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WRITING CHALLENGE #16, 16 APRIL - 30 APRIL
Posted: Apr 16 2017, 03:32 PM
Writing Challenge #16
Welcome to another writing challenge here on Unbound. This is our first official writing challenge since our fancy reboot at the start of this year. I hope you're all ready to dive back in and get those sovereigns. As always, direct any questions about these challenges to my staff account.
Prompt: Modern AU!
What would your character look like as a resident of the 21st century? Human, for one, and with no magical powers in sight or darkspawn to fight. So who are they, at their core, no matter the setting?
Show us a snippet of a happy bakery staff or an overachieving college student.
Posts should be at least 400 words to claim credit. Write from any format or POV of your choosing! This challenge will end April 30th at 11:59pm and will have an award of 200 sovereigns.
Reply below with your challenge submission to earn credit for this challenge!
Posted: Apr 18 2017, 12:46 PM
He used to be able to lose himself in the music. The shadows masking the faces staring up at him night after night. Bathed in neon pink lights and slick with sweat from the heat of them and the efforts of his body. Playing the tease and acting coy; batting his lashes at those who'd managed to get seats right on the edge of the stage. Eyes so dark they looked jet black in the dimness of the club, scanning fistfuls of money. Lit up with dollar signs as he spotted those with twenties rather than ones.
Dancing until his feet hurt. Until his skin was mottled and bruised by those groping hands that didn't abide by the rules of no touching. Whether it was removing his clothes in front of groups of screaming women on their bachelorette party or rolling his hips in the laps of rich businessmen, performing in high end gentleman's clubs or cheap, dirty bars, Thorne danced because his lover bid it so.
Lover. A strange thing to call a man who'd plucked him from his family and used him for his own vanity. The death of his father had left his mother with a multitude of debts. Gambling and drugs and women of the night had taken every last penny, and it was Dominique Le Corre who had come to collect the bill.
The owner of many of the Vegas casinos that Thorne's father had frequented as well as the strip clubs the man had found himself in; Le Corre had no use for a twelve year old boy. Not until he was of age anyway. But a deal was struck that the boy would work off his father's debts. Spending his time cleaning the man's house and when when he was 16 moved onto cleaning the casinos. And when he reached the age of 18, it was decided he would dance.
Thorne had grown into a beautiful young man and it was clear that Le Corre was taken with him. But the age difference was far too much for him to get away with it without many raising eyebrows. There was already rumour of him being the boy's sugar daddy, and really... It wasn't far from the truth. Thorne had a luxurious room in one of Le Corre's many homes and was lavished with gifts and long exotic holidays. Everything he could ever want was given to him. All he had to do was dance.
His father's debt had been paid off long ago and now it was simply about Le Corre's obsession with the young man. His need to show off Thorne to everyone and anyone. To let them look but not touch. To show them what he had in his possession. Something that they could never have.
It felt like a romantic relationship. One that was never intimately consummated, but Le Corre's eyes blazed with furious jealousy any time he thought that someone was getting too close to the young man he had claimed as his own. And this only got worse once his wife had died. Using his grief in order to hold Thorne closer. Becoming increasingly clear that he wanted to perhaps take their relationship to a physical level. Something Thorne himself did not want.
And so he continued to dance. Continued to bare his body to those who had the money to pay for it. Night after night under hot lights and hungry gaze he earned his place in his Master's house. And night after night he came up with new reasons not to come to Le Corre's bed. A battle Thorne knew he would soon lose.
He had to get out. Had to get away. But for the moment, he had no idea how.
Posted: Apr 20 2017, 11:57 AM
2 AM on a Thursday and he should be sleeping. Not nose deep in an anatomy book trying to remember how the humerus fits into the scapula and how many layers of muscles are over that to get it to move correctly. That was exactly what he was currently doing, however, steam rising out of the fresh cup of tea that had been set down and forgotten. A loud crash suddenly drew Anders out of his book, and he winced before slowly looking over his shoulder to find the culprit.
He should have known.
Anders sighed, pushing away from the desk to twirl around in his computer chair. Big, innocent yellow eyes stared back at him, a soft, questioning meow filling the living room as if to say “what? I didn’t do anything.” Anders stood up from his chair, crossing the room to where the furball sat, tail swishing as he approached.
”You know you aren’t suppose to be up there,” he murmured quietly while scooping the cat off the counter and up into his arms. The orange tabby squirmed slightly, causing Anders to wincing as tiny claws pierced his skin before the cat settled in his hold. He gently stroked the cat between the ears as he moved to head back to his desk. Another hour of studying and maybe _maybe_ he would actually be able to sleep for a few hours at least. Asher would be up by 9, which means so would he because he was always up when Asher was up. Maybe not fully awake but at least enough to grumble and whine about the other man having to go to work.
Anders sat back down in his chair, continuing to gently stroke his fingers along the cat’s spine. It wasn’t long before the furrball had fallen asleep, the quiet purr like a lullaby to him. It made it difficult to keep himself awake, but he refused to go to sleep until he finished the chapter--not to mention now he had a cat in his lap and it was rude to move them. The hand not petting the cat reached blindly for the cup of tea he had gotten earlier, bringing it to his lips for a much needed shot of caffeine.
It was some time later when he was suddenly woken up by a gentle shake to his shoulder and soft words whispered in his ears. Anders lifted his head from the book, absently raising a hand to wipe the drool from his chin. It was still dark through the windows so he hadn’t been out long, and he ran his hands over his face with harsh breath. A stern command to go to bed caused him to peek through his fingers, and a sheepish grin curved the corners of his mouth. Several protests were on the tip of his tongue, debates on why he couldn’t go to bed yet, but in the end he relented. Partly because he didn’t put it past Asher to forcibly drag him to the bedroom, and partly because the book wasn’t going anywhere.
Dropping his hand from his face, Anders’ fingers threaded through Ashers’ using the other man to pull himself to his feet. The path to the bedroom was wrought with peril, as in it was an obstacle course of felines. Anders didn’t even remember having this many cats. He only let go of Asher’s hand once they got to the bed, flopping over to snuggle into the pillow. He was vaguley aware of Asher joining him, of his body heat as he wrapped around him.
Did he have class tomorrow? Crap.
Posted: Apr 22 2017, 08:16 PM
The radio chattered beside Quirin’s ear at the same time his patrol car dinged as he opened the door. Things were quiet besides a couple of well-checks and one suspicious person call. Nothing his men couldn’t handle while he made a stop at home. He’d forgotten to grab his cooler earlier, and thus had forgotten dinner. It was likely well chilled by now. Quirin switched off the car and lowered his bright laptop screen to grope into the darkness for his thermos. Finding it, he swung from the car, closing it, and his footsteps crunched gravel as he approached the front door.
“Lincoln-340?” pipped a calm feminine voice. He’d been radio quiet for an hour and the dispatcher was checking in. Quirin reached up to his shoulder and squeezed the radio transmitter.
“Lincoln-340,” he said. “10-4, ma’am. Thank you.”
“10-4,” her voice acknowledged as he turned the door lock.
The TV cast a blue-white light across the couch. Quirin closed the door such that it only made a muted click. Daniel slept there, a hand dangling over the edge and a blanket haphazard across his chest. The smaller head of their youngest daughter lay on the other side of the pillow beside Daniel’s. Her mouth hung open and she snored loudly.
Daniel stirred as Quirin tried to sneak by, mumbling and groggy and surprised he was home. “Just for the moment,” Quirin whispered, sliding his hand affectionately across Daniel’s forearm. “It’s only 1 am. Go back to sleep, love.”
He made a turn into the hall and went to the master bedroom. In the closet, he fetched a new uniform shirt. His current one had a huge tear on his right side, showing his bullet-proof vest, and it was blood stained. With swift, precise movements, Quirin removed his radio, department badge, name tag, and pulled his pen and notepad from his breast pocket. Unbuckling his work belt, he set it aside as he began the unbuttoning process.
Daniel wandered in, worry stabbing his features as he saw Quirin’s torn and bloodied uniform shirt. “It’s not mine,” Quirin whispered. He shoved the shirt into a garbage bag. “Man cut on himself and then turned the knife on me. It’s his blood.” Quirin shrugged the clean shirt over his shoulders and adjusted the collar. “I hate to ask, but is there something to eat?” Daniel’s head bobbed a few times and he turned back down the hall. Quirin hoped it was to find leftovers.
As he replaced his radio onto his shoulder, it crackled as one of his men reported a traffic stop. Fogging his badge with his breath, Quirin gave it a quick rub before pinning it on his chest. After washing his hands, he crept through the house to reach the kitchen, boots chirping on the floorboards. Dinner lay on the counter in Tupperware, cold from the refrigerator.
Smiling, Quirin leaned toward and kissed Daniel. “Thank you, love. Why don’t you go back to bed?” But his husband muttered something to the extent of not being able to sleep without him there. Quirin picked up a fork and started stabbing at the food, eating fast and without much concern on how things mixed together. Daniel’s hand rested on top of his.
Quirin chewed with a smile on his face, petting his thumb over Daniel’s fingers. The radio crackled and a breathless, “998” made Quirin freeze. Shots fired at the traffic stop. The hot tone blared shrilly as he stared across the counter at Daniel, swallowing his mouthful half-chewed. The dispatcher’s report poured into his ear as Quirin abandoned his dinner, boots banging hard on the floor as he bolted through the front door. He had the presence of mind to think he’d probably woken up their daughter, as he slammed his car door and jammed the keys in the ignition.
“Lincoln-340. 10-8 to 998 location.”
Posted: May 1 2017, 01:41 PM
This challenge is now closed!
Thank you to Gabe, Angel, and Squee for sharing these entries with your imaginative re-invention of your characters in a modern setting. ('Anders didn't even remember having this many cats.' Peak tired cat person achieved in this AU.)
Don't forget to hit up the moderation thread to claim your points.
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