Monday, February 09, 2015

Signal Flash fiction writing contest results

There's nothing better for a cold winter weekend  than to see hot writers at their best! You guyz (non gender specific, plural) continue to amaze me with what you can do with a couple words and a day to think.

Herewith the results
If this isn't the start to a terrific historical novel, I'll eat my hat next to the wine-dark sea
Kalli 10:09am

A great descriptive line:
"I was his first twinset-with-pearls."
Kitty 9:46am

Yet another unhappy Reds fan
Britta Boudreau 10:10 am

And a Cubs fan isn't too happy either
Sherry Howard 9:03am

Not quite a story but oh my godiva, YIKES
Madeline Mora-Summonte 10:13am
Michael Seese 1:26pm

Not quite a story, but I love the imagination in these entries
S.D. King 10:14am
Tom Perkins 11:25am
Karen McCoy 5:44pm

Not quite a story, but man oh man, you really want to know what happens next
Mira Baker 11:31am
Julie.M.Weathers 11:34am
HilaryHarwell 12:11pm
Andrew Lipkin 4:19pm
Lilac Shoshani 8:43pm
Cipher 8:49pm

Outstanding use of the prompt words:
homersexual- ColinSmith 12:18pm
homer of barley- Nina 8:51pm
Cranessia-Kate Higgins 10:31pm
shomer Shabbat- Rami McShane 8:30am

The reason you always have a backup piece when you go to a pitch session
Colin Smith 12:18pm

These entries completely cracked me up
Jeff Deitering 3:05pm
kregger 4:48pm

The best typo in YEARS in a flash fiction contest (I'll leave the readers to find it)
EllenM 11:39pm

ohhh!! Puppies!!!
White Gardenia 5:24am

Here are the nine finalists

(1) JennyC 10:18am
An hour before her lecture on Homer’s Odyssey, Eva’s books tumbled from her backpack into the gray slush on the street. The signal changed and a Honda closed in, the driver yacking away. While leaping to the sidewalk, Eva caught her boot on a chunk of ice and collapsed.

A burst of pain, then nothing.

The sound of waves crashing brought her back. A white crane stood at the ocean’s edge flapping its wings. The air smelled salty and floral. A sumptuous man in a toga reached down for Eva’s hand. “The goddess Aphrodite?”

Eva smiled. Sure. Why not?

(2) Carolynnwith2Ns 10:31am
I didn’t want him to die, I just didn’t want him.
For an hour I held Homer, my little one, than left him at the base of the crane, minutes before I knew workmen would arrive. I hid. They gathered around the box, I walked away in tears.
A signal blaring, rivets and bolts popping, metal and men screaming; the impact of the crane’s collapse brought me to my knees.
If the men had not been grouped around the box they would not have lived.
I didn’t want anyone to die, I just didn’t want the puppy.

(3) Charlogo 11:11am
The crane collapse was my signal to swoop over the construction site and chat with Homer, the fool who’d cheated on his safety test.
“This is how you wake up dead, Buddy.” I didn’t want to sound rude, but anyone could have seen this coming.
“Did you read the user manual, Homer? Did you even give a thought to hoist rating? That’s what got you wedged between this rubble and the cab. Now you’re bleeding all over the place.”
I pulled out my list. Hmmm. Homer wasn’t wicked, just stupid.
“You qualify for a mulligan,” I announced. “One hour rewind.”

(4) Michael Haskin 1:33pm
“Look, there’s the signal,” Bradley whispered as twigs cracked beneath his boots.

Melissa halted. Bradley cut down a paper crane hanging from the tree. He carefully unfolded the wings.

“What’s it say?” Melissa asked. “I’ve been following you for hours. My legs are going to collapse if we don’t head back soon.”

“It’s a crudely written poem,” Bradley observed, dropping down to one knee. “Before I knew you I was just a loner. But when I met you it felt like a homer. The rest of your life may feel like forever. Please marry me and we’ll spend it together.”

(5) Calorie Bombshell 2:45pm
    Ever since he was whacked on the noggin by Billy Furrows’ historic three-run homer, old man Worthington thought he was Ichabod Crane.
    Weighing in at three hundred pounds, he now fancied himself slender, gorging on everything from pickled Twinkies to pumpkin lasagna.
    Then in a glucose-induced stupor, he mounted Cannonball, a horse that waged war on anyone harebrained enough to approach her.
    According to the Signal County Gazette, the pair was last seen galloping into rush hour.
    Police later found Cannonball collapsed from exhaustion on Highway 287.
    Worthington’s lifeless body lay sprawled twenty yards away.
    His head, however, proved elusive.

(6) Amy Schaefer 4:15pm
“Take this.”
“Shhh, that’s the signal!”

It’s funny how every
homeroom is so much sand through the hourglass. After thirty-three years, déjà vu is constant.

I dawdle, working up a good reaction to their prank. I stride in. “Good morning every-aaahhhhhh!”

Silence. The class lies
collapsed – some with necks craned, others crumpled on the floor. All still as stones amongst a drift of tiny green bottles.

I wait for the inevitable cry of “April Fool’s!”

It doesn’t come.

EMTs, police, the principal are bawling, shaking me.

My brain jams on a single thought: “Well, that was a new one.”

(7) Nikola Vukoja 6:02pm
I was struggling to express the scene’s intensity.
My shoulders collapsed as inspiration evaporated.
“H-u-s-s-b-a-n-n-d,” bellowed my good lady wife. Her wail was my signal, forecasting an end to my hour of solitude.
“What wounds you Dear?” A married man knows to ask.
“It has returned.”
“What has?”
“The crane. The crane.”
“It’s an egret Dear.”
Nuisance is what it is!”
She discharged herself of her basket and proceeded to inspect my lack of progress.
“Hum,” she said. “What do you think to call this non-work?”
“Homer’s Illiad.”
“Perhaps simply Illiad, adding one’s name seems a tad pretentious.”
"Yes Dear."

(8) Terri Lynn Coop 9:29pm
“Terri’s surprise birthday is a go. She thinks it’s a flash fiction contest. Let’s run over the checklist. Jed, do we have the cupcake?”

“The crane nearly collapsed, but it was delivered an hour ago.”

Colin, how about the glitter cannon?”

“Oh yeah...”

“Hank, did you get the present?”

“Right here. I swiped a Homer Laughlin mug from that diner.”

*door rattle*

“She’s here! Wait for the signal!”




“Who are you people?”

“Who are you?”

“I’m Jessie, here to feed the dogs.”

“Where’s Terri?”

“Thrifting in Kansas City. Didn’t you check Facebook?”

*group facepalm*

“Cut the cupcake.”

(9) A Velez 9:51pm
    I didn’t want to throw a water balloon at Ms. Troy. I just didn’t want to fail Latin.
    She hauled me out of homeroom, still drip, drip, dripping on the linoleum, one hand on my arm, the other dragging my cello case. I could feel all eyes on me; raised eyebrows, craned necks.
    She dumped me in the principal’s office. I waited for my signal: the release bell.
    I collapsed. Seizure? Faint? Who knew—just carted me off to the nurse.
    Hours later, a soft click from the forgotten case. Out slips my accomplice. Looks like straight As this semester.

Honest to godiva, there's simply no way to pick just one so this week, it's two winners.

First is (6) Amy Schaefer 4:15pm for an entry that knocked my sox off (as she has in the past!).

Second of the two is (8) Terri Lynn Coop who managed to not only include the prompt words, but also the names of many of the regular blog commenters, invent a great new phrase for  bedlam --
*gaktripbarkbarkbarkcursebarkcurse* -- and pluralize facepalm all in exactly100 words.

Amy, let me know if you're able to get packages shipped to you now, or if we need to wait till you're back on dry land.

Terri, I have your mailing address of course from previous wins, so look for a copy of SIGNAL  coming your way.

Thanks to all of you who entered.  The time and thought you put in to these entries is very evident.  I enjoy reading all of them!


french sojourn said...

Congrats Amy....yet again. (way to go).

Happy Birthday TLC, and congrats as well.

Thanks to the School leader (meant as in a shiver), for the time and thought, as usual.


Nicole Payne said...

Congrats to you both!!

Kitty said...

CONGRATS to both winners and the finalists!

Btw, Janet, EllenM's "best typo in YEARS in a flash fiction contest" was "removed." :(

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Thank you for the special mention! It's a great way to start off the week. :)

Congratulations to all the special mentions, finalists, and winners!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the very deserving winners.

Once again, I'm truly honored to be mentioned. There were certainly some great stories.

What happens next? The colonel moves the pow camp to a new location. Everyone rejoices when one of the soldiers who is scouting comes across a maverick steer and shoots him, giving them fresh meat for the first time in weeks.

Based on a letter written from a Union soldier to his wife describing the baseball game and relief that they had not been massacred as some of the starving soldiers wanted to do.

Colin Smith said...

Way to go, Amy and Terri! And what a lovely birthday gift for you, TLC--I mean the book, not my story. :)

Thanks for the double mention, Janet, and yet another great contest!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to winners and mentions!

Terri Lynn Coop said...

*kermit flail*

Thank you Thank you Thank you!


*glitter cannon*



Karen McCoy said...

Happy Birthday, Terri! Your entry made me LOL.

And congrats Amy! Your entries always blow me away, and this was no exception.

So honored to be mentioned among such a great group of writers. You guys rock!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Holly molly awesome winners.

I'm off to buy another long dress, silver shoes and flowers. Always a ... and never a ... well you know the rest.

A Velez said...

This made my day!

Congrats to the winners! I loved them both. I also really liked S.D.King's entry about the bees - so creative!

Sandra said...

Congrats to the winners!

JennyC said...

Congratulations to the winners. Also really liked entry from Calorie Bombshell. Great job all!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Terri and Amy! Your stories are GREAT!

Congrats to all the those mentioned as well! Very clever stories.

Happy birthday Terri! :D

Thanks for another fun flash fiction weekend, Ms Reid.

Calorie Bombshell said...

JennyC - thanks so much for the mention!! Congrats to all and thanks to Janet for hosting these groovy contests!

Jed Cullan said...

Congratulations to all the winners and mentioned. And Happy Birthday, Terri, yours was great.

Cupcakes all round. Yay!

Lilac Shoshani said...

Congrats to the winners, finalists and mentions.

I'm honored to be mentioned alongside such wonderful writers. Thank you so much, Janet.

Your posts and contests are indeed invaluable in helping us become better writers. Plus, they are so much fun. :-)

@ Terry, happy birthday and thanks for the cupcakes: yummy. :-)

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Terri! Tosses confetti.

Jim Gold said...

Congratulations to the winners, finalists, mentions, and thanks to Janet for the contest, this blog and all she does for writers.

Rami McShane said...

Congrats to co-winners, Terri & Amy!

Thanks for the shout out, Janet!

@Carolynnwith2Ns - I loved your story! I couldn't get it out of my head all day Saturday :)

@Terri, apparently it's your birthday - Happy, Happy! Hope you actually got a cupcake so large it requires a crane to lift!!! Feel free to email me some of it, if you are so inclined ;-P

Amy Schaefer said...

Oww! Why am I covered in cupcakes? And glitter? And praise?

You are all too kind. There was no way I wasn't going to go all out for a new Patrick Lee book. Mwahaha!

This was my reaction to Carolynnwith2Ns entry:
Ohh! Carolynn killed a puppy!
Amy, you just poisoned an entire homeroom.
Yeah, but she smooshed it! Under a crane!

Thanks again to everyone who enjoyed my traumatized teacher. :)

Lilac Shoshani said...

Amy, you absolutely deserve all the glitter, cupcakes and praise. Such a great story and amazing writing!

S.D.King said...

Congrats to both winners - well deserved!

Lilac Shoshani said...

Shishkebab* Terri, I wrote your name with a "y" in my previous comment -- and on your birthday no less! My deepest apologies.

This is not subconscious jealousy on my part, I hope. ;-)

*Shishkebab in Lilac's dictionary: oy vey, oh no, but it can also mean wow and great, depending on the context and the facial expression.

Steve Forti said...

Congrats as always! And happy belated Terri!

Kalli said...

Yay! My first ever entry and I got mentioned! I didn't know if anyone would get the references to work out who it was about, but I had a feeling the Shark swam in the wine dark sea of classical literature. Argh, maybe I shoulda written it in ancient Greek!

Congrats to all the mentions, finalists and especially the winners. Rainbows and lollipops and squished puppies for everyone!

And happy birthday Teri - how awesome is that, a pressie from Colin AND a prize from her Sharkliness! *IS TOTES JELLY*

Colin Smith said...

@Kalli: Congrats on getting a mention your first time around! That's almost as good as a win. Well, okay, maybe not, but it's certainly something to be proud of. Buy yourself a book and call it a win. :) TIP: Make sure you have blog/contact/social media info in your blogger profile. Not only does it give us a chance to see what else you've been writing, but QOTKU herself has been known to visit blogs. :)

Kalli said...

Helpful tip! But I think I am beyond help. I don't do twitter or have a blog, and I mainly use facebook for laughing at star wars memes. I don't even know what my blogger profile is! I do already have an agent for my historical crime thriller - a very patient one, as it's still not finished!
Please kick my butt off this site and tell me to get back to writing it :-)

SiSi said...

Congratulations to the winners!

LynnRodz said...

Congrats to Amy and Terri, all the finalists, and everyone mentioned. Great job!

Nikola Vukoja said...

I've made from several 'special mentions' to a finalist ... how does that song go? "the only way is up..."

Thanks again Janet for hosting another of these, whenever I can I jump in the deep end, sometimes I miss the notices because of time differences and personal commitments, but I always have ball writing, entering & reading the submissions.

Congrats to everyone, whether mentioned or not, who entered, you'all were a pleasure to read :)