The Iron Writer Challenge #45 – 2013 Iron Writer Winter Solstice Challenge #9


The Iron Writer Challenge #45

2013 Iron Writer Winter Solstice Challenge #9

Grudge Match #2

The Grudgers:

K. A. DaVur and  Suzann Smith


Thomas Lamkin Jr and Mac Bartine

The Ground Rules for this Match: Each Grudger will write a 500 word story. Each Grudger has chosen an element and shared it with their partner. Each pair does not know the other pair’s elements. The author of each story will not be revealed in the poll. The winning story will be selected using a dual voting system. First, popular voting rallied by the Grudger fan base. The story with the most votes will receive four points. Second, each story will be reviewed by five Judges.

Each Grudger has selected one Judge. The 5th Judge is a random volunteer.

The Judges are:

M.D. Pitman, Tannis Laidlaw, Dani J Caile, Mamie Pound, Tony Jaeger

The stories will be judged based on use of elements, grammar, story arc and any additional criteria the Judge deems appropriate. Those votes will be added to the popular vote. The story with the most collective votes wins.

The Elements:


A Motherboard

Story must be written with the point of view of a shark searching for a meal

Story must be written in Terza Rima

The Hunt

When the sun makes its’ bed

In the deep, beneath a sapphire sky,

The sea begins to bleed dark red.

My blood runs high

With undeniable, primal, fierce

Voraciousness I can’t deny.

I must find hearts to pierce,

Feel their nails against my fins.

Pas de deux, dessous, dessus.

Play that ancient game again

Until I’m sane, though never sated.

Until a victor is crowned. Though no one wins

For even fed, the craving’s not abated.

Still, I’ll gladly fall upon my sword,

And swim the course to which I’m fated.

No introspection. My brain is not a motherboard,

Rather a simple toggle switch.

Red light stop. Green light forward.

Find the scratch to soothe the itch.

Turn it at last from on to off,

Before I reach a fever pitch.

So, I head to The Trough,

Where they gather this time of day

To laugh idiots’ brays, to spash and quaff.

It’s where I go for easy prey.

That one there is long of limb,

Lean and precise, not a hair astray.

I’ll not be selecting him.

He’d be devoured in a single bite.

A measly one, sinewy and trim.

No, I prefer to nibble my meals all night.

Nor will it be that one there,

With frantic dashes and turns so tight.

Speed sings the song of youth.

A fresh-forged dagger in need of whetting.

I prefer my raven long in the tooth.

I can better guess what I’ll be getting.

That one there with high, proud breasts?

‘Twill not be her either, I’m betting.

In fact, she’s more a threat to my quest.

With ears tuned to hear, doe-eyes made to see,

She knows not that I’m here, though she could guess

And would lead the others far from me

Before I’ve had time to dine.

Perish the thought!  I’m so hungry!

Oh, there he is!  That one’s mine.

Tongue and gums begin to swell.

Small shocks tantalize my spine.

All the ways that I tell

That tonight, he’s the one to release

Me, free me, from this ravenous hell.

I shall consume then sleep in peace,

Wake to gorge, to bite, to lick

Until the cravings finally cease.

His thighs, muscular and thick

Will feel just right beneath my teeth.

The hunger is blinding; I must be quick.

I mark his position, dive beneath.

My vision sharpens, my tail sways.

Loose-limbed, focused, I’ve been bequeathed

With the body and the skill

To cut my quarry from the pack.

The instincts to make a kill

Come with the fin upon my back.

I cruise past, first, brush his hip,

Then fade briefly into the black.

I bear my teeth, roll back my lip,

Set my Kahlua and Coke on the bar.

I sidle up, lean in, whisper a quip.

He slides his hand around my waist,

Grins when I suggest a stroll.

I kiss him once.  I need a taste.

I’m a predator with a simple goal

And a singular appetite

When I go out to troll.

They say, “Teach a man to fish.” I guess they’re right.

I haven’t gone home hungry yet.

It’s fresh seafood every night.

The Sweetest Heart

Motherboards mattered in life before death,

For I was a hard working IT repairman:

Helpful (while muttering under my breath).

At surfing back then, I was a fair hand,

As were you, too, my dearest old friend.

We surfed the same beach together for years, and,

Then came the woman who brought down my end.

We loved one another, while you watched us, lurking:

For you loved her too, my dearest old friend.

But you were born lazy, and adverse to working,

While I had more promise: was due for promotion,

And you, my old friend, were known for your shirking.

You grew your hair long; sat watching the ocean.

Oft’ would you sip on Kahlua and coffee,

And talk of how surfing’s a spiritual notion.

In one such deep state, you decided to off me,

Then as we both rode on a raging white tide,

You bludgeoned me bloody, down into the sea.

For you wanted my girl, and could not abide

Working for love: you wanted to take it.

I know where you surf, I thought as I died.

I know how you swim, and where you just drift,

Which waves you will catch, and those you won’t, too.

I know where you surf, you miserable shit.


One essence remained as light faded dark blue

And blue into black, and black into blank:

Terror and pain I will bring unto you.

Deeper and darker, still deeper I sank.

But you still remained, though inky black blotters

Covered all else, and my body turned rank.

I awoke in a reef, bright with blue waters

That smelled of sweet blood; delicious red blood.

I found tasty seals and sleeker sea otters,

And chomped them all down with redfish and rudd.

My body was powerful, great white and frightful;

My prey cringed in fear, hearts crashing thudthud.

My hunger was vast; I’d eat through a night full

Of frightened blue fish and blubbery sweets.

While still you remained: your death, the delightful

Refrain of the dying, their slowing heartbeats:

Thud-THUD, thud, thud, heard with each swallow,

Were yours to my ears, and the tastiest treats.

I searched the deep bays, the inlets and shallows,

Looking for signs of our old surfer’s beach.

I kept close to land, each turn did I follow,

Each surfer I watched, but I stayed out of reach.

For none would suffice but you, my old friend;

I hungered for you, you old blood-sucking leach.

Finally one day I swam ‘round a deep bend,

And there you were, drifting, the sweetest meat platter.

I nipped off your foot, so beginning your end;

You wailed like a baby, and thrashed bloody matter.

I chomped off a hand that smelled of Kahlua. It tasted sweet

So I had the other, and then your last foot to the knee I ate after.

Thud-THUD, thud-thud, I heard your heart beat.

Thud-thud, thud, thud: the sweetest heart meat.


One Drunken Night – A Shark’s Tale of Intrigue and Woe

“Tell me, Hammerhead, Is that your real name?”

“No, Detective Bullhead,” Hammer smirked.  “It’s my Nom de Plume.”

“Really, Hammerhead, sarcasm?  Do you think this is a game?”

Hammer surveyed the surroundings, looked at the room.

He glared at the detective’s hat.  Boy this shark smelled foul.

Did this detective, he wondered, ever groom?

The morning wore on, Hammer’s stomach did growl.

If this detective didn’t release him soon,

The squid wouldn’t be the only ones to howl.

Detective Bullhead knew he had only til noon

To get Hammer to confess to his crime.

Thus far no luck, this shark was a buffoon.

Hammer noticed Bullhead watching the time.

“Good,” he thought.  “This jerk is worried.  Must not emote. ”

Hammer’s thoughts drifted to her, so sublime.

The night had been serene, hardly worthy of note.

Until she entered, that Kahlua in hand.

And with her that rare, delightful old groat.

That groat and its trouble should have stayed in the sand.

The Kahlua flowed freely, his dancing a disgrace.

The music, the beat, he sang with the band?

He wished he could recall how he’d gotten to her place.

His attention drawn back to the fetid detective,

“Tell me, how did you get that cut on your face?”

His smile lingered, now somewhat deceptive.

That woman, her house, that infernal computer!

He could not recall much, his memory defective.

She wasn’t local, was a telecommuter.

That day she’d actually brought herself in.

She was, in fact, looking for a suitor.

Hammer was hungry, craving something with a fin.

She looked tasty, would go well with some salt.

But Oh for the music, the Kahlua and gin!

She’d lured him to her house, his kindness was a fault.

Something was wrong with her motherboard,

Plus she promised him a look inside her vault.

A view of  her vault full of old groats his reward,

He had followed her figure floating away,

Only to find her computer just missing a cord.

How had this tiger shark led him so astray?

He only seeking a nibble, just a small bite,

She caught him in her web of woe and dismay.

The cut, asked the detective? Try as he might

He couldn’t recall any tussle or squabble,

not a contest or battle, not one single fight!

The cops had found him, dragged him out with a hobble

The lady was missing, her groat vault was bare.

Bullhead claimed Hammer had found something to gobble.

Hammer was starving, his desire for meat rare.

He could not have devoured that lady, divine.

Besides, why were her valued groats not there?

Bullhead thought Hammer hid the groats in a mine.

But after all the Kahlua, he’d been lucky to swim

To her little apartment, so regal and fine.

Despite her forwardness, the lady was prim.

To where had the groats disappeared in a hurry?

That’s when Hammer saw Bullhead’s hat with it’s bulge in the brim…

Frank the Shark

I made my way from admin to IT

I’m used to all the looks from nerds

Only one held interest to me

Let them gawk and flit like birds

I only came to see Therese.

“This is your chance to leave the herd,”

I watched her forehead crease

“Is this another drinking date?”

I flashed a smile full of teeth.

“Don’t pretend it won’t be great,”

I glanced around for Sue

Or even the loser boyfriend Nate

I’d had quite enough of those two

Trying to report me to HR

As though they even had a clue

It’s their role, it’s who they are

To be the pawns for management

And drive that clunker of a car

Here I was, power ascendant

Offering an out to this girl

With her look of amusement

She gave an idle twirl

To a pin on her lapel

And her lip took on a little curl

“Listen, Frank, no chance in hell

would I go out with you for drinks.”

My smile immediately fell.

“All you management rat finks

come through those doors and act

like IT girls are brainless dinks.

Well no more, man, and that’s a fact

My whole guild is in agreement

You won’t succeed in this attack.”

My stomach fell and felt like cement

As she turned back to the motherboard

Where crucial wires were loose or bent

Ignoring cries of “For the Horde!”

I turned and stalked back down the hall

Muttering ‘that worthless whore’.

I knew how to get them all

With a simple flip of the switch

I slowed bandwidth to a crawl

Let them complain and whine and bitch

I never miss my mark

This was merely a simple glitch

They call me ‘Frank the Shark’

Because I have exacting tastes

But nerd-hot girls are quite a lark

My efforts were not a waste

And soon my phone was buzzing

I was right back on the case.

“What I said before, it meant nothing”

Said Therese into the phone

“You just came off as a little imposing”

I said “There’s no harm done,

Don’t worry about that spat

But I would like a date alone.”

“I never agreed to anything like that!”

Her voice took on a whine.

“Be down in ten,” and I grabbed my hat.

The date went well, and I was feeling fine.

She had her cheap liqueur

Meanwhile I had my fill of wine.

Back to the hotel is where I took her

Her high heels nearly made her topple

Even on the speckled new berber

She clutched the kahlua bottle

And looked me in the eye

And I knew my own debacle

I managed one defeated cry

Before the glass was shattered

She had the perfect alibi

My other conquests didn’t matter

All the girls that I had hurt

As I lay in the sickly splatter

“Thanks for the drink and for dessert”

She said over my head

“That’s for Sue, you old pervert.”

I felt Therese pull me onto the bed

I knew they’d find me

Cold and dead.

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