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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Agreement/Disagreement (01/19/12)

TITLE: When Word's Fail
By Ruth Neilson


Scott crawled through the sludge, ignoring the shrapnel and dirt that rained down around him. He muttered a combination of Spanish and English as he continued to move forward, cursing both the People's Republic of North America and whatever remained of the Federal Government of the United States for being unable to find some sort of agreement between the both of them. This was the reason why he hated politiciansóno one was ever able to compromise, which left the grunts like him to physically deal with their verbal disagreements.

He had yet to figure out why neither the People's Republic nor the Feds could accept a simple recount of the ballots. Instead, someone went and assassinated both candidates. And now, no one could decide who was at fault. From what he could understand, the two main political groups blamed each other and quickly took on new names to better explain what each one believed. Now, there was talk of another group, one that was disenfranchised with the way that everything was progressing. The Community...they took care of their own from everything he had heard...

A whistle filled the air and Scott looked skyward.

He pushed himself up out of the muddy muck and started to sprint. He yelled at his troops to follow. A few did, but not enough. The whistling projectile drowned out his voice, so his warnings weren't enough. A blast knocked him off his feet, sending him flying face first into the mire. He stayed there, playing dead as footsteps slopped past him. He didnít dare to move.

It was too dangerous. If he stirred, Scott knew he was as good as dead.

As the footsteps moved away, Scott found himself wondering if the Community members had the right idea to avoid all things political right now. The field grew quiet as the death groans slowly melted into the coming dusk and Scott knew he had to make a choice.

The decision was easy; Scott waited until dark and stood before pulling off his dog tags. He was tired of the senseless fighting. It was time give the Community a chance.

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This article has been read 403 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Curtis01/28/12
This is very intense. I did have to read it several times to get an understanding of what was happening, but then I'm not really a war genre kind of person so that might explain why.

I don't blame your MC for choosing The Community after almost losing his life in such frightening circumstances. I hope I never have to live in such a time as this. Well done.
Sandra Petersen 01/29/12
Very good futuristic piece. Sounds like another American Civil War. I like the way you set up the futuristic time by naming the two political forces engaged in the conflict.

The story was a little on the shorter side. I would have liked to know just a little more about who The Community was.

I got a little confused about why he needed to "play dead." I didn't know if the footsteps moving past him belonged to the enemy or his own troops. I thought the projectile would have come from a somewhat distant enemy.

I liked your descriptions of the battle scene, the muck and mire, the incoming projectile, etc. I could envision it all. I did feel like I was right there on the battlefield with your MC.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/11/12
Congratulations for placing 10th in level 4 and 13th overall!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/11/12
I liked this and thought it was a super creative take on the topic! True, there have been quite a few stories lately about the political unrest in the States but I think you had great details and I liked the ending.