|WINNERS ARE COMING|
Si refuses to apologize for that, BTW.
We thank you all for participating and making CFFC's return most glorious! Y'all are awesome, and your flash fics are too.
Without further ado, WINNERS!
Ares Tomb by Trisscar368
Si: I was amused by the role "old Earth tropes" played in this story. I really liked the setting and the mission--treasure hunters in a scifi future! Good relationship between the characters, the dialogue shows us how they interact very well. One thing I would change was the paragraph here: "They almost died a dozen times, and when at last the great treasure vault spread in front of them", I feel that their journey could make more of an impact on the reader if some words were spent to describe it and show us how difficult it was. I liked the ending, which was a bit of a surprise--we're expecting them to be after gold and riches, but the mission of ruling the world makes it suddenly much more interesting--what will they do? Why do they want to rule the world? And will they be good rulers, or have we just witnessed the rise of the NEW Martian Overlords? Well done!
Rin: The tone of this story set it off right from the get go, making me feel like I was walking in on an Indiana Jones story and their was just enough description of the setting to give me a good image without bogging it down. The dialogue flowed naturally and the characters played off each other well, the reckless, excitable Sam and the calmer, rational Neal. However, I do agree with Si that their struggle to get through the tomb was too down played. A bit of showing there really could have spiced it up, but all in all it was a good, enjoyable story. Nice job!
First Runner Up
Not According to Plan by Carin Marais
Si: Woohoo, well done on the dialogue! I enjoyed the humorous lines and the way each brief sentence built up the picture of the characters' predicament. Love how we have a clear personality for each character, though we know very little about them. Interspersing necessary information--why are they in the dungeon?--with humor excellently delivers what the reader needs to know, but in a way that never makes it feel like we're being "told". One suggestion I have would be to end the story at the second-to-last line, which is more memorable than the last line and keeps us guessing what their fate will be. The twist at the end is hilarious and original--thanks to the joking beforehand, we expect a very different ending despite KNOWING it's a cliche for the princess to swoop down and save the poor prisoners just in time. Great job!
Rin: This had me laughing all through out with all the fun banter between the two characters and I liked the auditory descriptors, which were short and sweet, but kept me feeling 'in story' and able to envision the setting despite most of it being dialogue. The characters were fun and even though we never learned their names, they felt very distinct and done well. My biggest regret with this one is not being able to find out just what happened with the king's cousin. There were tons of good lines in this one, but my favorite line was 'They heard the footsteps pass their cell and stop at another.' It was a great twist after the nicely placed misdirection. I had been sure that someone was going to rescue them, but I couldn't help but laugh at their misfortune. I think Si's right in that the second to the last line would have been a more memorable ending, but I still hope that it did come back for them. Thanks for a good laugh!
with Liar's Skin
Si: I love how the backstory to this piece is told in bits and pieces, and most of all reactions. We don't need to be told Alison has something up her sleeve--we see it in her movements and emotions. Creepy and high tension all the way through! I felt this was heightened by the reader knowing a secret Tanya doesn't, but we still don't know the WHOLE secret until the very end. One slight confusion: "Nor did she know that Alison and Robert were partners in more ways than one." make me think that Robert and Alison are working together to trap Tanya, but at the end we find both Tanya and Robert are the victims. Some EXCELLENT lines in this story: the evocative "a smile that grew into a shadow-cloaked grin", the ominous "Shall I carve?". Great setting of the scene when they finally reach the dungeon--we're dying to know what's inside, but the suspense is drawn out by the description first of the innocent parts of the room, then of the more sinister. A lot is said in very little--great use of words and excellent story!
Rin: Fantastic bit of flash fiction here. I LOVED the description in this! There were so many good lines and they made the setting so vivid and easy to envision that I felt like I was right there in the story. 'Alison smiled to herself, a smile that grew into a shadow-cloaked grin.' was a great line, because it set the tone for the story and gives a taste that something is up. Tanya's clueless dialogue combined with Alison's hidden reactions and cloaked responses amped up the the tension nicely and I liked the bit of foreshadowing in the brief mention that Alison found comfort in the familiarity of the place. My favorite line was 'Soft music and flickering candles welcomed them, the flames picking out steel blades and heavy chains, the ceiling glittering with these reflected fireflies.' because it's a simultaneously creepy and beautiful mental image. The ending was very well done, perfectly wrapped up in that shiver-inducing last bit of dialogue!
“I told you he had a dungeon. But you wouldn’t believe me, would you,” said Tanya.
Alison smiled to herself, a smile that grew into a shadow-cloaked grin. “Let’s go back,” she whispered, lacing her words with fear, suppressing her loathing.
“You’re scared!” sneered Tanya, moving towards the mildewed door.
Alison choked back her anger, managed a suitably pathetic whimper. She followed Tanya along the subterranean passage, drawing comfort from the familiar chill of centuries-thick stone.
“Tanya … are … are you sure you want to go on,” she said. “He might be in there, waiting.”
“How can he?” said Tanya. “He’s gone, moved on the police say.”
Alison smiled. That was true. She moved closer to the woman. Smelt the cloying perfume that had scented Robert’s clothes on too many occasions and beneath that the stench of her liar’s skin.
Tanya had no idea that the monster reputed to have inhabited this realm was the man she had attempted to steal from Alison. Nor did she know that Alison and Robert were partners in more ways than one.
“Ready?” said Tanya. She grasped the handle and pushed hard. The door swung open.
Soft music and flickering candles welcomed them, the flames picking out steel blades and heavy chains, the ceiling glittering with these reflected fireflies.
In the centre, an old oak table had been set for two. One guest was already seated. He did not acknowledge the new arrivals; merely continued to look glassily at his half-drunk wine.
Alison pushed Tanya into the empty chair before she even finished her question, bound her as tightly as she had her unfaithful Robert. Then she picked up the knife and turned to Tanya, traced its tip round her throat, down to her breast.
“Shall I carve?” she asked.