Monday, May 21, 2018

Finish the story contest results

This was a really interesting contest twist! I was surpised at how many "almost there" entries this week. I bet I overlooked some of the ones all y'all are going to mention.

Here's my list of entries that stood out: 

Steve Forti 
I knew that I would find my three emergency passports somewhere in my house, but I had no money on in his sock drawer, under his gun.
Especially since his gun was still in my hand, smoking. And he was still on the floor, bleeding. What was this other gun for?
Love the twist here!

I knew that I would find my three emergency passports somewhere in my house, but I had no money on in his sock drawer, under his gun.
We had been living together for 2 years and I thought I was the one with secrets.
If I made back alive from The Vatican, we would need to talk.
It's The Vatican that really made me laugh here. Those unexpected little things are my faves.

Colin Smith
I knew that I would find my three emergency passports somewhere in my house, but I had no money on in his sock drawer, under his gun.
Thankfully he’s yet to find my cape and mask. Trust me my sweet, when the bad guys come calling, we’re protected.
It's hard not to giggle at the idea of Colin in a cape and mask. 

Marty Weiss
I knew I would find my three emergency passports somewhere in my house, but I had no money on in his sock drawer, under his gun.
What am I saying? My head hurts and I’m talking gibberish! Whose bedroom is this, and why the hell am I naked?
This just made me laugh. I know it's kind of an old joke, but it's evergreen.

Bonnie Shaljean
I knew that I would find my three emergency passports somewhere in my house, but I had no money on in his sock drawer, under his gun.
But then, he had no money on my fourth emergency passport. “Bon Voyage,” I wrote on the mirror in lipstick. His girlfriend and I caught a cab to the airport.
of course I love the twist of that last line!

Michael Seese
I knew that I would find my three emergency passports somewhere in my house, but I had no money on in his sock drawer, under his gun.
The floorboard creaked. One second too late. 
I'd forgotten what chloroform smells like. Sweet. Seductive. Sinister. 
When I refound consciousness, an unfamiliar voice -- out there -- intoned.
"Ashes to ashes..."

I almost missed this one. It took me two reads to get it. Do you?

This week's winner is Michael Seese.

Honestly we're going to have to make it harder for some of you multiple winners from now on. Like you have to write everything in iambic pentameter. Better yet, we'll do like those loonie password requirements do: you can only have two nouns, and you must include three separate kinds of punctuation.

Drop me a line Michael and let's see about getting you something delicious to read.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to write and post entries. Each of them were a pleasure to read. I really admire the talent assembled here!

Next week, we'll do the shift in POV that we talked about in the comments column yesterday.  Be forwarned: I might choose something you guys provide in the comments columns this week. 


AJ Blythe said...

Congrats to all. There were some fabulous entries. The timezone difference makes it nigh on impossible for me to enter, but it's nice being able to enjoy your brilliance without stressing over my entry (or feeling guilt for deleting my entry because I don't think it stacks up *grin*).

Julie Weathers said...

Congratulations to all. As usual, they were outstanding. I am blown away by the talent here. Great job Michael and well deserved.

Colin Smith said...

Well... I was writing from the wife's POV--but whatever floats yer boat! At least now I know what I'm putting in my bio when I query Janet... 😉

Thanks for the mention, Mighty QOTKU, and congrats, Michael! ☺

Lisa Bodenheim said...

What an enjoyable read these were and so many of these had me giggling.

Congrats Michael!

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Wow. These were good. I was lounging on another planet this weekend so I missed these.

Anonymous said...

Great job all.
Congrats Micheal.
Thanks for the mention. :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Congrats, Michael! Very creepy. :)

Claire Bobrow said...

Congrats, Michael - great entry! "Ashes to ashes..." gave me the shivers.

Kudos to the mentions, and all who entered. Fun contest! Bonnie's "fourth emergency passport" line cracked me up :-)

french sojourn said...

Another nice win Michael, way to go!

This was fun, thanks J.

Cheers Hank.

Theresa said...

These were all wonderfully creative. Congratulations Michael!

Donnaeve said...

Congratulations, Michael Seese!

Wowzer -these were really good - but Michael's is the one that really gave me the chills. Eeek.

RosannaM said...

Fun to read all these.

Congratulations, Michael. And my hats off to all the mentions.

I like these contests as they are great writing exercises and I try to enter them as often as I can. The competition is tough, though! And Janet keeps coming up with devious, new ways to torment, er, challenge us!

Michael Seese said...

To write in iambs truly ‘tis not hard...
The rhythm of the footsteps of the Bard.
I'll welcome any challenge toss’d my way,
And knock your socks off with my repartee.

(Hey, Janet SAID we should write poetry.)

Thanks to QOTKU for a great contest, to all who entered (you're all winners in my book), and to the folks leaving kind comments here.

Karen McCoy said...

Congrats to everyone! What a fun contest. I didn't see this until the submission window closed, but look forward to the next one!

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Steve Stubbs said...

I agree. When I read Michael's entry I thought to myself, "Now, that's the one." I like the way he hits us with one twist after another, and does not waste words.

Besides, the last three times I got hit with chloroform I was out too fast to notice the smell or taste. Thanks, Michael, for filling in the gap in my memory. I did notice my pocket turned out as if someone stole my wallet.

Too bad they did not know I was a writer. No money means no wallet means they wasted their drug.

I also liked the Forti entry, which reminded me of Armand Assante in the movie I, THE JURY. The movie was only released on VHS, which is a damn shame since Assante did the best Mike Hammer ever. At the very end a psychiatrist, who is the bad guy, is buddying up to Hammer while trying to get at a gun she has hidden in a box behind her back on the dresser. As soon as she touches gun we hear a report. The psychiatrist slowly slithers to the ground. The shrink sinks. Hammer's gun is smoking. As he puts it away and casually walks off, the psychiatrist says, "How could you?"

Hammer replies, "It was easy."

Damn good movie if you get a chance to see it.

I heard Mickey Spillane interviewed on the radio many years after the book was published. The interviewer said after all that time everyone who read the book still remembered that shock ending.

Nobody ever said Mike Hammer was a softie.

Bonnie Shaljean said...

Congrats Michael - well deserved, as usual. And thank you, mighty Queen, for the royal mention.

I also loved the recent flag-up for The Shadow In The Garden, which I've just finished. A brilliant book on so many levels, for readers as well as writers. (Title comes from Saul Bellow, and the full quote is his description of the biographer as "the shadow of the tombstone in the garden". Atlas follows this morsel with his own observation that the tombstone was the biography and the biographer was the gravedigger. Yikes.

Lennon Faris said...

I enjoyed all of these and the others not mentioned, too. Congrats, Michael!

Kate Larkindale said...

Congrats to Michael and all the mentions. There are some great stories in there! I missed the competition (again) because of time differences. One day I'll get there....

Beth Carpenter said...

Congratulations to all you excellent writers, and especially to Michael Seese. Your story gave me the shivers. But Janet's comment makes me think I'm missing another layer. Hints, anyone?

John Davis Frain said...

Well done, Michael, and just minutes before the deadline. I was minutes after the deadline and can't remember my excuse. I'm sure I could do a hundred words on it though.

So, Micheal, correct me where I'm wrong but the twist is here:
"an unfamiliar voice -- out there -- intoned..."

the main character (be they a wife, boyfriend, son-in-law or whoever) has just awakened six feet under to learn (too late!) that their own funeral is taking place. Correct?

John Davis Frain said...

By the way, I NEVER get half the entries, so I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be wrong, but I'm curious to hear where I've gone astray (again).

Claire Bobrow said...

John Davis Frain: that's what I thought was happening, too. Buried alive...yipe!

Michael Seese said...

John, Claire...

Spot on.

Beth Carpenter said...


Julie Weathers said...

Well, y'all know there is a story behind the saying, "saved by the bell."

BrendaLynn said...

Congrats Micheal. You gave me chills.

MA Hudson said...

John - thanks for asking. I don't get half of the entries either. When it came to Ashes to ashes, I was thinking of the David Bowie song! I really like Michael's entry after your explanation though - very creepy.

Bonnie Shaljean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonnie Shaljean said...

I picked up Michael's twist-ending on the first read, but then couldn't get the story out of my mind! Michael, please tell me the POV character started banging on the coffin lid as the dirt clods were hitting it and... no, wait... PLEASE tell me she wasn't sliding into a crematorium vault. (It's that damn visual image of "ashes".)

As Janet always tells us, good writing works on so many levels. And in thirty words and three nanoseconds too. Sigh.