And with a hop, skip, and a giggle, we’ve thrown ourselves MADLY into Year 2! Welcome to familiar faces & new faces alike–we’re tickled pink to have you join.
This week was a bit of a hysterical riot, what with the addition of the Dragon’s Bidding into the melee. The Dragon’s bejeweled pendant will offer up a new required element each week (no, you do not need to include the pendant itself) for you to work into your story. AND the wordcount is now fixed at 150 (plus or minus 10). Hip hip HURRAY!
On to the results from courageous M.T. Decker (here’s an extra salute to her for going FIRST in Year 2!).
She says: First, I wanted to thank you all for making my first turn as judge interesting. It never ceases to amaze me how many different ideas one picture can inspire. I’ve learned to expect this last year, and you all did not let me down.
Joidianne4eva, “Nothing But Our Skins.” This story cleverly pulls the reader in by presenting a mystery as to how Grandfather caught his fish–and leaves it to the reader to piece together through subtly but shrewdly sketched dialogue just how it was done. This story delighted me and left me smiling.
J. Milburn, “Remembrance.” This story artfully draws the attention of the main character, and through them the reader, to the haunting truth that the importance of family knows no bounds. The very last line turns the story from something sentimental to something extremely touching through the carefully crafted yet lyrical statement: “It doesn’t matter if he knows because I will.” Beautiful.
Marie McKay, “Homesick.” “Homesick” starts off sounding like a nice, simple outing with Grandpa, but then through the clever use of dialog something much more sinister is revealed. In a dark twist that would do Poe proud, the author not only turns the story in on itself, she masterfully offers the reader one brief flash of memory that turns the tale that much darker. This one stuck with me, and that’s part of what makes it a good story: it sticks with you. My only wish is that it didn’t quite stick with me as well as it did when I went to bed.
SECOND RUNNER UP
Today’s Chapter, “Big Pond.” This story stepped outside the obvious, making it a fishing story told not from the fisherman’s point of view, but rather that of the fish. By selecting short, sharp sentences the story gives way to the rhythm of the fight – fish vs. fisherman, the give and take that is reeling the fish in. This carefully chosen rhythm ends with the profound, circle-of-life parting sentence: “I was his first, he was my last.”
FIRST RUNNER UP
Ben Miller, “Clam Digging with Little Jon.” This story offers a different take on haunting and loss. Using well-placed images and events, the author gives a picture of not only loss, but the profound effect it has had on the family. The author uses the image of Jon digging for clams as a metaphor for his digging up the spirit of his son. This is used to deliver a very touching moment when a kindly act on Jon’s part is rewarded with a picture that proves that love does not die.
And now for her very first time as
“From the Waters”
This story takes something that should be happy: “joyous laughter,” and turns it into something dark and sinister by purposely revealing the effect the laughter is having on the narrator’s son. The phrase “…yearning clear in every line of his body,” paints a vivid picture of just how profound the tension is. This, mixed with the simple gesture his grandfather makes to ground him, masterfully displays how the tension is wearing away at all of them. Individually each of these threads adds depth to the story, but combined they form a tapestry that leaves the reader with a profound feeling of helplessness and the question: is it better to hold on to what you love, or let it go so that it can be happy?
Congratulations, Maven! Your winner’s badge waits eagerly for you below. Here is your winner’s page and your winning tale on the winners’ wall. Please contact me here asap so I can interview you for Wednesday’s #SixtySeconds feature. Way to go!