Monday, July 01, 2019

LippLibs flash fiction results

Words I had to look up:
loblolly (Margaret S. Hamilton)

Someone is going to have to explain Steve Forti's answer to me. He's thwarted me completely this week.

Oh wait, now I get it.
Too clever by half Mr.Forti.

CarolynnWith2Ns you just crack me up

Uncompliant, you're giving people very bad ideas! I'm now afraid of my freezer.

Here are the entries that packed a wallop for one reason or another

French Sojourn
“Your daughters got your ex-wife’s eyes, sergeant.”
“Ain’t that the fucking rub.”
“Well, luckily, the genetic defect doesn’t run in your family.”
“Like I said Doc…I’ll get you the money and the eyes. Just be ready, I’ll see to it.”


“You’re just staying with Aunt Susy tonight.”
“You get some sleep; I love you kitten.”
“Nite dad.”

I drove home crying. 
After chambering a round, I dialed 911 and thought.

“I knew I would find my joie de vivre, but had no money on it being dependent on the payout of my own life insurance policy.”

Ok so that one landed right on the heartstrings.

Where There's A Quill
(Prompt credit: french sojourn)
I had curly hair, she had straight. Her straightness always made it easy to tell us apart. Straight As. Straight arrow. Straight to Stanford.

Straight over when I drunk-dialed again. She was all new pumps, old pity, and I decided she'd stolen my happiness somehow, sucked up my half when we'd shared a womb. She wasn't my twin; she was my tumor.

But hating her wouldn't fix things. I needed to straighten up.

I knew I would find my joie de vivre, but had no money on it being dependent on the payout of my own life insurance policy.

And isn't it interesting to see another writer use the exact same prompt and come up with something so different in both content and tone!


Lynn Rodz 
(LippLibs entry by Terri Lynn Coop)
I knew I would find my joie de vivre, but had no money on finding it at a table in a Chinese restaurant on a rain-soaked side street in Paris. He walked in.

I spoke English, he, French. No matter, we spoke in other ways.

I loved jazz, he, rock. So? We both loved music.

I, vegetarian, he, carnivorous — we dined together.

I loved dancing, he didn't, but that night we danced.

I worship one way, he another. Nonetheless, we both believe in God.

Thirty years later we're still together because in Paris, Texas you take what you can get.
I loved this because of course Lynn lives in Paris. The real one.

Michael Seese
I knew I would find my joie de vivre, but had no money on under the big top dressed as a clown.

Winter feasts on the homeless. Just as January relented, releasing its icy grip, February blew through and bitch-slapped me. Seeing countless friends frozen drove a renewed desperation to escape the streets.

The paper stapled to a pole reeked of suspect salvation.

"Fun! Laughs! Oversized shoes! A red honking nose!"

I passed the audition with flying (trapeze) colors, and settled into the unexpected.

Thus began my career as the man-toy of a plus-size contortionist with an Emmett Kelly fetish.
The writing on this is so good it just takes my breath away.

Just Jan/
Michael Seese
I knew I would find my joie de vivre, but had no money on under the big top dressed as a clown. The charity organizer had been very persuasive. My own mother didn’t recognize me.

Hans was in the adjacent ring, a shriveled and scarred tiger tamer. The circus was the only family he’d ever known, but he’d be homeless if he didn’t perform.

I took him away from all that. I sent Hans to live with my grandfather, where they spend their days trading war stories. And the tigers? Now they work for me. My name is Charlie…

And again, same exact prompt, two utterly different stories.
And this cracked me up completely, of course.

S.D. King
I knew I would find my joie de vivre, but had no money on finding it at Dollywood with my sons and nephew looking on.

It’s always been me and little Andy, but no more nine to five for me. Jolene from two doors down told me about the gig. Two Walmart bouncy balls and I could lip sync to fool any Romeo; gel insoles for my stiletto red shoes help me make it through the night.

I’m no dumb blond or backwoods Barbie. I will always love you, but I’m not coming back. you come again, Dumplin!

Unless you know the Dolly catalog this might not seem as brilliant as it is.

“What’s this?” he asked when he saw the freshly painted walls.

“It ‘s the chic new color.”

“Those shows! Blood red walls, deconstructed meatloaf. It’ll take five coats to cover it!”

He was wrong.

“It’s Musty Merlot. We’ll light candles, it’ll be like we’re in France.”

He perked up at the sound of that. He remembered France.

Two weeks later he was dead from food poisoning.

I knew I would find my joie de vivre but had no money on it being after the seventh coat of Misty Moonlight finally covering the incredibly ill-thought-out Musty Merlot on my bedroom ceiling.
Of course I loved this! It's about painting!

John Davis Frain 
(Prompt courtesy of Casual-T, who won’t admit it but has the same story.)
In the eighties, before I’d ever heard the term “bucket list,” I had an annual “joie de vivre list.” On January 1, I’d write ten things to accomplish by December 31. I've never completed all ten.

2018 looked bleak. Six for ten when December arrived. I moved no closer by Christmas.

But New Year’s Eve, I passed a grizzly bear climbing to the summit of Mt. McKinley before gawking at the Northern Lights … when a kid offered to tattoo a shamrock on my butt.

For fifty bucks.

I knew I would find my joie de vivre but had no money.
The prompt cracked me up. This story just made me laugh harder. 

Flash Friday
(Prompt courtesy of Where There's A Quill
I knew I would find my joie de vivre, but had no money on my wife being so supportive of the journey. When I told her I was setting out to find myself, she was so excited she even paid for the plane ticket and packed my bags.

-The look on her face when I flashed the companion ticket!

Tragically, my dreams shattered: she checked into a sanitarium for a sudden, mysterious illness.

-Her face when I lovingly checked in next door!

“Happy?” I later tapped on the wall.

-She pounded and howled back, but I understood her meaning.

I loved the prompt, the story just made it better. Another pair to watch out for!

Mallory Love
(Prompt courtesy of John Davis Frain
We told our son we’d married in ’96; it was actually ’97 but changing one little number saved us some big questions about legitimacy.

Our friends asked about Jackson when he moved away. What school did he attend? What about his career? We told them he went to Yale (Jay’s Bartending School For Ale - the letters are there). He was planning on taking the bar (-tending job at Friday’s).

Last year, my wife left me. I still wear my ring; classy ladies love widowers.

I knew I would find my joie de vivre, but had no money on “editing.”
this is just perfection on toast points.

AJ Blythe
6, 12, 18, 22, 34, 48
Eight million bucks. Only one winner the news said.
Bloody right only one winner.
He put food on the table.
What’d the missus do? Sat on her fat arse lookin’ after the kids.
Stupid bitch bought the ticket with his money.
Now she wanted a share. Half she said. No fuckin’ chance.
He tipped the powder into her glass.
Reached down for the whisky.
Didn’t see the funnel web.  
I knew I would find my joie de vivre, but had no money on it being a spider bite.
It says nothing good about me that I find this utterly hilarious.

(LippLibs entry by DH
I knew I would find my joie de vivre, but had no money on a successful career as a coroner.

Dead hearts. Dead eyes. Dead lives.

Some people would say that it’s too morbid, too macabre.

But there’s something about looking into the faces of the lost and knowing the truth.

Knowing a secret.

Because dead men tell no tales, not even to the one who heard their voices last.

oh man oh man oh man, Very subtle.
Get it?

There is no way to have one winner here.
All of these are outstanding, each in their own way.

But, after reading these over a couple times, it's clear to me that Mallory Love, John Davis Frain and Casual-T wrote great prompts and/or great stories.

All three are our winners this week!

Mallory, send me your preferred mailing address and what you like to read. Casual-T I've got your address from the previous contest and JDF, just let me know if you've moved since the last time I signed you up for Puppy of the Month Club.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to enter both contests.
It was a hoot to read them all.



Steve Forti said...

Always happy to thwart :) (even if it was a bit of a cop out)

Glad to see Mallory among the winners. Was definitely my favorite this week.

Theresa said...

Congratulations to all the winners! These were so fun to read.

Pericula Ludus said...

Congratulations to all! I really enjoyed all of these little tales immensely. Your fabulous minds amaze me every time.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Well done, everyone! And congratulations to the winners!

E.M. Goldsmith said...

These were all amazing. Wow. I mean just wow. Congratulations all the winners and those who gleaned the eyes of a shark.

Life is turning upside down here. My parent's home was destroyed by an electrical fire - no one hurt. The dogs are fine (that was what my daughter asked about when I first called her - not her grandparents, their dogs- it's fine). The house needed a remodel. It is damn near 100 years old. My father was born in the house. I grew up there - small and cramped. An old farmhouse. Still, it's a lot. It might be six months before the house is fit to be lived in again.

Sometimes it would be best if reality could turn into fiction. Less troublesome then and we can always write a better ending.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Wow! What great stories. I enjoyed reading through all of them. Congrats to the winners! What a torturous contest.

JanR said...

Well done everybody! Funny with bite :) Just loved both those winning stories, especially because the humour relies on character. Humans are so silly and wonderful. Terrific shortlist too, honestly, everyone did so well.

E.M. Goldsmith I’m so sorry, that must hurt. So glad you think it can be saved.

LynnRodz said...

Congratulations to the winners and thank you, Janet, for putting me in with terrific company. I loved reading them all the other day.

E.M. Goldsmith, so sorry to hear about your family's home, but glad to hear no one was hurt.

Katja, I was late in commenting yesterday, but I did leave a comment for you.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Congrats Mallory, JD Frain and Casual-T! Thanks everyone for the awesome stories.

E.M. Sorry to hear about the fire.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I'm cracked, you're cracked, we're all cracked up.

Barbara Etlin said...

Congrats to the winners, and thanks for giving me some laughs at a time when I really needed it.

Claire Bobrow said...

Congrats to all the mentions, long listers, and short listers! Wonderful writing - heart-wrenching and hilarious. Flash Friday, Mallory Love, Lynn Rodz - loved your stuff. I could go on, but I'd end up naming everybody!

Jennifer Mugrage said...

I'm surprised no one used the prompt where the electric chair failed to kill the narrator.

But, thanks S.D. King. I did love Dumplin'.

Flash Friday's entry caused me to run screaming from the room, arms windmilling.

Mallory Love said...

This made my day. Thanks to John Davis Frain for his fantastic prompt and Janet for her awesome contests of writing torture! I loved everyone's entries, especially Lynn Rodz's and MeganV's.

EM Goldsmith- I'm so sorry to hear about your home. Glad you and your family weren't hurt.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

I missed this one. Stoopit real life intruded.

Congrats to all the winners! They were fantastic. And Janet knows that JDF is living somewhere that allows pets.

Fun to see my prompt get a shout-out for the wonderful twist the story took. I've made the Paris, Texas and Athens, Georgia jokes many times.

I was in Paris in May and it would, not, stop, fucking, raining. Even with my souvenir Eiffel tower umbrella, I was cold and despondent. Then I remembered I'd seen a Chinese restaurant on the map 2 blocks from my hotel. I slogged into the tiny place and took a corner table. After some sign-language, mime, and interpretative dance with the owner, I ordered a #15 and a pot of Jasmine tea. And then I sank into a giant bowl of noodles with beef broth and beef chunks cooked with French sensibilities. Life seeped back into me in a Chinese noodle joint in Paris.


flashfriday said...

Congrats to the Triumvirate for their masterful seizure of the trophy this round! Personal thanks to Where There's a Quill for creating the joke & characters whose lives I thoroughly enjoyed destroying.

Where There's A Quill said...

Congrats to the winners and thank you for the mention, Janet!

Mallory: Yours was my favourite. I was wowed by the cleverness.

flashfriday: There are few greater joys than destroying the life of a character.

Jennifer Mugrage said...

E.M. Goldsmith, I just saw your post. I am so sorry.

Colin Smith said...

Congrats to the winners! I have updated the Contest Spreadsheet in the Treasure Chest.

John Davis Frain said...

This was a hard contest. I had three fails before finding my footing. (And, no, I didn't edit the fails, I killed them and started over.)

My LipLib is true. I never imagined how magical editing would be. Y'all know the feeling ... when you change a scene or find just the right word and IT WORKS. Man, it makes you wanna sing, right! I don't sing, of course, I'm just saying it makes you feel like singing. I wouldn't do that to my pup, who does live here with my, thank you Terri Lynn!

You achieved your goal, Janet. Many of us were tormented!

Casual-T said...

@JDF... I admit nothing. Wasn't me. Didn't do it.

PS: The tattoo actually cost $65, and was an image of a pink dragon gaily skipping through a field of daisies (or possibly lilies—one can't be too sure after all these years). But you definitely got the bodily location right.

french sojourn said...

Congrats to the triumvirate for their win. It sure was interesting to see the varied entries, well done everyone.
Thank you Janet for the time and effort, as always.
Cheers Hank.

Casual-T said...

Congrats to one and all! What a fun way of coming back to the blog after a busy weekend full of work and... well... more work. These drums don't bang themselves, ya know!

Not quite done yet. But, assuming things work out as planned, come 4 AM, I'm outta here!

I knew I'd find my joie de vivre, and had all my money on the moment I'd leave that seedy bar down on Bleecker Street, find my way home along the steaming streets of early morning Manhattan, avoiding swerving garbage trucks, swerving drunkards, and fairly stationary potholes, so I can, once more, sit in peace and listen to the gentle song of the rising sun (and hopefully find parking).

AJ Blythe said...

Woot! Thanks for the shout out, Janet. And congrats to the winners. There were some awesome stories. I wrote down the ones I enjoyed as I read through, but of course can't find that scrappy bit of paper amongst the forest of scrappy bits of paper on my desk.

julie.weathers said...

Wow, what a great collection. Congratulations to all the winners and indeed everyone who entered. The quality just keeps going up.

AJ Blythe said...

Found my scrappy bit of paper!

My faves were Mallory Love (funny), French Sojourn (devastating), 2Ns (cracked me up), Sharon Ekbergh (awww moment).