The Annual Life or Death Beauty Pageant

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

230 comments

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.





November 06, 2020 04:07

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230 comments

B. W.
18:13 Nov 06, 2020

so, what do ya think of the new prompts?

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I really like them!!

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B. W.
19:04 Nov 06, 2020

could ya maybe help me?

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Obviously, the Hunger Games don't involve a beauty pageant but it still reminds me of it! Well done! I loved how you described how the pageant works without boring the reader out! The description of your character sounds quite realistic, at the same time, very distant from the present, cause I don't think anyone can look that pretty! Maybe there are people but I can assure you, I'm nothing close to that! LOL! Keep up your efforts! Happy Writing! ~SS

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R. K.
17:10 Nov 18, 2020

I know that they say the Selection is like Red Queen mixed with Hunger Games, but if you want to read a book that ups the stakes factor, try the Princess Games. Literally the Selection with Hunger Games in trials to the death to become the princess. It's quite good, I recommend it. I enjoyed the story since you pulled it off so fashionably. Great piece Kylie.

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That sounds like a really good book, I seriously want to read that!! Thank you so much!

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OH MY GOD KY.IE OHMIGISH YOUR IN TOP FREAKIN 10!!! YESSSS OHMIGOSH IM SO HAPPY FOR UUUUU!!! YESSßS YOU ROCK!!!!

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AHHHHH, SIA TYSM!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH YAYAYAYAYAY!!! I'M SO HAPPY!!!!

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AHHHH YAYAYYYYYYYY IM SOOO HAPPY FOR UUU ARKFLAFLE!!!!

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Raquel Rodriguez
17:11 Nov 18, 2020

OMG KYLIE YEAH YOU ARE HOLY FRICKKKKKKKKKKKKKK YESSSSSSSS Lol, sorry I was on Sia's page looking through her comments for a shortcut to our huge convos lol and I saw thissss CONGRATULATIONSSSSSS KYLIEEEE! YOU DESERVE ITTTT!

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Hahaa, yes!!! I feel SO DANG happy!!

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Are you gonna update your bio? Random question, I know.

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Um, yeah, haha! I'm taking out the alphabet part!

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This might be super rude to ask, but could I use it? Again, so sorry, and it's totally okay if you say no! And I would totally give credit to you!

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Yeah, sure that would be fine!!

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Really? Thank you so much!!

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B. W.
22:58 Nov 11, 2020

Hey, could ya maybe help me with something?

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B. W.
00:09 Nov 17, 2020

ya know all my novels right?

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lol, i said the same thing haha

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B. W.
00:32 Nov 17, 2020

I kinda need help with a new one

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L, O, S, T, V. I MATCH WITH S SOOO MUCHHH

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Haha, well you ARE Sia Sharma, you have TWO SS's in your name! I could TOTALLY picture you as an S!!! And a T!!

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Hahahaaaa lolll, what a big, fat, coincidence!! Niceeee! Btw, I have a feeling that Kylie is your pen name. Is it?

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You caught me! Kylie IS my pen name, but my real name does start with a K, kinda like you! Your real name is Stacy, but your pen name is Sia, right?

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Oooh yes! Jk, yeah. My pen name is Siaaaa

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Willow Bird
03:09 Dec 17, 2020

Hey sorry to butt into this convo but... KYLIE ISN'T YOUR REAL NAME??? Haha, I literally can't picture you any other way. That was so weird for me lol. Ok... um. Bye, I guess :) :) :)

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Arham Ishraq
14:25 Nov 08, 2020

Hello!! I'm bored, want me to upvote you or something?

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Sure! I will upvote you as well!

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Arham Ishraq
20:22 Nov 11, 2020

Ok, I did 100, if you want more just tell me :D

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Thank you, I will upvote you now!

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Obi Zenobes
14:25 Dec 04, 2020

Hey you remind me of my mum she is great at writing stories, her name is also Crystal and she is also considered pretty

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Haha, thank you? Is that a compliment? If it is, then thanks!

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10:02 Nov 28, 2020

I love the story. It certainly needs a part 2. The cause is fine and the competition is awesome. Amazing work. Some suggestions I have(don't care it if it doesn't suit your style) I know you can't edit. 1)β€œGood morning.” she says A comma should be kept instead of period. 2) If you wanna make the story more interesting, you had start it right after the end or the middle. You may have started it with the woman taking you into the chamber or you taking the tractor. If this doesn't suit your style, just ignore this. It's just about me. A...

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Thank you for all of the edits! These would have been so great, and I wish I had used them! Of course I will!

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15:14 Nov 30, 2020

We are here to improve! Don't miss these things in your next.

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Thom Brodkin
21:29 Nov 19, 2020

I could see this being a movie, Hunger Games Meets Ms America. It's such a unique idea for the prompt and you did a great job of building out the characters. I am glad there will be a sequel because I, like everyone else, wants to see what happens. There has to be twists we aren't even considering. Be bold, let yourself go. There is gold in this story. I also have a favor. I wrote a story this week called "Silence". If you have a moment or two I'd love it if you could give me a read and some feedback. Thanks in advance.

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Thank you so much! And of course I will check it out! :)

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Angelina Tran
00:32 Nov 19, 2020

This was amazing!! I enjoyed this incredibly much, super excited for a sequel. I really hope that Savannah wins! Nothing to critique that others haven’t pointed out. It had a very unique plot, but I would say show her personality more! I don’t feel attached to her yet, maybe add more dialogue or her running into other people.

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Thank you so much!! Yes, I will definitely do that! Thanks for checking out my stories!

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Amaya .
18:27 Nov 18, 2020

KYLIE TOP TEN OMGGGG

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I thank my friends! (you, Ugochi, Helen, Laiba, Avani, Sia, Raquel, Blair, BW, and MANY more!!!)

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Amaya .
18:45 Nov 18, 2020

yess all of those people are so sweet. Helen is Helen Jett right?

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Amaya .
18:47 Nov 18, 2020

:)

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Willow Bird
03:11 Dec 17, 2020

Aww, thanks! I know this wasn't for me, but I'm doing a little upvoting and this caught my eye :)

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HEYYY KYLIE! GUESS WHATTTTTTT! I UPVOTED YOU AND NOW YOUR ON THE LEADERBOARD! (I had to go through your comments..cause I upvoted all your other ones) Hopefully someone doesn't downvote you! I am soooo proud of ya! I remember your first story and it was so beautiful and touching and now you will have many more people read your stories. I'm not asking for points or anything, just don't forget about me when you get famous😌 BYEEEEEEEEE~

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UGOCHI!!! THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH!!! EEEEEEEEEH!!! I WILL GIVE YOU A TON OF POINTS AS SOON AS I AM DONE WITH SCHOOL AND ALSO?! I WOULD NEVER FORGET ABOUT YOU!!!

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Hehe! Ya welcome and congrats!! HAhahaπŸ˜‚I know!

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. . .
03:30 Nov 18, 2020

I just gave you a lot of karma points! Your welcome!

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Omigosh thank you so much!!

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B. W.
00:42 Nov 18, 2020

I got a new story Out :D check out "the search" and leave some feedback

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B. W.
03:02 Nov 18, 2020

something bad happened

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B. W.
03:31 Nov 18, 2020

Could you maybe go to R.K or Amaya and ask them? they'll be better at explaining it

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B. W.
21:33 Nov 15, 2020

hey, are you maybe there?

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B. W.
05:15 Nov 15, 2020

heya ^^

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B. W.
23:47 Nov 14, 2020

heyyy

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