Tag Archive | Brian Creek

Fire&Ice Sol 3/19: WINNERS

§ Foy says: Joy and pain. Suffering and restoration. Whether in our stories or in our body-bound lives, many of us walked with these engulfing emotions this weekend. Many more of us have been walking with them for years, decades, centuries. Loves found. Loves lost. To capture the visceral in words is to release it, and all the better if we can carry our readers with us in that healing. Because this too is why we write. Thank you

§ Rebekah says: In yesterday’s Flash! Future Ken Liu spoke honestly about the pandemic demons that drowned out his words for a time. But eventually, he said,

I found my voice again, and learned to trust in my need to tell stories. …Stories are how we make sense of a senseless world, how we construct meaning out of noise, how we assert our individual conscience and collective empathy against the forces of heartless denial, systemic oppression, and willful ignorance. We must not let them drag us down with them.

Writing communities like Fire&Ice exist because as writers we’re all striving to find our own voice: the voice that speaks our words, not mutes them. The one that reflects us, not any other writer or any other writer’s way of telling stories. We say this a lot, but it bears repeating that no matter where you are in your writing journey, your voice is and always will be welcome here. Thank you for sharing your voice & for being a welcoming voice to others. 

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Quick note on judging: Six pairs of judges across multiple nationalities and genres are taking turns reading your submissions (meet the judges here). As soon as each contest round closes, your stories are first stripped of all personal info before being sent on for judging. This represents our effort to maximize every story’s chances, whether it’s the first or hundredth story you’ve written. ♥ 


SOL 3’S JUDGES SAY:

Mark King: This round there were 11,400+ words of goodness to read. It’s amazing to be back at Flash! Friday again. Hearing some hints that it might return, I wrote a couple of stories about returning home, and that’s how it feels. I am incredibly grateful to the Ice and Fire dragons (and the magical folk behind the scenes) for making this happen and for the honour of being asked to judge.  

For me, Flash! Friday has always been a welcoming place that promotes diversity and equality, so it was incredibly hard waking to the news of Chadwick Boseman’s sad passing just before I started reading the stories. What an actor. What an incredible legacy.

The two judges this week both have very personal connections to Valentine’s Day, so the theme of love was a superb choice. When asked what advice I would give, I said to bring yourselves, not be swayed by others, to have faith in your voice. You sure did that, and then some. I found something admirable and unique in every single story I read, so be proud. If you didn’t get a mention, know that on another day, with another judge, you might well have placed or won.

First, a few personal mentions of stories that called to me but didn’t place. Untitled (Where Does Love Go?) by Tamara Shoemaker – it brought a tear to my eye. Craig Anderson‘s One Day, for outstanding vision and wonderful prompt creativity. Brian S. Creek‘s The Challenge of the Burning Waste for structure and sense of love lost.


Stephanie Ellis: When Flash! Friday announced its return, I was delighted. When I was asked to be part of the judging process, I was honoured – as I was by being partnered with one of the original Flash Dogs, Mark King. This competition, so much a part of my writing life, is where I honed my skills and received comments and advice in the most positive of ways. It was, and remains, a safe place for new writers sharing their work possibly for the first time whilst remaining a challenge to writers of all levels.

You might expect that as someone who reads flash week in, week out at The Horror Tree, I would feel jaded or that dark fiction would come first regardless of other genres. That is not the case. Story captures my heart, from whatever direction it comes, and I loved the myriad takes on this week’s theme. So many vied for attention but placing is always limited. I would like to give a couple of shoutouts here. In addition to those placed in the results, I was chuckling to the humour and dialect of Geoff Holme‘s As the Tyne Goes By, and was touched by the stuntman’s lost love of Karl A. Russell‘s Afterwards.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

New Kids on the Block by Tinman

MK: Thoroughly enjoyed the style and references. Highly entertaining. Thank you.

SE: We have made our own hell but I adore the phrasing of the Four as the ‘hula-hoops of the heavens’.

Desert Queen by Arvind Iyer

MK: We can’t travel right now, but this was like being teleported. Wonderful.

SE: Layered with vibrant colours, smells, sounds and movement to form a richly painted backdrop.

RUNNER UP

The Last Time by Becky Spence

MK: Brilliant use of sound throughout the story. This line was simply wonderful, “Until the vultures soared. Until the great birds cawed. Underneath the moon. I came. The glass moon shimmers in the ocean skies. A chill. There is a chill in the air.” and reminded me of a beautiful winning vulture story by Deb Foy.

SE: Death and pain and love run through this dark story to the score of pounding hearts, drums, hooves. I loved the way the pace and pain built up against this music and then ended with that one word, ‘Still.’ Perfect.

And now: it is our pleasure to present to you our

FIRE&ICE WINNER

Marie McKay!!!

for

Unknot

MKThis single paragraph alone was good enough to win any competition, “You and I had loved, but not well. It was a thin, meagre type of togetherness. Racing through passing time counted in paper, cotton, bronze.” It is a life of hope, of trying, of years and milestones. It hints at an infinite world, a world beyond the surface, a universe that is sadly shadowed and flawed. “We should have untied the knot. Screamed I don’t: galloped backwards up the aisle.” Is not only a central link to the prompt but a wonderful image of life in reverse. On a technical front, there is skilful deployment of long and short sentences to add pacing and control. For me, this was the most powerful story that explained the journey from love found to love lost. After all, all love found will be lost, eventually, and all love lost will have been found before. Masterful storytelling. Congratulations.

SE — This grabbed me from the first as it carved out a tale of a miserable marriage, leading up to a brutal ending via a series of savage words and phrases. From the start, powerful imagery is conjured up with the ‘curl of distaste at the corner of your mouth’ and ‘the spite in the line of your spine’, savage words leap out to show how poisonous this relationship has become. A forensic examination of a failing marriage, every little nuance bleeding its death; she, the guilty party, adulterer, he, ‘the boring better man’. Then you get to the end and that image of him holding the child not his when he squeezes ‘a little too tight, too hard.’ It is a moment of horror which immediately paints years ahead of suffering for both mother and child if they remain together. He – the boring, better man – has become anything but.

Congratulations, Marie! Here’s your winning story:

Unknot

If I were forensic, tracing it back to a single moment, a broken heart beat. I remember seeing the curl of distaste at the corner of your mouth. Saw the spite in the line of your spine. I don’t blame you.
I think you knew it had happened before I did. Was it how I smoothed my skirt and words? How I kissed his breath while you held your tongue? Held it until venom began to leak from it in the months that raged past.

You and I had loved, but not well. It was a thin, meagre type of togetherness. Racing through passing time counted in paper, cotton, bronze.

We should never have been ‘we’. We should have untied the knot.
Screamed I don’t: galloped backwards up the aisle. Flung horseshoes like confetti at the the guests whose cold shoulders would’ve whipped round to see the bride and groom flee the scene of the crime. Charlie Chaplin bridesmaids, groom and bride swallowed up fast into separate limousines that screech into separate. Lives. Beds. Hearts. No eternal rings of circular arguments. No change of names.

Then you would not be here now, fulfilling your contractual agreement, the boring better man who got it worse. There is a moment where I see you forget yourself. And maybe him too. Your cold arms warmed by a hot screaming bundle of this fresh, flesh branch of me that is not you. But then you squeeze a little too tight, too hard. And we both know, we’ve reached the finish line.

 

 

Fire&Ice Sol 2/19: WINNERS

§ Foy says: We have our winners! For those who braved the wing-deep comment thread to deliver your own thoughts on how the stories impacted you, truly you are our dragon knights. Your gifts are one of the many magics of this space. And to everyone who shared their thoughts on our first two Flash! Past & Future posts–thank you! We’re forever honored—thrilled!—to learn what has shaped you as a writer. And speaking of shaping, I AM A FREAKING WRITHING PRETZEL-DRAGON trying not to give away who Rebekah has for us this Sunday. Do NOT miss it.

§ Rebekah says: Welcome back! Really I just want to say thanks. From the dawn of time, “community” has played a crucial role in the telling of stories; your Fire&Ice story-words and your words of support for each other prove that true now more than ever. Though I have to ask: do you intend to make me blubber like this every. single. week? Thank you for coming; thank you for sharing; thank you for being the vibrant, breathing, stretching, colorful writing community you are. PS. OK. I do just have to add I am GIDDY at the next Flash! Future, which will include a personal message from a multi-award-winning author to you.

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Quick note on judging: Six pairs of judges across multiple nationalities and genres are taking turns reading your submissions (meet the judges here). As soon as each contest round closes, your stories are first stripped of all personal info before being sent on for judging. This represents our effort to maximize every story’s chances, whether it’s the first or hundredth story you’ve written. ♥ 


SOL 2’S JUDGES SAY:

David Shakes: My sincere thanks to all 71 writers [§ says: technically 74 if you add the sneaky, ineligible ones] for creating some truly memorable tales this week. Thanks also go to our esteemed fire and ice dragons for their beautiful picture prompt, challenging word length and clever elements. That so many could craft so much with so little is truly awesome.

I was told that there were almost 600 comments on the page by Saturday evening (UK time) – undoubtedly more by the time this gets to be read. The community comments are what this competition was built on, so it’s just lovely to know it’s back stronger than ever.

That said, my superb judging partner Nancy and I had a lot to say and also the honour of choosing a top tier. So many stories made it onto the list of our shared possibilities, I hope it’s not too bittersweet for these writers to know we pored over their work in some detail. For me, Pippa Phillips’s Plucked orchid – the root remainswas a superb line that echoed its longer tale of revolution in microcosm. Both Nancy and I greatly enjoyed Michael Seese’s Untitled I loved its onomatopoeia and quiet philosophy. I’d also like to mention Becky Spence’s Beneath for its subtle horror and Marsha Adams’s Untitled for making me watch Blade Runner yet again.


Nancy Chenier: So here we are, Sol 2 of Fire&Ice Flash. It’s been a weekend of electrodes and rebellion, sometimes simultaneously (my kind of weekend). First, big thanks to our Dragon Captains for reviving the contest and community in its latest incarnation. Secondly, thanks to David (Shakes) my marvelous co-judge, for making the Herculean task of selecting only a handful of stories lively and enjoyable. Finally, to all those who participated this week, whether via submitting or commenting, thank you for keeping this space creative, inspiring, and supportive.

71 entries! Each one brought something different to the prompt and elements—no small feat with only 75 words to work with. Just to show you how close Shakes and I were in our decision-making, I too am giving a special mention to Michael Seese’s Untitled as one of the lone fire-element pieces to rise to the top of my short-list with its quiet power and beautiful use of sibilant alliteration throughout. Sian_Ink hit hard with the split-dumpling image in Untitledand left me with the lingering sense of injustice with the revolutionary ‘humanists’ spreading it. I also want to give a hearty har-dee-har-har! to Stephanie Ellis for the pile on of tasty puns in Icing on the Cake. Now, on to the winners.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

Untitled by Marie McKay

DS: Everything about this is so well crafted – a well-oiled machine – designed with economy of language to bring you to an end where you must blink, blink, blink away your tears.

NC: The language here caught me: the metronomic quality of the words brought the droid to life, capturing its mechanical longing to perfection.

Untitled by Nicola Liu

DS: Our little street urchin braves slop-bucket stares to warn her mechanical benefactor what’s coming, so we get a simultaneously figurative and literal last line that’s just brilliant – it resonates for a long time.

NC: I like how the story comes full circle with the utilitarian disposal of the soup turning into a relationship that saves his artificial skin (that it evoked Big-Hero-6 nostalgia tugged at my heart-strings).

RUNNER UP

On A Mission by Brian S Creek

DS: This is such a clever use of a machine’s processing and cold logic to weave a tale filled with tension, excitement, action and sorrow. I asked for an economy of language and it’s masterfully deployed here – there’s so much story between each line. If Hemingway wrote “Terminator,” I put in my notes.

NC: The crafty use of the prompt, element, and word-limit inspired my admiration. That it told a complete story in this format captivated me. And those final two lines delivered a blow as strong and as poignant as Hemingway’s 6-word flash about baby shoes. (David and I independently thought of Hemingway on this one.)

And now, it is our pleasure to present to you our

FIRE&ICE WINNER

KARL A RUSSELL!!!

for

Visiting Time

DSThis is a lovely use of the prompt picture and the additional element – it moved me so much. There are beautiful little details and descriptions: Joe’s hand, brittle as fried noodles; his whispers under the wheezing machinery of life. The simplicity of the dialogue is so natural but works powerfully to enable this story to work up to its clever denouement. What I love most is the matter of fact way the story is told, leaving readers to think about the moral and ethical implications of a future where this is a possibility. Do the recipients request this? Is it prescribed? I asked for something to ponder – and ponder I have. 

NCWhen asked what I looked for in a winning flash, I said I wanted a real sense of story within the word limit, and this one delivered, and then some. The patient asking,”You went somewhere?” added a hint of mystery, that there was something more going on—and there certainly was. The “wheezing machinery of life” gave nice misdirection (for a moment I thought this would be connected to the droid) while the hands “brittle as noodles” was a gentle nod to the photo prompt while also holding the reader in place with a concrete image. The story made me want to follow the droid to every last hospital room.

Congratulations, Karl! Here’s your winning story:

Visiting Time

“Remember the Vietnamese place?” Sarah asked.

Joe whispered under the wheezing machineries of life.

“SohoPho.”

“Yes! Our first anniversary.”

He frowned.

“You went somewhere…?”

Sarah stroked his hand, brittle as fried noodles.

“I’m here now…”

His eyes closed.

“See you tomorrow love.”

She kissed his forehead. A smile ghosted his dry lips.

Leaving silently, she checked her files: Daisy MacNeil. Son Kevin (1964 – 2008).

Holographic tiles updated, Kevin entered the next room.

“Hello mum.”

 

Flash! Friday Vol 3 – 47: WINNERS

HURRAY — it’s party time!! Thanks so much for coming back; I trust you’ve brought kazoos and streamers. If not, please head over to the gigantic Party Wing of the lair and help yourself. We’ve always got plenty. And to those of you NaNo’ing this month: wishing you (and me) brilliant success!!! How’s your Day Two so far?

A couple of quick notes/reminders:

  • You’re needed! We’re lining up NOW the next eight folks to take a turn as judge starting in December. Details here. It’s a fantastic way to give back to the FF community as well as grow in your own writing. Please join me! else it’s going to be a very depressing Year Four.
  • THANK YOU for all who turned up to crit the #Pyro story this week! Some wonderful comments; and I’m certain I can speak for the (anonymous) writer in conveying thanks. Would love more stories to choose from — send ’em in! (here; please remark at the top it’s for #Pyro)

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Many thanks to Dragon Team Six, Steph Ellis & Josh Bertetta, for daring to examine your Frankenstein stories under the sickly green light I provided them. Steph says:   

I really can’t believe this is Josh’s and my penultimate judging session.  It’s gone so quickly and we’ve had so little to argue about.  Every month our choices have spookily run along the same lines leading to very civilised discussions over placings and this week was no exception.

As always, a big thank you to my daughter Bethan for stripping the stories for us; she is looking forward to the end of my judging stint!

Frankenstein was a great choice for Halloween, although not so for any poor trick-or-treaters who may have knocked on my door … with my earplugs in and a Banshees soundtrack I didn’t hear them.  So, here are our Samhain results:

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SPECIAL MENTIONS

Becky Spence, “Fallen Angel.” –SE: A rebirth in the dark, a creature alien even to himself.  He has ‘ghosts of memories’ that were not his, writes a language he does not understand, cannot speak.  All he can do is walk, find his way out of the darkness and seek his answers.  He gets his answer when he opens the door and sees himself in the mirror.  The horror here is the situation the monster is in as a being, not in what has been done to others but what was done to him. JB: Here our protagonist is at the lowest point of the Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey,” the part where we must confront the dark. I love the setting here, for it exquisitely captures the darkness and the desperation and the feeling of helplessness, the groping for a way out. But there is only one, and our author tells us exactly what is it—for all of us.   

Voima Oy, “Memory Wife.” —SE: ‘She lived in the cloud now’.  Heaven and computer storage combined.  Society has moved on, but still caters for ‘outdated people with old dreams and obsolete things’, allowing Ben to recreate his late wife.  The sadness lies in the ease with which the younger generation, his son, the shop assistant, think how such things, such people are easily replaceable. JB: A story of a timeless theme: the inability to let go of a lifelong love, but with a little twist of futurism. Mourning is a process of moving through loss. Grief. We all experience it. But what happens to a fundamental human emotion (and experience) when technology allows us the possibility of not having to move through that kind of pain? Do we not lose part of what makes us human? 

A.J. Walker, “Frankenwriter.” — SE: Of course this made it into the list.  I laughed at the overtones of Stephen King’s Misery as poor old Karl and other FlashDogs (Liz, Ronin, Sal, a certain Mr King) were used and abused to create a winning story.  One way of getting rid of the opposition, and all to a Bach soundtrack. JB: Much like last time I judged, here is a take on the ol’ self-referential Flash!Friday/FlashDog theme (which I’ve done myself). A fun take on the prompt. Made me smile.

C. Centner, “Author Submission.” — SE: An academic abstract declares the purpose and results of Frankenstein’s experiment and then moves on to give firm warnings.  Anyone following this path in future should use the ‘flesh of cute creatures (bunnies, kittens, etc)’, the monster having been an ‘appalling and repulsive character’.  And above all, they must name their monster.  Frankenstein’s frustration at being identified as the monster rather than the creator shines through ‘No, dammit! I’m Frankenstein!’  Scientists and authors beware! JB: Perhaps the most unique formats of this week’s stories, here we have an abstract for a scholarly paper. Compounded in this piece however, are issues we continue (and will probably always continue) to face: the relationship between science and morality.

 

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

Brian Creek, “Kill.exe.”

SE – Always a danger when new technology evolves that the military will jump in and try to use it for more sinister ends.  I particularly enjoyed this story because although they had achieved a ‘scientific miracle’, it wasn’t what the military had requested.  The image of a powerfully built robot sat peacefully with a wolf cub in his lap and birds perched on his rifle, contemplating a beautiful morning made me smile.  I hope he doesn’t get ‘fixed’.

JB– Another great story with a killer ending. In a militarized world such as our where some countries spend so much money to build the perfect and most efficient killing machines, here is the story of the creation of such, if it were not for one simple thing (captured in the penultimate line) which renders the perfect killing machine imperfect. Part of me says “hurray” for humanity; with another part I drop my head and shake it.

Marie McKay, “The Help.” 

SE – Sometimes I think we have become desensitized to domestic violence and it needs a piece like this to give us a wake up call.  By transferring the sufferings of an abused woman to a feeling robot and describing them in terms usually applied to living flesh makes it once more truly horrific.  The robot ‘tastes the blood of bruises on her tongue’, is left broken on the floor as the husband switches his attention to her rather than his wife. “Is this life?” Unfortunately for so many women (and some men) the answer is yes.

JB– A story of what some psychologists call “displacement.” An unhappy marriage turned, seemingly happy, aided by technological advance. Technology, some say, is supposed to make life easier. And when life is easier, one would presume life is happier. The wife here would appear to be happy as her marriage seems to be on the mend—and it was all because of “her.” Her husband seems better, which, of course is better for the whole family. But how much better is he really?

Marie McKay, “Touching Reality

SE – Ah, what people do in pursuit of love, an older husband wants to make himself more youthful for his younger wife.  He experiments on rabbits, the poor creatures dying in succession before he hits on formula for rabbit #5.  But he has become impatient, doesn’t observe the results long enough and injects himself.  Blood leaks from the ear of rabbit #5, there will be no happy ending for this poor man.

JB- Here again a story, in part, of self-identity (and esteem) being based on another’s perception. The older husband here wants nothing more than his wife to be happy, but, it appears, she cannot be happy for he is nothing but an “antique.” His self-esteem as a husband is based on her being happy. Willing to do anything to achieve that goal, all his attempts to do so fail until that one, seemingly final time, but his impatience (if not his the goal itself) serves to blind him.

David Shakes, “No More Than a Trick of the Light.”

SE – A writer and his creation, which is greater, the man who brought him to life or the fiction that takes on a life of its own.  The writer’s ideas grew but they choked the fiction, ‘regurgitating imagery that splattered across page and screen’, don’t we all get like that some time. And self-doubt grows within the writer so that his creation is put away … for the moment.  The ideas expressed here should resonate with any writer.

JB – “He would often have me write of mirrors.” What a line. The “me” and the “I” of this piece are ambiguous and ambiguity heightened by the stories initial two questions, questions, I would bet, we all ask ourselves at one time or another in our lives if not more. I love the inversion toward the end, where the “protagonist,” seemingly something abstract, is more of a reality than the subject, the story’s “father,” is himself. “The myth became greater than the man.” Isn’t that, in the end, always so?

THIRD RUNNER UP

Andrew (AV) Laidlaw, “Press Ctrl-Alt-Del to Reboot

SE – This piece really makes you think on two fronts.  The statement ‘I am God’, declared on each reboot is dismissed, regarded as error or sabotage.  But who is to say who/what God is?  So many profess a faith of various forms, faith whose tenets often mention a second coming of some sort, yet as soon as anyone declares themselves that being, they are dismissed as fraudsters – but who’s to know? 

The statement ‘I am God’ can also be taken as a reflection on society.  These days computers have become almost Godlike, in control of so much of our lives.  The computer is merely stating a fact in its own logical way.

And locked away, it is an embarrassment conveniently forgotten.

JB – In a manner of speaking, the scariest of all our stories in commemoration of Halloween. Scary not because of Stephen King-esque horror element. This is not that kind of story. This is scary because it’s potential reality. Perhaps not literally in the sense of what the protagonist says (over and over again), but the implication of those very words in relation to what the protagonist is. Ah, the double-edged sword of technology!

SECOND RUNNER UP

Michael Wettengel, “Momma’s Boy” 

SE – A child’s voice lifts this story, breathing sadness through its lines.  Joshua knows he is different, made from ‘brass and copper and gold’, not like the twisted black city below.  His ‘mother’ tells him he is special, is different, he has a brain unlike his cousins who ‘tick’ or ‘clunk’.  He leads us to the last paragraph which tells his whole story, his reason for existing, he passes a picture every day where ‘Mother is in black, her hands on her lap. She’s frowning. A small, sickly boy sits on her lap. He’s wearing the same clothes I do’.  And Joshua knows he is a substitute which makes the story even sadder.

JB – I see here four central threads interwoven so tight as to appear, upon my first reading, as a single thread. First, there is the issue of our uniqueness. What is it about each one of us that sets us apart, so to speak, from others? What is that particular “thing” about each one of us? Second, there is love the mother has for her child. She sees him for what makes him unique and praises him for it. But then there is that last paragraph, where the author throws a slider to the issue of identity: that who we “are” is often determined how people see us, in this case, how the mother sees the child. And finally, there is that disturbing last line…

FIRST RUNNER UP

Michael Seese, “Frankenboy.” 

SE – Truly a monster was created but not by science; this unfortunate came about by natural selection, nurture and environment in the laboratory of the world, the ‘human junk yard’.  He details his inheritance, from his father ‘hands that naturally, reflexively formed fists’, from his mother, bruises and tears, from his grandfather, a foul mouth and bigoted mind.  And through all this he has carried on the family tradition so that now he faces the end – gladly – when he is given a lethal injection and sees his ‘hideous alchemy lost in the darkness and distance’.  Unique take on the traditional monster theme.  

JB – “Truth in simplicity” is what comes to mind when I reflect on “Frankenboy.” There is a simple pattern/repetition to this sad story, which plays on, as the title implies, Mary Shelley’s famous work. But whereas the title might conjure in the mind an image of a young version of her famous monster, there is something perhaps more disturbing going on at work here. As much as we might like to think we, as individuals, are autonomous and as much as we might like to think we make ourselves to be who we are, this story expresses the truth that such is a delusion and in some cases, that truth — the truth of who we are, as products, in part, of our past is sometimes inescapable.

And now: for a (totally disturbing) first win, it’s this week’s 

DRAGON WINNER

Jennifer Terry!!!

for

“Creation

SE – ‘What did you do today?’ such an innocuous question, the usual husband/wife interaction demanding no more than some trite response.  And he gives it ‘tinkering in his lab’, a bit like the traditional housewife and her supposed ‘pottering around the house’, looked down on and not really valued despite the real work going on behind the scenes.  And boy has he been busy whilst his wife has taken on the role of breadwinner, something she has clearly grown to resent.  He has achieved his dream, his perfect creation, an exact replica of his wife but amenable to all his dreams and desires.  His secret business is booming so financially he no longer has any need of the human wife and feels nothing as she dies in front of him.  A complete little story about the lengths someone will go to to get that perfect partner.  I don’t think I’ll be eating risotto any time soon!

JB– A marriage troubled by lack of trust is a marriage on the brink. Here our author puts us in a desperate setting where the husband is confronted by a wife who no longer believes in him. The distance and the frustration (for both parties) is palpable as the wife has no problem switching from voicing her frustration with her husband and commenting on the delicious food, a food so delicious she can’t help from eating more. Until, that is, she can eat no longer. There’s a great twist at the very end of this story and as much as one is led to believe the wife is the “bad guy” here, one can only wonder if such is the case, or if the husband is much more malevolent, for we not only get that great twist, but we learn something a little more about the husband and how nefarious he really is.

Congratulations, Jenn! It’s been a pleasure reading your stories here at FF, and we couldn’t be more delighted to see you up top! Please check out your very own sparkly winner’s page; your winning tale can be found there as well as (shortly) over on the winners’ wall. Please contact me asap here so I can interview you for this week’s #SixtySeconds! And now here’s your winning story:

Creation

“What did you do today?”

“Oh, just tinkered around a bit in the lab.”

“When is that little company of yours going to get off the ground, finally?”

“Soon, my dear. Soon.”

“That’s what you always say, ‘soon.’”

“I thought you believed in me. In my ideas.”

“I did. I just don’t think I can support you and your…delusions any longer.”

“What are you saying?”

She took a bite of her risotto and commented, “This is absolutely fabulous!”

“What did you mean when you said you can’t support me any longer?”

“I meant I don’t think this is working,” she muttered while shoveling a very unladylike portion into her mouth. “This is just extraordinary.”

“I’m glad you like it.” A woman emerged from the shadows. An exact replica of her, down to the arrangement of freckles across her nose and cheeks.

He watched unmoved as his wife gagged, finally falling face first into her plate.

With hundreds of back orders already for the DreamWoman 1.0, his “little company” was a runaway success. He took his great love, and greatest creation, into his arms.

FFwinner-Web