We had a very light turn out this weekend. Is it NaNoWriMo? Or are you all in a post-election coma?
The entries we did get were the usual terrific stories I've come to expect.
Herewith the results:
Words I had to look up:
Ranunculus (Alina Sergachov)
In a class by himself, and honestly trying to trip him up is becoming more than a challenge, it's now a quest: Stevi Forti
Don’t do it. I’m telling you. Do not piss him off or transgress in any way.
Come on. How could he even know?
Old man’s got some built in radar, kid. Like the song says. He always knows.
But he seems so delightful. I’m sure he won’t mind if I eat just one.
It ain’t a complex transaction kid. Milk plus cookies equals presents. You steal from him, coal ain’t all you’ll get.
Nu-uh. I hear lyin’s a transgression, too, you know. Chomp, chomp.
Suit yourself, kid. Was nice knowing ya.
Ho, ho, ho?!
Ur in deep shit now.
Special recognition for Dan Castro experimented with format. Brave indeed, but I couldn't actually read the entry. (Sorry Dan)
Special recognition to Timothy Lowe for an entry that made me cackle, and recoil, at the same time.
Special recognition to CarolynnWith2ns for 2 lines that haunted me
“She’s alive.” He shouted.
Was he my savior or slayer?
Special recognition to Colin Smith for an entry that's masterfully subtle and enigmatic.
Special recognition to Dena Pawling for some perspective on what's important.
Sometimes the contest entries are about publishing, and I can calculate the pace of your rodent wheel just from reading your work! This week:
Hawking, Einstein, Feynman and their dog walk into an agency.
Hawking: “We forgot Schrödinger!”
Feynman: “Arrested hours ago for inciting cat mass...”
Feynman: “Massacres. He’s old school, Hawking. You were pre-calculus when he died.”
Hawking: “Nope. Early energy. I was pre-calculus when Albert died.”
Agent (darkly): “Ummm ... Gentlemen?”
Feynman (flashing the extra-famous, thousand-watt smile): Delighted...”
Agent: “Cute dog. I’m guessing she’s your strong female lead.”
Feynman (winking) “Her name’s Fortran. She’s old but she’s still got speed.”
Einstein: “Speed! C’mon, boys. We’ll write the book later.”
Agent: “That’s what they all say.”
To enter or not to enter?And here are the entries that really stood out this week:
That was the question. I resumed pondering before dawn’s first light.
One early attempt was too dark. I’m writing MG—gotta consider my reputation. One idea could make a good short story, but not a flash piece. Another story was a maybe. Had mystery and humor. But did I do first person pencil before? With an extra hour I might be able to finish that Forti Award attempt. At least now I know of thirty-one towns in Arkansas that end in “d.”
She found the extra hour beneath her pillow. It was pink and oval, the way she'd imagined her soul might look.I love the idea of the extra hour being any of the hours of your life.
Outside was dark; she dressed,unsure of how this would work. The hour she'd chosen was the hour before she'd turned 16.
The oval ticked as soon as she picked it up: now the bed she stood next to contained her 15-year-old self.
Looking at this early self, the one she'd come to forewarn, she saw the light. An hour wasn't long enough for a kid to digest what she'd come to say. It needed a lifetime.
I would have a very hard time choosing between two events to forewarn myself of.
One would save me; the other would save someone I love.
This entry made me wonder if I could choose?
Very nice work here.
They called it a blight. Not to mention the inhabitants: the loud sex, trampling feet at all hours. The smell.This just cracked me up.
They complained. That bloke - what was his name, Noel? Neal? - didn't flinch. They got the planning department onto him. Court summons. He ignored it, claimed divine inspiration, holy immunity.
Pearly dawn. It rained. Ark doors shut. The end.
I'm always a sucker for alternate POV, and this one is delightful.
The bus pulls to a curb. The driver gets off first. Passengers follow his lead.Heartbreaking elegance.
No rush, no panic.
No bus stop.
I pull one earbud out. A piercing two-tone howl of a siren syncopates with the symphony No6. ‘Code Red’.
Ranunculus instead of a bomb shelter.
I never had sex. Tragic waste.
It was too early. Is it too late?
A man who dared to waste one hour of time.
Others crouch. And kneel. I wait for the incoming missile in the comfort of a bus. Alone.
Dark sky. Light rain.
Crescendo. Explosion. Silence
And too topical for words.
"What time do you have? Quick, before their frappuccinos come."I love the idea of poetry in system prefs!
"It's noon. What time do you have?"
"Eleven. Too early. I didn't add the extra hour."
""What went wrong?"
"I tried to reboot myself, but my screen went dark and then nothing."
"Pull up your light folder, the one with time zones."
"I don't have a light folder."
"Did you set your System Preferences to include poetry? Look for 'A light exists in spring." Or 'Light, more light! The shadows deepen.'"
"What are you speaking? COBOL?"
"It's all Fortran to me."
I've been at war with my software for almost a month now, and so this had a particular appeal!
I prayed for an extra hour. He must have heard me.This entry uses the theme of the contest in a poignant twist that really appealed to me.
The smell of purity hovered with me in the aether, enveloping me in peace.
She always said not to jog in the dark. But the virgin air of early morning cleanses my soul.
The car never saw me. The driver never stopped.
Her voice broke through the veil, her light piercing the fog.
I saw the path home.
My new home.
What should we do, Mrs. Nash? said the voice I’d been hearing, assuming it was God.
“Nothing,” my wife said. “He has a DNR.”
I've been thinking about these entries all day.
Each has a lot of merit, and choosing isn't picking one that's better than any of the others. That simply isn't possible.
Honestly, I picked the one that made me laugh. This week's choice is NLiu!
Thanks to all who took the time to write and post entries.
I know I say this every contest, but it's always true: your writing delights me.
I'm very grateful for the chance to read things that are new and fun.
And I'm probably as surprised as the rest of you that I got these posted promptly.
Most likely it's cause I have a big submission going out today and I knew I wasn't going to have time for much of anything but dialing, yapping, and sending.
If it's any comfort to you, the pitch letter for that project is 307 words, and I did 30+ revisions on it in 48 hours.