This is Sara bringing you the results a little early this week. There were ten strong stories making it difficult to narrow down the winners. In the end, these were my three favorites.
Enjoy, and Write On!
TipTim (@HomemadeHalo)'s VANQUISHED
I love unicorn stories, and this one had a unique twist at the end. I certainly was not expecting him to have become a centaur, but it made sense by the time I was done the story. The voice was strong, funny in a dark way, and kept me engaged. For me, the stories biggest flaw was that is was simply a monologue without much to anchor it in. A few sneaky details about the setting, maybe how dark and gurgling it is or something, that at first lead the reader to think the narrator was in prison but would not contradict the big reveal would have made the piece much stronger. It would have made it feel more like a complete story as opposed to just someone telling me something.
Benjamin Langley's (@b_j_langley) Of Gamboling Angels and Gorging Fools
This piece drew me in and hooked me at the first line. It had beautiful description of the paintings, but I would have liked a little more detail about the dresses, since they seemed important. This could have given me more clues about the world. As it was, I couldn’t quite figure out what kind of world the story was set in. Still, the protagonist emotions were clear, and the story captured a moment in which she made the decision to stay at the ball making it an overall success.
Laura Milanovich (@jalenshenn)
The twist, and the success with which is was executed, one me over. I surprised to hear that the victim was being fooled by his own program, but it seemed to make sense to me in the end. The character in the first scene was consistent with the one described in the last, even though the point of view changed. This piece came in well below the maximum word count, but still pulled off an effective story, which impresses me. The only thing I would have liked was a tiny but more character devleopment and a few more bread crumbs to go back to the first scene.
"You could forget who you were in a place like this," Zach said as he sank into an overstuffed chair.
"That's the idea." Harold said. "This place isn't where you run and hide, you have the best time of your life here, and your family gets a sizeable settlement."
"And this lasts?"
"As long as you have," The man assured him. "All you have to do is is walk through the door there." He smiled. "This is just an intake room."
Zach smiled as he thought about it. He only had a few months so why not live them out here?
"Where do I sign?" The two of them walked through the door together.
The newscastor looked appropriately somber as the news tones faded. “”A body was found today, That of Zach Brady, the millionaire whiz kid who created a sentient program that has been tricking people into killing themselves.” The broadcaster stopped.
“Some would say that he got what he deserved. He stepped off the 4:10 between Murdock and Hale this morning, falling to his death while listening to "Elysium" the program he created for end of life moments that got loose two months ago. No word yet on why the program, which to now had picked unhealthy individuals would choose him.”