Monday, November 18, 2019

Shark for Brains contest winner

Here are the entries that I think deserve special recognition

Once upon a time, I fell in love head under heels; had it been the other way around, things might have gone differently. Cupid and his fucked-up aim! I always tell him, go see an optometrist, or, at least, take archery lessons.

"This is your own stupid fault," Janet snarled, "always stomping around the place."

"Pray tell, what must a gnome do?"

"Do yourself in, for all I care. This marriage's done. I'm taking the hut, carriage, gold spindles, and our firstbor--"


And thus she vanished, in a puff of powdery air.

Agitating Rumplestiltskin? Never a good idea.

It was head under heels that caught my eye first.
I love those kinds of phrase twists.
And fractured fairy tales always amuse me.

Timothy Lowe
One little update and you’re snowed under. Snarls of e-mails, muddles of files --

“You can’t do that.”


“Talk to your audience. It’s called --”

“I know what it’s called. Get off my lap.”

“I will not.”

“Let me work in peace!”

Sheesh. Grumpy Cat is my worst critic. Always picking apart everything I do.

“Don’t do that,” GC cautions. “Or you’ll be deader than . . . you know.”

“Want catnip?”

“I want good writing.”

I snap the cage closed. “Let’s see you break that fourth wall!”

Back at the keyboard, I crack my knuckles.

This (story) is your own stupid fault, Janet . . .
I'm a sucker for these kinds of meta entries.

I’m Sasha the dog.
My two-legger brought home a dunderheaded dog today.
She said it was a cat.
I snarled.
I never heard of a cat.
Don’t like it, I grumped.
Smells weird.
Has a stupid bark.
Asks for food when it still has half a bowl. What a dodo.
Then I heard the worst thing from my two-legger, “I’m a cat person.”
I brought her my leash.
Here’s something that idiot won’t do.
“Don’t worry. I’m a dog person too,” she said.
She opened the door, the cat bolted.
It’s your own stupid fault Janet.
What a bad dog.
This just cracked me up completely.

Jenn Griffin
At last up, I delivered my best rendition of “Go-going to the chapel,” as I teetered up the aisle.
The result was gr-grum. Possibly because I’m tone-deaf. And d-drunk.
My ma-maid of honor actually turned and s-snarled.
I belched when I reached the altar.
“It’s all your stupid fault, Jan.” Etiquette be d-damned, I hurled my bou…bou… flowers in the groom’s face.
Hope had died under the deluge of newly discovered texts. “I do-do not take this man, Jan. You can have him. Since it appears you already did.”
It says nothing good about me that I think this is hilarious.
I love the idea of marching up the aisle, drunk, to hurl your at Mr. Not-So-Wonderful

Today the gawpers carry coats, grumpy about the rain. But in here it's perfect: dry, great temperature. Always is, behind my glass.

“What's she thinking about?" A girl, nose against my window.

"Nothing, stupid. It's stuffed. Dumb if you ask me." Dunderhead boy drags her away.

The girl doesn't even snarl. Like she's used to this kind of thing.

So when she turns for a final glimpse, I tilt my head. Just a little. And wink.

Dead as a dodo, eh? Well, long as I'm here, I'm keeping imagination alive.

One wink at a time.

This appeals to me on so many levels. I love the vivid language.
I love the concept.
And that last line is perfect.

Sherin Nicole
Down by the river, I spy that snarl-headed McPherson. Like his kin, you kin tell he’s dunder brained. He keeps stroking them purple flowers and tilling the earth ‘round them with cow dodo.

Like that’ll make ‘em grow.

And he hums. It gives me the grumps.

I suppose.

So, I’ll keep watching him. We Perrys don’t hold with McPhersons. We drink blood or they’re moonstruck animals. The origins is fuzzy. Yet there’s something in his melody. Maybe I’ll go drink from yonder river. Ask him a question or two. And find out just how stupid the McPhersons are (for myself).

Everything this story is about isn't on the page.
It took me two passes to see the subtle beauty here.

What drew my eye first was kin: Like his kin, you kin tell. Lovely lovely clever use.

It was a VERY tough choice this week, but after re-reading everything again the prize goes to Nliu. 

Thank you to everyone who entered, who took the time to write and post. It's always a real pleasure to see your work.


nightsmusic said...

Congrats to Nliu!

Steve Forti said...

Congrats NLiu! Nice work all, as always.

Casual-T said...

Brilliantly done, NLiu. Congratulations! Next time I'm at the Museum of Natural History I'll keep an extra-sharp eye on some of those exhibits. Will report back...

Lee Nire said...

First, I want to say congrats NLiu!
I loved your entry.

I'm a long time lurker, but this is my first time entering. I wanted all to know that both my daughters entered this week too. KeiraGibson, age 13. And SamaraG, age 11.
I am so proud of Samara reaching the short list!
We all had a lot of fun. Thank you Janet.

Brenda said...

Congratulations NLui. Job well done.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Well done, Nliu! And congrats to all the finalists and those receiving recognition!

Timothy Lowe - thanks so much for the shout out on the first results post. :)

Colin Smith said...

Congratulations, NLiu and Efa Foy for your contest wins!!

I have updated the Contest Spreadsheet in the Treasure Chest... at last! ;)

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congrats, NLiu. Fun story.

Marie McKay said...

Congrats, NLiu. Terrific story. Well done all the finalists. What a talented bunch!
Thanks, Janet, for the mention.

Dena Pawling said...

Congrats NLiu and all the finalists!

And thanks for the shout-out earlier today Craig. Sorry I Whomped you upside the head =)

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Congrats NLiu. Well-deserved win.

Lee Nire,

Your SamaraG, whose flash fiction rocked and cracked Janet up is 11 years old?

Just, wow!

Beth Carpenter said...

Congratulations, NLiu. Well deserved. And congrats to all of the finalists. I loved each and every story.

Sandra J. said...

Congrats Nliu! I loved your entry - well deserved!

Linda Shantz said...

What an aweseome short list. Still laughing.

Congrats NLiu!

Fearless Reider said...

Congrats, NLiu -- what a delightful entry!

Lee Nire, talent clearly runs in your family!

I was on the road today and Blogger didn't recognize my mobile log-in so it ate my comment, but I just wanted to give a shout-out to Michael Seese for a story that will haunt me for a long time. I spent much of my childhood skating on rivers, ponds, and lakes, often alone and ill-advisedly. In fact, I might just be a ghost. That would explain a lot of things.

John Davis Frain said...

I wasn't here early enough to vote, but I sure can't quibble with the choice. NLiu, that was a wonderful tale. Fun story, and I hope the girl escapes. The one with dunderhead, not the one behind the glass.

Often when Janet says she had to read something twice, I have to go back and see what I missed. General algebraic formula: (Janet's # of reads x 5) + 3 = me gaining an understanding of the story.

So, when I read Sherin Nicole's entry (probably the 13th time), I gained a whole new understanding. So subtle, and so well constructed. I always admire when there's an ending, but I still get to carry the story further. Nice job, Sherin.

Just Jan said...

Congratulations, NLiu! And what a fantastic family story, LeeNire!

Michael Seese said...

A great win, Nicola.

NLiu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NLiu said...

Wow! Thanks everyone, and thanks Janet! I never imagined my dusty dodo story would get so much love. Thanks for all the kind words. You guys are the best!

And LeeNire, great parent-ing. Your daughters are brilliant writers AND HOW OLD?! I am in awe. They deserve oodles of whatever they like. Looking forward to seeing any future flash entries from your family!

Lennon Faris said...


MA Hudson said...

Awesome work Nliu. Love the idea of encouraging young girls' imaginations - just think of all the amazing stories that winking dodo would inspire!

I loved Casual -T's line; head under heels, but only after Janet pointed it out. First time through, my brain just auto corrected it. Dammit.

LynnRodz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sherin Nicole said...

This was so nice to read. Congratulations to NLiu! I loved your entry. Thanks to Janet and to John Davis Frain for your lovely words--they came at the perfect time!