Tuesday, January 01, 2013

RATLINES contest results!

Entries that left me hungry for more (and by more I do not mean more cowbell!)
Yvonne Osborne  12:04pm
"Snake longed to be free of the capitalists and their dangerous shortcuts."

eclectophilia 1:07pm 
"I toed the metal wire and felt the electric jolt through my shoe. Another Christmas with the folks."

One of the most incredibly creepy lines of all time: 
Wry Wryter 3:23 pm 
"Tomorrow I am coming home to bond with you."

Just creepy as hell--I'm a tad worried about you guys!
Kathryn Leonard-Peck 1:22am
Christopher James 5:24am

Probably the best use of POV in a flash fiction contest I've ever seen
French sojourn 6:55pm

utterly delightful
Amanda Capper 1:45pm

Entries that left me shaken if not stirred!
Otin 12:08pm
kregger 6:45pm

Nice turns of phrase:
Simon Lewis 12:35pm "napalm sum"

Pjcasselman 10:41pm "Revenge is my ruin."

Rhen Wilson 7:46pm
Cynthia Ivers 3:26am

Talk about ominious!
Flo 8:39pm "
When the Reaper showed, she would settle her debt.

Simon Hay Soul Healer 8:39pm

Great line:
 Terri Lynn Coop 6:08pm
 "I had my fuck-you duffle of Benjamins and a one-way ratline to somewhere warm."

Kristopher 11:22pm 
 “No need to look out a front window to hell if you have a backdoor to heaven. Run!”"

Kim Velk 12:05am 
"“No swords in church!” the deacon bellowed"

KarinB. 1:02am 
"Everyone in the asylum’s an expert."

 Here are the seven finalists:

(1) Carolyn 12:07pm
"What's this, now? In the witching hour of the night?"
"Three bonny lads, seeking asylum."
"Bonny do you be? And what proof of that?"
"We bear the Bond of Swords. It came straight direct from your last lodger, who passes on his good tidings."
"Did he now? Then gave you the seal?"
"Had no need of it, he said, on account of going abroad."
"Abroad? I heard he traveled six feet deep into yonder county's soil."
"Who said such lies?"
"Ten of his kin on the hunt for the rat who killed him. They're in a line behind you."

(2) dremadrudge 12:43pm
Looking down from my window ledge, I judged the ground fairly friendly, compared to the confused collage of my life. The fire department offered a ratline asylum, and as I slipped a bit, I clung to it. How could I feel so ambivalent? No job, no love, a petty crime sure to mean time. Betrayals, his and mine. No! I would no longer be a life lodger: with both the swords I had threatened my would-be saviors with, I cut the bond, and with a triumphant yell, I fell.

(3) Lauren 1:38pm (but she's not invited to dinner!)
In the Ratline region of northern Burbia, Margery Bond, the innkeeper, welcomed a lodger on a wintry evening, despite news of an escape from the nearby asylum.

Beatrice huddled in front of the fire, in the parlor, waiting for the nightly toast. As she raised her glass, the lights flickered then darkened. Amid the tap of approaching footsteps, flames brightened the lodger’s scarred face.

“Nice night for a fire,” he said, “to enjoy among friends.”

“And a good meal, too,” Margery added, then pulled a sword from her skirt and severed his head.

“It’s about time. I’m starved,” Beatrice said.

(4) Wendy 8:50pm
Bond frowned as he leans out to peer around to the head of the line.

"This will take forever."

A guy in the next line snickered. "Should have tried the roachline. The ratline is shorter, but the roachline moves faster. Those guys don’t eat as much."

The buffet at the asylum was an extravaganza when the humans slept. Bond eyeballed the aisle, drew his plastic martini swords and dashed across to cut into the roachline.

A huge shoe came down from the sky and mashed him to a pulp.

"Ugh. New lodgers always forget to mind the gap."

(5) Beta Shy 9:44pm
Don't you have to close up all these holes before you lay the bait?

Nah- these fuckers can gnaw through anything. Even tried mixin' my own home-made bond for a job at the asylum a few years back. Shit just stank up the whole place.

So what's this?

Rat bomb. Go 'head. Lodg'er in there.

What's in it?

Zinc Phosphide. Other stuff.

Like what?



Don't worry 'bout it.


Jesus. Strychnine. Spam. Shark. What do you care?

So when'll we know if it worked?

Day or so. They'll be all lined up stiff, single file.

Ratline. Cool.

(6) Salsa Girl 9:10am
New Year's Eve, all the locals and winter lodgers packed into the bar like rats. A familiar pick-up line whispered just behind my shoulder. "Do you sense a certain bond between us?" I turn around. Nobody there.

Bartender hands me a drink I didn't order. Martini with an olive impaled on a miniature plastic sword.

Then Runaway Train by Soul Asylum starts playing from nowhere, and I seriously feel my hand begin to tremble. I mutter, "Happy new year," to the space by my shoulder.

Lights flicker. Power goes out. And I hear: "Not for me, darling."

(7) Michael Seese 10:04am
The bonds we forged over a lifetime of summers...

Playing pirate with swords forged from Christmas wrapping paper rolls.

Seeking asylum from our sisters in your treehouse (accessible only by a really cool, real rope ratline fashioned by your dad).

Finding a family of possums, lodgers under my front porch.

Games of stickball in the street.

Discovering what the girls in our class would look like in a few years, courtesy of my big brother’s
Playboy collection.

All of that came unraveling in one horrible second when you yelled, “Police! Put up your hands, Bobby!”

And I drew first.


All the finalists were very good, but to quote one blog commenter "the last one knocked it out of the park."  I couldn't agree more.

Michael Seese, if you'll send me your mailing address, you're the lucky winner of my ARC of RATLINES by Stuart Neville. If by some chance you've already got a copy, let me know and we'll find another title for you.

Congratulations to all the entrants!  This was a great way to start the new year!


Michael Seese said...

"And just to drive you all completely crazy, the winner will be announced later today! (Cause driving writers nuts is really fun!)"

It's a very short drive, as you well know.

Elissa M said...

Just thinking, after reading the entries, do you really want to risk pushing some of these folks over the edge?

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Thank you for the shout out! My dream is to someday have an FU duffle of Benjamins. Heck, right now I'd settle for a long-weekend duffle of Lincolns.

Now, as to the winner . . .::taps foot, checks watch, polishes tinfoil hat::


Allie said...

They're all good, but the last one just knocks it out of the park.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Thanks. It was fun.

Carolyn said...

I love you, Janet, but this has been a long day.

Kay Camden said...

The last one. Yes. Can we vote? But I guess I already did.

Colin Smith said...

Excellent! Michael's was my choice too. :) Congratulations, Michael. Well deserved.

Michael Seese said...

Truly, I am humbled.

Thanks to Janet, my fellow contestants, and those of you who expressed your support.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Awesome winner and finalists! I used my crazy-drive-time to go back and check out all the shout outs. There were some fantastic tales in this contest.

And now, off to do business with Amazon for a copy of Ratlines!


french sojourn said...

A conga line of black Suburbans.

A week later I still grin, wish I could post in green.

Anonymous said...

The contest was great fun, and I used this exercise with my students. They came up with some great ideas. :) Thanks for the challenge.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Congrats Michael! Yeah...I admit, yours was better.:)

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Thank you French Sojourn for the kind words.