Round 68: Winners

Posted: July 7, 2015 in Winners
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Greetings Flash Dogs! Welcome back. We’ve got comments and winners, all thanks to Steph Ellis, so I’d like to extend her a hearty thanks for judging this weekend’s entries. I’d also like to say thanks to you, writers, for taking time out of your schedule to play in my garden. You submitted thirteen entries this week, and Steph has something to say about them all. Let’s get started.

I feel privileged to have been allowed to practice my fledgling judging skills at the Angry Hourglass, so thank you Rebecca for letting me loose on this week’s stories..  This is only the second time I’ve attempted anything like this and I hope I’ve done justice to the stories submitted this week.  As always they were all excellent in both form and content, and as always the same photo gave rise to quite a diverse selection of themes.  So without further ado, here they are:

Horrible Holidays

What a way to make your holiday last longer!  Not sure I would want to achieve that in this manner but then again one man’s meat (or cheese!) is another man’s poison – I’d be happy with cider and heavy metal.  The idea obviously pays however, as he’s off on an exotic holiday – but won’t he find time flying?!  Enjoyably offbeat.

Beauty Undismayed

And life turns full circle.  A memory that brings no bitterness, only an acceptance of the way of things – ‘The river brings things on its current and then takes them away again.  That is the way of it.’  Lovely writing.

Invite for Tea

Definitely something lost in translation between these people. The different viewpoints show how mistaken assumptions can be, for example the woman reading is not bored and is a novelist, and also how a mistranslation can cause a husband to suddenly realise he has never really spoken to his wife about really important matters.  His wife’s last thought shows how she too does not speak honestly to her husband, humorous but in its own way, quite sad.  Neatly done.

La Seine

Evocative setting of a city waking up.  This is the character’s time that she claims for herself but is rudely disturbed by someone who doesn’t follow her expectations of hiring one of the other boats first.  The reference to the journal makes you think that perhaps it was written for the one currently reading it, ie the boat vendor, hence my decision to refer to the character as ‘her’.  Well done.

The Old Man and the Island

He kept trying, kept hoping ‘couldn’t risk not knowing, of missing his chance’, a message for everyone to never give up despite the wall that kept growing higher and higher.  Better to have tried than ended up with a regretful ‘if only’.  A message for us all.

The City and the River

When the present meets the past.  The city has not totally claimed the river, nature is still able to allow it to appear as it once was.  And as Danny hearkens back, another is looking forward.  The slow pace of the writing matches the flow of the river, the stillness of the moment and takes you away from yourself.  Lovely.

Points of Departure

Another case of mistaken assumptions – “some people are blind to what’s right in front of them”, just as the couple were.  It is also rather sad that although they say ‘everyday she sits here alone’, they never actually try and speak to her.  Perhaps then they would have discovered a thing or two.  Astute observations.

People Watching

Mistaken for a piece of street theatre when you’ve actually died and no one noticing is absolutely tragic – and a biting comment on our self(selfie)-obsessed times.  We go round so blinkered that we never really ‘see’ what’s right in front of us.  But at least she died in her favourite place with the sun on her face.  Thoughtful.


Repetition and building up of each subsequent paragraph makes this cyclical story truly hypnotic and strangely relaxing.  I wanted it to continue.

Choose your own Adventure

I liked the format of this story, the ability to take a different path than the one leading to the staples, the awful boss and the same lunch every day.  It all seemed so perfect until I got eaten by the monster!

Third Place

The Naked Truth by: Steven Stucko

Chosen for the sheer mortification value alone in seeing his mother naked ‘sitting on a chaise lounge twirling a long fake pearl necklace’ in the red light district.  An embarrassing mum par excellence (perhaps I should show the story to my kids and tell them to count themselves lucky) with the almost childish ‘liar liar pants on fire ending, this story had me chuckling.

Second Place

The Dream by: Rebekah Postupak

A Faustian pact if ever there was one via the wonders of chat, Luc (or Lucifer) certainly knows how to adapt to modern times.  The couple obviously had fallen on hard times, had suffered the loss of a child, had no money and so Sergei had bought the American Dream, the ‘whitest white picket fence and an apple tree’ and the hope of another child, but at what price?   Things improve but still Lexie, his wife, is unhappy and as Sergei succumbs to cancer, he discovers, in an unexpected twist, that she too had her own Irrevocable Contract.  Excellent retelling of the perils of dealing with the devil.

And our Round 68 FLASH MASTER is…


Catherine Connolly


For Now or Forever


A story that reads like a riddle.  I must confess I read this more than once, simply because I enjoyed the almost Shakespearian tone of the dialogue between the Ferrymaid and Cara with the ‘half-formed’ Ferrymaid – no Charon here – building sentences from a childlike vocabulary that gives the tale a poetry, a magic, of its own.

Who is Cara?  There are hints in the ‘Never Weres’ and the ‘Never Ares’, perhaps she is one of those who have not yet been born, souls awaiting reincarnation or perhaps just died, as the Ferrymaid decides for herself.  Cara represents someone who has a choice, unlike the Ferrymaid (condemned to remain a wraith for a hundred years as her own fare is still owing) but she is already suffering the influence of Lethe as forgetfulness claims, her ‘time’s passed and ebbing’.  A riddle yes, but a beautiful one.

Congratulations, Catherine! Your story will be featured as Wednesday’s HumpDay Quickie! Next weekend, Brian Creek will return to try his hand once again as Flash Frenzy judge. Hope to see you all there.

  1. Pattyann McCarthy says:

    Congratulations Winners all! Well-deserved! 🙂 And thank you, Steph for stepping up to the plate and knocking it outta the park! You did a great job. And as always, thank you to Rebecca for letting us flex our writers muscles! 🙂

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