Flash! Friday # 52 — WINNERS!

OH MY WORD. We’ve made it through a WHOLE YEAR of spectacularly awesome flash fictionning here at FF. Have I told you lately how crazy I am about all of you? Thank you, thank you. And I can’t wait to see y’all tomorrow bright ‘n’ early for the kickoff of the #Flashversary. Don’t forget–Monday at 7:30am Washington, DC time!      

Our final farewell is organically bred by country gal Jaz Draper, who has brought her unique style of wit and love for dialogue to FF. Thank you so much, sweet Jaz, for your awesome contributions this past year! I’ll always be grateful for your time & spirit.    

♦♦♦♦♦

Judge Jaz Draper says, So this is my swan song: the last judging assignment for Flash Friday 2013. One year plus a few weeks ago, I walked into the Edinburg library 2 weeks into National Novel Writing Month and met a wonderfully supportive group of writers. No, I did not finish my novel, nor have I had much time to devote to it. But over the year I’ve gotten to read a lot of fun, thought-provoking and creative flash fiction written by our little community. Did I say little? I know Rebekah is thrilled with how our group has grown!

 

Since this is my last assignment and because I’m in a food coma, I asked Rebekah to be easy on me. She obliged by limiting you all to 100 words plus or minus 5. But once again, she selected a spectacular prompt and you, my dear writing friends, did not disappoint.

 

I don’t feel like I have many words of wisdom to offer you except: write. Just write. Whenever you can; wherever you can. I should heed my own advice, I know. Remember to always check your spelling and grammar and syntax, but do it after you get your ideas down. And practice good dialog because dialog brings characters richly to life.

 

Good luck. I’ll be watching…and reading and hopefully doing some of my own writing. Namaste.

 

♦♦♦♦♦

BITS ‘N’ PIECES

Jaz says: Each of these phrases reflects the title of the piece in simple summation. Brilliant.

John Cosgrove, Photographic Memories. “Grandpa didn’t hear me. His mind was decades away from here.”

Jacki Donnellan, Strands. “It must be tamed, though achieving this may hurt. And it cannot cling, nor weave itself into tangles.”

LadyhazmatThe Watcher. “Plucked from her bed like a piece of ripe fruit, she’d been peeled and parted, her tender flesh consumed by an insatiable ill on a moonless, winter night.”

Hannah Streett, Losing Meaning. “The letters jump around in their silly little jig, switching partners so often that I lose their meaning.”

Dieter RogiersThe Wager. “As the clock gobbled up the minutes, well past the hour, a sense that all was not well set in.”

Patricia Carroll, Untitled. “If thinking got me here, how do I unthink?”

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Jaz says: Both of these pieces are macabre in their twist on what should be happening in a classroom.

AJ Walker, “The Practical.” The last sentence, “Unfortunately there were no graduates from Robertson’s School for Spies in 1913” brings everything together rather nicely.

Rezzi, “The Smell of Smoke.” Wow. Tough school, this one. I could palpably feel Robert’s panic. Nice, tight writing.

SECOND RUNNER UP

Today’s Chapter, “Cheese.” This piece leaves me asking myself over and over: “Did he take a picture or shoot ‘the one that starts the great war’ with some James Bond-esque camera that’s really a gun? A little time travel, some angst, and a bit of mystery. Well done. 

FIRST RUNNER UP

James Marshall, “The Adventures of H.G. Wells, Schoolteacher.” I like the unexpected reason the desk was empty. Several writers centered their stories around the empty desk, describing missing people (and the reasons they were missing were very creative). But the invisible student woven into a well-known story was a clever yarn.

And appearing for the second time (just before she begins her judging stint!) as Flash! Friday  

 DRAGON WINNER IS….

ERIN MCCABE!

for “Reservations” 

 Although there were several takes on the Indian School which aptly captured the injustice of the time, I really liked the link between Erin’s title “Reservations” and the reservations the young girl was having about the rigid, uptight white society oppressing her freedom. The phrases ‘gloriously naked’ and ‘running bare-skinned under the warmth of the sun’ and the comparison of her dress to a tipi call to mind delightful visions of the unconditional freedom and oneness with nature that was taken from the Indians in a subtle way. 

Congratulations, Erin! Here is your updated Winner’s Page, a totally awesome but retiring dragon eBadge (below), and your winning Tale. Note: Because of the #Flashversary, there will be no #SixtySeconds interview this week. However, we look forward to getting to know you better as a judge for the first quarter of Year Two!

Reservations

I wanted to strip off my clothes and run into the distance, travelling deep into the unknown, gloriously naked.

“Stop fidgeting!” my sister scolded, as I fought with my pinafore; stiff and unmanageable, it was more akin to a tipi than a dress.

“Cultural Assimilation” they called it, but in truth it was cultural assassination and schooling was a key weapon in their arsenal, aimed squarely at me on a daily basis.

If all “Americanisation” could offer was dusty rooms, starchy frocks and endlessly dull words about dead white presidents, it was little wonder I daydreamed about running bare-skinned under the warmth of the sun.

 

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One thought on “Flash! Friday # 52 — WINNERS!

  1. Gravity by John McCaffrey
    Gravity

    The crash startled Virginia. She was standing near a squat, muscled man. He was doing bicep curls, and had let the weights fall to the floor when finished.
    “Sorry. I didn’t see you there,” he said, training an interested stare at Virginia.
    Virginia blushed. She pulled back her bangs and looked away, refocusing on the Gravetron, a chin-up machine she had been debating to try.
    “You want help with that?” he continued.
    “I don’t know. I’ve never done it before.”
    The man moved past her and climbed onto the machine.
    “Watch,” he said over his shoulder. “It’s easy.”
    In quick motion he hoisted himself up and down like a piston.
    “Your turn,” he said, stepping off.
    Virginia realized in a panic that once on the machine he would have full view of her backside, a part of her body she felt very insecure. It was the major reason she had joined the gym: to lose the extra weight she had gained after her divorce.
    “Maybe another time.”
    “C’mon. I’ll help you.”
    “I’m not sure I can do it.”
    “You won’t know if you don’t try.”
    “Okay.”

    Virginia set her jaw and stepped forward. She grabbed the machine’s handles and inhaled deeply. She felt the man’s hand press into the small of her back. The unexpectedness of his touch caused her to gasp.
    “Now what?”
    “Just press up against the resistance,” he said.
    Virginia did as she was told, pushing with all her strength.
    “That’s it,” he encouraged. “You’re almost there.”
    With elbow joints buckling, Virginia made one last effort to get to the top.
    “See. You made it.”
    Virginia felt exhilarated. She glanced over her shoulder and saw that the man was standing on tiptoes, his hand still against her back.
    “Now release,” he said.
    But Virginia held firm, basking in her triumph, the man’s touch, the sudden connection she felt with him, savoring these mix of feelings, wanting to remember them when later, no matter her desire, gravity would bring her back down.

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