Four elements, four days, 500 words. It’s a daunting task, one that will hone the skills of any writer. It is also the premise of The Iron Writer. The Iron Writer Challenge was started one year ago by short fiction author Brian Rogers. Since it’s inception, it has grown incredibly. The site now boasts irons from seven countries and includes not only the original challenge but a non-competitive Weekend Quickie, a relay, and a site where seasoned authors give writing tips and advice. They have a networking page wherein the members share publishing opportunities, freelance work, and more. They also have a NaNoWriMo group that boasted several winners and who join together each year to “kill” the sites founder as part of their novel. The judging has evolved from a public vote to said vote combined with a rigorous judging system in order to combine literary merit with marketing skills to determine which writer has the most “metal in their mettle.”
In celebration of the occasion, several Irons have elected to participate in a Birthday Blog Hop. The challenge? To write a commemorative 500 word piece of flash fiction including the following elements: iron, a quill, a birthday cake, and the favorite element from each Iron’s first challenge. (My chosen element was 12 sweaty Sumo wrestlers)
The table creaked as Shou leaned against it, easing his 267 pound frame onto the groaning chair. Around the table sat his 11 “biggest” competitors. The day’s sumo competition had just ended, and the secret meeting had been called so hurriedly most of them had barely taken the time to change from their customary wrestling mawashi, none having showered. The stench of 3228 pounds of sweaty sumo flesh filled the room, yet none seemed to notice. Their worries were bigger than the dozen heavy weight champs filling the room. Their worries sat in the middle of the table.
It looked innocuous enough. A brightly colored birthday cake. It was a large, round, double decker cake covered in bright blue, red and yellow frostings and boasting a large number 1 candle in the center. This seemingly innocent cake had the world’s premier fighting champions shivering in fear. Someone had found out. Someone sent them this cake and this note as a warning.
The note itself was unremarkable except that the author had taken great care to pen it with smooth, fluid strokes using an old fashioned quill and ink rather than the standard ball point pen of the day. When Shou had found the cake, and the note, they had been left in the west locker room. His locker room. The cake sat on a table, the note and it’s perfectly hefted quill lying sweetly next to it. The note simply said, “Happy 1st Birthday to the Sumo Confederation”.
Now as the last of the twelve to arrive, Shou stared again at the cake. Someone had discovered their secret and the ensuing scandal could rock the Sumo Wrestling world. These men, these avowed enemies sworn to destroy one another in the ring, had banded together one year ago today, in this very room, to create a secret confederation.
It had started innocently enough. Though they were not allowed to socialize with competitors, Sumo had accidently seen Tsubasa, the man he had been scheduled to wrestle in a few hours pouring over a book. Curious, he crept closer until he recognized the book. It was Elizabeth Browning’s Aurora Leigh. Tsubasa had looked at Shou guiltily, as though he’d been caught in an immoral act. And in the Sumo Wrestling world, he very nearly had. Wrestlers didn’t read poetry. Or so they had all been led to believe. Now, a year later, they had formed a group of 12. Twelve of, quite literally, the world’s biggest poetry fans.
The penalty for socializing outside the ring was steep, 3,000,000 yen each for the first offense, not to mention the displeasure and punishments of your coach. The penalty of forming a club in which they read, studied and shared their own poetry was unimaginable. These men were supposed to be men iron, manly men, men who tried to tear one another apart in the wrestling ring. Now someone had discovered their secret. They had to find the person responsible for this cake and tear him limb from limb.
Tomorrow check out Jordan at http://jbfiction.blogspot.com/
If you are interested in joining the fun, check out http://www.theironwriter.com and take a challenge!