I (Mars) gotta apologize for delaying this and for only getting one winner out. This week's seen me fairly bed-ridden with some terrible cold I hope none of you had. (Lifehack/protip: don't drink out of your sick mother's cup (even if it's New Years' Eve (and it has sparkling cider in it).)
In other news, Americans, please call your representatives about the ACA (aka Obamacare). Again, we try to leave politics out of this space, but some things are important enough--like saving 45,000 lives a year, which the ACA does.
We hope this day sees you well and safe! And here's your winner!
I have to say, "He's going to kill me for letting you," was cleverly dropped in here. Most of the time, that line is used facetiously! Then BAM, dead Carla at the end. However, I was a little annoyed by the lack of information behind that. I'm confused as to the familial situation here--why would Father kill Carla to resurrect(?) Renae? What's going on here? If the pacing of the piece was tightened, I believe this information could be smuggled in there.
I also enjoyed the final exchange between Carla and Father. The line "Yes! How many times did I tell you, Carla? Yes!" conveys such distress and depth every time I read it, especially knowing what's coming next. The dialogue was sparkling for this piece. Great job!
Keeper"You're one of them now," she whispered and stepped back an arm's length-- in case it was contagious. "Father's going to kill you. No. He's going to kill me for letting you, as if it's my fault Renae can't keep her hands to herself."Renae felt like a plucked bowstring, but she determined to be brave. Awe dawned on her sister's face as Renae's skin took on the cerulean color, the same as the forbidden runes. Even if she wanted to, Renae couldn't let go. Once touched, the stones held you until they were finished with you.Ever since Father forbade touching the stones, Renae meant to disobey. A dream shadow assured her that Father was being arbitrary, trying as adults do, to suck the joy out of life."Your eyes!" gasped her sister, "They're changing.""I know... I can barely see." Maybe this was a bad idea after all, thought Renae.Carla screamed."What's wrong?" Renae reached for her sister, but her arms found only empty air. And how heavy were her limbs!The sound of running footfalls died away. So did the light. Renae still held the burning rocks. Or they held her.Time passed. Carla did not return. By now Renae's back had bowed into the usual arch and her hands had entered the earth, the way a gardener plunges hers into the soil. But gardeners lift them out again.Only blackness. From far away came a man's heavy breathing and a child's whimper."How could you let this happen, Carla?" cried Father."What am I, my sister's keeper?""Yes! How many times did I tell you, Carla? Yes!"Father lifted the scythe high above his head in the swiftest motion. Carla never knew what hit her.Out of the reddened soil Renae pulled free.
|Have a shiny new trophy thing!|