Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Year 1, Week 23: Results!

Welcome back to the results of last week's competition! We're excited to bring you the next installment of the Cracked Flash Fiction Competition!

Before we roll to our winner (just the one this time--we've been a little tight on energy and time!), we must announce that this will be Si's last time judging until the 10th of March. That means Rin and Mars will be alternating judging each week until The Return of Silicon. Guest judges are a possibility during this period! We like to keep you on your toes :D

If you see a decrease in the quality of memes and/or pictures provided, however, it probably can be attributed to losing Si's insanity (and knitting forum). 

Now! Onwards!


Steph Ellis

with Safe and Sound

Si: Wow, this was a very intense story. Great structure—I really liked how the countdown was interleaved with snippets of the story. The short lines keep it fast paced and the bits of backstory from the main character are well placed with the increasing creepiness of Dad's lines. The ending is CHILLING. Great job cutting it off just so the reader doesn't exactly know what happens—but man, can we imagine. I want to know more about what went wrong with Dad, why he became so dangerous. My favorite lines in this story are “My eyes told him yes even as I denied it.”, and “One. And you should be with your family.”. Terrifying and very evocative. The writing is really what makes this story—tightly in control and keeping the reader right on the edge, the whole time. Excellent job!

Mars: Michael certainly nailed the tone of this piece when he described it as 'haunting'. The tension within the story is compelling, particularly with the countdown, though one wonders what the father is expecting at the end of his countdown--the main character to spit out whatever s/he's not telling (the location of Suzy?), or is the father just indicating that the end is nigh (or both)? Either way, it pushes the story forward. The pacing is excellent, as well as the little drops of background information. 

I was a little lost as to what explicitly happened to Davey and Mum--"staring eyes" seems like they could be dead, but it could also mean a number of other things. Certainly terrifying either way--reflected aptly by the hiding of Suzy--and doesn't detract very much from the piece. 

"Once, I would have agreed with him, in those happier times before the world went mad and him with it," is my favorite line of the piece. Can't quite tell you the rationale, other than it sounds very . . . quotable--at least, the ending: "the world went mad and him with it." 

I feel sorry for the kid here--not just because s/he's probably going to face death/something worse, but also because: if noone will ever find Suzy, doesn't that mean Suzy will suffer a similar fate to the rest of her family? Haunting, haunting indeed. 

Safe and Sound
“I can’t answer that – you’ll beat me up.”  
The world turned upside down and I found myself flat on my back. I swore softly. I had promised my brother I’d keep our sister safe. 
“Nine,” growled my dad. 
I was in a no-win situation; damned if I did, damned if I didn’t. 
The sound of sirens came closer. Don’t let yourself get caught, Davey had said before vanishing. I’ll be back before you know it and then everything will be alright. And I had believed him. 
It had been weeks since we’d seen him. Mum used to count the days but now she too had gone. A fist grabbed my throat. 
“Six. You followed me, didn’t you?” 
My eyes told him yes even as I denied it. 
I tried not to think of what I had seen. The sirens faded out again.  
“Four. It’s my job to keep the family safe.” 
Once I would have agreed with him in those happier times before the world went mad and him with it. 
Three. We need to stay together.” 
But not that way I thought, remembering how I had shadowed him to an underground bunker, finally solving the mystery of where Davey and Mum had gone. Anarchy had bred insanity - as if poverty and starvation wasn’t enough. 
Two. I am only making sure that my family does not suffer.”  
Those staring eyes haunted me day and night. I had moved Suzy then, taken her to a basement, locked her in safe and sound, told her I would be back soon. 
One. And you should be with your family.” 
He had caught me but he would not get Suzy. She was safe in the basement. Nobody would ever find her.

And I cried as my world turned black.

Dangit, Steph. Stop writing so well.
 See you all back this Saturday! Don't let our one-judge act discourage you from joining; we'll still be as mad as ever!

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