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Spring, 2014
24-Hour Short Story Contest
2nd Place Winner!

TOPIC OF THIS CONTEST WAS:

The sailboat was anchored just a few yards away and the sun had set. With the campfire slowing dying, and their bellies full of fresh fish, the lovers decided to go skinny dipping. As they descended, hand in hand, into the warm water, he felt something slip around his ankle and pull...hard.

Entries must touch on the topic in some way to qualify.


2ND PLACE!

A Whiff of Paradise
by Jim Melan

"But...but...what will we do?"

The girl clutched at his shirt with one hand as she pointed a perfectly manicured finger at the craft lying on the beach next to them. Its spotless deck was canted at a precise thirty-six degree angle exposing the gaping hole in an otherwise pristine white hull. Her sultry voice began to rise in pitch. "The boat is ruined. And we're out on this island in the middle of nowhere. We have no phone, no electricity, nothing. There's no food anywhere. I didn't bring any clothes except for the bikini I'm wearing." Pearls of tears began to fill her soft blue eyes, and her red full lips began to quiver.

Taking her hands in his he gently released his shirt and wiped her nascent tears away with a gentle thumb. He pressed a finger to her lips, quieting her. "You just leave everything to me, baby. Just think of it as a romantic island vacation. Come on, I'll show you."

Taking her hand he led her up the beach to a small stand of trees. He began scanning the fronds of the trees above, using a hand to shade his eyes from the bright tropical sun. Spotting his prey he flexed the muscles of his sun bronzed arms and began to climb. She watched admiringly as he nimbly ascended the tree, muscles rippling as they pulled him higher. Reaching the top he stretched out a hand between the fronds and twisted. She clapped her hands in delight as a plump coconut dropped into the soft sand next to her. As easily as he had climbed up he came down, landing lightly next to her. She reached out a hand and stroked his arm, delighting in the feel of his powerful muscles. "Now I'll take care of dinner. I'll leave you in charge of dessert," he said with a wink.

Stepping into the sparse vegetation he rummaged about for several moments before stepping out with an armful of deadwood. Dropping it in front of her he disappeared back into the underbrush. When he came out this time he held two rocks. Kneeling down his powerful hands broke apart the twigs and branches, forming a neat stack. Striking the rocks together forcefully he created a shower of sparks, igniting the dry wood. The fire roared to life, its orange fingers stretching toward the sky. Pulling a broken branch from the remaining wood he studied the jagged end.

"Wait here, baby. I'll be right back."

He strolled down to the ocean's edge as casually as if he were strolling down Main Street. Wading out a little ways he peered intently into the water. Like his ancestors before him he was the primal hunter, foraging for food to feed those who depended upon him. His eyes narrowed as his arm drew back, waiting. Suddenly with a powerful thrust he drove the jagged branch into the water. The water erupted around it as he drew it out to display the large fish impaled on the end, its iridescent scales glinting in the sun. He swaggered up the beach, the gyrations of the fish growing weaker and weaker as he walked. When he reached the fire he drove the blunt end of the branch into the sand, leaving the fish suspended above the hungry flames. He put his arm around her slender shoulders and she snuggled into him. The heavenly scent of Paradise filled the air around them.

When the fish was cooked he took one of the rocks and struck the coconut sharply, cracking it. With a forceful twist of his hands he pulled it apart, handing half to her. She let out a small moan of delight as she sipped the sweet milk it contained. They ate their fill of fish and coconut until they felt the satisfaction of full stomachs. As they sat there she slowly traced a finger along his manly chest. Leaning close to him she whispered, "You know, I always loved the movie <i>From Here To Eternity</i>. When Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr are making out on the beach, it totally turns me on. Do you think maybe we could...well, do it?"

With a grin he pulled her to her feet and led her down to the beach. He lay down, pulling her on top of him. Her generous curves strained against the tight bikini she wore as she kissed him hungrily. The surf roiled around them, waves covering their legs then receding. Again the waves flowed over them, but this time he felt something wrap around his ankle and pull as the wave retreated.

With a yell he jerked his leg up in the air and flailed his arms wildly. Looking at his ankle he saw the small chain wrapped around it, the drain plug to the tub hanging in the air below it. The bathroom door flew open.

"Jesus, Murray, what the hell's going on in here? You've been in the goddamn tub for over an hour now. Look at this mess... I'm sure as hell not cleaning all this water off the floor. And how much Glade did you spray in here? It smells like a Hawaiian whorehouse."

As he listened to his wife berate him Murray looked over his paunchy white belly and watched the water swirl down the drain, his dreams flowing along with it.


What Jim won:

$250 Cash Prize
Publication of winning story on the WritersWeekly.com website
1 - Freelance Income Kit Includes:
-- 1-year subscription to THE WRITE MARKETS REPORT
-- QUERY LETTERS THAT WORKED! Real Queries That Landed $2K+ Writing Assignments
-- BOOK PROPOSALS THAT WORKED! Real Book Proposals That Landed $10K - $100K Publishing Contracts

ENTER THE NEXT 24-HOUR SHORT STORY CONTEST HERE!
Contest guidelines are HERE.


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