Monday, 4 February 2013

Overcoming Adversity Blogfest


Hello, and welcome to my very first blogfest! I asked you to contribute a short story on the theme of overcoming adversity, to be compiled into an anthology to help raise funds to send my stepson to a specialist college. The response has been overwhelming. Many, many thanks to all those who entered, and those who spread the word via blogs and tweets. I can't express how we feel at all the warm support that's been offered.

So here is my entry. It's my first go at paranormal and came in at exactly 500 words after the usual editing.


The Outsider

The alpha had scented a large deer on our trail and sent the word out to the pack. I groaned inwardly at the moment I had been dreading. I always ended up giving in, but tonight I was determined.

The smell of our prey hit me. Warm, musky... and tempting. I had to resist. The minds of those around me sharpened as they fanned out to head the deer off. But coming in louder was the panic and fear of the animal as it realised what was happening. I felt it as keenly as if I was the deer, a tightening in my gut and a bitter tang in my mouth.

I was a freak and well aware of it. Every werewolf had the ability to read the thoughts of others in their pack, especially when hunting. But picking up a signal from the prey... well, it sounds like a blessing, but I’d always found it a curse.

If I stayed on the periphery, I would be away from the bloodbath. The animal was trapped in a clearing. I felt the arrogant greed of Drurt, the alpha, as he swaggered towards the terrified deer. The conflicting emotions translated into a sickly feeling as if my belly swarmed with a cold poison.

I could practically feel my peers’ saliva dribbling down their chops as they anticipated the meal. There was no need for it. I was sure werewolves could live perfectly well on nuts and berries. But I needed the courage of my convictions.

A message arrived in my brain, so clear I could see it, flashing like a neon sign. Help me. Who else was going to answer?

I kept my own mind carefully neutral. Venturing closer through the bushes, I could see Drurt playing with the deer, circling around it like the cock of the walk.

We leapt at the same time. Just before we collided in mid-air, I saw his eyes shift to me, radiating confusion and anger. I used my own adrenaline and the element of surprise to pin him to the ground, teeth bared in a snarl to match his own.

What... are you... doing?” he hissed, struggling against me. It was no use. Years of disgust and a burning desire to do what was right combined to give me strength.

“Let that innocent creature go, Drurt. We don’t need to do this.” I mentally screamed at the deer to run, but it wasn’t necessary. I could no longer feel its presence. It had bolted.

Drurt narrowed his eyes and smirked. “This is what we are. I should kill you as an abomination... but I feel like humiliating you instead. Turn tail, and let’s see how long you can survive without meat. You’ll come crawling back, and don’t think you’ll find it easy to get back in the pack.”

So I ran. But I never looked back. I’m a lone wolf, leading a peaceful life. I’m glad I made a stand for what I believe in.



Please check out the other blogs taking part in the hop!

Following an enquiry, I am leaving the list open until the end of tomorrow, so you still have time to enter. Just sign up below!



68 comments:

Empty Nest Insider said...

I can't believe that this was your first paranormal story Nick! I love that he was a vegetarian werewolf with a conscience. This also sends an important message about leaving the pack to achieve success. Best of luck to Andrew, and thanks for this amazing bloghop!
Julie

Annalisa Crawford said...

Cool story - all my senses feel incredibly heightened right now! Sorry I'm not taking part, but my blog tour is taking up all my time!

By the way, I'm emailing you too :-)

Heather Holden said...

Glad to hear your blogfest has had such a great turnout! I really enjoyed your story. Had you not said this was your first attempt at writing paranormal, I never would have guessed it, it was so well-done!

Elena - Adriana Dascalu said...

i'm new around and I've just found this after you list expired. Any other way to send you material for your antology? I'd like to send some Haiku, if possible and useful. Let me know.

Kyra Lennon said...

Fantastic!

So sorry I couldn't participate but I am hopping around as many entries as I can today!

C.M.Brown said...

It is good to hear that the hop has gained the attention it deserves! All the best! Carolyn

Trisha F said...

Glad to see the link list is active again! :P

Loved your story!! I can totally relate to the lone wolf, as I would feel the same as him!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like the angle on the werewolf story!
Look at all the participants, Nick. That is awesome.
And I'll email you my story without images and hyperlinks and all that since those are included in my post.

JeffO said...

Very nice, Nick. Best of luck with the anthology!

Elena - Adriana Dascalu said...

Thanks for the opportunity, I really wanted to contribute. Who knows, maybe there'll be haiku lovers among your readers, too.

Tommorow I'll be back with Flash fiction, too.

I hope you'll accomplish your plan and help your son.

Adriana

Clare said...

Excellent story, Nick. Great first attempt at paranormal. I love how the lone wolf does the right thing and stands up to the alpha to defend the deer. :D

Nick Wilford said...

Julie - Thanks! I'm just glad it didn't seem ridiculous. :) Sometimes we have to go our own way.

Annalisa - Glad you liked it! No worries - hopefully I'll get the chance to check out some of your tour posts!

Got your email - wow! Thanks! :D

Heather - Thanks! I'm trying to try out different things at the moment. :) Glad you liked it!

Elena - I've sorted out the list problem... thanks for entering! I love haiku!

Kyra - No worries! I have a feeling there will be some great stuff!

Carolyn - Yes, it's phenomenal! Thanks for joining, I'm going to read as many as I can today.

Trisha - It can't have been easy! He was a veggie in human form, but it wasn't so easy as a wolf. :)

Alex - Thanks! Already read your entry. Wow, I can't believe I didn't know about some of those stories. So inspiring!

Jeff - Thank you!

Elana - Thanks again for the amazing support! Now I can't wait to read BOTH your entries. :)

Clare - I think werewolves are the ultimate expression of the "pack mentality", so it took some courage. Glad you liked it!

L.G. Smith said...

Wow, you went with werewolves! This was cool. Sort of reminded me of Being Human and the vampire guy trying to live without human blood, but always being drawn back in. Nice.

And you've got a LOT of reading to do today, my friend. Enjoy. It was a great challenge. :)

michelle said...

What a fantastic turnout Nick!
Thank you for hosting this awesome hop.

I love the idea of a peaceful, vegetarian lone wolf...
For a paranormal first-timer, you did great!

Al Diaz said...

I liked your story very much, Nick. And I absolutely loved this bloghop. It was a great idea. Best of lucks with that anthology. :D

Melissa said...

Love your entry! Good luck with the anthology. Let me know when it's available and I'll help promote it. :)

J.L. Campbell said...

I like it. The emotions were well done and all of this in 500 words.

J. A. Bennett said...

A vegetarian Werewolf, I like the idea! Great story :)

Julie Dao said...

I love it! And great blogfest - I'm seeing lots and lots of participants all over today!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Super Nick, you have hooked me big time. I liked this story a lot, you have used great sensory details.

Denise Covey said...

A unique take on paranormal Nick. Great bloghop.

Louise Bates said...

A vegetarian werewolf - love it! Talk about some major hurdles to overcome there!

E.J. Wesley said...

Wonderful piece, Nick. I wasn't brave enough to tackle supernatural things in my OA story, so I just kind of went with a mood I was having the day I wrote it. :-)

You should definitely write more paranormal stuff, btw!

Here's the link to my contribution, and thanks for allowing me to help Andrew's cause in some small way. (And I truly hope that it does help.)

EJ

http://the-open-vein-ejwesley.blogspot.com/2013/02/just-in-time-overcoming-adversity.html

Yolanda Renee said...

Nick, as usual I'm last, but so happy to participate.

Your piece is awesome, good luck with your blog hop!

Hart Johnson said...

Oh to be cast out. Poor werewolf! Very nice piece!

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

This is a great blogfest. I'm loving everyone's stories. Best of luck :) I'll be thinking about your son and your journey.

ilima said...

Great fiction piece, Nick...standing up for something you believe in with a paranormal twist. I love it. :) Thanks for the great bloghop.

DL Hammons said...

That's a great story, Nick! Way to set the bar high!! :)

Thank you for hosting such an awesome blog-hop! It cam at just the right time for me. :)

VikLit said...

Really great story. I missed taking part in this, and I'm sorry because what a great bloghop. I really wish you the best of luck raising funds.

Shell Flower said...

Great story, Nick. That is awesome it is your first paranormal 'cuz you "killed it" in a good way :) Thanks for hosting this fun hop. Good luck with the fundraising.

Mark Noce said...

Great post:) I know it sounds odd, but parts of it remind me of Jack London, very cool:)

Nick Wilford said...

Luanne - Thanks! Yeah, kind of like Being Human. Actually I came up with this idea at short notice - I was originally going to write about ants, because that's Andrew's mascot, but it was a bit too much like the movie, um, Antz. :)

I'm loving the entries! Some very emotional stuff!

Michelle - Thanks! I like the idea of a lone wolf - just took it a bit further...

Al, Melissa - Thanks! I'm gunning for a release date of late Feb, so I'll need to get my act together.

Joy - Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the emotion.

Jen - Thanks. I hope it didn't seem too cheesy. :)

Julie - Thanks! I know, it's overwhelming - in a good way!

Rachna - Thanks, I appreciate your kind comment.

Denise - Thanks! I just might explore more of this genre (reading AND writing).

Louise - Thanks. Not an easy path to follow, lol.

Nick Wilford said...

EJ - Thanks! You never know I might do some more. Thanks for your support on your blog.

Yolanda - I hope there will be more to come, I've had email whispers to that effect! Thanks so much for joining on short notice!

Hart - Maybe he will find others like him. Thanks!

Rebecca - Thanks. It's appreciated!

Ilima - Thanks! Not really sure where it came from, but I went with the idea. :)

Don - Thank you! And your entry was incredibly moving. Thanks.

Vik - Don't worry! I appreciate your kind words. :)

Shell - Thanks! Ha, good to know I killed it. I would like to do some more now!

Mark - Wow, thanks! That's one author I haven't read. I'll have to fix that.

Nicole said...

Thanks for hosting this blogfest, Nick! I've seen some great entries, and enjoyed yours too. Well done!

Pk Hrezo said...

Loved your wold story! Love wolves! Hope you get lots of great entries for Andrew. So far, so good, I'd say! :D

meradeth said...

Totally awesome entry! Loved it and wish there were more! Thanks for hosting this, too, it's been really fun.

Cynthia said...

I like how the wolf stood up for what he believed in, even if it meant that he would separate himself from the pack for doing so. Not many wolves, even people, could always do that. Thanks for sharing your story, and for hosting this blogfest.

Tamara said...

Loved this piece. Really unique and very well done. Great job on this!!

Christine Rains said...

Awesome story! I love the twist to the protagonist's abilities. Thank you for hosting this amazing bloghop. So many wonderful stories out there today.

Carrie Butler said...

That was fantastic, Nick! You really did a wonderful job on it. :)

P.S. Good luck with the bloghop today!

M Pax said...

Neat that the werewolf had a special ability among werewolves. Really neat idea. I'm happy to be involved in your hop today.

Elsie The Writer said...

I'm really enjoying being a part of your blogfest and I love your story. I like how you took a unique perspective on being a werewolf - what a great idea!

Best of luck with your hop today.

kmckendry said...

I love the idea of a vegetarian werewolf! Great piece.

The Golden Eagle said...

Great to see the character rebelling and following what he thinks is right.

Thank you for hosting the bloghop!

Leigh Covington said...

This is excellent! I love it!
I will have mine posted tomorrow :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great story Nick! I loved the idea of a vegetarian wolf going his own!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've read some really amazing stories today, Nick.

Melissa Bradley said...

Really powerful fest and I'm happy I was able to sign up at the last. I wish you tons of success with this project and if there's anything else I can do, writing letters, etc. please feel free to email me at melbwrites@gmail.com Andrew is a bright spirit this planet is the richer for having and with such determination, he'll make it to the stars.

Ella said...

Great stuff Nick, I want to read more! I mainly write poetry...but let me know when I can buy the book I can contribute, in this way!
What a great cause :D
If you want a poem...let me know I would be happy to help! :D
ATB and I so hope Andrew loves college~

Lisa Regan said...

*shivers* I felt like I was right THERE! Wow, that was excellent! All the posts I've read have been so incredible! Can't wait to purchase the anthology!

Michael Pierce said...

Such a powerful piece of flash fiction! It's hard to stand up for what you believe in and usually a lonely road. I hope the anthology sells a million copies for your son! :)

Elise Fallson said...

Awesome flash fiction! You definitely have a flair for the paranormal, (; This is going to be a great anthology, can't wait to get my copy and I hope it helps get Andrew what he needs! (:

Nick Wilford said...

Nicole - Thanks! There are some incredible entries - I'm an emotional wreck. I enjoyed yours too. :)

Pk - Thanks! Never written about wolves before but it was fun. I've been humbled by the amazing response to the fest!

Meradeth - Thanks! It might be fun to write more...

Cynthia - No, not an easy thing to do at all, a lot of people would rather go with the flow. Glad you enjoyed it!

Tamara - Thanks! :)

Christine - Thanks! I did hope you would like it. :) There are some awe-inspiring entries.

Carrie - Thanks. It's going better than I ever imagined!

Mary - He was one of a kind but maybe he will find others the same. Thanks!

Elsie - Thank you! Thanks for taking part too.

Kathy - Thanks! Glad it didn't appear too ridiculous. :)

Nick Wilford said...

Golden - Thanks. A good example, I hope!

Leigh - Thanks! I'll get to it soon. :)

Tyrean - Thanks!

L. Diane - Too right. I'm staggered by some of the stories people have had to tell out there.

Melissa - Thanks very much for your kind hearted comment and your offer of help. We couldn't do this whole campaign without people like you!

Ella - Stay tuned for the release date. Thanks for your offer. I've emailed you! A poem would be awesome. :)

Lisa - Thanks! Glad it had such an effect. It's going to be one heck of a book - hugely inspiring.

Michael - You're right. It would be very much easier for us to put Andrew into the little class they wanted, but we would be failing him and couldn't live with ourselves. Luckily, we have made contact with other parents who have had mixed experiences and we don't feel so alone!

Elise - Thanks! Might well do more paranormal. I really hope the anthology will be a help for us, there are certainly some amazing stories.

Sally said...

A really great story, having the courage to stand up for what you believe in knowing it means leaving the comforts you know. Thank you for re-opening the linky list which meant I could get my entry in.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

That was great, Nick. And this was your first paranormal. I've tried writing it and it sounded nothing like yours (and I don't mean the voice). No wonder I quit writing paranormal. You had better not. :)

Jackie said...

This was your first paranormal writing?!?! Wowzers, Nick!
Such an amazing excerpt. This is something you need to keep doing!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick ... there's a good selection of stories out there - the anthology will be excellent.

I loved the thought of your escape - leading that independent life .. oh dear I hate dependency! Sometimes it's necessary - but being oneself is so important ...

I'm off to read some of the other entries ... cheers Hilary

David P. King said...

That was masterful, Nick! Sorry I'm late for the hop, but I'm glad I started here. Well done, sir! :)

Julie Flanders said...

I loved this excerpt! I love paranormal stories and never would have guessed this was your first time writing in the genre. Excellent read.

I didn't get to participate in this fest but it's been wonderful to read the entries. Very inspiring! I hope the anthology is a big success. Best wishes to your stepson. :)

Ella said...

Hi Nick,
Sorry, I am late~ I too want to send wishes, for Andrew's dream!
What a wonderful cause, so hope this happens :D ATB

I have to do an errand, but will be back to read all the wonderful offerings!

Tara Tyler said...

so touching! what a brave & humble wolf! good for him, living on his own terms. a great example!

Kittie Howard said...

Nick, I'm hanging my head here as I completely dropped the ball. I had your blog hop listed for March and deeply apologize. However, if you don't have enough entries, I'll be most happy to send you something to consider using. Please let me know. Again, my apologies!

Krista McLaughlin said...

I love how the wolf makes a good choice and stands for what is right. :)

Thanks for hosting this blogfest! Andrew has a great dad. :)

Damyanti said...

This is wonderful, Nick. And thanks for hosting.

Mina Burrows said...

Nick, I want to let you know I wrote the post and then screwed up and wrote more about myself when it was supposed to be a story. That's why I didn't post it.

I'm sorry. :(

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Nick, that was great!

Linda H. said...

Oh, darn. I've come to the part too late. I would have loved to be a part of this and to share this info with my writer friends.

Great story you've written. And I liked E.J. Wesley's as well. I hope to hop around to some others.

I wish you luck with your fundraising effort.