I must apologize for a repeat prompt this week. I woke up on Saturday and went, "Hey, that prompt kind of sounds familiar," and Googled it. Turns out, there's a reason why! Alas, by then, it was too late to fix.
I also cannot seem to get well. I went into the doctor's last week for a routine checkup and stuff with a minor cough and my doctor was all, "Hmmm, here's some medicine, come back in two weeks if it's still there."
"Just a small cough," I said. "It'll be fine," I said. Yeah, it's bronchitis. I'm so tired of coughing, guys, pls send help.
Anyways, enough of that. Onto results!
First Runner Up
Firdausp's Kids Play
Man, I'd probably break bones to get to my kitten, too. (Cruel older sister? At least she didn't lock a kitten(?) in a trunk!) The suspense and tension of the piece is good, especially keeping the readers in the dark until the very last moment as to who (or what) Meg is. Unfortunately, I can envision kids doing all of this to each other too easily! Good characterization and cute story here.
with Beat Him Up
I chuckled several times when I read this piece, which I'm not ashamed to say was one of the deciding factors for who got to take this week's trophy home. Tony Two Shoe's "I'm offended" talk and a (theoretically) hardened criminal breaking down under the guilt tripping of a grandmotherly figure--not even his own grandma!--were very amusing to me. (Also, never go up a Sicilian when death is on the line, bro.)
It would have been nice to get more character action instead of dialogue after Grandma starts in on Frankie, though the word count is a limiting factor here. In the beginning of the story, we get just a little bit, but that all disappears in favor of the dialogue. The story still works without it, though.
I like the pacing and format, particularly from "The room is dark" to "He struggles to breathe." It built up the tension quite nicely to Grandma's introduction. I find formatting a very useful tool, particularly in poetry and flash fiction, and it was used well here. Nice job!
Beat Him Up
“I can’t answer that,” Frankie grunts. “You’ll have to beat me up.”
A sinister smirk creeps its way across Tony Two Shoe’s face. The smell of stale tobacco and prosecco chokes the air. Frankie struggles against the ropes binding him down in what he guesses has to be the world’s most uncomfortable chair.
“Frankie, my boy,” Tony says. “I’m offended. This is 2017. The mob don’t beat people up no more. We changed with the times.”
Tony turns around. “Come on over,” he says.
The room is dark. A single bulb hangs from the ceiling, provides the only meager source of light in the room.
A shadow creeps from the corner.
Another bead of sweat drips down Frankie’s forehead.
His heart races.
He struggles to breathe.
“Frankie. I’d like to introduce you to Grandma.”
The bulb illuminates the face of a shriveled old Sicilian woman.
“So this is Frankie?” she says. “It’s been so long. I nearly forgot who you are.”
“Forgot who I am? Lady, I don’t even know who you are.”
“Would it kill you to call once in a while? You know, Mrs. Kirkpatrick down the street says that her grandkids call once a week.”
“And heaven forbid you ever visit. Are you at least helping your mother?”
“My mother? I mean, I haven’t seen her for – ”
“That woman gave birth to you, you know.”
“She works so hard, she asks for so little. A saint, that woman. And do I smell smoke in here?”
“Yeah, but – ”
“God rest his soul, if your grandfather knew you were smoking. Oh, he’d be spinning in his grave.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll die soon enough, and you won’t have to worry about me bothering you no more.”
“Alright!” Frankie squeals. “Stop it! I’ll talk!”
See you all on Saturday!