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!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 48

Happy Saturday! And to make Saturday even happier, welcome to another round of Cracked Flash Fiction Competition.


Judge this week: Kelly

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


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cracked Flash Y2W47: Results!

I had so much fun reading this week’s entries. I enjoyed the different takes on the prompt and had a hard time figuring out who the winners are. Well done everyone! I apologise for the late announcement, but I forgot what day it is… Blame my Grimm folktale retellings for that.

On to the results:

Honourable Mention

KM Zafari with “Fear and Loathing in Los Angeles”

I love the humour of this piece. A cat-underground filled with catnip thefts makes me think there’s much more to this story…

First Runner-Up

Nancy Beach with “Sanity’s Pull”

I enjoyed the description of what the mind does when it doesn’t get enough sleep and the MC’s interaction with her husband. The story pulled me in and kept my attention until the end.

 A few notes: you don’t need the quotation marks at the start of the story – unless I missed where the dialogue should end? “mosquito bite -this feels” Either do a double dash -- or allow your wordprocessor to automatically turn it into a longer dash – as it should be.

Winner Y2W47

Sara Codair with “Padded Walls”

I really like the premise of this story. And the twist is awesome!

A few notes: “it’s maw” should be “its maw” because it’s is a contraction for it is. Check the rest of the story for the right use and typos like turning one word into two, etc. “ran charged through them” Choose either ran or charged. (I fixed all this in the story below.)

Well done.

Padded Walls
“When this is over, I want my sanity back,” said Elena as matter-of-factly as one could say anything when wearing a straightjacket in a padded room.

The padded walls spread their crusty purple lips, revealing row upon row of pointy yellow teeth and laughed.

“I mean it.” She waggled her pointer finger at the ceiling.

“Who says it will ever be over?” The wall’s lips cracked as it spoke.

“Who said I was talking to you,” retorted Elena, tearing her eyes away from the ceiling so she could glare at the wall.

Black blood dripped out of the wall’s cracked lip, trickling down to the floor. “No one leaves here alive.”

Elena laughed. The sound was harsher, more maniacal than it had been two weeks ago.

“You do not believe?” asked the wall.

“You’re the reason I’m here.” She crouched down, wriggling in the straightjacket that was not nearly as tight as the orderlies thought, thankful for all the months she’d trained for prior to taking this assignment.

“You can’t do that,” said the wall.

Elena arched one eyebrow as she shrugged off the jacket and used it to wipe up the black blood.

The wall opened its mouth and screamed. Elena didn’t flinch. It inhaled, sucking in air so hard her hair blew towards its maw. She closed her eyes, cleared her mind of the all the drug-induced hallucinations she’d had during her stay Frommington Hospital, waiting for the wall to show its true face.

She whispered words of power in the ancient tongue. The blood soaked jacket caught fire. The wall screamed as it burned with the jacket. The door opened as orderlies rushed in to put out the fire. Elena charged through them and strolled out of the burning hospital like she owned the place. 
 


Thank you all for participating.

Until next Saturday…


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year2, Week 47

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:

‘When this is all over, I want my sanity back.’



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Year 2, Week 46 Results!

Hi Cracked Flash Fictionados,

We had four entries last week, and it was TOUGH choosing. I decided to pick one winner and give some feedback to everyone else. I love feedback, and hopefully you do too.

The untitled piece by Nancy Beach pulled me in and was completely satisfying, especially the use of onomatopoeia sown throughout-- that made for a delightful rhythm. Also, I was rooting for Ellie and was disappointed when the psychopathic dad won. And horrified. What a startling twist!

"You'll Never Get Burned by a Hot Poker Hand" by Bill Engleson. I enjoyed wondering what was distressing the narrator and was impressed with your smooth incorporation of flashback.

The untitled piece by Dave Mikulas was funny, turned in unexpected ways, and had several fresh similes.

And now... our winner!

"Wants and Needs" by Tip Tim

There were several reasons this piece stood out to me. I thought the second use of the prompt was clever. The change in POV was smoothly executed and added a complexity difficult to pull off in a flash piece. The substitute doctor ratcheted up the tension. I thought the doc was scared because he was a novice, but then you altered the revelation again, uncovering something even more sinister. Well played.

Wants and Needs
“I can handle this.” Stewart thought as he was being wheeled along on a gurney. He looked up at the lights on the ceiling passing hypnotically in a train as they went down the long corridor headed for the theater room. It was for a good cause. It was a necessary cost. Things had taken a rough bend down the past 2 years. He was staring at bankruptcy in the face and was in danger of being kicked out on the streets. And if selling a kidney would get him the money required, to take care of his son Alex’s financial needs, his tuition for college…. Heck, even food on the table, then it was price he could pay. He was by chance a rare match to Lord Mel. They had come to him with an offer he couldn’t refuse. Besides, he had been assured that it was routine, and one kidney could more than adequately serve him well for the rest of his life.
“I can handle this.” Doctor Mulberry scrubbed his trembling hands prepping for surgery. He knew what he had to do, but he was scared. He wasn’t supposed to be the doctor on call. An hour earlier, he had gotten the phone call and had argued feebly for a bit, but he knew it was futile; they had him dead to rights. He could only comply. He had been assured that everyone else that would be in the surgery room would be in on it. Lord Mel had lived a riotous lifestyle generous to his appetite. Right now, he needed ALL the kidneys he could get.

Come back next Saturday for Ronel's prompt!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Year 2, Week 46

Welcome to another round of Cracked Flash Fiction Competition


Judge this week: Kelly

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 can handle this.



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Year 2, Week 45: Results!

There’s not much to say this week… I enjoyed the entries a lot and the two winning stories are near to perfection. Well done everyone!

Runner Up

Angie with “Honor in dying”

I love the imagery.

I’d shorten the paragraphs to add to the tension, though.

Winner Y2W45

Bill Engleson with “The Art Class of War”

Excellent story. I love the twist!



The Art Class of War

Two thousand warriors drew their swords for a war they would not win.

It was downright embarrassing.

“Two thousand,” I explode. “TWO THOUSAND!”

“Shush, Moog,” someone says from a desk, three rows over. It’s Gorge the Hammer. I give Gorgie my best battle-weary finger and whisper, “You’re fine with this?”

“Shush, both of you,” someone further back chimes in. And then that shush-happy soldier adds, “Stick to the task at hand.”

“Frigging Pols,” I mutter, and return to my sketch, remembering how this all came about.

Was it only a month ago that General Scourge revealed the new policy from our superiors.

“Men,” he had said, in that deep gravelly voice that we all associated with the glory of attack, “We are in uncharted waters. Glimp the Younger, Prime Minister of Dampmania, has decreed that the glorious battles of yore, the ones once fought bravely, ferociously, and quite bloodily by our fathers and their fathers are no more. It is said that Glimp the Younger could not sleep one snowy night a few months ago. He went for a walk and upon reaching a small hill had an epiphany…”

“A what?” I blurted out.

“Moog. Is that you interrupting me?” the General demanded to know. The boar fat was in the fire now, I thought.

“Yes, my General. Two Thousand apologies.”

“You still have one serviceable ear, right Moog?”

“Yes, my General. Most of it.”

“Then use it. Listen and learn. Glimp saw the future. Our fighting men, all earless. All limbless. He saw that war would continue but perhaps Dampmania could profit by it, provision the armies of the world who continue to engage in pointless bloodshed.”

“Phooey,” I had said.

That was last month.

I refocus and continue drawing the Moog Blade.

It will be a masterful prototype. 

Thank you all for participating!

Until Saturday...



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year2, Week 45

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:

Two thousand warriors drew their swords for a war they would not win.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Year 2, Week 44: Results!

I had a great time reading this week’s entries. Lots of imagination among the lot of you. Well done everyone! Due to time-constraints and health (check my blog for more on that), I’m only going to tell the runner-up and winner what I thought about their stories.

Runner-upBill Engleson with “Once Upon a Time in The Dragonsong Mountains”

LOL! I really enjoyed this piece. Lucille is quite a character.

The semi-colon in the following sentence should be replaced by a colon. (A colon emphases what’s to come, while a semi-colon connects two related sentences.) So your sentence will look like this: “Which, I don’t need to remind most Aircraft enthusiasts, is what the classic Detwiller looks like: a giant dill pickle.” Check out the link below for a great article explaining the use of semi-colons.

Well done!

Winner Y2W44Neha Srivastava with “Warped Reality”

I really enjoyed the imagery in this piece. For a while I thought the main character was somehow able to split herself in two. Great twist!

A few notes: physics doesn’t need capitalisation (see below), the instances of semi-colon use must be replaced with either colons (:) or with commas (,) as shown in the piece below. Check out this article on the correct use of semi-colons. I also removed the extra comma in the fifth paragraph and the extra ones in the last. The words in bold I added – the sentences needed them to be complete. I also moved the last sentence to stand on its own for effect.

All-in-all a great flash fiction piece. Well done!

Warped Reality

"Why aren't you obeying the laws of physics?" I shouted at myself.

I clung to the roof like a ceiling fan with four arms, my four limbs transformed into those four arms, I looked like a creature from the netherworld. But I knew it was me.

A sudden jolt of electricity shook my core, like the motor of a fan when someone switches on the button. Hell, someone had switched on the button. The fan started rotating, first slowly and then at top speed.

Switching on a fan and it rotating is normal business, except this time the fan was me. As the speed increased, I began gasping for breath. My limbs were almost coming apart, my being screaming for help, for someone to switch off the fan, for the rotations to stop.

I wanted to come back to my gross body which lay in the bed below: the vantage point from where I was observing me. As my body on the ceiling rotated, my body on the bed went out of breath. In two places at the same time. Physics could not explain what was happening, but both my bodies wanted the fan to be turned off. Some external force prevented this.

Tired from trying to prevent my limbs from tearing or my heart from exploding, my bodies dozed off. I didn't realize when. Upon waking, I was no longer short of breath. However, my head was heavy and my body lethargic.
The cannabis drink was wearing off.


Thank you all for participating!


Until next Saturday…

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year2, Week 44

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:

‘Why aren’t you obeying the laws of physics?’




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Year 2 Week 43 Results!

Thanks to the four entrants for Week 43. Since there were four of you, I picked one winner and decided to comment on what I enjoyed about your pieces.

By the River by AJ Aguilar-van der Merwe

Some nice storytelling. This deserves to be read around the campfire!

Another Round at the Fox and Fowl by Bill Engleson

Lots of fresh simile and imagery. The second read through delivered more depth.

Siren Call by Ronel Janse van Vuuren

Beautiful descriptions of the mature and emerging sirens. Unexpected twist at the end-- I always love those.

Winner! 

Wicked Runs in the Genes by Anjela

Hilarious! Reading that line surprised and delighted me. I wasn't sure where you were going to take the story after the zinger of a first line, and you didn't disappoint. Your narrator is genuine and likeable. You took on an edgy topic and kept it real for general audiences. The curve ball into a more personal tone at the end works too.

Anjela Curtis
www.anjelacurtis.com
@anjelacurtis
257 words (Scrivner)

Wicked Runs in the Genes

Only the very oldest people remembered the old-fashioned way to make babies.

Grandma would sometimes drink wine and tell me wicked stories about how, once, humans were born with external sex organs. This was before the Government Omniscience Directive, the G.O.D., gained control and thought to mutate the human genome to prevent over-population.

With the number of people on Earth having reached critical mass, many died of starvation. More died from the resulting Hunger Wars that broke out when the strongest survivors attempted to claim Earth’s few remaining resources. Fearing the loss of power, the G.O.D. chose to intervene then and enforce government rule.

Forced to undergo sterilization, many of the elders escaped underground and continued to fight for humanity. My grandmother was one of the leaders, a former government genealogist and medical doctor. She rescued me—her only living genetic descendant, despite my lab beaker origins—and went on to build the resistance into what it is today. To honor her memory, I continue the fight and lead by example.

Having both endured years of sexual reassignment surgeries, my partner and I will be the first “beaker-babies” to attempt procreation in a manner in which humans were intended.

I’m neither a criminal nor the sexual deviant that the G.O.D would have you believe. I’m just a human being in love, who wanted dearly to have a baby with the person I chose as my mate. I could lie and say I wasn't looking forward to it. But, I guess "wicked" runs in my genes.

© 2017



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Year 2, Week 43


Judge This Week: Kelly

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).)

My husband sent me this quote to pet me about our prodigal teenager, but it applies to the writer life or any struggle for greatness. I hope you like it as much as I did.

"It is not the critic who counts: 
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled 
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena. 
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again' 
who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions; 
who spends himself in a worthy cause; 
who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly 
so that his place shall never be with those timid souls 
who neither victory or defeat". 
~ Theodore Roosevelt

Prompt 

"Only the very oldest people remembered."

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Year 2, Week 42 Results!

We had six stories, including one late entry which couldn't be considered for the contest. Still, I had a great time reading them all. Stephen King would be impressed I'm sure. :)

Runner-up

Ronel Janse van Vuuren with Forest Inferno

What stuck with me about this story was the fine use of anthropomorphism. The fire's roar of rage over the bad eats was fun! Also the idea of sweating away one's very existence hits home with me personally as it was 90 degrees in my corner of the world today. This is more of a vignette than a story, but a well-painted one.

Winner!

Kim Davis with Shit Happens

This story instantly places me, gives me character, tone, tension. The writing is pristine, which never hurts. I found myself thinking of it long after, especially the moment when they locked eyes, when "the champagne glass came unseated." Well done! I love image of a newborn mountaintop rearing up like a giant's fist. Unexpected and jarring, but fresh and wonderful because of it. My one wish would be for a more creative title.

Shit Happens

When it happened, it happened fast. We were screaming along on a downwind run with the spinnaker pulling us into a glorious South Pacific sunset. The boss and his guests stood toasting one another with champagne in crystal classes. I’d tried break him of that habit, because I so often ended up scrambling around after broken glass when some fool forgot and a jibe sent his glass flying. This time, though, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. I saw no danger in the champagne flutes. I’d topped them up and stood with Bill at the wheel. 

None of us knew what happened. We were suddenly flying as the boat pitch poled and headed down. I caught the boss’s eye as his glasses came unseated and his champagne glass left his hand in slow motion. His mouth was open, but I couldn’t hear his voice with my own scream filling my ears. When the old man hit the water, I saw the boom smack the back of his head. His friends—who’d been forward of the mast—were forced down by the mainsail. None made it back to the surface. Bill and I were thrown clear of the boat by some miracle. Tommy, the deckhand, was trapped in his cabin.

We later learned that a newborn mountaintop had reared up like a giant’s fist to catch hold of our keel. Our forward momentum sent the bow straight down. Life rafts and safety vests were useless—there’d been no time. Bill and I were lucky. The crew of a schooner several hundred yards to starboard saw the whole thing and picked us up.

That day has become a metaphor that sums up life for me. Shit happens, even amid perfection. 


Till next time, writer friends. :)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Year 2, Week 42

 Have some rules c:

Welcome to this week's Cracked Flash Fiction. This week's prompt comes from the book The Stand by Stephen King. And oldie but a goodie. 

Judge This Week: Kelly 

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.  Thanks :)

Deadline: 12 AM SUNDAY (6/11) PST
Results announced: Next Wednesday afternoon/evening.
Remember: Your entry must begin with the prompt! The prompt can be mutilated, but not beyond recognition.  Have fun!
Prompt: "When it happened, it happened fast."