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Round Robin Story Debate Rd. 1, Pt. 2

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It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/18/2012 Category: Arts
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,080 times Debate No: 25168
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
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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.
Debate Round No. 1


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.

Drink in hand, I walked upstairs to my room where I took a Vicodin pill I scored from a friend and washed it down with the scotch. But before going to sleep, I opened my window and stepped out onto my roof for a cigarette. The scotch was long gone. The sharp cigarette smoke beautifully complimented crisp winter air. It was cold outside, but I was warm from the liquor, and my navy blue wool pea.

Sitting outside and alone was refreshing. Grey clouds softened the sky, and a gentle breeze kissed the trees with whispering gratitude. When I finished my cigarette, I flicked the butt into the bushes below and climbed back into my window. I took off my coat and laid down.

Usually when I mixed prescription pain killers and alcohol I didn’t have dreams. It was a pleasant relief from the nightmares that had plagued me all my life. I only slept well when I was drunk or high, but I didn’t have any pot then. Only pills, but they would suffice for the time being. The heater came on and I felt the warm air from the duct above on my face, but the dust from the ceiling fan hampered the pleasure of the experience. It wasn’t long before I faded off into the black abyss of an opiate induced nap.

An unfamiliar knock on my door woke me up at around five that evening. I stood up out of bed and checked my breath, which still smelled like cigarettes and scotch. After popping a piece of gum into my mouth, I unlocked the door.

“Michael, come downstairs.” Tom instructed. He beckoned towards the stirs"

“Why?” I was confused and a bit disoriented. “Is something wrong?”

Tom reemphasized his gesture as if to firmly reiterate his directive. Tom Young was a family friend, a minister and one of the few men my father truly and unequivocally trusted in the world. He was the minister that performed my parents wedding. He was practically family, although he and his wife rarely visited during the week. I looked over the bannister into the living room below and I saw my mother and grandmother and Tom’s wife Abigail who was trying to hold my mother up on the couch to prevent her from falling over. As I walked downstairs, Tom summoned my brother from his bedroom.

The Christmas tree was still lit since I forgot to turn it off before I went out to smoke on my roof, and a soft fire burned in the fireplace. Presents lined the bottom of our sixteen foot tree, and the lights glistened on their ribbon. At first glance, it almost seemed as if we were going to celebrate Christmas early, but from my mothers posture and the mood of the others in now in the living room, I knew something was wrong. I sat down on one end of the couch and my brother sat beside me before Abigail began to speak.

“Michael. Bryant. I,” she began “I have some bad news.” She seemed to be caught for breath, without being exasperated. She looked me in the eyes, and began to cry herself.

“Abigail, I’ll tell them.” Tom began. “Boys, there is no easy way to say this.”

“Say wha-” I cautiously interjected, before being spoken over.

“Stop talking and let me finish.” He cut me off. “Your dad didn’t make it through the surgery. He’s gone.”

“He’s gone?” I was confused. “He’s ‘gone’? What the hell does that mean, he’s gone?” I raised my voice.

“Michael, you’re dad passed away. He’s in heaven now.” Tom seemed to apologize in his tone. My brother’s eyes watered and he ran upstairs back to his room. I began to speak but nothing came out. I felt tears in my eyes and I tucked my head between my knees, with my arms on my neck as if to shield myself from the room. The lights from the Christmas tree reflected through my tears as I wept. Tom placed his hands on my shoulders and I heard Abigail walk up the stairs to see after my brother. I heard something hit the hardwood floors, and when I looked up I saw my mother on her knees crying into the seat of the sofa.

My own contacts almost fell out as my eyes continued to swell from the tears. I had never lost such control of my composure. It could have been the residual impact of the scotch and pain killers, but that moment of stricken grief seemed eternal in the moment I lived it. I had never seen my mother cry like that. I had never felt as sad as I did as I looked over to the Christmas tree through teary eyes in total disbelief at what I heard. After ten minutes or so, I walked back upstairs and locked the door. I opened my window and went out on my roof for another cigarette.

The sun had gone down by now and the air was cooler. Soft grey skies were replaced by a dark and ominous sky as the snow began to fall. The smell of burning firewood against the night air and cigarette smoke seemed to dull the pain. I took another prescription pain pill I scored from a friend earlier that day in addition to another Vicodin. I wanted to black out completely, and I did.

I didn’t wake up until noon the next day, but even when I did I didn’t bother to get out of bed. It was miserable outside. The blowing snow seemed to set the mood of our household. I laid in my bed and stared at the ceiling, still in disbelief. I lit a cigarette in bed and let the ash fall on my shirt. I didn’t even bother to put the cigarette out, I just dropped it in yesterdays now dry scotch glass. I wondered how upset my father would be if he knew I was drinking his scotch, or that I was smoking in the house, or that I had steadily been spending all of my money on prescription pain killers and pot.

In my head I rehearsed the conversation. He would be furious. I would sit in silence while being yelled at. He would make threats and try to ground me. I would get in my car and leave. I was grateful that my last words to him were ‘I love you, dad' and that I hugged him goodbye before I left for school that morning. I stood up and opened my door to walk downstairs. Abigail sat across from my mother and grandmother, who both looked up as I walked out onto the stairs.

The expressions on their faces suggested that they wanted to ask how I was, but they already knew. I was drowning in a frozen ocean, caught in currents of grief and self destruction, unable to break through the ice.

They all sat in the living room, my mother, grandmother and Abigail. I opened the liquor cabinet and took a bottle of vodka and sat it on the counter. I poured a half glass of orange juice and took them both up to my room. I walked right past the living room. No one even noticed, or if they did, no one cared enough to say anything. After filling the rest of the glass with vodka and stirring the mixture with my finger, I walked into my brother’s room where he was awake and staring at the ceiling just as I was earlier.

“Do you have any weed?” I asked.

“Yeah.” He pointed over to his closet. “You want to get high?"

“Yeah.” Bryant was almost expressionless.

After we went into my room, my brother opened the bottle of vodka and took a few gulps. I looked at him in disbelief. He stared blankly back at me. I opened the window and we went out on the roof. We smoked in total silence. The housewife next door was walking her dogs. The kids across the street were playing basketball. Our neighbors to the left were stacking firewood. The lawyer behind us was smoking a cigar in his study with the window open so his wife wouldn’t complain. The lives of others went on. I packed another bowl.

“Do you think dad ever smoked weed?” Bryant asked.

“Probably.” I replied.

“Yeah.” He concurred.



That night was black, as usual. Thank god that I don't have to watch the horrors that usually accompany my dreams. I had the vauge, drunken sense before I went to bed that night that my dreams, if I had any, would prominantly feature my dad. Which would not help the strange stew of emotions gurgling in my stomach, along with the somewhat copius amounts of alcohol.The first thing that came to my mind the next day was of those relating to the inexorable fact that I had had acquired a hangover. Head hurts. Light bright. Want to vomit. Stuff like that. So, despite my deep, entrenced desire to wrap myself tighter in my bed's warm, worn downy covers, I forced myself to get out of bed and walk the chilling path to the kitchen for some headache relief.

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?"

"What dog?"

"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 thin."

"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.
Debate Round No. 2


YYW forfeited this round.


Forfeits are understandable. I do wish my opponent luck.
Debate Round No. 3


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.
Debate Round No. 4


Thanks. Let the record reflect that I am not female, lol.


I won't, sir. : )
Debate Round No. 5
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
I'm definitely a guy, lol
Posted by TUF 5 years ago
YYW is a female???

lol jk.
Posted by YYW 6 years ago
Had something come up. Oops. It is what it is.
Posted by Lordknukle 6 years ago
And boom.
Posted by Lordknukle 6 years ago
50 seconds
Posted by YYW 6 years ago
So, you like the start of it then?
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 6 years ago
I'll be reading this "debate" as "arguments" are added.
Posted by YYW 6 years ago
*navy blue wool pea coat
Posted by YYW 6 years ago
Mmmmmhmmmm..... lol
Posted by UnStupendousMan 6 years ago
Oops... Today has not been a good day for me, mistake-wise.
No votes have been placed for this debate.