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The Graveyard Challenge

Be an Archeologist and help me dig up some lost pieces by some people we all love!

By Donna Fox (HKB)Published 3 months ago Updated 2 months ago 14 min read
Top Story - December 2023
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The Graveyard Challenge
Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash

Gooooooooooooood Moooooorrrrrrning Viet- I mean Vocal!!!!

I am disturbing the peace of this lovely community to bring to you the announcement of a special challenge that I would personally like to put on!

For those of you who have read my most recent post The Vocal Graveyard, then you are familiar with the concept of what I think happens to our forgotten pieces of work on Vocal. If you haven’t read it, please follow the link or else anything that follows will run the risk of not making sense.

Now, on to the fun and games!

I have temporarily come up with a fix to our Vocal Graveyard problem! I would like to run a challenge where I ask each of you to dig deep (quite literally) into other creator’s profiles/ pages to find a long-forgotten and underapprecTHisated piece by them. It can be an article, poem, story, journal entry, or anything that fits into a community on Vocal.

But here’s the catch, I want it to be old! Not like the Beginning of Time Old but something that isn’t on the Creator's pinned section or front page. Something that maybe even they forgot about and you think deserves more attention and love.

Once you’ve found a piece that you love and want to promote, bring it back to me! I will be promoting these pieces of work here.

I will be linking the titles to the author and will do a summary of the piece after I have read it. I will also shout out to the person who discovered the piece, which I will call an Archeologist. (Get it? Because you had to dig up the piece… No? Anyways…)

If you’d like to help me out by writing a blurb for me to copy and paste, I would appreciate that but it’s not necessary. As I will be reading and commenting on each story you send my way regardless, but as I said. I do appreciate some help along the way!

The cut-off date for submissions will be December 11th, the end of the day.

Now you may be wondering why there is a cut-off date for this challenge. Well, I’ll tell you why!

I will be choosing the Top Three pieces of work you bring to me and republishing a piece in which I will request all of you to vote on our favourite resurrected piece of work!

I expect to have the Top Three chosen for December 15th and will give you all the weekend to vote on which resurrected piece is your favourite!

Then I will then be doing another post to promote and congratulate the winners, on December 18th.

Yes, I said winners!!

I wouldn’t make you wonderful people do all this work without rewarding you for it!

Although an old person I know would say, that providing joy for others should be all the reward you need. No wonder I have trouble saying no… But I digress.

The Creator who made the piece that we all vote to be our favourite will receive a $5 tip for their resurrected piece!

The Archeologist who dug up the piece and brought it to me with receive a $2 tip for being a kind soul and promoting someone else’s work!

Now, just to be clear (and fill 600 words). Here is what I am looking for to enter the challenge:

Something old, something new, something borrowed Oops, wrong list!!

Something from another Creator (any creator but yourself), something underappreciated, something not in the Creator’s pinned section, and something not on their front page.

It can be a poem, song lyrics, story, microfiction, article, journal entry, etc. Anything that Vocal has published in one of their communities.

The idea is to promote other Creators and their forgotten work, and maybe spread a little bit of that giving spirit that it seems to be the season for!

So if you please, help me perform a little necromancy and resurrect a few forgotten pieces for this challenge and bring someone some joy!

The following are the entries I have received for The Graveyard Challenge:

Counting the Broken Pieces of Myself

Writen by: Poppy

This is a compelling, heartbreaking read. It's relatable and such a beautifully penned piece of writing!

Archeologist: Alexander McEvoy

.

The Crow's Calling Card

Writte By: Brin J

This story is tense and thrilling, leaving you with a sense that even more adventure is yet to come. Something like when you get to witness the meeting of two iconic characters and you know there is something really special here.

"This story is so visceral and beautifully told and I think it definitely deserves to be in the spotlight!" - Alexander McEvoy

Archeologist: Alexander McEvoy

.

How Does He Do it?

Written by: Brenton F

This is raw and yet relatable piece of writting. It has this "I have no fucks to give" kind of attitude.

"... So in your face it makes you flinch." - Andrew C McDonald

Archeologist: Andrew C McDonald

.

Spy tip #14

Written by: Heather Hubler

This is one of those hidden gems of comedy gold, it's a story that begs to be taken seriously but just can't be. Especially with a main character that is a bit of a oxymoron in herself, I likened her to a dimwitted professor type. There are plenty of laughs and eyeroll worthy scenes.

"It's absolutely brilliant and silly!" - Brin J

Archeologist: Brin J

.

A Shadow's Banquet

Written by: KuroHoshi

This breathtakingly dark piece gives you the chills with their word choices and elegance in making the doings of shadows seem enticing. A really thought provoking piece overall.

Archeologist: Thavien Yliaster

Archeologist's Assistant: Heather Hubler

.

The Final Battle

Written by: JBaz

This is a well written adventure with tense, vivid imagery that only adds ot the overall impact and authenticity of the story. Jason does a great job of pulling you into the story with him with great detailing and a narrative that really drives the story along.

Archeologist: Mark Gagnon

.

Paper Doll

Written by: Veronica Coldiron

"It's a shorter poem that carries such rich language, I couldn't help but be captivated. The image and title pulled me right in, and then she let the words flow, 'Paper doll floating In the unforgiving sea' The rest follows in a visual and emotional feast, each line perfectly placed. I think we can all identify with the paper doll in some way or another. I just loved every bit of it ;)" - Heather Hubler

Archeologist: Heather Hubler

.

The Quiet Ones

Written by: Hannah Moore

This is one of those pieces that feels like a classic opennign chapter to an adventure we crave after a long day in the real world. There's this extra level of care and detail woven into the core of the story telling that makes you crave more.

"Love the storytelling, the characterisation and the way she weaves in important and compelling details throughout." - Paul Stewart

Archeologist: Paul Stewart

.

Storming

Written by: Suze Kay

The subtitle could not have said it any better: a poem about finding beauty in the strange and mundane.

Archeologist: Poppy

.

Melting Marble

Written by: Mackenzie Davis

This piece has vivid and yet subtly placed imagery, it brings you to a scene of familarity but there's somethign etherial about the way it plays out.

Archeologist: Poppy

.

Smell the Sun

Written by: Brenton F

A poem with vivid imagery and a narrative about what happens when you fly too close to the sun.

Archeologist: Poppy

.

This Haunting

Written by: Kelsey Syble

A metephoric piece that has many possibilities for interpretation.

Archeologist: Poppy

.

five and a half years

Written by: Dana Hartnett

A heartbreaking tale about a significant segment of the narrator's journey.

Archeologist: Poppy

.

Lost Words

Written by: Teresa Renton

A sonnet about a summer memory.

Archeolist: Angie the Archivist

.

Equilibrium

Written by: Mohammed Darasi

An abecedarian poem that uses creative vocabulary and emotionally evoking themes.

Archeologist: Matthew Fromm

.

Gentle Dew From Heaven

Written by: Mackenzie Davis

"... is a wonderful story about a flood that threatens to consume the world and one woman's journey to survive and maintain her sanity best she can with an extensive tea collection. This story flows steadily towards its conclusion as an overfed river from a spring time storm leads one towards the sea or a Great Lake. It is flooded with tantalizing and brilliant uses of water and melting related imagery and it howls for more attention then it has hither too received. ..." - Alexander McEvoy

Archeologist (or as he likes to call himself, Archive Delvers Limited Head Archivist): Alexander McEvoy

.

Dick Winchester in... The Box with No Name

Written by: Stephen A. Roddewig

This is a compelling story told from the perspective of a narrator that's both hilarious and relatable, in his quest to find his own claim to fame as he gets into a turf war with food delivery services.

"I feel he is onto something and could develop this storyline into a television series." - Lamar Wiggins

Archeologist (or as he prefers to be called, Grave Robber): Lamar Wiggins

.

My Will: In Glorious Technicolour

Written by: Caroline Jane

This piece is raw and filled with a lot of beautifully chosen metephors and similies. But the author's note is what helps you connect with the piece on a deeper level!

"I was impressed, not only by her glorious prose, but also by the power and confidence portrayed. Then I read her after note and I was like "hell no, don't say that." You'll know what I mean when you read it." - Cathy Holmes

Archeologist: Cathy Holmes

.

The Curse of the Keep

Written by: Dana Stewart

A tension-filled read involving an unlikely curse that takes hold in an unexpected way.

Archeologist: Babs Iverson

.

The Bee Sized Girl

Written by: jessica moonan davies

A poetic short that plays on the senses of the read through well chosen descriptive language.

Archeologist: S. C. Almanzar

.

No Better Place to Hide

Written by: Amanda Starks

"The mood is wistful and somber, making it reminiscent of old memories long forgotten." - Brin J

Archeologist: Brin J

.

Mirror, Mirror

Written by: The Invisible Writer

A well written twist on an iconic disney classic, with a tension-filled narrative and captivating storyline.

Archeologist: Dharrsheena Raja Segarran

.

Covers

Written by: Grz Colm

A relatable piece about what it feels like when the finish reading something that has touched your heart.

"This perfectly describes how read-a-holics feel!" - Angie the Archivist

Archeologist: Angie the Archivist

.

Delivering Daylight

Written by: Poppy

An enchanting retelling of the classic sleeping beauty tale with some realistic implications. The undrlying message of fighting for one's own happiness was a very beautifully highlighted theme throughout the story.

Archeologist: Angie the Archivist

.

The Doppelganger

Written by: Lamar Wiggins

A compelling horror that plays with your sense of reality and time.

Archeologist: Dharrsheena Raja Segarran

.

A Shrine on the Mountain

Written by: Jen Gossoo

"An epic fantasy story with dreams, magic trains, and a giant wolf-spirit. Has the feeling of a fairy tale and legend, with a masterfully rendered theme of forgiveness. A fantastic read." - Mackenzie Davis

Archeologist: Mackenzie Davis

.

Confessions

Written by: Poppy

A mind altering piece.

"Oh, a truly poignant poem. Heartbreak, yes, but a theme of destruction that I adore and that just hits." - Mackenzie Davis

Archeologist: Mackenzie Davis

.

Invasive Species

Written by: Alexander McEvoy

This is one of those, you have to read it to get it pieces. But once you've read it you can't forget what you have just read...

"Horrifying scene toward the end, but OMG what a great story!! A spooky aquarium after hours, a break in... and an invasive species. Whatever you're imagining will not be accurate to the reveal in this story." - Mackenzie Davis

Archeologist: Mackenzie Davis

.

It's summer, and there's sunlight here,

Written by: Mesh Toraskar

"A gorgeous poem that ponders identity with simply masterful metaphors. I recommend reading it twice." - Mackenzie Davis

Archeologist: Mackenzie Davis

.

Whale Song

Written by: Celia in Underland

A heartbreaking poem about an all-too-real tragedy.

" ... sucked the breath out of me and in the vacuum, tears welled. Its not complex, or fussy, its as direct as a harpoon, piercing the skin and holding you, barbed, on the end of a rope to its end." - Hannah Moore

Archeologist: Hannah Moore

.

Spring

Written by: Rachel Deeming

" ... all that I could feel the playfulness, the exuberance of the season evoked in the language, the flounces and flirtations if it, and at the same time the elusiveness of some of those sensory experiences that keeps us seeking and reaching out, just like the rest of nature at that time." - Hannah Moore

Archeologist: Hannah Moore

.

Amber Moon

Written by: JBaz

A breath taking story about the ways of the world and the power of real love, even beyond the veil of death.

"There is a shining magic to this piece, a rhythm that allows the magic and fosters the acceptance of an altered reality the author offers to his protagonist to allow renewal, and there is something so affirming in that recognition of love as being enabling rather that disabling, as it can feel when we lose someone." - Hannah Moore

Archeologist: Hannah Moore

.

Vacillations of a Restless Moon

Written by: Teresa Renton

" ... what I like about this piece is the way it lingers, like a memory, it take images that sit so readily in the consciousness that I can take my rose tinted spectacles off and still see them, fresh and pure and delicious, and eternal, like the moon." - Hannah Moore

Archeologist: Hannah Moore

.

Voyage of the Chevalier: Episode 1 - A Nefarious Patron

Written by: Ian Read

" ... one of my favorites as it not only shows off his world-building prowess but talent in suspense and atmospheric writing. An incredible start to a fiction series." - Amanda Starks

Archeologist: Amanda Starks

.

The Boy

Written by: Alexander McEvoy

A dark tale about the harsh realities that happen in a mining community and the perspectives of men that have to live with their choices.

Archeologist: Mackenzie Davis

.

Screaming Flowers

Written by: Cathy Holmes

A poem about the symbolism of flowers and the life events they witness.

Archeologist: Dharrsheena Raja Segarran

.

And so it Began...

Written by: Donna Fox

A tale about how one choice can change your entire destiny.

Archeologist: Dharrsheena Raja Segarran

.

The Bay of Lost Souls

Written by: Mark Gagnon

"I read a few stories from this author and everyone has the ability to pull you into it. This one however is so well written you can feel, smell and experience the entire event as if you were there: Mark Gagnon is brilliant at bringing a story to life." - JBaz

Archeologist: JBaz

.

We ate fish on Fridays

Written by: Hannah Moore

" ... this Poem totally tore me apart with the depth of love in every line and word." - JBaz

Archeologist: JBaz

.

Molly

Written by: Donna Fox

" ... a definite read to any person who wishes to write Horror. Donna takes the reader on a ride that you can not forget and will have dreams about for a long time. A masterpiece and I cannot say more other wise I would be giving it away." - JBaz

Archeologist: JBaz

.

Nanna

Written by: Celia in Underland

"Celia in Underland invites the reader to be apart of one of the saddest moments in her life, every line is a tribute of beauty." - JBaz

Archeologist: JBaz

.

Aphasia

Written by: Mackenzie Davis

"It's one of if not the most inventive and haunting exploration of grief and language, structured in a way where the essay becomes much more than the sum of it's parts." - Mesh Toraskar

Archeologist: Mesh Toraskar

.

Although I am still in the midst of adding pieces that are being submitted, I wanted to giev fair warning that the submissions will close at 8:00am (MST) on Monday December 11th, 2023. I will publish a completed list of the entries the following day.

Thank you all for your support, patience and particiaption at this time.

- Donna Fox (HKB)

PS: Here is a short fiction written by one of my favourite Creator's. It stemmed from a conversation we had in the comments about this challenge. Alexander McEvoy: Delver

.

***Update: As of now the challenge is closed. I still have a few submissions to read and put on this list but as of now I unfortunatelt can take no more new submissions.

Thank you all for your continued support and participation! It has been a pleasure to host this challenge thus far!

After I update the submissions to the list I will republish all of them in a new post to give them a little more exposure as I try to narrow them down to a top 3 before Friday December 15th! Wish me luck!!

**Update: here's the list of my top 5 for you to cast your vote on!**

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About the Creator

Donna Fox (HKB)

Thank you for your support and feedback! 💚💙💜

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Comments (66)

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  • JBaz2 months ago

    This story is deeper than it first appears, taking on a famous fable and twisting it into a probable truth. Before you read: it is emotional and violence. Paul Stewart did justice to this fairy tale story; https://vocal.media/fiction/why-the-wolf-howls-in-pain

  • KuroHoshi3 months ago

    I'm so late but thank you guys so much for adding me on here it brings actual tears to my eyes, I'll be reading a lot of these and this is amazing challenge and such a great idea!!

  • JBaz3 months ago

    From this opening line 'I watch silently as you melt -like a candle- into your paisley nightgown — ' Celia in Underland invites the reader to be apart of one of the saddest moments in her life, every line is a tribute of beauty. https://vocal.media/fiction/nanna-672hu0dzw

  • JBaz3 months ago

    I noticed that I am not to late to place entries YAY

  • JBaz3 months ago

    This may be to late but it should be a definite read to any perso who wishes to write Horror. Donna takes the reader on a ride that you can not forget and will have dreams about for a long time. A masterpiece and I cannot say more ohter wise I would be giving it away. https://vocal.media/horror/molly-pu1o10z8r

  • JBaz3 months ago

    Please do this again, I just returned forma business trip and sat down today to add my choices. I di Mark then realized I missed the deadline. I have to try and sneak this one in. As this Poem totally tore me apart with the depth of love in every line and word. By a wonderful author Hannah Moore https://vocal.media/poets/we-ate-fish-on-fridays

  • JBaz3 months ago

    I read a few stories form this author and everyone has the ability to pull you into it. This one however is so well written you can feel, smell and experience the entire event as if you were there: Mark Gagnon is brilliant at bringing a story to life: https://vocal.media/fiction/the-bay-of-lost-souls

  • Omgggg, it's the 11th! Okay, calm down. I'm veryyyyy disappointed in myself because I didn't get to do what I wanted. But I'd like to submit this one by Cathy. It was on page 18 out of 20. And also one of yours that I loveeeeee. I'll leave the links in the comment below

  • Mackenzie Davis3 months ago

    Alex's story "The Boy" is well worth the read. I think my favorite one of his I've read (so far). https://vocal.media/horror/the-boy-66gb01bv

  • Amanda Starks3 months ago

    Alright, I don't think I saw Ian Read on here, and whenever there is a chance I got to shout him out! I haven't read his first pieces from two years ago, but this one from some months ago is still one of my favorites as it not only shows off his world-building prowess but talent in suspense and atmospheric writing. An incredible start to a fiction series. c: https://vocal.media/fiction/voyage-of-the-chevalier-episode-1-a-nefarious-patron This would be a great way to encourage him as he's in a big writing slump. <3

  • Hannah Moore3 months ago

    Feel I am on the cusp of missing this, I havent been much on vocal this week, for good reasons and bad (busy, Christmas, behind, poorly, saturated. The last is both good, as without the riches of my life I would not be saturated, and bad, because I need more capacity). But I love this challenge a big huge lot and really want to honour it, so I am showing up and digging.

  • Luv. Clear and concise. Splendid. 🤞🏾🧡

  • Mackenzie Davis3 months ago

    I have four for you! I might come back tomorrow with more, but if I don't, I'll be happy with the ones I chose. Thank you for this challenge. It was super rewarding and got me back into reading. As follows: 1. Jen Gosso's "A Shrine on the Mountain" https://vocal.media/fiction/a-shrine-on-the-mountain -- An epic fantasy story with dreams, magic trains, and a giant wolf-spirit. Has the feeling of a fairy tale and legend, with a masterfully rendered theme of forgiveness. A fantastic read. Poppy's "Confessions" https://vocal.media/poets/confessions-2y3zvd0beq -- Oh, a truly poignant poem. Heartbreak, yes, but a theme of destruction that I adore and that just hits. Alex's "Invasive Species" https://vocal.media/horror/invasive-species-sp4903l6 -- Horrifying scene toward the end, but OMG what a great story!! A spooky aquarium after hours, a break in... and an invasive species. Whatever you're imagining will not be accurate to the reveal in this story. Mesh's "It's Summer and There's Sunlight Here" https://vocal.media/poets/it-s-summer-and-there-s-sunlight-here -- A gorgeous poem that ponders identity with simply masterful metaphors. I recommend reading it twice.

  • Grz Colm3 months ago

    I’m so sorry HKB! I read this yesterday and then got lost reading a couple of the pieces above and the forgot to come back to comment,,! It would be nice if at least two of my brain cells would work together! 😒 Anyhow I see my Covers poem is up now too! How cool. Anyhow this is a great idea. Good on you. Don’t go too far back in mine.. mostly mental health struggles from a few years back. I don’t much like being reminded of these..but didn’t want to delete as they are still a part of my story and trajectory if that makes sense! Anyhow hope you are having a great day & congrats on another top story!! 😁😊👍

  • My reading list just got so long. Thank you for mentioning me. Can't wait to check out some of these stories

  • Amanda Starks3 months ago

    I love this so so much!! Thank you for the love! I'm going to have to dig up another one in return. c:

  • This one is longer, but has an important theme... well worth the read! https://vocal.media/fiction/delivering-daylight

  • Here's another lost gem! https://vocal.media/poets/covers-v8fd0o0vwl This perfectly describes how read-a-holics feel!

  • Yayyyyyy soooo happy this got a Top Story! Congratulations D! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊 Also, I've submitted the link to Will's story in my comment below but to make it easier for you, I'll also post it below this comment as well. But please know that I will find one story on my own and submit to you before 11th. I won't rest in peace if I don't, lol.

  • Brin J.3 months ago

    I'm not sure if there's a cap on how many we could submit, but I just found this gem hidden among the entries for the "Identity" Challenge. The mood is wistful and somber, making it reminiscent of old memories long forgotten. https://vocal.media/poets/no-better-place-to-hide

  • Brin J.3 months ago

    Oh.. my.. god... this is growing to be such an amazing thing. The part that kind of throws my mind in a loop is that Alexander recommended a story I wrote that talks about dead dreams and a graveyard of failed ambitions... and here you've given us headstones so we could honor THESE author's fallen passions and memories... I have no words... I just find it so beautiful... and again, my heart squeezes from Alexander's recommendation. <3 Danna, what you're doing... I think it's safe to say for everyone we can't thank you enough.

  • S. C. Almanzar3 months ago

    "The Bee Sized Girl" by Jessica Davies! I found this to be a very creative and colorful poem. https://vocal.media/poets/the-bee-sized-girl

  • Caroline Jane3 months ago

    Oh! Just realised this is an actual challenge. Sorry sm 3 sheets to the wind. Right. Let me get a thinking. 🥰

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