The contest results are a day late because I was watching the Oscars, and I can't read your lovely work and watch TV at the same time. And I was glad I watched till the end! Zounds! Seeing that guy snatch the envelope from Warren Beatty's hand, and hold the Moonlight card up in front of Beatty's face was so funny I first thought it was a part of the program. (I'm really glad I don't work at Price Waterhouse this morning!)
Herewith the results:
Here are the words I had to look up (I always like those!)
awlwort: Kathy Joyce 4:17pm
millicarat: Rkeelan 11:23pm
Special recognition for a great sentence
Same Ghost 8:44pm
Her eyes are chilled hunger.
Marie McKay 12:49pm
Not quite a story but gloriosky the writing is utterly compelling
Barbara Lund 12:51pm
Not quite a story, but I loved them!
The Steve Forti Award for dexterous use of prompt words:
Steve Forti 12:59pm
benign. A wistful smile
These entries really made me smile
Amanda Wade 1:28pm
Kate Higgins 2:36pm
Sherry Howard 4:41pm
I'm pretty sure these are terrific, but I didn't quite get them
Megan V 4:12pm
Here are the entries that made the final cut
Timothy Lowe 12:54pm
Hands pinned, face broken, I was sent to the doctor. His lens could summon God from stone. Peering down through a single blue eye, he went to work.
He was a precise psychiatrist, prying into my insides, spilling my guts. Finding out what made me tick.
I was a hard case. He went in with some intricate tools, removed my problematic parts, jettisoning them like trash. He almost got my insides to align. Awaiting the final gear, I dared to hope.
But then a wealthier customer arrived. I was deserted. Laid open. Bare.
I still blame him.
Stupid fucking Rolex.
I love the twist here. We of course are expecting this is about a person, and the devious use of psychiatrist reassures us we are on the right track. And "finding out what makes me tick"-what a perfect example of using our expectations against us.
This is brilliant and clever story telling. Damn fine writing.
Richelle Elberg 1:30pm
They huddled under the mesquite throughout the blue sky hours. Third day. Cross the desert at night, sleep days. Nearly there now; border agents shouted in the distance.
Jets passed overhead, chem trails stretching and shifting and pointing the way. A murder of crows cawed and swooped. Fear gnawed, acid rose in his throat.
“Tonight?” the girl asked.
He didn’t respond.
“I don’t mean to pry.”
“You didn’t have to come.”
“Where else would I go?”
“Back to Indiana.”
“I’ll go with you.”
She was silent for a time.
“How will we cross the wall?”
“Other illegals, Americans, will help.”
This entry knocked my socks off.
Do you see the twist here?
Colin Smith 1:44pm
Sky Blue: My marriage dreams; My new eye color.
Sap Green: Her read of me; My eye shadow.
Jet Black: Her new BMW; My new hair.
Red Oak: The J.P.’s office desk where I signed my life away; The town where I had a pharmacist design a way out.
Desert Sands: Hotel where our bodies lay; Place where her body lies.
Cheap Rye: Her shoe color; My last breakfast in poverty.
Morning Shadow: Song covered by The Pancakes, playing when she left; Covered by theatrical pancake before I left.
Vengeance Red: Color of her purse where she keeps her passport.
This is a perfect example of a story told by what's not said.
Mark Ellis 1:51pm
The ink-jet printer slid flyers into a bin, each warm page gnawing against the thread of hope for Robert’s return after ten days overdue in the high desert.I love the ending of this story.
They’d called off the search, and now only scrubby towns and cold blue sky would be Stef’s companions as she sought the man she’d argued with, and swore she never wanted to see again if he skipped their anniversary for another backpacking trek.
Prying herself off the counter at Mailboxes USA, she resisted the impulse to dial best friend Millie, who had her own problems, and had been strangely unsupportive of late.
So much unsaid, yet, we know, don't we, what's happened.
Galen Surlak 2:21pm
Unexpectedly, God sits next to me on a jet. He says nothing, but I’m sure it’s Him. Out of the blue, I ask, “Hate to pry, but are you God?”
He raises two fingers. “You get two questions.”
“Yes. One left.”
I hesitate. What should I ask?
“Try writing down those that gnaw at you.”
I do. I question evil, the future, heaven, hell and more. Ten minutes later, for giggles, I add one more to the massive list: What should I have for desert?
“Dessert has two S’s” he says.
He nods and then vanishes.
This is an old joke but it's never outdated.
It always makes me laugh.
Nate Wilson 8:43pm
"He sprayed you?"
"With one of those new Jango Fett--sorry, new-fangled jet power washers. Called me impure."
"You should've reported him."
"I did. That's why he chopped down spry moose. My spruce. From my daughter's memorial garden. He said it defiled his yard."
"Prejudice brings out people's shoe trades. Er, true shades."
"Yet, if it's his house..."
"I know. And he had me wino saver. Sign a waiver. When I rented the place from the affluent buck. Dammit. Abluent f--"
"I get it. So, you're here to lodge another complaint?"
"What? No. Biz hottie's in try monk."
Honest to godiva, the talent here is a little frightening. This is just fucking brilliant.
It's 9:14pm on Tuesday so you know it took me 24 hours to travel and regain my wits. I now remember why I promised myself no more red-eye flights. Egad! A couple small children on the flight said exactly what I was thinking "waaaaaaah!"
But, enough wailing, back to the contest!
Clearly Nate Wilson must be recognized. His entry was utterly brilliant and most of you agreed with that. You'd probably riot if he was robbed of the prize.
But I also want to recognize Richelle Elberg 1:30pm. Her entry made me realize (for the first time) that a wall locks us IN as much as it locks anyone else out. Much like Nietzsche's oft quoted
"And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee."
So, this week we have two winners: The Impossibly Deft Nate Wilson, and the Illuminating Richelle Elberg.
Congrats to you both for outstanding entries in a highly competitive field!
If you'll email me with your mailing addresses, and what you like to read I'll try to find a prize worthy of your talents!
And thanks to all who took the time to write entries. I'm continually amazed and awed at the breadth of talent in this group of writers.