Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Year 1, Week 33: Results!


Just how much do you think Si and Rin enjoyed this prompt and the stories submitted?

These ACTUALLY EXIST you guys!
 Y'all are awesome people to keep dropping by and submitting stories to our little house of crazy flash fiction here.

We're super SUPER happy to see people commenting on other's stories also! We're a little community of cracked writers! *wipes away tear*

(Just don't tell Flavio we picked Butterfly instead of Moth for our theme. Hushhhhhh)

And now ... WINNERS!

Honorable Mention

Verbal with The Butterfly Effect

Si: The poor awkward main character! I was cringing for them. The last few lines—the actual interaction—is pure gold. Poor main character, mixing up the advice given by their friend into an awkward jumbled heap! “It’s hard to say which of us is more confused. ”-- this made me laugh. And that final image of Todd's obvious confidence in his friend, and the main character's true situation—ouch! Great timing on ending the story just where it packs the most punch and the most cringe-worthy image. One thing I would add is maybe faster pace in the beginning, and more description of the scene. It's very dialogue-heavy, which is great—I would like a bit more imagery showing us the store, are there any other people about to witness the main character's embarrassing situation, does he have an escape route? Amusing story and great scene!

 I laughed all my way through this. I’m a self-proclaimed awkward nerd, who would have played(who am I kidding, still would!) tabletop games like that, so I definitely connect with the character, especially with that friend of his. I may have shook my fist at his friend’s dissing of them. One my favorite lines was ‘Todd nudges me towards her with all the subtlety of a rampaging hippo.’ Love the mental imagery there. The dialogue with the girl had a great mix of awkward tension and realistic-situation humor. I loved how his friend mistook her taking her phone out and that last line was a great wrap up for it. Comedy gold!

First Runner Up

Jeff Rowlands with Duel

Si:  I was so fooled for the first two paragraphs in this story—was TOTALLY imagining a fencing duel. Little did I know the weapon was even more deadly—the dreaded chili pepper! I love how the narrator's messy hair and thick glasses become an advantage to him in this situation—they are protected by them. I like their strategy of appearing totally invincible—even going so far as to shove a handful of chilies into their mouth—and defeating their opponent by their show of confidence. One thing I would suggest is to make the writing style more consistent throughout the story—for example, “Now is the time to really turn the heat up on him.” compared to “I see beads of sweat trickle down his bald head and I can see that he is human, breakable and beatable.” There are slight grammar/punctuation mistakes, and one line has a more casual style, while the other reads more like a high drama. I would look out for those to make sure the focus stays on the great story you're telling! The game isn't up until the narrator grabs a handful of chilies instead of the blade I was expecting. Great story!

Rin: This one was fun! I liked the description of the main character having a bit of nerdy look to him and the hint shown in the beginning that his opponent was someone that he’d faced before and had suffered at the hands of in some way. Got to love a bit of poetic justice! The use of the prompt to suggest that it was actually a struggle for the main character was a nice touch and a good use of the prompt. Having eaten habaneros, I can squirm along as he pops a scotch bonnet in his mouth. The only thing I had a problem with was, unless the MC was trying to be very macho, he(as a chili-eating champion) probably should have known not to drink alcohol after eating hot peppers, because it breaks down the capsaicin, but spreads it around and doesn’t neutralize it, which tends to intensify the burn. Yowch! Thanks for the fun story!


Steph Ellis

with I wish I may, I wish I might

Si: AH! This story is SO high tension! Seriously, my heartbeat was definitely increasing with every line. It reads deceptively smoothly, but is filled with turns of phrase and little descriptions that give it a distinctive edge--”She shivered as tendrils of cold night air staked their claim on her body” for example, beautiful phrasing there. The tension just keeps ramping up all the way to the end—the reader is right there with Simone as she runs. What a situation! Beautiful imagery showing the reader Simone's pregnancy—and the precarious situation she's in. Excellent job letting the reader imagine the terror and urgency at the very end, with short lines that let us think up the worst all on our own. And the ending—I was half-expecting it, but it landed with a chilling punch. We can feel Simone's fear and hope, the refuge just barely out of reach, the lurking predator behind … ! Really well done. I applaud you!

Rin: My word, this was so good! The subject was very compelling and I couldn’t help but feel for Simone’s plight. The conflict was obvious and the stakes were good and high. The description was good, adding both tone and an easy setting to imagine. I could feel her fear and her hope. I cheered her escape attempt and hoped to see her succeed, for her sake and that of her unborn child. So when she failed, after getting so close, it made it that much more poignant. Sadder, given the thought of how many women truly do go through this situation. The pacing in this was spot on and amped up the tension beautifully. Fantastic job! Congrats!

I wish I may, I wish I might 
“Now I feel like ninja butterflies are throwing ninja stars at my stomach.” 
Ray laughed as Simone’s puny arms continued to batter him. He had always been stronger than her and mocked her for her weakness. She would do as she was told, as she always did.
He held the door open. “Go on then.”
She shivered as tendrils of cold night air staked their claim on her body.
“No,” he said, taking the coat from her. “The punters need to see what they’re buying.”
The streets were empty, shelter sparse. Ray wouldn’t be far away, watching. Yet no cars cruised by, no one walked her street. No customers tonight would make him angry. Instinctively her hand ran over the slight curve of her belly. That was where he would aim his attack if she failed again. She couldn’t risk it, she had her own ninja butterfly to protect; already she could feel its delicate flutterings as it stretched its wings in the safety of her womb. Ray would not allow it to emerge from its cocoon. Of that she was sure. It was time to make a decision.
There was a night shelter not far away, she knew those who worked there. More than once they had offered to help but fear had held her back. Now though …
I wish I may, I wish I might, she whispered to the stars glittering above her, pushing down the terror, feeding off hope.
She started to walk towards the shelter, heard footsteps behind her. She started to run, feet and heart pounding in rhythm, never looking back even as her pursuer gained on her. 
Lights ahead, closer. Her breathing shallower, fear blossoming. 
Closer still.
Lights. Voices. Hope.
A hand. Darkness. Silence.

We'll catch you this Saturday, with another totally sane prompt! WE WILL MEET AGAIN!
*giant moth beats wings overhead*

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