Hello and welcome to the Round 104 winners post! Thanks to everybody who wrote stories last weekend, and thanks also to Voima Oy for judging. You’ll find her comments and top picks below.

Greetings again. I am so happy to judge Round 104 of Angry Hourglass. Thanks to Rebecca for having me, and thank you again Mark A. King, for filling in for me the last time, when I was sick. Thank you, Ashwin Rao, for the inspiring photo. This image offered such intriguing possibilities. Is Sand Point a place, a state of mind? I am impressed by all the stories. Well-done, everyone!

Here are my comments—

Sand Point–There is so much packed into this story. What a strange town, and what a quirky cast of characters! Wonderfully inventive. I love the pub names—Fox and Astronaut, Duck and Prime Minister and the Haunted Poacher. Then, there is a disturbing turn, an apparent murder. We are left with a mystery. Yes, I want to read more….

Monstery, I Guess– Dialogue and description tell this weird tale. From the first line of dialogue–“There’s a monster in the garage,” to the enigmatic ending, it gets really scary, really fast.

Always–What a beautiful piece of writing. It is a prose poem, “a life like any other’ in so few words. So many wonderful lines here!

Dull Eyes–A haunting story about a desolate place of beach bums and stray dogs. Tristan drives the Maserati into the sea. No explanation is offered. It has a feel of magic realism, horror and mystery.

The End at the Beginning–The dialogue tells the story within the story–“Because if I hadn’t written all those damned Sand Point novels, if I hadn’t leaked some of that world into this one, then maybe the doorways wouldn’t have started closing.” And, a wonderful ending.

Business at Sand Point–In this story, a sea gull is the sole witness to a scene of brutal violence and murder. There is intense, vivid description, yet we witness the grisly business at a distance. There are no names, no dialogue. The final image is unflinching and unforgettable.

Here be Monsters–Is it just a story that there is a monster that haunts the town of Sand Point?

Could there be a real monster? Is the narrator insane? What happened to Jacky and the parents? This story gave me chills!

Working Things Out–How quickly things fall apart in this desolate town. This story of a father and daughter is beautifully told–working through loss, hoping for a better future. There is saving, in more ways than one.

Destination Sandpoint–There is an uncanny feel to this story. Who is this client? What kind of place is this Sand Point? Who goes there, and why? The story becomes more and more disturbing. Is it a dream or a nightmare?

What I would Tell You–This is a story of dreams and memories. Although there is a dreamlike quality, the descriptions make it seem so real and solid. It is sad and very beautiful. The ending is breathtaking!

Return to Sand Point–Due to a family obligation, the narrator returns to his home town after many years. Much as he would like to forget Daniel and Lucy and what happened years ago, his return brings him back to that time and place, where it seemed like nothing happened.

Favorite Lines–

Sand Point–In the graveyard, a gentle breeze disturbed a mole, who raised his head and twitched his delightful nose, while his eyes and ears remained alert for the arrival of the gravedigger or (less likely) a zombie….

Monstery, I Guess–Rosalie had to fight it off with a large blunt object that turned out to be her right arm.

Always–the invisible words we drew just beneath breath

Dull Eyes–Water gasped surprise as the tires soaked into the fresh tide surf, no stop, no stop, water flooding the exhaust, sputtering, diving into the incoming wave, coasting into complete submersion, salt staining the leather interior, splashing Tristan’s face as he instinctively held his breath, then eased it out and the car disappeared into the ocean’s welcoming embrace.

The End at the Beginning–I hear the sound of the fairground and smell the ocean.

Business at Sand Point–They don’t talk. It isn’t quick.

Here be Monsters–“I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again, it’s just a story, nothing more.”

Working Things Out–The house was full of absence now.

Destination Sandpoint–“You’ve been before, perhaps?” the woman asked. “A satisfied customer?”

What I Would Tell You—And then I wake up. And I am broken. And yet I am whole.

Return to Sand Point–To try and forget Lucy and Daniel again and the events of that sticky summer evening.

And now, the winners–

Honorable Mentions–

Sand Point by Steve Lodge –quirky and imaginative

What I Would Tell You by Casey Rose Frank–sad and hopeful –beautiful writing

2nd Runner Up–

Destination Sandpoint–uncanny and unsettling

1st runner Up–

The End at the Beginning by Brian S Creek–Evocative storytelling. Marvelous ending.

And our Round 104 FLASH MASTER is…


David Shakes


Business at Sand Point

For it’s brilliant POV, unflinching storytelling, and unforgettable imagery.

Congratulations, Shakes! Your story will be featured as this week’s HumpDay Quickie! Next weekend, AJ Walker returns for another round in the judge’s seat. Hope to see you all there. 

  1. Thanks so much for your comments, Voima Oy, and to all those amazing writers who submitted. This was fun! I will be back next week!

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