You guyz were up to your usual shenanigans with the contests. Entirely too many very good entries.
Herewith the results:
Homage to one of my favorites, the story of Anastasia, the one who lived!
Erin Scruggs 11:56am
Homage to DB Cooper one of the great mysteries of the 20th century!
Homage to one of the all time best SNL skits!
Melanie Sue Bowles 8:56am
Not quite a story but sufficiently creepy and so well written it really doesn't matter
Timothy Lowe 11:57am
Just Jan 12:48pm
Not quite a story but exquisite writing
Amy Schaefer 12:17pm
Not quite a story but just wonderful!
Katie Loves Coffee 9:22pm
A bit of writerly revenge!
Sherry Howard 12:04pm
A little election commentary for us
Dena Pawling 12:09pm
Patricia Cox 5:11pm wins the Punniest Story of the Contest with her entry. Her prize is duct tape on her keyboard for a week!
Johnell DeWitt 4:05pm
Jennifer Dlozier 5:32pm
Steve Forti 12:10pm
Left at the intersection.
Right into traffic.
Left patience at home, rear-ended a pinstriped Miata.
Right place, right road to meet its driver.
Left her number with the insurance information.
Right words chosen to earn a first date.
Left our inhibitions behind.
Right to the jeweler, but need a loan. 15% APR. Yikes. Still worth it.
Left at the altar.
Right in the middle of the ceremony.
Left beleaguered by broken dreams.
Right to the bottom of a bottle.
Left my will to live behind.
Right where she stomped it out.
Left with one option – cowardice.
Right into traffic.
Our beloved Steve Forti, experimenting with form again. I love the symmetry here, and the rhythm. Notice the brilliant use of sentence fragments. Right in the middle of the ceremony. Right where she stomped it out.
Of course this is brilliant, Steve Forti wrote it.
french sojourn 12:54pm
I watched her from the shadows in a bush league, roadhouse bar. She was searching for redemption the same way she viewed the world, from the bottom of a shot glass.
I knew her, a cowed and broken woman. Her faith had rewarded her with a stillborn, a daughter that lived for five minutes, and a son missing in some foreign sandbox.
I tripped getting up and used my cane to balance myself. I wasn’t as spry as I used to be. I hobbled over.
“Excuse me,” I said to her.
She turned and froze.
“Don’t be so sad, Ma.”
Ohhhh! This just grabbed my heart. I love that the clues are there but it's not till the end that we realize what we read. Those two opening lines are an exquisite establishing shot.
“What’d you and him do for fun here, anyway? Trip cows?”I love this! Of course you have to know your philately!
“It’s tip cows, and no. Watch the road. It should be right along here.”
“There?” He pointed at a sagging mailbox, much beleaguered by woodbine and baseball bats.
“That’s it.” The lane petered out after a mile. “Now we walk.”
Three arguments, two hours of digging, and one hornet’s nest later, they were prying the lid from a metal box.
“He didn’t say.”
The box popped open.
“Stamps? Dude. He punked you good.”
“But he said --”
“They’re not even real. Look, the airplane’s upside down.”
Claire Boborw 2:05pm
Ben: I hate it when we have to bury one.
Jerry: City dweller got in over her head.
Ben: Found her with a spoon clutched in her hand. Couldn't even pry it loose.
Jerry: Yeah, she was out of her league.
Ben: Guess it was the fudge cows that got her.
Jerry: Or maybe the coffee liqueur.
Ben: Total shame. Not like the road's paved with ways to use chocolate cookie crumb swirls.
Jerry: Pretty trippy name, too.
Ben: Vermonty Python? Yeah, the Flavor Graveyard's full of 'em.
Jerry: Shoulda given that city dweller Pfish Food, like she asked for.
This is deliciously subtle and really funny. Of course you have to know your Ben and Jerry flavors...but who wouldn't know that! And Vermonty Python?? Yea baby!
Sara Halle 3:08pm
The maple monopoly had been stripped of power, thanks to my Quebec syrup heist. Ben, Jerry, and cow colleagues had vowed to support me. Away from prying eyes, I congratulated myself.I'm not sure I quite get this but it's a fun idea and has some hilarious word play.
Then an unexpected visitor arrived.
"It's been a long time," I stammered.
"I get better with age." He smiled. "Unlike you."
Anger flashed, but as always I kept my cool. "You want something?"
"You're gonna hit the road. I'm the big cheese here."
I laughed. "Not anymore — I rule Vermont now."
"That's why I brought outside help." Cheddar nodded toward the door. "Ice cream — meet my cousin from Wisconsin."
Lucinda was the kind of fairy who wore 10,000 league boots to squaredance. Lovely lady (spry dancer), but only the desperate asked for her help.This cracked me up. I love the description of Lucinda. And the idea of the ever-filled food basket
"Typically one quests to earn wishes," Lucinda said peevishly. "Rescuing my cow, or waving a broadsword heroically."
"But that's for 3 wishes. I only need one. Please."
Lucinda sighed. "Choose wisely, speak carefully."
"I would like a basket that fills itself with any food I request."
"That's IT?" A basket appeared with a pop. "What are you? Queen of a starving country? A failing chef?"
She spoke around her chicken. "Oh no, pregnant with triplets."
is perfect. This is fun and clever.
We count cows as we drive south, because it’s easier than counting our mistakes. We’ve played the blame game enough to be league MVPs. Why go down that road again?
We pass a billboard for a triple X store. Maybe…
No. Sex won’t fix five years of distance, regret and crippling grief our only glue. No matter how kinky it is, or how spry we are.
We pull into the cemetery. Visit separately with our children. We know the routine, though we haven’t signed the papers.
This is how our marriage ends – with separate mourning for everything we made together.
That opening line just drags you into that story with the force of a punch to the gut. That little bit of hope (Maybe...), self-squashed, is just heartbreaking. Do you see the homage to T.S. Eliot at the end? This is exquisite writing.
tell me later 3:41pm
I'd never met Donald in person, but there was no avoiding him on Twitter. He called us every name in the book: broads, cows, and a few more that would never make it into a kids' movie.
I could forgive what he said about me. What he said about my colleagues had to be punished.
So I called in a favor.
"Just cause him some trouble. Trip him on the sidewalk. Mess up his bedsheets. Pry his window open and wail whenever he so much as blinks."
"Got it," my invisible friend says.
That will take the troll down, I'm positive.
After all, who's he gonna call? Not us.
I love this! It's hilarious and subtle. It requires the reader know about the new all-female Ghostbusters movie and the hilariously misogynistic response some gents have had to it ("it ruined my childhood," wailed one fella from his mom's basement Commodore 64)
Away from Mama, she starts.
“Get away from me, you little prick.”
I think about tripping her while my fingers worry a cowlick. Hers are busy texting.
When a stranger’s car sidles up, I dare to speak, “That ain’t the school bus.”
She yanks my arm. “Shut up, moron. One word, you’ll regret it.”
She climbs in, and the car speeds down the road.
I consider her words, the outcome.
Not me. I eat like a horse, sleep even better.
Bonus. Despite the police, those prying questions, my Little League game improves.
Not one word.
Definitely no regrets.
So, just so you know, I've met Donna in person, and she is a very nice, well-mannered southern lady of great decorum. Of course, you read her stories and you might not believe me, but it's true. This raises subtle to a whole new level. Do you get it?
You've stymied me again.
I know you love doing this.
I sense a vast conspiracy amongst y'all!
Of course the prize is a cow.
You didn't think I'd come home from Vermont without a cow did you?
I read these all over again several more times.
Honestly, any of these could be the winner this week, they're all really good.
In the end I went with the one that didn't require any outside knowledge, only a close reading of the text.
This week's winner, and proud owner of a new cow is Donnaeve.
Donna, I have your address, and FedEx is on the way. Mabel likes grass so I hope you haven't mowed the lawn recently.
Congratulations to all the finalists, and a big thank you to all who took the time to enter. It was a real pleasure to read your work!