We were talking in the comments this round about how stories rising from the same prompt sometimes echo each other in concept or theme. But one of the things I love best about these sorts of contests is where they then diverge. Getting to know your unique characters, hearing the distinct voices of your writing emerge–it is a great pleasure and privilege each week. Thanks to each of you for being such an awesome part of the flash community!
Judge Jaz Draper says, When I saw this week’s prompt I thought, Holy Stonehenge! What are our talented writers going to come up with? I stared at the prompt long and hard and got nothing. But you, my fine feathered writing friends, did not disappoint! Giants! Princesses! Soldiers! And, of course, dragons for Rebekah! As always, you make it as challenging to judge as it is to write flash fiction. Well done, one and all!
Aria Glazki, “Hidden Treasures.” Of all the dragon stories this week, this one struck a chord: a friendly, protective dragon. Sweet!
Curtis Perry, “Questions and Answers.” The Princess and the Pea! –No, wait, the princess has to eat her peas! 🙂 Clever dialogue between mom and daughter, and quite believable.
AmyBeth Inverness, “Mortar.” I really like this piece. The last sentence is the perfect way to sum up Jophina’s uneasiness and the conviction that the planet had been inhabited by life and that Nature was not responsible for the structures she was seeing.
SECOND RUNNER UP
Craig Anderson, “Beside the Sea.” Having written poetry myself in the distant past, I appreciate the huge amount of work it takes to incorporate story in rhyming verse! This work was just lovely.
FIRST RUNNER UP
Brianne Barkley, “Imagine.” You captured palpable fear :spasms of shivers: :teeth clicking together madly: :just keep it together: …I imagine her imagination was in overdrive, and I do think my own heart was racing a wee bit! Really well conceived and executed.
And our Flash! Friday second time
DRAGON WINNER IS….
for “From the Rubble.” I really love the pace of this piece and the measured dialogue. I could feel the angst of Scientist and the hubris of Soldier anticipating his medal. You had me assuming one thing and turned me on my head with the hive/queen twist. Wonderfully crafted from start to (ominous) finish; marvelous characters; overall creative and well-written.
Congratulations, Whitney, and welcome back to the dais! Here are your updated Winner’s Page, your familiar yet stunningly crafted eBadge (below), and your winning Tale. Please keep an eye on your inbox for another round of sparkly questions for next Wednesday’s Sixty Seconds feature.
From the Rubble
“We smoked ‘em!”
Scientist’s complexion was gangrenous, his eyes, pale. He swallowed. Trembling like a drunken veteran, Scientist eased himself to the ground. He vomited.
“Man up. You act like it’s the first time you’ve seen anything die.”
Scientist steadied himself.
“The calculations were off.”
“We didn’t accurately measure the bomb’s capabilities.”
“Big deal. Instead of just smoking the bitches out, we destroyed ‘em!”
Mentally, Soldier noted how proud Sergeant would be. Scientist shook his head in disbelief, pulling his hair and pacing.
“Oh, come on, you woman. They invaded our planet. It serves them right!”
“This wasn’t an ordinary settlement.”
Soldier lit a cigarette, uninterested, thinking instead of the medal certainly coming.
“This is their hive.”
“As in, where the Queen would nest.”
“So, we killed ‘er too. Mission accomplished.”
The ground began to shudder, the rubble tinkling like glassware in the middle of a quake. In the distance, she reared her head, stinger glistening in the late afternoon sun, eyes gold and alert, the movement of her wings blowing the shore into funnels.
The strange insect clicked. Bee-like-but-still-humanoid creatures responded, surfacing by the hundreds. The Queen’s stinger pulsed. She clicked. Hauntingly, the others joined.
Scientist and Soldier’s spine prickled.