Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Year 1, Week 32: Results!

I'm free! I'm free! I have my life back! *dances*

Great, now I've got a song stuck in my head.
Hi it's Si, and I have returned to populate your lives with memes and webcomics.


ok maybe a little ado

Honorable Mention

Firdaus with Strange Encounter

Si: First of all, I liked the twist/interpretation of “planner” here—it felt very natural and the story flows well right from the first line! Speaking of first line, Si notes the rules linked in each challenge post and stares at you. We shall accept it as a rather artistic interpretation of #2 … THIS TIME! Continuing, this story has great, snappy dialogue and well-realized characters, though I would like a few more details on the woman's situation. I was amused by how the main character starts off protesting, then plays along for a bit, then finally admits their position. I like how they quickly decide to go with the flow in the situation. This story showcases an amusing and quirky encounter, given just enough details to give it color and draw in the reader and keep them reading, but not so few we don't know what's going on. Excellent interaction between the characters, it felt very real and believable. I could see this happening to a stressed-out soon to be bride and a confused new arrival somewhere in the real world. Well done!

Mars: There was one time I was sitting in the computer lab, minding my own business, when this girl came in and sat right next to me, and started talking to me. Naturally, politely, I nodded along as she spoke, but next thing I knew, it was thirty minutes later, she was gone, and I had no idea what had just occurred. Some people manage to rope you right into their life without you being able to get in a word edgewise! That's what this story reminded me of, haha. The awkward, "It's socially expected to act politely, but I'm really not here for what you think I am," moment.

(Gentle mention of rules here) And the poor main character! S/he never got directions! It's like walking downstairs to get bread, then forgetting what you wanted, then walking back up the stairs and remembering at the top that you wanted bread and that's why you went down in the first place. 

First Runner Up

Steph Ellis with Forgotten

Si: Excellent atmosphere in this story! This is a very emotive piece. Though we know little about the main character, by the end we (or, at least I, must stay accurate) feel a sense of poignancy in the last line. We never knew the main character but we feel for them. Why is the main character forgetting people? I like how the story shows the main character grasping at pieces of their memory as it flows away in such a prosaic way—writing lists. The open questions in the story make us want to know more. I love the reason for the lists-- “I write their names because they are no longer here and I don’t want them to be forgotten and I don’t want to forget. How else will I remember who I am?” Beautiful writing in this piece. As I read it, I can think of two kinds of “disappearing” for the people. The first: the main character as a patient in a memory ward, where “disappearing” refers to the person vanishing from the main character's memories. The second would be a more literal disappearing as in a magical realism setting, or through death. This story makes me want to find out more about the main character and the world they live in. Great story! 

Mars: So, is the character writing the names down because the owners of said names disappear, or are the owners disappearing because the character is writing the names down? This is a very thought-evoking piece; who is the character, where did they come from, do they have magic, are all the people in the world disappearing? Is the time stream being rewritten or something? 

The writing is also smooth and flowing; it's an excellent piece of flash fiction!


Kelly Griffith 

with Revelation 16:15

Si: Okay, this is good! I love how you maintain control of the flow of information to the reader—there's a steady progression of dawning understanding as we read on, excellent job keeping us guessing all the way through! I liked how you kept the theme of who's a planner and who's not throughout the piece. Excellent imagery throughout the story! My favorite lines are the last three: “I peel them gently from their corpses and ship them in crates you can't see, some up, some down. Nine out of ten of them are screaming their surprise that it's not what they thought it would be. They weren't planners, either.” The interpretation of life—or souls—as products in a grand company of death is unique and well developed. I like how we get a sense of the main character's personality through their own voice—the first person works very well here. It should be noted that Si probably missed every single reference in this story, and I still thought it was amusing and very clever. Overall, excellent writing and great story!

Mars: "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth" (KJV). The voice of the main character in this piece is alive and entertaining. (That Titanic line? Golden.) I love how the angel of main character talks about their duty like it's any other job; it really makes me curious as to what these "office politics" are--how many people does He employ? Along those lines, "novice days"; what's the creation story here? Intriguing after-life story! That last paragraph is a kicker--I still get a chuckle out of it as I re-read. Love the bookend use of the prompt!
Revelation 16:15  
I'm not really a planner. Planning's fine for the boss, but my work doesn't allow for it. Who-moved-my-cheese doesn't fly when you've got thousands of products needing to ship instantly, and tomorrow could be dead. Firefighters don't plan; they're ready. Always. That's how it is with me. I don't expect you planner-organizers to understand. Just don't judge me. Don't hate. 
Just-in-time inventory or lean manufacturing- my boss takes them to a whole new realm. We keep zero inventory. The instant I get a product, I sort it and out it goes, quick as a breath. We only have two accounts, but they're enormous. Think Walmart and China. Between them they've got the whole market captured, though one of them is more of an umbrella company with scores of subsidiaries: The wide road, if you will. 
I've been called a flunky by those who'd like to demoralize me, just a glorified busboy. Office politics can be ruthless. I'm above it. 
In my novice days, I tried to prepare for the galactic orders I could smell coming, wars and plagues and such. But there's no planning with my boss. I'd go one place, expecting a windfall, and lo- death would be blooming someplace else entirely. No one's allowed to know who's next, not even me. Security reasons. Who would've thought He'd actually sink the Titanic just because they said it was unsinkable? Brazen move, that one. I scurried around like a mother trying to keep up with the orders. So there's no planning. It's standard policy in death. 
I peel them gently from their corpses and ship them in crates you can't see, some up, some down. Nine out of ten of them are screaming their surprise that it's not what they thought it would be. They weren't planners, either.

Join us next week for more fun with a dash of madness! Until then, may the wings of Flavio ever beat in your favor!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the win, Si and Mars! Your contest works for me on so many levels. The prompts, of course, are lovely, and I appreciate your time and word limits. They force me to stop meddling with my work and just put it out there. Finally, most importantly-- your critiques. I love them. The win is secondary to the thoughtful feedback you give. Can't thank you enough. You brightened my day! :)