Perspective. That’s what I’d hoped we’d find in spades with this week’s photo, and sure enough we did, in dozens of wildly varied tales. Putting the old glass-half-full/empty debate to shame (is this photo of walls or sky?), you all took those same four stone walls and scrap of sky and created works of wonder. Proving again, dear ones, that you are A.MAZ.ING. Thank you for coming out to play (and for the especially superb commenting this week); and thanks to Maggie Duncan for judging. See y’all next week!
Judge Maggie Duncan says, A photo emphasizing things from a different perspective engendered many different worlds, some charming, some disturbing, but all unique — a zombie story with an unexpected twist, dreams of flight, and many more — and all a pleasure to read and a challenge to judge.
Adrienne M. Byers, “Rebellion.” I was intrigued by a bird big enough to take its “human pet” for a ride.
Kim Jorgensen Gane, “Retribution.” A powerful story about protecting those who can’t protect themselves.
Samantha Redstreake Geary, “Solitary Creature.” A nice interpretation of Peter Pan as a robot — at least, that’s how it came across to me! Well done.
Wendy Strain, “Freedom Is a Matter of Perspective.” Choosing between this story and the winner was tough. Wendy not only used the prompt well and wrote a clear, succinct story, but she brought in the prompt’s introduction, referring to perspective in an interesting and unique way. I want to read more about Dezzy.
And a well-loved, familiar Flash! Friday family member, but first time
DRAGON WINNER IS….
for “Untitled.” Psychological horror is one of my favorite genres, and this story delivers. The starkness is evident from the beginning when the narrator counts off the steps around his prison courtyard, but the horror itself is the way I like it – subtle. I almost skipped over “ate his lungs” before I went back and thought, “Whoa!” The line “pouring gasoline into the straw, seeing my future in the liquid” was truly chilling. A well-done little glimpse into hell.
Congratulations, Dr Magoo! Here are your Winner’s Page, your terrifyingly crafted eBadge (below), and your winning Tale. Please contact me asap (here) with your email address so I can interview you for Wednesday’s Sixty Seconds feature.
Twenty eight steps, turn left. Forty four steps, turn left. Twenty eight steps, turn left. Twenty one steps – step to the side to avoid the guard, one step past, then step back – twenty three steps, turn left. I counted because I did not look where I was going. I did not look where I was going because I only had one hour a day to see the sky, and I did not want to waste it looking at walls, guards, or guns. There were no other prisoners here, not in this place, and so I walked unimpeded.
One hundred and forty six steps per lap. Fifty laps per hour. Afterwards, my neck would hurt from looking at the sky for that long, but it was worth it.
Once, the guard thought he would trick me, and stuck his leg out. I tripped, and then ate his lungs. They couldn’t kill me, and they couldn’t let me go. So they let me walk.
Most days the sky was grey, filled with clouds that reminded me of the smoke which had billowed from the villages I visited.
And some days, it was blue, the blue of flame, burning hot enough to consume all it touched.
But my favorite days were the days when the fog was just lifting, and the grey was tinted with a deep blue. On those days, I was not trapped by these walls, but instead kneeling outside the village hall, pouring gasoline into the straw, seeing my future in the liquid.
One hundred and forty six steps per lap. I wonder what the sky will look like tomorrow.