Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 45 WINNERS
Week 45 of the Mid-Week Blues-Buster has come to a close…
Judge Nick Johns didn’t have much to work with– we equalled our all-time low for entries with four– but work he did…
So speaketh Judge Johns…
Thanks to everyone that took part this week. Though small in number it was a select group of tales. Every one of them had elements to commend them, things that I have learnt from and will try to incorporate into my own writing. I hope that I can do it as well as you did. As an aside, whilst I loved the song from an artist who was completely new to me, I found, as I know others did, that it did not speak to me as a writing prompt. Still. inspiration is like lightning, if it hit us all the same there would be a lot of dead bodies lying around after every storm.
Aftermath by Inkofthesoul I liked the overall tone of this piece, the protagonist’s reflective voice came through well. I also liked some of the images. Somehow, however, I felt that this was an unresolved tale that did not tie together all the elements. The passage ‘I had never felt the need to bargain with death, or plead to the fates, or believe in a God. But I would have dealt with, begged to, or believed in anything, if it would have saved her life.’ was particularly striking for me, having a well balanced rhythm that read beautifully.
Fangs versus Sideburns by Bullish The dialogue in this tale is its strength. The main character’s voice is really distinct and, for me, bespeaks a mixture of power, callousness, arrogance and grudging humour that made me want to know more about him and his situation. The kid, however has the best line, showing that small details often make a piece far more resonant. Responding to the question “How are you going to stop me?” with “It’s not how. It’s why….” made him truly three dimensional; more than just a walk on part in another’s larger drama.
Second Runner Up Runaway by The Rogue Tinker A great tale. It combines a strongly written action sequence in the foreground with an intriguing back story for the protagonist in the background. You also managed to make the absent Thomas a real character in the story. Again, the inclusion of small details adds richness to the structure. I felt that your last line wrapped up the story perfectly and brought it together. Strong echoes of the song.
Runner Up Untitled by Mark Ethridge I could really see and feel the location, despite it barely being described. Shelly’s presence and actions fleshed it (and her) out in a way that worked well. Her weight of back story hung over the tale like a stormcloud with flashes of action and reflection illuminating the piece like lightning. (Incidentally I imagined the soundtrack to the early part of the club scene as the music that plays in Walter Hill’s film when The Warriors are in the Lizzies’ clubhouse. But that’s just me!) Your use of repetition in the tale is almost poetic as a device but adds a momentum that is powerful, particularly when added to the cadence that very short sentences gives it. I felt that the way the release of tension at the flat was described was at odds with the very present, tactile immediacy of the opening passage and, though beautifully written, jarred for me in this way.
This Week’s Winner Untitled by drmagoo The shortest story this week packed the biggest punch for me. I loved and admired almost everything about this little tale, from the evocative first line to the brutal, abrupt four word ending. The voice tells you more and more about the protagonist as you read. The multi dimensional, contradictory aspects of this man’s character is laid out in a beautifully written, subtle way. I found myself trying to cast this person in a filmed version, so real had he become in such a short passage. As I have said elsewhere, small details are essential in building reality, and these abound in this piece. It also ties tight to the harshness of the opening lyric of the song whilst standing completely on its own feet. This is possibly my favourite flash fiction of the year so far.
Congrats to… everyone!
Eric – here’s the Winner’s Badge;
Thanks to all of our writers, readers, & to Judge Nick Johns…
See you all on Tuesday!