Monday, February 02, 2015

Flash fiction contest results

 We're celebrating the publication of DEATH AND THE REDHEADED WOMAN by Loretta Ross this week, and you certainly rose to the occasion.

Special recognition for an entry that definitively answers "what is 'voice' in writing"
Wolfman141 10:36am

Special recognition for a book I REALLY want to read!
"Story time with second graders is like a slow death. But as I read The World Revolves Around Me! to them,"
Kim English 12:13pm

Not quite a story, but utterly chiling (you guyz are scaring me here)
Colin Smith 10:35am

Calorie Bombshell 12:24pm 12:25pm

Julie.M.Weathers 9:23am

Not quite a story, but hilarious
Shaunna 11:17am

Not quite a story, but I'd LOVE to see this on film
Laura Rueckert 11:24am

gorgeous gorgeous sentences
"Silence slid into the spaces between words where love and laughter once reigned. We no longer talk, we simply make statements: Dinner is ready. I’m working late."
SiSi 1:59pm

outstanding usage of a prompt word
W.R. Gingell 2:30am

Most meta entry!
Christina Seaine 3:31am

Here are the 7 finalists
(1) Michael Seese 10:22am
The energetic six-year-old in the pink dress with red spots wondered when it would be her turn. Bored to death, her mind drifted off to art class, lunch...

"Sara? Did you bring something for show and tell?"

She stood and produced a handgun. "Don't worry," she stated confidently. "It's just a toy."

But Miss Root, who grew up in a place where school was closed the first day of hunting season, knew better. "Of course it is. Just to be safe, please give it to me."

That's funny, Sara thought. Mommy said the same thing right before the loud noise.

(2) Mgan V 11:05am
People used to say that the only certain things in life were death and taxes. But that was before. Before the state discovered how to keep us all alive. Before the government’s dog and pony show convinced my parents to make me immortal.
The line of dandruff-mottled heads moves forward.
“Peter Echolls.”
“The Red Tax.”
The uniformed woman arches an eyebrow, but she inspects my offering.
“I’m sorry sir. It’s not enough.”
I clench my worn, shaking hands. Blink back tears.
“It never is…”
The only certain thing in life is that I’ll never have enough to die.

(3) LynnRodz 11:55am
Death appeared to me one red sky dawn; being from the 'Show Me' state I wanted proof.

"Tonight I'll come for you," He said. "You'll see."

I couldn't die. My life had just begun. There was so much yet to do. Fear crept over me, I was paralyzed, unable to move. Only my brain reacted, what to do

I headed to the airport. Fly west with the sun and night will elude me. At takeoff, I let out a sigh of relief. The person looking out the window turned and smiled.

"I'm glad you made this easy." Death said

(4) Carolynnwith2Ns 12:42pm
Did I tell you I’m from “The Show Me State”? On the western shore of the Lake of the Ozarks, I lived with a tobacco chewer called Red? He had a masters in heartbreaker and a doctorate in asshole. A backwoods Midwest legend, Red had been married 7 times. I was his 8th.
Did I tell you Red owned the biggest boat on the lake? Did I tell you they never found his body? Even though I only graduated high school, I ain’t stupid. Red’s death made me rich.
Did I tell you I have a degree in killin’ bastards?

(5) Rami McShane 5:23pm
Death watched Lilith sleep, stroked her cheek. Not yet. He snatched his hand back, clenched his fist. Lilith’s time to go was many years away.

With her crooked nose and wide mouth, Lilith wasn’t a classic beauty. But her hair, wild and the color of an angry sunset,
showed passion, mesmerized him.

I won’t wait.
Death curled his fingers around her neck.

Lilith woke. “Take me,” she begged.

Death squeezed her throat. Wait. What’s this?

Another life stirred
inside her.

Devastated, Death released his grip.

Lilith sobbed, clutched his arm.

Death left her. He’d risk stealing one life, never two.

(6) Andrew Lipkin
I was through with being whored out. Driven from state to state. Maintained but never cared for. Those ugly, burly men, sweating through their worst shirts, in and out of me. My eventual death was an expected cost of doing business, but I wanted it sooner. My time. My place. Wanted it inconvenient. Expensive. Painful. Show them they were screwed without me.

Waited till we were hundreds of miles from anywhere, deep in the Mojave’s wavy heat and scrubby, blonde dirt. No cell reception.

Then boom. Head gasket. Goodbye.

Who hauls the U-Haul, when the U-Haul won’t haul for thee?

(7) flashfrieday 11:22pm
“I am Death.”

She looked up, red-eyed. “You’ve come for me?”

He only smiled in return. Smiled! It was genuine, warm — and, despite everything, her heart stirred. When had she last eaten? Showered? For the first time in months she thought to wonder.

Still smiling, he pulled her to her feet. Her brain whirled. She should call her mother! Check on her sister! Life began leaking from her pores.

“No! I want to live!” Her words burned with panic. Joy.

In confusion he watched her flee, the little statement card falling from his fingers. Please Help. I am Deaf.

And the winner of the flash fiction contest is Andrew Lipkin 6:28pm. One of the very best entries we've had in all the years of flash fiction contest, even without the hilarious tag line closing.

Andrew, if you'll email me your mailing address, I'll send you your prize.


And thanks to all who entered. Reading your  contest entries is one of my favorite things to do.


Kitty said...

CONGRATS to all who entered and especially to Andrew!

Btw, my husband, whose nickname is DogMan, loved Dena Pawling's (11:10 am). Did you read mine? I asked. Yeah, but Dena's was great! No doubt, it's a dog thing. siiiiigh

Colin Smith said...

A special mention? Cool! Thanks for that, Janet, and for another awesome contest.

And congratulations, Andrew--you deserved the win. :)

Steve Forti said...

Yeah, I knew this one was over as soon as I read Andrew's entry. Amazing.

Amanda Capper said...

Great entry, Andrew, congratulations. The tag line was snort-worthy.

Also, SiSi, your sentence was gorgeous. Beautifully written. So jealous.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Andrew your entry is amazing. As a member of the king’s court I stand in humble amazement before a master.
Thank you Janet. In all honesty, being finalist up against this bunch is a super honor.

Anonymous said...

Andrew's entry was superb! When I read "head gasket," I was completely thrown off track from where I THOUGHT the story was going, and then? U-Haul. I'm still laughing!

Great job Andrew, and congratulations!

And thank you, Ms. Janet, for the special recognition. I'm always honored and humbled when I consider the other outstanding entries.

El El Piper said...

So much fun to read these! LOADS of talent in you sharkly followers. I re-read Andrew's several times, and vowed to lodge a complaint if he wasn't recognized. Perhaps we can all relate to the suspicion that rental items, after years of abuse, are waiting for their moment of revenge when we need them the most. Congrats to all!

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

I enjoyed Donnaevanheart and Dena's entries.

Andrew's knocked my sox off. Love the voice and the irony.

It was great to objectively read the 92 without the thrill/worry of seeing mine.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for mentioning me. I'm honored.

Methinks the state is going to be surprised when their best episode of the year shoots the poor guy to kingdom come. Oops.

I read through these stories, and, wow. There were some great entries. Some made me laugh the deaf guy story for instance. A lot were just scary as all get out.

You attract some bloodthirsty beats.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that, Angie!

(I almost didn't enter b/c I had so much craziness going on here at the house hostessing my daughter's baby shower avec 20 people in attendance.)

Maple and Baobab said...

Congratulations to all the writers. Andrew what an entry. Janet, thanks again for opening up a bigger desire to work and improve our craft by admiring some freaking good entries.

Calorie Bombshell said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Janet. Congrats to Andrew!

Dena Pawling said...

Congrats to the winners!

And thanks, Kitty and Angie.

Kitty, tell DogMan I'm glad he liked my "Irish Setter" [wink]

LynnRodz said...

Andrew, you truly deserved the win! Congrats to everyone mentioned and thank you, Janet, for including me! I thought the deaf one was hilarious too and so was S.D. KIng's. I loved them both. On a more serious note, Hank and Rolando outdid themselves. Another great contest and once again my question to you Janet is, where do you find the time to do everything? I guess being the QOTKU, 'time' is not the same for you as for the rest of us mere mortals.

Megan V said...

Andrew—what an awesome entry! That last line was inspired. Congrats!

Janet—thanks for mentioning me and for all you do!

Congrats to everyone!

JennyC said...

Great job, Andrew!

SiSi said...

Loved Andrew's entry--made me laugh out loud! The quality of writing for these is amazing, which makes getting mentioned a huge honor. Thank you for the call out, Janet (and Amanda Capper), and thanks for continuing to run these contests!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congrats, Andrew. And to all who wrote, what great storytellers. I feel intimidated and inspired. What a fun past-time for a Saturday/Sunday.

Andrea van der Wilt said...

Congratulations, Andrew, amazing entry!
And well done, everybody, I read lots of good entries. I'm pretty new at writing flash fiction and this is a fun way to get some practice at writing something short. (My first novel is 145K...)

Anonymous said...

GREAT story Andrew! Congratulations! :D

I enjoyed reading all the riveting entries. Good job everybody.

Karen McCoy said...

What a great bunch of finalist entries. I'd like to give a shout out to Carolynn's--such a great voice! And of course, Andrew's was excellent!

These contests are superb, and they offer such great writing practice. Thanks, Janet!

Kitty said...

Dena, to appreciate what high praise that is from DogMan, he's strictly a German Shepherd man ;~)

Amy Schaefer said...

Fantastic entry, Andrew. Way to go!

Lilac Shoshani said...

Congrats to all the entries. Andrew, a well deserved win: bravo!

Carolynn, I second Karen McCoy's shout out.

Donna: loved your story.

Colin: I had goose bumps reading yours.

Sisi: your writing is breathtaking.

Thanks again Janet for your amazing blog and contests. It's thrilling to be a part of this wonderful, creative community. :-)

Rami McShane said...

Congrats to Andrew! When I read it, I knew it was one of the stories to beat!

So many great entries this week - I'm honored to be a finalist :)

Thanks so much to Janet for doing these Oh So Fun contests!!!

Colin Smith said...

Thanks, Lilac. That means a lot. I'm honored. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Lilac!

Lilac Shoshani said...

Colin, the honor is all mine. Thank you. :-)

Lilac Shoshani said...

You are very welcome, Donna!

Erica Eliza said...

Wait, not all schools close for the first day of deer season? :)

SiSi said...

Thank you so much, Lilac!

Lilac Shoshani said...

It's my pleasure, SiSi!

W.R. Gingell said...

Congrats Andrew! Yours was awesome.

Christina Seine said...

Thank you Janet for the special mention! And Andrew, congratulations - well done!

french sojourn said...

Another great contest in the books.

Thanks as always to QOTNU for her time and effort.

Congrats Andrew, way to go!, and to all the finalists and honorable mentions. All the entries were wonderful. Lynnrodz I read yours to my Wife, and we chuckled quite a bit. (Thanks for the nod, btw. )

Cheers Hank

Anonymous said...

Andrew's entry was awesome. I figured out where it was going pretty quick, but what fun.

<-------Truck driver's ex. I did figure it was going to be a slip seating truck driver instead of U-Haul. And I dreamed about moving and having to load a U-Haul all night. Probably Andrew's fault. Much prefer dreaming about dragons.
thanks, guy, but it was better than dreaming about the massacre in the fortress I am working on.

FlashFriday was awesome also, I literally guffawed in the gloaming as I read it.

What talented followers you have, Miss Janet.


Anonymous said...

"Wait, not all schools close for the first day of deer season? :)"

Blasphemy. Having graduated with the largest class ever in Killdeer, which was 54, I'm quite familiar with hunting season and school. I don't think there was a student pickup in the parking lot that didn't have a gun in it and I doubt of them were locked. First day of hunting season? Yep vacant school and town.

Now, back to murder and mayhem for me.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Missed the contest, but I am so glad I got to read the finalists. Excellent stories!

Congratulations to Andrew, all the finalists, and everyone who received a special mention.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much--this was a terribly fun round!
--Rebekah Postupak (Flash! Friday)