Flash! Friday Vol 2 – 28: WINNERS!

Welcome back! This week’s Victorian prompt was such fun; royal salutes to each of you brave writers for tackling it and giving us heavily bejewelled tales of cunning, humor, and lots and lots and lots of prideful pride. 

DON’T FORGET! Flash Points is back on Mondays (will your story be chosen for dragony critique??); there are often fresh stories for the readin’ on Tuesdays & Thursdays; and Wednesdays brings us #SixtySeconds‘ awesome interview with today’s winner. Loads of reasons to keep coming back & commenting!

Hopefully you saw Friday’s announcement of the new judge panel for the 3rd quarter–if not, check them out here & scope out their bios! Never to early to start strategizing a win.

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Judge Jess West says: The prompt this week inspired many tales of, well, Queens and arrogance, which was to be expected. But the writers of the Flash! Friday community had a few tricks up their sleeves, many taking the prompts into dark corners and some taking it somewhere else entirely. One thing that really would have stood out this week that I didn’t see was a dragon, but I guess even dragons need a break. 😉 { EDITOR’S NOTE: That’s a stinking rotten rumor. } Still, I found gems in every story. Once again, you guys have raised the bar. One more week and then I get to rejoin you on the battlefield. I have to say, I’m a little nervous, but definitely looking forward to a little friendly competition. Cheers! 

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SPECIAL MENTIONS

For catchy titles that tell a story of their ownBrian Creek, Kat LewisClaudsy.

Killer first line, starting the piece with action right out of the gate: Mark Morris, “The Crown”: 

Tegan sheathed the blade in the Queen’s chest, following through and pushing her to the ground.

For a unique take on the prompt, reaching past cliche: Marie McKay, “The Immortal”

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Tinman, “Heart’s Desire.” For the humor delivered, “Heart’s Desire” deserves an honorable mention. My favorite part is the very realistic exchange between the wizard and his customer: 

“It must be wonderful,” said Mrs Aladdin. “You can lay your hand instantly on anything.”

“Er, yes,” said Djisraeli. “You’d think, wouldn’t you?”

StellakateT, “The Jewel.” This twisted Cinderella tale gave me no small amount of satisfaction at the end, when the writer reveals that the “homely” sister is the jewel of the family. I don’t know if she’s happy with her lot, but I felt as though she at least had some measure of retribution with the match.

Craig Anderson, “Crowning Around.” It’s hard to write two different POVs in a flash fiction piece, especially one so short as 150 words. Craig pulls it off, with just enough characterization to bring both the arrogant ambassador and the cunning Queen to life. 

THIRD RUNNER UP

Emily Karn, “Freedom of the Press.” Emily uses little more than dialogue to really bring these characters to life. The Prime Minister has his hands full, trying to ensure that the Queen is satisfied and keeping her subjects loyal at the same time. As for the Queen, well, the arrogant cartoonist is just a shade beyond tolerable, but she is wise enough to seek the council of the Prime Minister in dealing with him.  There’s a whole world behind such few words as these, and that in itself never fails to impress me. 

SECOND RUNNER UP

Bart Van Goethem, “Queen.” My first impression of this story was that it was a cute tale of a boy with great ambition, and by the end I was sure he would, in fact, go on to rule the world. The combination of hints – the time frame, the title, glimpses of the child’s appearance and his personality – made me curious to find out if this Farrokh Bulsara was a real person. When I Googled the name, I was delighted to find out who he was, and impressed with the subtle twist by a writer who turned out to be Bart Van Goethem. Well done, sir!

FIRST RUNNER UP

Carin Marais, “To Kill a Fly.” This is another of those stories that appeals to my dark side, a tale of justice delivered in a satisfactory manner – by the victim herself. Carin does a great job making me hate John enough to want him dead, including just enough details to show me how he feels about Mary and how he treats her. Details woven in throughout the dialogue help to clue me in to the time frame of this piece without loading it down with inessential elements. Dating a piece is easy when you include a cell phone or a chamber pot, but I’m particularly impressed with Carin’s ability to draw on the state of affairs at a specific moment in history to put the reader in the correct frame of mind.

And now: what a thrill to welcome back to the dais second time Flash! Friday

DRAGON WINNER

JOIDIANNE4EVA!!!

for

“God Save the Queen”

I have this dark streak buried deep within me – well, maybe not buried so much as seething just beneath the surface – that enjoys a good revenge tale. “God Save the Queen” definitely delivers a sharp dose of deadly vengeance. That last line strikes a discordant chord within, ending the piece on a deep, dark note. What makes it hit so hard is the distance (internal thought, immediately present) and that this thought feels completely natural to the narrator. From a reader’s perspective, it seems as though this story were told through the writer, as opposed to having been written by the writer. I’m really impressed with writing when it’s crisp, clean, and powerful, and yet appears so effortless.  This story is one that sticks with you, with its subtle, dark tone and perfectly written and conveyed themes. Congratulations! 

Congratulations, Joidianne4eva! Your regally supreme winner’s badge awaits you below. Here is your crowning achievement-ed, updated 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:

God Save the Queen

When Disraeli approached Aasha in his quest to make a crown befitting of India’s new queen, she accepted.

She did not speak of her nights spent waiting on the dirty streets as her mother vanished into dark rooms with strange men, only to come back with barely enough to feed her family.

Aasha did not ask where this queen had been when their children were dying from hunger and disease.

She simply did what she was told.

She mixed her blood into the gold that coated its frame and whispered ancient prayers while she wove the fabric that would rest upon the queen’s head.

Aasha poured her heart into her work and when Disraeli handed it to the queen who accepted her offering with an arrogant nod, she smiled.

Aasha’s heart was a black and twisted thing that brought death to all who touched it… just like the poison with which she’d laced the crown.

No God would save this queen.

 

FFwinner-Web

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Flash! Friday Vol 2 – 28: WINNERS!

  1. Wonderful winner and richly deserved, as was the Flash Point critique of Sarah’s story. Also, thank you so much for mention of my title. I’m so glad you liked it.

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