Monday, March 23, 2020

Flash fiction contest results -FINAL

Herewith the results of the flash fiction contest.
It was a very nice break from reality, thank you.

I can't get to the post office for a while so prizes are on hiatus, I'm sorry.

You've trained me to your subtleties so well that I spent several minutes trying to suss out the meaning here:

Craig F
I wake hungry in the Spring. Soon I will be >b>bask>/b>ing in lovely provisions, I find my familiar friend.
Then I realized it was simply a typo on the first angle bracket (I had to look up what >s are called, which wasn't as simple as you'd think!)

Lovely homage to Kenny Rogers

Great punchline
steve forti
congrats on your parole. how does it feel?

got any asprin? got me a wicked headache. aint easy on the noggin hauling all this around.

that real or a piece?

aint no wig, brotha. shit took me years to grow out. whole crew had ‘em, too. called our cell block in LA the afro ward.

no tat – y?

police ID you on your tats, man. aint no ink on my skin. hair can be cut, ink don’t wash out, bub.

ask one more question? what were you in for, anyway?

cut the tag off my mattress before leaving the store.

So topical it should be balm:
To: current husband, individuals I gave birth to, @charliegoldendoodle
Re: Working From Home/Homeschooling best practices
To review first mandatory meeting:
- Going froward, all work (business and classroom) will be proofread not once, but twice. Get tow sets of eyes on it, people.
-Spring inventory: Lathering is vital, but SoftSoap is non-restockable. 3 pumps = too many.
-Team Building Hashtag Contest entries will be posted on refrigerator Saturday a.m. First prize: gourmet gift basket (2 rolls of Charmin, canned chickpeas, pineapple salsa, and cream of mushroom soup!)
NOTE: #bettertogether has BEEN DONE. And IS FALSE.
current husband just cracked me up.
Clearly I'm not fit for polite society.

Here's the list of entries that really stood out to me.

Matt Krizan
No words are spoken. None need to be said. My adversary glares at me, and I give as good as I get. He’s not backing down, and neither am I.

My wife fidgets uneasily beside me. His pretty, young daughters tremble, eyes shifting to and fro.

War? Do we fight? Guns drawn, knives out?

No. We hash it out like real men.

A count of three. My hand goes flat. He thrusts forward a fist.

A gasp. Ringleted children weep.

Paper covers rock, and I fill my basket with the last package of toilet paper.

Deft dismantling of froward here!
And this is stunningly visual writing, which is a whole lot harder than it looks.
Nice work here.
And hilarious!

Just Jan
March 17, 2020

The incessant pounding stops as I open the door. “Pub’s closed.”

A wee man springs forward, smelling like he basked in a vat of spirits. “Who says? ’Tis St. Paddy’s Day!”

“The Governor’s decree.”

“A more froward man I’ve never met!”

“It’s for the greater good. And don’t forget to lather for twenty seconds when you wash. That’s two rounds of ‘99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall’.”

“I can sing about it, but you can’t serve it. Disgraceful! Got any hash?”

“Corned beef.”

“Good grief!” He reaches into his pocket. “I’m gonna need a bigger pipe!”

The mere mention of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall during quarantine qualifies this for the horror category.

"I'm gonna need a bigger pipe" just cracked me up.

Fearless Reider
The principal’s in a lather again. “They’re fractious and froward,” he snorts and stamps.

“Rowdy and rude,” brays Mr. Burrows.

“Dimwits and dumbbells,” clucks Miss Broodie. “Home Ec’s a flop! They put ALL the eggs in one bask—”

“But,” Mrs. Bovins hiccups, “at leas’ they didn’t count ‘em b’fore they were hashed.” Astringent aromas spring from her breath. She’s been at the rye again.

“Which brings me to their math scores,” bleats Mr. Baaartels. “Awful and atrocious.”

“The kids are alright,” purrs Ms. Kitty. “It’s temporary. And they’re geniuses at Gym.”

Barnschooling is not for the faint of heart.
This just cracked me up completely.
Love the names of the characters!

Mallory Love
We met on Twitter, commenting on the same hashtag:#Springfroward. We both laughed at the typo and how fitting it was since the time change did make people ornery.

Soon our conversations went from tags to private messages. We debated everything, from basketball teams (Lakers for me, Knicks for him) to handguns (I like the Sig; he used the Glock). He blathered on about detective shows. I was more inclined to "Breaking Bad."

It was a great friendship until we met in person at a bank: me in a ski mask holding my Sig, him in uniform pointing his Glock.
Very deft use of froward here. 
And that lovely twist at the end is very clever.
Clean crisp writing like this always makes me very happy.

Very Special recognition to this entry that says everything in my heart.

Janice L. Grinyer
I click on the news video; a young Salish girl begins dancing springing steps, brow furrowed in concentration, circling in tall Montana grass. Her Jingle dress catches the fading sunlight, glittering onscreen.

It is a healing dance, they say. Every day at sunset, she dances, each step a prayer. She is requesting from the Creator healing of the world during this awful pandemic.

I pause.

And here I am, online, hashing out political arguments, basking in a froward attitude, my thoughts slathered in contempt for others. My soul suddenly aches.

I click again.

She dances for all of us.

***Many thanks to 11-year-old Salish descendent 
Aurora O’Neill and all the other Jingle Dress Dancers across the Nations, 
who are dancing without prejudice for the healing of all people of the world- 
we are humbled, may your prayers be answered.

I was in a real downspin these past few days, so I was very glad to see all these entries. It's always a plus to see your work! Thank you for taking time to write and enter.

I have been looking at the list and as usual, having a hard time settling on just one.

Use the comment column to tell me who I might have overlooked (there were a couple I just didn't understand) and who you think should take home the prize.

Final results posted later today.

 I had to let this sit for almost a full day.
Came back several times and re-read.
But  in the end, Matt Krizan's entry really stood out: pure, simple, elegant...and funny.

Matt, I'm sorry I can't get to the post office just now.
I owe you a prize!

Thanks to all of you for your very clever work.
It was a very nice break in the weekend.


E.M. Goldsmith said...

These are fun. I still can't seem to write coherently. And am grateful for these - so good, so much fun. The stories are prizes in themselves. I could not choose. This is a talented group.

Be safe, my queen. As in all things good and hard, New York is the epicenter of this mess. At least in the US. I wish my daughter was here and not there. She sounds like she is holding up. New Yorkers are a rare breed. Wow. Take care everyone. And job well-done to everyone who managed entries this weekend.

Brigid said...

Of the finalists, I loved Charlogo's and Mallory Love's. I also appreciated Megan V's red riding hood and Steph Ellis's meat delivery.

I had fun making a zany entry.

Amy Johnson said...

I'm sure I smiled on Saturday when I saw that The Amazing Mr. Forti even managed to include "not a typo" immediately after "froward" (just as Janet had written on the prompt word list). Thank you, everyone who wrote a story.

Currently, I can hear a bird singing in my side yard. Through the window I see my little peach tree, covered in blossoms. We have kind people in this Reef family, who take the time and effort to write and share stories. This is still a beautiful world.

Steve Forti said...

@Amy Thanks for noticing! That was pretty much my only goal for this one was to do that :P

My favorites this week are Mallory Love and Charlogo. Thanks for the laugh.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Well done, everyone!

My favorite finalists are Fearless Reider's and Mallory Love's.

Lora Senf said...

While tragically not on the list, I need to spotlight Barbara's use of language - particularly the word "slinkwaddle." I WILL find a way to work it into my vocabulary beginning today.

Nice work to all.

Matt Krizan said...

Thank you for the kind words, Janet.

My favorite was charlogo’s. I loved the typos in the line telling everyone to proofread their work.

I also especially enjoyed C. Dan Castro’s and S.D. King’s. For the latter, it took me a second read to get the giant Groundhog Day reference throughout, but when I got it it made the whole thing worth it.

french sojourn said...

Such literary artwork, great entries, as usual.

I'm going to have to re-read them all, then go to the finalists.

Stay positive.

S.D.King said...

It was an especially nice selection of work this time. Mallory Love gets my vote - nice subtle forshadowing.
Thanks Matt Krizan for the shout out - I thought I was being too obvious, but apparently not. Anybody else feeling like they are waking up to the same day over and over?

Colin Smith said...

Great work, everyone! Of the finalists, I would vote for Matt Krizan.

I'm fairly certain my story didn't qualify since it's not really a story. But in the event it fell into the "there were a couple I didn't understand" category, here's a clue:

Oh, and a special shout-out to Just Jan for giving St. Patrick his proper name. I ranted a little about this on Twitter last Tuesday.

Megan V said...

Of the finalists, I really enjoyed Just Jan's entry. IT made me laugh when I really needed a laugh.

I also appreciated Janice's homage to Aurora O'Neill.

Thanks Brigid for the shoutout!

Just Jan said...

My favorites are Mallory Love and Matt Krizan. But I also need to mention the Steph Ellis story, which appealed to my dark side!

Thanks for the mention, Janet, and also for letting us creatively put down on paper some of the frustrations we are all feeling these days.

Megan V: Thanks for the shout out!

Colin: Thank you for noticing. I am married to an Irish-American named Paddy (Patrick), who is super sensitive about it. Loved your attempt to educate Americans on Twitter--it was perfect! Happy 50th!

RosannaM said...

Loved these finalists, but the barnschooling line did it for me. So Fearless Reider gets my vote.

Yes, these are indeed surreal times. And my brain had difficulty thinking about anything but this wretched virus. I managed to rein it in a little with a nod to our truckers and spent the day listening to Kenny Rogers songs. Which was a pleasant distraction as I belted out a few choice verses.

Stay healthy and sane everyone. And happy 50th, Colin!

Kate Larkindale said...

So many great entries again, but my vote would be for Mallory Love this time.

Karen McCoy said...

I read Mallory Love's entry on the original post and loved it. I also really liked Matt Krizan's on this post.

Not an easy decision!

Karen McCoy said...

Happy 50 years, Colin! Here's hoping for at least 50 more...

JanR said...

Yes, thank you to everyone who wrote stories. Stories make the world make a little bit more sense!

Charlogo’s is so true it’s funny. Matt Krizan’s is just funny! Mallory’s was so deft – I am always in awe when a story uses foreshadowing in just 100 words. And Janice L. Grinyer, I haven’t got the words to thank you. That one went to a soul place.

And thank you Janet again for hosting! Hope your spin spins a bit better soon.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Loved Matt Krizan's entry.

And Janice Grinyer, what a moving piece.

Mallory Love said...

Thanks all for the kind words, and thanks, Janet, for making me a finalist. Thanks also to all who wrote stories to share. Reading them always makes my day. It's so fun to see what everyone comes up with.

I adored Charlogo's entry. It's so funny and sadly so true right now. Matt Krizan's entry is fantastic too. I also loved RosannaM's tribute to Kenny Rogers. Hope everyone is staying well.

charlogo said...

As always, so impressed with the talent here. We've had a courier business for years, so I loved Steph Ellis's entry.
Thanks, Janet, for this opportunity to think about something besides current events. (But wouldn't you know, while I was preoccupied with a stack of Oreos my unruly mind circled back around to the very topic I was trying to avoid!)

Steve Forti said...

Also wishing a happy 5-0 to Colin!

Sandra J. said...

What a great read the entries are - I enjoyed them all.

My top choice is Mallory Love's, closely followed by the very moving entry by Janice L. Grinyer.

Matt Krizan said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. :)

MollyKelash said...

I definitely bow to these entries, all better than my own! One I also think deserves recognition for its sheer deftness with "ye olde english," is Claire Bobrow's "A receipt for Vegetable Hashe in tyme of Plague -
by a gentlelady" It's delicious!

Craig F said...

I'm sorry and i apologize. Worst part is that I did proofread it three times and totally missed it.Mt brain hasn't been going into gear very well of late. I think it is vertigo from the world being shaken and not stirred.

I have three entries I would pick, one for each time I read them.

Colin Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claire Bobrow said...

Congratulations, Matt! Great (and topical) entry :-)

Finalists and mentions - nice work!

Colin Smith said...

Congratulations, Matt! And well done to all the finalists and special mentions.

I have updated the contest spreadsheet in the Treasure Chest

And thank you to those who wished me well for tomorrow. :D

Janice L. Grinyer said...

Congratulations Matt! You could feel the tension immediately- a perfect cowboy showdown in a modern-day true to the times' situation!

Now the question that needs to be asked of JR - What kind of prize should be mandatory... Two-ply perhaps? :D

I also thank you, Janet, for the kind words, and to others too who also understood; I often have wanted to submit something, only to come up dry and be discouraged. This time the prompt came from a gentle spirit and a lesson I need to be reminded of. Be kind, be kind, be kind. I'm a work in progress.

So stay Healthy, everyone, let's flatten that curve, and ***live as if you work by yourself in the woods, have a homestead in an isolated national forest, and know your UPS delivery man's cell phone number by heart***!

*** #oddlyspecific.

Mallory Love said...

Congrats Matt!

RosannaM said...

Congratulations, Matt. Great story and it made me laugh. Poor ringleted children! The struggle is real.

NLiu said...

Congrats Matt! Very funny entry. Really enjoyed that.

And happy big 5-0 for tomorrow, Collin!

I'm pretty sure my entry was in the "makes no sense" category because that's what my husband said when I read it to him. Alas. Next time...

Matt Krizan said...

Wow! Thanks again, all. Much appreciated. I’m glad you enjoyed it. :)

Amy Johnson said...

Congratulations, Matt! Thanks for the story and the laugh.

Kregger said...

Congratulations Matt and Happy B-day to Colin!

Casual-T said...

A little late to the party, I admit, but nonetheless a heartfelt "Congrats" goes out to Matt! What a delightful and riveting story. If only mankind would utilize this manliest form of conflict resolution more often; me thinks the world would be a better place...

And three cheerful "Hip-Hip-Huzzahs!" to Colin. I hear tell that 50 is the new 49!!