Time Slips Away in the Summer...
So, earlier this week I thought, "I don't need until Wednesday, I'll have the results up Monday or Tuesday."
The problem was, its summer, and I never know what day it is in the summer. I forgot today was Wednesday. Well, technically it's already Thursday here on the east coast, but it is Wednesday for a little longer on the west coast, so technically, I'm just hours late, not a day late. Thank God for time zones!
Without further ado, I give you my first set of guest-judging results:
with She's Onyx
I'm not sure why, but whether I'm writing or reading, characters who cut fascinate me. This one was no exception. The writer crafted beautiful imagery as he switched back and forth between waking world and dream worlds. However, I felt like the character lacked depth. A few more hints, beyond the imagery, about who she was and why she craved the color over black and white or hints regarding what it was a symbol for would have given this piece more kick. I don't mind writing that makes the reader work, but in this case, a little more about the character would have helped make the end even more powerful than it already was.
First Runner Up
I loved the way this piece built, eventually leading up to a twist. There were enough bread crumbs for me to go back and put the pieces together, but not so many that I figured it out ahead of time. The first line made interesting and effective use of the prompt, but the second seemed bland in comparison to the rest of the piece. The description of the alley was well done, but took a little too long. However, when I read about the character adjusting the corset, I was pulled back into the story by curiosity. The hints of suspicion were told more than shown. Maybe a little less description earlier and a little more here would have balanced the piece better. However, it was well put together, and any flaws were outshone by the surprise at the end!
Craig McGeady (vegted)
with Like Last Night
This piece had me at the first paragraph.The language was beautifully crafted, and evoked very specific imagery. The writer captured the anxiety of waking from a night mare, whether imagined or a flash back, very vividly. Then, one of my favorite things happened. The ending paragraph connected back to the beginning with the image of cartoons and really made the piece feel complete. The only thing I am left wondering is whether or not the dream was a memory or not. In the last paragraph, I almost picture the unnamed "her" confined to a wheel chair, but I'm not sure if that is what the writer intended, and I want to know what the writer was picturing.
Like Last Night
She dreamed in black and white. Silent and with scars, vertical lines that cut the image, weaving their way from one side to the next before disappearing, reappearing and vanishing. She dreamed in black and white like newsreels from World War Two. Not the funny, hand cranked, two reel comedies from the very early days of cinema, where tuxedoed gallants jerked, hopped and skipped their way across the screen. Her dreams were dark and unpleasant, full of viscous, black blood and contorted, pale faces.
Like last night, when she was woken at 2AM in a tangle of sheets, her head spinning and her pulse racing. She'd been in a car, a passenger on a bench seat with the driver beside her. His hands were clenched around an oversized steering wheel. The white of his knuckles showing the tension that held him in place. The cuffs of his suit were riding up his forearms and he'd neglected to undo the buttons so it bunched around his middle.
They were speeding through a country road at night and she was screaming for him to slow down. He wasn't listening, instead pushing harder on the accelerator. They hit a corner too fast and he couldn't correct. They slid sideways through the barrier, tumbling over and over. She collided with the roof, with glass, with him. She woke with the whiteness of his teeth, the stretch of his smile, burning a path down her spine.
She dreamed in black and white. Dark dreams full of cold anger and death, usually her death. And in the morning, with a bright yellow sun blazing in through her window, she filled her world with color, cartoons and cheerios. She sang songs, painted rainbows and tired to forget.