Flash! Friday Vol 3 – 15: WINNERS

Happy Monday! Such fun, kicking off a week with winners and prizes and sparkly fiery confetti. And, obviously, TimTams WHICH, I will have you know, coincidentally guest starred in a Daily Science Fiction story last week called “Garbage Trucks of Discontent” (it’ll be posted at their site on Wednesday; because I find this whole TimTam thing hilarious, I will be sure to let y’all know when ).  

NO SPOTLIGHT interview tomorrow: these are a great deal of fun!! But I’m taking this week off so I can finish reading Silverwood and then interview our clever Betsy Streeter all about it.  

However, coming up we’ve still got Warmup Wednesday, then Thursday’s Sixty Seconds interview with today’s winner. And then, because time travels entirely too fast, it’ll be Friday. Again! 

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Dragon Captains Carlos Orozco/Eric Martell sayThis week we had some extremely original stories. Every story was different enough that we didn’t feel like we were reading a different draft of the same story, which is very difficult considering you all are so limited by photo prompts and required story elements. You can never make it easy, can you?  Again, just a reminder, we gave the edge to stories that fully incorporated the required story element which this week was setting.

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SPECIAL MENTIONS

Geoff Holme, “Character Assassination.”Best use of dialect. This is one you need to read aloud. 

Ray Morris, A Pirate’s Life For Me.”- Be careful what you wish for! Let this story remind us (in a humorous way) that what we want to say isn’t always as obvious as we think.  {Note: Lest you think Ray’s a newbie — a note that he won Flash! Friday’s very first public contest back in January 2013, with a scant 50 words. Oooo! ahhh! Here’s the link.}

Luccia Gray, Mary’s Alone.” – One of us had this as the best story of the week, but it didn’t really utilize the setting the way we’d hoped for. A chilling portrayal of bullying, control, and fear. 

Josh Bertetta, Eric Doesn’t Care For Titles.” – We loved this story – it was funny, clever, and well-written. But it seemed a little too much like it was written for *us*, and not to tell the best story possible for the prompts. Still, a wonderful read. 

Rasha Tayaket, Heat.” – Haunting. Just haunting. Might have to join up with the teller and get some aluminum arrows our own bad selves.  

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

Reg Wulff, Warrior’s Song.” What we liked about this one was the uniqueness of the story while still being very believable within the picture prompt. A kabuki theater is not that farfetched, yet this was the only story that tested that idea. The plot was delivered skillfully, waiting until the last minute to reveal the twist. Very well done.

Brett Milam, The Forgotten.” This was one story whose first line gives us a superb description. “The dark pus of my brain dripped between the fingers of yesterday’s mistakes.” This line uniquely describes what remembering something forgotten feels like. The broken sentences throughout help enhance the feeling of things forgotten. In reality, who remembers things in flowing prose? It’s all bits and pieces that battle to surface, and we believe this piece captures that.

Brian Creek, “Taped Transcript of Officer Mitchell.” This story experimented with format, which helped it stand out from the rest. The first piece of information is very detailed which helps to gently lower the reader into the story. From there on it’s very believable dialogue that wins us over. This is one that we wished could keep going, but holds its own as is.

THIRD RUNNER UP

Jessica Franken, “Libero.” What happened at the archery match? The sadness of one kind of loss (competition) blends into the anger of another kind (love gone wrong). The line “We all laugh a little, except Kristi and Erin, whose parents are divorcing.” tells so much in just a few words. We can picture the girls there on the bus, see their faces, hear the nervous laughter. Mr. Anders might not get his target, but what damage can he do along the way?

SECOND RUNNER UP

Alicia VanNoy Call, To Fly.” The first description in this just pulled us in and didn’t let go, “I stand at the edge of the lot, where the pavement is cracked by dandelions.” That one sentence created the setting in ways that nothing else could. The characters in this were also great. Here we were given the one who died for an idea bigger than both of them, and the one who kept his/her promise so that the first’s death wouldn’t be in vain. And all of this was executed in 208 satisfying words.

FIRST RUNNER UP

Michael Seese, “Bulls-eye.” All’s fair in love and war. Gloria thought it was love. Ted declared war. In just a couple hundred words, the author shows us the aftermath of a love gone bad and then – just maybe – hope, not for reconciliation, but for acceptance. A lot of flash stories try for a twist at the end which ends up invalidating the whole story, but this one brings clarity.

DRAGON WINNER

Taryn Noelle Kloeden!!!

for

“Reincarnation”

Whether you believe in spiritual reincarnation or not, the knowledge that whether as matter or energy, all that is is all that has been and all that will be is a powerful one. But while we always hear about those who were King Arthur or Leonardo daVinci in past lives, if we have lived before, we’re all much more likely to have taken an arrow to the chest. This story paints life after life in bits of powerful detail and brought a fascinating idea to a beautiful telling. It takes a deft hand to have five distinct (by one count) settings in such a short story, which means that details need to be sharp and to the point. Each scene as brutal as the last, each death as meaningless. “All that there ever was, so there is now.”

Congratulations, Taryn! It’s been a while — couldn’t be more pleased to see you back at the top! Here’s your freshly updated winner’s page and your winning tale on the winners’ wall. Please contact me here ASAP so I can interview you for this Thursday’s #SixtySeconds feature (can’t wait to hear — officially — what you’ve been up to!). And now, here is your winning story!

Reincarnation

“Energy is not created nor destroyed, all that there ever was, so there is now.” Dr. Howard scratched the words ‘Conservation of energy’ across the dusty blackboard. Physics, the only class I ever failed.

The sky is above me. But it’s not all puffy clouds and soaring birds. Smog paints the stratosphere in jaundiced hues. There are power lines and buildings framing my spotted vision.

Last time the sky was cerulean. And I wasn’t alone. There were men all around, sporting musket holes, and trading groans.

But the time before, the sky was black. So were my robes, my hair, my blade’s sheath. I never saw the arrow coming, but I did feel it burrow into my chest. Blood welled, leaking with each shuttering thump of my foolish heart.

“The atoms in your body were forged in stars, breathed by mammoths. All that you are will never disappear. It will merely change shape.”

Warped sirens. The cold pull of blood-loss sinking me into the asphalt. I’ll be the headline on the 6:00 news. ‘Twenty Year Old Stabbed in Broad Daylight’.

Knife, musket, arrow. Burning in the heart of stars, raining, freezing, digesting, growing, decaying. I feel it all.

All that there ever was, so there is now.

FFwinner-Web

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2 thoughts on “Flash! Friday Vol 3 – 15: WINNERS

  1. Great winning story, and all of those mentioned. It must be so hard to be a judge. There are always such great stories. Sorry I chilled you! I’ll have to chill you even more next time 🙂

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