Tag Archive | Jaz Draper

Flash! Friday # 39 — WINNERS!

I went waaaay out on a surrealist limb this week and worried whether many of you could be crazy enough to take on such a fantastically marvelous but challenging painting. SILLY ME! You all showed up in force and spun tales as madly spectacular as the original work itself (note: you can find more of Salvador Nunez’s work here).  Thank you, as ever, dear friends, for sharing your writing skills and for encouraging each other so magnificently. I can’t wait to see what you do with next week’s prompt… 

A reminder all stories remain eligible for further plotting on by Monday’s Flash Points feature, right here most Mondays.   

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Judge Jaz Draper says, I liked this week’s prompt so much that I am going to buy a copy, frame it, hang it in our house, and then decorate a room around it. Seriously entertaining.  —As much as Rebekah loves dragons, I love wizards, elves, fairies, leprechauns, and most especially, the legend of King Arthur. I read, re-read, read aloud, shared the stories with my husband and finally had to get serious about picking this week’s winners. So with the help of a good sprinkling of fairy dust, here we go.

 

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

Tim Agin, “Immigrants.” Nice take on an other-worldly “Ellis Island.”

James Mender, “Desk Duty.” Love the types of amusing complaints about the DUST travelers.

SECOND RUNNER UP

Stephen James Lock, Untitled. I really liked the interpersonal relationship between the court jester and the frustrated next door fairy. His absentmindedness and her frustration and annoyance were clearly illustrated through their dialogue. Love the phrases “anger management fairy” and “melodic, sociopathically polite voice” among others.

FIRST RUNNER UP

Margaret Locke, “Return to Sender.” Having been a lifelong student of the Arturian legend, I think Margaret’s connection between Arthur and Elvis was brilliant. I like the depiction of a tired, grieving Merlin, spending a lifetime looking for his friend and king. A little tighter writing would have edged this one to First for me. Still, this story made me laugh out loud at the very clever connection between not one, but TWO Once and Future Kings. Great job! 

And the Flash! Friday first time 

 DRAGON WINNER IS….

ERIN MCCABE!

for “Second Living”  

A wizard, a beautiful fairy and a bawdy story. Erin’s choice of words give nothing away overtly and she gives us a multi-layered tale ripe with clever double entendres. Perfect set-up, great twist and a loud guffaw at the end for which a King would richly reward the court jester. Congratulations, Erin!

Congratulations, Erin! Here are your Winner’s Page, a glorious dragon eBadge (below), and your winning Tale. Please contact me asap (here) with your email address so I can interview you for Wednesday’s Sixty Seconds feature.

Second Living

He was sitting in front of a table; a tall man with strong angular shoulders; atop his head was a magnificent wizard’s hat, curled and gnarled at the corners. In front of him was a mystical door which seemed to be suspended in mid-air, although his view was somewhat obscured by a dead tree. A beautiful woman stepped through the door; wildly vibrant butterfly wings were sprouting from her back and she was accompanied by a dazzling white unicorn.

“My Liege,” she stated, performing a somewhat unnatural looking curtsy. “What shall we do today, Sire?”

He was confused by this form of address as clearly his hat signified his Wizard status, but he decided it best not to complain. What followed was a thoroughly frustrating half-hour spent attempting to satisfy her requirements; he had taken her to the bog moors of Alierain, but she had been unimpressed. He had then transported them to the hot spring glaciers of Macembree, but again she expressed only boredom and annoyance. She had initiated a conversation about her favourite “toys,” but had disappeared quickly after he had started talking about his.

“Christopher, are you busy?” shouted a voice from the kitchen.

“Just playing with a friend,” he replied.

“Having fun?”

“Not really. She wanted to go somewhere dirty, so I took her to the bog moors, but then she wanted somewhere steamy, so I took her to the hot springs; she didn’t seem very happy about either.”

“What was her name?” The tone of the question seemed cold and considered.

“S.X.Y Fairy 69,” he replied. “Although I think she must be one of Daddy’s friends, as I was using his online account.”

The clatter of dishes which erupted from the kitchen, accompanied by a string of swear words from his Mother made Christopher wonder if all woman hated bogs moors and hot springs.

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Flash! Friday # 39

CLOSED!!! Thanks to you brave adventurers for sharing your surreal tales. Results will post Sunday.

Welcome to Flash! Friday # 39. I don’t know quite what to tell you about today’s surrealist prompt except that it’s cool, and a million stories crouch, waiting, in its layers. (Gold star to whoever spots the dragon. And no, that is not why I chose this painting. Stop looking at me so suspiciously!)  Now: pick whichever layer speaks to you, and get writing!    

(Don’t forget the freshly updated contest rules!)

This week’s contest is judged by SVW member Jaz Draper who may very well evaluate this week’s stories while milking a cow or composting. Be sure to check out her judge page to find out what she looks for in a winning entry. Short version: she likes tales with unique but round & resonant characters, and she’s a sucker for really great dialogue.

And now:

Word limit: 300 word story (10-word leeway) based on the photo prompt. 

* How: Post your story here in the comments. Include your word count (290 – 310 words, exclusive of title) and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. 

* Deadline: 11:59pm ET tonight (check the world clock if you need to; Flash! Friday’s on Washington, DC time)

Winners: will post SUNDAY 

Prize: A head-scratchingly stunning e-trophy e-dragon e-badge, a curiously personalized winner’s page here at FF, a marvelously odd 60-second interview feature next Wednesday, and YOUR NAME translated into the languages of unicorns, dragons, and butterfly-winged princesses everywhere (so to speak). NOTE: Winning and non-winning stories alike remain eligible for selection for Monday’s occasional Flash Points. 

* Follow @FlashFridayFic on Twitter for up-to-date news/announcements/dragon camouflage kits.  And now for your prompt:

Unicornio, by Salvador Nunez, shared as part of the Peru Arte Valor effort.

Unicornio, by Salvador Nunez, shared as part of the Peru Arte Valor effort.

Flash! Friday # 30 — WINNERS!

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!

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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! 

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

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….

WHITNEY HEALY!

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.”

“And?”

“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.”

Soldier grunted.

“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.

“Their hive?”

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.

“What now?”

Scientist and Soldier’s spine prickled.

“We run.”

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