Okay, guys, sorry for being a terribad person! I totally forgot about CFFC this week (I literally have no excuse today, other than I knew there was something I was supposed to be doing, but couldn't remember. I didn't have any homework due, after all...).
Cassandra Day (and friends) with Oh, Christmas Tree
This is kind of a frustrating piece for me, because it's intriguing and interesting, but it's not a piece of flash fiction as-is. It feels like the beginning of a longer story--the plot isn't contained, the backstory is hardly touched, and there's no resolution. We can assume that these Them abused her, she somehow escaped them, and now they're onto her tail; that's pretty much all we know from reading this. A resolution would be the greatest asset to this piece. There's a lot of potential here!
First Runner Up
Bill Engleson with Some Reflections of the Passing of the Poet, Walter Hammersley
Okay, I admit it: the poetry is what drew me to this piece. I also confess that I tend not to read titles before I read the pieces, so I was confused for the first couple read-throughs what in the world was going on in this piece (I had just thought Walter very reclusive and refusing to come out of some room); I didn't figure out that he was dead until I was pulling the title for the winning page (I can be dense, at times). So, this is mostly focusing on the poem, which I felt was strong enough to carry the piece (even if the characters didn't think it was all that great!). The language captivated me ("shackled wings" and "pending avalanche" and such; the juxtaposition of light and dark also got me, since it generates a compelling mental image). The rest of the piece is fairly unremarkable--I felt it lacked conflict (it was, as the title suggested, more of a passive reflection to me than anything), but I really like the poem. Call me weird.
with The Mađioničar
"Each of his footsteps left a print of light, that was snuffed out when I trod upon it." This piece was very alluring, I think, because of the imagery presented. I loved the character dynamic here between the brothers; they seem polar opposites of each other, and therefore excellent foils to introduce in a story. The eagerness of Nikola versus the trepidation of Senka; the light of the younger brother and the darkness of the older--it feels like this piece embodied light and darkness into two characters; youthful hope and exuberance, and aged fear and superstition. Good job!
Bulbs of light hung from every tree branch as if tiny lamps had been lit inside upon one. Inspecting them closer, I realised that they were apples, the light bursting through their thin rose-red skins, no gaps with which to insert a match, no hint of a flame inside, only pure light.
I gazed towards the house; they said that he was a mađioničar - a magician, and that’s why his house and garden were forbidden, and why my little brother was so keen to explore.
Seeing his hand reach out, I cried, “Stop!” Though he withdrew, the contact with the branch was sufficient to disturb the illuminated fruit’s hold on the tree.
After its disconnection from the branch, its light faded, only for a burst of sparks to spring from the ground upon impact and then shower down.
He reached to pick it up. He turned to look at me, read the concern in my face, and dismissed it with a wave. “Relax, Senka.”
He knew no fear, and, while not yet ten years old, he had always been pulled towards the light.
He picked up the apple that I would never touch for fear of bewitchment. Without hesitation he took a bite.
The last of the luminescence from the fruit passed into his mouth, and glowed through his cheeks.
“Come on,” he said, moving towards the house. Each of his footsteps left a print of light, that was snuffed out when I trod upon it.
He did not believe in good, or evil, only science, but I could follow him no longer.
As he closed upon the house, light burst from every window. How could someone light all of the lamps in an instant?
As the door opened I heard a voice. “Welcome! We have been expecting you, Nikola.”