Thursday, February 06, 2020

Results A Thon

I've been down for the count so long there are THREE posts with comment contributions to mention!

First is the photo of Chagrin Falls.
I asked you to describe character in 20 words or fewer.

Jenn Griffin
Espresso, ever-faithful rescue pup, waited eagerly for his person to share his Bacon & Gruyere Egg Bites.

You can tell us so much by what characters name their pets, what they eat, and what they feed their dogs!

This is very nice, very subtle, very effective description.

It was a town where it seemed a Fourth of July parade could break out at any moment. Complete with kids with paper streams from their bike handles, the off key high school band and the mayor riding in his convertible.

This evokes the town perfectly.

John Davis Frain
The door swung open. I waited for Norman Rockwell to step out. Instead, it was the pastor. In his sheriff's uniform.

This is a really nice example of first person description.

Youse guyz brought your A-game to the Medic post!
These made me laugh so hard I snorted medicinal whisky out my gills.

Steve Forti
He's the Rockodile. He doesn't have a specialty, per se, but he does have a favorite Elton John song to blast while riding his steel horse down the highway.
Looks like the flu-gator-abater is motoring to your rescue. Feel better soon.
Colin Smith
Dr. Allie Gaytor, the only physician in town brave enough to treat a shark. Her patients can be curmudgeonly, but she's as snappy as the worst of them. A few shots of medicinal whiskey soon makes everything right--for both of them. :)

french sojourn
Dr. Thelonious Monk Rx. ( T-Rx )

A Doctor that specializes in the medicine of the soul, sure to Jazz up your life, when you're feeling the Blues.

Feel better Janet! I hope Dr. Gnash there, the mordologist, restores your chomp soon.

Lee Nire
Have a care, Janet, and do beware!

You mustn't trust that moto-bike mountebank.
He specializes in balderdash and chicanery.
He believes bloodletting means letting him have some blood.

This disreputable reptile would negotiate a nefarious nostrum, would offer snake oil to a shark, a quack remedy for a queen.

Stay under the blanket until he's gone. (T-Rex cannot see you if you don't move.)
Get well soon.

Claire Bobrow
Sorry you're under the weather again, Janet. Hope the V8 helps! I'm not sure ol' Rx T. Rex is the medic you need. His specialty is Dino sores.

AJ Blythe
Crook-a-dial...kinda like Uber Eats, but comes bearing V8, paracetomol and the entire set of Coupling DVDs.

(Is "crook" an Aussie word? In case I need to translate, it means sick.)
My MIL feeds us yangmeijiu if we get sick. It's a type of Chinese fruit steeped in something that's about a gazillion percent proof. It doesn't matter if it doesn't kill off the bugs, because you won't feel your throat after swallowing it.

Surprisingly effective.

Something you might like to try??

Slithery Flash Fiction Contest result

Kudos for a great line:
Steve Forti (of course)
Thwart plotting’ is not a deductible business loss.

Here is the short list of entries that stood out this week.

There was once a woman who set out to find the perfect kiss.
Money no object.

Naïve, she thought her first would be perfect.

It wasn't.

Neither was her fiftieth.

She imagined it was the guy. So she switched up: the fierce, the funny. The female.


Was it circumstantial? She investigated: cruise ships, ancient ruins, flared skirts and seedy bars. A fervent snog by the Seine.

Imperfect. Lacking.

She tried princes. She tried frogs. Eventually, she just tried.

In the end, she wept. "I only wanted one perfect kiss!"

"What, like this?" asked Death.

And took her breath away.
Talk about take your breath away.
This is perfect.


Maria shivered. “Feels funny – so empty - quiet.” She rolled her cart off the elevator. “Buenas noches, Lupe."

A bomb scare emptied the IRS building at noon, yet night staff were required.

The first offices were tidy, probably away on audits, but here - papers everywhere.

She attempted to dust around documents when a name caught her eye. A name that fiercely kept Carlos from her. Her nostrils flared as she fingered through sheaves.

Glancing around, she cleared the desk into her cart, then fervently emptied five more boxes. Next- elevator to parking garage. Cousin Luis cleaned at CNN.
I normally don't go for the political topics much. There are a lot of us here and we don't all think alike. But this was so lovely and evocative, I could not pass it by.

Mallory Love
First, there was light, fierce in intensity. A flare so blinding, minutes passed before shapes appeared.

Then, she was in a kitchen. Two women sat on barstools, talking. In the corner, a little girl entertained at a table. Stuffed animals filled three small chairs, while two elderly gentlemen filled the remainder. Such a funny sight.

The girl, spotting her, fervently waved her over. The women paid her no attention.

“You’re young.”

“Probably an accident. Sad.” The old men shook their heads.

“Tea?” offered the girl.

“Don’t mind Libby,” one woman said to the other. “She’s playing with her imaginary friends.”
Lovely and subtle.

Lee Nire
"It wants our lunch!" Charlie guarded his food, but cowered before the fierce beast. He stumbled backward, gasping, as sand sloughed away beneath his feet.

"It wants us for lunch," Sam said, bent in fervent prayer. Fight, flight, or have faith, he thought.

The beast lumbered toward them, gurgling, nostrils aflare. It'd be funny, it's wobbling gait, if it weren't so hideous. Artificial coconut wafted off gangly limbs as it reached for them.

Charlie gulped crabmeat. Sam just cried for mercy.

Another beast, bigger than the first, said, "Jaydin, leave them seagulls be, child, you're making em squawk something awful!"
I had to read this three times to suss it out.
It was worth it.

MA Hudson
Headed to NYC, show ‘em how it’s done.
First out the plane, first out the gates, at JFK.

Set off the flares.
Set off the fireworks.
The city’s impatient, waiting for the likes of me.

But whoa, hold on... that’s funny.
No one notices, anything.

Not my fervent theatrical frown.
Not my fiercely angelic alto.
Not my death defying dance steps.

Triple threats’ serve coffee around here.

I head home... with my head held low.

Back to the bottom of the ladder.
Back to one rung at a time.
Back... to doing it for fun.

This just breaks my heart.

Karen McCoy
“I’ve been commercialized into a joke,” The Easter Bunny moaned.

The Tooth Fairy shrugged. “You are kinda cuddly.”

“You ever see rabbits in the wild? I am fierce!” The Easter Bunny growled fervently.

“But there’s no superiority behind it. You need an RBF first.”

The Easter Bunny frowned. “RBF?”

“Resting Bitch Face. Like this.” The Tooth Fairy narrowed her eyes into flares.

“Let me see.” The Easter Bunny scrunched up her face.

The Tooth Fairy said, “No. Stop. I guess there’s always that Rabbit, Rabbit thing. Jump on that, maybe.”

“Not funny,” The Easter Bunny deadpanned.
I'm a sucker for these "out of character" stories.

Michael Seese
"The first rule of clownage. Be funny," Tooty said, pulling a rubber chicken, and a live chicken, from his roadside-flare red hair disaster.

"Be funny. Got it."

I scribbled fervently, capturing his words of fooldom on a page torn from Clowning For Dummies, aka the Bible Of Buffoonery. Being that today was my first day on the job, I couldn't make an ass of my... The point being, competition for these gigs is fierce. Guys literally fall over themselves to snag one.

"Okay, what's the second rule?"

"Be unpredictable," Tooty said, delivering my diploma via a pie to the face.
You had me at roadside-flare red hair disaster.

This is funny without being over the top, a very hard balance to strike.
Of course, this is Michael Seese; we've come to expect this kind of perfection.

But this week my heart belongs to NLiu.

NLiu if you'll send me your email address I'll pop a copy of Funny You Should Ask in the mail to you. If you already have a copy (excellent choice!) we'll come up with an alternative.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to write stories and enter the contest.
There is a truly terrifying amount of talent here.


french sojourn said...

I read NLiu's entry, and thought...why even try?

Her entry certainly did also take my breath away.

Congrats! Hope you're feeling better Shark!

Aphra Pell said...

I was torn in three between NLiu, Mallory Love and Lee Nire. Congrats to all the shortlistees and especially NLiu.

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

Yes, Nliu, took my breath away too, but in a good way.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Well done, NLui - took my breath away too. Wonderful.

Theresa said...

Congratulations, NLiu. That entry was my favorite.

It was fun to read all of these and a pleasant surprise to see mine!

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Oh my, Nicola,that was breathtaking. Congrats!

Lennon Faris said...

Woot, Nicola! Yours was my favorite, too.

Although, these were all excellent. Well done, everyone!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

These were so fun. I truly enjoyed all the humor on the Medic post!

Congrats NLiu! What a great twist!

Ash Complin said...

I saw NLiu's entry when I went to pull up the word list to attempt to write something myself. It is a perfect little story, and it stuck with me all day.

Congratulations, NLiu!

Colin Smith said...

Wow--two wins in a row for Nicola. Well done, NLiu!!

I have updated the contest spreadsheet in the Treasure Chest.

Congrats to all those mentioned. :)

John Davis Frain said...

Loved the unpredictable (yet predicted!) ending to Michael Seese's story. Cracked me up.

Lee Nire brought a wonderful POV, which I totally missed on my first read. Understanding brought a whole new respect for the story.

But I must side with the Queen that NLiu stole the show with her breathtaking (literally, even though, figuratively) entry. Such a perfect ending (pun intended).

Great stuff!

Just Jan said...

Congratulation, NLiu! I saw your story as the winner the first time I read it.

Claire Bobrow said...

Kudos to all the finalists for your excellent work and congrats to NLiu. Your entry knocked my socks off!

MA Hudson said...

Oh wow! The short list! This has certainly put a spring in my step. I've always been too scared to enter the Flash Fiction club, due to the awesome talent lurking there, but this time I just bit the bullet. And it was worth it. Note to all the hesitant folk out there: jump in and give it a go!

NLiu - your entry is perfect. So beautifully written and with such a cushioned punch to the guts.

Beth Carpenter said...

Congrats, NLiu! So much story in so little space. And to the other menitons as well. I especially enjoyed all the different takes on the small town.

Lee Nire said...

Such great stories everyone!
NLiu, yours was my favorite again.
Steve Forti cracked me up.
I loved how Tiggergramma used "flare"in the Office Space way.
Thank you for the praise of my silly stuff.

Karen McCoy said...

Congrats to all! And thanks so much for the mention. I knew as soon as I read NLiu's that it was the clear winner. Good thing, too, since I already have the Funny You Should Ask book (Hint: Our Queen is mentioned on Page 9!).

Michael Seese said...

Congratulations Nicola. A great story.

Unknown said...

NLiu said...

Wow! Thanks everyone! And thanks Janet!! YAAAAAYYYYY!!

You are all so kind about my story *blush blush blush*

I'm just glad to provide so many breathless moments! (But hopefully none that meant you actually succumbed to the Kiss of Death.)

Super pleased about the prize this week because I REALLY want that book. I of course saw our Sharkly Queen recommend it, and then also Susan Dennard recommended it (I get her emails and you should too, and you should also read her website because every single article on there is 100% solid gold) and I was about to order, because of the advice of said wise sages. And then Stuff Happened. Big Stuff. While I was metaphorically cowering under the covers from said Stuff I wrote this.

You have all made my month :D

AJ Blythe said...

Congrats to all the short listed FF Reiders, but NLiu hands down had it for me. I was a bit like French Sojourn...with an entry like that, why try? Awesome job.

JanR said...

A day late, but not a day never. Congratulations, brilliant winners—and thank you. I learn so much from your examples. And thank you Janet!!

John Davis Frain, it didn’t hit me until now how a place could be described through a character. That is an amazing example.

Theresa, I laughed at flu-gator-abater the day before and then again with this post :) :) :)

NLiu, that is just the ultimate twist. Perfectly built up to, paced, and landed.

MA Hudson, so glad you entered! That packed such an emotional punch. Every word counted.

MA Hudson said...

JanR - Thanks! I'm still chuffed I made the short list, even though I cringe rereading my entry!

Anyone holding back because of the level of talent we're up against here - don't worry about winning or making the short list. If you just enter for the writing practice, then it's your writing skills that will be the true winner.