Saturday, August 19, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 3, Week 4



Judge This Week: TBD

Word Count: 300 max

How: Submit your stories as a comment to this post, along with your name, word count, and title (and Twitter handle or blog if you've got 'em!). One entry per person.

Deadline: Sunday 8/20 at 4 AM PDT

Results announced: Next Wednesday afternoon.

Remember: Your entry must begin with the prompt! The prompt can be mutilated, but not beyond recognition. (Pictures do not need to be incorporated into your stories; they're for inspiration (and amusement).)

Prompt 

I dropped my shield.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cracked Flash Y3W3: Results!

I enjoyed this week’s stories and even the spam had me LOL. Though the last can be attributed to spring being here ;-)

Without further ado, here’s this week’s winner:

Y3W3 Winner

Carin Marais 
with “A Crown of Grey and Red”

This dark tale had me from the moment the woman was described and had me shivering since the sentence where the girl’s fate was made clear until the end.

The only advice I have is to leave spaces between paragraphs to make it easier for readers to read.

Great work!


A Crown of Grey and Red

“If you could even begin to comprehend where I’ve come from, you would be terrified of me.”
I took in the grey-haired woman in front of me. All in greens and browns she was dressed, but wore a cloak of ox blood red. Her hair was entwined with holly berries; a crown of red above a wrinkled face. 
“You should go back to town,” she said to me. 
“They sent me to gather the water this year.”
“You?” she laughed. “You are too young.”
I drew myself up to my full height. But even so I was noticeably short for my sixteen years. 
“They said she would be here to lead me into the woods to the water. The last girl.”
“And what makes you think that I am not she?”
“Because that was five years ago and you’re too…”
“Old? The woods change you.” She stepped back into the shadows of the trees. “Are you coming or not?”
I looked back at the town for a moment and clenched my jaw before following the woman. 

“They lie when they say it holds the power to give eternal youth, you know,” she said when we reached a spring surrounded by dried and ashen vegetation.
“Then why do we come?”
“Because the years we lose, they gain,” she said with nonchalance as she filled the bucket I had brought with water and started walking away. 
“And you will leave me here, to your fate?”
She looked back. “If it means that I could see my son one more time before I die, yes.”

On the elected day I, too, entwined berries in my greying hair and ambled to the edge of the woods I would at last be permitted to leave. 
A young girl already stood waiting. 



Thank you all for participating.

Until next Saturday...



Saturday, August 12, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 3, Week 3

Welcome to another round of Cracked Flash Fiction Competition!


Judge this week: Ronel

Word count: 300 max

How: Submit your stories as a comment to this post, along with your name, word count, and title (and Twitter handle or blog if you've got 'em!). One entry per person.

Deadline: 
Midnight tonight, PDT.

Results announced: Next 
Wednesday afternoon.

Remember: Your entry must begin with the prompt! The prompt can be mutilated, but not beyond recognition. (Pictures do not need to be incorporated into your stories: they're for inspiration (and amusement).)

Prompt:

‘If you could even begin to comprehend where I’ve come from, you would be terrified of me.’






Saturday, August 5, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 3, Week 2

Welcome to another round of Cracked Flash Fiction Competition!

I saw nothing was up yet, so here we go!


Judge this week: To-be-determined.

Word count: 300 max

How: Submit your stories as a comment to this post, along with your name, word count, and title (and Twitter handle or blog if you've got 'em!). One entry per person.

Deadline: 
Midnight tonight, PDT.

Results announced: Next 
Wednesday afternoon.

Remember: Your entry must begin with the prompt! The prompt can be mutilated, but not beyond recognition. (Pictures do not need to be incorporated into your stories: they're for inspiration (and amusement).)

Prompt:
To say the wedding wasn’t going as planned was the understatement of the century.





Friday, August 4, 2017

Year 3, Week 1: Results!

Runner Up
 
Bill Engleson's Lock Step

“Screw tradition. // I want stuff.” I appreciate this attitude from a main character (though perhaps not the whole “stealing from the neighbors and the destitute” part), especially in a world where people are shouting for less thief and scumbag books (they've obviously never read Locke Lamora). The thing that lost me with this story was that there was a lack of conflict; all the action relevant to the story had already happened by the time it started. Good job!

Y3W1 Winner!

Dave Mikulas

with Picks & Rakes

Carrying an entire story through dialogue can be a tough challenge. It certainly worked well for this story, though, as describing the little thieves could have given away the big reveal at the end! I do like the foreshadowing with the “That's not my pick set. They're too small,” line. (I also have “Big Fun” from Heathers' running through my head at the “I need a hit” line, so thanks haha.) This is a cute little piece after the reveal, though I was caught for a moment in thinking the police were onto them. Good job!
Picks & Rakes

“I taught you how to pick locks and this, this is the extent of your skills Jimmy?”

“Shut up Charlie.”

“You’re fumbling like a teenager in the back seat of mom’s Chevy.”

“And what would you know about that?”

“I know enough Jimmy! Now hurry up!”

“Here, you take the rake and do it yourself.”

“That’s not my pick set. They’re too small.”

“Then please, let me be.”

“Hurry up. They’re comin’ back any second.”

“I know.”

“You’ve got to hurry.”

“I know.”

“Any second she could come back and we’re busted.”

“Then be. Quiet. And keep a lookout.”

“You should be done already! What’s the problem?”

“You’re not helping Charlie. Hold the light steady. I can’t see a damn thing.”

“Oh, come on! I need a hit Jimmy!”

“I told you before; you’re welcome to take over.”

“Don’t stop you’ve almost got it! Keep going! Keep going!”

“I’m working as fast as I can but I’ve got someone squawking at me every. Three. Seconds. Now zip it and let me work.”

“Are you in yet?”

“Wow. You lasted exactly two seconds. A personal record Charlie. Let me work.”

“Okay. Okay.”

“There.”

“About time. Grab ‘em and go! Go! Go! Go!”

“YOU TWO! HANDS UP!”

“Crap. Busted.”

“TURN AROUND! “EMPTY YOUR POCKETS!”

“It was all Jimmy’s idea!”

“My idea?!? My idea! You’re the one that knew where she kept the goods!”

“CHARLES! JAMES! HERE! NOW!!”

“Yes mom.”

“Yes mom.”

“Drop the candy. All of it Charles.”

“Yes mom.”

“I teach you two how to pick locks and this is how you use that skill?

“Bravo boys. But next time…wait until I go to bed.”

Friday, July 28, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 3, Week 1

HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY I'm back from college! I oughtta be around for a long stretch this time. 

JSYK Ronel and Kelly are amazing. CFFC probably would have gone on hiatus for three or so months if they hadn't stepped up to the judging plate. Thank them when you next see them, please! 

ALSO we forgot to celebrate CFFC's second anniversary last month! We're onto Year Three as of June 27th!! I can't express how amazing y'all are to have stuck around this long!


So I'm back in the judging rotation, and I'll be judging this round :D


Judge This Week: Mars

Word Count: 300 max

How: Submit your stories as a comment to this post, along with your name, word count, and title (and Twitter handle or blog if you've got 'em!). One entry per person.

Deadline: Midnight tonight, PDT! 

Results announced: Next Wednesday afternoon.

Remember: Your entry must begin with the prompt! The prompt can be mutilated, but not beyond recognition. (Pictures do not need to be incorporated into your stories; they're for inspiration (and amusement).)

Prompt 

"I taught you to pick locks and this is how you use that skill?"


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Year 2 Week 48 Results!

What fun twists on the man, Job. He was the first person known to wear worms and a crust of dirt (Job 7:5). The winning story stood out immediately, but the runner up was a tougher choice. Each entry had beautiful lines, images, and/or phrases.

"Unfinished" had some stand-out, antiquated images I was thankful to see again.

"Total Win" had a winning narrational attitude, but swung wildly from deal with it to let's tie the knot. Bit of a capricious zombie!

"The Equalizer" had probably my favorite line of the year: "Rich and poor use the same alphabet. "I was unclear as to who was driving the corvette. Were they in the car together? This piece sent me on a researching spree: decomposition. I learned those gut bacteria DO bloat your entrails till they come out your... (well, look it up if you want to be disgusted!)

On to the winners.

Runner Up


Sara Codair with "What Comes out of the Ground"

The mother's sass was fun. I also enjoyed the literal take on the prompt and the details that painted an exact time/scene. The clear plot and surprise ending was ultimately what made this my runner-up.

Winner!Y2W48

Bill Engleson with "A Heart-Worming Story"

The funny, strong voice immediately pulled me in. Then you make the idea of him waiting and listening under there with the beautifully understated phrase, "It was all very remarkable." Then, the betrayal! The origin of the walking dead- love!

My flesh is clothed with worms and a crust of dirt.

The dirt is essential. The worms absolutely insist. I don’t mind. They are unusually polite, not a characteristic you would normally expect from worms.

I had once considered cremation. It seemed a nice tidy way to exit.

But I dawdled with my will and no specific changes made it into the final draft.

Sam Salter, my lawyer, kept at me, of course. “Spell it out, Walt. If you have a preference, state it.”

I suppose it was the smoke, the flame, the fire, the blast of heat that caused me to hesitate. In the end, I went for the traditional funeral, the box, the lowering into the ground, the eternal wait.

After a goodly number of months of interminable rest, the cold, the heat, the changing seasons up above, the voices of other new members of our cemetery community, my consciousness began to stir. It was all quite remarkable.

Cecile came often. I could almost hear her. “Oh Walt, I hope you don’t think me disloyal. Sam has been very helpful with the estate. We have become closer than I ever imagined possible.”

As I heard her confession, I thought, well, at least I know him. He was a pretty fair lawyer. He might make a suitable lover.”

The worms thought otherwise. Surprisingly, they could not curb their tongues. “Lawyers. Squirming sleazy lawyers,” they would say. “We can barely find the courage to slither into their corpses. We let the other creatures of the soil slip under their skin. Beetles! Ants! Oh, the ants love to crawl into the orifices of dead lawyers.”

Eventually, the concept of the walking dead arose in discussion.

The worms heartily endorsed the activity.

Sam and Cecile can expect a visit any night now.

I'm happy to tell you Si is back from the academic underworld and will be returning to CFF!