Thanks for your patience, everyone! Here are the results for Round 33. Be sure to stop by tomorrow for the return of Flash Points, in which one of your stories will be torn to shreds (in a good way, of course).
Judge Anthony Marchese says, I apologize profusely for the delay; I’m sure everyone was biting their nails in anticipation. I regret that I have not had many chances to sit down and add my own stories to the fray in the past several weeks. Nevertheless, I always find a moment to check out the week’s prompt, if only just to gawk at the fascinating photos our hosts find for us. This week was no exception. My mind immediately went to work thinking up ways the picture could be used, and obviously yours did too.
Doctor Mike Reddy, “How to Survive An Argument With a Dragon.” For his clever character who stops to think about the dragon’s place in evolutionary history, as I would.
Erin McCabe, “The Day the World Stopped.” For appealing to my interest in “end of the world” scenarios. What caused the New Ice Age? Comet? Supervolcano? Nuclear winter? No; it just happens.
James Mender, “A Dragon in the Dust.” For his unbelievable tale – and skeptical audience.
David Hartley, “Expedition.” For haunting imagery.
Keith in RKE, “Don’t P*** Off the Host.” For a good laugh.
Craig Anderson, “Flameo and Dewy-wet.” Craig gave us a beautiful tale of forbidden love. At the start I thought the story wasn’t going to appeal to me, and I thought the tale was going to be tragic. But this story won me over. It ended perfectly, and by the final line I knew I had to include it among the winners.
And a roaring welcome to the winner’s dais: our Flash! Friday
DRAGON WINNER IS….
M. T. DECKER!
for “Engineering Dream.” I hesitated at first to pick this one because I know I’m biased towards sci-fi (most of my own writing is in this genre). But in the end I had no choice: I just had to give you credit for this unique take on the prompt. Now all I can see in the photo is coolant and a reactor. That’s talent – in 200 words you completely changed my point of view. Amazing work. Congratulations.
Congratulations, M.T.! Here are your Winner’s Page, your very own electrifyingly 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.
Alex waited anxiously as the engineering review board studied his request to preserve a derelict spaceship. The fact that the craft was still functional after a century and a half indicated that studying it could give them a better understanding of how to improve their own craft, which rarely lasted thirty years with constant maintenance.
“This is the reactor core and cooling system,” he said, as the images appeared on the overhead display.
Instead of the customary cooling rods and tanks one would expect, the reactor was made up of a series of caverns. Waterfalls of coolant cascaded down the one wall into a flowing pool that surged past the glowing chamber of the reactor itself only to be filtered through the rocks and recirculated in a perpetual, sustained cycle.
“The design of the HTBD drive is amazingly efficient and self-contained,” Alex assured them.
The board nodded, appreciating both the beauty of the design as well as its functionality.
“I see why you want to study this,” the chairman agreed. “But this note is rather confusing…”
‘Not really,” Alex said. “It’s why we call it the HTBD Drive.”
“Here, there be dragons?”
Alex smiled; this was where things got interesting.