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Thread: Tale of the Week 291: Renewal - Winner's Circle!

  1. #1
    Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar to rede I me delyte
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

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    Default Tale of the Week 291: Renewal - Winner's Circle!

    Creative Workshop Competitions - Check out our sister competitions here on TWC! << Picture of the Week | Tale of the Week | Writers' Study General Competitions | Graphics Workshop Monthly Competition >>


    by domeckopol, from Pixabay.

    The entries for this contest took varying approaches to the theme. Our winner showed us a genuine renewal, with spring growth, and flowers, and then turned it on its head to display the death, horror and insanity of the First World War, all taking place regardless of, and in the midst of, the flourishing of spring. This beautiful evocation of a moment's wonder instantly squashed by the knowledge of imminent battle was written for us by IneptCmdr. We congratulate him on his victory, which earns him a Writers' Study competition point, giving him a total of thirteen!

    Here's his winning entry:

    TotW 291: Renewal - WINNING SUBMISSION Karl took a deep breath, letting the fresh air fill his lungs. He savoured the life-giving oxygen for a moment, before exhaling in a loud sigh. It was early morning and the wind was still chilly. The sun, newly risen from its nightly slumber, had only just conquered the horizon and reclaimed dominance over the earth. Standing in its light, stretching every tired muscle, Karl could feel the lingering weariness of a long and harsh winter begin to fade. He shielded his eyes with the palm of his hand and gazed at the eternal sky above. Dotted across the pale blue canvas were large clouds moving slowly in the light breeze, like formless creatures swimming majestically through a heavenly ocean. Were the people at home watching the same sky he wondered.

    Home. He had not been home since last summer. It seemed so far away now, so alien. Almost like the dim remnants of a dream struggling to stay alive as the mind wakes up. Sometimes he was not sure if it was real at all. His only clear memories were of the last farewell. He had shaken his father’s hand. Kissed his mother good bye. Then he left. Now, he lived in another place, another world, so far removed from anything he had ever experienced before. So different, it could not be accurately described in words. Yet, there were some things that still connected him with life as he knew it. With the withering away of the last vestiges of the cold season came the rebirth of nature. Free of snow and ice, the ground gave way to tiny blades of green grass, pushing their way through the dirt with tireless effort. Birds, chirping happily nearby, were building nests in which to raise their offspring. Everywhere there were signs of renewal.

    Karl smiled as he spotted a small, yellow flower growing defiantly by itself. Although the name of it escaped him, he knew it was his mother’s favourite. He was about to pick it up when the word was passed along; it was time to go. The new reality asserted itself ruthlessly. The beauty of a blooming flower, the gay song of a bird, these things had no meaning anymore. They were hollow. Karl, and millions like him, lived by the steel now. He took a step forward, grabbed the ladder in front of him and put his foot on the bottom rung. With rifle in hand, he prepared to go over the top. The spurious promises of the early days had long since passed into obscurity. This was the spring of 1918, and he had no illusion of survival. Glancing over at the flower one last time, he took heart from the fact that new life could still rise from the manufactured devastation of a world gone mad. As the officer’s whistle sounded and Karl left the thrench, his mind’s eye saw lush fields cover the mud and craters through which the men of his battalion trod.

    A big thank you to everyone who took part either by submitting an entry or by voting.

    TotW 291: Submission thread | Voting thread

    If you'd like to enter our current Tale of the Week competition, here's a link to the submission thread: TotW 292: Leap of Faith.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tale of the Week 291: Renewal - Winner's Circle!

    Congrats IneptCmdr! Your piece was perfect in so many ways. Seriously, it really was a great read! Looking forward to seeing you around in the coming TotW competitions
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  3. #3
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby Jester
    Civitate Content Emeritus

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    Nov 2013

    Default Re: Tale of the Week 291: Renewal - Winner's Circle!

    Congratulations IneptCmdr in your victory with such a wonderful tale! Thanks to Caillagh for running this competition! On to the next TotW 292: Leap of Faith!.

  4. #4
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Feb 2014
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    Default Re: Tale of the Week 291: Renewal - Winner's Circle!

    Many winning tales beautifully represent the theme, others daringly contrast with it - this tale manages to do both. Congratulations IneptCmdr (and everyone who entered, for your brilliant writing) and thanks to Caillagh.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tale of the Week 291: Renewal - Winner's Circle!

    Well, this was a nice surprise. I heartily thank you all.

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