First order of business: The madness associated with my primary Twitter account *appears* to have been resolved (though I am getting a tremendous number of spam DMs only to find my account has followed them, so I’m pruning like a mad woman). This experience was frustrating to say the least, and I now have a backup account—@LadyHazmatv2—just in case. Flash Dogs may wish to follow this account as well, in the event Lady Hazmat prime encounters more difficulties.

Second order of business: Related to first order of business. I did a massive purge and unfollowed a LOT of accounts in an attempt to get things back to normal. I did my best to keep everyone from the Flash Dogs on my list, but if you notice that I’ve unfollowed you by mistake, please send me a message (the contact tab on this site is probably the best way) so I can rectify the situation. I’ve also temporarily locked my account, so if you try to follow me, give me a bit to approve the follow. Thanks!

Third (final, and most important) order of business: Voima – I hope you are on the mend. Thanks, Mark, for volunteering to fill in for our under-the-weather colleague. You will find his comments and top picks below.

I’ll keep it short and sweet. Loved the photo prompt this week. I’m not sure I would have picked the same stories as Voima, but hopefully I’ve done her some justice and she’s still talking to me afterwards.

Get better soon, Voima.

Please forgive the lack of extensive comments. You’ll have to trust me when I say there was something in every story that I enjoyed, thanks for taking part and sharing your wonderful words.

HM

Biting off more than they can chew: by Avalina Kreska

Oh my goodness. I’m guessing this is Avalina (or someone knows her so well that they were brave enough to use her as a main character). I cringed through my fingers reading the story, but in a good way. It’s also might have explained how Avalina ended up on that island 🙂

2nd Runner-up

The Curse of the Flashing Cursor: by A.J. Walker

Very smooth read. Humour mixed with horror (is there a better mix?) With the computer acting as a character, it reminded me of a number of films from Her to Electric Dreams (great song, bad film). Engaging, entertaining and fun, and that’s hard to do with small word counts.

1st Runner-up

Big Winner: by Carlos Orozco

I’m sure the title wasn’t an attempt to influence the judge, but all the same, this one came close. Highly enjoyable read. It’s hard to add a twist without it being obvious or too contrived. I should have seen this one coming, but I didn’t because the writer deftly kept it under wraps, focusing on the motives of the characters (which were very well written). When the twist came, I thought it was an excellent idea and great use of the prompt to tell a story. Don’t click those links, btw.

And our Round 97 FLASH MASTER is…

FLASH MASTER

Marie McKay

with Virtual

Writing with almost half the word count limit is not an easy way out – it takes extreme craft. Every. Word. Counts. As was demonstrated with this striking entry. Powerful. Observant, and casting remote judgment on technology and the role it plays in our lives and society. I dare not write more as I am on the tech far more than I need to be.

Congrats, dear winner.

Congratulations, Marie! Your story will be featured as Wednesday’s HumpDay Quickie! Next weekend, Fae Fielding will try her hand at judging. See you all there.

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