Round 79: Winners

Posted: September 22, 2015 in Winners
Tags: , , , , , ,

Winners! We’ve got winners! Many thanks to everybody who submitted stories this past weekend, and thanks again to Brett Milam for undertaking the task of judging. He’s got a comments for HMs as well as his top choices, so let’s get to them.

I’m excited for my first chance to judge a collection of lovely flash fiction based on an interesting photo prompt from Ashwin Rao, so thank you all for lending your fingertips, brains and ink (or uh, binary code arrangements) to this week’s contest! But enough with my sanctimonious preamble! Let’s jump right into the winning entries.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

Foy S. Iver, “Epicurean,”: Oooh, this one is gritty and bloody and interesting. It’s a short tale, but in the span of it, the grit comes in spades. I particularly liked the play on words of “rather eat crow than human heart.” The closing line brought the grit home and solidified it. Well done, I liked this a lot.

Richarde Denfield, “Moonlight Surfing,”: Such a unique yarn weaved here. The opening sentence brought me right into the scene and the senses of the surfer. The analogy with writing and doing it during highly-intense situations added another layer of intrigue to this story (as did bringing in examples of classic literary giants as surfers). This is  well-paced story with a confident vibe to it, tightly, but beautifully written.

Caitlin Gramley, “Queen of the Cyber Wars,”: Nietzsche said it was his ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book. There’s something palpable to brevity when done right, especially in the context of an already limited-word genre, like flash fiction. In this case, you’ve said in six words what others utilized another 354 words to accomplish. But I like it because it’s apropos of the prompt and it says everything in those six words. And now I’ve already gone on over 12 times longer than the story, so I’ll stop.

Fourth place:

Marie McKay, “Modern”: Just a brutal, albeit brief piece. The tone is set right there in the opening with “long limbs and latticed teeth; prom night and cigarettes.” There’s an interesting tone of dispassionate conveying of what it means to occupy space in the “modern” time. “You-will-if-you-love-me,” said too loudly” is great. And the closing line is a dagger. It’s a piece I’d love to spend more time with, exploring those characters in that moment, but I think it works as is it stands.

Third place:

David Shakes (untitled): Much like Gramley’s six-word piece, I dig people playing with the format and shaking it up (lol “shaking it up”…Shakes…moving along…) a bit, so that in itself wins points per my tastes, but of course, I’m also after a good story and David produced that here with some biting social critique based on the photo prompt. I particularly enjoyed, “the vacuous given gravity and we smile at the screen and empty ourselves into binary code.” Nicely done.

Second place:

Voimaoy, “The Firefly Princesses,”: Brilliant juxtaposition of generations, where by the end, I, too, long for the generation before the allure of the bright phones and especially in a time where Romeo goes unknown. And, “The Universe laughs out loud,” is a brilliant closing line on multiples levels. But it’s worth returning to the previous generation bit of the piece; it’s just lovely, confident writing with great descriptions, which helps with the contrast to today. Well done.

And our Round 79 FLASH MASTER is…

FLASH MASTER

Rebekah Postupak

with Dreammaker

Quite the piece to unpack, as I found it a carefully crafted and clever, but a tight meditation on life, society and of course, dreams and ambitions. I’m particularly impressed that the entire piece is carried by believable, realistic dialogue that still, nevertheless, moves at a quick pace. There’s no need for diversions of heavy descriptions or action scenes. Everything we need is right here in the back and forth. I found this to be another piece that gets beyond the obvious implications of the photo prompt. I appreciated that aspect. Well done, Rebekah.

Congratulations, Rebekah! Your story will be featured as tomorrow’s Humpday quickie! Next weekend, AV Laidlaw returns to judge Flash Frenzy Round 80! Keep your eyes on your inboxes, Flash Dogs. I’ll be soliciting judges for next month later this week, and, as always, volunteers are welcome. See you next week.

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