Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Year 2, Week 5: Results!

HAHA! Guess what time it is? 

That's right! It's results time! It's Mars here at the judging panel this week, and I'm excited to bring you your latest batch of winners, fresh out of the oven! Many thanks to all who participated!

(I like exclamation points! Do I sound like a news reporter or commercial yet!? (Or a Rite-Aid reminder?)) 

Honorable Mention

TipTim's Hidden 

This was cleverly written; I got a laugh out of the twist at the end. It definitely reads like a horror story until that second-to-last line! The only part that feels really incongruous to me, after reading the whole thing, is the line about the POV character sweating profusely. I suppose if s/he were the type to sweat profusely anyways, it would be fine, but it seemed only to match the horror scenario. All in all, though, cute piece. Nice work!

First Runner Up

Teodora's Down with the Rats

I admit it: I'm a sucker for twist endings (and also traitors). Dan turning out to be an antagonist was enough to catch my attention, and as I comb through this piece more, questions start to pop up for me. How did the apocalypse start? What's this toxic waste that polutes the land & where did it come from? What world order is she talking about? How did Dan know she was the next biological weapon (or was that a lie)? It seems like the piece was trying to address too much in too little words--an admirable pursuit, but it can easily be tipped the incorrect way!

It never does at the ending that Dan actually shoots her (though the ominous phrase "You can rest all you want" would indicate "because I'm going to kill you now"), and some clues make me wonder about his motivations--specifically the part about him putting his jacket on her. Why do that if he was just planning to kill her? 
Anyways, I like the idea here, and I think it could be polished up into a great little gem. Good job!

Y2W5 Winner 


with Cobblestones and Carriages

It's a good thing I watched BBC's Sherlock, or else I certainly would not have realized what book they were in! The travel-into-a-book concept has been used before, but this one stands out to me; I've never seen it where if the book is destroyed, the book-jumpers are too. (Also, the swallowing of the book pages is new.) 

The only part missing from the story is why people are after them and why they need Sherlock! Some back story would have been nice, but this piece does stand alone well. 

The imagery and immersion of the piece struck me as very poignant and lovely (ironically, I suppose, since it's about destruction). This passage was my favorite (it sounds very poetic): 
Blood trickled from Gage's ears.
Then the sky tore in two. 
The way the piece is formatted adds significantly to the weight behind the words (and giving the illusion that there's a lot more story here than there actually is! (I may have put it into a word counter to verify it was really only 273 words)). Great job with this piece!
Cobblestones and Carriages 
“I said we’d be safer, not safe.” 
Gage’s words echoed out as Sheila slipped into the pages behind him. It was like falling into a dream. Lost in a wilderness of silence, she followed him through the fog and forgot what came before. 
The road split. The street signs lied. Head spinning, she looked down, then back up. Cobblestones and carriages. 
“Where are we?” 
“Come on,” Gage said. “They’re here.” 
They crossed the street, slipped down an alley. 
He held his finger to his lips. She peered down the alley but saw no one. 
“What’s going on? Gage?” 
Two voices boomed from the sky, so loud the ground shook and the buildings shuddered. 
Where are they? 
Blood trickled from Gage’s ears. 
Then the sky tore in two. 
It sounded like a page being ripped from a book, paper rending. 
Then she remembered. The book. The bitterness of the pages. Swallowing them, choking them down dry. The strange look in Gage’s eyes. The door knob jiggering behind them. If we can’t run, Gage had said, we’ll hide. 
And then she felt the rushing sensation, like falling. And now, this. Gods in the sky. Trapped in a book. The streets disappearing around them. 
“I thought you said we’d be safe,” she shouted. 
“I said we’d be safer, not safe.” 
Gage climbed the stairs to the only flat left on the street and knocked on the door. 
221B Baker St. 
“It was the first book I grabbed,” Gage said, smiling. “Good thing, too. If anyone can help, it’s him.” 
The door opened and a bent old man squinted into the bright light.

Congratulations, winners! Hope to see you Saturday :)


  1. Yay. I got in! Thank you. Congratulations to Mad Monk and Teodora.

    Emm.. I think difference in regions affected my story. In my country here, closets are usually small spaces and often if you hide in one (like my brothers and I used for do as kids when playing hide n seek) it always gets hot and stuffy. Tried to hint at it with the "tiny air slit" comment but oh well, we'll get it right next time

    1. Haha, closets are the same here. *looks at review* I think I was a little confusing! I meant to say that if it was hot in the closet, then that would explain it, but the context of the story made it sound like the sweat was out of fear.