Round 88: Winners

Posted: December 16, 2015 in Winners
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Apologies for the late post. As always, I appreciate everybody’s efforts here as writers and as judges. This past week, Voima Oy tackled the responsibility of reading and choosing her favorites. You’ll find her comments below.

I’m glad to be back and judging here at Angry Hourglass. With the closing of Flash! Friday, we need this place more than ever. Angry Hourglass  is  special to me, it’s the first place I ever sent a flash piece. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, and  I think that’s  the heart and spirit of flash. Rebekah @postupak the Dragon Queen and Rebecca @LadyHazmat exemplify this. They have created very special places.

I love the format of Hourglass. The 360 word limit is generous, and the photo prompts by David Shakes and Ashwin Rao are always challenging and inspiring. Thank you!

This time around,  I was wondering what the  bats would inspire, and  you have come up with some surprising stories. It is wonderful  to see  such a fine turnout  and variety of tales. Thank you all!   Here are my comments—

Extracts from the Diary of a Castaway– The diary structure to this piece is really an effective way to show how this character’s perspective changes in such a short time–from “I  need protein” to the tiny bones and bat kebabs.  Food for thought, indeed.

Exterminator– Like the cave chambers, this story draws you further and further in, until there is no way out.  It is claustrophobic and creepy.  What is hidden in the shadows is revealed in this tale of revenge. Horrifying!

A Folk Tale– A story within a story, the bats “neither one world or the other” lead the narrator into a reverie, the unfolding  of this increasingly unsettling and spooky tale.  “I dare not dream tonight.”  Beautiful and haunting.

Nocturnal Creatures– This character is a kindred spirit to the night creatures, the owl and the bats in the old barn.  She is a nocturnal creature, too, spying on the grown-ups, finding the baby bat in the box. In time, it flies away. “My bat never returned.”  Lovely, poignant story.

Encouragement of a  Father– A fun father-son tale. The scene is so visual–I could see the boy in trouble, the girl with the bright red bruise, the floor-staring contest, the concerned parents. And what a marvelous twist!

My Truth, Invisible– Here, a culture and a character is created in so few words.  I love the voice of this character, how he can’t bring himself to kill the bat to take its magic. “It lived through me…How could I now kill it?”  Was it luck the Canuchi didn’t notice him?  Maybe it was magic, after all…

I Don’t Trust Them– Effective repetition of “Simon says” here, as if the narrator doesn’t  trust her own reservations. Simon may make fun of her “derivative vampire novels,”   but she is armed with the garlic and crucifix and the holy water of the classic tales. Love the list and the final line.

And the winners—

3rd Runner Up: A Folk Tale by AV Laidlaw –Beautiful writing, and an unsettling, haunting  story.

2nd runner Up: Extracts From the Diary of a Castaway by Sal Page — Excellent use of compact form.  Very funny, and great commentary on what someone would do to survive..

1st runner Up: Encouragement of a Father by Bart Van Goethem — Great  dark humor–“Kids need encouragement”  A  father-son story with a real twist.



And our Round 88 FLASH MASTER is…


A.J. Walker


My Truth, Invisible

A self-effacing  character with a  compassionate heart.  Marvelous take on the photo, and a wonderful last line.

Congratulations, AJ. Your story will be featured as next week’s HumpDay Quickie. Thanks, writers, for submitting, and  thank you,  Voima, for judging.

As the holiday season is upon us, we are now approaching the third FLASH FACE OFF. Next week, I’ll post a survey with links to all of the winning stories from the past several months. Voting will be open until the first of January. Prizes will be announced at the start of the contest.

Best wishes to you all for the upcoming holidays. I hope you vote for your favorite flash and that you all return (and bring your friends) for a new year of Flash Frenzy beginning in January!



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