CCC #36 - Voting Thread

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Strictly Business, by Dan Zollinger on Inprnt.com
Strictly Business, by Dan Zollinger on Inprnt.com

Hey, everyone, time to wrap up another contest! The rules this time were:

  • Name the person in the picture.
  • Name the "her" they're "gonna miss."
  • Use the caption I knew I was gonna miss her. This was purely a business decision.

Very cool turnout this time- nine entries, and it's going to be tough to choose! Choose we must though! So if you would...

The voting rules are:And for the writers in this contest:
  • Read the entries
  • Vote for your favorite
  • Deadline is April 16th, 6pm Eastern time (Google "What is New York time now" if you need to- they are on Eastern time)
  • If you wrote, you should vote
  • No voting for yourself

And now to the entries:

TommytheHitman: The Magician

The Magician

I'm a monster... something I understand completely to the bottom of my heart... yet even I am able to surprise myself at times. The man stood before me is surprised as well, possibly due to my sudden appearance crashing through his house's front door while wielding a revolver with enough power to kill a charging rhino.

I pull the trigger twice, my first shot misses completely, whizzing over my target's shoulders and smashing into a framed picture upon the wall behind him, cracking the glass. My second bullet tears through the heart of my foe and sends his face lighting up with pain like a light bulb switching on in the middle of the night. His body slumps to the ground, his face blank with endless agony which he'll never feel again.

I have no name, it was one of the first things I lost when my training began. People simply call me the Magician... my trick being the ability to end life... and my audience being the thousands of potential clients that will spend money for my services.

"I'm sorry." I whisper before closing the eyes of the man that I murdered. "Sleep well." I didn't know him, he may have been a good man... but he's nothing now. "It doesn't matter." I decide before turning to make my exit through the house's back.

"Phil?"A voice calls to my left, the door next to me opens and a woman slumps to the ground with a bullet hole in her skull. I stare at the body by my feet for several seconds before putting my weapon back in its holster.

Two lives ended in the blink of an eye.

Her eyes shut slowly as well, they're staring at the blood staining my suit... and the blood reeks of death. I pull a napkin from my suit pocket and mop my brow free of blood. The framed picture is hanging slightly off its hinges, having been knocked aside by the bullet's impact. I straighten it back to its normal position and notice to my eternal horror what I've been missing.

If it hadn't been for the picture I wouldn't be suffering the way I currently am.

Two people stand at the edge of the frame, the man and his wife, both have been accounted for... yet a small figure stands in the center of the picture, a look of true happiness upon her face. Shattered... just as the picture's glass has been. I look behind me, already knowing what I'm going to see... and look at the same face staring directly at me with shock on her face and tears in her eyes.

Shattered... like glass.

My optic nerves close and reopen. I appear 15 years later stood inside a pitch black apartment, dressed in the exact same clothes I wore the day I killed an innocent mother and father.

"It did matter."I decide while staring at the revolver in my hand. It's shaking slightly, like it's alive and terrified of its task. My own hand begins to quiver... and I point the weapon at my skull and hope I have the strength to pull the firing mechanisim.

A click runs through my ears and I open my eyes to see the same eyes of the girl I shattered so many years ago. She hasn't aged in the slightest in all this time.

"Hello." I say before pointing my beautiful instrument towards her. It's the same one I've used all this time... for all my murders."I've been waiting for you."She reveals her own instrument and the way she carries it is almost a travesty against art. So little skill or talent involved... but in all honesty it doesn't matter anymore.

Her mouth opens and a single word echoes out... in actuality it seems to be more of a command.

"Die."She demands.

I'm going to grant her wish... but not easily. Two shots are fired, one from my own weapon, the other from the girl who's name I have learned to be Susan. It was at this point that I knew I was going to miss her... this was purely a business decision.

The Magician always puts on a show.

My bullet misses, something I'm glad about. Her bullet doesn't, something that makes me even happier. A sensation of pain bursts through my mind... and I slump back in my armchair. My eyes blink quickly... and the girl is gone, seemingly disappeared into the night. The blood on my suit reeks like death as it always does... this is a good death.

My head tilts back allowing me one last breath...

And I die.

Stumpy49er: Frank and Alyssa

Frank shot Alyssa through the heart. She dropped face down to the ground. Looking up at Frank , she gripped the hole in her chest with stunned disbelief as green blood poured out of her.

"Frank?" she asked before slumping to the ground.

"Sorry babe. You took my best customers." Frank explained.

Frank Wyrm stood over his ex lover, Miss Alyssa Vynne as her body turned to green grass and purple and white flower buds began to bloom from her body.

Franks trench coat began to squirm. Yellow, red and green tentacles crawled out from his coat and up his neck. The red one spoke "Ssss.. very ruthless of you Frank. Murdered a woman you loved because she was a business rival."

"I never loved her, Stumpy." Frank replied.

"Sssure." Replied Stumpy.

"It wasss the right thing to do." said the yellow tentacle. "She was ssstealing your best clientele."

"Exactly. Thank you, Azlyn." Replied Frank. "Before she burst on the scene I was the best travel agent magic coins could buy. Then people started complaining that travel via giant hell worm was too unpleasant. All of a sudden wealthy magi decided they wanted to travel via 'organic' plants and all that new age crap she provided. I just couldn't compete."

"You'll missss her." said the green tentacle.

Frank sighed "I knew I was gonna miss her. This was purely a business decision."

The green tentacle added "Will you say goodbye?"

"Of course, Mr. Smooth." Frank answered.

Frank walked toward Alyssa, knelt towards her body and kissed her on her forehead. "Sorry babe." He repeated.

All of a sudden, Alyssa's eyes opened wide. Green vines wrapped themselves around Franks neck.

Alyssa spoke in a hurt voice. "You betrayed me. I loved you Frank. We could have worked together but you killed me."

Frank tried to pull away but Alyssa's vines engulfed him. They disappeared into the Earth, the last thing Frank heard was Alyssa crying "You killed me!"

Batkevin74: Charlotte and Caitlyn Prince

“Oh what is this $#!t?”

I don’t mean to talk out loud, there’s nobody here except me but reading the writing task me verbalise my disgust at the latest writing contest on this website I write on occasionally. I ain’t gonna win this week!

The rules are simple. Name the character. Name the “her” mentioned in the picture. Use a key phrase and get it in by April. Should be a piece of p!ss. Should be. I’ve won like ten of them.

But the ones I’ve won have been superheroes. People with powers. Not shadowy guys with guns talking with that…like they’re narrating their own life and adding “yeah see” to the end of every sentence for effect, yeah see. Like Jimmy Cagney or Jimmy Stewart…one of them’s the gangster.

Okay so let’s write…………………………

There has to be a term for overusing ellipsis’…types that into Google…oh &^%$ off! I get pages and pages: about 23,500 results (0.28 seconds). Nearly 25,000 results for “overusing ellipses” in less than a second. People have too much free time.

Okay let’s write this thing so I can punch out the next chapter of my Marvel policewoman story nobody reads…….

Types in private investigator names into Google…wow! About 1,250,000 results (0.28 seconds)

Okay…Wikipedia “lists of fictional private investigators”…hmmm.

All the good names, the ones that sound good, are taken. Sam Spade, Eddie Valiant, Harry Dresden, Mike Hammer, Nero Wolfe…he sounds cool. Very few girls though, actually two and one of them is Nancy Drew and she’s like a teenage busy body who has sex with the Hardy Boys so that doesn’t count. Let’s make our trench coated mystery man…a mystery woman. Named…types in popular girl’s names 1930 into Google.

Holy hell! Is there anything the interweb can’t do? Mary: nope! Betty: nope too Flintstones. Dorothy: Wiggles & Wizard of Oz! Helen: hmmm. Scroll down…Charlotte. Number 75. Charlotte what though? Needs to be tough, noir-ish. Something that grabs you like Elliott Ness or Maxwell Smart or James Bo…Prince!

Charlotte Prince.

Nice!

Back-story…private investigator Charlotte Prince works for…a chicken shop…what? Okay you’re tired. Go to bed, pick it up tomorrow. You’ve got til April, no need to smash it out right now. Sleep on her, maybe you’ll get it in a dream.

Maybe you’ll also get the lotto numbers!

Maybe I’ll go to bed before I argue with myself any more.

**

New day and still nothing! Let’s check Facebook…oh a Buzzfeed poll about which 5th Dimensional Elf I’d Be. Well I might as well do it, just for fun. Grrr another notification for Farmville! Oh surprise surprise I’m Bat-Mite! Hey, someone like my picture from 2013!

Okay, enough! Let’s write this….Charlotte Prince…Charlotte Prince…Googles name to make sure she’s original. About 138,000,000 results (0.44 seconds) you’re getting slower Google ha ha. Okay she’s a real person on Facebook, Charlottetown tourism, Charlottetown Prince Edward Island…I’m in the clear. Unsueable name so far.

Now write the damn story….

Right after this Cracked classic article about common sense.

**

Another day procrastinated away on internet memes, Facebook notifications, Buzzfeed articles and internet porn. Woo hoo! You’ll be Stephen King in no time you big giant dumbass!

**

-She ran into the alley, gun in her right hand as the rain trickled down from the heavens…-

Well that’s a sentence full of $#!t!

-I knew I was going to miss her. It was purely a business decision…-

That’s better but that’s the sentence I HAVE to use in this contest! Somehow I gotta match that level of noir…types in noir to Google…about 308,000,000 results in 0.52 seconds. Le Noir Circus, Le Noir Ticketmaster, Suburban noir, Film noir, noir (anime), images for noir, noir dictionary definition, let’s check that just in case I’m totally missing the point.

“Noir (pronounced: nwär)

1. Of or relating to the film noir genre.

2. Of or relating to a genre of crime literature featuring tough, cynical characters & bleak settings.

3. Suggestive of danger or violence.

So Frank Miller-esque. Like I can write at his level. Like HE could write at his old level!

Okay, let’s write…oooo a new topic on CV about Magneto Vs M.Bison. Bison all the way! I mean that psycho power he has which is part magic, part voodoo, part chi meets Sith powers against plain old magnetism. Plus Bison can actually fight. You dead Erik! K.O!

And that’s another half an hour wasted…man just write it.

Stop telling me what to do.

Stop arguing with yourself! Who do you think you are? She-Hulk?

Why not Deadpool?

Because She-Hulk did it first and better.

STOP! You’re having a third person, first perspective, off topic meta-fictional chit chat. Just write your ^%$#g contest entry!

…fine

**

So what am I going to call her in the story? If Charlotte Prince, chicken shop investigator (this bit needs work) is heading down an alley to confront her, who’s the her and what’s her name? Is she the bad guy? Or her girlfriend? Or her girlfriend nudge nudge wink wink? Or her sister…twin sister…triplet! Twins are overrated but triplets. Types triplets into Google: about 27,200,000 results 0.66 seconds. Multiple births, images of triplets, triplets @ pornhub, Vic triplets saved in Christmas miracle…pornhub it is!

**

Man, nobody’s reading my cop story! Same amount of views as yesterday, dropping nine places towards the bottom of page one, soon to be relegated to the depths of the fan fic section whilst a Dragonball Z Vs Dr Who vomit-a-thon sucks up all the comments. It’s A WALL OF BADLY WRITTEN, UNSPACED, ERROR RIDDEN NONSENSE! It’s like they’re a twelve year old!

Oh my god THEY ARE TWELVE!

If they’re writing like this at twelve they’re gonna be a machine by twenty if they keep it up! Makes an old bastard like me feel older and uselesser when these kids are pumping out epics. Sure they’re badly spelt, grammatically incorrect, punctuation…what’s punctuation? Or spacing? Or capitals? But they’re writing. I didn’t start til…oh Facebook message

**

Okay three days you’ve avoided this! Write the damn thing!

**

So you’ve wasted soooo much time! I’ve listened to Keith Urban; Mr Nicole f*&^$G Kidman! There was a music channel special on him and what did you do…yeah you watched the whole damn thing! From his birth in New Zealand to his growing up in rural Queensland to him singing back up on INXS tracks to his cocaine abuse…I now know more about him than I know about my cousin!

Just write the damn story!

Breathe…focus…noir…breathe…type

**

Charlotte Prince wiped the blood from her lips as her assailant shot around the corner and down the alley. “Fine, play it the hard way!” she muttered getting to her feet and drawing her Browning High Power handgun and started after her.

That’s $H!+! Seriously, what a load of rubbish. That’s the opening paragraph of your entry? Why not something cool like…I’m a monster. See that leaves you open to go ooh are they or aren’t they a monster? Where’s this story going? That’s a good grabber sentence. I could hear the sounds of sirens closing in on us. See that’s another pearler of an opening line…shame they’re taken. Man, this contest is sapping my mental strength and my…oh look someone sent me a gem in Marvel Alliance…

**

Okay you’re now on level 223 on MA…write the damn story! There’s two entries so far, pretty good ones too so you’re going to have to up the ante on this…somehow. Just can’t quite capture the tone, the vibe, the…there’s probably a French word that describes it properly. Types French words into Google: About 75,600,000 results 0.24 seconds. Ugh! None of these help! Merde!

**

“Former Australian PM dies 84”

Meh! He was a horrible person who only got good towards the end. None of this nor any of the other waffle that the Interweb throws up is helping you write this entry. Oh what’s this… a snide comment from a little punk in the contest! What a little $#!t! Shouldn’t take it personally but it does grind my gears…Family Guy is on!

**

Okay that’s another day wasted on Fox8!

**

Charlotte fired. The sound reverberated around the alley. I knew I was going to miss her, thought Charlotte as she scanned the alley for her target.

That’s TERRIBLE!

**

Focus…seriously. It’s just a 700 word contest to win the chance to select the next contest. Is that my phone ringing?

**

-I knew I was going to miss her. It was purely a business decision. Strictly business. Who was I kidding? It was the most personal thing ever. And the gun shot…-

Caitlyn emerged from her curled state, caused when someone points a gun at you and pulls the trigger at close range in a darkened alley at two in the morning.

“You missed Charlotte,” she said with a smirk as she stood up straight. “You always were a terrible shot.”

Charlotte Prince looked at her dark third intently. With twins you got a good one and a bad one; with triplets you got something extra. Caitlyn was than extra.

“I want to kill you,” Charlotte said as she levelled the gun directly at her sisters throat. “And I should kill you after all you’ve done.”

“But you can’t,” Caitlyn chuckled as she pulled out a cigarillo case and took out one before motioning them at Charlotte. “Out of the three of us you always were the weak one.”

“And you were the nasty one,” Charlotte gingerly stepped forward and took a cancer stick.

“So?”

Charlotte looked at her with a mixture of emotions. “Goodbye Caitlyn.” And with that she turned and walked away.

“Is that it?”’ laughed Caitlyn. “Oh yo…” Something felt wrong and Caitlyn looked up to see a dark shadow descend upon her. The alley rang out with a cacophony as the Alex & Gunn solid steel safe turned her into little more than chunky paste. Charlotte looked up to the roof to see her triplet Candice looking down. Candice had been the wronged one. The now twins looked at each other before Candice escaped into the night.

-I now had to explain to the police Candice was dead.-

Charlotte put the cigarillo in her mouth. “Piece of cake.”

**

There! Done! Post it and walk away

Turbinail: THE TALE OF MARBLE SWAMP

THE TALE OF MARBLE SWAMP

“Aren't you going to miss her?” The small and scrawny boy asked. “No. Never.” He said. His head was thinking something different. “I knew I was going to miss her, this was simply a business decision.” The mob boss' face was stern, and his voice was hushed and cold. The scrawny sidekick held his gun up and stared down at the bloodied woman.

Three gunshots littered her chest, as well as three or four that decorated the wall behind her. “Help me, god dammit.” The mob boss began picking up the body and threw it into the small car's trunk. “Franky, are you sure you wanted to do that? You'll be caught when they find out.” The sidekick said. “Greg, will you shut your scrawny little mouth?” His voice was strong and stern.

Franky slid into the driver's seat while Greg closed the trunk of the car, concealing the body in the dark of the trunk. “We're going to go dump it in the swamp down south.” Franky said in his strong Russian accent. “How could you kill Mary Ann Sand? The CEO of Ann Sand Inc?” Greg was yelling at Franky. Franky gripped the gun tightly in his hand. “You do not boss me around!” Franky yelled. His hand shot up and the trigger pulled back.

Greg looked down at the gunshot wound in his chest. Blood decorated his chest. He spat up crimson liquid out of his mouth and on to the dashboard of the car. “Greg! You're messing up my car!” Franky shouted. He looked over. Greg was slumped over in his seat, bloodied and wounded. “Great, more stuff to clean.” It was maybe an hour. The swamp was deep in the marshy woods, where barely anyone even thought of going.

Franky opened the trunk and took the body out of the car and set her down on the muddy grass. Franky walked to the side of the passenger car door. He picked up Greg's slumped up body and set him next to Mary's body. He picked up Mary by her hips and threw her over his shoulder. He slowly slid her body into the cold water. He pushed Greg into the water. He turned away and began walking to the car. “Wait, wait.” Greg's strained voice cried for Franky. He was still alive. “What do you want? This was just strictly business.” “Please, I need your help.” His voice was crying out for dire need of help. Franky walked over to Greg, who was lying in the water halfway. Greg reached for Franky, then shot himself up. “Vest, idiot!” He shouted. He pulled out his gun and began shooting at Franky.

Franky ran and jumped over the car. He began shooting back at Greg. POW! POW! POW! Greg collapsed, two gunshots to the neck and one in between his eyes. Franky held his shoulder, which had been shot in his miniature battle with Greg. Greg was truly dead this time, or so he hoped. Blood was flowing from Franky's shoulder. He began walking around the car and to the front seat door, but he however, didn't make it.

The next day was filled with news about Mary Ann Sand missing. Investigations were going crazy. The town had been searched in and out. Every alleyway, house, business, warehouse, absolutely everything was thoroughly checked in and out, in every which way possible. Officer Dakota Norman decided to check in the marshy woods an hour from Mary's hometown. What he found, was surprisingly supernatural. On the hood of an abandoned car sat Mary's body, pinned to the hood. On her chest lied someone's head, Franky Ross' head to be exact.

Greg slumped against the car, blood splattered down his head and neck. Blood was all over the scene. It covered the windshield, the windows, the tires, and the trees surrounding it. Rocks around the car were splattered with blood. In Mary's hands, were two guns, both splattered with blood and littered with fingerprints.

Officer Norman reached for the guns. He was making a bad decision. Franky's head moved. His eyes were sunken in and colorless, just ebony pits of death staring back at him. Mary's eyes opened, the same. Greg's seemingly slumped over dead body pulled himself up from the car side and stared at Officer Norman. Franky's head rolled off the bed of the car and fell to a body on the side, where his hands snapped it back into place. Mary unpinned her hands from the hood and pulled herself up.

Officer Norman reached for his gun, which sat in his holster. “Move, freaks!” His strong Australian accent cried out. Mary snapped her neck. Her skin was lifeless, gray with bulging veins that showed all over her body. Officer Norman shot at her multiple times, casting blood over the hood as she collapsed. Greg was too quick to be avoided. He tackled the officer down and began smacking him with the butt of his pistol.

He dragged his almost unconscious body to the side of the swamp and pounded the back of his head with a large rock. The tale said that Greg dragged Officer Norman into the water, where he was drowned to death by him. Others say that the officer went mad with insanity and disappeared. Only three people now the truth, and they are seemingly seen in some places around Marble Swamp, Louisiana today. Those three people are Franky Ross, Mary Ann Sand, and Gregory Bankowitz."

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"I think that's enjoy writing for today." The woman said. She scratched a word out in her journal and closed the green book. She put the book in a desk drawer and began walking from the drawer. The ground shook, once or twice, maybe three times. "EARTHQUAKE!" She shouted. The quaking knocked her desk over and scattered her papers all over the floor. She was too shaken up to grab anything. The papers were flying across the room.

Marble Swamp was a real place, and it was going to get destroyed in an earthquake. Very rarely, Louisiana would get a tsunami, barely even get tall waves. But, like a miracle, they did. She peered out her window, a giant wave rose in the air. It crashed down hard on the ground and smashed against her building below. She sprinted down the hall, trying not to fall. "We have to go inland!" She shouted to her roommates.

Rachel began sprinting towards the staircase, and SLIP! She hit the deck and rolled down the stairs. Her head was bleeding, but she was too unconscious to actually feel anything. The ground shook and her apartment was surrounded by water.

Rachel woke up in an alleyway. Her stomach and back were sore, they burned like as if they had been shot. She peered down. She wasn't wearing her casual clothing. She was wearing a long fleece night gown. She felt her chest, blood. She looked up as her body was being thrown into a trunk. She was being thrown into the trunk of Franky Ross.

She screamed, and began banging on the trunk. The sound of screaming made Franky come out of his car. Greg was sitting there as well. How, they were fictional characters of Rachel's imagination. Franky mumbled in a large booming voice and threw the trunk open, where Rachel had taken Mary's spot.

Rachel gulped as she looked into his sunken in eyes. He puffed a cloud of smoke into her face. He gripped her arms and pulled her up. Rachel snatched the gun from Franky's less dominant hand and blasted it off at him. Franky dropped her as he fell to the ground, a single gunshot to his head. Rachel looked down at the gun in her hand, then at his dead body.

Rachel screamed and began running out of the alleyway. She was breathing heavily, the gunshots burned in her chest. She breathed heavily, then collapsed. Greg stood in the alleyway, staring at her collapsed body, and then at Franky's.

Rachel woke back up in her apartment room. She stared at her open journal and read something she remembered not writing, it had replaced some of her writing from earlier. It read, "Franky opened the trunk after hearing a noise. In the trunk sat Mary's great granddaughter. She stole Franky's gun and shot him, killing him. Greg pulled out his gun and shot the granddaughter, killing her."

Before Rachel could finish reading, she collapsed on to her journal, blood escaping from a single gunshot wound in the back of her head. Behind her stood Greg Bankowitz, as a ghostly spectre. Slowly, he disappeared into vapor and left.

Johnjo719: Lex and Nicholle

I could hear the sirens closing in on us. They overpowered the sound of the engine straining against its boundaries and limitations to give Nicholle and I every bit of speed it could muster up. The tall buildings and street lights flew by and were quickly left behind us as we entered the country side. The noise of the sirens fell away, and I was able to ease off of the gas pedal for the first time in what felt like forever.

"We did it!" Nicholle exclaimed excitedly. I turn over to her and smile brightly.

"I told you I'd get us out of there." I reply. I look into the back seat and check on the duffel bags of money we had thrown back there in our hurry to escape our former boss' mansion. We hadn't expected him to call the police, after all those mob guys were supposed to have some sort of code of silence right? Omerta or some other bullsh*t like that. But, I'd managed to pull us out out of the frying pan. Hopefully we weren't heading into an even hotter fire.

"Lex, babe, I thought we were finished back there. There had to have been like fifty cop cars chasing us down!" Nicholle said.

"Even if there were a hundred, we would have been fine. These pu**y a** cops ain't got sh*t on me!" I say proudly. I look at Nicholle and smile at her fondly, taking in all of features. Her soft brown eyes. Long, straight, midnight black hair. Skin the color of burnt honey, and a slim figure. None of that compared to how beautiful she looked whenever she smiles, or blushes when I compliment her. From the first time I met her, I thought "I could really love this chick." But it wasn't meant to be.

"What?" She asks. "Is there something on my face? "

"Not at all." I reply. "I was just taking it all in." I had to look away then. I couldn't think of what I had to do and look at her at the same time. Why? Why did she have to go and rob my father and his so called "family"? Now it had fallen upon my shoulders to get rid of her, since I was the one who had brought her around in the first place. This was the point of the "robbery" we had just committed.

"Let's pull over." I suggest. "I've gotta take a leak." She nods her head and I pull over. I get out of the car and she follows. After walking a few feet away, I whip out and proceed to piss. When everything was done, I turned around and walk back to her. She was facing away from me, staring off into the sunset. This was the perfect time. What better way to go than while watching a beautiful sunset?

I reach into my waistband and I pull out my Glock. It was already cocked, so I didn't have to worry about her turning around after hearing the sound. I raised the pistol and took aim. She turned around and smiled, looking me directly in the eye.

"What took you so long? " She asked.

"Had to work up the courage." I explained, gun still pointed at her. "Still do."

"Would it be easier for you if I turned away?" Nicholle asked. In that second, I knew I knew I was gonna miss her. This was purely a business decision. I tried to convince myself that maybe.......maybe after a few years, I'd get over this nasty piece of "business", but I knew better than that.. I couldn't give her an answer because I didn't know the answer my damn self. Is it better to shoot the woman you love in the back? Or staring at her face to face?

"We could have had it all you know." She mused dreamily.

She turned around and looked at me, her eyes pleading with mine, and whispered to me "it wasn't all an act you know. I really did love you."

I stared at her, tears welling up in my eyes. "I know. I believe you." I said through the tears and my voice cracking.

I pulled the trigger, the bullet flew out of the gun and her body rocked, twirled and then she sank down to the ground, blood pooling around her wound. And that was it.

ImpurestCheese: The Final Victim

The Final Victim

I look at the woman lying before me, her body passive, just waiting for my blade. I have killed four before her, but she is the last, the one who will finally satisfy the man I have given both heart and soul too. My victim’s name isn't important, but what she is, well that’s the most important. She’s a street performer from Covent Garden, just like the others, but this one is different. Unlike the others I know that I will miss her, but this is purely a business decision, albeit that my business is equal parts solace and base desire.

Yes I know that sounds incorrect, but from my point of view I am in the right, and she is in the wrong. You see the man I honour with my killings was killed by his fifth victim, at least that’s what I have been told when he whispers in my ear. He have a special connection, I was born a century after he died, his own knife stuck through his throat by a struggling victim, to the exact day and hour.

As I mentioned before the woman here with me is a street performer, she’s British born and does a fusion of ballet and hip-hop for tourists down in the seven dials. The girls before her were an assistant to a magician, two Dutch dancers and an R&B singer. All of them were beautiful, none of them realised what my intention was until they woke up, and saw the gun at their throat. Turns out that, even a prop weapon can make even the toughest person think twice about fighting back, something that gives me control of what is potentially a difficult situation. That said the gun isn't the murder weapon, no that’s the job of the knife, two swift slashes to the throat silences them whilst I deliver my personal touch, the names of my mans victims carved into their chests, a little sign of respect to the guy I love. Finding places to do my work was hard at first, but the recession has done enough to leave vacant properties for me to go about my business without being disturbed.

Before I finish my last victim, there is a matter of the letter, a delicately written piece confessing to what I have done, and a threat that more will follow. The reality is, that I must follow the rules set out by the man I love, five kills and then death, but I have my own flare as I roll up my sleeve, and read the name tattooed on my arm. It’s not my name, but the name of my man’s fifth victim, and in a few minutes I will be with him for all eternity. I quickly read the ‘Dear Boss’ letter, stylised after the one left by my master, and stop as I read my name; Jacqueline Druitt, that’s not my real name, rather the one he gave me. Carefully I place it, back in the envelope and throw it on the desk behind me, it's now time for the final preparation.

Shucking the trench coat I’m wearing, I stare at the haunted looking woman in the mirror. Dressed in my show gear, a forest green leotard and black ballet boots, I take a deep breath. Ever since I started planning my murders, I knew I would have to be the last kill, so I made myself a perfect victim as well as the perfect villain. With a single double slash I collapse, blood pooling from my throat. I know that now I’ll be remembered, and even better I can finally be with the man I love.

4donkeyjohnson: Mike and Daphne

My name's Mike.

Her name was Daphne.

I knew I was gonna miss her. This was purely a business decision.

I put three bullets in her. 2 in the chest and 1 through her loose mouth.

Not my proudest moment, but she should have shut her trap and kept it shut.

-fin-

IronPhantom: Frank Bouchard and Evelynn

I always wondered how all this would play out, and now I know. Looking down at the sprawled out corpse of my partner, I couldn't help but wonder what would have happened had I played it straight, followed the rules, done what a decent cop, hell, a decent man, might have.

I sat down on my worn out couch in my one bedroom apartment, the same couch we used to curl up on and watch reruns of McGuyver, I sipped my whiskey, and I let it take me back to how this all started.

We'd been partners since '82, back when Evelynn was the idealistic young face on the force, determined to catch all the bad guys in the right way, and I was pretty much the stereotype of the grizzled veteran, the one who knew all the scum by name and just where to find 'em. They used to tremble when they heard old Frank Bouchard was coming around.

At the beginning I thought I'd never warm up I her, she was just too damn unrealistic, wanted to do everything just so, never got rough.

Our first case was just some punk selling coke out of his apartment. Kid stuff, but we could have found out more if we'd pushed a little harder, been a little rougher. She wasn't having it though, she refused to believe that this was the best way, the only way, to keep the streets clean. See she didn't understand that life is a rough and tumble kind of ordeal, a game where you've got to take what you can get when you can get it. I guess she knows now, too little too late to help her.

I ended up paying him a visit after hours anyway. Had a private conversation with him courtesy of a few favors my buddies owed me, and as soon as things got serious he cracked like ice in hot water. Told me he'd gotten his stuff off of Vincent LaRoue, the sleazeball that catered to the "higher tastes" of deluded junkies in their Hollywood mansions. Bastard had been on my list for a long time, so I figured I'd pay him a visit, tell him his buddy was turning in his two weeks' notice.

Things didn't go as I expected. As I pulled up Vince, the bastard, already knew I was coming. Had his boys waiting for me on his driveway, walked me right up to his porch. He told me that he'd been watching me, and was intrigued. Turns out my buddies back at the station weren't quite as reliable as I'd thought. They told him all about my meeting with his rat, what I'd squeezed out of him, and I guess they knew me well enough to call my next move.

So there I was, face to face with one of the slimiest pieces of filth I'd ever had the displeasure of coming across, and the bastard offers me a job. Apparently I'd played pretty loose with the rules, and he was looking for guys like that. Men on the inside that could cut him a little slack, and tighten a few leashes on the competition. Of course I was furious, furious that they thought they could control me, could use me. I was about to tell him where he could shove his offer when he cut me off, showed me photos he had of my ex-wife, my kids, the same kids I hadn't seen in years. That was the turning point. That was when I couldn't say no. That was back in '82.

Six years went by without incident. I played the part of the bad cop to Evelynn's good, an I tried not to step over that line, not in front of her anyway. We got closer, eventually got around to being friends, over time we became more. After work we'd grab some take out, watch some television back at my place, sometime make love. It was the closest I'd been to anyone since Alyssa left me, and it felt right.

I didn't have to explain my odd work hours, she didn't have to worry if I'd be coming back home or not. We were shared the same experiences, we knew what the other was going through, and we were there for eachother day after day, through the danger and the dreary boredom that comes with being a cop.

Those six years also had me working for Vince, busting his competitors and encouraging Evelynn to investigate cases other that his own. I'd saved up a hell of a nest egg too, was gonna use it to send the kids to college, was saving up for retirement. I even bought a ring for Evee. I was going to propose to her on the night of our first day on the job together.

We finished up another uneventful day at work, changed back at the station, and from there headed home for the night. She'd been staying at my place on and off for a few weeks by then, and I wasn't complaining. At least we had similar tastes in TV.

We arrived at the apartment and ordered Chinese, the usual meal after another ordinary day at work. I was working over the idea of proposing to her in my head, how I was gonna do it and where, when I heard a gasp from the kitchen.

The idiot was in my apartment, waiting for me. He was surprised to see her there, about as surprised as she was to see him. He excused himself quickly and rushed out the door, but it was too late, the damage was done.

She knew who he was, and he of course recognized her immediately. Vincent LaRoue was in my apartment, and there was no way around it. Before she could speak, my phone rang, and I stepped into my bedroom to answer it before she could ask any questions.

It was Vince, the conversation was short, its purpose obvious. Had she not been so naive, had she not trusted me so implicitly, if she'd had a shadow of a doubt about me and my intentions, she might still be alive right now.

But there was never any doubt. I was her partner, on duty and off. Betrayal never crossed her mind.

I knew I was gonna miss her.

This was purely a business decision.

The first thought played out in my mind as I opened the drawer to the nightstand and reached for my .34. I knew I'd miss her, knew I'd chosen damnation.

She was in the kitchen, her back to me. She was bent over the sink, her hands against the counter, staring outside the window. To this day I still wonder what she was thinking, if he had any clue what was coming next.

I drew the gun from my pocket, its weight doubled in my guilty hands. I brought up the revolver, pointed it at her back, and hesitated. I suppose I must have gasped, or made some other slight noise, imperceptible over the blood thumping through my ears, because she started to turn.

I panicked, and fired three shots. The first penetrated her side, the other two her chest. She fell to the ground with a thud, a look of utter surprise on her face. She looked up at me, shocked at my betrayal. I wish I'd seen anger, or hatred, or anything that might give me a hint of how she felt in those final moments, but there was nothing.

This was purely a business decision. That's what I kept telling myself as I carried her corpse to the bathroom. This was purely a business decision, I said to myself, as I wiped her blood from the kitchen floor. This was purely a business decision.

It was a damn poor decision.

Now I'm sitting here on my worn out couch, holding a smooth gold ring, a ring still warm from all the squeezing and turning I've been giving it, and a revolver, steel as cold as the dead woman I still love.

I knew I was gonna miss her.

Cbishop: Solomon Seal and Jeanine Fairchild

I stood in the doorway of the lab, both horrified and crestfallen at what I was seeing. One of the doctors was splayed across a table with no heed of the test tubes, beakers or other equipment that were standing on it before he was tossed there. There was no blood. Just a bruised wound at his neck, and a pained look locked on his face. Behind that table, the second doctor had the third bent backwards over a counter, pulling his head to one side with one hand, wrenching his arm behind him with the other. The third doctor flailed less and less as the second one drained the blood from his neck.

Clearly, Jeanine had been here. "Damn," I said quietly. I had managed to hide them for six months since she found out I had doctors trying to crack the problem of vampirism. How the hell had she found this place?

I about jumped out of my skin when I heard, "I bet you're wondering how I found this place."

Holy hell! Jeanine!

"Relax, Seal, I've eaten already" she smirked. "I've known where they were for six months."

I couldn't keep my thoughts off of my face. Surprise that she had kept that fact from me. Upset that I hadn't been as good at hiding them as I had thought. Surprise that she hadn't killed them six months ago. Confused about why she had waited until now to do so. I just looked at her, with all of this playing out on my face.

"Hellooo?" she said, pointing both hands at her face. "Ancient, powerful vampire here? Can turn to mist and follow you anywhere, sneakier than the sneakiest ninja? Can track one smell in a million? Especially blood?"

My face was now clearly showing that I knew how much of a fool I had been to think that I could fool her. I have these same abilities. I really should have known.

"By the way," Jeanine added. "Don't think I don't know it was Hudson that shot me. I know his smell too. Him, you, Tito." She smirked again at his nickname. "Relatives have scent markers just as telling as DNA. I knew he was the shooter as soon as I went out the window."

I knew how to track through smell, but I didn't know that about the scent markers. I had never paid it much atten...

"You're lucky I didn't kill him," Jeanine said, interrupting my thoughts. She fixed me with an angry, serious look.

I looked at her for a long couple of seconds before drawing in a breath and nodding in acknowledgment. "Why didn't you?"

Jeanine shoved me against the doorframe, the noise of which drew the vampire doctor's attention. He looked our way hungrily, but Jeanine held up an index finger in a halting motion and told him, "Stay." The doctor obeyed. Turning back to me, she said, "The same reason I only turned you, instead of killing you, you dope! I like you!"

Tilting a thumb in the doctor's direction, I said, "That why you turned him too?"

Jeanine grabbed my face in one hand and squeezed it into a fish-faced look to quiet me. "I like you, Solomon, but don't test my patience when I'm angry."

Still fish-faced, I twitched my eyebrows and managed, "O-hay." She let me go, and I flexed my newly freed jaw, rubbing it slightly on one side.

Her own jaw jutted from side to side as she glowered at me. She looked at the doctor, and the anger turned to a smile. She said, "He is quite..." she looked him up and down, then back at me to waggle her eyebrows and say, "...vigorous." I just looked at her. When she got no more reaction than that, she said, "You were right though. He is highly motivated to study vampirism and figure it out." The mischievous twinkling returning to her eye, she said, "Science is a real turn on for him." Her shoulders swayed like a satisfied puppy wagging its tail, as she looked off towards the ceiling, unconsciously tonguing the tip of her canines while she savored a memory.

"Is that always how you do it?" I asked, recalling how she'd turned me. I may have sounded a tiny bit jealous.

"Why, Solomon," she purred. "You sound a tiny bit jealous." She smiled. "There's no reason I can't scratch two itches at once. I mean, be honest...it's quite a way to go, isn't it?"

Hell yes it was.

"That's not what happened here though," she said. I tilted my head in surprise. "I very rarely turn someone, Sol'. That can get messy. I prefer to eat and move on."

I glanced at the doctor, "Then...how?"

"Well, if I didn't do it, and you didn't do it," she said, waiting for me to find the answer.

"Another vampire?" I asked, looking at her with confusion.

"I did it," said the doctor.

I looked at the doctor, dumbfounded and still a little confused as I grasped to reconcile this new information. I looked at Jeanine, who just crossed her arms and looked at me, waiting. I looked back at the doctor, and simply asked, "How?"

"The blood samples you gave us," he said, and what color my face held drained away. "They could only get us so far on the microscope slides. The best way to study it was in a live host. So I injected myself. I honestly didn't expect it to make me so hungry though. You seemed to have it under control."

"I have a food source!" I said as if talking to an idiot.

He chuckled as he looked at the discarded body of the doctor thrown over the table. "Well, so did I. I just couldn't control that constant craving," he said with a shrug. "How do you do that? How do you not jump every normal person you run across? They smell...so...good," he said, clearly a little overcome with the thought.

I looked at him numbly, disgusted at what I had inadvertently created; horrified that this could have easily been me when I turned, if not for Jeanine. I looked at her as if looking to a life preserver. Arms still crossed, she just raised her eyebrows at me, her look expectant.

"Yeah, okay Jeanine. I get it. You were right," I answered her look.

She smiled.

I pulled my gun from its holster, released the clip, dropped it in one pocket, and pulled a special clip from another.

Jeanine's neck recoiled backwards in reflex. "Ew! Those smell disgusting! What are you doing with those?"

"It's my mess, Jeanine. I'll clean it up," I said flatly.

Now it was her turn to look confused.

I just looked at her with resignation, then turned to the doctor and fired. The white phosphorous bullet ignited on impact, destroying him with immolation. His screams were brief, his destruction total, leaving behind only a little pile of ash. I looked back at Jeanine after a few moments. "Satisfied?"

"Interesting that you have those," she said. We looked at each other for a long few seconds without saying anything else. "Take care of the others too. Zombies are a pain in the rear." She turned to mist and as she drifted away, her disembodied voice added, "I'll see you at the office in the morning."

I watched her mist drift away, and I knew then that I had to get away from Jeanine Fairchild. She had been my bread and butter for years, but this could not continue. I fired a bullet each into the other two bodies, and watched them burn. Yep. I definitely needed to get away from Jeanine. I knew I was gonna miss her. This was purely a business decision. I'd just keep telling myself that.

Don't forget to vote! Deadline isApril 16th, 6pm Eastern time. See you then! -cb
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#1  Edited By cbishop

Vote tracker:

Writer:Votes:
TommytheHitman
  1. Renzoa
  2. ImpurestCheese
  3. batkevin74
  4. Jkutz
Stumpy49er
  1. cbishop
  2. wildvine
Batkevin74-
Turbinail
  1. TommytheHitman
Johnjo719
  1. IronPhantom
  2. stumpy49er
  3. 4donkeyjohnson
ImpurestCheese-
4donkeyjohnson-
IronPhantom
  1. Johnjo719
  2. Turbinail
Cbishop-

I'll add the votes here as they are posted to the thread. -cb

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@bumpyboo or @wildvine: If you would, please pin this and unpin the CCC 36 contest thread. Thanks. -cb

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Johnjo takes my votes.

Is that how this works?

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#4  Edited By cbishop
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johnjo719

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Well this is awkward....i was going to vote for IronPhantom

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#6  Edited By cbishop

@johnjo719: Nothing awkward about it. You like the story you like. If that means you vote for each other, oh well. So let me know if that's your official vote.

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I re read the others and I stand by my decision lol. So yea this is my official vote

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#8  Edited By cbishop

Well, I was torn between three, but finally decided on @stumpy49er. He fit the caption in, and he was the only one of the three I was looking at to mention the trenchcoat. I even forgot to mention the trenchcoat (although I always picture Solomon Seal wearing one). :)

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My vote goes to johnjo719.

There were a lot of good entries but I liked his narration the most. Also, he captured the crime noir aspect of the picture.

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i vote TommytheHitman

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#12  Edited By johnjo719

@stumpy49er: thanks for the vote man!

I liked the concept of a magical travel agent and that there was tough competition in the market in your story lol.

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johnjo719 +1

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Stumpy49er gets my vote

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Awww wah wah wah

No body loves me! Not one single vote! Woe is me!

Whatever shall I do? Boo hoo! Wah Wah! Wah!

.....

It happens :)

Two more to read, decision soon. Really good stories for what I found as a hard topic

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Well the guy everybody voted for voted for me...

That counts for something, right? -_-;

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Well the guy everybody voted for voted for me...

That counts for something, right? -_-;

Yep- exactly one vote. ;D

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Zing

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#24  Edited By wildvine

Johnjo is killing it here. Way to go dude.

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#27  Edited By johnjo719

Hmmm CV hasn't been notifying me!

But thanks for The votes. The crime Drama genre is my second favorite besides urban fantasy.

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After reading them, except my own, my vote is going to @tommythehitman

Well done all. You did much better than I :)

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#29  Edited By Turbinail

I knew I wasn't going to do well. Mine flat out sucked!!!! But my vote goes to @ironphantom

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@turbinail: It really didn't suck. Sometimes it's a matter of it's good, but there's ones folks like better. That's why after a contest is done, I like to post my entry as a new post, separate from the other entries- so people can see it without three better stories sitting next to it (in theory). Plus I get to edit/tweak things I didn't have time to fix before the contest deadline. Don't beat yourself up. ;)

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#31  Edited By batkevin74

@turbinail: You have just as many votes as i do, along with cbishop, icheese and 4donkey. Sometimes good stuff is beaten by BETTER stuff, sometimes its a popularity contest and most of the time it's luck!

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@cbishop said:

@turbinail: It really didn't suck. Sometimes it's a matter of it's good, but there's ones folks like better. That's why after a contest is done, I like to post my entry as a new post, separate from the other entries- so people can see it without three better stories sitting next to it (in theory). Plus I get to edit/tweak things I didn't have time to fix before the contest deadline. Don't beat yourself up. ;)

I've actually written a few stories for these contests that for one reason or another (timing mostly) I wasn't able to enter into the contest. I should should post them to the forums sometime. One of the things I like about these contests is it gives me a good reason to get back to writing and gets me thinking creatively. Whether people like it or not is besides the point.

Though it is nice to get a little recognition. ;)

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@stumpy49er: Recognition is nice. There are a handful of these that I didn't enter, but I have always intended to post stories as "late entries" for them. I missed the "Villain For Gambit" contest, and I had an idea for that, but I tweaked it into something else for the "Marvel Mayhem OC" contest. The other day, I ran across a partial story for contest #10 ("Armored Hooded OC," I think). There's a handful of others, and only one or two of those did I have no real idea for. I still want to do them at some point.

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I really wish I could have contributed but I honestly just didn't have a good idea for this one :( However I can still vote :D

My vote goes to @tommythehitman, good job!

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And so Johnjo's empire crumbles before him...

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@ironphantom: It happens, but there's still a couple of days to go yet. ;)

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@tommythehitman, you're the only contestant that hasn't voted yet. Don't forget.

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@tommythehitman: You're welcome! Really nice job man, now if only I could muster up some creativity for the next one and maybe I can come up with something good.

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@wildvine: 6.5hrs left to go yet, but yes, his win is probable. :)

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@cbishop:

You are about seven hours ahead of me then. Greetings future man.

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Not going to type anything. Afraid of Jinxing it.

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#46  Edited By cbishop
GREETINGS FROM THE FUTURRRRRE!
GREETINGS FROM THE FUTURRRRRE!

@wildvine:

.

@tommythehitman said:

Not going to type anything. Afraid of Jinxing it.

:/ Umm...I don't know how to tell you this, but...you just...

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@tommythehitman: Congratulations on your win! :^D

It's actually really nice to have a first time winner this time around. So let's hear it for TommytheHitman! And Tommy', you know the deal- bring us a new contest! :) -cb

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@tommythehitman: To the victor go the spoils! Well done. Rack'em up let's go again :)

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I won!

WOOH!

Sweet.

:)