Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Year 1, Week 25: Results!

Wow, there were quite a few entries this week! It's great to see so many participants. I have to say, it was tough choosing favorites from them. Thank you all for sharing your stories. Now on to the winners!

Honorable Mention

Stephen Shirres' Corridor of Doors

I love modern retellings of fairy tales and this one reminded me in a way of one of my favorites, Rumplestiltskin, so it pulled me into the story immediately. The tone had an interesting classic grim fairy tale meets gritty western feel to me and the quick pace matched it well. My biggest criticism for the story was that dialogue didn't flow as well as it could have, feeling a bit clipped in places to me. My favorite line was 'His laughter echoed off the walls. A sound that would make dead men shiver.' It gives chills just to imagine it! The way that the main character tricked the fairy made me laugh, and I liked the twist on the usual iron-sensitivity that I'm used to seeing being given to fairies. Good job on this one!

First Runner Up

Bill Engleson's The Session

This story's little details made it easy to see the inside of the institution and I like how the pov character seems to embody the cold, sterile feeling of an institution like that, even more so that we can't blame her for her treatment of Maxine. This brought the character to life for me, making her simultaneously believable and relateable as she doles out her harsh justice. Because of that, my favorite line was 'I have betrayed her.' I enjoyed the description of Maxine, building on the truth that many killers don't appear like dangerous people. The pace was good, but was slowed down a bit with the telling of the teen's death and I wish that we'd discovered why Maxine killed her daughter. All in all, this was a good story. Well done!

Winner of Y1W24!


with No Illumination

I loved, loved, loved the tension in this one! It drew me in easily with all that delicious tension, right from the get go. The dialogue has a natural flow to it and the description gave me just enough details to easily envision the setting without bogging anything down or slowing down the pace. The husband and wife were well developed, with voices that were clearly distinct from one another and a realistic conflict of goals. My favorite line was definitely 'She was right. They could afford it. At least, they could if he didn’t have another family. Another wife. Children.' Not only was it an unexpected twist, it made me feel for the wife's situation and deepened the already well developed conflict between their goals. Congrats!

No Illumination
“Don’t open that door,” said the wife. She sat up in bed and pushed the purple duvet down. “We need to discuss this.”

The husband’s hand slipped from the brass lever handle, his feet cold on the wooden floor. “Can’t we do this another time?”

“When? You’re in the city Monday to Friday. This isn’t something to discuss over Skype in five minutes stolen from the trading floor.”

The husband stared at the way her black hair knelt on her shoulders. He smiled at how her nose wrinkled when she was annoyed and smelt the perfume she wore in bed. He loved her. However, this wasn’t a discussable issue. It was black or white. There was no gray area in having a baby. “You know how I feel. My job is all-consuming and with the economy on the slip again, we’ll be busy. This house isn’t big enough, plus you’re alone all week one. It’s just not right.”

“My mother will help, and the baby will be fine in our room at first. You make good money,” the wife said. “In fact, I don’t know where it all goes”.

“I work hard, damn hard. I deserve to spend a little money how I want,” said the husband, nostrils flaring. “I give you enough to buy food, run the house and yoga lessons. Don’t I? Well don’t I?” 

“I was just saying we can afford a baby.”

She was right. They could afford it. At least, they could if he didn’t have another family. Another wife. Children.

“I said another time.”

The wife lay down and pulled the duvet up to her chin. “Turn the light off.”

The husband flicked the light switch. In the darkness, he reached for the brass handle.

 Thanks again to everyone who participated and we hope to see you back next week!

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