Hello again. As the first half of the year winds down, I’d like to say how much I appreciate everyone who has contributed to The Angry Hourglass. I truly couldn’t do it without the collective efforts of everyone involved. This week an extra special thanks goes out to David Shakes who has contributed as a writer, judge, and photographer. He’s been here since the beginning and once again performed admirably in his capacity as judge. You’ll find his comments on this week’s entries below.
Thank you for having me back once again to judge. It was a bloody weird weekend in the UK and our country is still reeling from the fallout. These stories, largely humorous, brought some light relief (in most cases) and the last one nailed the schizophrenia we’re currently experiencing.
Anyway, this site is for writing, not politics, so let’s crack on.
The quality of the titles was particularly noteworthy this round.
The Birthday Present
A great effort, full of humour and sharp observation – made me think ‘thank goodness for show don’t tell’! Builds to a satisfying pay-off and reveal. Great mechanics and a seasoned hand with the writing.
“For me,” squealed Ruth surfacing from the duvet like a whale erupting from the depths.
What a simile – what a fate!
The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular Show
Poor Mark is getting more damage to his privates than the guy in the Birthday Present – albeit self-inflicted. How many ways did this writer find to describe his increasingly painful wardrobe malfunction and the physical consequences? Hilarious.
Mark winced, convinced his left ball was being scythed off and was probably hanging by a thread, he tried to juggle his precious pair by standing like a gunslinger and gyrating his hip.
A Magnificent Mugful of Minestrone ( or Super Soup-erlatives)
So, by now I’ve realised there’s been a conspiracy to write the funniest or most bizarre story between you all. A soup drinking robot who rebels against his programming to sample soups of the world in many a #flashdogs hometown? Come on!
Littered with alliterative soup-erlatives and humour and, like the first two, really well written.
He was told by a laughing Jamaican lady that it would put hairs on his chest. Perhaps he hadn’t drunk enough of it yet.
Well, there’s an ironic title for you. Image after sad or disturbing image layer up until you marvel at the writer’s skill and are moved by the child’s plight. Did this writer not get the humour memo?
Mum was an ever decreasing presence. First, her body shrank and then her soul.
When you realise what the happiness was, you see this line in its bleak, literal sense.
I’ll Do Anything for Love, I’ll Even Do This
Back to the humour again. Tight dialogue reveal two characters with a plan, and, despite some hints and reveals, it kept me guessing right up to the last minute. I didn’t have to Google Durian fruit having smelled the stuff once. I’m with the wife to be – that guy must really love her! Great title and nice twist ending.
She better drink the damn thing as soon as she gets in else I’ll be charging her for a fumigation.
Classic juxtaposition and inverted expectations? Bet I know who this is! (post-edit note – yep, quick check proves me right!) The whole, disgusting, overblown mess of the UK referendum captured in the tight writing, repetition and returns of the imagery. I loved the irony of Harmony’s name and the panning the writer gives social media (despite me being a massive user!)
She’d tell you who drew it but you’d only judge
The Birthday Present – by Steph Ellis
It took the obvious fetishistic elements of the story and twisted them into a story full of humour and subtle horror.
And our Round 113 FLASH MASTER is…
Achingly sad and yet beautiful in its execution. Raw writing from somebody clearly skilled in the craft.
Congratulations, Marie! Your story will be featured as Wednesday’s HumpDay Quickie!
Next weekend, I shall be making the drive to my new home in a new state, so there will be a short hiatus followed by Flash Face Off 4. As always, thank you for being a part of The Angry Hourglass. See you all soon.