Thursday, July 6, 2017

Character Design Contest Results

Thank you to those of you who voted in my first ever Character Design Contest.
After carefully gathering and counting the votes (and breaking some ties), I <finally> have the results from the contest.
Meet Marcellus!
There have been some slight technical difficulties with the picture of Marcellus, so for now, just make up your own mental image....I'll post a picture...eventually.

Here is what YOU voted that Marcellus would be like:

Marcellus is a 20-year-old guy who has hazel eyes and blond hair (forget the purple roots...he is a guy!) He is sarcastic, likes to run, and doesn't care about religion. His goal in life is to be famous, and he plans to do that by being an Olympic runner and getting rich. He needs to learn humility, but he thinks that humility is overrated, or unneeded. He likes gray. He had a tense childhood that he chooses not to remember...most of the time. He lives in the early 1900s, on earth, in a European colony in the pacific Islands, in a big city surrounded by forest. He likes brownies, winter, and stringed instruments.

So, this gave me quite the challenge to write a story. First of all, I don't usually write about guys. Secondly, I'm not a runner, so I don't know what would go on in the thoughts of a wanna-be Olympic runner...but I gave it a try. I apologize in advance for a not-so-great story, and if you stop reading here, I won't be offended. Here it is...

With white blond hair, one can't really hide in a forest of trees with dark trunks. But that was what Marcellus was attempting to do. He wasn't hiding from anyone in particular. No, Marcellus was hiding from the reality that he needed to go home and apologize to his mother for storming off before dinner and being disrespectful.

"But future Olympic athletes don't apologize," Marcellus muttered to himself, leaning against a tree trunk behind him.

This wasn't the first time Marcellus had tried to run away from his problems. Indeed, he had been escaping into these very forests since the time he was five. He had never known his father. His father had stayed in Europe when his mother decided to take Marcellus and move to a colony on the Pacific Islands. She had always been strict, and Marcellus thought it bordered on harsh two-thirds of the time. She had never been abusive, but she had never been affectionate. Marcellus often ran away to think in the forests outside of town.

Today was no different. He had told his mother that he was going to figure out how to compete in the upcoming Olympic games as a runner. She hadn't exactly been supportive.

"What? And leave me here, alone? Marcellus, what are you THINKING?" she had yelled.

Marcellus had yelled back. Then he had left the house. And now he was in the forest, alone in the coming darkness as the sun set.

Finally Marcellus stood up and brushed off his pants. He should go home. But he didn't want to. He was still to angry and hurt to go home and apologize for storming out. Besides, he didn't want to return until he was officially going to be an Olympic athlete. And there was only one person he knew who could help him do that-James. Marcellus turned toward the British Embassy.

Marcellus entered the office without knocking. James looked up from the pile of papers on his desk.

"Since when did I give you permission to come in without knocking?" James asked, feigning anger.

Marcellus evaded the question and got right to his point. "James, I need to get on the British Olympic team for this year."

"That's a big request," James mused. "I'll see what I can do."

James looked back down at his papers. Marcellus cleared his throat. "May I stay here until you get me on the team?"

James leaned back in his chair. "Your mother again?"

Marcellus nodded.

James shrugged. "You know where your mattress is."

Marcellus nodded again. He headed towards the back of the office. He had been here for the night many times before.

Without looking up, James said, "Marcellus, I'll do my best to get you on the team by the end of the week. But no promises."


The last month had been a whirlwind. Not long ago, Marcellus had been standing in the British Embassy demanding that James get him on the Olympic Team. Now he stood with his toes on the starting line in Stockholm, ready to run. His toes were itching. He felt that the gold medal was within his reach. All he had to do was run, like he always did. He wiped his face with his hand. Even here, north of the equator, the summer sun beat down unmercifully.

Suddenly, the runners were off like a shot.

Marcellus ran as fast as he could. His vision blurred and he couldn't hear anything except his own heartbeat. He saw the finish approaching...faster and faster...and then he crossed it! He fell to his knees and listened to the roar of the crowd. Then he looked up. That was when he realized that he hadn't even placed.

Marcellus struggled to his feet. His vision blurred again, this time with hot, angry tears, rather than excitement and adrenaline.

He left the track in a huff. "How could I loose?" He shouted as he splashed water on his face to cool off. "How can I go home and face mother when I didn't even place?" Angry tears flowed down his cheeks. "I deserved that medal!" He screamed. "After all I've been through to get here, I deserved that medal!"

Marcellus felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around to face Ralph, the gold medal winner. "You ran well," Ralph said. "You did a good job. I'm honored to have raced against you."

Marcellus blinked and stared at the extended hand before him. How could Ralph, who had just won first place, take the time to greet and compliment him? He raised a shaking hand and accepted Ralph's firm handshake. "Congratulations on your win," he replied.

So, I know that kind of ended abruptly. I'm sorry. I just can't think of a way to end it that won't be cheesy. Wait... I think it was cheesy already. Oh well.

Well, to finish this post (and sorry, it was kind of long today), I'm going to share some facts I got from Wikipedia  about the 1912 Olympic games.

1. They were held in Stockholm
2. Ralph Craig won the men's 100-metres
3. Kanakuri Shizo (a Japanese marathon runner) went missing during the race. I guess he got thirsty, stopped to quench his thirst, then just got on a train and left Stockholm without letting the Olympic game authorities know. He went back to Japan. Then, 50 years later, he was invited back to Sweden to finish the race. His (unofficial) time was 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 8 hours, 32 minutes, and 20.3 seconds. What a race!
4. 28 nations competed in the 1912 games.

Alright, now for a quick disclaimer...
Marcellus and story are fictitious. Ralph Craig was a real Olympic athlete, however. But the story of Marcellus and Ralph meeting is made up. :) So don't go quoting this in history class unless you want to be laughed at!

Hope you enjoyed my story...silly as it was.  Do you think Marcellus really learned his lesson about humility from Ralph? :)


  1. Very intriguing story... I like it. And don't worry, some of the best short stories end abruptly. It just leaves the reader wanting more.

    1. Well, unfortunately, that one won't be followed with a sequel...but maybe it will keep people coming back to my blog for more stories! :)