Welcome to the winners’ post! I’ve got company visiting, so please forgive me for dispensing with amenities and diving straight into the results (and everybody goes, IT’S ABOUT TIME!):
Judge Whitney Healy says: Wow, Flashers (tee-hee!), this was not an easy week! If you remember from the last time I judged, I judge as blindly as I can and take notes as I read. I do my best to comment on every entry (this week some of those individualized comments will be late-coming…I had some issues with the site about halfway through my commenting phase).
After the commenting phase, I eliminate some and re-read those that make the cut. This week, Phase 2 of judging involved me re-reading seventeen of the forty-seven or so entries! Do you realize that equals 36% of the entries! Bravo, bravo!
But, before I introduce the winners, I must first mention a few other tales that did not quite make the cut but well-deserve your attention; please take a gander at the following writers’ works this week: Betsy Streeter, Tom O’Connell, Craig Anderson, E. B. Thompson, John Shirley, Amy Wood, Jacki Donnellan, pmcolt, Beth Voso, and Matt L.
Karl A. Russell, “Sacrifice.” By writing from the point of view of the young girl’s savior, Karl manages to captivate a reader into a story of rescue, leaving readers with a tale that will make anyone dab tears from their eyes. A tale that leaves a reader thinking about how life should never be taken for granted.
Laura Carroll Butler, “Steps.” Through choosing to write her story in all one paragraph, Laura’s tale makes the allusion to the idea that life is a roller coaster without actually saying it: a true sign she has mastered her craft. Her extended metaphor for life reminds us that life will always finish full-circle.
Grace Black, “Twist.” This writer is an expert of figurative language, using phrases such as “shunning suburbia’s sun” or “had morphed like a block of sharp cheddar left out for too long”. In so few words, she is able to make a reader despise the husband and feel for the mother and son with her expert characterization.
Sarah Cain, “The Awesome Beast.” In a haunting, powerful, and mysterious story, this writer captivates a reader from the beginning with her opening paragraph. Through comparing the tiger to a coiled snake and with phrasing such as “I am not without peril for the careless”, a reader is left knowing that in the event they came across such beast they would most certainly fail.
SECOND RUNNER UP
Jeffrey Hollar, “Project Hermes.” A somewhat sci-fi piece that echoes of Big Brother and totalitarian control. In so few words, this author shows how one agency uses the machine with the plan to train soldiers—almost all through dialogue, a technique I truly admire. Have you thought about extending this?
FIRST RUNNER UP
Dieter Rogiers, “The Line and the Loop.” This is a very complex, multi-layered piece that makes a reader think. I appreciated you allusion to the artist: it really pulled this piece together.In addition, the choice to begin many sentences with “here” causes the piece to read with rhythm, a manipulation of language I wholly admire. I also liked the somewhat social commentary within the subtext, especially show in lines such as “Here corporate suits forgot their worries for a minute”.
And now: NOISEMAKERS ON!!! it’s first-time
So much can be said about this piece, though I’ve been asked to keep it simple: your main character in this piece is incredible—a man who both regrets his greatest invention and feeds of the pain he watches it cause. In your spine-chilling tale, we see supreme power, manipulation, and a master of language. I particularly like the sentence “This was the unintended consequence of his frivolous ambition overreaching”—this lets a reader know to expect a dark secret with soon be revealed. I also appreciate your use of alliteration and imagery to paint the picture of a twisted creator admiring his craft. Extremely well-written, and I could see this turning into a much longer piece.
Congratulations, Cindy! Your winner’s badge greets you eagerly below. Here is your brand new, sparkly 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. And here is your winning story:
The hologram screen surrounding the serpent shaped contraption buzzed lightly as it transmitted a landscape view. Footsteps echoed up and down its metal stairs. Men, women and children frantically searched their ways back and forth walking the narrow rails of the machine.
“This is the work of a brute.” whimpered the creator, as exhausted he sat, marveling in tears his creation.
His “Prometheus” wouldn’t stop. This was the unintended consequence of his frivolous ambitious overreaching. These people, at the end they found themselves starting from the beginning, no memory of minutes ago, no concept of hours gone by. He had created the sort of cycle that destroyed their minds, trapping them in a limbo of repetitiveness in which they existed in their normality just for a split second. To fear.
Soon their system would catch on the anomaly, and they would die maddened and starved becoming mere shells of humans. And he would suffer the helpless observation of that process.