Monday, July 18, 2022

Flash Fiction contest final results

 It was wonderful getting the flash fiction going again! It was a welcome respite from the mailing list woes I experienced this weekend. (more details on that if you want to hear them.)
Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter.
I enjoyed reading your work!
Here are the three finalists:

Beth Carpenter

“Listen up, soldiers. We’re here for one thing, and one thing only. To rescue this impregnable jungle of tangled prose. Is it worth saving? Doesn’t matter. It’s our job.”
“Quiet, Webster. You’re on redundancy patrol. Search and destroy. Oxford!”
“You’ve got adverbs. Obliterate anything ending with -ly. Macmillan!”
“Strengthen those verbs.” She pulled a machete from her belt. “I’ll hack my way to a succinct ending.”
“Watch out, Sarge. It’s—"
“Get busy, Webster. I know what I’m doing. What th—AAIEEEE!”
“I tried to tell you, ma’am. It’s a cliffhanger!”

I'm a big fan of anything involving punctuation.
I'm hugely sorry that blogger does not support a font that allows the interrobang!


Dena Pawling
Prosecutor: Defendant is your wife?
Key Witness (from hospital bed, full body cast): Janet… Yes.
P: What happened?
KW: I… I should have… listened to Janet.
P: Why?
KW: She… wouldn’t have had… toss me… off the roof.
P: She’s guilty then?
KW: (groans) Yes
Public Defender: She “had to” toss you off the roof?
KW: Yes.
PD: Her action was justified?
KW: Abso…lutely.
PD: Why?
KW: She told me… I… needed killing.
PD: But Mr. Frain, you’re not dead.
KW: Flash fiction… still hurts… like hell. (grimaces) Please… jail… make her stop.
Jury: Not guilty.

This is absolutely perfect
And deliciously meta!

“Listen, this is a big deal. Reef wants them back on a regular basis and three have gone missing. You crack this one and sky’s the limit, fail and it’s night watchman at McMurdo.”
“Got it. Witnesses?”
“Noisy neighbor in 5B. Claims she heard a girl scream, ‘AAIEEE!’ and a door slamming.”
“She step into the hallway?”
“Nope, peephole. The perp either ducked under or took the stairs.”
“So I’m looking for a guy somehow subdued five subjects, absconded with three of them, no clues, and a worthless witness?”
“Guy by the name of Forti.”

So meta!
I can only hope that my beloved nemesis Mr. Forti will find justice at last!

All three of these were just terrific, but I have to give the top prize to Dena Pawling.

Dena, drop me a line about what kind of book you'd like to receive as a prize.

Thanks to all you who entered!


Steve Forti said...

Congrats Dena! Always fun to torment fellow chum. Perhaps we should push for a compiled "500 Deaths of Bartholomew Cubb--er, John Frain".

Glad to have these back!

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I love Dena's entry. Made me laugh out loud which scared the pug. Well-done. Congratulations.

Colin Smith said...

Congrats Dena!!

And congrats too Beth and shane for making it to the final 3!

I've updated the Treasure Chest. Check it out to see where Dena ranks in the Flash Fiction Tank of Fame, and to enjoy previous winning entries.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congrats to Beth and shane for making it in the top 3 and a BIG congrats to Dena!

Luralee said...

Congratulations Dena!

This was so much fun, both to write and to read. Can we do it aga—
Oh, the Carkoon bus is here for me already? I’ve got my Tahini dressing all made up(for the kale) just let me post this commen——

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Yes! Congrats Dena. To everyone who entered - good job.

Beth Carpenter said...

So exciting! Congratulations, Dena! What a great story. They all were!

Timothy Lowe said...

Congrats, Dena! Artfully structured piece!

I also enjoyed Luralee's and Frain's, whose wasn't among the finalists (the way he played around with 'sentence' was a delight).

Theresa said...

I loved reading all of these! What a great way to start the week. Congratulations to the finalists and especially to Dena.

John Davis Frain said...

Fantastic horror story, Dena! Painful to read, but a great write.

I'm amazed at the entries. So many and such high quality even after a layoff.

Beth and Shane, great finalist entries. I guess Janet had a 3-sided coin. Maybe a 12-sided coin, I dunno.

Thanks for bringing this back, Janet. Not sure who missed it more, you or us.

Excuse me while I delete this entry from my wife's computer, and then hide the remaining shovels around the house. (Tough to do in a full body cast.)

Craig F said...

Congrats Dena, the finalists, semi-finalists, and everyone who had the gumption to enter.

Thank you, my Queen, it was fun.

Claire Bobrow said...

Congratulations, Dena! Your entry was hilarious! Well done to you, Beth, and Shane - and all who entered. What fun it was to read flash from the Reef again. Thanks for bringing it back, Janet!

NLiu said...

Woop woop, Dena Pawling FTW! Congratulations! And congrats to all the finalists too!

Really enjoyed this competition! But a little concerned about the precedent set by leaving Frain in a cast. Who will be next?? I hope Forti has good medical insurance.

Karen McCoy said...

Congrats Dena!

Dena Pawling said...

Wow! Thank you!

I've never been called perfect before, never mind ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. I'm showing this blog post to my husband =)

John Frain deserves at least an honorable mention for being the key witness in the trial. Hi John! Hope your injuries heal fast and you can get out of that cast soon. I tried to give you some peace but the jury didn't cooperate. Sorry about that. Definitely hide all the implements that can be used against you. Your wife is a diabolical one. Maybe you should join witness protection?

Congrats to everyone who participated. It was fun [and I didn't know I could write horror lol].

Just Jan said...

Congrats, Dena! Nice to be reading everyone's work again.

Beth Carpenter said...

I want to hear about the mailing list woes. I signed up for the query shark newsletter and haven't seen it yet, so I'm guessing there's a connection.

shanepatrickwrites said...

Finally a final results finalist. Well done, everyone. Congrats Dena. Apologies to Mr. Forti. I vow to shift my crosshairs.

Debra Giuffrida said...

Congratulations Dena!
And I too missed these contests, though, as a former resident of the West Coast, I missed the deadline far too many times than I can count.
I am glad I made the first round! Keep these coming!

AJ Blythe said...

I missed this one - too busy to finish my FF - but loved reading the entries. Time away has not dimmed everyone's skill. Well done everyone who got their entry in, with a special shout out to Dena for the win.