Round 7: Winners

Posted: February 18, 2014 in Winners
Tags: , , , , ,

Hello friends. Another round of wonderfully varied takes on the prompt. Always a joy to read your entries. This week, Karl A Russell was tasked with judging your stories and here is what he had to say:

Not being part of the competition this week gave me a chance to really savour the stories, and to appreciate just how tough the judge’s job is. We had ten fantastic entries which used those odd little flowers by the lake as metaphors for love, hate, life, death and just about everything in between, and it was extremely difficult to choose between them. I will pull together my thoughts on all of the pieces and leave some more feedback in the comments thread (a great idea which I’ve shamelessly pinched from Shakes…). What was particularly interesting to me was how strongly the authorial voices shine through – I was judging blind, but for many of the stories, I could guess who the writer was anyway, and that is especially true of my Honourable Mention this week:

On limited Offer by Tinman. Tinman’s stories are always marked out by wonderful phrasing and playful concepts, with a deeply satirical bent. This piece manages to skewer rampant consumerism, empty headed spiritualism and internet crazes all at once. My only concern is that in a world where you can actually pay to own a box of “Nothing,” Tinman’s monks might not be all that far out there after all.

If it was hard to choose my three favourites, deciding the runner up was nearly impossible. Finally, after re-reading the top two, I’m giving runner up position to Image Ronin for Sunrise. This is an almost fractal piece, with the tiny dying flowers mirroring the briefly blooming relationship of the young protagonists, while their grown up play-acting fills in for their absent parents. While Alex is still held back by his old uncertainties and strictures, Emma is a take charge kind of girl, determined to go out on her own terms, with only a single stray tear reminding you that they are only children. I wish that they could have had another hour together.

And so we come to my winner this week (and it is just that, my winner, as the high standard throughout means that the final choice is entirely subjective)…

Your Round 7 Flash Master is

FLASH MASTER
Jacki Donnellan

Yet

In this bittersweet tale, Jacki equates the wilted flowers with the inhabitants of an old people’s home, consigned to the dustbin when they still have a little spark of vitality, if anyone cared to look. The Suit – patronizing, self aggrandizing and utterly detestable – doesn’t, seeing them only as potential customers in the very near future. He treats them like infants, and is brought down by the most childish prank possible. The image of Daisy’s theatrical collapse is made all the funnier by the unnamed narrator’s collusion, distracting the suit and getting in a sneaky dig at his prices at the same time, but all of this humour and joy is tempered by the final line, and the reason for The Suit’s intrusion in the first place; Like sunny afternoons and brilliant short stories, Daisy’s pranks will eventually have to come to their natural end.

Thank you so much for having me as a judge!

Congratulations, Jacki! Your story will be featured tomorrow as the HumpDay Quickie. Please contact me here with any bio information, publications, links to personal sites, or any other information you would like to appear on your winner’s page.

Next week drmagoo will be your acting Flash Frenzy judge. The prompt posts at 6:00am on Saturday, so be sure to check in and be inspired. Bring your friends and, as always, thank you for your support. 🙂

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