This week’s prompt was the essence of contrast: clothing representing a firm and changeless tradition, and a very modern piece of technology. What does one do with that sort of tension? And that was the dilemma put into your hands, O Valiant Ones, to make of what you would. And did you ever. Thank you for coming out (especially all you brave new ones!) and daring to imagine the worlds hidden within those laughing eyes. You did awesome.
Judge Pratibha Kelapure says: Once again, the community has generated an overwhelming and brilliant response to the prompt this week. It evoked many emotions and ideas, and it even “pissed off” past three-time winner and judge Maggie Duncan. As rattled as she was, she nonetheless produced a hilarious tale, “Seek and Ye Shall Find.” 🙂 Everyone tried to uncover the knowledge hidden behind the burqa, and once again, I struggled to designate just one winner. Many of you produce amazing stories week after week on some obscure image prompts, and it inspires me to be a regular contributor from here on. You are all winners in my eyes, and I truly mean it.
Craig Anderson, “Undercover.” A tender love story, at least the beginning of one, and a hilarious take on the prompt.
Maggie Duncan, “Seek and Ye Shall Find.” I could not stop laughing at the ending.
Margaret Locke, “The Naked Truth.” This piece captures the suspicion and chaos in the modern world. The ending, “Because her eyes are smiling,” left me breathless.
Chris Milam, “Warring in Kabul.” This piece subtly sheds light on the patriarchy in the society.
Dieter Rogiers, “The Eye of the Beholder.” I liked this take on what lies inside the frame vs the outside world. Pictures capture one moment in time for eternity, but not the truth or the reality of the world.
Marie McKay, “The Witness.” An intelligent and informed take on the media frenzy. It makes one wonder about the veracity of the stories we see and hear in media. “The world’s perception narrowed by its storytellers.” What a brilliant construct.
Sinéad O’Hart, “Buried.” A tragic tale told from a position of strength and compassion under a dark cloud of greed and patriarchy. Sinead dazzles us with her incisive language. Just take a look at this understated sentence: ‘But I could not find a place large enough inside me…’.
Bart Van Goethem, “A New Beginning.” This is a revenge tale, but it took a second for me to realize it. The subtle and surprising end is cleverly hinted at. The two women are looking at two different changes in their lives, “Things are changing. And we have to be ready, ready for that one moment, that shift in balance.”
SECOND RUNNER UP
Paul Gledhill, “The Window.” This piece is a monologue that still manages to tell a complete story. The saga of the dichotomy between abuse and free will ends up in self-hate. This is a rare insight into the mind of the abused. I was captivated by the ending. “And then I look. And I don’t like what I see!”
FIRST RUNNER UP
Laura Carroll Butler, “The Flame.” She had me transfixed by the sentence “The stench outside of goat pee and stale cigarettes was the smell of despair and occupation, the smell of her life.” The ending is chilling. It captures the emotional chaos in the modern global world: I have a point to prove, and even though I have nothing personal against you, you are going to be blown to pieces.
And now: for THE VERY FIRST TIME!!!!!, it’s Flash! Friday
A J WALKER!!!
I was floored by the unexpected twist at the end. The imagery, the word choice, and the tone led one to expect the worst before the clever twist. I liked how the duality of the expression of the protagonist and the audience was created seamlessly. The words such as ‘crept,’ ‘explosion,’ and ‘electricity’ conjure images of the heartless sabotage. The image of “excited atoms before an explosion” prepares readers to expect the worst. Just when the author has readers gasping for breath, he breaks the tension by the image of little girl in an egg and spoon race. Brilliant!
Congratulations on your FIRST EVER win, AJ! Your winner’s badge (yours!! all yours!!) waits for you below. Here is your brand new winner’s page and your winning tale on the winners’ wall. Please contact me asap so I can interview you for this week’s #SixtySeconds feature. And here is your winning story:
She could feel everyone looking.
they couldn’t really see her
She crept into the area with the knowledge that this was where it was all going to happen. The best speck in town.
no one knew who she was. for certain
She felt her eyes jumping with electricity, like excited atoms before an explosion.
her handbag behind her
her heart raced; she smiled. no one could see
She took her phone up, pressed record. She was going to catch it all for posterity. The magpie cocked his head to one side, seeming to look at her suspiciously.
she in a portable hide. no one could see her. she was there;
Hidden in plain sight. Cocksure and happy as goosebumps plumed over her, hairs standing to attention as the moment approached – the phone was going to catch it all.
As her daughter passed with the egg and spoon intact she blushed; this video would be priceless.