Hey folks. Welcome back. I hope everyone had a great weekend. Thanks to everyone who found time to write stories this round and to AJ for braving the Valentine’s Day weekend as judge. You’ll find his comments below.

Thanks guys and guyesses you did another bad thing. Is bad still good (‘sick’ seems so last year)? Perhaps I should stick to literalism: You guys, as ever, were good.

Those who saw my twitter plea for a lack of mawkishness decided to take that as a challenge; one way or another. There were the odd lines which came damn close to Valentine’s vomitville. These were usually cleared up in the next line or two by a change in direction (usually with the bloke (or boxed pet) ending up somewhere sticky (in a not nice way)). So thank you.

There was a good deal of Liverpool, beer, cheese, and a pet called Mawkish. Even my writing group, Poised Pen, got a mention. I’m not entirely sure whether these nods of obviousness deserve plus or minus points. Sometimes I feel the point scoring can be more obscure than in an episode of QI. In any case thank you also for the notable lack of cats – your assistance in such undertaking to not put cats into these love and anti-love stories is very much appreciated (and without my asking too, you knows me!). Sorry… almost mawkish there. So, without further ado, I’ll plunge right into my picks of Runners Up and Flash Champ. And in true Sal ‘FlashDog review-style’ I’ve put a line in from each piece. Sal, you’ve created a thing!

Lines

Love Potion at the Stilton and Maggot

Fave Line: ‘His gurning grimaces proved the one-toothed rumour beyond doubt.’

Heartless

Fave Line: ‘he was a coward and he could never let her see the man he had become.’

A Right Plum, on his own in the Train Station, with the Lunchbox

Fave Line: ‘Right now, he needed antihistamines.’

Love Train

Fave Line: ‘I don’t care for yellow flowers. But I do want the pilgrim soul.’

A Conscious Coupling

Fave Line: ‘We charge by the hour, so might want to make your mind up.’

Train of Thought

Fave Line: ‘If I can’t be with you, I don’t want you to be with anyone else either.’

Angel of the North(ern Line)

Fave Line: ‘Barry the Spank Engine, wasn’t happy’

Photoshoot

Fave Line: ‘She only ever looked that happy when she was on her phone.’

The Tracks of My Tears

Fave Line: ‘the 12:24 train to Liverpool—home of ‘The Poisoned Pen’, a publishing house that specialised in whodunnits.’

A Plate of Pasta

Fave Line: ‘luckily she had more bullets, one with his name etched on. She hated clingy men.’

————————-

HM

A Plate of Pasta by Stella T

Wasn’t going to select a HM but it was hard to call between this and the other runners-up, but a few typos made the difference (we all been their). But had to mention it because it’s a great story well told. Loved it. Next tim

Second Runner Up

Angel of the North(ern Line) by Mark A. King

Well, come on, you know I’m sucker for a bit of humour so getting me grinning from Line 1 is a good thing – as long as it delivers for the rest of the piece too. And this one did. Nice idea and I’d like to know what the writer had been drinking when they came up with the idea (it seemed like a four pinter story to me).

Anthropomorphic trains was a good slant on the love story for this weekend (why did I volunteer for this weekend – what was I thinking btw?!) and mawkishness was replaced by the rather rude Barry the (well you know). Thanks for the laughs!

First Runner Up

Photoshoot by Carlos Orozco

A good modern take on a relationship being lived in the (not so nice) gaze of social media. Turn off your Twitter between Flash challenges guys (and just get rid of that Facebook malarkey).

I can visualise the protagonists all too easily. Their different view on the day and the pain in it makes me hope that after he’s watched whatever he was catching on the box that they decided to go their separate ways – or at least don’t make it until the next VD.

and our round 94 FLASH MASTER is…

FLASH MASTER

Catherine Connolly

with

A Conscious Coupling

No real shred of love in the traditional sense here and the furthest from the Planet Mawk you can get. Huzzah!

I thought this was a really clever take on the prompt with the use of the railway and train terms without said railway or train (and certainly no Spank Engine). It had a feel of Minority Report meets Blade Runner; which is a great bit of world building with such a small piece.

I thought the atmosphere of the piece was choice. Good work!

Congratulations, Catherine! Your story will be featured as tomorrow’s HumpDay Quickie. Next weekend, CR Smith takes the judge’s seat. Hope to see you all then.

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