Flash fiction contest results
UPDATE AT BOTTOM
UPDATE AT BOTTOM
So nice to be back with all ya'll. Yes, I spent a goodly amount of time clutching close my complete collection of Louise Penny books, but also managed to read some other terrific books. It was pure bliss!
The contest this week turned up some very interesting work. Some of you seem to think words being in the dictionary is optional, but if I don't know what it means, and I can't look it up, and I can't intuit from context, well, we have a problem.
When I put in my contact lens, often I drip some saline in first so it doesn’t start out dry. Yesterday I picked up – I thought so, at least – the saline bottle and squirted some in my eye. Except I grabbed the cleaning solution instead. If you’re wondering what a blow torch to the eyeball feels like, you can’t muffle that scream.
The chemical burn left a (temporary?) crimson wreckage, splotched in a jumbled up neum olio and transmuted my sclera to rotten tomato pulp. My son cries and runs away. Maybe I should get an eyepatch and consider piracy.
Thanks to frenchsojourn I know that the dead cat bounce is an actual term.
|Her Grace and Sleekness would like a word, Hank|
A name that I think needs to be used MUCH more often
Colin Smith: Malcontentia
Special recognition for a great line
alyson fay “I heard your bones speak, boy,”
Special recognition for a great phrase
Fearless Reider the choir softened into their seats with a polyester sigh.
Who knew that Umoonasaurus was a real thing?
Johnell for one. Now we do too!
And of course, I always appreciate a good pun!
I cleared my throat."It softens easier to wallow in self pithy, than to face one's demons. Such is the fatal flaw of the young Danish prince, an inert introvert lamenting his existential existence, whimpering like a muffled pulpy, too timid to bark or bite. Alas, poor Yorick! I pneumo— ""That's enough." I'd come to learn that Professor Cole's arched eyebrow heralded the arrival of a parable posed as a question. "Do you care to explain?""I dictated my term paper. I guess Google Voice never read Hamlet.""And?""You gave me an F. So the point is mute."
Here are the entries that stood out for me
In a tower-block high in the sky, there lived a young woman. She had many things. She had creams to soften her resistance. Trinkets of gold to mute her pithy responses. Pulp to teach her she was ugly. TV to stop her from thinking. Demands to produce children that muffled her ambition.
She needed to escape; so, she tied the tv to the pulp, the pulp to the gold, the gold to their demands (which meant it would stretch all the way to the ground.) Then down down she climbed leaving all their expectations behind.
It had been a good year for windfall in Eden. Eve had mashed the apples, forced the pulp between a rustic press and left it to ferment. Adam had merely watched. As usual.
Her mood did not soften as her mate continued to leave the bulk of the work to her. As usual. Fell asleep. As usual.
“Why don’t we add a secret ingredient?’ hissed the snake. ‘You know, something which is the real, um, essence, of you.”
Eve grinned, muffled the splashes as Adam slept. Then poured his drink ready.
“Tastes like pith,” slurred Adam.
“Hope so,” said Eve.
Claudia scoured the shores near Lympne. Umoonasaurus bones often appeared near seas, just not England's. Still, the photos the Manchester Umoonasaurus Fellowship (MUF) flew down to her looked legitimate. Any plesiosaur near Loch Ness would be the Australopithecus equivalent for Nessie enthusiasts, and her ticket to fame. Claudia’s thoughts ran the gamut. Each time she’d made a discovery, Professor Mackray, that pulpital bore, took credit. Luckily, Claudia knew bones, and some tricks of carbon-dating. She hefted her backpack and smiled at the thought of her future “discovery”: a new hominid found inside a plesiosaur’s belly. She’d name it “Mackraylopithicus.”
“Hide the money.” Muffled voice from the tipi that’s next to ours.
Wilderness couple’s retreat. Wife’s idea.
It’s often the case. I agree to something before pushing the TV’s mute button.
Wife hands me some guava drink filled with pulp and not enough booze.
I guzzle it, or attempt to before she plops down on top of me with enough force to cause a pneumothorax..
I multitask, eavesdropping, husbanding, planning.
Yay, me. Seriously, yay me.
Tomorrow’s the oasis hike. I’ll bow out. Say I’m dehydrated. Locate and rehide the money.
Pinch. “Stop it,” hissed Mama. Ike slid down the sweat-slicked pew, out of reach. The organ sagged to a stop and the choir softened into their seats with a polyester sigh.
We waited, mute. The heat-thick air pricked my neck, an itchy woolen muffler.
Up to the pulpit rose the preacher. And something happened. His words… they swirled around and swooped down from the ceiling like a cool wind, cool water washing over us. “Maybe,” I thought. We could be different. Better.
Outside, Ike socked my jaw. I turned the other cheek, then shoved him down the steps.
It’s the same each time. He goes mute, and a look of concentration comparable to a super computer built in the seventies playing solitaire, captures my attention. A mixture of pulp and pasteurization gone perfectly wrong. It softens as I peel back the fabric, and the smell is a brash mixture of demon’s breath and spoiled homogenized milk. I muffle my response with a jerking motion and turn away. He laughs, I swear he laughs at my anguish but he is the pith of my heart. The cold air causes a warm stream to slap my cheek, and he laughs.
He thought, after they’d chucked him unceremoniously into the firepit, he’d easily work his way back out.
An hour, if that, he’d bragged. Like the old days.
But the ash was soft, enfolding him deliciously in its warmth; and the embers’ pulpy glow wrapped round like a comforting muff. Leaving aside the regrettable absence of knight-flesh, for a manmade firepit it wasn’t half bad. If he tarried, who could judge?
Even the stars gazed down mutely, dispassionately.
He closed his eyes, letting the heat snuggle between his wrinkled scales. Soon!!! he’d roar his fiery revenge.
Some of you weighed in on how the prompt words were selected
While these words can all be found in the poems of John Keats, I suspect Janet came across the word "pith" (maybe in a Keats poem), looked it up, then went on a Thesaurus journey from pith to pulp to soften to muffle to mute.
About those words. You must have used either a thesaurus or a reverse dictionary since the words form pairs of synonyms. (Pith and pulp relate to the insides of fruit. Pulp and soften are verbs meaning to make mushy. Soften and muffle mean to make quiet. Muffle and mute mean to make silent.) I checked Merriam-Webster and Roget's, and the Reverse Dictionary. It wasn't one of those. It wasn't MS Word's built in thesaurus either.
I have got thus far, and am stumped. I am out of time, and out of thesauruses.
Words inspired by the Great British Bake Off/ baking show? I’m stuck on that show lol.
I'm posting this late on Sunday night, and will have the winner selected later.
Let me know who your fave is, and if you think I missed any that were particularly good.
I had such high hopes.
I'm sorry I haven't had time today to add to the comments about each of the entries that I liked. Vacation is great; dealing with the deluge upon return not so much.
I agreed with many of you: I think Fearless Reider takes the prize this week!
Fearless, if you'll email me with your preferred mailing address, and which (if any) of the books you want as your prize. If none of them are your cup of tea, that's ok,just let me know what you like to read.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to write and enter.
It was a great way to ease back into the fray!
And now, off to plot anew against Fortissimo.
I think barring him from using the letter A sounds like a good idea.
Particularly if the prompt words are cat rat spat flat and bat!