Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver Writing Contest: the first of TWO 4th PLACE winners, “The Last Time She Saw Her Brother” by Maribel C. Pagan

Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver Writing Contest

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today, the first of TWO 4th place winners

* 4th Place Winner *

The Last Time She Saw Her Brother

by Maribel C. Pagan

Maribel shares 4th place with Leta McCurry, whose story we will feature tomorrow.

Maribel and Leta will each receive a $10 gift card, compliments of author and sponsor Annette Robinson, who donated this prize to our contest.

Also, both 4th place winners get serious bragging rights.

Reading the title I thought maybe it’d be sad, maybe it’d be a happy reunion; you never know. But I had a feeling it was going to be sad.

That’s okay. We have to appreciate each piece for what it is, and how well it delivers its story.

Because of the emotions involved, some stories are easier to read than others, but delivering a great story is what matters most. This piece did that.

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.

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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 first of two 4th place winners in Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver Writing Contest

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The Last Time She Saw Her Brother

by Maribel C. Pagan


The last time she saw her brother, she could barely walk a foot without toppling over onto the bare floor. She barely remembered anything from the last time she saw him, other than blurred images of people entering and leaving his bedroom. Some even seemed to, somehow, disappear shortly after entering his room. After that period of blurred memories, the door to his room was always shut. But she couldn’t understand why.

Every time, when she was a child, she would play with her plush animals before knocking upon the door of the strange boy who lived next door. There was always silence behind the door. That silence haunted her more than the fact that she had an actual brother hidden away from her. And no matter how many times she knocked, she always encountered that still silence creeping behind the door.

“Won’t you play with me?” she would eventually ask, tears spreading across her eyes, spilling forth in abundance.

Her father would always find her and carry her away. All she would do in protest was kick against her father’s torso, watching the door fade into the blur of her tears. After a while, she would return back to the door and continue the process of begging.

But, eventually, she stopped. She gave up. The silence from her brother was too much to carry. And so she carried her voice into ears that would hear her, to others who would respond rather than ignore her words.

And then one day, while she was passing through the hallway, she saw the door a crack open.

Memories rushed through her: days when she stopped before the door to visit her brother, days waiting for a word from her brother. And then memories flooded of days when she received no word from her lost brother, days where she was only met by unshed tears. Now she had an opportunity to take a peek at her unseen brother, soon to be brought back through her venture into his private bedroom.

A smile dawned on her lips. She approached the doorway cautiously, waiting for her brother’s unheard, ghostly voice to appear from within the darkened room.


She peeked inside through the small opening. Across his bedroom, a crack in the curtains caused light to splash eerily upon the scene. Everything was as it had originally been the last time she saw her brother: Dark. Cold. Misty. Pale light scarcely pouring in. Silent. Always that icy silence.

But she didn’t see her brother.

The door croaked against the weight of her palm. Light flooded in from behind her, casting a looming white shadow before an empty bed. She called out his name once. Twice. She scanned the room, noticing only the empty white sheets and the echo of her own voice.

Nothing else. Nobody was present. He was simply… gone.

Tears sprang to her eyes once she began to realize the truth. All those years, standing before an empty room, waiting for her pale-faced brother to open the door so that she could see his face one last time. And it was all for naught.

She choked on her own tears, trying desperately to withhold the storm festering inside of her, threatening to release its pouring rains down her cheeks. Was it true? Was her brother truly gone?

A hand pounced upon her shoulder. She gasped and whirled around.

It was her father, his eyes misty with tears. Before she could say a word, he spoke first, “I’m so sorry. I should’ve told you sooner. I’m so sorry.”

She collapsed into the arms of her father, his embrace warm against the coldness from the room. Without her father, the cold would have sunk deep through her skin and into her bones. The room’s eerie silence would have torn her apart.

Her own shadow and her father’s shadow overlapped one another, casting a dark shadow upon the bed where darkness had once lain.


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?

Aw, I figured from the title it was probably going to be a sad story . . . and it was.

I found this piece to be very emotionally powerful, a terrific example of putting feelings into a scene. It’s around 700 words and reads like a memory, kinda dreamlike, so there is more telling and less showing than what I’d usually ask an author to do, but because it’s a memory it works. It had me misting up, dammit, and that means something. The father’s regret, over something he cannot now fix – terrible to read and beautiful to feel. Don’t be afraid to explore the full spectrum of emotions in your stories. If you can make a reader cry, they’re with you. You delivered as promised. That’s beautiful.

I found this just terrific.

Join me in celebrating this moment with a very talented author, Maribel C. Pagan.

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

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

Dancing To The Silence by Leta McCurry

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.

16 thoughts on “Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver Writing Contest: the first of TWO 4th PLACE winners, “The Last Time She Saw Her Brother” by Maribel C. Pagan

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