Woohoo it's time for winners! Great job everyone, really enjoyed the stories.
Without further ado, here's Y2W7 results!
Sian Brighal (@sian_ink) with Slough Off the Dead
What really struck me about this piece was the excellent descriptive phrases used. Especially the phrase "the memory explodes in her chest like a fungus expelling spores"--so vivid and unusual, well done! I liked the way the woman dies and is reborn essentially by getting rid of the guy. Interesting interpretation of the prompt! I would have liked more dialogue to break up the paragraphs earlier on. I really liked how you use the comparison of the warmth & gentleness of the old woman's hands to the controlling grip she'd known before as a way to remind us about her past. Great job!
First Runner Up
Marj Crockett (@whithernow) with Stasis
What a tragic story! I like the way you used the prompt to slide into the events that had occurred leading to the main character's situation. Beautiful phrasing here: "She on one side, me on the other, tied together for eternity." The tone and voice of this story is really well done, it reads very cleanly and we're immediately immersed into the setting. I would have liked a little more description to fully visualize where the main character is and what their surroundings are like at this time. The idea of being in stasis, by one's own choice, and having to forever listen to the dying words of one's dead wife ... absolutely terrifying and very creepy. Perhaps even more tragic by the fact that the main character can't bring themselves to end it all. Well done!
Nod Ghosh (@nodghosh) with
The Console Room
What a unique story! Great job creating tension throughout the piece. Though the reader doesn't know much about what's going on or how these characters got here, we still care for the characters and want to know what happens. There's some excellent turns of phrase here, namely "Lota pushes a strand of hair from her eye, corporeal actions that have little meaning in Limbo.". What's really great about this piece is the way it introduces so many characters for a flash piece but doesn't feel overwhelming. Great job sketching them out so quickly! This could easily be expanded into something larger--I want to know how these characters got to be in Limbo, why they must haunt people on Earth. Excellent job!
The Console Room"Next time we meet, one of us will be dead."
Bevan has an air of authority. I look around the circle, moving my eyes, though my head is an immobile rock. I catch Rhonda's gaze. Her face belies the terror I feel. Hezbaan picks at his scalp, and examines what he finds in his fingernails. Lota pushes a strand of hair from her eye, corporeal actions that have little meaning in Limbo.
One. Only one. How can that be?
No one says anything. Mahmood is the first to break away from the circle. We follow him into the console room in silence. Each of us connects with their subject. There is a whirr of activity as we begin our hauntings.
Today, my subject is Hanan. She is broken by the effort of keeping four children from death. She has stripped leaves from a tree in the compound. She boils them in a pot. The firewood has come from a bombed out ruin. Hanan adds salt. I detect her reticence at using those precious pink-white grains. I do the shiver-down-the-spine thing, and try to channel her dead husband from my bank of new souls.
It's tiring work. By the end of my shift, I've seen three others in Aleppo, one in Dhaka, and a New York psychiatrist who was about to slit his own wrists. Rhonda is disconnecting from her console, and I realise reckoning time has arrived.
Bevan's grave expression tells me it's bad news. Very bad for Hezbaan, Lota and two others. They're being sent back. The rest of us sit in silence.
"I've heard from upstairs," he says, shuffles cards in his hands like a gambler.
When he calls Rhonda's name, her relief is palpable.
The rest of us hope death will come soon.