Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Year 1, Week 16: Results!

Gather 'round the crazy fire, children, it's time to hear Uncle Flavio's most terrifying story.

The Story of the Stories that Won CFFC Week 16.

Oh yes, little ones, you may shiver. For these participants were not only mad enough to PARTICIPATE ... but they EXCELLED. They caught the attention of the mysterious black-cloaked judges (okay hush, I like cloaks) and inspired the judges not only to stop procrastinating on the internet, but to actually WRITE REVIEWS!

Honorable Mention

The Edit by Rodger Jackson

Si: Every writer's worst nightmare (or best dream?) Personally I'm very glad I don't know the spell ... *eyes assassin characters*.

I liked the idea of the writer summoning their character just to kill him permenantly IRL. (Stormtrooper academy made me laugh, as did the Bond villain line). Good dialogue and I like that we get a good sense of the writer, though the story doesn't seem to be a deep third POV. I would have liked a bit more characterization of the summoned character--he seems a bit distant to the reader, but he's funny. I liked the twist ending and the fact that the writer's choice of weapon is unoriginal but they don't care. Great story!

Rin: Normally, a story featuring an author isn't my thing, but this one is an exception. This story amuses me, so much. The pace was smooth and I enjoyed the dialogue between the author and his villain, especially the villain's snarky commentary regarding his author's numerous failings to destroy him and Starwars referencing. The character felt well done, both classic cliches, but cliches done well. One of my favorite aspects of this story, and the reason that it was an exception for me, was that unlike most author-character stories, the control of the situation was never truly given to the author character, but he continued to fail in his goal and left us hanging, wondering what would happen to him next. The last line is probably my favorite because the double meaning of 'spell checker' made me laugh. Kuddos on a great story.

First Runner-Up

Stand-off South of Butte by Bill Engleson

Si: First off, great immersion into the story! The description of Zeke really sets the scene and the dialogue feels true to the setting--not always easy! I like the way the story is set up for us to assume Zeke is some whiny idiot but as we read on, the true tragedy of the soon-to-be polluted stream changes the way we see the scene. I especially liked the way you juxtaposed the lines:

There was nothing a lowly clerk in the Bureau of Land Management could do.

“Hell, Zeke, let me patch you up,” I said.

Showing that the only help our MC can give Zeke is tiny to what he really needs--the true problem at hand, which is unsolvable. I would have liked the backstory to be more integrated into the piece--perhaps through an argument between the chars? And until the very end, the reader has no idea Skeeter is standing there and watching--though we know he shot Zeke, his silence seems to indicate that he left right after. Great use of setting, and well done!

Rin: This one transported me straight to the 70 acre farm I used to live on, where there were stories of our old neighbors having feuds and shoot outs like this. I love that the motivations behind Zeke's and Skeeter's conflict is clear and realistic. The story progresses at a nice pace and I felt I was right there, ducking behind a tree or some such with Zeke and Wakefield. The characters feel well developed with unique personalities. My favorite line was “Nobody is looking at my splotchy Georgia ass, Wakefield. I’ll stem my own bloody gusher.” because I can just hear and old coot saying something like that. Very well done! 

Y1W16 Winner

The Red Fleece!
with Red for Oscar

Si: GREAT twist! Really excellent set-up of comraderie between Janet and Michael, the subtle introduction of the two Oscars ... loved that duality by the way. It's slipped in so smoothly--that fatal like "I wonder if she knows?--that the ending is a surprise, but makes perfect sense. The last paragraph is expressive in how much it leaves to the reader's imagination--we can IMAGINE far greater pain, far more blood and gore, than a story can deliver in plain black-and-white so good job giving us just enough to start! Several great lines: "Today's God ..." "Physically I'm in place. Mentally I'm a step behind. ", "“Just think of the Oscar.”,
That is never a problem. I'm always thinking of Oscar these days, her Oscar." Excellent story!

Rin: It was easy to see the movie set in my mind and the description was done well. The play on words with Oscar was great fun! The wondering whether Janet knew Michael's secret and what would happen next built the tension nicely and the pace kept it all moving along smoothly. I liked that the attack took me off guard in the way that it was done. I expected a verbal confrontation or some sign that Janet knew, first, but the blast cap or whatever she used without any warning was a fabulous twist! Great job!

The winning story!

Red for Oscar
“How many times do I have to be shot before you're happy?” I rubbed the dull pain out of my chest. The same description could be used to describe our movie set: a soon to be ruined drinks reception made out of papier-mâché and sugar glass.

“Until the director is happy,” Janet laughs as she fixes up a new bullet wound pack, a small block of explosive surrounded by fake blood.

“But megaphone-woman is never happy.” I take off my red ruined shirt.
“And neither are you Michael.” Janet handed me a new white shirt, blood pack loaded. “Just think of the Oscar.”

That is never a problem. I'm always thinking of Oscar these days, her Oscar. All his muscles and fun. I wonder if she knows? This is a hell of a risk if she does. She clicks the final wire into place and her thumb shots into the air.

“Positions people.” Today's God orders us through her megaphone. Physically I'm in place. Mentally I'm a step behind. I can't shift Oscar from my head.



The pain punches me backwards and crack through a table. Red floods my shirt, more than was in the pack. The pain won't stop. Janet is over me now, down on her knees. Her hand slips between the tear of my shirt. Pain, new pain, rips me in two. I think I scream. All my senses are screaming. Above my Janet rubs red between her thumb and forefinger. My red, real red. “Now I'm happy.” 

Catch y'all again THIS SATURDAY! *prepares net*

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