Round 73: Winners

Posted: August 11, 2015 in Winners
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It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means… WINNERS! Thanks to Foy Iver for judging this past weekend; you’ll find her comments below:

Thank you, thank you to Rebecca for allowing me to perch in the judging chair! Not an easy task balancing on leather back while reading stories fit to bowl me over. The prompt seemed to suggest carnivals and circus life but all of you brought your own originality to it. I noted what I appreciated about each of them but, in the end, emotion and imagination won the top spots. Well done, all!

Beyond Belief

A nice ode to Alice after Wonderland. My favorite line? “People like me lose their childhoods, put them down somewhere and can’t find them again.”


Begins with blood and ends with atonement just like the ultimate pardoning. Love the title; reminds me of the old hymns.

Turn Left Past Prairie Bend

Great layers in this one! The pace, too, is well timed. Slow and dust-covered until those final lines when intrigue disturbs the expected.

Welcome to FunTown

GAH! Clowns are what demons look like. This one left me rocking in a corner scrubbing at the image of that Picassozoide (doesn’t that sound so much freakier than “Picassoesque”?) face. Well done?


The “Odd Thomas” aura of this one brought a happy warmth to my belly. Such true descriptions of the believing. We differ in our sacraments and worship styles but we share faith and that should be enough. I hope that one day it is and the bickering can die at the root.

A Place Beyond Belief

So applicable on many levels but especially to us writers. Sometimes we’ve just got to give the mirror “that old fuck-you smile” and keep putting pen to paper.

In Our Town

The final line of this one is the clincher (“we’ve moved beyond belief”) taking that popular word choice and giving it a whole new meaning. I enjoyed the matter-of-fact voice and the Gaimanesque use of repetition.


The prompt seems to have revived a bit of Lewis Carroll’s ghost! Another one that’s deliciously whimsical. It feels like dream-reading as you walk through the words, nibbling at poetic phrases like, “each butterfly whispering a single sentence of the story” and letting yourself be swaddled in the idea that this is how “the world could be.”

El Norte

Strong poetic images in the first paragraph! This writer captured well the idea of looking to El Norte, an unfortunately reality for many.

Special Mention “The Butterfly Effect” by A.J. Walker for pulling me out of a gray-office day

Poetry, poetry! A magnifying glass turned on “ponderous bees” and butterflies “designed by innocence,” this beautiful bit of flash sucked me right out my office window and into a meadow fit for all the “blue sky thinking.”

The ending is so uplifting, pointing out that we, too, are part of life’s gossamer dance.

Special Mention to “Stunning Garden” by Sal Page for pulling off chilling AND human

This plays out like cinema, slow and eerie, as each new horror is peeled back to reveal a fresh wound. Those final paragraphs had me screaming at Chaplin to watch his back.

But it isn’t all fried flesh and mystery. There’s a breath-takingly human moment between the chills when we learn about David’s dying relationship with his mother.

P.S. fantastic chameleon title!

Second Runner-Up “Risky Business” by Sonya 

I adore the cheekiness of this one!

Strong voices, natural dialogue, measured peeks at a foreign future and a catastrophic past, this is distilled flash.

Writers who can create whole realities on a threadbare word count continually amaze me. But then it’s not threadbare because the tapestry is whole, a gorgeous weave in 100 powerful words.

First Runner-Up “Escape” by Marie McKay

So much beauty in this!

Through the unitalicized text, looks and emotions unfurl, painted like a vibrant brush stroke across the mind.

Quickly, we learn to fear what the voices flee, and hope in the haven they’ve found.

It’s masterful writing that can bring this much depth of emotion in so few words.

And our Round 73 FLASH MASTER is…


Karl A. Russell

with “Asteroid X-237”

Force me to feel or force me to think. “Asteroid X-237” does the later deftly. There’s so much meat to be stripped away from bone in this one. With only three characters, a single setting, and a decision as vast and weighty as the universe this writer creates a novel-worthy flash fiction.

It leaves me wondering what I would do in any of their places – give in to despair, find resolve in knowing a grim truth, or continue in rabid denial? Fantastic world-building, character creation, and thought-provoking prose.

Congratulations, Karl! Your story will be featured as tomorrow’s HumpDay Quickie! Next weekend, Voima Oy returns to the judge’s seat. We both hope you’ll join us for more Flash Frenzy.


  1. […] Written for Flash Frenzy, round 73, where it came third. […]

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