Round 103: Winners

Posted: April 18, 2016 in Winners
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Happy Monday! Thanks to all who wrote stories this past weekend and to Marie for judging. You’ll find her comments and top picks below.

Thanks, Rebecca, for allowing me to judge. The stories this week were all fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of them. I won’t go on too long here, as I’ve said a little bit about each:

Swinnish

The premise for this piece is brilliant:
‘“You are very welcome to the first Wimbledon Open Tennis Singles Final post global warming.”‘
It is a witty piece,
‘”new design for a new sport eh, sport?”’
with a sinister edge.
I love what this writer saw in the photograph.

Last Commute

The imagery in this story makes it gripping:
‘Behind us, through the haze, the remains of our city still burn, the high-rise buildings its smashed teeth – biting at the sky lest more bombs fall from it.’
The world building continues
‘Our own teeth will fall from our bleeding gums in time.’
In a post apocalyptic world, there are survivors, all with their own stories that this writer conveyed in the not telling:
‘that’s her story and perhaps you’ll read it elsewhere.’ A lovely little device!
The ending may be one of despair or perhaps it’s about taking control. Excellent.

The Scream.

The title and first line drew me in completely:
‘She sits on the ship, hands on molten face.’
The pace builds with the imagery and repetition:
‘She screams in the waiting rooms of the unwanted diagnosis.
She screams in the monotonous offices of loathing, bullying and oppression.’
Who is this embodiment of our anguish?
‘Edvard Munch once saw her… She is the Scream.’

A Pirate’s Pirate

A pirate raid has left our young hero without his family
‘All I could do for them in this moment was to survive.’
To avenge their deaths, he boards the ship of a pirate whose name reveals all (another excellent device for flash fiction): Captain Robin Hook.
‘a pirate who pirated pirates, and gave back to the destitute victims of their invasions.’
A tense adventure.

Cruise 

A little romance in this one, or there might be, if things weren’t going wrong:
‘Tourists looked dolefully at clouds that were almost incessantly dumping their loads on lakeside cafes and bars. The walkways were slippery…’
However, the mood does change and the descriptions are magical:

‘Somewhere in the depths of the boat, a band struck up, horns blazing, guitar chiming through the night air.’
But, even so, it seems that it might not have been the weather causing the problems, after all.

Lighthouse Road

Beautiful use of language throughout this piece:
‘A flick of a cigar. The sea air rushing with waves hitting laughter. Cars underneath making a sturdy brushing sound.’
Excellent descriptions of family life, ‘My mother swearing with 300 dollar perfume and a thrift store dress. My father wearing a 2 dollar cologne with a 500 dollar suit. We were lopsided but ready to go out,’ give way to a beautiful story of falling in love.

Meandering

We feel the heat in the phrase ‘a memory of a breeze…’ when a criminal takes a short break from his ‘voluntary exile’ and is the subject of a covert police operation.
The contrast between the police sergeant’s idea of luxury and the criminal’s is very revealing allowing excellent plot and character development. The structure of this piece is also expertly handled.
And I can’t not quote this line:
‘He’d choose objectionable books with lurid covers as a guarantee of being left alone. This time; Piers Morgan.’

Summer’s Children

This is a beautiful tale depicting, for our narrator, how spring transforms into summer:
‘Spring lasted into the big commuter parking lot, summer started once sandaled feet hit the docks on the island.’
The joy of summer resonates throughout:
‘they built wobbly sandcastles and dug moats doomed to fail.’
The wonderful twist; however, reveals that this trip might actually be about the recapturing of summer for ‘Summer’s Children.’

It was a tough decision but here goes.

Honourable Mentions for their beautiful poetic prose: ‘Summer’s Children’ by Casey Rose Frank and ‘The Scream’ by Mark A. King

Runner up for its world building:  ‘Last Commute’ by David Shakes

And our Round 103 FLASH MASTER is…

FLASH MASTER

AJ. Walker
with ‘Meandering’

The winner for its tight construction.

Congratulations, AJ! Your story will be featured as Wednesday’s HumpDay Quickie! Thanks again, Marie, for your comments.

Keep your eyes on your inboxes as I’ll be sending out a call to April Flash Masters (and perhaps a runner up or two) to fill the March judging roster. Meanwhile, I hope to see you all  back next weekend with judge Voima Oy.

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Comments
  1. Congrats on your deserved win, A. J. I’m envious of the world and storyline you dreamed up from this photo prompt.

    [ But perhaps one too many absolute zero mojitos led you to lose track of the ‘meandering’ between characters: in para 5, it should be ‘He’d grab DANIELS.’ shouldn’t it? Or have I lost the plot? 🙂 ]

  2. mariemck1 says:

    Yes, it should be ‘Daniels.’ But, luckily, in this case, the judge took a holistic approach. She’s good. I like her!

    Congrats, again, A.J! Excellent stuff.

    • I wasn’t really criticising. It was obviously an oversight. We’ve all done it!*

      I just thought it would be nice if it could be amended before Hump Day rolls around… 🙂

      (As for the judge, I’ve heard she has a very high opinion of herself…)

      [* I’ve often done it! ]

      • mariemck1 says:

        I’m not sure an amendment to the story after the competition has ended is appropriate. But that would need to be Rebecca’s call.

  3. Mark A. King says:

    I’d like to offer my support. Please forgive me voicing my views.
    To me, a great story is a great story. Minor issues don’t distract me from good storytelling.
    I’d rather read a wonderful story than a dictionary.
    As for the judge (I realise the comment is in jest), but she’s a frequent judge for a reason.
    I’m thankful to all the judges. It’s a hard job.
    I’m thankful to Rebecca for the platform.
    I’m grateful to all the writers. Their work makes me feel happy and I try to just enjoy the stories they craft.
    As for Marie – my opinion couldn’t be higher. I am inspired by her talent, dedication and service to flash fiction.
    Happiness and peace to all – M

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