Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Year 2, Week 28: Results!

Judging Cracked Flash Fiction was a delight! Each story had a memorable moment, and it was not easy to choose. (I've read that before and thought judges were just blowing smoke, but now I know it's true!)

To the business...

Honourable Mention

Patrick Stahl with "No Doudou"

There's so much more than what's on the page. I enjoyed the interaction between the dock boy and Corrine, especially when she boldly demands he take good care of her beloved doudou. In just a few lines you give me a sense of two people, where I am, what's at stake. The ambiguity about the object her father is bringing on board-- whether it's the doudou or something more nefarious (that's what I think it is, but I doubted he'd begin a mutiny with his daughter on board?)-- doesn't necessarily detract from the story, though I yearn for closure. That you create that yearning is a victory. 

First Runner Up

Marcus Brook with "It's the Rules"

The foreshadowing of the "beautiful smile" is effective, and the explosive underwear-- clever. I appreciated the humanness of the narrator, the fact that he has some regret is refreshing, even if it's just over physical beauty. It's also nice to see him itch! "Its" should be "It's." 

Y2W28 Winner

Ronel Janse van Vuuren

with "Purple Sparks"

I chose this story as the winner for two reasons. 1. The compounding surprises-- the unexpected but believable punch Jess delivers to the crewman and the last phrase when you reveal where "on board" is. Both were fun. 2. The economy of language. You deliver a ton of scene, all accessible, with few words. The use of the adverb "worriedly" caused me a bit of a stumble. Given the fact she's considering punching him (we later find) and that her answer, "I can bring it on board" shows boldness, it feels like she should be looking around "undecidedly" or chewing her lip, not because she's afraid but because she's calculating her next move.

Purple Sparks
By Ronel Janse van Vuuren
121 words

‘You can’t bring that on board!’

Jess looked around worriedly and then stared into the man’s eyes: ‘I can bring it on board.’

‘No. You can’t,’ the crewman said with a quick shake of his head.

Sighing softly, Jess looked around once more, making sure that they were alone.

She punched him in the face and he crumpled to the ground.

‘See, Sophie, of course I can bring you on board,’ Jess said to the small dragon trailing her. ‘Besides, this ship is as fireproof as can be.’

She grinned as purple sparks flew from the dragon’s snout. On their way to their cabin, the two of them walked beneath the banner welcoming witches and familiars to the Annual Magic Cruise.
I enjoyed this Young Adult fantasy of friends as close as sisters resolving their issues with a fight of magic going astray. Check the punctuation (sentences should end with a full stop or something similar and an ellipses is formed with three dots, not two, etc.) and for typos sneaking in. I would’ve placed the “That was until the ‘sleep’ spell…” part in a new paragraph for effect. Having the main character going from one set of emotions about her friend to another really showed the crazy spectrum of teenage emotions and thoughts. Well done.

Thank you all for your participation! Until Saturday...

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