Merry Medakan Christmas Contest

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Taziar
Posts: 530
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:28 pm
Location: Seattle

Merry Medakan Christmas Contest

Postby Taziar » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:00 am

Happy Holidays from the House of Medakan!

My name is Riley and I have been a member of the WoTMUD community for two decades now. WoTMUD has a strong history of players helping players with things like: testing game mechanics, information about game content, or client side scripts and maps. Over the years players like Markus, Janners, and Thuvia (just to name a few) have given back to the community and enriched the gaming experience for hundreds of others. It is because of special people like these that have inspired me over the last few years to take what I have to offer and give back to a community that has kept me company, and entertained for so long. I am an admin on the player run forums over at WoTMUD Archives, and also an admin at the WoTMUD Wiki. I also have published my House of Medakan script packages for zMUD and cMUD for all to use (still a work in progress) and in the spirit of the holidays I would like to give back just a little bit more with the first ever Merry Medakan Christmas Contest (tm) :D

Happy Holidays,

Taziar Medakan, Sun Captain [Rising Sun Blademaster]
Kerryk Medakan, Captain of the Golden Bee [Illian Companion Council]

A Merry Medakan Christmas Contest

Tell me a story! Your story can be fiction, non-fiction, fan-fiction... or just a story about why you deserve to be the winner :P

Contest Guidelines
  • All contest entries must be posted here, as a reply to this thread by 12am PST December 17th, 2018
  • All posted entries must be made under a current character name from the game and verified as level 30+ by contest end
  • All contest entries must be original works, no plagiarizing!

Contest Winners
All entries will be judged and evaluated at my discretion against the contest guidelines during the week of December 17th-23rd
Once determined, the winners will be announced and all three finalist will receive a licensed copy of cMUD!
http://www.zuggsoft.com/index.php?p=cmud

Contest winners will be contacted through forum mail and will need to provide me with a valid email address and the name they want on their copy of cMUD. Any winner not able to respond with the requirements by New Years day will forfeit their prize and the next runner up will be notified. All three prizes are guaranteed, so even if we only have three total entries...

Taziar
Posts: 530
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:28 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Merry Medakan Christmas Contest

Postby Taziar » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:03 am

To start it all off... here is one of the short stories I submitted during my application to the University of Washington's creative writing track of the English major in 2011.

Gun Fight at the Green Burrow Saloon

The alley was cold, colder tonight than it had been every day this week. The wind rose and Mitch hunkered down in his buck-skin jacket. He stomped both feet; trying to get some sort of feeling out of them. He glanced down and saw he was flexing his hand. Good, I’m going to need the use of it tonight.

He focused his attention back on the Green Burrow Saloon. Sounds of laughter drifted across the street to him. The street-side windows were a glow of light and warmth, partially fogged over from the breath of the whiskey drinkers inside. He caught a glimpse of Melanie Barbers as she carried a tray of drinks across the room. Light, she is beautiful. He knew she wasn’t the marrying type, and being the most beautiful woman in town she sure enjoyed all the attention. Catching a look at her was his favorite part of this.

The saloon’s front door pushed open.

Mitch’s body tensed and he fumbled for the Colt at his side. He managed to get his hand around the handle of the gun by the time the person leaving the saloon reached the street. Mitch started to count to himself. One, two, three... He always began counting whenever there was a task that seemed daunting or had him flustered; it always seemed to help. He focused on the man. Too short, he thought. The man walking down the street couldn’t have been the one he was after; he was at least a foot too short. Mitch relaxed and took his hand off the Colt. The cold seeped back in suddenly and Mitch couldn’t remember when the feel of it had gone away in the first place. He stomped his feet again.

“Who’s there?” the man in the street yelled towards the alley.

Mitch jumped.

He recognized the voice immediately as Mr. Ruthers, the town grocer. Mitch hoped he would just keep walking, but Mr. Ruthers took a step towards the alley and Mitch knew he was caught. He hurried out of the shadows and took his hat off respectfully. “It’s me Mitch Connely sir.”

“Connely?” Mr. Ruthers said. “It’s well past dark boy, what are you doing out here?”

“I was just headed home now.” Mitch said, grateful for the night, his face on fire from the lie.

“Good.” Mr. Ruthers coughed, adjusted his coat and continued down the street with a slight wobble. Almost as an afterthought he turned back to Mitch. “Tell your Pa I’m sorry for his troubles and have him let me know if I can help any.” A gust of wind hurried the grocer on his way and the street grew empty once again. The sounds of the Green Burrow’s piano floated softly across the street. Mitch slunk back to the shadows.

Everyone knew. Mitch swore in the dark.

Word travelled as fast as any deed in a small town. Mitch remembered the day when Celeste had come home her dress torn and dirty. She had always been so careful with her clothes and Mitch couldn’t fathom what could have happened. Now, everyone knew.

The door to the Green Burrow cracked open again and Mitch was ready this time, his hand already on the Colt. The silhouette that came out could be nothing other than a man; big and burly. Mitch began to count. The man stood there surveying the street like he owned it. He walked down the saloon steps and out into the night. Mitch caught a glimmer of reflected light off the man’s chest. It was the Sheriff.

Mitch prayed the Sheriff wouldn’t see him. He prayed to God almighty and any other kind spirits in the universe that would listen. Oh please oh please.

The sound of footsteps faded off and Mitch let out a sigh of relief.

If the Sheriff had caught him it would have been over. Jail if he was lucky, home if he was not. Mitch didn’t know how much jail time you got for stealing your father’s gun, but it probably wasn’t long enough to save him from the beating he would get when he finally came home. Tonight is the night, he thought. It was the same thing he had told himself every night this week.

The door banged open and out came the man down the steps and into the street. He was a fat slob of a man, with stained clothing and no hat. What kind of man didn’t wear a hat? Mitch thought. The man stumbled then righted himself. He shoved his hand in his pants, pulled out his manhood and pissed.

Mitch could smell urine and whiskey from the alley.

He pulled the Colt out the holster. It was the first time. Mitch was amazed at how heavy it was; like a bag of feed. He brought it up and pointed it at the man—it swayed back and forth. Celeste had described him perfectly, right down to the mole on his left cheek. The Sheriff hadn’t done anything; it had taken less than a minute of questioning when three of the man’s friends vouched for his whereabouts. Father hadn’t done anything—nobody would.

I am, Mitch thought.

The man stood in the middle of the street. He scratched himself then pulled up his pants. Steam rose up around him from the puddle at his feet. Mitch couldn’t move. It was like the cold night air had froze him in place. The man lurched to the right, stepped in his own piss and staggered down Main street. Mitch didn’t know how long it took before he could move again; the street was empty. He was so tired. He slipped the Colt back in the holster and turned down the alley.

Tomorrow I’ll remember to count.

Taziar
Posts: 530
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:28 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Merry Medakan Christmas Contest

Postby Taziar » Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:35 am

Only seven days left to post your entry as the competition heats up....

Vanik
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:34 pm

Re: Merry Medakan Christmas Contest

Postby Vanik » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:42 am

By no means a writer, but here is a story I wrote for the intro to fiction writing class I dabbled in.

-Vanik Kade

Potholes

No one expects to be homeless, I certainly hadn’t and neither had Rob. As we walked down the street under a pink umbrella, Rob told me about his time in the army and how he ended up on the streets. I thought about my own life and my stint with homelessness. Graduating from Georgetown Law School in 2008 I had expected to go out, get hired by a firm, work my way up to partner, make millions. Looking back now I realize how naïve I was. The recession meant there were fewer people who could afford lawyers, and that meant firms were not hiring, especially people fresh out of law school. I ended up leaving law school $196,504 dollars in debt, unemployed, and with both parents dead, no place to live. After fourth months of job searching I ended up as a clerk for a local, independent lawyer in Seattle, but when his office was forced to close I found myself unemployed again. Jobless and crushed by interest payments on my loans I was driven out of my small apartment and onto the streets. Helpless and alone I remember consigning myself to the fact that I would forever be poor and homeless, that I was stuck where I was with no future. No one would help me. I told Rob the story of how that all changed, how I regained my life and how it all led up to me helping him. How we would not be talking if Karl had not almost hit me with his car.

Rain fell in Seattle, pattering against metal roofs and washing down skyscraper windows, then pooling into the puddles that filled every dip in the pavement. Taxi cabs blared their horns at jaywalkers, while those on the sidewalks rushed ahead with chins pressed to their chests, splashing through the puddles that dotted the pavement.
I sat under the two foot overhang of a small Mom and Pop convenience store. This was the thirteenth overhang that I had taken refuge under this night. Shops with “No Loitering” signs really meant it, especially when it came to homeless people. I didn’t blame them, though, what shop owners would want a smelly, dirty man huddled outside their door? Either I would dissuade customers from entering stores by asking for spare change, or I was waiting for the right moment to steal something. I’m not sure any of them even considered that I just wanted to get out of the rain.
I didn’t have a watch, but I probably sheltered outside the store for forty-five minutes before the owner threatened to call the cops. I double-checked my possessions (three AAA batteries, an empty chewing tobacco tin, my father’s wallet holding $3.87 worth of change, a light green headlamp, a woolen blanket, and a pair of winter gloves) and swung the camping backpack I had found in a Dumpster outside a camping store over my shoulders. I set off into the nighttime rain. With my departure, the shop owner leaned out his door and bid me farewell, “You wouldn’t be homeless if you weren’t lazy!”
I slowly made my way down the street, skirting the many puddles that confronted me. There was no rush. I didn’t have anywhere to go. I wasn’t in the mood to get shouted at by another shop owner, so I continued my shuffling march down the street.
Out of the darkness an unusually large puddle appeared. This puddle wasn’t like the others I had passed earlier in the night. It wasn’t formed because of an imperfect flatness of the laid cement. This puddle was hiding a pothole. What’s magnificent about a pothole is that it is different. Having started out like all the other puddles on the street, some additional imperfection caused a small hole to form. Then, as people trampled over that small hole it grew larger and larger, sometimes by small chunks, and other times losing large pieces of concrete. The pothole would gather all the shit and garbage that was left on the road. Like an infection, the pothole would have grown until, finally, people noticed it, then they would try to skirt the pothole, avoid the problem. No one wants to drive their car through a pothole, it shakes them, makes them remember that all around them there are imperfections in the road. The best thing about potholes is that even once they start to become a problem no one will bother to fix them until you can no longer change the course of a car to avert the rude bump. Once the pothole is unavoidable, someone comes by and applies a patch to the spot, and voila! the pothole is gone. Drivers then go over the new cement relieved that the problem has been fixed, that they can now ignore the problem. They pat themselves on the back and say “That’s our tax dollars at work, actually fixing things!” It’s funny they think the pothole has been fixed, because most patches don’t last long. Give it some time, and that pothole will reappear as if nothing was done to fix it in the first place. Drivers will then become disgruntled that the old problem has resurfaced. It’s a constant cycle. The pothole circle of life.
I can relate to potholes. Every poor or homeless person in America can. That’s why potholes are beautiful.
A weary, dirty, bearded man stared up at me out of the pothole.
“How’s it been friend?” I murmured. “How have the past three days been treating you?”
He grinned.
“It’s been good, huh? Something good happened to you? Did some generous soul let Alexander Hamilton buy a meal for you? Or no… it couldn’t be…”
The man in the pothole gave a knowing shrug, and a smirk creeped across his face.
“You dog, you!” I shouted, dancing my way around the pothole. “You’re off the streets? You have a house, a job, a refrigerator?”
I looked back at him. The man in the pothole was bent over, chest shaking, yellowing teeth stretched ear to ear.
“FUCK you!” I jammed my foot into pothole man’s face. He shattered, features rippling and distorting.
“Don’t rub it in, man,” I whispered. “Don’t do that to me.”
I didn’t look at him again, but I knew he was back. He always comes back. He’s the only person I’ve hit who hasn’t run away.

A car turned a corner and began to speed down the street towards me. I didn’t move. The darkness and my dirty clothes made me hard to see. I heard that being hit by a car wasn’t the worst way to go, so long as you got hit the right way. A quick impact and it would all be done with. I would no longer bother shopkeepers by squatting in front of their stores, people would get to keep their change, I would stop losing my mind, and I would cease to be a reminder to the more fortunate that this city, this country, isn’t all that it is cracked up to be.
The car was close. I closed my eyes, but still saw the illumination of the headlights through my eyelids.
There was a squeal of braking, and a wave of water from the pothole soaked me. Eyes still pressed closed, I heard a door slam and the quick approach of steps.
“Jesus buddy, I almost hit you! What are you doing standing in the road at night, trying to get yourself killed?” I felt a hand grab my shoulder. “Hey buddy, you doing okay?”
I cracked my eyes open slowly and found myself face to face with a broad shouldered, clean cut man with a touch of gray at his temples. He held himself like he was used to commanding people.
“Yeah…I’m uh, fine, sir.”
“What were you doing in the road?”
“Just talking to my friend.”
“What friend?” The man turned, searching the streets and sidewalks for pothole man, but he didn’t find him.
“He must have left” I muttered, lowering my eyes. This interaction with a real person was more than I had had in a long time, and even though I had become accustomed to my disheveled state, I still felt ashamed when seen by others.
“What’s your name?”
“Why do you care?”
“Why shouldn’t I?”
“Look at me! Now look at yourself,” I jabbed a finger at him. “We are different. You made it I didn’t. You’re a success and I’m a failure.”
The man’s face didn’t change. It was as if I hadn’t said anything. This man was not going to leave until he knew my name.
“Paul Stevenson,” I mumbled, shoulders dropping.
He grabbed my hand and shook it firmly, “I’m Karl Benning. I’m sorry I almost hit you, Paul. Is there somewhere I can give you a ride to? Would hate to make you walk anywhere at this time of night in the rain.”
“That’s okay, I’m just going around the corner. My place is there.” I wanted this situation to be done with.
“Well I’ll take you there. I insist.”
“No really, it’s okay. It’ll be faster if I walk.”
Karl sighed, “You don’t have a place do you? This is your place isn’t it?” He swept his arm widely, taking in all the concrete, puddles, and alleyways. A raindrop fell from my nose, rippling the surface of the puddle. Pothole man giggled at me.
Karl turned his back to me and looked towards his car. He stood there for a minute contemplating. This was not the kind of man I could just walk away from without permission.
“Damnit. Alright Paul, you’re pretty fucked up,” he said tapping his head, “but get in the car, you’re coming home with me. You’ll stay the night, and tomorrow we’ll get something figured out. Get you some help.”
“What? Why?” My inability to grasp what he was saying annoyed him.
“I’m taking you off the street, and you are coming home with me. I don’t think you want to sleep out here, and I sure as hell don’t want to spend my evening in the rain. Now get in the damn car.”

The sun shone brightly, reflecting on the polished storefront windows and heating the sidewalk that Sandra and I strolled upon. It was a good day, not a gray cloud in the sky. Life was good. I placed my arm over Sandra’s shoulders pulling her close, she smiled and wrapped her arm around my waist. We continued this way for several blocks until we came to two small children next to a small plywood lemonade stand.
“Lemonade?” the smaller of the two asked.
“How much for two glasses?” Sandra said.
“Well,” the larger one said “its $3 for a cup, so two cups would be…” she quickly punched 3+3 into the “cashier” (a calculator) before proclaiming “$6. $6 for two cups of lemonade, please.”
Sandra and I chuckled at the outrageous price, but I decided that the presentation provided by the children justified the cost.
“Here you go.” I handed them a $10 bill. “Keep the change.”
“Thank you sir!” they chimed in unison. The larger one read from a slip of paper a note that must have been written by their parents. “We hope you enjoy your lemonade and have a wonderful day.”
As Sandra and I turned and walked away sipping our lemonade, the smaller one ran after me, tugged my arm, and said “Thank you for your generosity, sir,” before scampering back to the stand.
“That was kind of you,” Sandra beamed at me, “even though this lemonade is awful!”

It was only another few blocks before we were stopped again, only this time it was for a bag in the Michael Coors store. I gave Sandra my credit card to go inside and get the bag. As I was placing my wallet back into my pocket my fingers slipped, dropping my wallet into a pothole next to the sidewalk.
“Shit,” I grumbled.
My wallet had fallen into a small pool of water at the bottom of the pothole. As I pulled my wet wallet from the pool I caught a reflection of myself in the water, and I saw him: pothole man. He was as shocked to see me as I was to see him. I took a deep breath and paused. I knew it was really just my reflection, that pothole man and Paul Stevenson were really the same person, but for an instant it felt like it had been him. And seeing my old friend brought back memories of my darkest days. Memories that over the past ten years I had tried so hard to bury; memories of the creature that I had been.
During that car ride Karl had taken my story in complete silence. He then did more than I could have ever dreamed of, more than any government program could have done. Karl gave me a room in his three-story house, and most importantly, a job. Karl owned a business making medical equipment for hospitals, so he put me under one of the company’s lawyers in charge of writing sales contracts. It was incredibly dull, but I had a knack for it and I wasn’t about to squander the opportunity. After three years there I had gathered enough experience and courage to apply to several law firms in Seattle. I landed a job doing real estate law and, over the next ten years, slowly climbed my way up the corporate ladder until I got to the position I am in now, partner. I had more money than I knew what to do with, and I had Sandra.
Seeing pothole man in that puddle terrified me. Was I losing control? Was I sinking back to who I had become? I didn’t want anything to do with that life, and I never wanted Sandra to know what I had been. If she knew, she might leave me. I turned from the pothole just as Sandra exited the store with her new bag.
“Thank you Paul, it’s wonderful,” Sandra said, admiring her shiny black bag.
“Great,” I said more quickly than I meant to, “let’s go.” And without waiting for an answer I turned and walked down the street.

That evening I walked home from dropping Sandra off at her apartment. I hurried through the streets of Seattle with a pink umbrella that Sandra had let me borrow. The beautiful day had turned into a heavy evening rain that I had been unprepared for.
As I gingerly picked my way around puddles, I passed under a storefront overhang and, not watching where I was going, kicked a dark form.
A grunt of pain came from the huddled form followed by a raspy “Watch where you’re going!”
“Sorry, I didn’t see you there.”
“Course you didn’t, no one ever sees me. No one wants to see me.”
I bowed my head in shame. The middle-aged man sat wrapped in a threadbare blanket, two brilliantly colored hats crammed on his head, a small collection of plastic bags filled with god knows what rested by his side, and a small cardboard sign sat in front of him with the words ‘I fought your wars for you, got any change?’
“I’m sorry, I really am.”
As I turned to go the man thrust out his sign and rasped “Hey, you know I wasn’t always like this, I had a future. You got any change to help an old vet?”
I opened my mouth to express superficial regret on how I couldn’t help him, but a shiver down my spine froze me. I knew exactly what this man had gone through. I had been there, felt the same fears, the cold, the hate, the hunger, the hopelessness. I wanted to help this man. I had been this man. But as I opened myself up to the pain I knew he was suffering I felt those old fears returning, bubbling up inside of me even as I frantically tried to squash them.
“Are you going to give me some money, or are you going to keep staring at me like I’m one of them chimpanzees at the zoo?”
My face turned red, ashamed. What a hypocrite I was, what a coward. Helping this man wasn’t going to make me homeless. Being homeless had been a part of me, and I was never going to escape that fact. All those fears would forever stay with me, I would never outrun them. I needed to accept who I had been.
“What’s your name?”
“Uhm… Rob.”
I stuck out my hand, “nice to meet you Rob, my name is Paul Stevenson. If you’ll trust me, I’d like to help you.”

hasp
Posts: 366
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:30 pm

Re: Merry Medakan Christmas Contest

Postby hasp » Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:08 pm

Got me in the feels, bro. Well done.


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