The Annual Life or Death Beauty Pageant

Submitted for Contest #66 in response to: Write about a contest with life or death stakes.... view prompt

Nov 06, 2020

Fantasy Suspense

Everyone tells me I’m beautiful. I’m serious, everyone. Strangers strolling down the street will drop their coffee on the sidewalk and gawk at me, then ask how my complexion is so clear. All of the girls at Wilmington Academy beg me to style their hair and apply their makeup. All of the boys practically drool whenever I pass them by in the halls. Everyone wants to be me. Which is why I decided to enter into the Life or Death Beauty Pageant.Β 

The Annual Life or Death Beauty Pageant - or ALDB Pageant for short - is a contest watched worldwide. It was created by some billionaire who wanted entertainment yet didn’t know what to do with his money. 20 girls compete for a chanceΒ to win 5 million dollars. The girls are placed in a large dome, each given a weapon of their choice, and then they fight to the death. The contest will usually last a week or so and the winner is presented with the money and a golden trophy.Β 

But this is a beauty pageant, so they had to find a way to involve the girls’ looks. Before the contest, the girls are interviewed to show off their appearance and personality. 50 Supporters will be watching, and each Supporter gets to decide independently who they think is the most beautiful or whose personality they adore. While in the dome, they send that girl protective armor, food, more weapons, and supplies. The prettiest girl always gets the most Supporters, and regardless of her talent, usually wins the contest.Β 

If I entered, I wouldn’t have any trouble winning. One, I’m knock-out gorgeous. My hair is the color of a teddy bear my mother made for me when I was a child. My skin is tanned perfectly and clear of freckles, and it naturally makes my jade eyes sparkle. I could undoubtedly win this.Β Β Β 

The frigid air in my bedroom tears me away from my thoughts. I roll myself up in the quilt that my mother stitched together for me, hoping to get some warmth, but I don’t succeed. Instead, I pull a knitted wool sweater - another craft my mother made for me - over my head as another attempt to be heated. This works better, but I’m still freezing. I reapply my run-down maeve lipstick, a used hand-me-down from my mother and one of the only things I can afford, and place it in its exact spot on my tattered nightstand. Even though I don’t have much, I try to be organized.Β 

I stumble down the staircase, searching blindly for the light switch as I go down. I feel a raised piece of plastic on the peeling wall. I push it, and it provides me with immediate lighting. My pace quickens as I hurry to my garage, hoping to make it out before my mother wakes. I plop myself into the ripped seat of our old truck, plunge the keys into their proper hole, and turn them to the right, praying it will turn on.

After a few failed attempts, the old engine roars to life, and I slowly back it out of the garage, the noise making me cringe. I see my mother opening the window to her room and letting the sunlight stream in like she does each morning. We share a few similarities, such as our long brown hair and tan skin. But I’m told that my green eyes come from my dad. I wouldn’t know. He abandoned my family when I was just a baby.Β 

When Mother notices the car pulling out of the driveway, her expression fluctuates entirely. Her jaw drops. She knows I’m going to sign up for the pageant. I mentioned it to her a week ago and pleaded with her to let me take part in it. My family needs money. Our shack of a home could use an upgrade and our beat-up truck has to be replaced. She refused to let me do anything that could possibly injure me. I kept arguing with her but she wouldn’t oblige to my request no matter how hard I tried to convince her. I got so mad I wouldn’t talk to her for days.

Mother rushes out of her bedroom, and I can picture her sprinting down the stairs right as I pull the vehicle out of the garage. The door is flung open when the truck reaches the street. She mouths something multiple times, and it takes me a second to realize she is saying, β€œPlease.” For a second my heart sinks, but then I ignore the feeling. I’m going to win this. And when I come back with 5 million dollars she’ll understand why I did this. I think to myself. Those other girls don’t stand a chance against me. A smug smile makes an appearance on my face at the thought of beating all of the other losers in the pageant.


* * *

I arrive at a sleek skyscraper with over twenty floors, the words β€œALDB” in massive letters at the very top of the building. I plant my feet on the concrete sidewalk next to the street and softly shut the door closed, fearing that if I slam it, it might fall off of its hinges. I walk up to the large door of the building, and it slides away at my appearance, as if I am a queen and it is merely somebody constructed to serve me. I step into the building and my jaw drops.Β 

The place probably created the phrase, β€œMoney is no object.” White luxury diamond-encrusted sofas are placed in the back, and glass tables with gold rims are in the center. Beautiful greenery is sitting in the corners, and massive lights are hanging from the ceiling, reflecting off of all of the bejeweled items in the room - which is nearly everything. There’s a quartz table placed right in front of me, and placed on it is a professional sign reading, β€œAnnual Life or Death Beauty Pageant Sign-Ups” in large gold letters.Β 

A woman about as old as my mother is sitting on a chair behind the table, scrolling through a square device - I’m nearly positive it’s called a phone - not paying any attention to my presence. A sign-up sheet rests in front of her, a black and gold pen resting on top of it, beckoning me to pick it up and swirl it in large letters. I notice approximately 20 signatures. After counting, I realize there are 19 other signatures. I’ll be the last one. I pick up the pen and make swirling motions to produce my name - Savannah Oaks.Β 

The woman - deemed Laura Berks from her nametag - looks up at me, then plasters a fake smile on her face. β€œGood morning.” she says to me in an accent that I can’t quite place the origin of. β€œOh, another sign-up! This will be the last one! I’ll direct you to your chambers.”

Chambers? I thought to myself. This is all going so fast. Doesn’t matter. I know I will win, no matter when the contest is or how it goes. I smiled to myself, yearning for my moment of victory.





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229 comments

Anyone who wants more...read my bio!

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Laiba M
14:06 Nov 06, 2020

Hello~ This story was simply amazing! I can't wait to see how the battle goes, are you planning a sequel or keeping it as is? One thing I'd like you to note. This story and plot is obviously all about physical description, so I'd really like you to think and replan how you describe the main character's appearance. "My hair is brown with natural highlights, running down my back in a glossy curtain. My skin is tanned perfectly and clear of freckles, and it naturally makes my green eyes sparkle." This is a very generic description, so try and...

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Oooh, I LOVE the description ideas! I'm going to use some of them!

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And yes, there will DEFINITELY be a sequel!

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Laiba M
16:43 Nov 06, 2020

Nice! Glad you liked them :) That's great, super excited!!

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Hey! What prompt are you thinking of doing for this contest? Or if not, what prompt catches your eye? :)

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Also, I'd be a mix of R, S, and T! Read your bio, everyone's doing these, they're so interesting! :)

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Hmm, I'm not sure! Maybe 2... noiceee! ikr??

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Nothing muchhh! I think I'm going to do a story this week!

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Ooh, looking forward to it! I'm writing a story right now, and I'm really excited for it. These prompts are getting a lot better, am I right?

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Good job Kylie! I already read this but your making me comment again even though your sitting right next to me and I could just tell you... ANYWAYS, great story! I really like the plot and am super excited for the second story! I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

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Hahahahahaha!!! Comment in exchange for comment, Blair!!! Thank you! (did you actually read it lol) Your reading our loud in a valley girl accent wasn't very legitimate!! ALSO THIS IS A VERY GENERAL COMMENT!!!!! I'm just messing with you lolz

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Hahaha I definitely read it, lol. Well, I didn't read it RIGHT NOW but I read it earlier on your doc. MY ACCENT WAS BEAUTIFUL. HOW DARE YOU. LOLZ? LAUGH OUT LOUD ZEBRAS? What does that mean? Also, why are we responding cause we are also taking at the same time and you are begging me to hurry so you can see but I am not going to so haha.

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Okay, fair enoughhh.... Yas, I agree, the accent was perfect! And OF COURSE!! Laugh Out Loud Zebras, it's the latest trend!! And I. D. K...

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HAHA, IKR I knew it! Also, we got to go to class so lets talk in person now...

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. . .
04:44 Nov 06, 2020

This is fantastic! She's very arrogant - kind of what you would expect to see in somebody who is very confident in their beauty. However, I was wondering, why is she envied if she doesn't have very nice clothes? Overall, this was a great story!

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Thank you for reading! Two words - natural beauty. Her clothes aren't what are the most beautiful part about her, its her features. Thank you again!

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. . .
00:46 Nov 07, 2020

Ah, got it. You're very welcome!

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I'm getting Hunger Games/The Selection vibes from this! Amazing take on the prompt, I would not have chosen a beauty pageant to be something with life or death stakes, but hey! That's what makes it so unique. You did an excellent job with the descriptions, making the story flow well overall! Since you did leave it on a cliffhanger, I'm hoping there is a sequel!! If so, I can't wait to read it! :)

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Thank you so much, Esme!! This is so kind!! And there will ABSOLUTELY be a sequel!! I'm just waiting for the perfect prompt to write it to!

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01:45 Nov 07, 2020

Hey Kylie! I really liked this, I only have a few things: - 5 million doesn't seem like that much. Like, it is to most people but for this contest, especially since it seems set in the future, I feel like it should be higher. - It seems a bit too HG-ish--but trust me girl, I feel the struggle. My current WIP is a dystopian and literally everything seems like it's a ripoff of either The Giver or The Hunger Games, which I'm trying really hard to fix haha. But good job! Just make sure you tryn come up with some original plot points an ideas...

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Thank you! How would 10 million sound?? Haha, did you realize that this prompt and the new romance prompt are LITERALLY THE PLOTS OF HUNGER GAMES???

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19:50 Nov 07, 2020

Honestly, and this might sound absurd, but especially since you say it was created by a billionaire and inflation and all that I think it should be 100 million. Again, feel free to ignore that if it seems too far-fetched. And yeah I saw you say that πŸ˜‚ I’m tryna keep this on the dl since if reedsy ever saw this i’d have no chance at winning ever but i feel like 110% the prompts are usually crap and it’s only the concept and the people that make this concept interesting. *watches any hopes of being shortlisted yeeting themselves into the ab...

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I am so sorry! I didn't see this until now!! 100 million is actually great! Ughh, but my story was already approved so I can't fix it!! :( The prompts haven't really been great this month - I agree. Okay, I am so mad at myself for not seeing this, because you are HILARIOUS!!!

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21:36 Nov 11, 2020

haha no worries, good luck on the sequel!

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Helen Jett
13:13 Nov 06, 2020

I absolutely love the concept of a life or death beauty pageant.... but yikes!! The whole "fight to the death" thing caught me off guard; in a good way! At first, I thought life or death would kinda be a figurative thing. I also really admired the way you put her in a sort of poor situation, with not very nice clothes. It's different from the spoiled wealthy girl you might expect in a pageant story. So well done, amazing job!! I can't wait for the sequel!!

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Haha, thank you so much!! I literally CANNOT wait to write the sequel! I'm just gonna check out the new prompts and see if one fits!

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Helen Jett
16:29 Nov 06, 2020

Yay!!

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Avani ☾
04:38 Nov 06, 2020

Nice! I loved the whole life and death beauty pageant thing - not your typical pageant that you would enter, haha! I can't wait for the sequel~

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Thanks, Avani!! I know, but some people REALLY want money!!

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Avani ☾
04:45 Nov 06, 2020

Yeah, I agree. Some people DO really want money.

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Ouuu this was such an interesting story. It really just caught me and I really wanna know what happens next!! Anyways I like how you described the girl and the mother it was really nice. I actually liked all your descriptions they all just seemed to move calmly even though a competition was about to happen. I have a super bad feeling about the paegent! GAH I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!! But great job Kylie!!!! And keep writing!

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Thank you so much!!! This is so nice!!

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Of course! I got you too 6000!!🀧! Have a great day!

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WHAT?! UGOCHI!! YOU ARE THE BEST!!

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😊😊 Anytime! I just remember when you had like 200 points and I read one of your stories and now you've blown up! Makes me proud🀧🀧😭

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You are SO sweet and SO kind!! I'm going to scour Reedsy for points I haven't already upvoted!!

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Laiba M
00:24 Nov 17, 2020

Hi, Kylie! We haven't talked in a while :) I made a petition for bringing private messaging onto Reedsy, the link is in my bio~ It would be great if you could fill it out (if you want it, of course), and maybe recommend others to fill it out as well? I'm thinking if around 500-1k people say yes, we have a good chance!

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Of course!! I know, I miss our chats! And yes, that would be a great idea!

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Laiba M
00:33 Nov 17, 2020

Thank you! How have you been? Are you doing anything fun for Thanksgiving?

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Of course! I'm great, and for Thanksgiving, I'm going to have a large dinner, then I am going to set up Christmas decorations, what about you!

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Laiba M
01:03 Nov 17, 2020

Wow, sounds fun! Thanksgiving dinner, we might invite our closest family only, but we're not sure. What I do know is that since I've started to love cooking a lot, we are going to have delicious food! I don't celebrate Christmas, but it's one of my favorite holidays, because of the beautiful lights' combination with the snow, the idea of sleighs and gingerbread and decorated trees, and just the feeling in the air :)

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Nice! I love cooking as well, but I have a soft spot for baking!! Ah, yes, I love the Christmas vibe, too! The lights are amazing, and I love seeing all of the Christmas decorations! It's so perfect!

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Laiba M
01:18 Nov 17, 2020

I started off with baking, and also like cooking :) So I enjoy both!~ It really is amazing! This is a random question, what was your favorite gift you received for Christmas?

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Nice! That is pretty random! I got an electric scooter last year, and two years ago I received a Nintendo Switch! What about you?

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. . .
21:10 Nov 11, 2020

I'm S, N, G from your bio

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Niceeee! Good job Kylie! This gives me hard School for Good and Evil Sophie vibessss with all the fancy furniture :)

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B. W.
04:11 Nov 06, 2020

I don't have much to say about this besides that this was a great story, just like all of your other ones ^^ I'll give it a 10/10 :)

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B. W.
04:14 Nov 06, 2020

No problem ^^ do ya think the prompts that will come out tomorrow will be good?

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Okay, so this MIGHT spoil a little bit of Hunger Games, but the romance prompt is LITERALLY THE PLOT OF THE FIRST BOOK!!!!

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B. W.
18:02 Nov 06, 2020

it is?

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Avani ☾
21:02 Nov 14, 2020

Z, A, and B :)

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Niiiice! I'm F and G, partially K and B!

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And Z was based on when I was going through a hard time, but now I'm good! lol

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Sia Sharma
04:25 Nov 06, 2020

Ooh nice!!! I LOVE how this isn't a girly-girl pagent (no offence to girly girls or anything) but a fight to death girl thing, this might be your best one yet!!

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Stacy!! This is so nice!! Thank you so much!!

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Sia Sharma
04:43 Nov 06, 2020

Aww Welcome!! You deserve it!! :D!

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Sia Sharma
05:09 Nov 06, 2020

:D

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Radhika Diksha
09:16 Nov 16, 2020

Sequel! sequel! I want a mindblowing sequel. I loved the hunger games vibe, the beauty pageant feels and the daughter's love for her mother's emotions. Really an amazing story. Do check out my new story and give your valuable feedback.

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There will be!!! Thank you so much!! And of course!

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Lulu Lemon
23:23 Nov 13, 2020

Nice story!! This is really good, unique, and interesting Are you making these 2 stories or more Either would be really good!!

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Thank you! Two stories, OF COURSE!! I love these prompts!

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Lulu Lemon
21:55 Nov 14, 2020

Yayyy! That would be AWESOME these prompts are great!!

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Sia Sharma
17:29 Nov 07, 2020

Check out my bio!

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Sia Sharma
17:32 Nov 07, 2020

Nice

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Well, I mean, I commented haha

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Sia Sharma
17:39 Nov 07, 2020

Hehe

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Sia Sharma
17:39 Nov 07, 2020

Noice

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Emma Sunshine
00:49 Nov 07, 2020

Good work. I feel that Savannah isn't your average beautiful girl. She is poor, which adds to her character and her personality. Great job.

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Thank you, Emma! She definitely isn't! :)

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