This is my second Fall Writing Frenzy submission and I’m still pretty darn stoked about it. The prizes, y’all! They are still gush-worthy. THANK YOU to Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez and Lydia Lukidis for working their tailfeathers off to help fledgling writers test their skills with this contest. Plus(!), they recruited guest judge, author and speaker, Alyssa Reynoso-Morris!
The rules, you ask? Choose one of their pre-selected photos to inspire a 200 word (max!) masterpiece for audiences ranging from ages 0 – 17. Easy! OK, here is my submission below. It is a modern take on the little known tale from 1882 by Frank R. Stockton, “The Lady, or The Tiger?”. Enjoy!
BEAUTY OR THE BEAST
By Melisa Wrex
YA Horror (WC 200)
It takes a moment to find what I’m looking for —The Accused. You never know how they’ll react to Judgment Row. Some stand in the light, others seek shadow. Some shriek, others mute. Scanning the umbra of entryways, I see a profile, angled toward the two lights. Already weighing her choices—right or left. My eyes finally adjust and my insides heave.
I know her.
I know her so well that I’m certain she thinks she would rather die at the hands of the Beast behind the door of Guilt than receive the reward of Innocence. But Innocence isn’t so bad.
The bell sounds. Will she talk to me? I’m limited to just twenty words–if she chooses to talk to me at all. Guides are often untrustworthy.
Her: “I didn’t do it.”
Her: “Where’s the Beast?”
Her: “Which DOOR?!”
Me: “You know I can’t answer that.”
Her: “And I can’t be Innocent; the reward is…twisted. A surgeon corrects. Every. Physical. Flaw. detected by A.I., making me perfect. Unrecognizable. What kind of “reward” is that?”
Me: “A reward for the shallow. Or the resilient. Right for so many.” Hear me!
She nods—resolute—strides forward, and reaches…