipped (heh) away from me

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