I recently took part in a fun game on Twitter called #WriteWars.
How it works is the organizer, Sam Baker @SamBakerWrites, has sorted the contributing writers into three different groups (Yellow Faction, Blue Faction, and Green Faction). On predetermined weekends she gives us a prompt with which to build a story. For the next two days each group writes their own story on Twitter. At the end, whichever story is shown to be the most popular wins that individual battle. When the last battle is over in December, all the wins will be tallied and the #WriteWars champion crowned.
I’m one of four writers in the Yellow Faction and I was so proud of the story we put together (in two days, no less!) that I thought I’d post it here for all of you to enjoy. And if you’re on Twitter, be sure to show some love to Jack @MrGuiver, Laura J @ljrwritenow, and Laura G @LauraKudey whose contributions were invaluable. It was a group effort and wouldn’t have come together this well without them. And yes, our story won the first battle!
A bit of context before we begin:
I’ve written the story here as close to what it was on Twitter as I can, which means that nearly every line break indicates a new tweet. Some lines were split into two tweets though, so I’ve combined those. Otherwise it should read just like it does on Twitter.
I’ve also done a little editing to fix concessions made toward fitting tweets into 140 characters (this was before Twitter gave everyone 280 characters). That is the only editing I have done though, so each writer’s unique voice is still evident in their lines.
Lastly, remember that this story’s most impressive feature is the fact that four people wrote it from conception to final form in two days, and in an unconventional format. It’s not perfect, but given the circumstances I find it an impressive effort!
Now to the story.
#WriteWars Battle 1
The dawn broke through the rich velvet drapes, casting distorted shadows on the stirring figure buried in comfort.
Kelsea tucked the down comforter tighter as she tapped at the tiny screen, desperate to save her comrade before the day demanded her return to normal life.
Normal life? Kelsea considered her life. Is this normal, she wondered? How normal is it for a seventeen year old’s life to be in the hands of parents?
She heard a gentle knock on the door. “Kelsea, your dress fitting is at 10:00. Would you like breakfast in the dining room with your parents?”
I’d like to not go to a dress fitting for a wedding that shouldn’t ever happen! She wanted to scream. Make that, won’t ever happen.
She pounded the screen, slicing her lightning sword through the shoulder of the 10 ft. Mechdroid cornering Daewon.
The blade melted through metal. The robot’s arm fell, vibrating her screen as it hit the ground.
At least Daewon and his world allowed her moments of escape from her own disappointing existence. “Take that filthy beast!!”
The mechdroid fell at her feet and she let a cry of triumph pass through her lips. “Kelsea!!” Her mother shrieked.
Kelsea was strong enough to defend herself in one world, yet powerless in another. She needed to apply her battle skills on the home front.
Kelsea planted her feet on the floor and straightened herself, bracing for the real battle with her parents and their plan to marry her off.
“What’s for breakfast then?” Any starter that took the conversation away from ‘that dress’ would do for now.
“We need to keep your figure flat for the fitting, so your dad made a one egg white omelet with spinach and half a grapefruit.” Kelsea grimaced.
She stomped down the stairs with a grumble. The sooner she got it over with, the sooner she could get back to her conquest with Daewon.
“Nate, sound the horns and ring the bells, our daughter is up.” Shar called out in derision.
Nate turned to his daughter. “You look lovely honey, our young bride.” Shar wasn’t in such good spirits. “You’re late! Breakfast is cold.”
“It’s spinach and grapefruit mother. For pancakes and bacon I’d have moved a little quicker.” Her dad’s favourite might keep him on her side.
“Well, stop complaining and hurry up. Your sisters have left without you already. What good are bridesmaids without a bride?”
“That’s true though, Shar,” Nate offered with a chuckle. “It feels like a pancakes and bacon kind of day.” Kelsea smiled as her dad diverted.
Shar gave him a look Kelsea still couldn’t decipher and her dad clammed up. So much for him being on her side.
“You know mom, maybe it’d be best if I skipped that fitting today …” Her mom gave her a menacing glare. “Ah … well … I can do some some work here.”
Kelsea choked down the disgusting calorie counted meal and wondered how her virtual life had come to feel more real than this nightmare.
Suddenly she was startled by the phone ringing. Her dad answered, then quickly hung up. “Well, it looks like you’ll get your wish Kelsea. Your mom and I are needed to deal with a … well it’s an emergency, we’ll leave it at that. The fitting will have to be postponed.”
A triumphant shout leapt to her throat, but she clamped it down. “Oh? That’s too bad.” Her lips trembled.
Her parents pulled on coats, muttering about unmarked packages and incompetent mailmen. The door clicked shut and Kelsea raced to her room.
Kelsea raced through the castle, back to her beloved game, whispering, “Daewon, I’m on my way. Wait for me.” She had dodged the bullet of her parents, the dress fitting, and a future in a merged kingdom where her powers would be diluted for now.
Daewon greeted her warmly as she entered the game. Before she knew it they were assaulted by a hoard of green and blue cannibals!
“What took so long?” Daewon asked as he blasted another green droid. “Your parents still being pieces of goh-se?” Kelsea gasped.
“Language, Daewon!” He just chuckled and pounded a blue cannibal in the jaw.
Satisfaction filled his body as he saw the blue cannibal slump to the ground.
Warmth grew as the blue cannibal fed the flames of the battlefield. Kelsea’s cheeks changed from pink to red. She considered the reasons.
It was more than the heat of the rising blue-tinged flames. Her eyes met with Daewon’s dark chocolate eyes, the flames flickering nearby.
“Kelsea.” The name came out rough. That world might be virtual, but his fingers grasping for hers felt more real than the carpet beneath her feet.
“Hey,” came a voice from above. “In case you two lovebirds hadn’t noticed, we’re in a war here!” Kelsea looked up and smiled. Their golden angel had arrived.
At that moment they were snapped back to the fight as the drumming of blue hoards cresting the hill on the horizon echoed through the valley.
Only this time their golden angel had their back. The enemy surely didn’t have a chance with the three of them charging together!
Deawon thundered brazenly beside her and their friend, the golden angel, beat his wings fiercely from above. Kelsea gave a war cry, but then she saw it…to her right a second hoard appeared on the horizon. This one painted with green war paint. “Don’t worry, Kels, we’ve got this.”
“Which of them is closer?” Daewon asked, knowing that charging one hoard would expose their backs to the other.
Kelsea scanned the area, looking for anything that might help. Her smile grew mischievous as she spotted the droid arm she’d chopped off that morning. “I’ve got an idea.”
Grasping the droid arm with each hand, she split it into equal shards of metal. Tossing one to Daewon, eyes locked on his, they yelled “Yes!”
Together they were stronger. There’d be time for exploring that strength later. After defeating the blue cannibals and the green mutants.
The three chose to charge at the blue hoard first. Thunder clapped as armor met the enemies’ metallic scaley skin. Victory seemed eminent but Kelsea’s hope soon plummeted as green mixed with blue and red flashed before her eyes.
“Daewon!” she shouted. Before she could leap to his aid, Golden Angel dove. Time slowed as the blade aimed at Daewon sliced into the angel’s side. “No!” With her agonized shout, brilliant golden light exploded around her.
Green and blue melted away against the onslaught of her awakened power. Kelsea fell to her knees, nearly every drop of energy depleted.
The enemy finally ran in defeat, but instead of feeling the joy of victory Kelsea was consumed with anguishing pain and sorrow as she beheld her fallen friend. Daewon ran to her side and propped up the golden angel to help ease his wheezing lungs. “Why, why why!?” She shouted.
Golden angel grasped her hand and smiled through the pain. He whispered “I’m not going anywhere until we feast on those pancakes and bacon.”
Kelsea gasped. “Dad?” His smile turned sheepish. “Hey, sport.”
Golden Angel’s eyes blinked slowly, as if in Morse Code. Kelsea couldn’t decipher the message. Daewon crouched nearby, his eyes like saucers.
“Golden Angel is your father?” Daewon touched an escaping curl from Kelsea’s blonde braid. The angel’s eyes fluttered shut, he fell asleep.
Kelsea knew the healing power of rest. She leaned over, kissed her father’s cheek, & turned to face Daewon. Smoldering fires surrounded them.
What had once been bright blazes of blue & green, were now only crushed embers. In contrast, the fire between Kelsea and Daewon grew hotter.
Kelsea reached up curving her fingers around his neck, pulling his lips to hers. Their first kiss! The rest of the world faded for them both.
Until it invaded again. “Hey!” her father interrupted. They broke apart like they’d burst into flame. In some respects, they had.
“You couldn’t wait until I left first?” He shook his head, then stopped with a groan. “Dad?” Concern quickly replaced embarrassment.
“I’ll be fine, Sport. You two can close up the game.” He winked at Daewon. The boy rubbed the back of his neck as his cheeks reddened.
“I’ll head out and get this taken care of at home.” Kelsea frowned in confusion. They usually returned to base to refuel for the next battle.
“Sport, this isn’t just a game. It’s never been just a game.” He winced. “Sir?” Daewon sounded just as confused as Kelsea.
“I’ll explain everything when we all get back home. Now get on with it already.” Her dad gave them both another wink then faded away.
Alone together again, Kelsea wanted to kiss Daewon again. She reached for him but he grasped her hand and started walking. They felt crunching underfoot as they marched over the traces of blue and green burnt shards. They climbed together, matching steps up the mountain.
At the top he dropped to one knee to profess his love. Tears rolled down Kelsea’s cheeks. “My parents have promised me to Little Peter in marriage.”
Daewon should’ve been angry but the name Little Peter made him laugh. “Is that his name or a description?” Daewon smirked, still holding on.
Kelsea’s tears stopped as they laughed together. “I’m not marrying him! I won’t! And BOTH, to answer your question. Come back with me.”
“What do you mean by ‘back’?” Daewon stated with confusion. Kelsea’s face fell. “I thought, I hoped when I saw my dad … aren’t you real?”
“Of course I’m real! I’m as real as the blood on your chest, as real as the armies we just vanquished. I’m as real as the three moons there!”
Kelsea dropped Daewon’s hand and backed away. “No, don’t do this to me. I was sure of our love! How could you be simply a part of this game?”
With that, Kelsea removed her virtual head set and collapsed in sorrow and a flood of tears. She longed to die and be reborn into the game.
“Kelsea! If you don’t get down here and try on this dress right now, there will be hell to pay!!” Couldn’t her mother give her one moment?
She pounded the carpet, cursing whatever higher power had decided to torture her. Little Peter didn’t deserve her, no matter how advantageous the match might be. Kelsea stood and scrubbed the tear tracks from her face. She was done being her mother’s plaything.
Kelsea steeled herself to face her mother. If only Daewon was here for moral support. She only had two weeks until impending doom – the wedding.
“Where’s Dad,” Kelsea asked. She stood in front of her mother, hands poised on hips looking ready for another life-or-death battle.
“On an errand, I expect him back any time. Peter will be here for dinner.” Kelsea glared. “Fine, we can tell him over dinner – no wedding! Mother, I’m not letting you ruin my life. Little Peter may be coming for dinner, but that will be the end of this immensely awful idea!”
“Not this again. You know what this marriage means for our country.” Shar’s voice dripped with derision.
“I know it means becoming someone else’s slave and I’m not doing it.” The door banged open and her father stepped into the hallway. “Change of plans, dear.
“Shar, Kelsea doesn’t belong with Peter.” Kelsea looked like a death row inmate who had been pardoned by the governor. “Daddy! Thank you!”
“There’s someone else we all need to thank for his part on the battlefield, keeping Kelsea and I safe today,” Nate added, looking at the door.
Kelsea couldn’t believe her eyes as she followed her dad’s gaze. A rugged, tall, and familiar looking gentleman walked through the door.
His clothes looked foreign on him. She was used to battle armor. But the green tunic brought out his chocolate brown eyes. “Daewon?!?”
Daewon’s grin lit up Kelsea’s world like a Christmas tree. “But, how?” She exclaimed in rapturous joy.
“Your father is a true Golden Angel,” was his simple response as he produced a wrapped package from behind his back. “I have something for you.”
“Your presence is gift enough!”
Nate piped in, “I think you’re going to like this gift, Kelsea. Daewon found this on the corpse of a blue cannibal. A lost Christmas gift.”
He winked. “This present suites you immensely more than whatever girlish monster the intended target was.” He chuckled while Daewon waited.
Nate looked at him, got the message and nodded. Daewon took Kelsea’s hand. Shar began to weep as he got down on bended knee and opened the box.
Kelsea covered her mouth and began nodding before he could even ask the question. “Kel, will you -”
“Yes!” She threw her arms around him and sealed the promise with a fierce kiss. For the first time, her future was in her own hands. And it was bright as gold.
I hope you enjoyed reading this story as much as we enjoyed writing it. It was an exhilarating experience, for me especially because I’m such a hardcore outliner. I’m not used to starting and just seeing where the story takes me, so I learned a lot and look forward to seeing what we come up with in the next battles.
Did you like the story? Let me know what you thought in the comments!