Last chance to enter the Speechless Contest!

The entry period for the Speechless short-story contest ends tonight, September 10, at 11:59 p.m. You’ve still got time to write about a character who learns the power of words.

It’s your last chance to win an awesome prize pack of books, including the Iron Fey box set by Julie Kagawa

Need some inspiration? Check out an excerpt here. Or read our post about the Future Lives of Fictional Bullies.


2 thoughts on “Last chance to enter the Speechless Contest!

  1. The entire city was staring at me now it seemed and I could feel each icy glare as if they were daggers piercing my skin. “Traitor” they uttered, “off with his head”,and I looked around with anxious eyes as the guards continued escorting me to the bloody steps of the guillotine’s podium. It was displayed so much like a pillar of reverence, but in reality, and even in every cold blooded person here’s minds, it was a symbol of fear, stained with the blood of the king, the nobility, and anyone else Robespierre deemed traitorous to the fateful revolution. I trudged up the steps, trying not to be poked by the bayonet of the guard closest behind me, and now, looking at the tool of death, I felt a certain numb calmness that took the color from my face, but it also drained my fear. The executioner looked at me, and for a moment, just a moment, I saw pity. I couldn’t have blamed him for what he was about to do if I wanted to, in fact I couldn’t even have said I wouldn’t do it myself. I knew what he was thinking, how could a poor boy of 12, so small and clearly nothing but a newspaperman’s son end up walking to the unforgiving blade that had taken so many before him? But everyone in the crowd knew my story by now. Jean-Pierre, the boy who spoke out against the brutality of the Comity. The twit who challenged the great “uncorruptible” Robespierre. That was my charge. When all others accepted the brutality, watching innocent life after innocent life being taken, I spoke. The next thing I knew, I was arrested and tried for treason.
    As I stared at the crimson coated blade that had come to be known as the “People’s Razor” I took a deep breath of air, the the words of Voltaire, the man my father spoke of, paraded my thoughts. “I do not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death your write to say it.”
    How fitting a statement. Here I was, dying because I took to heart the grounds the Revolution had been started for. Freedom.Equality. Now who was I equal with? All I uttered that grim morning, one in January, was that “No man, not even Robespierre, has the right to take an innocent life.” The one phrase was now what I was going to die for. I was laid down, as was custom, and my “crimes” were read to the wild crowd, and I could hear their taunts echoing through my ears, yet still Voltaire’s words echoed through my mind, and I felt the urge to scream simply from passion. Then the executioner finished his reading and looked down at me.
    “Do you have any final words,boy?”
    My throat went dry and my heart slowed down, but I closed my eyes and said as loudly as I could, hoping it would reach the people, “A freedom that cannot be lost is in your voice.”
    And the crowd went silent, as I soon did as well, only hearing the sound of the blade cutting wind as he fell towards my flesh.

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