Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Twice is nice Alafair Burke writing contest results!

Some terrific entries on this contest!

Special recognition for a great line:
Fuckin’ Jersey. You can kiss your Bensonhurst self-respect goodbye and say hello to double-taxes.
Beta Shy 9:27am

Other assassins would call him fussy.
Lance 12:22pm

I would never walk in that cemetery again, and I would not tell my mother, how I came upon my father, weeping for another women and a future lost to circumstance.
Carolynnwith2ns 9:42am

Special recognition for delicious word play!
Her favorite flower was a lily; the only flour I liked was on fried chicken.
Danny Konczynski 7:29am

Special recognition for entries that were about LONG GONE!
Curt David 11:55am

french sojourn 4:32pm

Special recognition for entries that weren't quite stories but were memorable: 9:05am

Terri Lynn Coop 1:17am

And here are the finalists:

(1) Colin Smith 10:24am
I'm so sleepy, the bird crap on my lily pad is the double of a painting in a New Jersey art gallery—the one where I met the girl who changed me. How was I to know she was a witch? Now I dread French accents and the smell of garlic.

My stomach lurches as I'm whipped up in a small hand.

"Put that down!" a man says, and the hand does, but not before planting a kiss on my head.

"That’s my princess," I hear the voice say before I drop below the water's surface.

I can't breathe...

(2) Sheila JG 10:39am
Superstition is an art form for some athletes, their pre-race routines a flowing work of intricate creativity meant to evoke confidence. Lily was no different. As she approached the starting line she greeted each hurdle in turn.

The moves were always the same. Double kiss the medallion. Tuck it under the jersey. Three jumps in the air. Not two, not four. Caress the track surface; absorbing the texture, the firmness, even the subtle colors of it. Kiss it for luck.

And then the inevitable hand on her shoulder. “Ma’am, step away please.”

And finally, her son, “Mom, you’re embarrassing me again!”

(3) Steven 11:18am
Another double deadlock on I-277. Exiting my steel and glass tomb, I amble through the apocalyptic scene. Ignoring the pain of arthritic knees, I follow the jersey barrier to the familiar spot that had claimed two souls and one body years ago.
Red beacons sear. Uniformed men toil to free a teen girl from a flaming Accord. I pray their skills have improved, but they scurry away, heads downcast.
Then I see her.
My heart pauses.
My Lily reaches in and effortlessly completes the task the strapping men could not.
Turning briefly, she blows a final kiss before the explosion.

(4) Joseph 9:10pm
Carmen maneuvered the scope to her right eye. She tried to squint, but her face refused to cooperate.

"Damn Botox," she grunted, blinking severely. "Damn doctor."

"You won't feel a thing," he'd said. "Just a pinch and a kiss."

'I'll show him a pinch and a kiss,' she thought. 'Then we'll see who's the real artist.'

She peered into the scope again. The target slouched on the sofa in a striped jersey. There was a lily over his left breast. A least, she thought it was a lily. Shrugging, she closed her eyes and pulled the trigger.

'One down...'

(5) Calorie Bombshell 9:45pm
“All Chinese girls are named Lily.”

“No, they’re not.” My words echo numb from years of oxycodone and vodka doubles straight up. “Some are named Pearl. Anyway, what difference does it make?”

“Just got me thinking about our little Emma….”

“Don’t think.” The duffle bag beside me stirs. “Just drive.” I blink away the smoke from his cigarette. “Turn left on Jersey Street. They should be waiting for us outside.”

“With cash?”

“Yeah, enough until the next time.”

“Maybe we could keep it. Raise her.”

“Whatever you say, sweetheart.” I lie, then air kiss little Emma on her sleeping forehead.

(6) Michael Seese 9:10am
Art handed his wife a glass.

“This is Bordeaux. Do you remember the first time we had it?”

“No,” Lily said.

“Paris. On our honeymoon. That was some week. Not bad for a couple of Jersey kids. Do you remember it?”


“Now this,” he said, placing chocolate in her palm, “is from Belgium. We went there, too. Remember?”


“It’s OK, dear. I do.” He remembered it all. But, Alzheimer’s had not ravaged his brain.

“I miss you,” Art said. He kissed Lily, took her hand, double-checked to ensure the garage door was closed, and started the car.

And the winner in a VERY close contest is Michael Seese.  

Michael, drop me an email and we'll get your prize in the mail to you!

Congratulations to all the finalists and a big thank you to everyone who entered.  I really like seeing what you all do with the word prompts!

Next contest is this coming weekend!  


Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Beyond awesome winner, heart warming, sad and with a twist. What hit me first about this one, fear; any of us could be the passenger, or the driver, in the car to salvation. Congrats to Mike.

Colin Smith said...

A finalist?! Me?? Wow! I'm really honored since, as usual, there are so many great entries.

Well done, Michael! :)

And another contest this weekend? Is it my birthday or Christmas or something...?

LynnRodz said...

Congrats, Michael, yours was one of my favorites!

Sheila JG said...

Congratulations Michael, that was a lovely piece of writing, as were so many of the entries. I'm amazed at how much some writers can do with so few words.

Thanks for the contest, Janet. Sometimes these come at just the right time, when I need to jump-start myself out of a funk, or scare my son into doing his chores.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Michael! Superb! Awesome! Touching!

Congrats on a much-deserved win and thank you Janet for the shout-out.

Another this weekend? I agree with Colin, this is like Christmas.


Unknown said...

Looks like I am going to have to step up my game! Can't wait for this weekend.

french sojourn said...


You had me at Bordeaux.

Well done, all five...inspiring.

Cheers Hank...said lifting a glass of Bordeaux.

JD Paradise said...

Michael, VERY nice, particularly the twist at the end. Gorgeous.

Sheila, yours was a *perfect* twist. Loved.

Calorie Bombshell said...

Michael - loved your entry!

First time as finalist for me. Thank you, Janet.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Michael - I loved your entry too!

I (personally) am LOVING these contests!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Janet! Michael, as always, very lovely entry. Congrats to the finalists.

Amy Schaefer said...

That one was my favourite, too. Nice one, Michael!

Michael Seese said...

First, thanks to Janet for this, and all the contests. And all her advice, guidance, etc.

Second, thanks to everyone for the kind words. Truly, the camaraderie is the best part of this.

Until Saturday, my friends...

Kate Outhwaite said...

Fantastic! Just loved your entry Michael - heartbreak in 100 words! Well done to the other finalists as well - I thought this was a particularly strong field and a joy to read. Thanks indeed to all who took part and have helped brighten up my weekends of late. Finally, and as always, many thanks to Janet for taking the time to organise these contests.

(Apologies if this is the second similar comment from me - blogger went a bit haywire when I logged in and I think my first comment was lost).

Ciao for now, Kate.

Cindy C said...

Congratulations to all the finalists--I liked them all! Michael, yours made me sad, but in a good way.

Janet Reid said...

I agree with Kate. This was a particularly strong field of entries.

Unknown said...

Congrats Michael! I'm such a sucker for sad romances. That made me cry! Lol.