Write Club Duel #23

Write Club is, or was, a game played by the members of the Usenet group. Two contestants and a referee would each pick three words, then each contestant would write a story using all nine words in three hours, and the referee would pick the winner between them.

The Official (but outdated) Write Club Archive

The Announcement

LAYdees and GENTlemen, Vinnie's Harbor Bizarre is pround to present, under the big top tonight, WOMEN WRESTLING IN MUD!!!!

In this corner, ASSM contributor since 1998, Daughter of Martha, and scrupulous sender of thank-you notes; in internet time, a seasoned veteran...DESDMONA!!!

In this corner, a bright new rising star in the ASSM firmament, holder of blackbelts in flirtation and flash fiction, and more Golden Clitorides nominations than she can carry...SELENA JARDINE!!!

'Oh,' I hear the cheap-seaters cry, 'a couple of genteel ladies--what are they going to do--make barbed remarks at each other from across the room?' My poor ignorant friends, I fear that, as our beloved and respected president would say, you misunderestimate the ferocity that lies concealed within these two ever so civilized breasts.*

My friends, I predict a fierce and pitched battle tomorrow afternoon, and a long and red-eyed night of judging (not to mention the state of other organs) for myself. I can't yet tell you which tale will take the prize, but I CAN tell you with confidence who the winner will be--the winners, ladies and gentlemen, will be yourselves, the recipients of the first-rate entertainment that tomorrow's battle will bring!

The further details of the competition will be announced here at the beginning of the bout.

* "Are you sure there aren't four breasts?" cmsix asked.

"Ah," I replied, "but only two of them conceal ferocity. Des and Selena reserve the other breasts for the warmer and more affectionate emotions.

The Words:


The Stories:

Anything You Want by Selena Jardine

Precome and Pussy Juice are a Stronger Bond than Superglue by Desdmona

The Verdict

Desdmona's tale is a humorous and romantic Wedded Lust story; well structured and sexy. The only sign of haste I could see was a few awkward sentences. The integration of the challenge words was good; though, surprisingly, "fey" and "amulet" rather leapt out at me. Points deducted for inclusion of the heretical and meaningless phrase "too much garlic," and then restored again for playing to the judge with a spanking scene. Good strategy, that.

Selena's story is as tart as Desdmona's is sweet, a first-person character study--a portrait of a man with the self-knowledge to realize what a jerk he is. Her Matt is an interesting contrast to Poison Ivan's Robert in The Womanizer. (There's a term paper in that, if anyone's looking for a topic.) As we've come to expect from Selena, it bristles with brilliant turns of phrase, and carries a potent sting in its tail. Matt's voice is distinctive and consistent. The integration of keywords was so smooth that I couldn't remember seeing most of them on finishing the story (though her use of "unleaded" made me laugh out loud).

Desdmona turned in a strong and diverting story--a worthy addition to her canon and a delightful read for all of us. But Selena's story (in my humble but infallible judgely opinion) is an exceptionally effective short story, a powerful showcase for her literary style and human insight.

I award the laurels to Selena Jardine.

Thank you to both of you for letting me participate in the competition--it's been an honor, and a whole lot of fun.