Apologies to the FF community for the seriously belated results; adventures prevented my ability to be timely. BUT I am very excited to be here at last, along with excellent comments from brand new second quarter judge Pratibha Kelapure, who applied her fabulous insight, skill, and judginess to Vol 2-17. So let’s get to it!
Judge Pratibha Kelapure says: Hello everyone! This is my first time being a judge here, and it is a little unnerving. First of all, I want to thank Rebekah for making Flash! Friday contest so much fun. I knew judging wasn’t going to be easy, but boy, it was really challenging. I was wonderfully surprised to see so many interesting takes on the prompt this week, and how all of you paid attention to what I asked of you. I liked so many of your stories, choosing one winner was next to impossible. I agonized over my choices for hours, and put off making a decision for as long as I could. I learned so much about writing in the process. Thank you for this opportunity. If I had my way, I would comment on each and every story. I enjoyed reading and rereading all the stories several times. Thank you all for sharing them.
On with the results:
As expected, the fire breathing pair prompt this week inspired many dragon stories 🙂 but it is amazing how many different themes it inspired. You people are awesome.
Dialogue: It is difficult to write effective dialogue, so the stories with good dialogue deserve a special mention.
* “The Universe Roared” by Clive Newnham is entirely written as the verbal exchanges between the Universe and an unnamed man, and it is quite impressive.
* “Wedding Bell Reds” by Michael Seese is also written as dialogue. I liked the play on words with the theme of fire. Get well soon, Michael.
* “Retribution” by Chris Milam gave me a chuckle with his clever dialogue.
Funny: It is also not easy to write a truly comic tale. Megan Besing does this beautifully in her story, “A Betting Friendship.”
Characterization: I thought that the character of the best friend in “Purge” by Kristen Falso-Capaldi is well drawn in very few words.
K. Brown, “I Need to Stop Thinking.” Until I read the last line, I thought the author completely missed the prompt. I like this story because of its philosophical tone and “supernatural” rambling monologue. It was quite ingenious.
Anna Van Skike, “The Downtrodden.” The heartbreaking description of the neon city makes one worry. The description of the dance of Willow and Dane is a dance of words, smooth and graceful. The penultimate sentence, “They say a revolution is coming to bring back the sun,” cinched it for me.
Maven Alysse, “Transcendence.” The idea of travelling together through different words for eternity is seducing. Author paints the vivid scene, I could almost see the wildflowers in the moonlit field. The pair vanished into the next world, “Amidst the wildflowers, arms akimbo, they tilted their heads back.” Wonderful description!
SECOND RUNNER UP
Brett Milam, “A Match.” It was easy to picture the schoolyard with the students surrounding the spectacle of a sad, fire-eater. The ease with which the two boys bonded is touching. The understated expression of pain is what captured my attention.
FIRST RUNNER UP
Sinead O’Hart, “Swallow.” This story gripped me from the first potent sentence, “Swallow. Even though it’s a thornbush, a crow, a handful of sand.” The coarse, hurtful unpleasantness comes alive in just a few words. The characters are revealed through the dialogue, a powerful technique.
And now: for his second time (the first was Round 38 in Year One), it’s Flash! Friday
“The Life of the Party”
I completely agree with the brave philosophy of life, “If you are destined to burn out fast, do it with a flourish.” He was the first to post, and what he saw in the images is amazing, the lion and the humble chrysanthemum. The story is completely aligned with the prompt in the most creative fashion, and that deserves acknowledgement. What an amazing blend of the philosophy, prompt, and passion. The story of short-lived but meaningful life lifted this tale above all.
Congratulations on your second win, Charles! Your (new!) winner’s badge waits for you below. Here is your updated winner’s page and your winning tale on the winners’ wall. Watch your inbox for this week’s #SixtySeconds feature interview questions. And here is your winning story:
The Life of the Party
Life is meant to be a show, so burn bright, and hot. Choose your shape, and expect nothing more than to frighten some and entertain others. If you are destined to burn out fast, do it with a flourish. After all what are we other than just a flashing of heat and light. Life is meant to short, hot and lonely. So I made a show of it; took on the face of a lion.
Rising up into the air, I found I was not alone. Beside me was another of like kind, but she was so much more fair. Not garish or extravagant, as I had chosen to be. She simply took the shape of a flower, a humble chrysanthemum.
We lived our short lives, together. We loved without speaking. We publicly exhibited our passion in brilliant flames. And when we died, we died happy to have been friends.