Monday, May 09, 2016

May We Have a writing contest results

 I can't believe I got this done by Monday morning! And you guyz were No Help At All: the entries were amazing.

 Herewith the results:

Now here's a line that is a perfect start to an entry (except this one was  buried in the second paragraph!)
Craig 9:15am
At the bottom of the basket I found a gun instead of dessert.

Great first line/s
abnormalalie (Jamie A. Elias)  7:35pm
My best friend shot me today. I guess maybe I can’t blame him.

Great phrase
Craig 9:15am
the private hell of a moth eaten mind

french sojourn 9:44am
The soil, like his heart, had gone fallow.

Ginger Mollymarilyn 8:20pm
Cutting more slices from the wheel of her just desserts,

Special recognition for the ode to queries
Mark Thurber 10:29am

If Girl Scouts sold this kind of shortbread cookie, I'd buy some
Christine Grimes 11:56am

Not quite a story but just lovely writing
Janice L. Grinyer 5:12pm

Not quite a story, but who could resist a dragon named Fred
Rene Saenger 7:51pm

Not quite a story but a terrific piece
Brian Schwarz  8:58pm

Not quite a story but none of us will be forgetting it anytime soon
Mike Reid 1:20pm

Long list
Cynthia Mc 2:04 pm

Dena Pawling 10:31am

Short list
Marie McKay 9:32am
Wheels skid to a stop on the driveway. He staggers in, sits at the table.
I can smell the danger on his clothes, on his breath.
'Service better be quick,' he says.

Mom's too pretty for the worry she wears. She tries not to react. She keeps her expression even.

He hasn't shouted, but he will.
His face hasn't twisted, but it will.
'Maybe-it'll-be-different-this-time' never applies to Dad.

My distracted fingers drop a plate.
His trigger: Sneer! Shout! Strike!
The trigger: bang bang bang

Mom pauses only briefly:
'Go outside. Like you've been playing.'

This is crisp elegant writing and story telling. It's visceral.
And that last line: perfection.

Mallory Love 12:51pm
“Elaine,” Pops wheezed out his last word. My heart broke. My mother’s name was Mary.

The ceremony was a brief affair. The organist played “It Is Well with My Soul.” My own was uneasy though. Elaine. It niggled at my mind, leaving a dark residue over the memories of my father. The man wasn’t perfect, but I’d always thought him loyal.

Clearing out his estate was quick. Everything fit in one box. Maybe it’d shed some light. Clothes, pill bottles, and his wedding ring spilled out. Beneath the useless crap was a birth certificate. My twin's: Elaine

So much unsaid here. And yet, it's a complete story too. This is elegant writing and story telling.

katie 2:20pm
I never liked May. The way the blossoms fall from the cherry trees so quickly, like skin flaking off a corpse, the rush to plant flowers even though, like everything else, I'll eventually kill them from neglect. I host my usual brunch anyway - mimosas on the patio, fruit, brie and cautious glances. Where's the guest of honor? Oh, she's resting, not well. I'll bring her your flowers later. They nod, as relieved as I am, the wheels turning as they plot their play for the inheritance. You reap what you sow, though, and my annuals will grow well this year.

The line that just sneaks in there with no fanfare: like everything else, I'll eventually kill them from neglect turns out to be the twist in the story.  Very subtle.

Donnaeve 2:47pm
A quick summer storm ruined the crop and a year’s earnings.


I knelt in the
brier patch. Pie. That’s the solution.

Roy finds me. “
Maylene, Daddy’ll want money. Not pie.”

“It might work.”


As expected Roy’s Mama only
played with her slice while her husband stuffed himself.

Roy talked hard times. His Daddy farted, belched in reply.

“More pie?” I offered.

He made a
wheezing sound.

Roy said, “Daddy?”

“Can’t. Breathe.”

Roy’s Mama perked up. “That my recipe?”

“Yes ma’am.”

Mr. Rayford’s face went dark as them devil berries I’d picked.

“Sweet Jesus, it’s actually working," she whispered.

Three scenes, and a lovely coup de grace for the finale. Sort of like the writing equivalent of a Olympic gymnast's tumbling passes in a floor ex routine.

Madeline Mor Summonte 3:32pm
Marcy grips the wheel, her car alone on the dark road. An old truck pulls over. A man - greasy hair, t-shirt over a potbelly - moves toward her. Good Samaritan? Serial killer? You never know. Marcy covers the car seat with the blue blanket.

"…home from a play date. It just stopped."

"…quick look under the hood."

"Thank you."

Maybe next time she'll drive a minivan, Marcy muses, reaching into the diaper bag, past the pink bottles labeled "Brienne." She slips outside, knife in hand. The blanket slides off the empty car seat.

You never know.

I like the pairing of the "you never know" lines here.

flashfriday 5:27pm
What are you doing up there?

April showers bring May flowers, said Bob.

Yes, dearest, but this is the basement, not the garden. Did you take your meds today?

While the cat’s away, the mice play, said Bob.

Forgive me; I came back as soon as I could. Won’t you come get dressed?

Boxers or briefs, said Bob.

Just so, dearheart. Climb down now. Why are you crying?

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, said Bob.

No, love! I’m here. We’ll get through this, like always. Please climb down; you’re scaring me.

A quick drop and a sudden stop, said--

You don't need any comment from me to recognize this as outstanding.
Just to add points for style: note the prompt words are in order, and all in Bob's lines.  Since I look for story first, I often don't see the filigree with the prompt words, but I noticed this when I went back to bold the prompts.

Christina Seine 5:28pm
It’s someone else’s child, the little skeleton found in the woods behind the playground.

It is.

Detectives will knock on someone else’s door.

Maybe … the news got it wrong. Happens all the time - they’re so quick to report every little thing. Before they’re sure.

She could still come home. His sweetheart, his princess, his baby girl. She’s lost, she’s run away. It’s not her. She could still come home.

She could. Considering how he even made a deal with God - take anything. Take ME.

She could.

For one brief moment, he actually believes it.

The phone rings.

Again, you don't need my comments here to recognize this packs a wallop. That first line is brilliant.
Did I miss the prompt word "whee"? (thank you eagle eye readers Solidus and Kitty for helping me find THAT one!)

Amy Schaefer 7:37pm
It isn’t easy to sew up a wound with a bellyful of poison. These assholes; I’ve patched them up a hundred times, but a big wheel gets shot and suddenly ol’ Maggie rates “incentive.”

“Grab a soda,” I say, hands working.

The muscle downs a Coke. “Anything to eat?”

“The butler’ll bring brie and caviar.”

The dope actually looks around.

My lips are tingling now. I stitch slowly.


Steroid-man falls like quicksand.

I jab the bigwig with my special needle. Thud.

Maybe next time, trust people.” I quaff the antidote and bug out.

Better find myself a new playground.

I'm always up for a good revenge story. My favorite line: "the dope actually looks around."

Celia Reaves 7:40pm
Jacob settled in a hallway to wait after the meeting. One of the new arrivals wandered up. "Why are you in a wheelchair?"

Jacob smiled. "Too much TV." The newbie twitched and backed away.

"That'll shake him up," Jacob thought. "I do love the drama, yes indeed." He rubbed his temple where the chip lay under the skin. It itched so much lately.

A door opened, and the young man with the briefcase came out. "Too quick," Jacob thought. "Must be bad news."

He was right. His appeal for release from the psychiatric facility had been denied yet again.

The line that just grabbed me: He rubbed his temple where the chip lay under his skin.

ScottG 9:46pm
She looks into my eyes, as if asking for permission, as she splays my legs out in front of me and makes me comfortable. Just like she’s been doing for ten years now, since that fateful May night when a drunk driver got behind the wheel and left me in this living tomb, where I can’t talk, can’t move any of my limbs and can’t control my own bladder.

If I could respond, I would say go ahead. Take the night off. You deserve it. Celebrate with a quick O’Doul’s at your favorite bar.

Ten years of sobriety, Mom. Congratulations.

Ok, so it took me twice to realize what this story was about.
Do you see it?
Here's the clue: Just like she’s been doing for ten years now, since that fateful May night when a drunk driver got behind the wheel and left me in this living tomb.

*pause while the Jeopardy theme plays*

His mom was the drunk driver.

Kae Ridwyn 2:26am
Daddy, quick - watch me slide! Whee!
Sally, four. All giggles, sloppy ice-cream kisses.

Daddy, please
may I have Jaimee over to play?
My daughter, nine. Nudges and whispered secrets.

Daddy, I love you. Father’s Day, thirteen. No more under-the-table cubbyhouses…

My own car? Thank you, Daddy! Squeals; hugs of gratitude.

An aisle; a walk; a bride on my arm. Tears, threatening, choked back. My heart too big for my chest.

These memories should be treasured forever.

But they’re ones I’ll never have.

The tiny limp body in my arms? My Sally?

I curse the day
brie was created.

This one got got the biggest "oof" from me. Oddly, the only reason I know what that last line means (and thus the twist) is cause I've watched The West Wing a zillion time.  (Ellie Bartlett's wedding reception can't have shellfish, soft cheeses or brie.)

This was a very difficult choice. You guyz are up to your usual brilliance and I can hear you all chortling with glee as I gnash my fangs with indecision.

In the end though, I went for subtlety.

The winner is ScottG 9:46pm
ScottG if you'll email me with your mailing address and what you like to read, I'll get you your prize.

Thanks to all who took the time to write and enter. It's always a pleasure to see your work.
Congrats to all!


CynthiaMc said...

Woo hoo! Way to go, Scott!

Hurrah to all the mentions.

Good stuff here.

nightsmusic said...

Congrats to Scott and really, all the winners because they were able to enter this week. This was a tough choice, I thought, for prompt words and the weekend was just too busy for my brain to grasp a concept. So Good On everyone!

*disclaimer: I still don't get some of them, but what do I know?

Anonymous said...

Congrats to you all!!!! Happy Monday!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

These are wonderful. Congratulations ScottG. Some real gutwrenchers and others that are brilliantly analytical. So much fun to read. Congratulations to all the shortlisteds and mentioneds.

Solidus said...

Re Christina Seine - "whee" is in there, split across three words: "how he even". Subtle! :-)

Kitty said...

Congrats to ScottG!

Janet asked if she missed the prompt word "whee" in Christina's entry, and here it is: "Considering how he even made a deal with God..." Very clever, Christina!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Thrilled to be included on the short list - thank you!

Congratulations to ScottG and to all those mentioned!

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I would have picked Scott's as well. Very sobering story. Good job.

Colin Smith said...

Bravo, everyone! Congrats to Cynthia and Dena for making the Long List. And that has to be the longest Short List we've had in a while. Just shows how much we're tormenting the Shark. hahahahaha... err... actually that's not a good thing, is it? Excellent stuff!

Thanks for the contest, Janet. Looking forward to the next challenge... :)

Unknown said...

Way to go all!!! Scott, what a wonderfully heartbreaking idea!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Wow, is all I can say regarding those chosen, but Scott, double WOW.

And Kae.
For those of us who have dreamed-ahead a lifetime never lived, your piece was very moving. Sad subject matter handled exactly the 'write' way.

Congrats to all.

Colin Smith said...

Oh, and well done ScottG! Artfully done. :)

For those who want insight into how Janet reads and chooses contest entries, take a close look at her comments on the eleven finalists. Story first. Subtlety. References that require the reader to bring something to the story. Style. Lines that grab. Entries that make her read more than once. And often her choice of winning entry out of the finalists is based on something as arbitrary as what mood she's in. Between devastating and humorous, if she's had a stressful week, humor might win. There were clearly a couple of finalists this week that could easily have been winners, but, as Janet said, "In the end though, I went for subtlety." She could have just as easily gone for style or punch.

While this might be interesting insight, I would encourage us all (me included) not to use Janet's comments as a "How to Win a Flash Contest" guide. Just write your story, and craft is as best you can given the contest restrictions. Sometimes you'll write something you think is awesome, but Janet clearly doesn't. But sometimes you'll come up with a finalist, a winner even. Use Janet's comments to make you think deeper about your story, and perhaps hone a few lines here and there. But don't think "Well, ScottG won for subtlety, so next time I'm going to write a subtle story, and I'll win!" I've entered these contests enough to know it doesn't work like that.

Sorry for babbling on, but I know people have asked Janet for more commentary on the contest entries, so I hope this helps.

Celia Reaves said...

Congratulations to all who entered, and everyone who got a mention or on the list. It was an awesome bunch of stories indeed (and I'm delighted to be on the list!). I agree with Janet's choice; I would have picked Scott G's subtle, touching story as well. I also loved the emotional punch packed into so few words in both Christina Seine's and Kae's stories (I'm a sucker for anything about the death of a child). Flashfriday's tour de force was amazing indeed. Not only were the prompt words in order and all contained in Bob's dialogue, they were also all parts of trite cliches given gripping new meaning in this context. Amazing!

Anonymous said...

I had to read it twice, then ScottG gave me chills. Congratulations Scott!

Scott G said...

Wow. Thank you for the kind comments and congratulations to all of the finalists with such great stories. I can't thank Janet enough for the work she does running this blog. It's amazing what I continue to learn not only from her posts, but also from all of the comments from a group of such obviously talented and knowledgeable writers. So, thank you Janet. Hope everyone has a great week!

Calorie Bombshell said...

All terrific entries! Congrats ScottG - well done!

Dena Pawling said...

I made the long list! Which is extra fun because I do NOT write subtle. Congrats to everyone, especially Scott G!

Just Jan said...

Congratulations, Scott G! And to everyone who made the short/long lists and to the mentions. You are a tough crowd to beat!

Julie Weathers said...

Oh, I knew I should have waited to read these until later. They're fabulous, but invariably I get depressed about some of them. Oddly enough, I got most of them except Kae's, but assumed there must be something harmful in brie for pregnant women from the context. Hit the nail on the head, I go through those scenarios in my mind every year.

Y'all are raising these stories to a new level. I truly am in awe. Good job to all. Scott, congratulations and to all who were mentioned and participated.

Unknown said...

Wow, what an absolutely stunning bunch of entries! I note down which entries I like, put checks for the ones I really like, and stars for the ones I really, really like. All I can say is, my page was awash with checks and stars. All the long- and short-listers were on my list, and Scott G's made me gasp -- a well-earned win!

I love Brie, but I may stay away from it for a few days. (CynthiaMc's was my favorite poisoning variant.)

Kae's entry managed to be both heart-breaking and (hope this does not make me a bad person) hilarious to me at the same time, in that I could visualize it as an overwrought PSA warning mothers-to-be about soft cheeses. We did not find out my wife was pregnant with our daughter until she was five months along. We were living in Guadalajara at the time. Fortunately my wife is not by nature inclined to hit the tequila too hard. (But I'm sure she did hit the soft cheese.)

Timothy Lowe said...

Congrats to everyone who won finalists and mentions. Great round of stories. Scott G, yours made me stop and flinch the first time I read it. Not surprised you took it. Well done!

Thanks for the contest, Janet!

Unknown said...

I like Colin's point about "writing to win," which is perhaps analogous to writing to match something on an agent's MSWL (manuscript wish list). For the same reasons Colin mentions in the contest context, I always find MSWLs rather useless except as an general indicator of an agent's taste and interests.

Okay, back to "WIP before work"... (I fear that's becoming my unofficial motto.)

Marie McKay said...

Congratulations, Scott G. Wonderful story. Very happy to make the short list as all the stories were so good. Thanks, Janet for another great contest.

Donnaeve said...

Congratulations ScottG!

Definitely subtle - this was one of the ones I didn't get around to reading along with many others.

Thank you QOTKU for the long list mention, and congratulations to all other special recognitions (way to go Craig -two!) and long listed.

Colin's been taking notes. Good rundown Colin!

Craig F said...

Congratulations to all of you. The amount of talent here always amazes me.

Even more amazing it seems like my Queen was insinuating that I might have been a contender if I had formatted differently. Maybe more like this:

At the bottom of the picnic basket I found a gun instead of dessert. Her face was a plea.

It had taken her a less than brief time to pack lunch. I knew it wasn’t because she was playing around. She was falling through the gaps of a moth eaten mind, as her mother had. In the tangled weave of her mind she held to the tread of my promise that she would go more quickly.

The Wheel had swung to our fortieth and final May. I cried as I kissed her one more time and turned the gun around.

cleemckenzie said...

I had to stop by and see these. I loved reading such a wide variety of styles and ideas.

LynnRodz said...

Congrats, Scott! I loved your story and for once I didn't even need Janet to explain what was going on. I have to admit, that's not always the case. Great job!

And Sophina DeJesus, all I can say is, wow. Just wow!

Julie Weathers said...

I totally agree with Colin. You can't write to win. It's like trying to write the next best-seller based on what's hot now. Be yourself. Be an O'Henry or London. London had over 600 rejections on his short stories, but he was himself and aren't we glad of it? If you try to write to the crowd, you're whoring your soul.

I was late commenting on the WIR, so I added some comments this morning, but since we've moved on, I wanted to add here how great the new website is. It's gorgeous, easy to navigate, and clean.

According to techie son, the newest thing is interactive websites. He designed one for a class project in college and it was pretty cool. the teacher, who is a history buff, has quotes that rotate so the site isn't static and pages "float" up to read. It's all beautiful and quite nice, but just give me something simple to navigate. Give me the information I need. Don't make me jump through hoops.

One site has pages where you click on agents and supposedly when you get to the right list you can just hit their name, which will bring up what they're looking for. Only have of them are not live links. The person is left wondering if the agent isn't accepting queries, the links are broken, you need to look elsewhere, or you'll soon hear Rod Serling's voice.

Janice Grinyer said...

Congrats to the mentionables (this time me included, YAY!), the semis, the finalists and to Scott! These FF's are such valuable work lessons; it's like earning Shark college credits!

JR- What a wonderful way to start a week! Thank you so much for your kind words, this is the perfect encouragement to help me through the homestretch of what I'm working on. I'm printing this out and sticking it to my laptop, so when my writing starts to resemble sausage making again, I can look up and softly say to myself, I CAN DO THIS!

french sojourn said...

Congrats ScottG, and all those that entered.

I'm not sure exactly what you did in your last life Janet, but you bring happiness to scores of writers in this one. Thank you so much for these wonderful literary soiree's. I hope you realize the joy you spread, balanced by scarlet billows...I imagine.

Cheers Hank.

CynthiaMc said...

Mark - thank you. I hadn't intended to kill anyone off (I'm usually a sunshine and lollipop kind of person. I finished writing and went "Whoa! What just happened?"

It was fun, though. I might do it again.

Y'all are rubbing off on me.

Lennon Faris said...

Wow, congratulations Scott & all! They were amazing as usual!

roadkills-r-us said...

Congrats to all. If I were still as insecure as I was for years, I would never enter these contests (or even comment) because the talent level here could easily feel intimidating.

That said, I'm glad I didn't have the energy to enter this time, because I missed the secret meeting that decided all entries had to be dark! Or was that just the short list? It was a busy weekend and I didn't get to read all the entries.

I think what I liked best about Celia's entry was that line Janet liked- but because we have no way of knowing if the chip is real or a figment of his imagination. And if it's real, what is it there for? I love stories that are fraught with possibilities, resolving everything that *needs* to be resolved while leaving room for the imagination to run amok.

abnormalalien said...

Awesome, so many good stories. I'll admit there were a few I had to read more than once to understand.

Kate Larkindale said...

What a fabulous group of stories! Congratulations Scott G and to all the finalists!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I second Hank's comment at 1:00.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, and congrats to everyone! My schtick is usually dragons and/or humor, so this week I thought I'd see how dark I could go. The rather grim result is dedicated to my darlings Marie McKay and Michael Seese, of course. Thanks, as ever, dear Mme Shark, for the awesome forum and boundless encouragement. --Rebekah Postupak, formerly and still occasionally known as flashfriday. :)

Anonymous said...

hmmmm....poison AND souls...I might have to start reading these again lol

Where There's A Quill said...

There were so many great stories this week. I don't envy Janet for having to judge these FF contests.

Congratulations to ScottG on managing to depress the entire Reef in 100 words. (Seriously, awesome entry).

Cindy C said...

Congrats to ScottG, and everyone mentioned. I read all the entries in one sitting today after being out of town all weekend, and the quality just blew me away. Great job, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations ScottG and all those mentioned! Great job everybody.

Gingermollymarilyn said...

It's so nice to be mentioned. Thank you. And congratulations to Scott and the finalists and others mentioned.

Anonymous said...

ScottG, I'd congratulate you but that word has a lingering connotation now. Your entry was the one that really hit me in the gut. Well done.

I didn't get the brie reference either, but heartbreaking story once it's explained (and can someone explain what the deal is with brie?). I swear, the things I don't know sometimes. It's a wonder I managed to have two children, let alone watch them grow into healthy adults.

Well done, everyone. As always. What a group this is.

BJ Muntain said...

I had to do a google search. Turns out that brie and certain other soft cheeses are made from raw milk, and so they can harbor listeria, which can cause problems for the baby, including miscarriage and stillbirth. So sad. :(

Congrats to ScottG, the finalists, the mentionables, and all who entered. Great job, all!

Christina Seine said...

Congratulations Scott! And yay, I made the short list! Thank you Janet!

OK so I haven't been around for a bit. Don't worry, the bees didn't get me, they're fine. Our Pascha (Easter) holiday nearly killed me, though. My daughter got rear-ended, my husband broke his arm, and I tried to burn the house down.

So, because of my elderly mother, I am SUPER cautious about always turning the stove off. I've caught her leaving her gas stove on (sometimes unlit, just oozing gas fumes) more than once. I tell you, I NEVER leave the stove on. But on Holy Friday (April 29) I put two dozen organic brown eggs in a pot with a couple inches of water (brown eggs dye red the best, for future reference), boiled 'em, added a bottle of red dye to the mix, and here's the important part - would have sworn I turned the stove off before leaving the house for 6 hours for an intense afternoon of church services, last-minute grocery shopping and stuff. As we arrived home around 9 pm the kids started saying things like, "Is someone barbecuing around here?" and "Ew, what's that smell?" Then we pulled up to the house and found my husband, who'd arrived a minute earlier, opening all the doors and windows to let thick black smoke out. The whole house was smoked out, every inch of it. Smells kind of like a mix of burnt human hair and rotten eggs. The flames on the stove were still half an inch high when he walked in. The eggs themselves had burnt black and then exploded over about a 20-foot radius across my kitchen and dining room, leaving artsy burn marks in random places. A week and a half later, I'm STILL finding bits of charred eggshell. That I still have a home to sneeze in is nothing short of a miracle in my book. We all decided to celebrate by getting the flu.

I am very grateful that life is never boring.

Oh, and the bees! We simply bring them home, remove the little tin can that contains sugar water for their trip, and shake them into the hive through the hole where the can was wedged. Easy peasy. For the stragglers, if you take a wee branch and set it between the box and their new hive, they'll march right in, single file, like fuzzy little soldiers. =)

BJ Muntain said...

Christina, that's so scary! I'm so glad it all worked out okay. Fire is one of my biggest fears.

So glad you're recovering and back to joining us!

nightsmusic said...



I'm SO glad you're not dead! Or burned out. Things could have been so much worse as well when your husband opened those windows and fed the fire fresh oxygen. (alliteration! non-intentional)

Janet Reid said...

wow am I glad there's a happy ending to that story!

Christina Seine said...

Aw, thanks guys. We laugh about it now, but it could have been very bad. If the house had caught, it could have led to a forest fire as well, as this is the time of year when everything is dry as tinder and we're surrounded by acres and acres of it. We have a volunteer fire department that is top notch, but I have no desire to give them extra work.

Nightsmusic, that's a very good point. I'm sure the fact that it was still cold enough for all the windows to be shut was a very good thing. I hadn't even thought about what could have happened when my husband opened the door. Yikes.

I am very grateful indeed.

Lance said...

Congratulations, Scott. Well done to all who entered. Some really great stories.

Michael Seese said...

When I submitted mine, I thought I'd put up a pretty decent piece. But the finalists rocked. And, it's hard to argue with the selection of ScottG as the winner.

I've got to up my game.

Michael Seese said...

@Rebekah aka "flash"

I'm touched... I think?

Colin Smith said...

Eeek, Christina! I'm glad things didn't turn out a whole lot worse. :-\

I've updated the Contest Spreadsheet in the Treasure Chest

Kae Ridwyn said...

I made the short list? And made Janet go 'oof'?! Wow!!! *walking on air*
Congratulations, everyone! Such impressive writing. I was particularly impressed by "Me's" story, at 3.12. The idea of a stranger luring one of my own children into her car - SCARY!!!
And thank you again Janet! And others who commented on my story - thank you; I truly appreciate it :D
And Christina, I'm so glad that you have a house still, too!

Julie Weathers said...

Wow, Christina. That is so scarey. Holy cow. That just turns my stomach to think of what could have happened. Not that it wasn't bad enough. I'm so glad it didn't turn out worse than it did. I'm sorry you've all been sick on top of it. What a crappy month.

I had something similar to that happen once. I thought I turned the stove off and turned it on high instead. Set the taco filling and aluminum pan on fire and melted it right on down. Black smoke poured out of the windows while Don and I were outside working on the kennels. We dashed in to grab sleeping babies out of beds. Yikes.

Luckily, the only casualty was my brand new, ceramic top stove. My first and last new stove in sixty years.

Another time I'd been deep frying hush puppies and thought the oil was cooled off so I poured it up in the bowl. It wasn't cool. The bowl started collapsing, so I looked around to toss it into the sink as the stove was still hot where I'd been cooking and was afraid of a fire. The baby was standing right behind me. I knew if I moved the bowl and it blew out it would get him right in the face.

I screamed at Don to grab him and just held the bowl in front of me so my body would shield the baby from the hot oil. The bottom of the bowl went out, spilling the hot oil on my bare feet just as he grabbed the baby.

I didn't realize burned skin turns black as charcoal briquets, but it does.

Needless to say, I'm kind of paranoid about the stove safety these days.

John Frain said...

Oh, ScottG, wow. That was well done. Even better, I figured it out. So, somehow you managed to make it subtle and obvious at once if you even dragged me along.

Congratulating to all the finalists. This was (yet another) contest where I knew long before Monday that there were several knocking me out of the final possibilities.

Keep writing, everyone, but let me catch up will ya.

Kae Ridwyn said...

Hey John, I meant to say that I liked how you rearranged your Taxidermist story for this contest. Clever!

And I also meant to mention that I was intrigued at how many of us used 'Sally' as our characters. Weird...

nightsmusic said...

This is for Janet, for being such a phenomenal, patient mentor for us.

Shark Cat!

Thank you for all you do!