Okay okay I've got results up! Little late, so thanks for bearing with me, guys <3 See you all on Saturday!
TipTim with A Mouthful More
This is a pretty feel-good piece for me. In a world where kindness seems hard to find, stories like this, of people looking out for other people, especially children, bring happiness to me. The ambiguous ending confused me. One more line would have clarified Mah'moud's decision, and it would have completed the story. I can assume that it was something great, like adopting them or some such, and that's the way I prefer to think about the ending of this, since that makes me really happy. The line "He seemed to have mastered the commendable art of being able to talk and swallow food at the same time," made me laugh (since I speak fluent full-mouth-ese, by way of living with six siblings). Wonderful work.
First Runner Up
Sara Codair with Migratory Blues
I confess that I was running a little experiment with this prompt--I was wondering how many people would end up using 'they' as a gender-neutral pronoun. (The answer to that is 1/4 people, haha!) The piece gives us an interesting peek into the world built here--we get that Fuz is some kind of avian creature, and that they have migratory patterns, and probably sentience, and that this world is going through some kind of climate change. I appreciate the level of worldbuilding woven into this piece in such a short amount of words. I also liked the build up to the ending--the foreshadowing of Fuz' death(? probably could be less ambiguous). I enjoyed this piece!
with Sheepish in the Round--The Flying Flock of Freedonia
There's something very whimsical about this piece, and I think that's what drew my attention. Usually stories at this level of whimsy aren't entirely coherent or don't contain a full plot arc, but this one is and does. I had some problems with the tenses in the piece--switching from past tense to even further in the past does require some change to give a fully chronological feel. The line I think demonstrates my point the most is "Perhaps in time, he thought, her meaning would be clear." Each time I read that, my brain insists there ought to be a 'had' before 'thought,' to keep the tenses in line. Those last lines make me smile every time I read them--I love the lighthearted feel of this piece and happy ending.
Sheepish in the Round--The Flying Flock of FreedoniaThey unfurled their wings. There were twenty of them, bulky, muddled, wary, but alive.Against winters frozen tableau, a strange sensation overtook the drove.“Angus,” Esmeralda, who often was the member of the flock who couldn’t resist asking “why,” spoke from the outer loop, “What in the name of all things woolly is going on? What are these?”Angus was not a natural leader. He’d spent most of his time in the field contemplating the past. More an historian, a teller of ancient tales, than a visionary, he understood that he was the best they had.His mother, before she took her final journey, had clarified for Angus what his role must be. “Darling, we are not a species who traditionally need to know where we are going. You are right to look back and wonder. However, however, my dear one, every so often, one of us must step up and point us in a new direction, or interpret events, or just say something comforting. I believe, in your lifetime, you are the chosen one.”At the time, his mother’s words skimmed over his head like a heavy wind. Perhaps in time, he thought, her meaning would be clear.As Esmeralda asked her question, he realized that that day had arrived.He surveyed the drove. The growths had afflicted them all, sprouting from their shoulder blades, rising like trees, like flowers out of their bodies.Angus could feel the weight on his back. He scrunched his shoulders and his two new appendages fluttered ever so briefly. His feet, rooted in tradition, briefly lifted him above the ground.“Angus, what are you doing?” Esmeralda screamed. “You are flying.”“Is that what this experience is?” he asked.“My goodness, yes. Flying!”“Then,” said Angus, “Let us all soar away.”And they did.
Thanks for participating (and putting up with me)! See you all Saturday :)