Tuesday has arrived, and Judge Voima Oy has kindly provided her comments and final choices for last week’s stories. Thank you writers, and thank you Voima for all of your efforts.
Greetings, writers! It is such a pleasure to serve as judge for the stories at Hourglass. Thanks to @LadyHazmat for hosting this challenging contest and this great community. Thank you, Ashwin Rao for the evocative photo. Where did that image take you? Thank you all for the marvelous stories.
Here are my comments—
Blood Stains–The scene is set with two retired guys. Golf in the desert. Wonderful details, too–iron smell and rusty golf clubs. The narrator is more than a retired Ford worker, though. And he enjoys his work. Such darkness in the desert light.
Christine–Evoking the classic –what a challenge! But this story is so skillfully told–so much unsaid, too. And the tone is almost self-effacing. This Christine is more than she appears to be. Killer ending.
The Perfect Moment– So eerie and innocent at first. “But I pull her into my embrace, soothe her fears..” Something horrible happened before. The grandfather looks at the blanket “Does he remember me now?” Chilling and creepy.
The Chevy–I really like the way this story unfolds, scene by scene. The characters are so strong. The names dad calls her–Fatty, Winnebago–are so mean. The ending could be the beginning of a new story.
Sometimes a Little is Enough–The opening scene is powerful–you can feel the heat, the dryness, the desperation–biblical resonance of offering water in the desert. The story expands into magnificent myth–breathtaking.
Going Off-Road–What a road trip– the fine vintage car, and the admiring looks. But it’s one last ride. “He felt the car’s pain.” The shiny surface conceals the truth— “they died together—both smoking. Death Valley.” Sad and beautiful story.
Mid-Life Crisis–This is so fast and furiously funny–wonderful use of dialogue to tell the story. “Bring the toaster.” Love it.
Say What?–Great characters and dialogue in this story. Love the back-and forth miscommunication and humor. Well done!
Moved Under the Moon–Moving story of time and memory–a lifetime together, and summer at that place. Beautiful and bittersweet.
The Mythical City of Zerzura–I admire this take on romance and legends. The lost city and pomegranates is not what he expected. They are up-to-date. They follow his blog. They have waffles.
Crimes of Conversation–Are they criminals or crime-fighters …”maybe we should retire us” –masterful dialogue and intriguing characters.
U-Turn Down Memory Lane–Strong details–love the lemon-yellow Caddy. So evocative in so few words.
’58 Caddy, Limited Edition–Vivid descriptions and characters, easy-going dialogue–“That’s why Mr. Bell invented the telephone.” And it’s a time machine!
Only Make Believe–Excellent details of June, 1947–Love the reference to Walter Mitty to describe second-cousin Jesse in New Mexico. Just days before the incident at Roswell— perfect!
Blood Stains by Brett Milam–“but I could never retire”
Mid-Life Crisis by Holly Geely–fast and funny
The Mythical City of Zurzura by Daniel Finkel–inspired take on a legend
The Chevy by Rebekah Postupak–strong characters and well-structured story–great ending!
Only Make Believe by Geoff Holme–Roswell!
2nd Runner Up–Going Off-Road by AJ Walker — Sad and beautiful story. One last ride…
1st runner Up–Christine by Stella Kate–wonderful voice and a great twist. I cheered for this character–maybe I should be afraid…
And our Round 74 FLASH MASTER is…
with Sometimes a Little is Enough
–Marvelous writing–powerful, evocative and vivid–“the wings of the thunderbird spread and turn into black storm clouds above the road.” Myth and thunder and rock n roll.
Congratulations, AV! Your story will be featured as tomorrow’s HumpDay Quickie. Thanks to everyone who wrote stories this past weekend and thanks to Voima Oy for her time and comments. Next weekend, AV Laidlaw will be stepping up into the judge’s seat. Hope to see you all there.