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Thread: Writing Cntest #88 - FEAR

  1. #1
    Lincoln faked his death...there, I said it. [SUPPORTER]
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    Writing Cntest #88 - FEAR

    In this contest, you'll write a story involving Fear ( It can be interpreted any way, so fear of spiders or fear of the unknown or fear of rejection or fear of rampaging homicidal monsters whatever... )

    As usual, the rules are:

    *Nothing sexual in nature (romantic love scene is ok, but nothing graphic)

    *Nothing Political

    *5 Page Script

    * No published/franchise characters that you haven't created and own the rights to

    * The winner of this contest gets to choose the topic of the next contest

    DEADLINE:Tuesday, June 4th

  2. #2
    Member Zepster's Avatar
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    Warning - I was stuck in a hotel with a bottle of wine and a laptop when I wrote this. So be gentle!


    Notes for the artist ( spoilers! )

    There is more than one version of what happens with the second coming/Armageddon etc.. So apologies to anyone I offend by getting it wrong in advance. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story…

    The Rapture has happened – by which I mean that those judged worthy have been taken off to be with God. Those that remain are in the “millennium” – which is basically a thousand years of “peace” before the devil finally gets put to bed.
    The “Peace” however is enforced by means of an Angelic Police state, with the Earth broken down into regions given over to various angelic entities to rule.

    By definition, anyone left on Earth was not fully worthy to be with God and hence are viewed with contempt by their angelic overlords.
    For the sake of variety this particular story is set in what was once known as the United Kingdom, London.

    Our Agents of the Lord ( armoured human storm troopers ) wear full armour combining an angelic/fascist theme. And most importantly wear a full helmet that conceals their features completely. We’ve got guns, but a preponderance for swords would not go amiss.

    Capitalism is somewhat dead - So while people still need to survive - luxuries are out. very drab/simple clothing and cheap ass furniture....

    Page 1

    Panel 1

    An armoured boot is kicking in a flimsy tenement door. The wood splintering easily.


    Panel 2

    We see armoured storm troopers of the Angelic Guard bursting into a cheap apartment. A young black woman in the apartment is running towards a crib while her partner is being smacked down by one of the storm troopers ( Captain Allison – so we need something distinctive about his armour to highlight his rank ).

    Woman(burst): No!

    Man: Ugh

    SFX( on the smackdown): Thud

    Panel 3

    The woman cowers, sheltering her baby, as two storm troopers take up station by the apartment door. Captain Allison is advancing on the woman.

    Woman: Not my baby. Please not my baby.

    Captain Allison: It’s too late for that now. If you’d registered the birth this could have waited a few more years.

    Panel 4

    All of the storm troopers are kneeling as the Angel Asendis materialises in the room. Asendis is a figure of blinding light and quite indistinct. The woman is shielding her eyes.

    Asendis: Amy Curtis you sought to keep your child from Communion.

    Woman(small): No no no no not my baby.

    Panel 5

    Asendis looms over the woman, she is being blinded by the light.

    Asendis: The Rapture is past woman and while the unworthy may be exempt. The innocent are not.

    Panel 6

    The glowing hand of Asendis is gently laid upon the baby’s head. The baby’s eyes are glowing with angelic light.

    Asendis. Free will has served its purpose. Now it is time for your child’s soul to Commune in service to Lord Uriel.

    Page 2

    Panel 1

    Some time has past, Asendis has gone and the Storm troopers are leaving. The woman and her battered partner are huddled on the floor over the baby. The baby’s eyes are still glowing.

    Captain Allison is waiting by the door as the others leave, watching the couple.

    Panel 2

    We’re inside Captain Allison’s helmet and can see his expression is one of sadness and remorse as he watches them. He is a haggard/tired looking man, haunted by what he does and what he has become.

    Panel 3

    Captain Allison is handing the woman’s partner a card. The partner is surprised, the woman resentful. If we can see the child, it is perfectly happy but still has glowing eyes.

    Captain Allison: Here. This is a number for a carpenter. He’ll fix your door. No charge.

    Panel 4

    Allison is emerging from the apartment to be confronted by a very pretty man in a suit. The man is unsmiling and looks the perfect image of corporate evil.

    Man: Your compassion speaks well of you Captain.

    Allison: My Lord!

    Man: Do you have doubts Captain?

    Panel 5

    Captain Allison kneels quivering before the unrelenting stare of disapproval he is getting.

    Allison: Of course my Lord. I was judged unworthy to ascend with the faithful because of my doubt.

    Man: I meant Communion. Do you doubt the Lord Uriel’s will in this matter?

    Panel 6

    Captain Allison is kneeling even lower before the man, the man almost disinterested is turning away.

    Captain Allison: Lord Uriel has been given dominion. I can doubt nothing.

    Man: Well spoken. It is a shame not all of his brothers have your “faith” Captain. The day draws near when the accounting of the new faithful will be done. Then they will rue his wisdom.

    Man: With that in mind we need to speak about accelerating the schedule.

    Panel 7

    We’re inside Allison’s helmet again, surprise and hope on his features as what was said settles in.

    Allison(small): not all?

    Allison: Of course my Lord.

    Page 3

    Panel 1

    Captain Allison in civvies in entering a small apartment, his body language is furtive.

    Allison(small): It's me.

    Panel 2

    A small girl rushes towards Allison arms wide and a big smile. A worried woman, Allison’s wife is watching with a small smile.

    Girl(burst): Daddy!!!!

    Allison: Louisa!

    Panel 3

    Allison is gently directing the little girl to her toys while giving his wife a worried glance. His wife is shocked.

    Allison: Now you play there for a few minutes while Mammy and Daddy talk.

    Allison: Asendis is moving up the schedule.

    Panel 4

    Captain Allison is holding his wife explaining as she instinctively moves towards their daughter. His wife is very distraught.

    Wife: You told me we had time. Time to find somewhere to take her. Time before…

    Allison: We have somewhere to take her now. Not all of the The Arch lords practise Communion.

    Wife: What?

    Panel 5

    He is reassuring his wife, the little girl plays behind them.

    Allison: It’s true. Not all of them do it. Asendis let it slip today.

    Wife: Then why do it at all?

    Panel 6

    He looks tired and worried again, but still has hope. His wife feeling the hope too.

    Allison: The more “faithful” they deliver up on the big day the more favour they win and Uriel wants to be top.

    Wife: And they accuse us of sin while they’re all jealous of each other.

    Allison: That works in our favour. It means the others will accept us if we move to their territory because it will boost their numbers and hit Uriel’s.

    Page 4

    Panel 1

    Storm troopers umm storming into a warehouse. Lots of surprised workers reaching for weapons. Crates of "luxuries" are open in the warehouse ( Think WW2 Blitz style luxuries - so Tea, Tights, Cigarettes, Chocolate, Booze... )

    Storm Trooper(burst): Halt in the name of Lord Uriel.

    Worker(burst): Angelic Guard!

    Worker2: Get them!

    Panel 2

    Lots of violence, but the Angelic Guard are clearly on top as they slaughter the workers.

    Panel 3

    Captain Allison stands in the aftermath of the battle, dead bodies and Angelic Guard leading captured workers away. A man in civvies stands beside him with a smug look on his face. They're speaking for the crowd.

    Allison: Excellent work Mr Mortimer. Your inside information has helped us put these smugglers out of business.

    Mortimer: Another step on the road to redemption sir. Happy to help.

    Panel 4

    The two are exchanging envelopes furtively in the now empty warehouse.

    Allison: Help put your main rivals out of business you mean.

    Mortimer: Speaking of business. Your new identity papers Mr Murphy.

    Allison: And here is the Thames river and estuary patrol schedule. It should be good for another three months but we need to leave as soon as we can.

    Panel 5

    Mortimer is leaving, envelope tucked in under his arm.

    Mortimer: Tonight. Pier 6. Don’t be late.

    Page 5

    Panel 1

    Allison in civvies opening the door to the apartment again.

    Allison: Sorry I’m late I…

    Panel 2

    He looks in horror at the apartment, it’s been thrashed but Louisa is sitting in the middle of the floor with her back to him.

    Allison: Louisa? Louisa where’s Mammy?

    Panel 3

    Allison has swept Louisa up and is holding her over his shoulder, he looks fraught as he tries to work out what happened.

    Louisa: Men came and took her.

    Allison: Took her? Took her where? Oh God was it bad men?

    Panel 4

    Allison is now holding Louisa so he can see her face and his expression is one of utter horror. Her eyes are glowing like the baby’s.

    Louisa: Oh no Daddy, they were good men. Mammy was the bad one. She wasn’t good like you. She tried to stop them.

    Allison(small): No.

    Panel 5

    Allison stands facing us, his face one of horror and despair. Louisa is snuggling into his shoulder.

    Louisa: She didn’t love Lord Uriel like we do Daddy. I’m so happy you love Lord Uriel.

    Allison: Yes Louisa. Me too.
    Last edited by Zepster; 05-28-2013 at 09:50 AM.

  3. #3
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    Good to see someone putting a script up - I'm on idea #15 and still nothing...

  4. #4
    I'll have mine up in a little bit, Christo. Also critique to come on Zepsters.

  5. #5

    Facing fear

    Been absent from these contests for a bit, but glad to be back at it. Here's my take on the FEAR theme, a slight rewrite on my original entry for the cliche theme, which I never was able to finish. No prologue needed for it, hope you like it! C&C welcome.



    PANEL 1
    An extreme close up of a man’s face, we can only make out his eye, the pale skin around it and a massive spider crawling across his unblinking eye. This isn’t any kind of fancy-dancy, furry spider, just your run of the mill creepy crawler.


    PANEL 2
    We have pulled out to reveal the owner of the eye – DENNIS CRAY is in his mid-30’s, 6’5, lanky and the unfortunate spawn of inbreeding. His eyes are too close together and his cleft lip exposes his rotting teeth. Imagine Sloth from the Goonies if he wasn’t so pretty. He sits in a chair, one hand loosely gripping in axe. The peeling walls in the decrepit old house have the same phrase written over and over in marker, paint and blood, “I AM NOT AFRAID”.

    Weak people cling to it...

    DENNIS (muttering/ light)
    I’m not afraid… I’m not afraid… I’m not afraid…

    PANEL 3
    We are inside a late 90's Volvo station wagon being driven by HARDY, a 16 year old African American nerd with thick black rim glasses. In the passenger seat next to him is the beanpole GOAT, another 16 year old high school student with a shaggy "goat" beard and a nasty case of acne rosacea. Hardy and Goat frame WHEEZ in the backseat. Wheez is a 15 year old, heavy-set nerd who's asthma earned him his unfortunate nickname.

    Do we even know there are going to be girls at this party?

    It's a sorority party, Wheez - girls are implied. And according to their twitter feed they are without booze for their rager tonight.

    PANEL 4
    The Volvo has stopped in front of an old, seemingly abandoned house. The Volvo’s headlights illuminate the rotting wood. HARDY and GOAT step out of the car, while WHEEZ stays inside, afraid to get out.

    There’s no way this place has booze! Lookatit, it’s dump!

    My grandpa said they used to do all kind of moonshining here in the twenties.
    He said the cops never seized all the rotgut.

    PANEL 5
    Full frame shot of DENNIS, having sat up straight and looked off in the direction of the voices. He clutches the axe to his chest. He looks like he is building up his courage for something. Some of the light from the Volvo’s headlights shines through the slats in the boarded up window.

    HARDY (off/ no tail)
    Will you get out of the car, Wheez!

    I’m not afraid!


    PANEL 1
    We have a high, wide shot of the foyer as the boys break off to search the house. HARDY heads up some creaky stairs, GOAT ventures into another room while WHEEZ opens a door to the basement stairwell. Each boy has a flashlight, which is, for the most part, our main source of light in the boarded up house.

    I’ll check upstairs, Goat you take the kitchen and Wheez, take the basement.

    Aww man, why do I gotta check the basement?
    Everybody knows the creepy stuff is in the basement.

    PANEL 2
    GOAT has wandered into the kitchen. The windows have been boarded up and there are mountains of debris, cans, bottles and the like, some of it is fairly new. There are also small wooden kegs, most likely filled with illicit liquor.

    Whoa, I think people still live here!

    PANEL 3
    DENNIS has appeared behind GOAT and brought his axe down onto the boy’s head. GOAT’s head splits open in a spray of blood.


    PANEL 4
    WHEEZ is at the base of the stairs leading in to the basement. He lights a lantern hanging from the ceiling.

    I can’t believe I’m missing Game of Thrones for this!

    PANEL 5
    Angle behind HARDY who has wandered into the master bedroom and shined his flashlight onto a metal box spring leaning on the wall. Chained to the box spring is MOMMA CRAY. She’s a mess. Her legs have been amputated and she is six months pregnant. She wears a tattered nightie. Her skin has nearly rubbed off where the chains restrict her. This is the not the kind of woman Hardy intended to meet tonight.

    What the –

    PANEL 6
    We are now facing HARDY; behind him DENNIS has swung the axe into HARDY’s midsection. The axe has burrowed up to the boy’s belly button. HARDY looks stunned while DENNIS just looks determined.

    You don’t touch my Momma!
    Cuz I’m not afraid!

    PANEL 7
    WHEEZ’s face fills the panel. He looks shocked.

    There’s so much dust and—
    Oh my O.M.G!


    PANEL 1
    Wide shot of the basement, which boasts two massive copper whiskey sills and strewn everywhere are several small wooden barrels of booze. WHEEZ is in awe.

    This is more booze than Charlie Sheen drinks on a Friday night!

    PANEL 2
    DENNIS is behind WHEEZ, the axe, held with both hands, is up over his shoulder, ready to be swung straight into WHEEZ’s tubby middle. WHEEZ is unaware, and more concerned about all the dust, which is about to make him sneeze.

    All this dust – is making me – ah- ah

    PANEL 3
    Same framing as the previous panel. WHEEZ has sneezed, forcing his head down in the process, thereby missing DENNIS’ axe blade, which swung over his head and into the copper whisky still. Whiskey sprays out of the sill and all over the mutant inbred jerk.


    PANEL 4
    Another two shot, this time with the angle on the two men facing each other. WHEEZ has spun around in horror as DENNIS has let go of the axe, still lodged in the copper still.


    I’m not afraid!

    PANEL 5
    DENNIS has grabbed WHEEZ by the throat and begins to squeeze. WHEEZ tries to pry the big mutant’s fingers off with one hand and uses the other to reach for something in his jacket pocket.

    Let me go!
    Want a Baby Ruth?

    You broke da machine! You broke it an’ now –

    PANEL 6
    Two shot, medium angle, DENNIS looking over his shoulder, past us, toward upstairs. Still in DENNIS’ grip is WHEEZ, also looking off panel.


    Papa is home!


    PANEL 1
    WHEEZ is on the ground, where DENNIS dropped him, and the fat boy watches the mutant in awe, unaware he is in a rising pool of whiskey from the sill. DENNIS looks terrified by the noise upstairs, which has grown louder.


    Now I’m afraid…

    PANEL 2
    Descending the stairs into the basement, fully in frame, is PAPA CRAY. If you imagined DENNIS as disgusting, double it for PAPA. PAPA’s nose was long since hacked off, leaving only a bony stump. He wears a workman’s overalls mostly covered in dried blood. PAPA is his son’s size but far more muscular and imposing.

    You betta get scured, boy! You due fo’ some atoning!

    PANEL 3
    WHEEZ scampers up to the side of the copper sill, the axe still lodged in its side. DENNIS has back peddled a few steps, he points at WHEEZ in horror.

    It was him that done broke yo’ machine, Papa!

    PANEL 4
    PAPA hits DENNIS in the jaw, hard enough to break the jaw of a lesser men. But this is a mutant freak whose steady diet these past 30 years has been roadkill and pain. Still, we see a few yellow teeth issue from DENNIS’ mouth.

    First you too good to give ya Mama a child an’ now –
    Now you done broke my sill?!

    PANEL 5
    We are in DENNIS’ POV as PAPA stumbles toward us, clutching his back in pain. The axe has been lodged in his back and we can see the handle sticking out. Behind him WHEEZ looks white as a sheet and sick to his stomach.

    First we gonna roast up tis here child fo’ suppa and den –

    PANEL 6
    Tight on DENNIS’ face, contorted in rage, it’s the most horrible thing we have ever seen. For DENNIS his Pa represented life, death, authority, everything. His God was just killed in front of him.

    You killed my Pa?!?
    Dat was a mistake…


    PANEL 1
    We are positioned behind DENNIS as he dives for WHEEZ, his hands outstretched, ready to grasp anything he can. WHEEZ dives out of the way with the catlike reflexes of a kid who was always left last in dodgeball and was no stranger to people throwing things at him. The whiskey from the ruptured sill is now knee deep.


    PANEL 2
    We’ve swapped angles to a profile view so we can see both WHEEZ, backpedaling toward the staircase, and DENNIS pursuing him. DENNIS’ hands are outstretched and he has the body posture of a wrestler.

    I thought you were scared of him?!

    I’m more scared now… and mad!

    PANEL 3
    Insert panel of WHEEZ’s hand accidently knocking over the hanging lantern by the base of the stairs.

    PANEL 4
    DENNIS, knee deep in high proof alcohol, is engulfed in flame from the lantern. He throws his hands back in agony. It’s a horrible moment, a fiery end to a despicable life.

    Naww -- ARRRGGGHHH

    PANEL 5
    WHEEZ is on the stairwell, kicking his way upstairs, a few flames are flickering out at the bottom of this pants, scary but not serious.


    PANEL 6
    Long, wide shot of the old shuttered house, engulfed in flames. It doesn’t need to be too big a panel, just enough to show us that this house of horrors is gone. The Volvo is no longer in front of the house.

    And so that night I faced my greatest fear…

    PANEL 7
    We are stationed behind WHEEZ, his clothes covered in soot and the bottoms of his pants burned away. Under either arm he holds the wooden kegs of booze GOAT saw in the kitchen. WHEEZ looks out on the three-dozen sorority sisters of Alpha Phi, each one more beautiful than the next and all dressed in various forms of slutty pajama, fitting the party’s theme. They all respond to WHEEZ in confusion and sly interest. Here are the proverbial 40 virgins laid out for the martyr… who are we kidding, none of them are virgins.


  6. #6
    @ Zepster, Communion.

    I had a little trouble getting into this one. On some level I feel like there was more story in here than five pages could tell. I really like the concept and the world, but I'm not sure it would all track to the reader without that preamble. I think you would need to work that information in for things to track, which I know is difficult to do in five pages. The strength is the idea and that I really feel for the main character, especially in the end when his daughter appears to have been converted. Also seemed well written. Nothing stood out to me as weak in the mechanics and format of it. Just a lot of story and backstory in such a short period of time.

  7. #7
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    OK, looks like the 16th idea was the one...

    Will be putting up "Fear not my Love" tonite before the deadline, just need to go over all the dialogue...

  8. #8
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    And here's mine...

    Might have gone talking-head-panel-crazy for a panels here and there... And the Fear aspect was perhaps better shown before rewriting the beginning and end...

    Fear not my love…


    An old woman is arrested, seemingly for kidnapping of a young boy. During her statement to the police, she lets it slip that she did it “for his own good”… Seems she has also been married and widowed many times… And she keeps on talking about her school days friend – who died 60 years ago… In the end it is revealed that her friend was turned into a vampire. And they’ve been looking after each other all these years… But now that she’s been captured, what is going to happen to them? And her?


    Mostly the inside of a Police interrogation room, with a 2-way mirror on the one side. The outside and inside of her small suburban home in flashbacks. Then to the police cells where she is locked up until her trial.

    CHARACTERS (in order of appearance):

    The Old Woman – 70-something woman, widowed. Greying hair. Wrinkled, but still a trace of her youthful beauty is seen when she smiles. Wearing a flower patterned top and jeans.

    Police/SWAT team – Cops in bulletproof jackets and SWAT team with helmets as well. Cops have handguns, and SWATers have submachine guns – Heckler & Koch MP-5?

    Detectives – nothing messages good cop / bad cop like a fat slob detective and his rookie partner… Think Bullock from the old Batman comics for fatslob. And his rookie partner is a woman called Jada - African-American female, late 20’s/early 30’s. Short hair and mix of African fashion sense over modern professional office-type clothing.

    The lawyer – greased back hair, dressed in a dark suit & tie with brown overcoat. Also carries a briefcase – black.

    Karl – 12 year old kid by day, immortal vampire by night. Blond hair, blue eyes and pale skin – an innocent camouflage for what lies beneath… He goes out after dark and feeds on the criminals. Wearing Jeans and a black T-shirt. (Born in 1941, so he grew up with Pulp super-heroes. These influences will be seen in the clothes he wears?)
    Page 1 (8 Panels) 4 stacked panels of a woman in an interrogation room – and we slowly zoom out until we see the cops behind the two-way mirror discussing her. Next to these 4 zoom-out panels are flashback panels showing the Police/SWAT team raid that bought her here…

    1. Close-up of an older woman (as per character sheet) – she is sitting at a table (which will only be visible next panel) - she is locked up in an interrogation room. Her hands are in front of her – she’s got them clasped together in a sort of hand-wringing gesture, not really a prayer. Her hands should be wrinkled, to emphasise her advanced years. And no wedding ring, to show that she’s not married (anymore)... Light is coming from fluorescent tubes on the ceiling, so deep shadows on her face as well.

    Speech balloon - Bullock (off-page):

    It’s always the normal looking ones, isn’t it?

    2. Cop flashback panel – different border and colouring. Panel shows the outside of a smallish suburban house looking pretty normal, if not for the Police/SWAT teams next to their cars in front of the house! Cops and SWATers are moving towards the house, weapons ready… No fence around the house, open from the sidewalk.

    Caption - Bullock:

    She’s a widow, no kids.

    3. Pulling back a bit, we now see that the woman is sitting on a chair at a plain wood/steel table, her hands now dropped onto the table, still held together. The walls are drab gray, and parts of a window frame high up on the wall is visible – bars in front of it.

    Speech balloon - Bullock (off-page):

    Someone called 911 after the most recent kidnapping...

    4. Another cop flashback panel – then inside – view from inside the door, which has been broken open and is lying half off its hinges to the right side of the panel. 2 SWATers on each side of the door, and the rest still outside.

    Caption - Bullock:

    … The judge thought their case was strong enough for a warrant.

    5. Back to the Old Woman – we now see the whole room, 2 barred windows included. There is an empty seat next to her, and 2 empty seats on the other side of the table.

    Speech balloon - Bullock (off-page):

    They found the kid in the basement.

    6. Another cop flashback panel – view from the top of the stairs down to the basement, with a cop/SWAT team about halfway down to the basement. He’s got his gun with him, and is holding onto the the railing with the other hand. His upper torso is halfway turned back toward us, mouth open as he’s calling out to the rest of the team upstairs.

    Caption - Bullock:

    Pale, as if he’s been locked away for years.

    7. And we’ve pulled out of the interrogation room - onto the other side of the one-way mirror, seeing the Old Woman on the other side. She is looking to the left side of the panel, where the door is. But the door is not shown, but everyone will enter and exit from it over the next page. And on each side of the mirror, in this adjacent room, we have a figure. On the left is Jada, the right is Bullock.

    Speech balloon - Bullock (off-page):

    And the kid’s fingerprints were unlisted.

    8. Last cop flashback panel – low shot from the side, showing the stairs going down. 2 CSI cops are on the ground, collecting evidence. Marker flags have been put on the floor and wall where they found something. Flags are marked as well – and one number that should be pretty visible is a 12 on one of the flags…

    Caption - Bullock:

    And they found traces of blood in there as well – so far at least a dozen different DNA samples…

    Caption - Jada:
    OK, Lawyer’s here, let’s go in…
    Page 2 (6 Panels)

    1. This panel can be a more or less the same POV as the last one we saw of the interrogation room. The old woman is still sitting, her lawyer (as per character description) is standing next to her. The detectives are standing in the same positions as in Page 1 Panel 7, but just inside the room, next to the table. The door is on the left side of the 2-way mirror.

    Speech balloon - Lawyer:

    Detectives, so kind of you to join us…

    2. Same panel as before, they are all just now seated, lawyer next to Old Woman, and detectives across from them.

    Speech balloon - Lawyer:

    I just want to remind my client that she is under no obligation to say anything, incriminating or otherwise.

    3. Let’s change the POV a bit, view from left (door) side of the panel. So on the left we’ll have the Lawyer, and behind him the old woman. On the right are the Detectives.

    Speech balloon - Bullock:

    The charges are kidnapping, assault, attempted murder--

    Speech balloon - Jada:

    Why did you do take him?

    4. Back to the POV from behind the detectives – to show the old woman’s reaction. Her lawyer is holding his hand.arm towards her, as he talks to her.

    Speech balloon - Lawyer:

    You don’t have to answer that…

    Speech balloon - Old Woman:

    It wasn’t like that… I was protecting Karl--

    Speech balloon - Bullock:

    --and possibly more than a dozen murder charges.

    5. Close-up on the old woman - she seems surprised

    Speech balloon - Bullock:

    Didn’t think we would find the blood?

    Speech balloon - Old Woman:

    Oh no…

    6. Another 180 Rule bend – our POV is now on Bullock, and we can see his stained shirt and tie, greasy forehead, unshaven stubble covering his multiple chins…

    Speech balloon - Bullock:

    Evidence does not lie…

    Linked speech balloon - Bullock:

    At least a dozen people have been killed in that basement. And you are going to tell us…

    Linked speech balloon - Bullock:


    Page 3 (5 Panels)

    1. Focus back on the Old Woman as she clams up again – has her arms folded across her chest.

    Speech balloon - Old Woman:

    Where have you taken him?

    Speech balloon - Jada:

    Where you’ll never be able to get him – Child Protective Services has him…

    2. Panel showing Bullock and Jada again, Bullock still on the left, Jada on the right. Bullock has hands on the table, while Jada has her arms crossed as well, just like the Old Woman. Time for them to start playing good cop/bad cop…

    Speech balloon - Bullock:

    Getting a conviction will be easy with all the evidence we have. And the testimony of the boy.

    Speech balloon - Jada:

    Do you know what the other women are going to do to you when you’re locked up with them…

    Linked speech balloon - Bullock:

    For men it’s bad--

    3. More or less same panel as before, just arm/hand positions that has changed – Bullock’s in pointed at her & Jada’s is on the table now.

    Speech balloon - Bullock:

    --but it’s worse for women. Child-related crime brings out even a convict's maternal instinct.

    Speech balloon - Jada:

    But not to worry - tomorrow we’ll get a psych to evaluate you – might be going to the loony bin instead…

    Speech balloon - Lawyer (off-page):

    Detectives! Enough of this Good Cop/Bad Co--

    4. Focus on Jada or this panel [got to keep things interesting!]

    Speech balloon - Jada:

    We’ve had enough! Take her to the cells.

    5. Biggish panel for a change of scenery – Jada and Bullock are sitting at their desks, both the desks and the characters are facing each other... Bullock on the left and Jada on the right. So view from the side, from about ceiling level, so we can show some pics and reports on their desks. Bullock’s desk is of course messy, while Jada’s is neat and tidy. She has her cellphone in her right hand, and it is lit up.

    Speech balloon - Bullock:

    Just what kind of sick game is she up to?

    Speech balloon - Jada:

    The only Karl on her file is her childhood friend that died 60 years ago.

    Speech balloon - Bullock:

    She’s had a string of husbands, all died of "natural causes" and "accidents"...

    Speech balloon - Jada:

    So how does a black widow turn into a child molester/killer?

    SFX (Jada’s phone beeping)


    Speech balloon - Jada:

    Crud, CPS just lost the boy, he escaped from their care…

    Speech balloon - Bullock:

    Send out an APB with the identikit of the boy, he’s half our case!

    Page 4 (5 Panels)

    1. The Old Woman has been taken inside a police solitary cell, but with the doors/bars still open. View from outside the cell. She is looking at the reader. She still has the same clothes on.

    No lettering...

    2. More or less same panel, to show that she’s locked in with the door/bars closed – show her hands on the bars, as if the make sure this situation is real…

    No lettering...

    3. Now she finally breaks down and cries… She’s got her head in her hands, sitting on the edge of the metal and foam bed, there is a washbasin and window (barred of course) behind her. The window should have multiple horizontal panes of glass that can open - and should be slightly open. The SFX should be on the right side of the panel, next to the window.



    4. Zoom in on her as she looks up at the barred window and calls out to Karl… Side view of her looking up, some tears should be visible on her right check…

    Speech balloon - Old Woman:

    Karl… Is that you?

    5. This panel has the Old Woman moved towards the wall and is standing by the window, stretched out towards it…

    Speech balloon - Karl:

    Yes Nadja… Let me in…

    Speech balloon - Old Woman:

    Oh, yes of course, please come in…

    Speech balloon - Old Woman:

    I was so afraid something might have happened to you...

    Speech balloon - Karl:

    OK, stand back…

    Page 5 (6 Panels)

    1. Full tier panel. Cut view into the cell from the side, a cross-section through the wall (showing the bricks, cement, plastering and paint, as well as the window & bars) near the left side of the panel. Nadja is on the right, still in the cell. There is a giant bat-monster outside the bars, the top of which has turned into mist to go through the window/bars. And on the right, at kid-height level, his head, neck and upper arms/chest is forming. His body (outside the cell) and his head/neck (inside the cell) should be connected with fog/mist. So yeah, he’s a vamp, hence the reason for still looking the same.

    Speech balloon - Karl:

    Fear not my love…

    2. Same POV as previous panel, just zoomed in on them. Karl has now fully reverted back to his human form, and is now hugging Nadja. She is a bit taller than him of course…

    Speech balloon - Old Woman:

    Oh my darling…

    3. From his POV, with his arms still holding her by the middle, so his lower arm/wrist and part of his hands should be visible in this panel. I see this as a split panel as he sees her as both an old woman (on the left), as well as a 12 year old girl (on the right)…

    4. Change to side view – he’s on the left, she on the right. He still has her hands held out to her at hip-level, but she has crossed her arms and moved away from him… He feels something is bothering her…

    Speech balloon - Karl:

    What is wrong my love?

    Speech balloon - Old Woman:

    Whose blood did they find?

    5. Zoom in Karl again, he fills most of the panel. He’s changed somehow… A smile forms on his lips, his fangs subtly visible…

    Speech balloon - Old Woman (off-page burst):


    6. More or less same pose as before, just a bigger panel – have some wordage a’coming… And he laughs – his mouth open and his fangs now fully visible! He’s also raised his hands, now half-transformed into claws already!

    Speech balloon - Karl:

    I was wondering if you would ever catch on…

    Linked speech balloon - Karl:

    The blood from the slaughterhouse just didn’t do it for me anymore… You didn’t do it for me either.

    Linked speech balloon - Karl:

    I targeted the criminal element at first. But soon I developed a taste for younger blood.

    Linked speech balloon - Karl:

    But in your case, I’ll make an exception...

    THE END…
    So yeah, this is a riff on "Let the Right one in" movie, but with the characters grown up... Or at least the human character.

    But not really happy with the ending... This is the 3rd one I tried - the other was where she asked him to euthanize her... And another where he asks if she'll finally allow him to turn her...

    Hopefully my peer editors will be able to help me polish this up!
    Last edited by Chris2.0; 06-04-2013 at 03:41 PM.

  9. #9
    @ Chris 2.0, Fear Not My Love

    Nice story, reminds me of something I wrote for one of my first penciljack contests years ago. Even back then vampires were a little played out, which Cbikle pointed out. But I still like a good vampire yarn. I think the strength in yours is that you spend the time really building some sympathy for this old woman. That could be built up even more by giving her POV more. She has spent an entire lifetime helping this kid, though I guess she didn't help him with the murders, it's still a life in service. Her shock at the end would be magnified if we saw what she has put into the relationship.

    More thoughts below, sorry in advance for the amount, I had some free time to think on this one.

    Not sure I see the point in a synopsis that gives away the whole story in this context. I guess an artist might like to know the gist of the story but I don't know if there isn't a more exciting way to sell it. This feels more like a left over note for yourself from when you were brainstorming the idea.

    1.1 Wouldn't Bullock's caption be off panel, not off page? Since he appears later on this page.

    On page one I wouldn't intercut the old woman with the police raid only because she's not doing anything interesting and it interrupts the flow of the raid a bit. I think you could bookend with a panel of her at beginning and end if you really want to sell the whole 'it couldn't be this sweet old lady' thing. This will help you cut down on the panel count on this page as well.

    3.5 Why would a childhood friend be on her police file? Jada says she's black, first we've heard mention of it. I'd include that on the character description breakdown. A lot of balloons for one panel here too.

    I was a little confused who the kidnapping charge was for; they find Karl in the basement but he's 60 years old, so obviously he's not the one reported kidnapped. Unless someone saw her with the kid and assumed it? Or were the police looking for one of Karl's victim's and found him instead? Little murky on the details that led to the police discovering the boy. After reading the last panel I get that Karl was kidnapping kids but it could be clearer at the top who the cops were looking for. It was also a little bit of a stretch that this old woman wouldn't know or have a hint what Karl was up to.

    I think the ending falls a little flat because we haven't seen any interaction between Karl and the old woman, so his betrayal of her feels a little one note. If we had some glimpse of their relationship, perhaps when they were younger or even more current, to show how she cared for him at the end his manipulation will have more impact. Also I think you could cut down on the cops, they steal the attention of the story, which should be on Karl and this old lady.

  10. #10

    Second shot at writing contest...don't have a good title...

    Okay, a couple things to note: 1. caught on what happened with my formatting last time...I think. This time I wrote it in CELTX and reformatted in notepad. hope it helps...

    2. Caught on where I was going with this one sooner...liked the subject, must confess...but DEFINITELY my one-track mind spin on this entry...

    3. And worst of all...I am unsure I could get the full story needed in the allowed five pages...but I'll let y'all judge that....


    Central to this story is the design of the primary android--must be humanoid, but NOT human, featurless metallic face, but an expressive human-formed body, graceful and violent, but BELIEVABLE as a dangerous combat android. The universe, I must say, has some looks of the modern Star Trek: Tech miracles with believable basic concepts. BUT much grimmer, much more conversant with nightmares and horrors....

    So, here it is:

    Face to Face
    Page 1 (3 Panels)

    Panel 1

    diagonal/horizontal-lined; broken up like a
    static-filled tv display, we look up into bright lights
    and two very indistinct figures, obviously looking down at
    our pov.

    ...can you hear me, Major?

    ...uh, it was Captain when she got

    Caption: Fifth year of the War. Earth versus her own
    troops in the Outworlds...and Earth was low on

    Panel 2

    view same as Panel 1, except CLEARER; we can make
    out the two figures looking down on POV. We are in a
    future medical room/sickbay, and although the two medics
    are both human, one is obviously replaced with a large
    amount of cybernetic parts.

    MEDIC 1
    Captain Michaels, please respond if
    you can hear me...

    MEDIC 2
    ...yeah, that's good--vital scans
    say that she's loaded on....

    Caption: ...not raw materials, or manufactured goods
    like starships, or combat antigravity, or even

    Panel 3

    view same as Panel 2, except hyper-realistic, with
    a HUD overlay, giving the last name, first initial, rank
    and function} of the two MEDIC s in the room {'Smith, T.,
    CPL Reviv.' and 'Bau, M., CPL Reviv.'}; behind the two is
    a wealth of displays, several of them are showing the
    patient in the background, looking vaguely humaniform,
    but not quite human...

    MEDIC 1
    ...Captain Alberta Michaels, please

    Caption: ...but personnel. By the fifth year of the
    war, Earth had ran out of able-bodied men and women to
    run the weapons--

    Page 2 (4 Panels)

    Panel 1 (Large, covering a third to half of the page)

    Side view of a large futuristic med-bay in which a score
    of 'patients'--golden androids with neutered humanoid,
    although undeniably mechanical builds and golden masks are
    jacked into computer system cabling from their resting
    biers. EACH patient you see has a head-and-shoulders view
    holograph/photo on the corresponding table of a human
    being. In the foreground, one of them is sitting up quite
    rapidly, one of them is sitting up rapidly, quite
    alarmedly, although its simple face shows no expression.
    ALBERTA MICHAELS' holographic image is of a vivacious
    freckled redhead woman. MEDIC 1 and MEDIC 2 are hastily
    lunging back from the android, eyes on it as if on a
    large, venomous snake.

    --What the HELL!?!? What's going
    on here?!?

    MEDIC 1
    Captain Michaels, calm down for a
    sec, okay?

    Panel 2

    Closeup on MEDIC 2, looking closely at MICHAELS,
    as sweat breaks out on his forehead.

    MEDIC 2
    First of all, Captain, we regret to
    inform you that you were KIA over
    Avalon in a boarding op.

    What? Oh shit--I died?

    Panel 3

    A view over MEDIC 1's shoulder at primarily
    MICHAELS, as she begins to calm down; to one side, we can
    see MEDIC 2 reaching into his pocket to pull--something--

    MEDIC 1
    Yes, sadly, you died in action.
    But you can fight on--as a STM.

    Caption: ...a Sentient Transfer Mechanism. A clause in
    the enlistment form for the Terran Defense Force
    claims the (temporary) right to your body and mind...

    Panel 4

    primary view of MICHAELS from somewhat above MEDIC
    1 and MEDIC 2; on MICHAELS' forehead we can see a Hebrew
    letter inscribed (if possible, we see this in ALL of the
    other androids on the adjoining tables) MICHAELS is
    staring at her golden, deadly hands

    So I'm dead, then. Do I get a shot
    at the bastards who killed me?

    MEDIC 1
    You do.

    Then I'm back in.

    Panel 5

    a view of MICHAELS looking at her former image in
    the holograph; the attitude of the android is that of
    contemplation, and anger.

    Do you have my DNA samples? Any of
    our donated DNA?

    ...Sadly, no. That facility got
    taken by the rebels last year.


    Panel 6

    MICHAELS getting up off of the table as MEDIC 1
    detatches cables between her and the medical monitor
    table; MICHAELS is looking down on MEDIC 2, who is busily
    filling in data on a holographic projection. MEDIC 1
    looks quietly nervous.

    MICHAELS I scare you?

    MEDIC 2
    I...well, yes. Yes you do.

    Good. 'Cause if you fear me...

    Page 3 (6 Panels)

    Panel 1

    view, in the hold of a spacecraft, as a series of
    doors open, like a bomb bay; we see MICHAELS and a dozen
    of her sister drones, all strapped to booster pods and
    arrayed to launch like bombs.


    Caption: "...just imagine how I'm gonna make them

    Panel 2

    deep space view from a distance; a smaller ship
    among a fleet of even larger ones turns, firing its
    engines to force a turn as the external bay doors open
    (several of them, recognizable as the same one from Panel
    1 from the outside); rockets are seen boosting out of the
    bays (distance too far to make them out as MICHAELS and
    her sisters) Overall the panel is made to resemble a
    dive-bomb run of sorts... in space....

    Caption: In the 5th year of the civil war--the third
    year since Alberta Michaels died and was reborn....

    Myrmidon flight away!

    Panel 3 (Small)

    distant side view of a score of embattled
    warships of a somewhat different style from the attackers
    seen in page 3, panels 1-2, but similar enough to be
    recognized as human manufacture; ALL of them are firing
    into space in the same direction, missiles and ballistic
    weapons unloading.

    Caption: ...Captain Michaels served with distinction.

    Panel 4 (Small)

    space view with MICHAELS in the foreground
    with many of her fellows in the mid- and back-ground; they
    are being bombarded by the missiles and ballistic weapons
    from Panel 3, many are getting blasted.

    Panel 5 (Small)

    The surface of one of the firing ships
    forms the bottom of this panel as a group of MICHAELS-type
    machines smash at high speed into the ship's skin and
    through it

    Panel 6 (Large, dominating the page bottom)

    Interior, enemy starship, in an access hallway, obviously human; the
    hallway has been blasted open by some object crashing into
    it, at the center of the panel is ground zero. Atmosphere
    is rushing out the hole above in a fog. SFX: SLAM!!! Whoosh!!
    Several badly-wounded figures in space suits are laying
    around, and at the very center of the damage, MICHAELS'
    lightly-dented figure is standing up from a crouch,
    unfolding fully, letting us see the full panoply of
    weapons involved in its body. The stance needs to indicate
    a tightly-focused fury, a controlled violence about to

    Intruder alert! Intruder alert!
    Marine team to Layer 5 on the

    Page 4 (6 Panels)

    Panel 1

    MICHAELS goes into action at once, pouncing onto
    some spacesuited shipboard personnel as they round the
    corner, some carrying light pistols, and one with a


    Mabusa to Security! Enemy contact!

    Panel 2 (Large)

    MICHAELS dispatches all of the personnel
    from Panel 1 immediately, simultaneously, gracefully; draw
    the android from above and behind as she darts, shoots,
    stabs and kicks the spacesuited people. SFX: Aaaak! (From
    one) SFX: Ufff! (From SHIP CREW(2) being punched/kicked)
    SFX: Thwip! Thwip! (from her dart guns rising up out of
    her back)

    Panel 3

    SHIP CREW(2) in the foreground, flying back from
    MICHAELS' kick from panel 2, smashing into a bulkhead.


    Panel 4

    SHIP CREW(2) Closeup, framed by his damaged
    helmet; he's bleeding from mouth and nose profusely and
    he's obviously on the rapid road to serious shock, eyes
    rolling up in his head.

    Sec-security. Get d-down here on
    my signal. Heavy weapons. A-and
    send a medic...

    Panel 5 (Small)

    MICHAELS' metal foot crashing down on SHIP
    CREW (2)'s helmet, obviously killing him. SFX: Krrunch!

    Panel 6

    An Armored Marine squad (4-5 personnel) round into
    the room, combat weapons trained on MICHAELS. ALL of the
    Marines' faces are hidden behind full-face sealed visors
    that flip up; the only indicator of their name and rank is
    on their shoulderplates. NOTE: From our POV, we can see
    that one of the heavy-weapons marines has a rank of MAJOR,
    and the start of the word MICHAELS...

    Crap! Engage target! Light 'em

    Sir! Open fire, gang!

    Page 5 (6 panels)

    Panel 1

    MICHAELS in the center of the frame, MARINES in
    the foreground, deploying around the edges of the room and
    frame, but primarily firing massive weapons into the
    android. SFX: TAKTAKTAKTAKTAK!!! We can see serious damage
    resulting; more than we saw from crashing through the hull
    of the starship, and it is obvious that the mechanism has
    taken lethal damage, with parts and armor flying off,
    losing an arm and part of the head in the blasts. SFX:

    Watch it! Don't get too close--

    Panel 2 (Small)

    MICHAELS the android swinging a Marine in
    front of her with her remaining arm, as the Marine's suit
    absorbs the withering blasts of fire, obviously being
    penetrated. SFX: TAKTAKTAK!

    HELLP!! It's got me--AHHHAH!

    Panel 3

    MICHAELS the android throws the Marine's body into
    the remainder of the squad; we can see on him several
    obvious grenades, with arming indicators of some kind, all
    lit. The Marines are totally caught by surprise, save

    GRENADE!! Down--

    Panel 4 (small)

    The grenades all blow up, scything down
    all of the other squad, including MAJ MICHAELS--the
    flash-blast violently fills the room and the frame. SFX:

    Panel 5

    MICHAELS the damaged android stumbles over the
    bodies scattered across the room to where the mortally
    wounded MAJ MICHAELS is lying; the MAJ is missing an arm
    and a bone stump is sticking out of her shoulder. (recall
    that the suits DO NOT show the Marine's faces--unless you
    flip up the visor)

    Crap. You've doomed me, you rebel
    sumbitch. Before I die again,
    gonna return the favor.

    Like hell you are, robot....

    Panel 6 (Large)

    over the shoulder of MICHAELS the android
    we look down on MAJ MICHAELS as the android flips open her
    visor; we can see that large chunks of the android's head
    are missing, including an eye, but the face is largely
    intact. on the side that is damaged, we can see MAJ
    MICHAELS attached arm--which is holding an armed grenade.
    MAJ MICHAELS is mortally wounded, and bleeding profusely
    inside her helmet.

    Panel 7 (Inset in Panel 6)

    CLOSEUP on MAJ MICHAELS from the side, snarling upward,

    I don't fear you, robot--

    Panel 8 (Inset in Panel 6)

    CLOSEUP on MICHAELS android, damaged, sparking, obviously mortally wounded.

    That's good--because I fear you--


    Thank you for your consideration.



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