One little ol’ hot air balloon playing peek-a-boo. One dirt road. And 34 totally WILD, off-roading writers. What a total adventure-fest! Thanks to both new and regular dragons for showing off your writing and for commenting on each other’s swashbuckling tales. Thanks too to judge Anthony Marchese and his oh-so-smooth judgery. Remember to check back Monday to see which story will be highlighted at Flash Points.
**Check back TUESDAY for a BRAND NEW FEATURE, “Dragon Munchies”!!!!! excited! nervous! excited!**
Judge Anthony Marchese says, Thank you everyone for making my turn at judging a great experience. We had many stories about great escapes and fast-paced chases. Still, many of these stories really got my attention. The balloon sparked a lot a creativity: it was a means of escape, a pathway to heaven, a terrible enemy, even a promise. I was introduced to many exciting worlds and characters. Thanks again!
- Sam Edge (Untitled; for a balloon-robbing trendsetter who should find better help);
- Ruth Long (“Deflated,” for her cut-throat archaeologist couple who leaves us wondering if she shares his feelings);
- Jeffrey Hollar (“Treasure Seekers’ Travails,” for his fun characters who feel the need to stop and debate the practicality of balloons mid-chase), and
- Maggie Duncan (“Up, Up, and Away,” for her strong character who seems to be the only thing keeping this potentially last patch of humanity going).
SECOND RUNNER UP
TheImaginator, for “Infiltration.” I liked the contrast between the high-tech item they are stealing and their low-tech, Verne-ian escape method.
FIRST RUNNER UP
Kevin S. Julien, Untitled. Unfortunately I know couples like this, who use their own children as weapons. Kevin shows us a world where these terrible people can fight with magic rather than lawyers.
And our heartbreaking, TEAR-MAKING
DRAGON WINNER IS….
I love the use of the balloon to carry away Gerald’s childhood. Within the first two sentences I knew we were within a child’s imagination. It brought to mind many memories of epic journeys across the backyard.
Congratulations, Betsy! Here are your Winner’s Page, your eBadge (below), and your winning Tale. Please contact me asap with your email address so I can interview you for Wednesday’s “Sixty Seconds” feature.
Scratchy sand sifts into Millie’s boots. She scoots forward on her stomach. Now there’s sand in her t-shirt, too.
“Can you see them yet? How many are there?” Millie’s brother Gerald stands downhill from her.
“A lot,” says Millie.
“Can I see?” says Gerald.
“No, Gerald, no. You’ll give us away.”
“I wanna see. I wanna know if…”
“Fine! Just, keep your head down.”
They get on hands and knees and peek over.
The balloon sways and coughs out great huffs of heat and flame.
“Is he in there? Is Teddy there?”
“Ger, I can’t tell.”
“Why would he do this? Why would he go?”
“It’s just… time, is all,” says Millie. “Time to grow up.”
Another huff, and the balloon lifts into the air.
“Teddy!!” screams Gerald. He leaps up and runs, frantic feet kicking in the sand, arms flying. “Teddy!”
“Gerald!” cries Millie, too late.
Distances on the beach can be deceiving. The balloon seemed much closer than it is. Gerald stumbles down the incline, nearly falling in the sand. But the balloon has reached the sky, leaving Gerald alone on the beach.
The toys look down and wave goodbye.