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.


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
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


"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. :)


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.


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."

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Year 2, Week 41: Results!

I really do apologise over the time-zone glitches that sprung up this week – who knew that certain applications will ignore the time you tell them they should be in and decide to take your actual location? Rise of the machines…

Anyhow, thanks Anne and Bill for participating.

Here’s what I loved about your stories:

Bill, your tongue-in-the-cheek global warming take had me grinning from the start.

Anne, I like your portal-fantasy a lot and think there’s a lot of potential there for a longer piece (more about the problem, fleshing out of characters, etc.).

I can't pick a favourite, so let's call it a fun writing exercise.

Until next Saturday…

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Year 2, Week 41

Welcome to another round of CFFC!

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.

Midnight tonight, PDT.

Results announced: Next Wednesday

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).)
‘Yes, but last week a dragon almost set my hair on fire, so it’s your turn to negotiate.’