Sunday, June 29, 2014

Last week one of our finalists revealed the contest had been a nice diversion as she battled a crud that left her abed. Clearly we needed another round to get her on the road to recovery!

Herewith the results of the Get Well Soon Writing Contest!

Glad to see that someone recognizes how things really are:
Craig 9:00pm
"A flash fiction contest by the QOTKU is it own particular brand of evil."

Special recognition for a great line:
Terri Lynn Coop 9:09pm
"I pointed to my rank insignia. "Explain it to the birds.""

Amy Schaefer  11:03pm
 Wicked Stepmother Booby Hatch

french sojourn 4:03am
“The Karaoke for Christ Quartet?”

Kastie 7:31pm
The monofilament lines of a dew-covered spider web are evil only to the fly.

CarolynnWith2Ns 7:43pm
"hay stalks whiskered up through the snow."

Special recognition for entries that were deeply disturbing!
Colin Smith 9:07pm

Nikola Vukoja 9:23pm

M. A. Nicholson 10:00pm 

Alexandra (Ola) Jacunski 8:49am

ashland 6:47pm

Special recognition for entries that were downright hilarious!
Katharine Manning 9:36pm

Sisi 10:34pm

Amy Schaefer  11:03pm

french sojourn 4:03am

boblozzia 10:48am

Lenny Liang 12:06pm

Gorgeous example of why the Antagonist thinks he's the hero of the story!
James Ticknor 12:50am

Special recognition for unusual form and style ( a Very Good Thing!)
Curt David 8:41am

Special shout out to the my  "lettuce is the devil"comrade in steak:
Travis Erwin 10:00am

Special shout out to Gregory Shipman 6:37pm
Welcome back!

And here are the  five semi-finalists

(1) El El Piper (our guest of honor!) 10:17pm
 Mum was packing.
“I’m hungry,” Brother sniffed the corners of our nest. “When they stop moving, can we nibble?”
“No, it’s a virus,” Mum scurried, nervous. “When humans blush like cheese rind and moan and stiffen, we leave.”
Then, I heard the music. A Flute. Swinging in low, luscious tones and rising to the skies in a delicate trill.
I scampered to the door. Just to see, to smell that melody. Sweet as cupcakes.
“Girl!” Mum screeched. “Close your ears to that evil!”
The piper danced away, trailing a squealing, monochromatic cape.
Brother ran past me, and I followed.

(2) Jared X 12:48pm
 It’s a stupid breakup song. I wanted a retro sound so I recorded it analog, in mono. Even that couldn’t mask the cloying melody and blush-worthy rhymes. After it spread like a virus among the kids and their parents, these details no longer mattered.

Dissenters coopted it for their demonstrations, the Family took notice. In my corny lyrics, they heard evil intentions against their regime. They called me a pied piper and placed me under arrest.

Now soldiers drag me into the Square with millions watching. They’ve promised me leniency if I read the confession they wrote.

I start singing.

(3)  JD Paradise 12:58am
It's an evil virus does no one good. Me, I've always favored preparedness; if there's a piper to be paid, I want my cashback bonus *and* my change. And so years before the world bled down from monoculture to emptiness, I found myself a cabin, food, weapons, a blushing bride. (Though it might have been the beatings turned her rosy pink.)

Six years gone, I haven't seen a soul in months. Could be I'm the last. Certainly the missus hasn't made a sound.

I remind myself I've never been happier.

So why do I feel so alone?

(4) Claudia H Gruy 5:22am
The words rumbled like honey over fidgeting ants.
It was easy to shut out the evil when the world inside was so much quieter. And peaceful. There hadn’t been much peace on the outside. Life tended to deliver joy on swords point these days, edging the virus deeper into the soft tissue of the rock beating inside her chest.
It was better that way.
“Are you even listening, Mother?”
She blushed and nodded at the piper. His monologue drifted and settled on the aged pictures on the mantle.
Maybe it was time to advance in her dementia again.
She smiled.

(5) Aerisa 8:28am
Kara blushed as the piper stepped from the stage. He had watched her all night and now came towards her with delightful purpose in his step.

She glanced at her husband, checking the devil hadn’t noticed, but he was preoccupied with the kimono-clad virus, scribbling a number onto his palm.

Kara smiled at the piper. His eyes burned into her as the final obstacle of people stepped aside. She looked from his face to his chest, trailing down to his dog. Her mind froze. His dog? Her heart sank and she let the blind man pass.

And here are the finalists:

(1) River Cameron 10:05pm

“Ewww, he’s so-“

“…beautiful. The most beautiful-“

“…dork! He makes me-“

“…blush. I see her and I turn red, go-“

“…ballistic! In music class I wish he’d sit with the pipers and leave me-“

“…wanting to be near her. Does that make me-“

“…vomit. He’s like a virus; mono but worse! Why doesn’t he get-“

“…lost in her eyes, the way she tilts her head when she’s-“

“…vile! What does he think-“

“…she’s talking about? You think she’s-“

“…evil to SUGGEST he likes me. You think he likes me? Like, really likes me? You think he-“

“Heard every word? Yes.”

(2) Jenni Wiltz 10:11pm 
“Evil is its own reward,” said the grand duchess.

“I don’t know,” the executioner said. “I kind of like getting tips.”

The chopping block gleamed, stained with the virus of discontent. How clever of her enemies to hide it in their monochromatic blood. “Did I miss anyone?”

“No,” the executioner mumbled. “But this fell out of the last victim’s pocket.” He held up a sack of coins.

“Cash back bonus!” A blush of satisfaction bloomed in the duchess’s cheeks. “Now, call that piper, will you?”

The executioner sighed. “Everyone here gets paid but me.”

(3) 6:58am
The blush of dawn came and summer stretched before them, along with the thought of endless, monotonous hospital treatments.

She watched a sandpiper scurry after a crab, one hand over her chest where evil grew, virus like, insidious.

She said, “Promise?”

He nodded, “Promise.”
Helpless, he watched her grow weaker, until one day, she said, “Today.”

He carried her to the beach, waded in and lowered her down.

She struggled, only a little, but he could see her smiling through his tears.

Later, the doorbell rang, interrupting his anguish.

He answered, and the doctor said, “I’ve made a horrible mistake.”

(4) shtrum 12:00noon
Broken shell and yolk lay scrambled on the ground.
“I don’t get it. Humpty wasn’t evil,” Cinderella said. “BTW. Thanks for switching genres to investigate this, Mr. Holmes.”
Sherlock adjusted his monocle. “Always willing to attend to an attractive lass.” Cinderella blushed.
Dopey leaned over the mess. “Careful, lad,” Sherlock cautioned. “Mr. Dumpty frequented the Smurf house. Wouldn’t want you catching a virus.”
“Was he pushed?” Cinderella asks.
The dwarf reaches down, then holds up something round and shiny, like a flat bowl. Sherlock points to it with his pipe.
“No, madam. He was pied. The mark of the Piper.”

It's always very hard to choose a winner from such varied entries. Whether to recognize innovative style and form, or twisty endings, or just gorgeous prose...impossible to choose.

But this week, I decided that the two entries that drew gasps from me, literally, when I finished reading the entry would be the winners.

I gasped with shock at the last line in the 6:58am entry.

And I gasped with laughter at the last line in the shtrum 12:00noon entry.

Donna and Shtrum if you'll email me your mailing address and the kind of books you like to read I'll send you your prize for winning this week's contest.


Thanks to everyone who entered. It's always a delight to read your work!

And get well soon El El Piper!


Kitty said...

Congrats to the winners!

french sojourn said...

Sorry to sound repetitive, but the entries are better and better each time. Great job everyone and congrats to the dual-winners.

Thanks again to Mme. Sharque for the effort and time.

Cheers Hank.

MsButton said...

That was fun - even though... Ha - A big shout-out from Austria and congratulations to the winners!

JD Paradise said...

Thanks for running these again! I missed the last couple, but now I apparently have them to look forward to again, and am happy!

Nice job, winners. Loved quite a few; adored the Holmesian winner.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Donnaaaaa, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! It was a "WOW" out loud when I read it. Donna is the queen of twists.
And, Shtrum, that must have been as much to fun to write as it was to read.
These entrys were wonderful, congrats to all.
Hey, piper hope you feel better. Been there, done that, mono sucks.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

*waves to Piper* I am SO glad you are feeling better. I definitely have the t-shirt on that one.

A huge salute to all the finalists and shout-outs. As always, the depth and breadth of the use of the prompts is incredible.

To the winners, all I can say is that at first blush, the delicious evil of your tales broke the monotony of my day and led me like a Piper deeper and deeper until I was innoculated like a virus. And for that I thank you.


Anonymous said...

What. A. Surprise. I myself *gasped* when I saw I was a winner. Then I whooped, which made my little guy bark, which woke my husband...and...well you get the pic. I read most of these entries, and I thought, no way, I mean no way in El would I come close to winning.

Congrats to all mentions, semi's, and finalists. Thank you all so much for your kind comments!

And of course, a BIG thanks once again to the QOTKU for having the contest!

Lance said...

Congratulations to all who got mentioned, finalists, and incredible winners. Great writing. Thank you Ms. Reid for these wonderful contests.

Alexandra (Ola) J. said...

Thanks for the honourable mention! Apologies for grossing anyone out << >>

Congrats to the winners! I had a blast reading your stories.

Cindy C said...

Congrats to the winners and everyone mentioned. I love reading the entries as much as I love writing an entry.

Thanks again, Janet, for allowing us to have this much fun.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Ooh, the winner you picked is the entry which followed me all day after reading it! Great job!

Colin Smith said...

Well done everyone, especially the winners. Another round of great entries. And thanks for the shout out, Janet. :)

shtrum said...

Sometimes the muse whispers sweet nothings in your ear, and other times she smacks you in the face with a lemon meringue. Congrats to my co-winner, the finalists and other participants!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congrats to winners and mentioneds. So much stuff for a newbie to learn.

Amy Schaefer said...

Tons of fun,as always. Way to go, everyone!

Unknown said...

When I saw the results of the contest the morning I leaped out of bed and jumped for joy. It’s a Sharkly Miracle!
There were so many amazing entries. I had enjoyed reading the winners several times yesterday. That last line of Donna’s was chilling. And the line that really got me laughing in ‘Rum’s was Cinderella’s deadpan: “BTW. Thanks for switching genres to investigate this, Mr. Holmes.”
What a morale booster! I had so much fun checking in to see the latest entries! I feel so upbeat, I can’t stop using exclamation points! Help! I have a new, manic disease known in the textbooks as the “!!!!!!!!!” Virus!
There’s only one cure, and that’s to get back to plugging away at the 3rd draft of my novel....

Unknown said...

My "Thanks again, everyone!" didn't copy, so here it is.
-Laura (Not the actress)Pyper

Unknown said...

Congratulations to the winners and all those mentioned! Great job! I totally enjoyed reading the entries.It'd be hard to pick a favorite! :D

vanessa seijo said...

Congrats to the winners! Much to be learned from them.

Unknown said...

It was more fun reading these entries than writing mine. Some of them have haunted me all day long. Great great fun. Thanks for the special recognition. Made my day. :)

Unknown said...

Thank you, Ms. Shark, for hosting. I loved these contest and am looking forward to the next ones. There's some great flash fiction writers out there, and it's a great learning experience to see what the sharks out there want :)

Francesca said...

Oh congrats winners. And a special shout out to Shtrum. Genius!

Karen McCoy said...

Excellent entries! I was bummed to sit this one one out--super busy at the ALA Conference.