Happy Tuesday, writers! Thanks to everyone who wrote and submitted stories last weekend. I hope everyone enjoyed the free for all. Thanks also to David Shakes for judging the submissions. You’ll find his comments and top picks below.
Return of the Monster
“What’s on Your Coffee Table” would really make a genuinely decent show! Pitch it, Stephen, pitch it! The characters’ names hint at details unwritten and the playfully bizarre tone really appealed.
My first question would be – how did Rebekah come across this picture to begin with? A brilliantly woven tale, a slow reveal and expert writing as usual.
The Devil’s New Job
How cool of Carol to write a sequel to her fantastic THE INFERNAL CLOCK story and afford me the opportunity of plugging our new anthology! You don’t need to know the characters to enjoy this story – but it helps! Suitably creepy – loved the boxing up idea!
Overlooking The River
I remember writing a few years back that Patrick would be a writer to watch. This was wonderful in its imagery and the building tension, just to have the rug pulled. I so wish I could see that prompt. Nice one Patrick.
The Poet Goes to the Shops
Dirty carrots?! The poet’s lines, in isolation, contain some lovely phrases and ideas but in the context of the overall tale just add to the beautiful absurdity. A sketch waiting to be filmed I feel. Hilarious.
Where did those character names come from?! Great narrative voice and another (subtle) nod to our new anthology, THE INFERNAL CLOCK which is now available as a Kindle edition and a paperback. I really love this story – what more can I say? A great mix of genres, a strong narrative voice.
Is it wrong that I can follow Steph’s line of thought from brick house, to little pigs to evil child? Maybe we’ve worked to closely on THE INFERNAL CLOCK (have I mentioned our anthology?!) I loved where this went. Dark as ever, Steph, very dark indeed.
Confessions of a Portal Guardian
I do like this Voima! The narrative is so good and the last paragraph’s moment of suspense is a brilliant way to end. We both like a portal don’t we? Recurring theme for you and I. Deft storytelling and most satisfying.
Painting Your Troubles Away
I hope that Angelique’s paintballing experience was the only real-life inspiration here! I loved the line:
‘Revenge would not be sweet, but salty, like her sweat and his tears.’
I may have to steal that at some point! Great twist with the punchbag and the tough (but not life-threatening) paintball plan. Well done Angelique.
I AM A GOD
Oh unreliable narrator, what to make of you? Brian – you’ve written a good one here. The tone is perfect. I am still undecided – deluded nutter or fallen god? That’s what makes this a cracking tale. I know that Brian’s a marvel fan and this felt like Marvel movie humour – he knows that’s a compliment.
Wasn’t My Fault
I like the idea that Len from next door is the keeper of the lexicon for this salt of the earth narrator. The date of this little round did not escape Stella here and she used it to great comic effect. Obviously, this lot are from Coventry though – that sort of malarkey would never happen in Solihull darling!
Whenever I judge these things, commonalities begin to assert themselves. Great narrators and protagonists seemed to be a strong theme this week. Comedy in all its forms too. A great set of tales and impossible to judge on merit alone. I’ve gone from the gut:
2nd Runner Up: Overlooking The River by Patrick Stahl for its imagery and poignant ending.
1st Runner Up: The Poet Goes to the Shops by Ewan Smith for the rhythm and juxtaposition in this one.
And our ROUND 133 FLASH MASTER is…
Rebekah is back with a show don’t tell tour de force!
Congratulations, Rebekah! Your story will be featured as tomorrow’s HumpDay Quickie! Thanks again to everyone who wrote and to Shakes for judging. Next weekend, Jaime Burchard returns to judge round 134. Hope to see you all there.