Sunday, February 26, 2017

Year 2, Week 27 (Late but here!)


First off, I want to say what an honour and (scary) privilege it is to carry out the task of judging.  Second, I must apologise for the delay in posting the results.  Real life got in the way as it has a nasty habit of doing.  But here we are, better late than never.

I liked each one of the entries because of how they used the prompt.  It's amazing how a simple line stimulates the imagination to be so creative.  Thank you all.

Even after much ruminating over the stories, hence the delay in posting, I've come to this conclusion.  It really was a tussle to come to the overall decision.  Thanks for allowing me to do this. 

Joint runner up:


Kieron Circuit - "The things we do"

I liked the description here of  how Jackson was dressed and the neighbourhood with its almost sinister overtones.  One thing to be aware of is where the computer allows the wrong word "knock of " and the eye doesn't see it. The build-up to the climax wasn't too drawn out and I was so intrigued to know what was in the box.  Mind you, I am not sure whether I'd be that forgiving of Danielle if I'd been Jackson.  Well done!

Joint runner up:


 Alva Holland - "Follow the instructions"

This tale was so delightful to read.  The detail of opening the box, whilst lengthy, didn't pall it drew me in further and further.  I loved the ending - "cobalt blue" is such an intense colour, I knew exactly what you were describing. Alva, I'd like to see this given a couple of hundred more words as I'd like to know more about the relationship between the two people.  Great stuff.

Y2, W 27 Winner:

Image result for winners cup

Bill Engleson - "A Record of Events" 

A very dark tale that tore at my heartstrings.  The end of the world, and no medium left to record it - how awful.  I loved this simply because I'm a girl who writes in pencil on paper! How would a world survive without these glorious implements? Not sure about the sentence about the "invisible entity". Maybe "he shook his head violently" would have fit and given you a few more words to play with.  Doom laden and very well written.  Congratulations!

A Record of the Events

“Whatever you do don’t, don’t get this wet.” With that firm directive, Sliderman passed me the precious bundle of rolls, long cached in his bunker, deplasticized by a long forgotten environmental oddity that abhorred plastic of any kind.

Once the bundle was secured in my arms, he then handed me a half dozen antiquated writing implements, wood wrapped around graphite bound with a clay mixture.

“Pencils?” I asked.

“Pencils. There may be more somewhere, but these are my last.”

“Do they make them anymore?” I asked. It had been eons since I had seen such a simple technology.

“A lost art,” re-joined Sliderman. “No call. No prophets warning us.” There was a desperate darkness to his voice, a painful lament for the old ways. For at least some of the old ways.

“We must focus. YOU must focus,” Sliderman anxiously charged. His voice was cracking, his panic rising. “This mountain is bleeding, Walter. These rains have permanently damaged the infrastructure of the hills. And the quakes, the endless quakes. They have ruptured my home, my sweet bunker. You MUST find a weatherproof chamber. The Record Keepers will need these materials. The story of these days need to be documented.”

“Surely there is more paper, somewhere?” I asked.

His head started to flap left and right as if an invisible entity was slapping him ferociously. “Don’t cling to your idiotic idealism, Walter. We may be at the end of OUR world. We must assume that we are all that remains of human memory. Find a safe place for this paper, for these pencils. And then, seek out whatever remains of the Record Keepers. Once that is done, your assignment will be over.

I looked skyward. Clouds were returning.

“Hurry, Walter. The rains are coming."

I heard the thunder crack.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Year 2, Week 28

Welcome to this week's Cracked Flash Fiction. I hail from northeast Ohio and am freshly returned from a Caribbean cruise, so of course I've got ships, boats, and customs on my mind. :)

Judge This Week: Kelly Griffiths

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 (2/26) PST
Results announced: Next Wednesday afternoon/evening.
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).  Have fun!


"You can't bring that on board."

Friday, February 17, 2017

Year 2, Week 27

Judge This Week: Marj (guest appearance from the UK)

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 (2/19) PDT
Results announced: Next Wednesday afternoon/evening UK time.
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).  Have fun!


 "Whatever you do, don't get this wet!"

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Year 2, Week 26: Results!

I’ve been busy with an ambitious writing project last week and only saw that I was judging Cracked Flash Fiction Competition when I went online to participate… Never a dull moment! Now to see who took my monopoly on judging the third Saturday of the month. Right – we’ll wait until Saturday. *Cue villainous laughter.* 

Very well, we’ll proceed to this week’s results.

Honourable Mention

Sara Codair with Lying in the Dirt

Great job with the vivid descriptions that brought the garden to life. Check for typos sneaking in. I enjoyed the dystopian feel to the story. Well done.

First Runner Up

Benjamin Langley with A Fragile Innocence

There’s something visceral, gripping about this story. I was at first confused, had to read it a couple of times for it to make sense, yet it wouldn’t let go. What’s the scratching at the door…? Well done.

Y2W26 Winner

Storm Jarvis 

with A change of heart

I enjoyed this Young Adult fantasy of friends as close as sisters resolving their issues with a fight of magic going astray. Check the punctuation (sentences should end with a full stop or something similar and an ellipses is formed with three dots, not two, etc.) and for typos sneaking in. I would’ve placed the “That was until the ‘sleep’ spell…” part in a new paragraph for effect. Having the main character going from one set of emotions about her friend to another really showed the crazy spectrum of teenage emotions and thoughts. Well done.

Words: 299

Title: A change of heart

“You lied to me”

“You said you wanted peace but I want revenge”

“What did I ever..” Cora did not get to finish her sentence as a wave of magic forced her backwards. As she flew she used her powers to land safely, inches away from the razor sharp branches that were meant to kill her.

Valerie sighed in relief as her shock wave did nothing. Remy had pushed her, his plan had been simple. Promise peace and then kill her. Instead it looked like a battle was about to begin. Valerie had never wanted any of this. Her powers were starting to drain the little energy she had left.

Her father had taught her everything she knew about her powers. Cora however had been her best friend. They were destined to do great things or at least that is what her father believed. Cora had taught her the regular teenage spells. Change your hair colour, create fabulous dresses and Valerie had believed it was all innocent. That was until the ‘sleep’ spell. Cora had sworn it would put him in a deep sleep so they could attend the spring ball. Instead he had not woken up.

Valerie was snapped from her memories as a fireball flew at her. Cora was fighting to stay alive and Valerie to avenge her father.

“You killed him!“ Valerie hurled a lightning bolt.

“What?” Cora seemed confused as she deftly dodged the attack.

“HE WAS ALL I HAD!” The recognition hit Cora like a knife to the stomach.

“Valarie I …”Valerie cut her off with another wave spell

“Don’t say it”

“I never meant to hurt him. You know I loved him too.” Cora stopped attacking and sat on the forest floor.

“NO!” Valerie cried as the fireball landed right where Cora sat.

Thank you all for your participation! Until Saturday...

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 26

Judge This Week: Mars (or Ronel? Probably 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: 1 AM SUNDAY (2/12) PDT (hour late posting again oops)

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).)


"You lied to me?"

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Year 2, Week 25: Results!

I don't have a lot of stuff to say this week,
so have a cat! I hope all of you lovelies are safe and sound c:

Honorable Mention

Ronel Janse van Vuuren's Idiocy

This piece makes me a little nostalgic, as its tone rather hearkens back to the early days of CFF, when it was just three writers writing little wacky, nonsensical things in ten or so minutes. I can actually envision these kind of wacky hijinks in comic format, and it's amusing me a lot. Piece-wise, the entire thing feels like a climax until the last few lines, though it kind of adds to the charm--it might be useful to experiment with some build-up to battling/escaping the chimera, however. Overall, thanks for making me smile. 

First Runner Up

Alva Holland's My Name is Damien

This piece got a chuckle out of me with the last two lines. I enjoyed the characterization through dialogue--particularly the unwritten dialogue of maybe-Damien's-Mom. Alice's exasperation, Damien's anxiety, and maybe-Damien's-Mom's "what in the world is going on" all come through clearly. I would suggest attempting to cut some words before the phone conversation--that is, tighten up the piece so the reader reaches the point of the story sooner; my attention started to waver around "Are you sure you haven't lost it already?" Either way, though, amusing piece. Nice job!

Y2W25 Winner:

Sara Codair!

with Survival 101

"I used to be vegan," is the line that kept repeating in my head after I read this piece. I think that line really captures the tone of this clearly dystopian story. I can also empathize with the main character here--I don't like most fish, and I'm terrible at fishing. (Nature would probably kill me off.) This piece doesn't have an obvious climax and all, but that feels like a point of the tale. Nature happens as nature does, with or without humans' presences. I am very curious as to what caused the decline in the human population, though that's nonessential to the story. Poignant and thought-provoking. Good job!
Survival 101 

"Try a different one.” Joe frowned as the wriggling worm fell into the bucket of dirt.

I arched my eyebrows. “A worm is a worm.”

“The fat ones are juicier and slower. Easier to hook, more likely to attract fish.”

I sighed. “I don’t even like fish.”

“Would you rather eat the worm?”

“I’d rather eat nuts berries.” I gazed at the sun glistening on deep blue, vibrant leaves with orange-tinted tips and wispy seeds forming atop grass.

“Those’ll be hard to come by next month.” Joe dug weathered fingers into the bucket, pulling out a short worm barely able to wriggle, and handed it to me. “You want to survive, don’t you?"

“I used to be vegan.” My stomach wriggled like the obese worm, half-heartedly threatening to eject raspberries.

Joe’s laughter shook the remains of his shrunken belly. “Just hook the damned worm.” 

Despite its protest, my stomach knew food was hard to come by, and held the berries while I jabbed the rusty, barbed metal into the worm, scrunching it like I was forcing a new curtain onto an old rod.

“That’s the spirit. Plant your feet and cast like I showed you.”

I obeyed. My tortured worm plopped into the shimmery blue. I watched the ripples grow as they approached shore. “What now?”

“Now we wait.” Joe lowered his raisen-like body onto a silvery rock. “We wait and we pray.” 

I nodded, but remained standing. Winged-insects flittered across the water close to shore. A water-strider fell victim to a frog blending his body with a rotten log. A dragon fly landed on my nose, its wings tickling a smile out of my face. The last scientist I met said the human population might never recover. Nature, though, was doing just fine. 

Stay safe, everybody :) <3

Friday, February 3, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 25!

Aaayyyy y'all, we got some new judges pending scheduling. Stay tuned this month! c: 

Have some rules c:

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).)


"Try a different one."

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Year 2, Week 24: Results!

I must apologize for a repeat prompt this week. I woke up on Saturday and went, "Hey, that prompt kind of sounds familiar," and Googled it. Turns out, there's a reason why! Alas, by then, it was too late to fix. 

I also cannot seem to get well. I went into the doctor's last week for a routine checkup and stuff with a minor cough and my doctor was all, "Hmmm, here's some medicine, come back in two weeks if it's still there." 

"Just a small cough," I said. "It'll be fine," I said. Yeah, it's bronchitis. I'm so tired of coughing, guys, pls send help. 

Anyways, enough of that. Onto results! 

First Runner Up

Firdausp's Kids Play

Man, I'd probably break bones to get to my kitten, too. (Cruel older sister? At least she didn't lock a kitten(?) in a trunk!) The suspense and tension of the piece is good, especially keeping the readers in the dark until the very last moment as to who (or what) Meg is. Unfortunately, I can envision kids doing all of this to each other too easily! Good characterization and cute story here. 

Y2W24 Winner:

Dave Novak!

with Beat Him Up

I chuckled several times when I read this piece, which I'm not ashamed to say was one of the deciding factors for who got to take this week's trophy home. Tony Two Shoe's "I'm offended" talk and a (theoretically) hardened criminal breaking down under the guilt tripping of a grandmotherly figure--not even his own grandma!--were very amusing to me. (Also, never go up a Sicilian when death is on the line, bro.)

It would have been nice to get more character action instead of dialogue after Grandma starts in on Frankie, though the word count is a limiting factor here. In the beginning of the story, we get just a little bit, but that all disappears in favor of the dialogue. The story still works without it, though.

I like the pacing and format, particularly from "The room is dark" to "He struggles to breathe." It built up the tension quite nicely to Grandma's introduction. I find formatting a very useful tool, particularly in poetry and flash fiction, and it was used well here. Nice job!
Beat Him Up

“I can’t answer that,” Frankie grunts. “You’ll have to beat me up.”

A sinister smirk creeps its way across Tony Two Shoe’s face. The smell of stale tobacco and prosecco chokes the air. Frankie struggles against the ropes binding him down in what he guesses has to be the world’s most uncomfortable chair.

“Frankie, my boy,” Tony says. “I’m offended. This is 2017. The mob don’t beat people up no more. We changed with the times.”

Tony turns around. “Come on over,” he says.

The room is dark. A single bulb hangs from the ceiling, provides the only meager source of light in the room.

A shadow creeps from the corner.

Another bead of sweat drips down Frankie’s forehead.

His heart races.

He struggles to breathe.

“Frankie. I’d like to introduce you to Grandma.”


The bulb illuminates the face of a shriveled old Sicilian woman.

“So this is Frankie?” she says. “It’s been so long. I nearly forgot who you are.”

“Forgot who I am? Lady, I don’t even know who you are.”

“Would it kill you to call once in a while? You know, Mrs. Kirkpatrick down the street says that her grandkids call once a week.”


“And heaven forbid you ever visit. Are you at least helping your mother?”

“My mother? I mean, I haven’t seen her for – ”

“That woman gave birth to you, you know.”

“I know.”

“She works so hard, she asks for so little. A saint, that woman. And do I smell smoke in here?”

“Yeah, but – ”

“God rest his soul, if your grandfather knew you were smoking. Oh, he’d be spinning in his grave.”

“Please stop.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll die soon enough, and you won’t have to worry about me bothering you no more.”

“Alright!” Frankie squeals. “Stop it! I’ll talk!”

See you all on Saturday!