Just to remind you, here are the entries that stood out:
The soup is nearly ready. At least, soup is the closest translation in the native language. I knock on the door.
“Hold on, Martin, I’m on the can.”
On the can. Disposing of bodily waste. Nettlesome, the way they regularly use language in such a way.
The human I wait for is called Harris Guster Williams, or Harry for short (their naming system is especially flawed). Unable to pronounce my proper name, Harry chose Martin due to its proximity to the name the humans give our species.
I allow this cartoonish transgression. By rule, one does not bother correcting soup.
It took me three passes to find most of these prompt words. Our Steve Forti is getting a run for his money this week.
And this entry is seriously imaginative and totally creepy.
That's a real feat in 97 words.
Gregory, old and gnarled, slumps on his porch. His lawn, overgrown with weeds and wild things, chokes the once neat path. At the gate, nettles cling, watch deserted streets. He calls out, can only hope for more survivors.
A man and woman appear, dirty, laden with packs.
"Please help! I fell."
They hesitate, the rules different now.
Gregory is desperate. "I have food, water. It's yours.
They nod, start toward him.
He watches the lawn shiver, the monsters within slither out to feed. He listens to the screams.
Gregory is spared. Again. He stands, stretches.
The rules are different now.
Honestly this creeped me out so much I could barely read it the second time.
Thank all deities foreign and domestic that I live in Brooklyn, a place with few lawns.
Of course, the more creeped out you are, the better the writing.
Susa was livid, though limited.
“Your hoor, this ma stole all my ehs. I ca’t eve say it anymore.” She punctuated her pathos with a plaintiff plea of “Please!”
Cases in the Alphabellate Court can be tricky, often turning on some obscure rule or twisted tenetcality. Susa stumbled into the latter.
“He should face a firig squad. Or a canon.”
A collective gasp sucked the air from the courtroom, and her argument. My smirk turned to face the judge.
“You see, your honor. Reg ipsa loquitur. I didn't steal them all. I borrowed a few. That's not against the lawn.”
Of course this is witty, it's Michael Seese.
It took me a minute to get the joke, which means it's terrific!
Even with all the joking around, it's still easy to understand.
True mastery is making something look easy. And Michael does.
By the tenets, rules, covenants, laws, and regulations of this confounded profession, we, his peers, do find and declare the perpetrator GUILTY as charged.
Henceforth, nowhere shall it ever again be written:
“Chuckles buttoned up his suit, painted a smile on his face, adjusted his pompoms, and, with trembling size 18 feet, climbed into the canon.”
It is our judgment, intention, and pronouncement that the sentence shall fit the crime:
Author to be shot at dawn.
Out of a cannon.
Honestly, I'd have voted for the punishment twice.
This entry just cracked me up.
As usual, I'm having a hard time picking only one of these entries to win the prize.
Let me know your choice, or if you think an entry of note got overlooked. I'll update the post with the winner tomorrow morning (along with some fresh content!)
Weill I must be on Martian time cause my clock says "tomorrow morning" looks remarkably like Friday 4/27 at 4pm
I'd like to tell you it took me this long to pick the winner, and honestly the caliber of the entries wouldn't make you doubt that, but the truth is I forgot.
Between recovering from travel to Minnesota, and getting ready to travel to Maryland, I had a very limited grasp on reality for much of this week.
Perhaps you've known the feeling!
I'm here at Malice Domestic now, enjoying myself more than the law allows, and while reading the comments on today's blog post realized I'd failed to announce the winner.
It's Michael Seese.
The story, the clever word play, the brilliant homonym use of the prompt word: it's just amazing. In other words: exactly what we've come to expect from Michael Seese.
Michael, let me know your preferred mailing address, and let's figure out what your prize should be. I was thinking Jeff Somers new book, but if you already have it, let me know.
And for all y'all:
And posting directly after this is Saturday's Pitch Me Your Book in 15 Words.
I love the smell of consternation in the morning.