Round Robin Story Debate Rd. 1, Pt. 2
This is the second part of the first round of the MIG Round Robin Story Tournament.
The theme for this round is:
Voting Criteria Posted Below
1. Conduct is only reserved for members who choose not to either adhere to the rules imposed by the debater, forfeits, trolls and harangues his opponent, and so forth. Note that this story tournament may include twists or not, depending on the whims of the debaters.
2. Spelling and grammar should only be rewarded to another opponent if one side displays noticeably poor spelling and grammar (in other words a conspicuous difference).
3. Arguments-There is a subjective nature as to who made the better arguments, but both debaters AND voters should beware that this is essentially where one decides on who did the better job in crafting the story--in creating a literary world, imbuing his characters with basic or complicated humanity, geared the story forward, and even entertained the audience. (Note that the latter is contingent on the type of the debate; voters should list whatever factors that colored their perceptions of the debate sides of the stories).
4. Sources-This is where one actually decides on who exhibited the better craftsmanship and writing skills--in other words--the best prose, wording, command of the language and flourish. This skill is not all to be confused with storytelling; surely a member can tell good stories but that does not at all correlate with his writing skills or the maturity of such a skill.
I want to thank my opponent, and may the games begin!
I thank my opponent for her challenge, and I eagerly await her opening round.
I drove home in the afternoon of a mid-December Monday to an empty house, from an empty school day to resume an empty life. The faint smell of fresh paint and the evergreen musk of our Frasier Fir Christmas tree greeted me as I entered the kitchen through the garage. I was seventeen, and a senior in high school. My father had gone undergone a surgery earlier in the morning and my mother was still at the hospital. Since I was home alone, I helped myself to a tall scotch on the rocks left over from the Christmas party my parents hosted the previous saturday night. I knew the alcohol would be off my breath before anyone came home.
“Probably.” I replied.
“Yeah.” He concurred.
Shuffling down the hall into the kitchen, I am met by the inglorious bright white light of mid-morning winter. Ugh. I frown and bear it though, and find the ibuprofen in the medicine cabinet. As I'm taking one, Mom just so happens to come down. She doesn't look like she had any sleep last night. Her eyes are crimson. She looks up, and I know she's half-expecting dad to still be there, but instead finds me. She doesn't smile. I swallow the ibuprofen and say "hey" to her. She nods her greeting. There's an awkward silence as she starts to make her coffee and I start to head back to my room.
"Can you please get the newspaper?"
Her request comes softly, and competely out of the blue. I look at her incredulously. I say with my eyes, "Do I look in any fit shape to get the f****** newspaper?" She gives me Bambi eyes. "It's just a small thing to do," she says. Really? If SHE wanted the newspaper so badly, then why didn't SHE go out into the effing snow and get HER effing newspaper? But I relent, ungraciously, and put on a fairly warm robe and waded into the snow.
The newspaper was fairly far down in our driveway. I showed my disapproval on my face as I walked down the insufferably cold driveway. Everything was wet with snow. There wan't a sun overhead, but sheer white clouds overhead. Everything was pretty, and everybody would soon be welcoming the snow with the warmth and cheer of the goddamned holiday that was coming up. The world would move on, but I wouldn't. Neither would mom. Bryant might, but he was the perfect one. Tom surely didn't care; he had other things to worry about.
At the very end of the driveway, I found the newspaper almost in an unfit condition to be read. I picked it up anyway. When I raised myself from the bent-over position that I was in, I spotted something. A dog. A Newfoundland, to be exact. It was big and pitch-black like any Newfoundland should, but it seemed thin. It was in the McDonald's yard, our direct neighbor to the left. They'd probably either shoo him away eventually or not care either way. The dog itself was looking at me intently. Probably a stray that would eventually be run over by a car sometime soon.
Inside, I let mom have her fairly wet newspaper. She had her coffee in both of her hands, and was staring out of the window as though a great ship from the 1870's was out there. She said to put the newspaper on the table before asking me, "Who do you think owns the dog that's out there?"
"The dog in Nancy's yard." [She was referring to Nancy McDonald] "I saw you look at it."
"Oh, that one," as though there was a swarm of dogs outside our front door, "Probably a stray."
"Probably, but it looks too tame and too well-kept."
"It's a little bit thin, yes."
"What should we do with it?"
"Take it to the shelter, see if anybody has lost their dog recently."
That was the same thing that I was thinking. But I didn't care, and went back upstairs.
Dad's funeral was the most somber affair that I remember going to. Maybe because he was the most somber person I have ever met. Grandma Sophie was prim and proper, and her funeral reflected that, but her funeral wasn't as somber as dad's. Tom did the service, and talked about how we should take dad as a role model, and finish what he started or something like that, his voice wasn't happy or anything other than depressed. I had a hard time paying attention to what he was saying, maybe because I was a little drunk.
I re-met a lot of distant friends and family that I would probably only see again at weddings or other funerals. I didn't care for any of them. The food afterwards had as little energy and was as depressed as Tom had been during the service. There wasn't any booze. I made uninteresting smalltalk with some distant relatives, who commented about how tall I had gotten.
When we arrived home, we were greeted by the Newfoundland by our door.
The dog, as we found out in the coming days, was spectral. It couldn't be successfully corralled by anyone, not even animal control when we called them. It remained around the house, watching intently with it's slightly curious stare. When we would try to look for it, it didn't appear. When we were hoping to avoid it, it was there. I hated the thing.
Maybe because it reminded me of dad.
YYW forfeited this round.
Forfeits are understandable. I do wish my opponent luck.
Debate called off. USM and I agreed to keep it a tie. Sorry to disapoint all who were following.
Many thanks to USM for his understanding.
Peace and Love,
I wish the best of luck to my opponent in her endeavors that have put this debate on ice.
Thanks. Let the record reflect that I am not female, lol.
I won't, sir. : )