Gonna get it on time next week, guys. Let's try for Tuesday to make up for Friday 😂 Thank you all for participating!
First Runner Up
Alva Holland's I Did it My Way
The conflict between these two characters comes out really strong, and makes, like Nicola pointed out, a very contentious atmosphere to work with. What makes this situation great is that it's not a "band aid" scenario--there's no easy fix for this problem between these two characters, and it makes the story compelling and strong. In light of this relationship, I felt like the deathbed monologue was a little long--it felt to me like the daughter would be interrupting a little bit (even if he is dying). The piece still hit home with those last few lines, though--nice job!
with The Understanding
I want to take a moment to appreciate the finesse that little details about the characters are dropped to build an image of them in the mind. Without ever saying outright that Mrs. Baker is a construction worker, we see that she's wearing a flannel shirt and a hardhat (and, presuming this is mostly from her POV, 'an outboard motor' sounds like something a construction worker would be able to recognize (I certainly wouldn't be able to)). There might have been a little more build-up to the climax, or the climax a little bigger--it felt like the story started at a mezzo-piano and only grew to a mezzo-forte or forte (sorry to bust out the music terminology out). I really like how much this piece of flash relies on extrapolating data--I had to reread it a couple of times to get all of the nuances. Good job with this!
“I don’t require you to flatter me.”
“But Mrs. Baker, the grace with which you handled the little incident this morning was nothing short of miraculous.”
The flannel-shirted woman removed her hard-hat as she walked around her desk and sat down facing the suit. She waited until the door to her office snicked closed. “Mr. Morrison,” she began in a soft, measured tone. “I’d hardly call what happened here today a ‘little incident.’”
The man made burbling noises, like an outboard motor trying to start.
Clarissa Baker raised her hand and continued gathering force. “It was a peaceful protest that you turned into a full-blown riot. Lives could easily have been lost. How dare you call that a ‘little incident’!”
“I merely meant . . .”
“Trust me, Sir,” she said, her anger apparent, “I know what you meant. Some lives are more important than others.” She took a breath and lowered her voice again. “I have a gift for public speaking, but it is what I said rather than the way that I said it that did the trick. You see, the people here mean more to me than the people who want to shave half an hour off their daily commutes. Did you pay any attention to what I told that angry mob, Mr. Morrison?”
“That’s neither here nor there.”
“Is that right? Then there will be more violence. Your company will lose equipment for certain, and possibly lives. Those protesters live here, and you plan to destroy their homes.”
“It’s not up to me.”
“I think it is.” She pulled an amended contract and a loaded Glock from the desk and cocked the gun, leveling it at the businessman’s forehead.
He tried to stare her down, but in the end, they understood one another.