I'm a loser
.... and I'm okay with that! Back in September I submitted a short story to a Canadian magazine writing competition. I told you a bit about it then, and the results came in today! I did not make it into the top 6 - which will then be voted on by the audience on Facebook (not my voting method of choice) - but that's just fine.
But, it did give me an opportunity to try my hand at brevity, something I do not excel in. That has actually been a motivator in my desire to submit to these competitions. I find this to be a great exercise in writing that I desperately need. I can be a bit wordy a times. One of the stipulations of the contest was that I couldn't submit anything that had been previously printed, posted or public - till the fate of the competition had been determined. Well, now that the results are in, I am able to share my story with you folks, so that I shall do now.
Painter. Sculptor. Photographer. He was a true artist as far as he was concerned. He had an eye for the unusual, things other people didn’t see as attractive, he saw the deeper beauty. Seductive even. Sometimes he wished he saw things with a more conventional eye but he had gotten accustomed to the fact that his brain spun everything into a sexual and sensual manner.
Most days he would step back from his work, eyes half closed, broad shoulders holding him straight, a burning cigarette between his lips as he evaluated, almost too harshly the creation that had poured from his soul and became art. Pacing in front of his sculpture, dragging the cigarette from his mouth, and holding it between his thumb and forefinger as the paper burned and the smoke lazed around his hand. The rich tobacco was a part of the formation process for him, he wasn’t sure he could ever create without it. Especially that first morning drag that made him a little high.
He would judge his work. It was the same self-judgment when he painted. He could sit on the floor staring for hours, deciding what needed to be tweaked, moving to improve things but instead lighting another smoke as to not overwork the art.
He knew the real reason he had taken up photography. There was a simple honesty in the lens. He could see a moment of beauty and capture it. The weight of the camera, the moment coming to a crescendo as he activated the shutter and then the emotion was captured. There was no going back, evaluating or judging himself. It felt pure to him and he needed that.
Tonight had been no different. He had met these unconventional beauties on Front St, just a few hours ago, not far from the TTC station where he stopped to smoke and people watch. Not your typical models, but that’s what drew him in. They sipped on cheap wine, smoked half his pack of Parliament lights and over the hours, had begun to get naked. Funny thing was, that had never been his intention with this shoot. He’d seen them as average locals with a quirky fashion sense. Who was he to tell them that they needed to keep their clothes on if they felt inspired to strip? He snapped photos on occasion, particularly when they had forgotten the camera was around.
The brunette leaned into the red-head first, their lips touching tentatively, though he was certain this wasn’t a first for either of them. Fingers tangled in hair, clambering at buttons, mouths on skin, flesh blushed by new experiences and soft moans that filled the air. He had captured what he could.
Now he simply sat in his over sized arm chair, smoke billowing around him has he watched them make love. No camera could capture this sensual beauty.
“Come here.” Her voice was needy.
He nodded, took one long, satisfying drag off his cigarette then walked to the mattress.
* * * *
I would venture to guess that I didn't hit the mark on what they were looking for in terms of tobacco usage in the story and I can appreciate that for a tobacco magazine. This would be why I am not upset or surprised that I didn't place in this competition. But I did stay true to my voice of writing as well as allowing Muse to do his thing.
I hope YOU enjoyed my short story and as I compete more I will continue to share the results with you folks.
winda December 20, 2014 09:12PM
I don't care what they thought. I liked it : )
ElleGardner December 21, 2014 02:12PM
Awe... thanks winda... I feel the same way.
MoniqueLamy07 December 22, 2014 01:12PM
Story was GREAT! Far from losing material. The imagery at the end with the guy dragging off his smoke then going for the lady was stunning. This smoker appreciated the story. Don't get why my unhealthy habits must be villainised when no one villainises alcoholism etc. That's another story. But YAY ELLE!