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Welcome back, everyone. Some extremely unfortunate events occurred over the weekend and we hope our dorky and irreverent competition takes your mind off of it for a bit. Please be safe, everybody <3
(It's Mars over here as the judge this week, btw (if you couldn't tell from the kitten))
Ronel Janse van Vuuren's Misty Knives
Knives, princes, assassins, mystery! Everything a good assassin tale needs. This piece is a cute and amusing read; very lighthearted. I was a little confused about the characters and their development--their actions didn't seem to line up with what they are. Assassin: generally cold-blooded killer. Dauphin: royalty who should have a healthy suspicion of cold-blooded killers. Maybe with more context on their backgrounds (particularly hers), it would have flowed together better (we only got the one line about her past at the end there). What was her "life of iniquity"? What kind of person was she before she started killing? Why's she fallen for the dauphin? Intriguing piece.
First Runner Up
Sian Brighal's Avid Collector
So, the first time I skimmed through this, I totally thought it was a sex scene (oops). Then I read it again a little closer and saw what it was really about. The thing I actually like the most about the piece is the structure of the writing--it's very appealing, the way the paragraphs are almost the same size, yet the sentences are varied in length and formation. There's not a lot of conflict to the piece--more reminiscing and reflecting on the past in that monologing sort of fashion--which I felt detracted a little from it, but I thought the characters were well-developed (or, at least, the POV character and how s/he describes 'you'). It's a nice little piece (I suppose I shouldn't say that about torture and killing; ah, irony). Well done!
with Passing the Time
One of my friends recently found an exorcist book (with legit exorcism rituals in them (that sometimes include defenestrating priests, curiously)) in her library, and this piece reminded me of that; I'm very amused by this new hobby that Hilda has, and I certainly feel sorry for Gerhardt! (I mean, the only thing worse than a randomly-summoned demon could be a randomly-summoned demon covered in glitter. Speaking of randomly-summoned demons, I would have loved to see how that situation played out! How do they handle that, one wonders?) I like the bits of description dropped throughout the piece about the setting and characters--I can imagine Hilda with her curly, messy bun (and glasses?), excitedly covering every surface of the house with candles (almost like the Dixie-cup prank), and Gerhardt being this sort of put- and worn-out aging gentleman. Excellent job!
Passing the Time
“I think I preferred your old hobby,” Gerhardt called over his shoulder as he signed for yet another package addressed to Mrs Hilda Faustus.
He tried to read the label as he turned and closed the front door with his foot. But Hilda was already rushing towards him, clapping her hands with glee at the newest addition to her collection.
“What is it this time?”
“More candles?” He looked around the crowded living room. Pillar candles of all sizes stood on every flat surface not covered by trinkets bought off late night shopping shows.
Hilda tore into the black cardboard box like it was a Christmas present and showed him a grimy black candle.
“See? Pre-dribbled, even,” she grinned. “Doesn’t it look just beautiful?”
“Very,” Gerhardt sighed. “I still prefer the scrapbooking.”
“You always went on about the glitter that got everywhere.”
“I prefer glitter to random summoned demons.”
“It just takes practice to get the spells right.”
“The neighbours are talking. Jeff found me in the front yard the other day and--”
“O! Look at that! They now have monthly surprise boxes! O darling, can I sign up for those?”
Gerhardt shrugged. He should have known this would happen. It always did in his family. One moment everyone is happy to scrapbook,crochet, or even make a bit of liquor in the backyard. The next moment they find a grimoire and it’s all blood and souls and getting dragged off to hell.
“Of course darling,” he sighed. “Just read the fine print first, alright?”
She bustled off to her workroom and he stared at the pile of scrapbooking supplies forgotten in the corner of the room.
“Whatever makes you happy, darling,” he whispered.
Hope to see you all back this Saturday!