Monday, June 25, 2018

The Darius the Great is Not Okay Flash Fiction contest results!

We had a low turnout this weekend, probably due to summer and the world cup but the entries were terrific.

In a category all to himself, the Steve Forti!

>>Hey pendejo. U must b loco, vato. Who u think u are?
New phone. Who dis?
>>U got huevos, holmes. But u some weak whitebread, I bet.
I don't know what you want, but eat a duck.
>>U wanna fight? Luchemos. I'll show u pain.

>>Si o no?
Go to hell.
>>I'll send u there, vato. U'll regreat messing wit my Miranda.
Wait, who?
>>Don't play dumb. Miranda. Mi amor.
I don't know any Miranda, dude.
>>Lo siento. Wrong number.
Ok, so I thought I was amping it up by giving Steve an extra word. As he dunked in my face, he used TWO prompt words back to back: Miranda, dude.  Not to mention three words for one prompt. Whitebread, I bet.

And infusion across three lines.

Honestly, next time Steve is just going to have to get different words than everyone else.

Starting with paroxysm, neologism, and probably Nefertiti, just to start with.

And just to really slam it home, notice he's the first post…again.

I love Timothy Lowe's entry with Steve Forti as the villain of the piece! Now THERE is a new idea!!

And Kitty's entry about Steve being the new copy editor made me laugh out loud!

And Steve Stubbs' great pun had me groaning out loud!

Kregger's deft wielding of "Adib" as a prompt word really stood out:
Where am I anyway? Abu a dibi?

Will McPhail
's first paragraph just cracked me up
No one knows exactly how The Great Iranian Dog and Pony Show earned its moniker, mostly because the event itself has nothing to do with what the title would lead you to believe. An annual tea bazaar put on by the Catholic Women’s League.

Sherin Nicole's entry was devastating

And John Davis (manuscript) Frain sails in and just lays infusion out there in the last sentence. I actually heard the mic drop when I read it.

Here are the entries that stood out to me.

Claire Bobrow
Ira noodled over the problem.
Kugel without cinnamon?
His mother’s kugel always had cinnamon.
Should he mention it, or…
maybe not.
She’d squawk like a cockatoo -
“Mama’s boy!”
A dibble plunged in the eardrum – that’s what her protest would be, allowing yet another seed of discord to sprout.
As if their life weren’t already a great jungle of misery.
No – best keep his trap shut so “The Mistake,” as his mother called her,
wouldn’t clutch her tea and moan loud enough to wake the Dead.
Or Dad, as I used to call him.
Until he complained about mother’s kugel.
I love how this story loops back in on itself to create a perfect circle. Very deft!

Adib sat by his father's bedside. "I'm sorry, Dad."

Darius coughed, spitting up blood. "No matter. It's the way of kings. Sons murder their fathers. Unless we are truly great men, it is how we become kings. It was the tea, wasn't it? Poison."

Adib nodded. "Yes. But I swear by our Iranian gods, never will fratricide happen in our family line again."

Darius smiled. "Good. Now bring my grandson so that I may see him before I die."

Adib looked away, ashamed to meet his father's eyes.

"I cannot. I made a vow. I gave him the tea, too."
Dark dark dark!

Marty Weiss

“I was had! I believed there was a person called the Great Oz,” said Dorothy.

“Oh, there was! I had tea with a hare who told me Oz existed,” Alice responded.

“I know that hare,” said the tortoise. “I ran a race with him and he lost, quite badly I might add.”

“It’s getting late. I think it best if we all skedaddle now and go back to our library shelves,” Mrs. Goose suggested.

“Yes. These days, the children are more interested in their Facebook, Twitter and Iphone activities. Even the young ones have forsaken us,” Aesop lamented.
This just cracked me up.

Michael Seese
The guys with the great big guns seemed surly. I suspect it had something to do with the warhead I borrowed.

"Where bomb be?” the unibrow barked in English so broken it was beyond repair.

Apparently, I'd advertised the sale on These Iranians put the “HA!” in jihad. Still, armed only with a shovel, I was underdressed for the party.

“Let’s not get our sirwals in a bunch. I'll let you have it. Gladly. One question. Coffee or tea?"


"That's what stewardesses ask folks when they fly," I said, fingering the button and counting back from ten.

Here's another guy we're going to have to up the ante on. That second line is utterly perfect.  oh hell, the whole thing is perfect.

KD James
A glance at my watch lent an infusion of panic to adrenaline.

I ran harder.

"Don't be dead, don't be dead," I begged.

Too late, my charge's tea-stained teeth bared in a rictus, skin already cooling, sluggish blood trailing down limp flesh.

Dammit, I'd only looked away for a minute. Or twenty. I'd just wanted a doughnut. Fortification.

Fresh Hot Now!

But it seemed someone had signed me up for the failure-a-day club. This made, what, an even dozen now?

"Great," I muttered, licking glaze off ghostly fingers. "I'm never going to gain guardian angel status at this rate."

Notice the use of infusin and forti-fication? Very clever.
Also a terrific story.

Melanie Sue Bowles
No one at The Reef saw it coming. Although everyone was shocked when Forti ran away with Frain’s manuscript. Perhaps a Dib Membrane moment of obsession with John’s ghostly pale complexion? Who knows. But a great brouhaha ensued.

Smith took a shot at easing the tension by telling “dad” jokes. The Reider collective eye-roll caused a shift in the tides around Carkoon.

It finally required an infusion of murmurings and incantations from Luna, Bobrow, and Faris to restore the peace.

Normally I don't go for the meta entries (the ones that are about the blog, etc.) but this one just cracked me up completely!

They added two extra Mondays per week, and scheduled daylight savings four times a year, which goes faster because they cut out July.

We’re taxed on the number of letters in our names. Dad saw it coming and named me half of a lowercase t. Calls me Plus.

I randomly open a box of food, no clue what’s inside. All packaging’s white; no labels.
Great! Pickles. I dip one into my tea, formerly known as coffee, and munch.

Why the infusion of Government Mandates?

To drive us mad, I believe.

But I know up is not down. Dad kept books.
This  is a whole lot harder to write this than it looks. Well, it's hard to write WELL-brilliantly imaginative and stylish, plus it makes total sense. That's a hat trick.

Amy Johnson
Great Scot!” exclaimed Sir Abbott Costello, International G.O.A.T. Awards Emcee.

“Steve, actually.”

“Not the bagpiper?”

“Nope. Steve: Flash—”

“Fastest superhero?”


“The truth, please.” Someone approached. “Who’s coming?”

“No, he’s by the TARDIS.”

Steve was surprised when the bearded man introduced himself. “Father Abraham: Dad.”

Then Julia Child. “The French Chef!”

“These days I’m specializing in fusion.”

“Confusion, indeed!” cried Sir Abbott Costello.

Steve tried to explain. “It’s not that bad…I…Before, she cooked French…”

“Don’t bother,” a woman whispered into Steve’s ear. “I ran into him earlier. Like talking to a nurikabe.” She sipped her sweet tea. “Julie: Vocabulary.”

And infusion and Forti appear again! You guyz are having way too much fun with this!

And the winner of the ARC of Darius the Great is Not Okay is  RosannaM.

RosannaM, if you'll email me with your mailing address, I'll get this in the  mail to you!

Thanks to all of you who wrote and posted entries. I loved reading them.
The display of talent here never fails to amaze me.


Kitty said...

This was actually a fun contest, and I love Forti's, even though I had to google my way through. Most of all, congrats to Rosanna, RosannaM.

Julie Weathers said...

Ah, I laughed so much. Y'all are amazing. Amy, I really laughed about the nurikabe. It's like that indeed.

Congratulations to all and especially Rosanna. It was a well-deserved win for a brilliantly executed story.

Sam Hawke said...

Excellent work as always, everyone!

Kregger said...

Woo-hoo, Rosanna!

Steve Forti said...

Congrats Rosanna! Well done.
And Melanie, thanks for writing me a way to get my hands on The Manuscript. It's elusive.

Kitty - I had to google, too, since I don't speak a word of Spanish! (Had to figure it out, though, since I got attached to the "si o no" way of using infusion.)

Flattered by all of you incorporating me into your stories. Truly honored. You all rock.
And challenge accepted for using those words next time!

Jo Connolly said...

OK...Steve Forti is not of this world.
That is all.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Rosanna, YAY you and congratulations.

I was hesitant to submit an entry centered around the blog, but couldn't resist ladling more attention on Mr. Forti. And I figured it would probably be a slow day.

This was super fun.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Wow, Rosanne. I loved your entry. Well-deserved win. I tried to enter but had computer:intermet/ World Cup drama all weekend. Killed my creativity.

Also, congrats to Adib on his book. Can’t wait to read.

BrendaLynn said...

Congrats Rosanna and Steve. Great stories, imagination, and writing skill. You inspire me.

Colin Smith said...

Congrats, Rosanna! And well done all the finalists and those mentioned.

The Contest Spreadsheet in the Treasure Chest is up-to-date.

Claire Bobrow said...

Congrats RosannaM! Fantastic entry!! And huge congrats to Adib on your book - I can't wait to read it!!

Great work, everyone - so much fun. And thanks for the mention, Janet (and Melanie!). Now I'll stop, before my problem with exclamations becomes too pointed :-)

Amy Johnson said...

Congratulations, Rosanna!

Congrats to Adib, too! It's good (and inspiring) to hear about the successes of fellow reef dwellers.

Thanks, Janet! Glad you liked my attempt at a "Who's on First?" story.

Julie, I had to look up "nurikabes" after you used it here recently--not the first of your words I've had to look up. Thanks for making me smarter. :)

RosannaM said...

Woke up this morning to a power outage, which meant 1. No coffee, and 2. No internet.

Now I have both and was shocked and honored to see I won. Thanks, everyone for the kind words--it means a lot.

I also was charmed by Marty's, and loved Claire's (and wanted some kugel BTW).

Can't wait for my copy of Adib's book. Congratulations and wishing you much success!

Theresa said...

Again, in awe of all the entries. Congratulations to Rosanna. Steve Forti, yours took my breath away. And here's hoping for wonderful things for Adib and his book!

Marie McKay said...

Well done Rosanna. I love yours. Well done all finalists. And thank you again, Janet for the contest.

Lennon Faris said...

I was traveling this weekend and got back late last night so missed out myself, but this was sure a fun one to read!

Congrats, Rosanna! And all the mentions. And everyone who dares enter in these Sharky things.

Melanie, yours made me giggle!

Kate Larkindale said...

Congratulations Rosanna! A most deserved win. And what a bunch of great stories! I had enormous fun reading them all.

KDJames said...

Great entry, Rosanna, congratulations!

Impressive, as always, Steve. Especially since we now know you don't even speak Spanish. Geez.

Thanks for the mention, Janet. This was a fun one, so many terrific entries.

Adib, major kudos on the upcoming debut release! I read the description and hit that pre-order button so hard. Can't wait to read it.

Speaking of pre-orders, do you all realize that "our" Sam Hawke has her debut, CITY OF LIES, coming out next week? July 3, I believe. Another one I can't wait to read, as it sounds like a fascinating premise. And that cover!

This blog is not good for my budget.

John Davis Frain said...


I don't want to live in your world, but you sure built it for us brilliantly. Well done. Congratulations.

Claire and Barbara, wonderful entries also. Sure doesn't feel like Father's Day was just a couple weeks ago!

And before I sign off, another tip o' the cap to the legend Forti. I'm tipping my cap your direction so often, I might as well become a Bobblehead Me.

Adib, if you're still checking in... always fun to see the good ones making it. Congratulations to you as well. I'll bet it's exciting beyond belief.

LynnRodz said...

Cograts, RosannaM, on the win!

And a big congratulations to you, Adib! I'm looking forward to reading your book!

Michael Seese said...

Congrats RosannaM. A very clever premise, well executed.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congrats RosannaM! What a scary world.

Steve Forti, to have your story first to begin the laughter for these awesome entries this time, it was great.

And congrats Adib, on your debut. How exciting!

AJ Blythe said...

Well done to everyone who entered. Great reading as always, but a special hats off to RosannaM.

I had a first draft of my entry but didn't get back to it thanks to manning a Bunnings sausage sizzle for the school (and every Aussie here will get that).

Adib congrats on your debut!

Adib Khorram said...

It's been so fun reading all the entries. Thank you to everyone for all your kind words! I'm so excited for this book to be out in the world.

Karen McCoy said...

Congrats, RosannaM! And Adib, your book sounds amazing!

These contests are constant writing teachers. My entry played out like pulling teeth--the drawbacks of forcing a story rather than coming up with a new one. Hint: Don't force the story.

Joseph Snoe said...

I just want to congratulate Adib on his novel's soon-to-be publication and it's-already-positive-reception.

I remember when he announced his signing with a publisher and his telling us the publication date was in late 2018. At the time that sounded like a long time to wait. A LONG time of impatient anticipation.Now it's only weeks away, and copies are already circulating so he is receiving feedback - and the world loves it. (It has a 4.57 readers rating on Goodreads.)

That's exciting to me.