Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Sunday, June 22, 2014

FaceOff Writing contest results

Here are the results for the FaceOff Writing contest.  As always the range and quality of the work is amazing. We had a lot of entries too, which is always fun!

GREAT use of the word prompts:
Joel Freiburger 9:08pm

One thick stripe of cranberry on the headstone. No-frills burial, surname only: Parker. Cheap as a stepchild’s. Freshest grave of the lot, hazy green in my scope’s viewfinder. Night vision changed the game for a cemetery caretaker like me.
Welcome to the fucking 21st century, grave robbers.
Rustling in the shadows. A cupped flashlight beam.
I stayed back until a shovel broke ground.
“This corpse had scle
roses,” I said. “Gotta cut off the fingers for the rings.”
Scared the chocolate out of him. But he knew the deal.
I marked each new arrival, he did the harvesting. 50/50 profit.

El El Piper 11:05pm
“She went to parker car. Can you help me finder?”

Great turn of phrase
Dan 9:53pm
"bad news riding shotgun"

Deliciously creepy entries!
River Cameron 9:36pm

Steve 11:33pm

Lenny Liang 12:49am

Karen McCoy 3:49pm

Naomi 5:48pm

Deliciously meta
Steven 1:04pm

Jay 8:28pm

Deliciously subtle
Hilary Cusack 11:44pm

Donnaeverhart 8:10am

And of course, I always enjoy a good sharkscapade!
Dena Pawling 12:35am

Utterly surreal
CarolynnWith2Ns 10:20pm

I have no idea what this is but the voice is riveting
Mr Christmas Closet 7:17am

Semi- Finalists (listed in chrono order)
(1) Steve Forti 9:28pm

Parka, not parker. Not everything I say is with a Boston accent, you know.” Sandra rifled through the closet until she spied the rose colored coat, then dug through its pockets. “And where the hell is my snozzberry Chapstick?”

Della smirked and puckered loudly, the slim tube caressing her lips. “
Finders, keepers.”

Sandra dove across the room and tackled her sister off the bed, wrenching the balm from her.

“Ow! Don’t be such a

Sandra shrugged. “You are what you eat.” Zipping up her parka, she slammed the gingerbread door behind her and trudged out into the snow.

(2) Sisi 9:51pm
I counted the child’s breaths as his chest rose and fell, inhale, exhale, strong and steady. He was safe with me. I was strong and steady. He squirmed, a slight frown marring his sleeping face, and I forced myself to relax my grasp on his fragile arm.

I tucked his well-loved bear under the blanket with him after deciphering the faded blue letters on the bear’s collar. Mayberry. He wrapped his arm around Mayberry without opening his eyes. The boy didn’t come with a name tag so I called him Parker, after the place we met.

I smiled. Finders keepers.

(3) Dan 9:53pm
The fair-haired child placed the rose atop the cop's grave. Her chubby hand curled around my fingers, sticky from the strawberry she had at lunch, discovered in our garden.

The rose had also come from the garden, where we had been happily puttering when the cruiser pulled up, bad news riding shotgun. Forget that old line about finders keepers. There were only losers and weepers today.

Officer Parker Selby was dead. This little girl was all I had left of him. Together, we would survive. And in 19 years, three months and six days, we would have our justice.

(4) Calorie Bombshell 10:31pm
It wasn’t quite the reunion show the late Dick Clark had envisioned.

“Axl Rose is in Paradise City until November. Rain forest jungle retreat.”

“What about Chuck Berry?”

“A definite no. Said Clark would be rolling over in his grave.”

“Who are you going to call next?”

“Ray Parker, Jr. Sang “Ghostbusters.”

“Tell him to wear the proton pack and bring some marshmallows. Look, you’re the brainchild of this Rock’n Roll Death Match. We need someone who doesn’t mind getting a little bloody.”

“How about Alice Cooper.”


"Long hair. Makeup. Rips heads off chickens."

“Perfect. A girl. Go finder.”

(5) Christina Seine 10:54pm
Mama always rose to the occasion. “Child,” she said. “You shut your mouth.”

It was true, though. Josiah Parker had a thing for her, and everybody knew it. I popped a fat blueberry into my mouth. It split, bled purple on my fingers and the Apartment Finder open on the kitchen table. I ate another one.

“You’re a mess,” Mama said. “Besides, best we move.” She rubbed her temple; the bruises had faded yellow. “It’s too soon, anyhow. It’s suspicious.”

“Ain’t,” I said, and grabbed another. Stains don’t bother me none. Enough bleach, you can clean away anything.

Or anybody.

(6) CH Lamb 6:51pm
Ben looked up from his precinct computer, opened on People Finder software and eyes widening, felt his jaw drop.
The borderline child-prostitute standing before him had a wand-like body showcased in berry-red knockoff satin and matching spiked heels, her breasts like little oranges under the tight fabric. She sashayed closer, and Ben caught the whiff of cheap rose perfume.
‘I think you’ll be lucky you’re undercover.’
‘Five women missing all from that corner and no one but me cares.’
And I love you, he thought, because you care. ‘Come home safely to me, Officer Parker.’
‘Same goes, Detective Parker.’

Finalists (listed in chrono order)

(7) Colin Smith 11:32pm
Joe took Miss Parker's hand as she led him to a chair.

"Now, child. A dark-haired man you say?"

"Yes," said Joe. "H-he killed Sam Berry. T-took a knife and..."

"Here, have some rosehip tea," said Miss Parker. "It'll calm your nerves. Works wonders for my arthritis." She smiled, handing Joe the teacup.

The door slammed. Joe gulped a mouthful of tea in shock.

"It's him!" he started to say, but couldn't get a breath. The dark-haired man made a move toward Joe, but Miss Parker stopped him.

"No, Finder," she said. "The cyanide will take him soon enough."

(8) Kate Outhwaite 11:53am

Finders, keepers. Losers, weepers!” taunted Billy Price, dangling his prize a foot above Rose Tomlinson’s reach before legging it towards the caretaker’s shed.

The lunchtime supervisor, Miss Berry, was nowhere to be seen. I pushed off from the wall and moved past the knot of younger children.

Behind the shed, Billy was dismembering the plastic pony key-ring.

He glanced at me. “What do you want, Parker?”

I twisted my ponytail round my finger and moved closer, running my tongue over my gap-tooth, pointy smile. The last words he heard were “I’m thirsty, Billy.”

I was naughty. I kept the key-ring.

(9) Celeste 6:20pm
Flash mob

@Our_Child_Missing. Rose never came home from school today. Last seen wearing strawberry print dress, carries a satchel. Finder's reward for our beautiful little girl. Whatever it takes. Plse help and retweet. 17:05

Strawberries are red
Violets are blue
I have her with me
Now I want cash from you

@Our_Child_Missing. Man arrested on suspicion of abduction. Our baby still missing. Pray for us. 20:16

@Our_Child_Missing. Rose found safe in the mall, thanks to thousands of retwts & phone calls. Sick creep who tweeted fake abduction just released by cops. His name is Parker. His address is...

(10) Ashland 8:33pm
Roses are red
A berry is blue
When Parker raped me
He said 'fuck you'

Years later he enters the club. I was a child when it happened, so he doesn't recognize me. When I tell our bouncer Shaun to let him know he's won a free ten in the champagne room, his eyes light with excitement.

Three minutes into 'Cherry Pie' I whip out the switchblade.
Two slashes crisscross his throat.
One long moan escapes.
Zero professional finders will ever locate his body.

Roses are red
The sky is now blue
When it was over
I said 'fuck you'

In the end I couldn't pick just one. Both #9 and #10 were great stories, well-told, and using form in a way that embellished the story. VERY hard to do that in the word constraints.

So, Two Winners!

Celeste and Ashland, if you'll email me at with your mailing address, each of you will get a copy of FaceOff.

Congratulations to you both, and thanks to all who entered. This was a terrific contest!

24 comments: said...

Congrats to the winners! Thanks for the mention, and as always, for having the contest...!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Congrats to all those who received recognition! And the winning stories were great - could definitely see why it was hard to choose between them.

Joel Freiburger said...

Thanks for mentioning my entry!
Great contest and brilliant writing.
This is a terrific blog.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Great fun reading the entries. Congrats to the winners and the mentioneds.

El El Piper said...

I am entering my 4th week stuck in bed with an (temporary and not too serious) illness, and this contest provided some great entertainment! The human brain is an amazing creative machine. Congrats to the winners, and thanks to all who participated and provided me with much-needed diversion!

Steve Forti said...

Congrats winners! And piper, get well soon.

french sojourn said...

It's so fun running with the bulls. There were so many great entries.

As always to the QOTKU, thank you for the time and effort you put into these great mental gymnastics.

You get the gold.

Absolutely wnderful finalists.

Cheers Hank.

Janet Reid said...

hmmm...we might need to have a "get well el el piper contest" next week.
All in favor?

nightsmusic said...

Congrats to everyone who entered for the nerve to enter the shark's lair and especially to those mentioned and of course, the winners! This was great fun. I hadn't done this before.

Kitty said...

Congrats to all those mentioned and especially the winner. I loved donnaeverhart's and Head of the Class' entries.

And to answer your question, Janet: YES! YES! YES!

french sojourn said...

Jet Reid

bein sur.

Henri' said...

Yes! I vote for another contest... But hopefully El El Piper will be good to go, and not still laid up. But...I want a contest anyway - just to give a good dose of get better!

(And...thx for that Kitty!)

Lance said...

First, thank you, Ms. Reid, for another fantastic contest. Second, congratulations to the mentionees and the winners! Great stories! And, fifth, and lastly, yes to the el el piper contest.

Lenny Liang said...

Thanks for another great contest! I was absolutely blown away by Ashland's entry when I read it. I sat up in bed and told my wife, "You have to read this. I think it's going to be the winner." And hey, I was right!

Amy Schaefer said...

I love the way everyone raises the bar contest after contest. Congrats to the winners - your entries were awesome!

(And yes,I vote for a get-well-contest, too.)

Colin Smith said...

Here's another vote for a contest for El El! I hope you get better soon, El. :)

Congrats to the winners. Great entries. And wow--finalist? Thanks, Janet! These are always such fun.

Kate Outhwaite said...

Thank you, Janet. It was great fun, as always. Thrilled to make the final cut in a terrific field and seriously impressed with the winning entries. Congratulations to both winners and all participants for a lot of entertainment!

Calorie Bombshell said...

Great fun! Congrats to the winners! I loved reading all of the entries.

El El Piper said...

Didn't know quite how to respond today without taking away well-deserved attention from the winners and mentionees of this weekend's contest. Thanks for all the kind notes! You truly find erudite friends on Her Sharkness’s blog.
I blush rose-red at the idea of a contest for my benefit; my husband and children got a real kick out of it.
The evil virus mono has compelled this mom to parkerself in bed.
My good friend brought us dinner tonight, with a strawberry and blueberry salad. I feel loved.

D. B. Sundstrom said...

Congratulations to the winners and those mentioned! They were all fun to read. It felt good to step outside of my shell and enter.

Yes yes yes to another contest!

Get well El El and nice response to the well wishes.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Ms el el, love your reply.
Feel better, rest is best, mono sucks.
YES to another contest.
Thanks for the surreal mention. I was feeling weird.

Joyce Tremel said...

These were all so great, I don't know how you were able to even pick two winners!

celeste said...

I just did a double take and then a double back flip - all those brilliant entries and Ms Shark chooses to snack on mine ? I'm honoured and proud to be in such a tasty shoal of pickings.
Keep writing everyone, you are amazing. El El, you so deserve a boost, my vote is for a contest for you next!
Every good wish to you all.

Karen McCoy said...

So much fun--and a great way to flex writing muscles. I loved reading the entries!