Yay! Results! Sorry it took me so long to get them up, I was off the computer last night when the judge sent them and I tried to wrangle my garden into order this morning. (And a darn fine job I did of it, too!) Anyway, if you missed any of the stories, you can check them out here. Otherwise, on to the judges comments!
This was a fun read, overall, as I thought it was heading in a contemporary direction when it suddenly took a detour down a magical/fantasy lane. I thought, at first, the suitcase contained the ex-husbands' underwear; what a shock to realize it was their eyeballs! How creepy-fun is that?!
The third through fifth paragraphs are particularly good – so much history revealed and so much character portrayed in so few words.
A bonus nugget-o-fun comes at the end of this piece - I love a Grandmother outside of Red Riding Hood commenting on a fellows “big eyes”.
A Recipe For (A) Disaster
Mark A. King
I love how Mr. King does a flashback in the beginning and I, the reader, don't stumble over it. Also, the writer displays excellent command over his craft with beautifully written lines like, “In the verges, skeletal metal corpses loitered like road-kill”, ”Memories tend to magnify missed details from the past”, and “I’d came to realise my hopes of finding her were a stalking ghost that would not rest.” I love flash stories that manage to have a true beginning, middle, and end, and Mr. King achieved that. I appreciate the unusual take on the challenge in this story. I can tell I would like a longer work from this Author, he has a very authentic voice.
Whoa, what a ride; I wish I'd had my own buffalo-innard seat-belt to fasten beforehand! The intensity of the conflict in the beginning of the story drew me in immediately, and the sharp-turn into the world of the fantastical both blindsided and enthralled me. I love the explicit descriptions (“The taxi outside was a blazing riot of multicoloured butterflies, pinned to the hide of a restless buffalo. ”) and the attention paid to small details which add depth to the story ( “I saw the price sticker on the bottom of his left shoe and smiled. Upside down, it was 66.6”). I find I'd like to read more about the place in this story, and hear more from this author.
I love the MC of this piece, and also the valet who struggles to understand him. The author does an excellent job with character in this book, without a ton of description of what they wear or what color hair is or any of that. I like that. Also, as the wife of a man who travels a lot for business, this piece tugs at my heartstrings in a very personal way. I am particularly touched by the MC's fond remembrances of trips shared with his wife. The cliffhanger ending leaves me wanting to read more of this story...I'd like to see where MC and Eddy end up, and if MC gets his miracle.
Agent Brown and Cheif Bubba's First Encounter
Charles W. Short
Ha! This one sure reeled me in – I was thinking this poor traveler had unwittingly smuggled an explosive device of some sort. I kind of caught on that it wasn't so when the unpacked items were pots and pans. As a Food Network fan, I imagined Alton Brown playing the part of agent Brown. (I wonder if the author was thinking of him, as well?) I appreciate the sense of humor in this piece.
I am known, in many circles, as “the girl who does not like zombie/vampire/undead stories.” However, this tale charmed me, or, rather, the MC charmed me. The author executes excellent characterization with this mummy - she is so well-developed. I loved that she was simultaneously unimpressed by, yet empathetic toward, her dinner. I liked the mini-history lesson about how Mummies were preserved. I super-enjoyed her stapling her arm back on, the way I once (or twice) have stapled in a temporary hemline on a skirt I cared nothing for. This piece excellently depicted what a bother all this being undead business is for a gal. Ha. I might like to read this as a book. Seriously. (And, remember, I am the “girl who does not like zombie/vampire/undead stories”.)
It was amazingly hard to pick a winner. I honestly read over each entry several times before coming to my decision.
Special Challenge Champion – Mark A. King, “Recipe For (a) Disaster” for his awesome take on the challenge concept.
Grand Champion – Lori, “Untitled”, for making me like a genre I would, typically, never pick up.