Week 8 Finalist – 3rd Place Winner

TITLE: Building Magic
AUTHOR: Lilly Cain
CATEGORY: Paranormal Erotica (Novella)

“You are one sick puppy, Tina Moreland.” Maryanne teased as she slammed the lid on her lunchbox and stood to leave.

Tina ignored her and the laughter that trailed away as her one friend began the short stepping gait that everyone used on the high-rise ironworks. They were working the 5th floor now – high enough up in construction that a fall would likely kill you, but Tina and Marianne had both been in construction long enough that the height and the walk that came with it were natural. Marianne was the only other woman on the job this summer. It was hard work for women and it came with a lot of flack from the men on the ironworks.

Tina sat on the newly constructed platform floor covering the skeleton of ironworks. The platform was about half down on this level but the side-rails weren’t – it was a great place to hang your feet over the edge and have lunch, and of course, to enjoy the view.

Marianne’s joke made light of Tina’s latest hobby, but she was getting tired of the taunts from the guys. She deserved respect. Not only was she a woman doing a man’s job, she was a masters student in architecture studying buildings from the inside out. But add that to her red curly hair and her pale grey eyes and freckles and she was a natural target for her less than tolerant co-workers. They looked for reasons to make fun of her. Now that she had taken to using her binoculars on her lunch hours, she’d been dubbed a Peeping Tom.

The worst of it was, they were right. Initially the binoculars had come in handy as she studied the architecture of the nearby buildings, the details that had been built long ago high into the walls and roofs of the structures surrounding the one she now worked on. Her hi-rise was going to be taller, but the old buildings had style. She’d been studying the elaborate stonework of the offices directly across from where she now sat two weeks ago when she’d seen him.

From her vantage point on the ironworks, Tina could see right into the corner office, but binoculars made it so much clearer. Her heart beat as she raised them again to her eyes. Are you in today, you gorgeous man? The tall windows let in so much light. He seemed to enjoy that, and in the afternoons, on a bright day like today, he took a break from his bean-counting job, locked his office door, and stripped.

A shudder of excitement slipped down Tina’s back as she looked for him and found his lean body exactly as she had hoped for, slowly shedding his clothes. Oh baby! You are so hot; yes…take off that shirt…

“Tina-Tom! Let’s go little lady, quit being a perv and get to work.” A laughing male voice called to her.

Without looking away, she shouted back. “I’m on lunch asshole, and I’ve got seven minutes left.”

Slowly, almost as if he were aware he was being watched, the bean-counter let his pants slide down his hips. Tina reached blindly for her water bottle. His long lean body did amazing things to hers. Her mouth felt so dry, her skin feverish. Electric current seemed to be zinging its way from her taut nipples to her very wet pussy. She fine tuned the focus, shutting out the noise of construction around her. Crisp dark hair sprinkled across his chest – matching his short hairstyle and pointing an arrow through his six-pack abs and straight toward the object of her desire.

Come on man, that’s it, show it all to me…the litany ran through her mind. Yes! The pants had hit the floor. As usual he had no underpants. Tina swallowed hard. This was the best view she’d had yet and she was nearly creaming in her panties.

“Yer minutes are up, Tina-Tom. Get back to work.” The smoke roughened voice of her supervisor cut into her wet daydreams. She lowered the binoculars and closed her eyes for a minute. Why again did I take this job? Oh yeah, the dream of building something spectacular, from design to nails to sliding glass doors. She sighed and gathered her lunch before standing up on the platform. Regulations said she should be having her lunch on the ground but she, like most of the Irondogs, ignored the rules for expedience and love of the heights.

She made her way to the corner of the platform and stepped onto bare rail. She would have to re-secure her safety straps here, no one avoided that rule for long. For the hell of it, raised her binoculars to have another look and the studly bean-counter before she had to stash her stuff and get back to welding on the seventh level. By now he’ll be stretching out his glorious muscles, or perhaps, just perhaps today he’d give in to a little hedonism and stroke that majestic cock for me…

Instead, she frowned as she focused on something strange. It took her a moment to recognize it. Fire! The man’s office is on fire! Then she realized that wasn’t quite what she was seeing. It wasn’t natural. The fire seemed to be following his gestures, moving with him, no, she realized, it was flowing from his fingertips. He was drawing a rectangle in the air with flames. He finished the last corner. She couldn’t help it, she couldn’t look away. Inside the rectangle a picture was forming.

“Holy shit,” she said aloud. Her mind reeled. As she watched, he reached into the burning picture and pulled…something…through. “What is that?” she breathed. All awareness of where she was and what she was doing fled from her mind. He’s a fucking Harry Potter. She leaned forward, trying to focus, finally stepping just a little closer. Unfortunately, there was nothing there to step on.


One of the things I liked about your entry, Lilly, was all of the unexepected twists.  From Maryanne’s comment, I’m thinking they’re at a park, eating, only to discover they’re up on ironworks. Now, I’m intrigued — not only by the location, but the non-traditional occupation you’ve given your heroine.

Then, I’m thinking Tina’s hobby is something mundane, only to be surprised by the fact that she’s a Tina-Tom (cute!) – and totally out-of-the-closet with it, despite the ribbing from her co-workers. Another unique trait for a heroine — and, despite the negative taste that peeping Tom behaivor could leave in my mouth for the heroine, surprisingly, it doesn’t.

Then, I’m thinking it’s going to be a hot scene (which it is!!) of a guy stripping, only to be surprised by the fire — and Tina’s step into nothingness.

So, all this is to say, you’ve done a great job of suprising the reader – me, anyway — and replacing the ordinary with something original. I love Tina’s confidence, unconventional attitude/life and really want to know more about her. The balance of sensuality and action is great, teasing me into wanting to experience more. And, I can’t wait to see how Tina survives the drop into thin air.  🙂

Great job!


22 responses

5 03 2009
Carly Carson

Congrats Lilly,

Great uh…cliffhanger (it had to be said!)


5 03 2009
Lilly Cain

Wow, I am delighted to become a finalist! Thank you very much, especially for the great commentary.


5 03 2009
Val Pearson

wow, excellent, that story could go in so many directions! I love it!

5 03 2009

Congrats Lilly!
Tina sounds like a hoot! Love how unapologetic she is.

5 03 2009
Leigh Michaels

Lilly, I love this beginning — Tina’s unusual job (and the fact that she’s actually an architect as well as an ironworker) and the way that she got started watching the guy across the street, when he sort of got in the way of her building study. That’s much more sympathetic than if she’d taken the binoculars up intending to be a peeping Tom.

But the thing I really like about this is the foreshadowing — the way you plant the clues about the half-finished decking, the incomplete side rails, the fact that they’re five floors up and a fall would likely kill, the safety lines that she’s going to refasten any minute now (as soon as she gets done watching him…) It’s ALL there, and yet when she steps off the side of the building we’re startled — because you slid all those hints in so neatly, as if you were just showing us where she is. Great job!

5 03 2009

Very well written and an interesting read. The characters spoke to me and I loved their personalities.

Bravo for a job well done!


5 03 2009
Renee Field

This is the best story! Wait until all the readers read more – way to go, Lilly! This is over the top, unexpected and the twist and turns in the plot only thicken – everyone should hang on for a great page turner! – Renee (

5 03 2009

Congratulations! Interesting, fun start.

5 03 2009
Gail Siuba

Wow, great story I hope I get to read all it. I’m hooked;-)

6 03 2009
Maxine Marten

Great writing, Lilly,

A terrific thousand words. Here’s a character I envy and am curious to follow further and higner–into her interesting life (Yes. I presume she lives). Unconventional and engaging, this bit is one delightful surprise. I’d order the book right now, if I could.

Good luck, Lilly; you deserve to be a finalist…and more! Looking forward to reading this book one day soon.


6 03 2009
Georgie Phillips

Fantastic job!!! I can’t wait to read this book. Hope this is the ‘one’ that leads all your other great stories. Good luck.

7 03 2009
Laura Bradford

I think this entry is tons of fun and you ended on just the right note. I AM dying to know what happens next. I thought it odd that your hero (I presume he’s the hero) is prone to stripping in his office, but once he started shooting fire, I felt much better about it…paranormal dudes are allowed to be a little weird and I assume the nudity had an actual purpose. Tina seemed feisty and fun in just the right way. I love that the first words out of her mouth are the ones where she calls her coworker an asshole. Your description of her physical appearance was a little clunky, for me–I’m not sure how red hair and gray eyes make her a target for her non-tolerant coworkers. Overall, I think the piece is fun and I like the protagonist. Nice job!

7 03 2009

Awesome Lilly!! You are a talented writer. I am dying to read the rest 🙂


8 03 2009
Theresa Stevens

This is a good, strong opening. We get a clear setting and the protagonist is well-developed and interesting. I understand her situation and her goals, and I like the way she is just slightly out of step with her environment. (No pun intended.)

After she is established, we get a bit of voyeurism and a good shot of mystery. So I’m definitely left wanting to read more.

The opening line fell a little flat for me because I didn’t understand what it was all about, but it became clear as I kept reading. But this is one of the dangers of a dialogue opening. The characters know what they’re talking about, but we don’t, not until later.

All in all, a very strong entry. Good luck!

8 03 2009

Good work, Lilly! I’m on board with everyone else–love your unconventional heroine.

9 03 2009
Raelene Gorlinsky

Yay, an unusual occupation for the heroine! I liked the way the development of her “hobby” was gradually revealed. And ooh, the description of the hero is yummy. The introduction of the paranormal element is prompt and well done.

Tell me the next page! I need to know what happens to her when she steps off the rail.

Well done, well written, interesting and unusual.

10 03 2009
Faith Black

This definitely grabbed my attention and held it. The way the information is revealed bit by bit is great and I love that she has a job in such a male-dominated field. Good for her. It’s also nice to see a woman indulging in voyeuristic pleasures rather than just men. It’s a nice turnabout.

17 03 2009
Elaine English

I think this is the most unique heroine I’ve ever seen. You’ve done a great job of creating a setting and group of characters that are delightfully over the top but thoroughly believable. I did think in places your writing was a bit redundant. We didn’t need to be told three or four times in the first few paragraphs that she was working on the ironworks. But overall I thought this opening was great.

17 03 2009
Katie Gilligan

So unique. On so many levels–first of all, setting it on a high-rise beam is very different, and by virtue of its nature, I think a reader is automatically on the edge of their seat waiting for a slip or fall, or just imagining the danger of the height. Tina’s very original–smart, but working manual labor in disguise–and that’s a great characteristic to have because it endears us to her. I think you could cut right to the action a bit more in the beginning and save some of the explanatory elements for later–but that’s just my interpretation. Really evocative and smooth writing, plus a great setting–I’m definitely intrigued. (p.s. Maryanne and Marianne are spelled differently in the opening)

20 03 2009
Megan McKeever

Awesome, awesome heroine! I really enjoyed reading this and I think it’s quite a strong start. You show a lot of originality in your writing which I love. And a great way to end the scene. Nice!

24 03 2009
The End of the 2009 Contest « Chase the Dream Writers Contest

[…] 3rd Place Winner – Lilly Cain (Week 8 Finalist) […]

13 04 2011
Tayna Zeimantz

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