Monday, October 27, 2014

Contest results....sort of

A very nice turnout for THE MISSING PLACE writing contest this weekend. Way too many of you were killing moms...very unsettling!

And many of you really took to the challenge of converting the prompt words! Very nice job on that. I had to go through and bold the words just to make sure they were all there!

Herewith the results

Special recognition for an entry that was not quite a story, but very intriguing
french sojourn 10:06am

Andrea van der Wilt 10:21am

Suzanne 11:09am

Brig 12:55am
Angela Shortt 2:40am

Special recognition for an entry that was the soul of succinct
Roslyn Reid 10:45

Special recogniton for utilizing this past summer's most entertaining fundraising strategy
Liz 9:39pm

I loved this phrase, and think it should appear more often
Pharosian 11:09pm
"three pounds of nickel-plated comfort."

Flying turkeys always make me laugh
Just Jan 8:12am

These stories made the semi-final list
Christine Sarmel 2:31pm

Lobo 2:41am

BonnieShaljean 5:43pm

Lisa Armosino-Morris 1:06pm

Here are the six finalists:

(1)Colin Smith 10:29am
 Jessica picked up the bottle of baby oil, one of six in a gift box. The card attached read: "From one mother to another. Congratulations! Love, Mom." A flip of her thumb released the top and she inhaled deeply the scent of newborn, flooding her with memories. The heartbeat booming through the ultrasound device. Grainy images on the screen. The kicks.

Jessica wiped her eyes and replaced the bottle with the other shower gifts: diapers, onesies, toys, all carefully arranged on the dining room table. In the middle, a pair of booties. A reminder of the day the kicking stopped.

(2)Alice Witten 1:55pm
"Hurry up," Callie whined as Penny doused her with more fake blood. "It's cold in here."

"The scene's in a goddamn freezer," Steve snapped. "You should be cold."

I adjusted the boom mike, letting it slip and thunk onto Callie's head.

"Ow! I'm telling mother." Any minute Nancy would waltz in to shower praise on her spoiled, entitled princess. And then rip me a new one. This shoot sucked, but I needed money.

Steve took a drink of his soda, crunching the ice as he handed me a folded note. I opened it.

"Another $100 to hit Nancy."

Worth it.

(3) Christina Seine 2:54pm
I am in the shower when our mother leaves. There are no goodbyes, only the eventual whistle of the teakettle boiling in the kitchen, an alarm we don’t yet know to panic by.

“Turn it off!” my brother yells.

“You do it,” I yell back, stepping onto the mat.

He yells, “Mom. MOM!”

Hair dripping, I come into the kitchen. The TV is on; Schoolhouse Rock tells us three is the magic number. An orange pekoe spice tea bag sits near an empty mug. The keys are missing.

The kettle steams.

Three minus one equals two. Boom, just like that.

(4) Amy Schaefer 3:35pm
I eased back my lid. Dark, and quiet except for the generators. The warehouse was ice-cold after the stuffy heat of the oil-drum.

I whistled. Boomer burst out of his drum.

“Simmer down, motherfucker!” I hissed. God, every time we robbed a place.

“Claustrophobic,” he gasped.

“If you know a better way inside than getting delivered, speak up.” I crept through the gloom. “Freckles said the Rolexes were this way.”

The ground lurched. Soot showered down.

Boomer grabbed me. “Earthquake!”

A long, loud note blared. What the...? Shit. Fucking Freckles.

“We’re on a cargo ship, Boomer. Hope you like Chinese.”

(5) Steve Forti 8:23pm
“No, no.” Betty snickered. “It’s… nice.

“What can I say? I’m a grower, not a shower. Besides, do you know how cold it is today?”

Betty fidgeted. “I can’t do this.”

“Sure you can. Just give me a minute, and boom! I promise.”

“It’s more than that, Todd. The gifts, the late night texts. It’s too much.”

“I like to spoil my gal.”

“It feels more like smothering.”


“Goodbye Todd.”

As she swam away and out of his life,

Now he looked a proper puffer fish.

(6) TheOneWriting 8:06am
“Pass the turkey already!” demanded the figure at the head of the table.

He sliced the turkey, while at the same time he sliced open her throat, showering the table in her blood, soiling the fine linen.

As he passed the slice of turkey along to her, before her irritating voice could boom out another command, he imagined stopping it by pushing her face into the mashed potatoes, smothering her as she flailed wildly.

“And what are we thankful for this year?” asked his daughter.

He shuddered a little, banishing the thoughts once more, slower every time.

“Self control.”

I can't decide who the winner is. How about you weigh in on the choice in the comments section? 

Comments section and voting is closed.


Christine Sarmel said...

One vote here for Christina Seine and good luck to all of the finalists.

LynnRodz said...

I had a hard time deciding, but my vote goes to TheOneWriting.

Madseasongirl said...

Oooh, this is a tough one. I think I'll go with the entry that made me cringe AND laugh out loud...

(6) TheOneWriting

Good job and good luck to everyone!

Anonymous said...

No wonder you couldn't decide. These are all very good.

Steve Forti's made me laugh. I had to read it a couple times and then it clicked, but I think I also have to go with Christina Seine's entry. I could see that entire little scene in my head.

Brigid said...

Colin Smith wins my vote. It reminded me of Hemingway's 6-word story: "for sale: baby shoes, never worn."

Steve Forti said...

Wow! Glad I could make some people laugh. Too tacky to vote for myself, so I'd tip my cap to Colin Smith, who gets you right the feels.
Thanks and good luck!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Amy Schaefer's story really grabbed me and took me off-guard.

good writing though from all. While bothered by the mom killings, it was fascinating to see the writing.

Amanda Capper said...

TheOneWriting. So identifiable. And it makes you wonder if his self-control will wane with each passing year.

Margo Owen said...

My vote goes to Steve Forti #5 for the pacing and the humor.

Just Jan said...

What a difficult choice to make! I especially liked the entries by Amy Schaefer and Steve Forti.

Ultimately, though, Colin Smith's poignant entry gets my vote.

Anonymous said...

Alice Witten for the win...and a great morning chuckle.

Sophie Littlefield said...

I had a wonderful time reading all the entries. So much talent swimming around out there. Best luck to everyone! - Sophie

ashland said...

puffer fish! wonderful innuendo with an ending that made me go back and read it again

KSR Writer said...

I vote for 2, Alice Witten. Love the last line!

Karen McCoy said...

Congratulations to the finalists! My vote goes to Alice Witten--smartly written and full of snark.

Dawn Ford said...

My vote goes to Alice Witten! I love the sarcasm, and it fits perfectly with this time of year.

Elissa M said...

I like them all! No wonder the shark left it up to us.

I tried to narrow it down, but I still can't decide between Alice Witten and Colin Smith. One funny and one poignant. Maybe two winners--comedy and drama?

KariV said...

Number One caught my attention from the get-go. Number Three is a close second.

A Velez said...

These were such fun to read! I actually really liked the one by Lobo - but of the finalists, I think the one by Amy Schaefer.

Kat Waclawik said...

Wow, tough choice! I have to go with (5) Steve Forti. I particularly liked Amy Schaefer's entry too, but I was still laughing about that puffer fish hours later.

I can't wait for a contest on a weekend I don't have family or friends visiting. :)

french sojourn said...

All so great. Steve Forti knocked my socks off with his tangential humor.

For the win.

Kate Larkindale said...

I liked them all, but my vote goes to the last one.

Liz said...

I love all of these! My vote is for the first one, though. That last line is just perfect.

Good luck to everyone, and thanks, Janet, for hosting these contests!

Shaunna said...

I didn't enter this one, but I'm kind of glad because I get to vote without any vested interest. I liked them all, but Christina Seine gets my vote. Well done!

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

My vote goes to Christina Seine because I am right there in the picture.

And because there is no blood.

Amy Schaefer said...

Add another vote for Colin Smith. That story kicked me in the gut.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Geeze, what a decision! 1 and/or 3.

Congrats to the runners up and mentions!

Jen Schafer said...

My vote goes to Alice Witten.

Congrats to the finalists, and thanks to Janet for hosting.

David Claude McCoy said...

I have to vote for number 2, Alice Witten. Well done!

BonnieShaljean said...

Cannot, cannot, cannot decide between Christina Seine and Colin Smith. Can I give a half-vote to each one? I'll take silence as the affirmative...

kregger said...

My vote goes to Colin Smith.

Maja said...

Why is it that every time you have a contest it's when I forget to check the blog for a few days. I'm sobbing uncontrolably.

Aaanyway, my vote goes to Christina Seine.

SiSi said...

No wonder you couldn't decide. All of them are worthy of winning, but if I have to pick one I'd vote for Steve Forti.

Tanisha Payne said...

So hard!! Everyone's are amazing. But if i absolutely had to pick, I would go for *dramatic drum roll*... Number 6 by TheOneWriting. So hilarious.

But Number 4 by Amy Schaefer was like right behind them like a shadow.

Congrats to you all for being finalists and good luck.

Michael Seese said...

I have to pick two: Colin Smith and Christina Seine. Both very moving, in their own way.

Lilac Shoshani said...

I can't decide, I'm a Libra ;-) and everybody was brilliant. But I was impressed with the positive, even soft direction Colin's story took. (Note to self: stop writing gory stuff).

Congrats to all the mentions, semi-finalists and finalists, and thank you Janet for the opportunity to participate in your contest.

Everything that you do for us is absolutely AMAZING!