Confession: I don’t have any pets, which made reading the stories about your fifty-ish dogs a fascinating and informative exercise. I won’t lie: I’m going to look twice at the pet shop next time I drive by. You are a clever, imaginative pack – what a way to pull off another astounding week of writing. Thank you for joining in, and thank you for supporting each other so beautifully in the comments. THANK YOU!
REMINDER: We are now accepting applications to join rotating judge panels for Flash! Friday’s Year 2, beginning Dec 14. More fun & details here! To be considered for the first panel (Dec 14 – March 14), please have your applications in by October 31. Thanks!
Judge Jaz Draper says, “You see, Mr. Simpson, a man…well, he’ll walk right into Hell with both eyes open. But even the Devil can’t fool a dog.” —“The Hunt” / The Twilight Zone. Young dogs, old dogs, brave dogs, scared dogs, serious dogs, funny dogs, wistful dogs, good dogs, soldier dogs, loyal dogs, robotic dogs, and sadly injured and dead dogs. I could read about dogs all day long, and I did today. Another thought provoking, cannot pull my eyes away prompt which brought out warm, funny, futuristic, brave stories with dogs as the focus. Happy reading for me.
Crystal Alden, “Duck Hunt.” A special honorable mention to our youngest author (8 years old!). Although I would have loved to read more of Crystal’s insight into the Dog’s world, I thoroughly enjoyed her insight into the Ducks’ world. Clever names for the characters, a bit o’whimsey and I really like the Dog’s Bark! Bark bark bark! (in “bark” language, of course.) Smart, snappy writing. Keep up the good work, Crystal.
M.T. Decker, “The Heart Knows No Distance”; Amy Wood, “A Dog’s Dilemma,” and Charles Short, “A Dog Named Moses.” All three of these stories made me smile with shared insight into what I know deep in my heart speaks to dogs’ very funny lives, dreams and ambitions.
SECOND RUNNER UP
Allison K. Garcia, “Dog.” Allison captures the repetitive day to day behavior of dogs and their singular determined ability to patiently stare for long periods of time, taking in the world in their fabulous doggie way. She illustrates this behavior and the world around the dog beautifully.
FIRST RUNNER UP
Erin McCabe, “Saint Guinefort.” Erin’s imagery captures the determined stoicism and unrelenting bravery of a rescue dog working in a harsh environment, ignoring everything but the job he was trained to do. Her phrases “stinging whips which numb my achingly raw limbs” and “Kissed violently by the jagged rocks as I fell” and “deny the crimson tears weeping from my leg” paint very powerful visions of the condition the dog is in. Sad and hauntingly touching.
DRAGON WINNER IS….
for his Untitled tale
It isn’t often that the first paragraph of a piece so eloquently describes so many things that are not happening. Eric touches enough groups of people to get everyone interested in why these people we may identify with are not doing things that they would normally be doing. What catastrophic event left this dog all alone? So many wonderful phrases this week, but my favorite is “The dog was younger than the end of humanity.” I really like how Eric weaves the stuffed dog into the story. I wonder if the dog thought she’d simply found a treasure or if her ancestral memory told her this object was of great importance.
Congratulations, Eric! Here are your updated Winner’s Page, a reassuringly familiar (yet ingenious!) dragon eBadge (below), and your winning Tale. Please watch your inbox for brand new interview questions for Wednesday’s Sixty Seconds feature.
Children didn’t run over these hills, calling after each other as they pretended to be cowboys or explorers or knights. Young couples in love didn’t search the horizon for a place they could sneak away to and love each other away from prying eyes. Artists didn’t sit on outcroppings and try to capture the wonders of a sunset or sunrise or the motion of wild grasses blowing in a summer breeze. Hikers didn’t wrap their feet in worn leather boots and walk higher and higher, just to see what was over the next hill or what mysteries lay in the next valley.
The dog was younger than the end of humanity, and it knew nothing of children or couples or artists or hikers. But it knew scents, and it knew that something had been here. She scratched at the dirt, clouds of dust blowing in the wind, delving until she found what had attracted her to this spot, the unknown combination of chemicals that had drawn her over unfamiliar hills. She didn’t recognize the blue fluff as a dog, though it had been a child’s favorite bedtime companion once upon a time.
She gripped her find in her teeth, and loped off through the empty world.