Friday, April 28, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 37

Okay, if results aren't up yet for W36: I apologize. I've come down with something and I'm really struggling (read: failing) to keep on top of judging and school and everything. I've reached out to our other judges to see if they have some free time to get W37 judged. In the meantime, W36 results are on the way (hang in there! <3). 

Here are some rules c:

Judge: 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: Midnight Tonight, PDT (4/29)!

Results announced: Next Thursday 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

"You're my favorite monster."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 36


Judge: 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 (4/22)!

Results announced: Next Thursday afternoon. (Mars will try and have it up by Wednesday in the hopes that it will be ready on Thursday)

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

He leaned against the tree with a sigh.

Year 2, Week 35: Results!

Okay, the first week of school took a bigger toll on me than I had previously expected, so I must apologize for 1) the late results and 2) that there's only one review. I did pick out two today, but time constraints are eating at me. 

Death of a Mule by Angie: This was going to be first runner-up, since I found it very humorous, between his life flashing before his eyes, the drug cartel, and the crocodile. Nice work.

Y2W35 Winner

AJ Aguilar-van der Merwe!

with Enchanted Love 

I was intrigued from the get-go on this piece; line one was cleverly written in the fact that it gives us a glimpse into the future but doesn't tell us why the prince's eyes might be death-like. It was an excellent foreshadowing technique.

The passage read choppily to me; most of the sentences follow one of two sentence patterns, and they tend to be very telling instead of showing, so it ends up with a kind of "See Spot run. Spot runs fast," feel ("Her name is Mary," being the prime example). Perhaps if this piece were written in third person limited, possibly past tense (I am biased towards that, I confess; I did feel like the present tense could work if this were less of an overview and an in-character shot). 

I like the idea of the story--that of a prince stuck in a political marriage but loving a forest goddess, and the forest goddess basically claiming him as her own. There are great building blocks here. Good job!


ENCHANTED LOVE

His eyes would be cold and lifeless when he arrives back from his ride in the forest.

At breakfast, his father, King Eduardo, makes it clear that he, Prince Alejandro, must wed Princess Annabella, King Felipe's daughter. The marriage between the sole heir and heiress to the thrones of the two biggest kingdoms would make one massive, powerful and invincible dominion within the Asianic territories.

Unbeknownst to King Eduardo, his son is in love with another. Her name is Mary. Prince Alejandro tells the king he is going riding to clear his head but he's meeting Mary to tell her about his father's intention.

Mary is waiting for him near their favorite giant tree by the river, not far from the waterfall. Her long shiny black hair glistens. Her pearl skin seems to sparkle. Her eyes incandescent, she flashes the most enchanting smile Alejandro has ever seen.

As they embrace, their love radiates like nothing the forest and its inhabitants have witnessed.

Alejandro vows not to marry Annabella. He only wants to know how to break the news to his father without disappointing him. The king's heart condition is no secret to them. She urges him to go home and assures him that everything would be fine.

Upon seeing his son looking like death, the king sends for a healer. The prince protests saying he feels fine despite looking ill. He asks that his wish to retire to his room be respected. He persuades his father that his energy will replenish soon.

Alone in his room, peace surrounds Alejandro's entire being. His father doesn't need to know. He is happy. He is in love with a 'diwata', a forest goddess. His soul belongs to his enchantress and must now be taken to her kingdom.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 35


Judge: 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 (4/15)!

Results announced: Next Thursday afternoon. (Mars is back at school)

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

His eyes were cold and lifeless.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 34! Winners!

Marj here.

Thanks to everyone who took part this week.  I always enjoy reading where the prompt takes people and this week was no exception. 

For me there was just one winner and that has to be... *drum roll*...  Bill Engleson's "A Gossamer Sip of Poison".  A tightly written piece that cranked up the pace until the denouement.  Anyone who can sneak in the word "snickers" into a piece deserves the prize.  Well done Bill!

I hope you have a pleasant Easter weekend.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 34!


Judge: Marj or 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 (4/8)!

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

"Oh, everyone just thought you were crazy."

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Year 2, Week 33: Results!

Wow! The entries this week were superb. I wish I could tell each author what I thought about their story, but time won’t permit that. Just know: it was extremely difficult to choose my favourites this week.



Honourable Mention

AnnaJailene with Vengeance


Great imagery throughout.

Beware sentence fragments: “I stand a safe distance away. Far away; in a cradle held up by a crane normally used for Dinner in the Sky.” This is one sentence, so don’t divide it with a full-stop and a semi-colon (does the same job as a full-stop). Rather emphasise with a colon, e.g. “I stand a safe distance away: far away, in a cradle held up by a crane normally used for Dinner in the Sky.”

In the third paragraph, replace the semi-colon with a colon (a semi-colon does the same job as a full-stop just without completely severing ideas, while a colon draws attention to what follows).

The loud electronic dance music drowned the sound of the clattering wings. I love this sentence. Well done.

First Runner Up

Sam Lauren with Patient Fruition


I enjoyed the time-travel aspect of this story.

“Counsel” should be “Council”. (Counsel = advice or guidance. Council = local governing body of a region/town.)

Beware sentence fragments. (A basic sentence needs a subject and a verb.) They’re fine in dialogue, but too many in the text can frustrate readers.

The end of your story is brilliant.

The dragons, twelve, stood taller than their ruins. They sniffed the air. They stretched their metallic spines and wagged their tails through steel columns. Their scales, seamless skin, shimmered like gems under water. They combed the streets like a pack of hybrid bloodhounds. 

“You’re an expert on biotechnology like this,” Daniel whispered. “What do you think they're looking for?”

I smiled. “Me.”

Well done.

Winner Y2W33

Sian Brighal

with In the Flesh


This story grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. The question of the dragons’ souls echoed long after this story was read. Well done.

In the Flesh

Dragons stalk the streets, puffing out smoke and clattering their mechanical wings. Most cheer, waving their banners, yelling out the names of their heroes, the beasts that battle for their entertainment. Some scowl, having lost money on the annual bouts between the leviathans of bronze, silver, copper and brass: the mythical made manifest, breathing fire to melt their foes into precious pools to be gathered up with due reverence at the end.

A few simply watched, studying the newly forged and beaten panels, wondering if any of them were still unique…how much of each other resided in each one? For metal had memory…and with each smelting in the arena and reforging at the smith, the dragons’ flesh healed as one: bits of victor and vanquished, old and new, battle-hungry and battle-weary alike. On the outside, the dragons looked no different, recast in the same long adored image, but their bodies must almost be as one by now.

And their souls?

No metal beast had souls! Such talk was seditious…or pandering to the pious who thought gambling a sin and would use any argument to bring down the Dragon Arena. But…a few of the old artisans remembered stories of the beasts’ first forging, when they were weapons and rose from ruined cities to rain down vengeance and hate upon foes: when claws were sharper and buffed skin was anointed with blood. And they whisper the rumour that human souls had put their undying spark into tightly wound heart mechanisms to give the metal monsters ‘life’ and understanding enough to be commanded.

So a few watched the dragons stalk past with a mix of pity and dread of war machines used as toys and what amalgam of hate and anger fleshed out the madness of a thousand souls existing as one.


Thank you all for participating.

Until next Saturday.