Hiya all! 10 entries is a GREAT start to Year 2! This is Mars, coming to you with your results!
And another great start--we have four winners this round! Great job, everyone!
Nicolette Stephens' Life Insurance
I wasn't sold on this story making it into the results until I realized that Mort is the french root for Death, and then I was very amused by this clever foreshadowing. I actually really like how you establish things about characters before we know them for certain--like when the doctor calls her 'my dear', establishing the probable gender of the main character before a more obvious clue (e.g. "My lady"). Good job!
Sharon Ruth Parkinson's Salesman
I liked this piece because it was written from the view of what we would see as an alien, but the humans were aliens to them! (Also I like the psuedoswear at the end there.)
Species-ist? I suppose if we refer to the human race as a whole, then it's racist? The main character actually did come off as racist to me ("I have friends of your race so I can't possibly be racist")--although it's true that no one likes a salesman! (I appreciated the touch of the salesman being like "I'm not an alien," when he asked why it excluded business with him--human supremacy if ever there was any example!) If it was the intent for both of them to be racist, it came off really well (and it's believable that people would act this way)!
Roger Jackson's Revival
Sometimes it can be super frustrating when a story is written well from a limited third-person POV where the character doesn't feel the need to explain everything. This piece is whole, yet leaves the reader with a lot of questions! Is the main character doing something that's out of the norm? Or is this magic normal? Maybe she's (hm, apparently the main character comes off as female to me!) from a foreign country where magic is normal, but here, wherever here is, it's unusual and generally regarded as something to be feared!
Hah! That ending. Fabulous. I guessed what would be said when the line "Just a name" cropped up.
with Stacey's Stilettos
Man, I can't imagine the kind of energy it would take to be THAT kind of person. I like how even though Stacey is dead, her character is still well-developed by the end of the piece. Three people, in fact, were developed here, while only having one in the actual story. Nice.
My least favorite paragraph is the one explaining how Stacey died. I think it might be the way it's positioned--it's a necessary piece of information (or maybe not! The death could be a mystery (a prelude to a longer story? MURDE--*clamps TvMars back in bottle*)), so it can't just be removed, but the last line is best if it's a stand alone, so the paragraph can't be added to it. Perhaps if it was integrated into the first paragraph somehow? I would play with a bit.
The way the last line brings the entire piece in a circle is excellent. I don't know why, but it resounds in the head after I've read it. It kind of has an implied, remorseful head-shake to it? And I can see it in my mind's eye really well, just the detective kind of looking around, clicking his tongue, then leaning down to outline the body.
“The insurance company warned me about you,” Detective Rainier said, as he looked down on the pavement into Stacey’s deep blue eyes. Her peroxide blonde hair outlined her face. Her gold necklaces scattered like spaghetti around her neck. Rings sparkled from her fingers. Although she was over fifty years old, she had no wrinkles on her face. She obviously had some work done.
Detective Rainier was new in town; he had just come up from Florida. Bob Nesmith, his next door neighbor and owner of Nesmith’s Insurance Company, clued him in. “Last month that she purposely walked past the “wet floor” signs at Walmart, wearing her usual stilettos, and fell on the tile floor. She filed a claim against Walmart, and was sure they would settle. They always did; stores don’t like the bad publicity.”
Bob continued, “Several months ago, she got a heel stuck in a grate in the sidewalk. She fell and twisted her ankle. The city paid dearly for that, but I guess someone had to keep Stacey in her stylish suits and jewels. Her boyfriend is retired and living on a fixed income.”
Today was different. A neighbor had invited her to a barbecue, and Stacey had more to drink than usual. She turned quickly, and fell off the neighbor’s deck to the driveway below.
“The insurance company warned me about you,” Rainier repeated as he bent down on the pavement and outlined Stacey in chalk.
Congratulations! See you all back here next Saturday with Sara Codair! :)