Monday, August 06, 2018

Contest results!-FINAL

I was very glad to have your contest entries to cheer me up since I had to leave Her Grace, the Duchess of Yowl on Sunday morning. I hadn't been able to talk her real mom into a spontaneous trip around the world in order to extend my stay.

As always, the depth of talent among the readers of this blog is daunting.

Special recognition for using words I had to look up:
urial: Kat Waclawik
ergot: Kat Waclawik
lepton: Joey Collard

Special recognition for what should become an all time classic line:
Kat Waclawik
“We need an ingredient,” an eyeless newt sneers. “Heart of witch.”

Special recognition for one of the very best starts to an entry EVER: 
Michael Seese
Whiskers weighed down by the morning dew, I struggled to leo-locate my backyard. I could have sworn I left it here somewhere.

Special recognition for a compelling image:
We held hands as our clothes mated in the dryer.

Here are the entries that stood out for me:
Amy Schaefer
A woman perched on the next barstool. “Pretty owl.”
“Thanks.” Owl, cursed concoction of wires and flesh – tomatoh-tomahto.
“Greetings,” squawked Xavier.
She dimpled. We chatted.
I hoped.
Xavier and I hunt as a pack. If he would just keep quie—
Xavier unfurled his filament-whiskers. “Madame, have you ever considered buying land on one of the outer planets? It just so happens… today… amazing oppor-tu-ni…” He trailed off in a series of purrs and whirrs.
She sneered and left.
I sighed and scratched my dementia-ravaged telemarketowl. “It’s okay. We’ll find someone to feed us.”
A woman perched on the next barstool.

If only for the idea of a telemarketowl, this entry is wonderful! And I'm always a sucker for a circular narrative. 

Claire Bobrow
It came out of nowhere,
that scary surprise,
lying prone on the floor -
playing dead, I realized.
I unleashed
a loud caterwaul
to scare the bad thing
out the door, down the hall.
The clock struck 3:30 -
a.m., let’s be clear.
My servant ran forth,
all atremble with fear:
“What’s that yowling, dear Duchess? Please settle your fur.
“Would a whisker of tuna help bring back your purr?
I threw her a sneer, arched my back, looked askance.
A plastic bag fright calls for more, said my stance.

“Beluga!” I hissed, “or you’re working freelance.”

Of course, it's always a special treat to have a poem for a story, but what made this stand out for me was the last line. It absolutely captured Her Grace in a nutshell.

french sojourn
"You’re saying, the sun sneezed …and fried anything with circuitry.”

“Yep, a massive solar flare.”

“Well, can we make more circuits?” he asked, nervously rubbing his shaggy whiskers.

“Nope, technology’s dead.” I spurred him on.

“So, it’s…”

“Set the way-back machine to 500 A.D. Sherman, to the dark ages, again.”

“Fuck sake, how we gonna live?” he sneered as a furious glint crossed his eyes.

“Easy.” I nodded in the direction behind him.

As he turned to look, I swung my hammer and caved in the back of his skull. A yowl escaped his lips, followed by his soul.


You had me at sun sneezed. That's such a wonderful phrase and while the purists are going to have conniptions, I think it's a wonderful metaphor.

And really, it's hard not to love a story with time travel AND cannibalism.

Sherry Howard
Barn Food Chain

T’was ‘n eerie night at the barn. Full of shadows and mews.
y owl searched for his favorite little kitty.
He needed the
purrfect location to meet his furry new friend.
He’d put the time in. Kitty loved to play with him.
Hide and seek. Chase the mice. Share a snack.
Now the time had come—before Kitty got any bigger.
A plan. A pounce. No
caterwauling about.
whisk ‘er off her paws and enjoy some playful times with her.
Kitty waited. She’d brought her Daddy, Wild Cat, to meet her new friend.

The End.
Honestly there's probably something wrong with me that I love these kind of twisted stories, but I do!

Just Jan
It buzzed in without warning.

“Imperfect,” it droned.



Yow!” Leo skedaddled under the rug.


Vlad gave us his trademark sneer. “I-N-S-U-F-F-U-R-


We snickered into our whiskers as he scampered back to Mummy.


There was a collective mew at the sound of the forbidden word. Queens covered their eyes. Even the old tom in the corner was quaking.

Berthilde strolled to the center of the room, pupils wide and focused. One paw struck like lightning. With a grimace, she swallowed the offender in one gulp. “Never did like spelling bees,” she muttered.

I'm a sucker for a good pun, and this one is purr-fect.

“Szechuan down,” she said, as the boys filed in from the field. “Sneer as I can tell, you boys is famished! I’ll fix some food fur yowl.” Her purr love of cooking made her whisker self to the kitchen, where she laid out the everyday china.
Soon she had made about one ton of soup (and fortunately she had enough cookies for dessert). She thought about inviting her German neighbor, Mrs. Hottensauer, but decided against it, reflecting that “Ever since my husband came back from Siamese against having fureign guests!”
“It’s ready!” she called out to the boys. “No Peking!”
I don't even know where to start.
This is utterly wonderful.
Not only is it a deft use of prompt words, it's dexterity with language itself.
I'm in awe.

Sherin Nicole
_ shh txt...grumpy owl is listening
_ we cld kill him??
_ we’d get xtra cred 4 knife skills
_ and As for irony
_ who even needs cooking class in our biz?
_ idk…kinda like potions for wizards??
_ UR r
eally cool
_ it’s da fumes from da poison he’s mixing
_ stinky sulfur
_ welp he’s da devil
_ …but calls us ne’er-do-wells??
_ totes not gunna pass
_ got a plan?
_ kitchen accidents r deadly
_ utensil to da head??
_ whisk error…ur such a schemer
_ I owe it all to assn school.
This is giving Mr. Forti a run for his money!

Amy Johnson
QOTKU: What’s this?

DoY: My entry.

“Throw me a party,” I instruct her, as I preen serenely.

”Shall I make a guest list?”

“I made m
y own list.”

“Party games?”



“That’s what you
call it.”


“The guest list indicates the menu.”




“Your Grace, what do you want then?”

“I want you to stop interrupting my caterwauling, figure out what I want served, and pet my scruff.”

QOTKU: No dice. You need to use the prompt words:
yowl, fur, purr, sneer, whisker. And follow the rules.

DoY: I make my own rules.

I laughed so hard at this my neighbors called to ask if I'd adopted a hyena.
That last line makes me laugh every single time I read it.

Susurrafax had silver-grey fur like a hoary old oak and a sneer fit to cast one down.

Most pressingly, he had a slavering beast’s jaws clamped around his neck. “Any last words?” it said.

Susurrafax’s whisker twitched. “A last request: to taste the forbidden fruit before I die.”

In the kitchen, Susurrafax indicated a cabinet. “In there. The tall cylinder.”

The beast pinned Susurrafax to the ground with a massive paw and nosed the door open.

It tore the cylinder open, devouring the dark brown powder within, ignoring Susurrafax’s yowls of false outrage and the purring beneath.

Get it?
And regular readers of the flash fiction contests will recognize Susurrafax from previous entries!

Dan Castro
I massage Waffles’ fur, working fingers behind thick whiskers.
He purrs.
I stop. Waffles is dangerous.
He snarls at the door. I go, hand brushing faux jungle. Swing the squeaky door open.
Step out.
In the darkness, a man. With rifle.
He steps up, sneering. Butts the rifle into my stomach.
I yowl. Collapse.
“Where’s your elephant?”
My hand keeps the enclosure door ajar.
I glance across the compound. Instinct.
He nods. Smiles sickly.
“No witnesses.” He raises his rifle. I cringe…when from the enclosure, the orange-black-white comet of Waffles, 500 pounds of Bengal tiger, crushes the poacher.

I love the concept of this story!  

I think I know who the winner will be but I like hearing what all y'll think before posting.

Look for final results around noon, so weigh in sooner rather than later! 

So, I meant noon in Samoa, not NYC!

Ok, I've been contemplating and the entry that makes me laugh every time I read it just has to be this week's winner: Amy Johnson!

Amy if you'll drop me an email and let know your mailing address, we can also figure out a great prize for you.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to write and post entries. It really helped get through the bleak Sunday departure from Her Grace, the Duchess of Yowl.


Steve Forti said...

She got a single line recognition, but my favorite this week was definitely RosannaM

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

My favorite was Claire's. But I am also a sucker for a good pun, Just Jan's and Unknown's is great also. And Amy Johnson's also made me laugh. Not to mention Dan Castro's Waffles.
Tough choice here!

Amy Johnson said...

Wow! And yay! And thanks, Janet! Getting a laugh is a joy and one of the funnest things. (I'm a proponent of the words "funner" and "funnest" and try to do my part to increase their usage.)

Also, thanks, Karen McCoy, for your comment yesterday. :)

Kat Waclawik said...

Thank you for the special recognition! What a lovely start to the week!

My vote goes to Claire. As a mother of two under three, I read a lot of funny rhyming stories. This one was a delight. I would cheerfully read it a thousand times to my littles.

CynthiaMc said...

It has to be Amy. DOY should win her own contest.

Sherry Howard said...

I just needed to comment on Janet's comment on mine: Honestly there's probably something wrong with me that I love these kind of twisted stories, but I do! If there's something wrong with you, how about the sweet old lady who writes picture books--and this! Ha!!

We've been having some attempted abductions in our suburban neighborhoods--pretty unheard of. I think they were on my mind.

I can never pick a favorite, and don't know how you ever do! It's like enjoying vanilla, banana, and hot fudge ice cream equally and for different reasons!

Barbara said...

I loved Just Jan's. "It buzzed in without warning." The first line says it all, but we have no idea it does until we get to the last line. Clever!

Claire Bobrow said...

Meow! Thanks for the shout-out, Janet! And Sharyn and Kat :-)

There was so much to love all over this contest - sun spots and spelling bees, fuzzy owls and grumpy owls, Xavier the telemarketer, one ton of soup, Susurrafax (that name!), and Amy J's hilarious entry about the DoY. But I think my vote goes to Dan's entry. Rawwrr - go get 'em, Waffles!

ps - I'm in Seattle today and planning to meet up with our very own Bob T. Panda! (If I can figure out how to get on the ferry, that is.) And please tell the DoY - there are salmon here. Lots and lots of salmon.

french sojourn said...

I couldn't narrow it down...
Every time I went back to peruse the entries, invariably some other detail would jump out. Good luck Janet, and thanks again for hosting this.

Megan V said...

I didn’t have a chance to read all of the entries from this weekend, but I am loving all of these contenders. That said, Hank has my vote. I snorted water out my nose when I read it. (Talk about a dark sense of humor). Thanks for that Hank.

Karen McCoy said...

Absolutely, Amy! Yours still gets my vote.

Also loved french sojourn(Hank) and the sun sneeze. So, a vote for that too.

Not an easy decision!

Lennon Faris said...

Wow, congrats all!

My fav is Sherry's (great morbid humor) or Dan's (so satisfying!), but it's a tough pick between all of these.

Hank/ french sojourn, your second to last paragraph literally gave me chills.

Well done, everyone!

Kate Larkindale said...

They're all so clever! I just don't know how you can pick a winner. Great work, everyone!

Panda in Chief said...

OT Update!
Claire DID get on the ferry!
We met!
There were pandas!
We had lunch at my messy house!
If she did not get lost getting back to the ferry: turn left then right then left again, and left once more! Wait for the boat, look for frolicking dolphins, then she will return safely to Seattle.
Huzzah! Another Reider meet-up!

Michael Seese said...

My money is on Just Jan. But all are worthy.

Claire Bobrow said...

OT Addendum:
I made it back on the ferry and returned to Seattle! No sinking and no swimming.
In my bank of fond memories I now have:
Many pandas!
A visit with a fabulous Reider who lives in a cool house crammed with wonderful art!
And a sneak peek of an amazing graphic novel in progress!
Thank you, Anne - it was a special day :-)

Colin Smith said...

Congrats, Amy J! I've updated the contest spreadsheet in the Treasure Chest.

Amy Schaefer said...

Well done, Amy J! And all of the entries were so much fun, as usual.

Theresa said...

These were all wonderful! Congratulations Amy J!

Just Jan said...

Congratulations, Amy J, for a very funny entry and well done everyone!

Sherin Nicole said...

Congrats, Amy J!

Amy Johnson said...

Thanks so much, Janet and everyone who offered kind and very appreciated words.

Congratulations to all the finalists, mentions, and all who wrote stories. I'm so glad I get to hang out with y'all and learn here.

Beth Carpenter said...

Congratulations, Amy! I laughed. And congrats to all the finalists. Such inventiveness.

Lennon Faris said...

Congratulations, Amy! Very well done!!

Claire Bobrow said...

Congrats, Amy! I loved your funny, clever entry. Time to treat yourself to some caviar!

BrendaLynn said...

Bank holiday weekend here so I’m late getting to the blog. Again, the thing I love about this place is the quality of writing. I come away from these contests wowed (and a little intimidated) by the entries. Well deserved, Amy. I snorted soda out my nose.

John Davis Frain said...

So many great stories! I haven't even read them all yet. Couldn't resist--had to skip ahead to the results. And fine results they were. Congratulations, Amy Johnson. Excellent selection, Madame Sharque.

And another great story in the comments section: Claire and the Panda Ferry. That could be a winner in its won category! Wish I was there.

french sojourn said...

Congratulations Amy, I've never had the nerve to pull off listing the prompts at the end, But I have been tempted. And this was the purr-fect vehicle for it. Really, really well done. It's so DOY-ish.

Nice to hear of Reiders visiting each other, so wonderful. I'll be repetitive (work to ones strength) and say that this community is fab, and rare.

Congrats to all that entered, the time you spent crafting these entries, just sharpens your quill.

cheers Hank

Amy Johnson said...

Thanks again, all. I just turned to one of my sons and said, "Yay, I made someone snort soda out of her nose!"