Word Weaver Writing Contest November 2017: 5th Place Winner Marie Malo and 4th Place Winner Carrie Anne Alexis

img_2351-2I really enjoyed these stories.

When you get so many quality stories in one contest, you look for the best of the best, the ones who did it right.

And you do that and you STILL have a lot of stories, you look for tiny things to separate them and declare a winner.

Any hair out of place. Any slight imperfection, no matter how microscopic.

These are very good stories. I liked them a lot or they wouldn’t be here.

Without further ado, here is your 5th and 4th place winners.

Word Weaver Writing Contest

November 2017

5th Place Winner

First Time

Marie Malo

Even with the air conditioning running full blast, the hair stuck to the back of Cassie’s neck. She swiveled the ice around her glass. It had all but disappeared, and the setting sun had done little to cool the temperature.

Putting the glass down, she glanced at the clock. What the crap was Caleb doing in the main house? He said he’d be five minutes, not fifteen.

The door opened and Caleb stepped in, dressed in white cotton pyjama pants. Nothing else. His stomach muscles tightened, rippling his tanned skin as he lowered himself onto the sofa beside her.

“Ah, that’s better.” Caleb motioned to his attire. “Clothing sucks when it’s this hot.”

His choice of words sounded inviting. Was that her cue to start something? Couldn’t he just tell her what he expected? A trail of fine, blond fuzz disappeared under his waistband. She squinted at his lap, sure he wasn’t wearing anything underneath the thin cotton of the pyjamas.

“You’re staring at me.” He kept his gaze on the television, the light from the screen flickered across his features.

“I’m envious.” It was doubtful he could hear the quiver in her voice. “Guys have such an advantage, being able to go topless.”

A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. “What’s stopping you?”

That was unquestionably an invitation, and nothing was stopping her. She could make this happen. She wanted this to happen.

Determined, she unbuttoned her shirt, working from the top down. She moved slow, but he waited patiently.

It was no big deal. Her bra looked like a bathing suit, right? That’s what James insisted when they ended up in the pool together, the sun rising around them.

Guilt pinched her. James had already seen her in her bra.

She stole a look at Caleb. Taller than his friend, he had many of the same qualities, but in lesser amounts. Good-looking, but not drop dead gorgeous. Interesting, but not devilishly charming. Smart, engaging, funny – but without that dangerous element that drew girls to James like moths to a flame.

Her included.

She popped open the last two buttons. The silky material slid over her shoulders to the cushion.

“Hold on.” Caleb got up and locked the door before joining her back on the sofa. He motioned for her to come closer.

She climbed on top, straddling his legs. He rested his head against the sofa back, watching her, his hands on either side of her thighs.

Fingers shaking, she worked on the back clasp of her bra, unhitching it. Leaning forward, she let the material drop onto his lap. Her breasts spilled out, a foot away from his face. Chilly conditioned air accosted her damp skin. She shivered, her nipples reacting to the temperature change.

Caleb’s wide eyes rewarded her actions. His chest rose with his throaty inhale. At least he beat James to this view.

Keeping his gaze on her, he pulled a sheet off the sofa’s back and draped it over her shoulders, without touching her.

“You don’t want me?” she teased, surprised by the seductiveness in her tone. This might be easier than expected. She ground her bottom into his groin.

Moaning, his hands travelled up her legs, his fingers finding their way under her shorts. He squeezed her butt. “I want you. Believe me.”

From where she sat, it was obvious he wanted her. She continued to push against him, enjoying the sensation building between her legs, his breaths hot on her breasts. This wasn’t so bad. She had more control than she imagined. Caleb looked like the powerless one right now.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” He gripped her hips and stopped her from moving. “If you don’t want to have sex, you need to stop what you’re doing.”

“I want to have sex.” If they didn’t start soon, she might change her mind.

Surprising her with his strength, he picked her up and flipped her on her back, sandwiching her between him and the sofa. He undid the button on her waistband and slid her shorts and panties past her hips, down to her ankles.

Any control she thought she had, disappeared. His lips pressed down on hers, his hands roamed her body. Caleb was a good kisser, but her thoughts were scattered. She couldn’t concentrate enough to enjoy him.

Being under him and against the cushioned back of the sofa, made it hard to breathe. She fought the claustrophobic urge to push him off. That wouldn’t accomplish anything. She needed to do this. Sex would make them a real couple, and Caleb would be less likely to abandon her.

She slipped her hand inside the front of his waistband and grasped his penis, but didn’t know what to do with it. He made a grunting noise, but she wasn’t sure if it was out of pleasure or pain; or if he was he turned on or off by her awkward exploration?

He buried his head in her neck, his shoulders pushing into hers as he lowered his own pants down.

Things were proceeding faster than expected, but she had no idea how to slow down, or what she was supposed to be grabbing. Would it be rude to say, stop, let me examine your parts? The thought made her chuckle.

“Are you laughing at me?” Caleb propped himself up on his elbows, chuckling as well.

The foot of space between them allowed her to suck in more air and examine his face. He had put up with her confusion for weeks and gave her time to come to this herself. She loved the serenity he brought into her life. He deserved this, especially after her error in judgment this morning.

He placed a soft kiss on her hand before lying it across her chest. His fingers trailed across her skin till they were between her legs. She gasped. Someone else’s hand down there felt foreign.

“It’s okay.” He smiled against her lips. “I don’t want to hurt you. This will help.”

His massage wasn’t really helping. The idea of it seemed sexy, but his prodding fingers felt gigantic. And they were little in comparison to his penis. How would that ever fit up there?

Giving up, Caleb maneuvered his body between her legs.

Her heart pounded in her ears. Breathe. Relax. Breathe. She lifted her pelvis and wiggled, hoping it would help him somehow.

After a few failed attempts, just when she thought it wasn’t going to happen, her body accepted him. It pinched when he entered her, but there was no real pain. She brought her hand down to feel if he was all the way in. It was hard to tell, but based on his laboured breathing and thrusting motions, it seemed to be working.

This was happening. She wrapped her arms around his back, and let him do his thing.

Eventually he rose, crouching over her, and did something she couldn’t see. He slumped against the sofa back, still breathing hard.

It was over. She pulled her knees together and waited, unsure what she should do. Unwanted tears filled her eyes. She wasn’t a virgin anymore. She brought her arm over her face to hide.

Hiding behind his arm was something James did. She choked back a sob.

Caleb nudged her knee. “The first time’s rough.”

She peeked at him. His breathing had evened out and he was wiping himself off with his pyjama pants.

He tossed the pants to the floor and smiled. “I promise it will get better.”

“It was fine,” she lied, letting him tuck the sheet around her. “I’m just kind of sad. It’s like I’ve changed.”

“You have changed in a way.” He stood up, right in front of her. She shied away. Now that the moment had passed, she craved space.

“If it makes you feel better, that was a first for me too.” He pulled a pair of underwear out of pile of laundry. “I’ve never had sex without a condom.”

Pulling the sheet to her mouth, she groaned. “Oh my God!”

They hadn’t used any protection. She’d rehearsed this scene so many times in her head, and it always involved a condom. Where had her brain disappeared to?

“It’s okay.” Caleb stood at the end of the sofa, holding the underwear. “I pulled out—I came in my hand. I think that’s why I went so quick. It was more intense—skin on skin.” He studied her for a second. “I’m going to shower. Is that okay?”

It was more than okay. She nodded, happy to have the opportunity to get dressed without him watching.

Alone, she lifted the sheet and used the dry leg of his pyjama’s to clean up. Everything looked the same, but wasn’t. There wasn’t even blood to mark the change. Wasn’t there supposed to be?

Caleb had called the experience intense. But it hadn’t been for her. It had been okay, maybe even pleasant after he’d made it in and found his rhythm. But she was glad it was over. Where were the goosebumps, that burning desire? Pleasant was okay, but was it enough?

She redressed in her shorts, but passed Caleb’s laundry pile to slip on a T-shirt out of James’ drawer. Drawing the bottom of it up to wipe her eyes, immersed her in his scent. The heat that was absent in her encounter with Caleb, rushed through her.

Climbing back on the sofa. Her fingers twisted and untwisted around the hem of James’ t-shirt.

Next time would be better.

Why did it win?

What spoke to the judges?

The MC’s fumbling around is good. The sex scene is pretty hot. – celebrity judge Allison Maruska

For me, the story shows a lot of those awkward moments we’ve all gone through, and did it without being crude but with honesty. With passion but innocence – and with an honest disappointment about how the world was supposed to be different afterwards. Love, regret, and loss of innocence, are all at play in this charming piece. So are the mixed feelings that often accompany the moments like this.

I think Marie Malo has a great future in writing ahead of her, and look forward to reading more from this writer.

Please join me in congratulating Marie on a terrific story.  

Marie’s links:


Also    marieMalo6@twitter.com

Word Weaver Writing Contest

November 2017

4th Place Winner

Worth It

Carrie Anne Alexis


The rain is pelting my skin like a thousand tiny daggers. The icy water from the river has risen far too quickly and is now rushing around me.  I hold on tight to a tree trunk.  I know if I start shivering, I won’t be able to hold on.  The wind has picked up and the temperature has dropped at least twenty degrees.  I knew we should have turned back before the storm hit.  My fingers are tingling from the cold. “Adam…I can’t hold on any longer.”  Yelling to be heard above the rushing water and the howling wind. 

His voice is loud but calm. “Kate…hold on Kate, I’m coming, I’m almost there.” 

A shiver runs through my body.  “Hurry!”  I try to focus on my grip, but my mind runs through all the what if scenarios landing on what if he doesn’t make it in time?  The river will swallow me up. I won’t have a chance. 

My grip slips. “Adam!”

I must have yelled his name so loud that it woke me from my sleep, because I bolted straight up in bed, my chest heaving as I try to catch my breath.  I push my hair back from my face, and realize it was just a dream.  The same dream I always have when I’m stressed out and things seem out of control in my life.

I look at the clock, it’s 4 a.m.  I’m wide-awake now.  I head to the kitchen to make some tea, maybe that will calm my racing thoughts.  As I fill the kettle with water and place it on the stove, my mind takes me back.  I remember that day all too well.

Adam and I always took walks along the river near his house.  We were just teenagers then, he was older than I was, yet we spent a lot of time together.  We always crossed the river at the same spot, so it wasn’t something new.

That day the storm rolled in too quickly and the rain came down too hard.  We were racing to get home, and I slipped on a rock and almost fell into the river.  Luckily, I was able to grab onto that tree trunk.  Adam was ahead of me when I yelled, but wasted no time in getting back to me.  In the process of him saving me, he cut his left hand pretty bad. We didn’t notice it until we were safely catching our breath in his back yard.  I reached over and grabbed his hand, cradling it carefully in my own. “You hurt yourself.  Yikes, that’s going to leave a nasty scar.”

He balled up the corner of his shirt to apply pressure.  “Eh, it’s nothing…it was worth it.  I’d never let anything happen to you Kate.”

It was at that moment that everything changed between us, but I was too young to really understand what to do with it.  Then, life took over, he went away to college.  We stayed in touch at first, but once my family moved away and I got swept off my feet by a charming business exec, we lost track of each other.

The memory of our friendship and all those carefree days we spent together made me smile.

The whistle of the teakettle brings me back to reality.  My thoughts begin to berate me.  Get a grip Kate.  He doesn’t think about you, or that day.  Why would he?  Sure, he has the scar as a permanent reminder, but he has moved on…probably happily married, with a wife, kids, a dog, the beautiful house with a white picket fence.  Unlike you.  No kids, a rental and a failed marriage.  I argue to no one. “It’s not my fault Mr. Charming turned out to be a narcissistic, lying cheat.”  Yep…we all have scars, only mine cover the walls of my mind, and canvas my heart.

I shake my head, bringing that train of thought to a screeching halt.  It has to be the stress from work.   My boss assures me this merger is going to go smoothly.  I can only hope.  I look at the clock again.  It’s too early to go into the office.  I decide to hit the gym and work off some of this tension.  A good work out and some laps in the pool will get me in the right frame of mind.

By 8:00 a.m. I walk into my office with coffee in hand ready to take on the day.  All negative emotions left drowning in the pool.  My assistant Lisa knocks on the door. With files in hand she reminds me of my meeting at 8:30.

I walk into the conference room.  Some people are seated, others are talking as they get coffee.  I spot an open seat across the room.  As I walk towards it the VP stops me.  “Katherine, Hi.  I want you to meet someone.”  He gestures to the man sitting next to him.  “Katherine Richmond, this is Adam Madsen, he’ll be working with you on the Gemini-62 project.”

Adam? Oh my god, are you kidding me? I gather my composure long enough to shake his extended hand, and choke out a “Nice to meet you.”

Mr. Hightower enters the room with his usual gruffness.  “All right, all right, enough chit-chat.  Everyone take a seat, let’s get started.” Looking at his watch.  “I’m on a tight schedule today.”

The meeting ends just in time for lunch.  I quickly exit the conference room.  On my way out, I let Lisa know I’m leaving the building for lunch.  I need to get away and wrap my brain around this whole situation.  When I return from lunch Adam and I will be working closely together until this merger goes through.  Then once it is done, he’ll transfer to this office to manage his own division.  As I drive around, I begin talking to myself.  “How am I going to do this?  There is no way he recognizes me.  I go by Katherine now, my last name has changed, my hair is a different color, for Pete’s sake.   Okay…I can do this, just focus on business.”  I cannot bring myself to eat, so I return to the office, ready to work.

Lisa lets me know that Adam is waiting for me in my office.  As I stand outside the door, I square my shoulders and take a deep breath.  I walk in with a smile on my face, “Are we ready to work?”  With that we dive into the task at hand.  He is focused on the details, so it makes it easy to keep things strictly business, I am determined to keep it that way too.  Even though the scar on his left hand incites me to do otherwise, I control the urge to make a fool of myself.

We’ve put in a long day, and then some.  For dinner, we order in Chinese food as we wrap up for the day.  It isn’t until then that our conversation turns to idle chitchat.  I notice no wedding ring, and he confirms with his conversation that he is not married.  With that bit of information, I cannot help myself, I have to know.  As I begin cleaning up the empty food cartons I reach over and run my finger along the scar that runs the width of his left hand.  “That’s quite a scar you’ve got there…so…was it worth it?”

For a heartbeat, he gazes down at my finger caressing his hand.  He looks up, stares deep into my eyes as if searching for the answer.  When he finds it he says, “Kate.”

Without hesitation he stands, wraps his arms around my waist to pull me close.   His lips cover mine in a kiss so full of passion, I feel it in my toes.  My arms rest on his shoulders, as my fingers run through his hair.  Together, our bodies say what cannot be said with mere words.  I am lost in the intensity of the emotions coursing through my veins.  The realization that he feels the same awaken the parts of my body that have long been ignored.  When he pauses to catch his breath, he leans his forehead against mine.  He stares at me like he’s looking at me for the first time.  With his finger he brushes a strand of hair from my eyes, and tucks it behind my ear.  “Yes, Kate. I meant what I said.”


Why did it win?

What spoke to the judges?

I like the mood and the tone – celebrity judge Jenifer Ruff

The connection to the scar is good. – celebrity judge Allison Maruska

For me, I enjoyed this story a lot. It has unabashed romance and achieves some poignant moments that are nice to see in writing, but has a charming inner voice – and a conflicted one at that – to guide us through the story. It was fun, and fun is important.

Please join me in congratulating Carrie Anne on a terrific story.  

And now…

only three places remain

But wait! There are FOUR contestants left!

I guess there’s a tie coming.

Come back tomorrow to see who gets 3rd place, and keep following to see who the lucky winner of the top spot is going to be!

17 thoughts on “Word Weaver Writing Contest November 2017: 5th Place Winner Marie Malo and 4th Place Winner Carrie Anne Alexis

  1. […] Carrie Anne entered our very first Word Weaver Writing Contest with Trip Of A Lifetime, and went home with an Honorable Mention. She followed that up with the bittersweet Sparkles In Time in our second contest, again taking Honorable Mention. Because she’s so talented, she was invited to join our scary anthology, The Box Under The Bed  and contributed the charming Hair Razor, and in our most recent Word Weaver she took home 4th Place with Worth It. […]


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