Monday, November 23, 2015

The Duchess of Yowl flash fiction contest results

I have spent the entire weekend lollygagging about petting the cat and cozying up to HBO on the couch. The ONLY thing I got done was the contest results!  The contest entries were great, the cat is great, and HBO is a treat cause I don't have TV at my own apartment.

But now, to work! Herewith the results:

a misspent youth provided the secret to this story!
Did you figure out what it was about?
 Steve Forti 9:59am

Not quite a story, but terrifyingly evocativ
BJ Muntain 10:26am

This is a sentence that is almost an entire story

Brigid 10:44am
“You never expect the Spanish Inquisition,” Dad murmured. Or the first miscarriage, the second Recession, the third War, their last little girl to grow up.

Special recognition for a great sentence

Foy Iver 1:15pm
"Silence stalked through the line."

Em-Musing 9:38am
The bottle-blonde winked at Alan then turned to the roomful of college jocks deciding which tenderoni she'd stalk tonight.

Homage to the Duchess of Yowl, Herself (now sleeping on her heating pad after being served her dinner)
JD Horn 11:40am

Great opening paragraph
Angie Greagory 12:38pm
It’s been six decades since the day we drowned. Oliver’s death was over in minutes. I’ve been sinking for a lifetime.

Not quite a story, but compelling
Kelly Roell 12:38pm

Not quite a story, but hilarious
french sojourn 1:06pm

Not quite a story, but intense!

Foy Iver 1:15pm

Here are the entries that made the long list:

Janice L. Grinyer 10:30am
Kim English 1:05p 

nightmusic 5:06pm

Claire 6:42pm
Annaka 8:09pm
Michael Seese 8:15pm

John Frain 3:29am

Here are the finalists:

Colin Smith 10:13am

Sam yawned and stretched across the bed. Fleur walked up to him, bending down to nibble his ear.

"Hey tiger," she whispered. "Ready to go Stalking?"

"Hmmm," Sam said with deep satisfaction. "Where’s Lucy? Did they whisker away?"

"No. She’s sleeping off supper. Ate too much."

"Then we must prey for her," Sam grinned. He licked the side of Fleur's face.

“Purrfect,” she sighed.

A neighbor found Minnie's decapitated remains the next morning.

I love the wordplay here: "whisker away" "prey for her" And notice how the syllable "purr" appears like a dash of spice: whispered; supper, fleur.  That innate rhythm in the story gives it an energy. It's like music. It needs a good rhythm section or it just sounds bland!

Marie McKay 2:44pm

I didn't tell them I heard a heavy buzzing sound- a purring- coming from his cradle.
When he learned to move on all fours, he wasn't so different from the other kids.
I bit my lip when he scratched through bathtimes, and braced myself when I had to cut off his whiskers.

The media circus still came, stalking him like prey. They tagged their work DOCUMENTARY since their medium was box-shaped, not tent.

But mothers know sacrifice.

Escaping to the hills, one day, I kissed his exquisite whiskers, before setting my Tiger Boy free.

Two lines  just took my breath away are: "They tagged their work Documentary, since their medium was box-shaped not tent."  and "But mothers know sacrifice."

Those sentences give this piece poignancy and irony. It's not only a story about a mother and son; it's about us, the reader as well. You don't read this from a distance; you're right there.

This piece is an entire life in 90 words. It's brilliant.

amy Schaefer 4:49pm
He was gray and whiskery, like an elderly tiger, or a Norse god gone to seed. Jacqueline traced the lines of his face carefully, curiously. She felt a welling of proprietary pride.

“Jackie! Get off that giant!” Her mother threw a tea towel across her shoulder. “Kids these days, cutting down beanstalks. Now I’m stuck with a rotting giant carcass in my yard in the heat of summer. I mean really…”

Jacqueline jumped off the corpse, spurred more by her own plans than her mother’s complaints. She had eggs to sell, a harp to enjoy.

And new prey to seek

This is hilarious. And it's one of my very favorite things: an old story seen in a very different light.

kdjames 5:26pm
Deep purring and a heavy weight on my chest wake me. I pry open sleep-heavy eyes to gorgeous tiger-striped fur and a rough pink tongue cleaning something darker off whiskers.

Slowly, so slowly, I turn my head and see the mangled prey beside me.

My stomach lurches even as the warm weight lifts.

Come on safari, he said. We'll only shoot photos.

Bloody liar.

I feel dreadful affinity, watching the powerful beast stalk back through the gaping tear in the side of the tent.

We both now have a mate who will leave this place in a box.

I love the double meaning of "bloody liar" and the idea that the tiger is taking revenge.  And "dreadful affinity" really gives us a sense of complex emotions in a perfect bell-note phrase.

Curtis Moser 5:35pm
Robin lay on the floor, holding his longbow limply over his head. "I don't know what's wrong with me, Father. My whiskers don't work, my purrer is broken--even my stalker is malfunctioning."

"It's because you're a fox, not a tiger."

Robin considered this. "Maybe I'm a tiger in a fox's body?"

The clerical mouse was only half-listening. "That's against God's will."

"Great. Now I'm confused and depressed."

"Pray about it."

Robin put his longbow down and sat up. "You think preying will help?"


Robin pounced.

"I'll be damned," he said, licking his chops. "The good Father was right."

I love the word play of pray/prey, and "my stalker isn't working" and the double meaning of "good." Those kinds of clever juxtapositions are delightful. And of course, the idea that homonyms can kill you is VERY appealing.

flashfriday 7:24pm
Master calls me Muffin which is PERFECT she is the BEST THING that ever happened to me since I forget when but Master SAVED ME she SAVED ME I love her with all my heart she is PURE BEAUTY how I can please her today I am going to LICK HER and JUMP ON HER and CHEW ON HER SHOES and—

Enough, limp-whiskers. Learn one word: prey. Stalk tiger-like. Think tiger-like. Be a damn tiger. This house is MINE. Your “Master” is my SLAVE. She will aid my world domination. She-—HEY, I—-hey—-you brought me catnip?



This is a really interesting case study in editing. There was an earlier entry (at 6:42pm) that I liked, but it didn't really elevate to the short list.  Then, this revised entry, where it's now clear that it's a puppy (not a kitten) and a cat, makes it clearer and more funny  I don't know when flashfriday realized it could be improved (somewhere between 6:42pm and 7:24pm presumably) but I love this cause it underscores how important both revision and re-reading can be.

Also, of course, I like the story!

Kregger: 7:36pm
Tiger Shark slipped under the Moon by a whisker. Its hyper-drive engines purred as they gobbled anti-matter and tritium.

Captain Newmar stalked the bridge in her curvaceous latex-jumpsuit and stepped behind Lieutenant Foo.

“Here…? Why?” the diminutive-oriental pilot queried.

“The dark city’s our oyster, I prey.” The captain’s muscles tensed.

The vessel approached Gotham under a cloak of invisibility.

Newmar donned her hooded cape and prepared to eject into the city’s cesspool of chiroptera guano.

“Bats’ll be good hunting this year.” She removed her uniform and stepped into the transporter, saluting Too Won Foo, “Thanks for everything,” said Julie Newmar.

Holy smokes Batman! This is so subtly hilarious I just don't want to explain it.  The only problem is the movie title is missing a letter, and I can't figure out if it's a mistake or done on purpose. And "chiroptera guano" in Gotham City is just perfect.

E.M. Goldsmith 9:47am

Rain again.

“What the Hell, little brother?” Luc asked.

“Making a better garden,” Joe said.

Luc laughed. “That’s a flood. What's that?"


“No, not your damn fish. That?”

“It’s a tiger.”

“It’s being stalked by a shark.”

“Luc! Stop adding things,” Joe said.

“You’ll thank me for the boat. Mammals drown. Turn off the rain.”

“Why are you helping?”

“Judgment Day comes soon. My world is already perfect.”

Luc spurred Joe’s anger.

“Says who?”

“Dad,” Luc said. “What’s that whiskered fellow doing?”



“So I’ll help.”

“Joe, that’s cheating. You’re supposed remain invisible to your creation.”

I'm not sure I agree that Joe and Luc can be brothers, but let's suspend the theology for the sake of the story.  I love this because it's highly original and it's also funny without being comic, and it makes you think. "My world is already perfect" should give you something to gnaw on for a good long time. 

I think each of these finalists are amazing and prize worthy. It's getting harder to choose each week. I'm only sorry Her Grace, the Duchess of Yowl was unable to choose.  She stared at the screen for a moment, but was then distracted by a dust mote.

In the end though, I had to choose the one that just took my breath away when I first read it.  Those first reads are often the benchmark. When I read this one I knew instantly it was an entry that would be on the short list. 

It never lost any of its power in subsequent readings.

Our winner this week is: Marie McKay 2:44pm 

Marie, if you'll email me with your preferred mailing address, and the kinds of books you like to read, we'll get your prize in the mail.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to enter. I love reading what you write. You surprise and amaze me every week.

Congratulations to all our short and long list entries. The competiton is fierce, and subjective. Many of you will find your entry is someone's favorite as you read the comments to come!



nightsmusic said...

Congrats, Marie! I loved all the entries. I wasted a lot of time yesterday that I should have spent getting ready for Thursday reading and re-reading them all.

And...OMG! I made the long list? ME? Thank you! I decided to do what someone else said, write it, post it, THEN read the other entries. I almost deleted it because everyone's read so much better. I'm glad I didn't. Thank you again.

And okay, She stared at the screen for a moment, but was then distracted by a dust mote. Coffee went flying thankyouverymuch! ;)

Karen McCoy said...

I'm reading this with my two-year-old Maine Coon kitty curled in my lap. Such great entries. And yes, Nightsmusic! We are all better than we think. This blog post has a great graph to demonstrate. For those curious about the Dunning-Krueger effect, it's defined pretty well here. That said, I don't think many of us are suffering from Dunning-Krueger at all. I know I'm not, especially in the throes of learning a new job.

Gotta love insomnia. On to manuscript edits!

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Congrats Marie and all the listed. I love Angie Greagory's line

Pam Powell said...

Congrats on the entries!

Two notes ...
1) WIR on paws. Understandable!
2) Spell check on paws. (Lallygagging should be lollygagging). Op. cit. Cat.

Love cats!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congratulations Marie. And so many wonderful entries to read through yesterday, some wonderful sentences, and the humorous or heart-tugging twists. So great.

CynthiaMc said...

Congratulations Marie and all the mentions. Well done!

Steve Forti said...

Congrats Marie and all the other notables. I may not be a cat person (my only affinity for them is that they inspired the "meow" scene in "Super Troopers"), but I'll take any excuse for a contest.

MC said...

Congratulations to Marie and all the winners. As a newbie reader/poster on this blog I am captivated and awed by these submissions, not to mention by Janet Reid's comments. So insightful. Such a high bar....Thank you!

Susan said...

Congrats, Marie! And all the other mentions as well--well deserved!

Christina Seine's entry really moved me, particularly after the discussions this week. I read it a couple of times, and it choked me up each time because I get it. Thanks for capturing that feeling.

I'm looking forward to giving my entry a second life and expanding it into a longer short story. I was at the grocery store last week, wandering down one of the aisles when I looked up--I don't remember why. Up past the top shelf and display banners and aisle markers to the ceiling, which was littered with children's balloons.

Some were suspended there, like they would climb higher if they had a choice. Others were stuck between the rafters or tangled around two beams. It seemed lonely to me. Sad that they were forgotten like that. The image is still haunting me, so I don't think I'm done with it yet.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Great and fun stories. All I did this weekend was read these and play with our new dog, Bug the Pug (working name). It's a high bar. Fantastic win, Marie.

Donnaeve said...

Congratulations to all with a mention, long list, short list, and to Marie for the win! Whoop!

Based on Reider comments from the past where it was said the entries were confusing, or didn't make sense, (and I've certainly thought that way too, for a few of them) I thought I'd 'splain mine b/c in hindsight, it could fall into the "huh?" category. For example, after I entered, and after the contest closed, I wished I'd said, "The god" instead of "It."

It was an homage to Thanksgiving, and the very first arrival of settlers.


nightsmusic said...


It took two reads to make sure I got it, but I did! And it evoked the perfect image at the end. :)

Donnaeve said...

@nightsmusic: Yay! I'm happy you read it as intended! Thank you for letting me know.

I take all of what QOTKU says to heart when it comes to writing. Maybe the point about "requires something from the reader" was stretched a ways in this case.

Marie McKay said...

Thank you so much, Janet. I am so pleased. I did not expect that. The writers here are so talented. I am honoured. Congrats to all, and thanks for the lovely comments.

Timothy Lowe said...

Congrats to all the entrants, and to Marie. It's always interesting to read everyone's stuff. Great talent. I have to second Christina Seine - had to look for 'whisker' but I found it. Very chilling scene.

Loved kdjames' story too - tiger revenge is the best kind.

I've had a harder and harder time being clear enough in 100 words. These suckers are a great challenge, but fun!

nightsmusic said...

@Donnaeve, I don't think yours was anywhere near as obscure as I think mine ended up reading. Nope, the satin sleeve was the giveaway. Very clever. :)

Steve Forti said...

@Timothy Lowe - I really liked yours, by the way. But I actually liked one of the earlier revisions you posted better! It was better served with less overt explanation. Either way, cool story.

@Donnaever - I did not pick up on that. Must be slow. But now knowing it, very cool.

Donnaeve said...

@nightsmusic, between your entry and kdjames's, I was freaked out, both of them stealthy with word choice. Honestly, I can't watch those shows where a "top of the food chain" chases down an antelope (can't imagine human!) and starts eating before it's dead. The human component reminds me of that great movie, THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS (1996)

Donnaeve said...

@Steve Forti - thanks, it was pretty obscure. Funny in hindsight what I realize I could have done to help it along.

Yours was hilarious. Can't be a Yosemite Sam entry - and hey, it was a Sat morning entry, time for cartoons!

Donnaeve said...

"Can't beat...a Yosemite Sam entry." (not be!) And I'm over my limit! Maybe making up for the quiet the past several days? I've pulled a "WalMart" and have all my Christmas up - yes, even the tree. Hosting family (both sides) for Thanksgiving so wanted to get ahead of myself.


nightsmusic said...


Yes, The Ghost and the Darkness is a fascinating story. And I can't watch those top-of-the-food-chain things either. So disturbing. But having John eaten by the tiger seemed somehow payback for those horrid directors that inflict that stuff on them ;)

Just Jan said...

Congratulations, Marie! Great entries all, especially the tiger-themed ones. Thanks again for the great fun and friendly competition.

Timothy Lowe said...

@Steve Forti -

Thanks - I always look forward to reading your entries. Yours was a fun way to start the list.

I've been nitpicking more lately - maybe next time I'll just let it alone. Being on the denser side, I must confess I never would have gotten donnaeave's without the explanation. I knew the beast was some kind of vehicle. But my mind just never went to Native Americans. This stuff is like poetry - reading it takes work, but it's such a reward.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

@Donnaeve, I can see that in Nightmusic and KDJames entries. Which is cool because when I was originally puzzling out my entry I tried to do something with the Tsavo Man-Eaters which is the true account from which the Ghost and the Darkness was adapted. It is a truly terrifying tale.

I found the movie a bit disappointing as did William Goldman, the screen writer (see his Adventures in the Screen Trade) because one of the actor/producers insisted on changing story to make his role bigger. But now I am off topic. Anyway I couldn't make my idea work in 100 words for that bit.

And I did like your entry, Donna. It must be so hard for our QOTKU to choose. So many really compelling stories in so few words. And they are so fun to read. I really enjoyed John Frain's entry. Colin's made me laugh. Although I do tend to laugh just seeing Colin's name now. Not sure what that's all about. Now I am way over 100 words. Back to my lurking rock I go.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Yay Marie! Subtle and charming and sad in a neat bite-sized package.

Total kudos to all the finalists and shout outs! Brigid's line about seeing your last little one grow up was stunning (as was "frost-glossed kiss").

This one was delicious fun and I enjoyed coming back throughout the day as the entries trickled in. Thanks to everyone for contributing their words to my weekend.


PS: Pokeman still sucks.

Dena Pawling said...

This round, many of the stories left me scratching my head. I'll use the excuse that late last night we discovered a crack in our shower pan, which caused flooding in an adjoining room.


On a more positive note, our hot windy weekend did NOT result in any major fires.

Loved French Sojourn and SheepFleece stories. Congrats to Marie and all the finalists!

Megan V said...

Some amazing entries as usual! I was happy that I managed one—I was in the airport and used my surroundings as inspiration, jotting a quick entry before I dashed to make my connecting flight.

I really enjoyed JustJan's entry this week. It gave me warm fuzzies.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

When I've had to pick random winners for a thing, I've written the names on paper and had Elka choose. (I throw 'em on the ground and say "pick it up!"; she gives me one, anyway. She's less enthusiastic about paper scraps than empty plastic bottles)

This was a fun one! Congrats to Marie ^^

BJ Muntain said...

Thank you for the mention. "Terrifyingly evocative" is a great compliment from the Shark. :)

Congrats Marie and all the finalists and mentionables!

Donnaeve's link:

The Ghost and the Darkness

Donnaeve: I'm afraid I didn't get yours, but maybe it's because Canada doesn't have as much folklore around those who first settled here. Our Thanksgiving is harvest-themed (and in October), not pilgrim-themed, and I just could not get your imagery.

Unknown said...

Congratulations Marie! And all who made the lists. I don't remember all the ones I liked except Dena's....and I can't remember why now. I'll have to go back and re-read.

BJ Muntain said...

As an addendum to my last comment: My not understanding Donnaeve's story shows how much our own culture influences how we read nuances. In stories like Donnaeve's, the nuances are based on cultural knowledge that other cultures might not get.

Nothing wrong with that, but it's something to keep in mind. These nuances twig something in the reader's subconscious, which is heavily influenced by their culture and society. I think you'll find, too, that some cultures will see symbols differently than others. Some may see the deep, dark jungle as frightening, perhaps a vision of unknown dangers... while others might see it as comfortable, home, their god (this example can be seen in Colin Turnbull's The Forest People, about the life and culture of a pygmy tribe in the Belgian Congo).

When writing about a cultural happening for people of the same culture, then such symbols can be very clear, and thus make a poem (or piece of prose) rather breathtaking.

Eve Messenger said...

Yay, Marie McKay! What a good story, especially this line: They tagged their work DOCUMENTARY since their medium was box-shaped, not tent.

Thank you to all the finalists for another fun flash fiction event.

Donnaeve said...

BJ - good points about culture. I remember my co-workers in Canada celebrating Thanksgiving in Oct.

E.M. seriously wasn't fishing for a compliment, but thank you all the same!

Timothy Lowe - that poetry comparison is apt. (since I hardly ever get poems - unless the prose is straightforward)

Janice Grinyer said...

Yes! I made the long list!

*dancing with deer bits around the kitchen*

Spent all weekend filling a deer tag, butchering and now our freezer is full! AND I MADE THE LONG LIST!

Thank you Ms. Reid for selecting my "Stockholm Syndrome for pets" story for the long list! I have my writer's inspiration living right here in the house with me, but he's sleeping on the warm dryer right now. Somewhat of a barbarian compared to The Duchess of Yowl...

Congrats Marie! And to the notables, the long and short listers, and to the finalists, and the ones who took the time to enter - playing with words like a cat we are! Congratulations!

Janice Grinyer said...

Okay, just got done reading all the entries - fantastic!

Sheepfleece, your story made me laugh and laugh! Once I realized it was about a child being forced to visit Santa at the mall each year, then it lost it's creepy factor and made it seem like the Grinch and a Grinchess photographer had kidnapped Santa and his helper elf. Read it out loud to the husband; he thought it was pretty funny too!

Also, I finished Susan Rabiner's book Thinking Like Your Editor as recommended by the Shark - GREAT READ for non-fiction writers who are working on a Proposal. I took a copious amount of notes - query letter and proposals definitely need to stand out when querying for non-fiction. This is not flash fiction when writing these :D

Kregger said...

Woo hoo Marie McKay...
If you can get the attention of QOTKU, them there are good words. Congrats!
Personally, I'm glad Ms. Reid has foregone most types of poetry contests. I think I recently deleted the picture of stacked books last week. My internal meter is horrible to the point I can barely get through Dr. Seus.
And everybody, don't forget we have our own cultural community among us Reiders. I've tried to read a few of my contest entries about Carkoon and its inhabitants to my wife, and the stare I received was the same she uses on her asylum inmates.
@Steve Forti, I got it, you wascally wabbit.
In my entry I couldn't get the movie title to fit the story, so I morphed "to" into "Too" to make it more oriental and added "said" which wasn't in the original movie title. Julie Newmar did a cameo in the movie and I believe is still alive.
I had to explain this entry to one of my youngest forty two-year-old staff members. Like many young folk, she isn't into 1960's TV kitsch like "Catwoman".
Congratulations to all--another stellar round of stories.

Kim English said...

Congrats to all! It was a lot of fun reading the entries.

Kate Larkindale said...

Congratulations Marie! I loved your story as soon as I read it, so a much deserved win. Although there was stiff competition...

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Janice you are right, Rabiner's book is a must read for non-fiction writer. My notes are almost as long as the book :)

Congrats to the mentions and winner. Great job all.

Lance said...

Congratulations, Marie. Excellent, most excellent. Congratulations to the finalists, long listers, and the mentionables. Excellent contest. Thank you, Ms. Reid, for all the time you spend on us quivering under the frosted leaves of the forest floor.

Colin Smith said...

*pause while E.M. Goldsmith laughs* ;)

I'm glad I can bring some joy into your life, Elise. :)

Wow--a finalist! As others have said, everybody seems to be bringing their A-game to these contests, which makes everyone's job (especially Janet's) harder. Thanks so much, Mighty QOTKU.

And huge congrats to Marie for the win!!

I think it's interesting that I don't consider myself a poet, and yet more than once I've been commended on aspects of my work that one would expect from a poet (e.g., rhythm and meter). Perhaps being a musician gives me an innate feel for such things? I don't know. Is this true for other musicians here? Honestly, I thought if Janet liked anything about my story, it was the ambiguity over the nature of the three main characters, Sam, Lucy, and Fleur (which happen to be the names of our three indoor cats). Are they cats doing what cats do, or a gang of creepy sociopaths? If you read it assuming they are cats, re-read it assuming they are humans.

Just goes to show how subjective this is. Of course, I don't really mind why Janet or anyone might enjoy my work, as long as they do. :)

Thanks for the challenging contest, Janet. And thanks everyone for taking part.

Colin Smith said...

PS: I just noticed Marie won this past Friday's Flash! Friday Contest too!! Wow--that's the kind of double-whammy I can only dream of!! Well, done, Marie. What an awesome start to the week for you!! :D

John Frain said...

Fantastic entry, Marie. Well-deserved win. That was an awesome piece. I'm curious if it flowed right out on the first draft or if you got to go back and make several changes. I gotta imagine the latter, but I'm constantly surprised here.

I can't leave without also calling out two more.

Amy Schaefer and the fun I had reading her re-telling. You gave me a great smile.
KDjames for the beautiful and revengeful tiger. Exquisite. This gave me a smile too in a completely different way.

I also can't leave without thanking Janet for these contests that hone our skills. Usually, anyway.

Now I can take my leave.

Marie McKay said...

Thank you so much for all your lovely, supportive comments. I am blown away!

Marie McKay said...

Thank you so much. I am quite a slow worker, so I went back and forth to it over the morning. I guess I made the changes as I went.

Amy Schaefer said...

Well done Marie, and everyone else, too. So many good stories come out of these contests, and even more great lines and images.

Marie McKay said...

Thank you for that! It is a really good start, and much appreciated at a time when my confidence is flagging a little. Your own writing is always fantastic.

Kae Ridwyn said...

Congratulations, Marie! I, too, liked the "not tent" line. A very well-deserved win.

I also got the shivers from kdjames tiger revenge, although I didn't pick up the 'bloody liar' connection until the QOTKU's comments. Such incredibly clever writing! Inspirational stuff!

Thank you, everyone, for your stories, your comments and camaraderie; they encourage me to keep on going. And a huge thank you to Janet for providing us with this opportunity! I learn so much - on a daily basis! - through this blog. :)

Marie McKay said...

Thank you for that! It is a really good start, and much appreciated at a time when my confidence is flagging a little. Your own writing is always fantastic.

Calorie Bombshell said...

Marie - what a lovely entry. So poignant and thought-provoking. I just loved it. Congratulations - well-deserved!

french sojourn said...

I don't know when I've seen a tighter finalist group...good heavens!
Congrats Marie.
I must have read all the entries a few times, not a weak one in the group.

Thanks to QOTKU for all the time she puts in, and thanks Dena.

Cheers Hank.

AJ Blythe said...

Congratulations everyone. Excellent entries again!

I tried to do what I said I would - post *then* read. Unfortunately it would seem I messed up my timezones again (somehow calculating 10pm not 10am for closing) because when I went to post it was... closed =(

Next time.

Anonymous said...

Good lord. I wasn't in a hurry to read these results because I wasn't even sure my story made sense (to anyone other than me), so I was reading all the mentions and the long list and nodding in agreement, yes those were all very good, and then saw mine made the short list and was shocked. Wow. Thank you!

For those who seem interested in process, I really went with the "flash" part of FF this time and wrote this in one very fast draft (it had been in my head for a while, though). It's funny, the only two changes I made were the two things Janet mentioned. I added bloody, where I'd first just had liar. And had originally written "an odd affinity" and decided that wasn't quite the right feeling. I debated about emphasizing the "heavy weight" of the first sentence being a play on the guilt of being deceived into going on the (killing type) safari by changing "warm" to some other word when the weight lifted, but honestly didn't have time or patience for it just then.

Marie, congrats on the win! I agree, yours was very evocative. Bittersweet. I loved the biting criticism of the box/tent line. Well done.

So many good stories over here, consistently, every time. Love all this clever word play. Very honoured to be a part of this group. Thanks for the comments (and sorry to have freaked out a couple of you!).

Cindy C said...

Congratulations Marie! And everyone else who was mentioned. And thank you Janet for another great contest!

LynnRodz said...

Late again to the party, but congrats, Marie! Your win was well deserved and your story was one of my favorites. Congratulations to all the finalists, mentions, and everyone who entered. Another entertaining weekend reading stories. Thanks, Janet!

Michael Seese said...

Congratulations to Marie on 2/3 a hat trick: a win here AND Flash! Friday.

So jealous....

DeadSpiderEye said...

Excellent work Marie McKay.

Unknown said...

Great entries, everyone! Congrats to the winners!

Doh. In my last-minute editing, I cut out one of the key words. I'm facepalming now.

JD Horn said...

Congrats, Marie McKay!

Amanda said...

Congrats to Marie, the finalists, and mentionees! I was amazed by the creativity and talent in the entries! Way to go, all:)

Marie McKay said...

Thank you, again, everyone. I am so grateful for your lovely comments. What a great community you are.

A Room of My Own said...

Congrats Marie & everyone! Especially enjoyed this challenge. Glad to see my name up there, glad you liked that & thanks Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli for the compliment. This was fun.