Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver Writing Contest: 3rd PLACE “Mind Games” by Heather Hackett

Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver Writing Contest

Word Weaver logi FINAL trimmed

* 3rd Place Winner *

Mind Games

by Heather Hackett


I said this was a terrific story you’d love because it’s intense, and I wasn’t kidding. I was gripped right away with this one, and had to keep reading – afraid of what I might see but unwilling to – or unable to – stop reading.

I think you’ll find the same thing in this amazing piece.

Heather will receive THIS prize package valued at over $50:


  • WriteMind author’s idea management and project organizing system ($19.99 Digital Printable Version) from Perry Elisabeth Design

  • PUBLICATION of their winning piece on this website

  • An author profile to appear on this site

Plus she gets major league bragging rights.

DON’T FORGET: ALL contestants not winning first, second, or third place will be put into a drawing for other prizes!

HERE are some of the AMAZING AUTHORS whose books will awarded:


Allison MaruskaProject Renovatio. Author of the runaway bestseller The Fourth Descendant, Allison Maruska offers an audio book version of her latest hitProject Renovatio.

With over 550 reviews on Amazon, The Fourth Descendant established Allison as an amazing breakout author. I read Project Renovatio. It is a brilliant, thrilling YA novel that grabs the attention of readers and holds them until the very end.



Hugh RobertsGlimpses

28 short stories that will take your mind on a rollercoaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns. You REALLY wanna win that!

dana wayne

Dana WayneMail Order Groom, Secrets of the Heart

Dana Wayne is all about the romance! Mail Order Groom is a historical western romance. Secrets of The Heart is a contemporary romance. Both are amazing!

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Curtis BaussePerfume Island, One Green Bottle

One Green Bottle, set in Provence, is the first in a series of Magali Rousseau detective stories. Perfume Island is the second book in the amazing series. You’ll love it!


T. A. HenryScripting The Truth

Any story that takes place in post-WWII Britain and has the phrase “She’ll try to do it all while trying to keep the seams on her stockings straight” has to be read. You’ll agree.


Joanne R LarnerDicken’s Diaries, Richard Liveth Yet

One reviewer called Dicken’s Diaries “a ‘diary’ with lots of amusing stories and indeed it is a cleverly written, humorous book.” Richard Liveth Yet is Richard III as you have never seen him before! Great stories from a great writer.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00014]

Yecheilyah YsraylRenaissance: The Nora White Story

In 1922 Mississippi, Nora White has graduated high school and is college bound, but she is fascinated by the prospect of being a famous writer in The Harlem Renaissance – and decides on a change of plans. Techeilyah will amaze you with this one!

Poggi cover FINAL

and of course, ME

A few folks will be selected to receive a copy of Poggibonsi: an Italian misadventure,my hilarious sexy romp through Italy (definitely a hot commodity, so to speak) as a signed paperback or as an eBook. Don’t even ask me if I’ll sign the eBook. Just. Don’t.

And now, the 3rd Place Winner in Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver Writing Contest

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Mind Games

Heather Hackett


“Get off the bike.” Erik’s voice was low and measured. It barely escaped from his lips, slipping out through gritted teeth.

“What? Here?” My jaw dropped open. My eyes searched the darkness for a landmark, or even a light. But there were none. “But we’re in the middle of nowhere. Why would you…”

“Get off the fucking bike!” He half turned, and spat the words in my direction. I could feel the steam on his breath as it cut into the cold night air.

I sat rooted to the seat of the Harley, frozen by the icy timbre of his voice. He heaved himself away from me as if he was going to get off himself. But he couldn’t, until I did. I knew better than to argue, so I shut my mouth.

“I mean now! Get off the bike and kneel down on the ground!” My legs turned to jelly and quivered hopelessly as I tried to follow his instructions. I threw one leg over the back of the bike, but too quickly, without waiting to get a good footing. Both legs gave way, and I landed awkwardly on my ass as I tried to break an awkward fall. Tiny fragments of gravel embedded in my palm, and I winced. But quietly, to myself. I didn’t want him to see. My pain was my own, at least.

“Get your head down! Don’t even look at me! And don’t move! Pray!”

As I knelt on the shoulder of the road, the gravel bit into my knees, even through the thick denim of my jeans. Head down, I clasped my hands together above it, as if in deep religious prayer. I scarcely dared to breathe as my mind raced over what I might have done to trigger this latest outburst.

It must have been the wallet. I’d misplaced his wallet at our last stop and, stupidly, mentioned that I couldn’t find it. I did find it, just where it should have been. But I had become so nervous, sometimes I couldn’t seem to do anything right. Like when I brought his tea earlier this afternoon. I forgot to ask for the slice of lemon, God forbid, and that had been enough to set him off. Retribution was often swift.

“Where’s the lemon?” I recognized the accusing tone. “You know I always have lemon in my tea. How could you forget? Are you sick, Amy, or just fucking stupid?”

“I’m sorry. I’ll go back and get some.” But I knew it was too late.

“Don’t bother. I don’t want it now. We’re leaving.” We had left without him taking so much as a sip of the lemonless tea.

I couldn’t believe that in just a few short weeks together I had lost so much. My confidence and self-esteem were flat-lining. I was a nervous wreck who baulked at the simplest of tasks. I walked on egg shells, constantly worried about my next transgression long before it happened. And that just made it happen.

This wasn’t me. I wasn’t like this. I was strong and independent. I had survived so many of the twists and turns that life had thrown my way with dignity and integrity. This couldn’t be happening to me. I kept telling myself that. It wasn’t me. It was him. He was sick, twisted. He needed psychiatric help.

But still I stayed with him.

When he was satisfied I was sufficiently humble, he rode away without another word, leaving me there on the side of the road in the pitch dark. He didn’t go far, then turned off the road and headed into the bushes. The light bounced around between the trees for a bit, then he turned the bike back towards me, till I was spotlighted in his high beam. He killed the engine, but not the light. I was a sacrificial deer in the headlight.

In the distance, I could hear a vehicle approaching. I began to sweat and tremble with fear. The road was narrow, and the ground cold. My knees ached from being frozen in one position. I didn’t dare move.

Would the vehicle see me? Not much doubt about that. But would they stop? What if they didn’t stop? What would he make of that? What will I do if they stop? What will they say to me? Will they try to help? What will I say? What will he do if they stop?  Probably better they don’t stop. Oh God, please don’t stop.

I squeezed my eyes tight shut, as if that might make me invisible. I didn’t know what else to do. I thought of my kids, two beautiful innocents that I had abandoned to be with this man who had somehow charmed and beguiled me away from my family. What had I done? Why had I thought this was a good idea? I wondered what they were doing right now, if they, at least, were safe, unlike their mother. A lump caught in my throat, and I sobbed, ever so quietly.

The bike headlight went out. And my heart stopped.

As the sound of the approaching vehicle grew louder, I turned my head to the side, just enough to look towards it from under my arms. I could see two lights approaching. Please don’t stop. I held my breath, and turned my head back. I had no idea what was going to happen.

The car slowed to a crawl. Oh God, please don’t stop. That will just cause more trouble. Shit, I think it’s going to stop. Don’t. Don’t do it. Keep driving. Please God. Please.

The car stopped right alongside me with the engine still running. The passenger window whirred quietly as it was lowered. Someone may have peered at my prostrate form. But I had no way of knowing. I didn’t look up. I didn’t move. Or breathe. No one spoke. The car drove on. I twisted slightly and watched the red taillights disappear into the night.

My breath came out. Thank God. But now what? What would this say about me? That I wasn’t even worth the effort? That all alone on the side of the road, praying to the universe for protection, I wasn’t worthy of more than a cursory glance? And what would Erik make of this shortcoming?

There was nothing to do but wait for a signal, for Erik to decide how this would play out. It was one of his favorite games, playing the hero, saving the wretched woman from her life of sin. He would take her and mold her into something better, something worthwhile, but forever dependent on him, her hero.

It felt like hours passed as I waited. It may as well have been. It didn’t matter. He had succeeded. I had been subdued, weakened, broken just a little bit more.

The bike started up again. It vibrated through the night as he returned to where I lay. I didn’t move a muscle or turn to look up at him, but I could feel his eyes looking down on me, burning into my back.

“Get up, Amy.” His voice was tender now. “Let’s go home.”

What? That’s it? Get up? What just happened here? Am I going mad? Didn’t he just…? For only a moment, I tried to rationalize the situation. But I couldn’t.

There was no explanation, no apology, no more words at all. There was everything to say, but nothing to hear. He just went back to being my man as if nothing strange had taken place. In the blink of an eye, he went back to being the man who, just a few weeks ago, had seemed to know my every thought, wish and dream, back to the man who had done everything in his power to make them all come true. My hero.

We never spoke of the incident on the roadside again, but it wedged itself between us like a blade, thin and razor sharp, ready to pierce my heart at any wrong move. That was his game, played like a master, to keep me in a constant state of unease about who I was, and who I had become.

And for a time, it worked.


Your humble host.
your humble contest host

It has been my pleasure to showcase these amazing writers. Look for interviews and more on them in the upcoming weeks.

Why did it win? What spoke to me?

Don’t you just hate Erik right away? And as a result, don’t you feel sympathy for the Main Character?

And then as we see the stuff unfolding, don’t you get a little miffed and wonder why don’t you leave – and right away, she wonders it, too. So I identified with the character because she was asking questions we readers would be asking, and she was angry at herself for making decisions she made.

The inner conflict boiled inside her. That was intriguing to read.

The other stuff – humiliation and total unease – it’s not pretty to read, but it is written so well we really sense it and feel it as readers. That’s not easy to do.

There was a lot to this piece. It was short but it conveyed a lot in very few words, and did it well.

Join me in celebrating this moment with a very talented author, Heather Hackett.

If you liked this story, please share it on StumbleUpon and other social media so our winners can get the recognition they deserve.

Tomorrow, one of two the 4th place winners in the Word Weaver Writing Contest:

The Last Time She Saw Her brother by Maribel C. Pagan

If you would like to sponsor our October 2017 Word Weaver Writing Contest and get this kind of exposure for your product or service, please contact me.

21 thoughts on “Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver Writing Contest: 3rd PLACE “Mind Games” by Heather Hackett

  1. […] Our third place winner in the contest, Heather Hackett, gave us a really intense story that readers loved. Mind Games was a tension-filled read that had everyone wanting to know: what happens next??? Heather’s entry could have easily won first prize. She has a great storytelling style and a terrific narrative voice. I guarantee we’ll be seeing more of her on the blog and hopefully reading her novels soon. Today we sit down with Heather and discuss her writerly world. Pull up a chair. You can read Heather’s winning story, Mind Games, HERE […]


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