Round 75: Winners

Posted: August 25, 2015 in Winners
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Winners! We have winners here! Thanks to AV Laidlaw for judging this weekend, and thanks to all of you who submitted stories. Tiny Woodrow appreciates the opportunity to play muse once in a while. 🙂 Below you’ll find AV’s comments and top picks.

Okay, here we go with my first time judging and it really was tough to pick the top three, let alone deciding their order.

First up, thanks to Sean Igo (and Tiny Woodrow) for the photo-prompt.

Woofer’s Murder – Two real Inspector Hounds investigate a murder… The opening exchange between the dogs sets up their respective characters, and although the story takes us through alien invasions and a killing, it’s these two canines that keep the story ticking along.

Waste – Well structured, well written with a cool, detached voice that never intrudes on the story.  The real sucker punch comes in the final paragraph.  No Good Samaritan for Mateo.

A Dog’s Life -Now, I never expected Buddha to turn up this week.  Not to mention a touch of ancient Egypt.  There’s a whole bunch of allusions bubbling away in here – Moses found in the reeds, the floods that came with the rising of the Dog Star.

Hole – A great sense of sinister mystery wraps itself around this story.  The narrator seems almost mythic – a heartless creature – but their misanthropy and cynical tone grounds them in reality.  Chills.

Old Phil Rupp – On the surface, nothing much happens – a dog sits on a man’s lap, a girl tells then man the dog can sniff out cancer.  But the real story is underneath in the metaphor of “being filled … with everyone’s stuff” becoming the cancer that will kill him.

The Dogs – A Pavlovian nightmare.  Full of strong imagery “curled themselves into question marks” and “wrote tales of despair with their writhing bodies” contrasted with the detached scientist’s words, which lets slip the horror in the story.

If Goliath Were Literate – Dogs being dogs, in whatever shape or breed. Fun use of words – exactly how you imagine dogs would speak.  They might not have found “the motherlode” but it’s not going to get them down for long.

We All Have To Go Some Day – A couple of real events and a retired couple who seem real rather than fictional, as if this were an overheard conversation.  All the little specific details – the place names, their breakfast – give these two an existence beyond the story.

Walking the Dog – Although Dean’s mistake ruins his life – and probably other peoples – he’s nicely presented a sympathetic character – “poor little dog probably didn’t have much fun in his life” – with a human side – “his street cred was going to plunge”.  And the moral is, always read the instructions.

Two Butts and a Maybe – Canine telepathy explains so many things… This is a fun story propelled by the voice of the pooch narrator, a character and a half.  Also has the best joke of the day – “Telepathy … Telepathetic”.

It’s a close run thing but here it goes:

Third – A Dog’s Life by Voima Oy

The most off-beat take on the prompt.  A story much bigger than just the words on the screen.

Second – Two Butts and a Maybe by A. J. Walker

The tone and the voice of the narrator are just perfect.


and our Round 75 FLASH MASTER is…


Brett Milam

with Waste


Often I’m a tad wary of stories with a serious subject because it’s so easy to get  preachy.  But here the plain detached style adds power to the story.  Nothing flashy or showy, but solid and profound.  And again, that last paragraph gives the story a real bite.

Congratulations, Brett! Your story will be featured as tomorrow’s 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 weekend, Marie Mckay will step up to try her hand at judging. Hope to see you there.

  1. Brett says:

    Reblogged this on Brett Milam and commented:
    I’m so stoked to be the winner here. It’s humbling because I’ve been participating in flash fiction competitions, including this one, obviously, for a good two years now and have never managed to win this one. It’s always been the hardest one, I felt. But I’m happy to have my story recognized and liked by other eye balls. Thank you to the judge and everyone!

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