FEBRUARY FLASH CONTEST


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Post February 04, 2015, 11:13:40 PM

FEBRUARY FLASH CONTEST

APHELION FLASH FICTION CONTEST: February 2015
The “Still Among Us?” Challenge



THE PREMISE: People say there are cryptids everywhere. They are part of almost all folklore. What if the reason we can’t desively track them down is because they have learned to fit in? Pick one and show somehow what they are doing to fit in normally, and then throw in what would happen if the perfect little storm of odd/bad events happend to blow their cover.

THE CHALLENGE: Write a story where the protagonist is a cryptid. Make it so they are not looking to be found and have found a way to hide or stay out of the way reasonably. Now throw in a bit of bad luck and disaster that un-does their well laid plans and causes a snafu which reveals them in some manner.

REQUIREMENTS: (1) Your story can be fiction, fantasy or horror; (2) Your story must start as assigned and end as assigned.(3) 1,000 words or less, not counting title, byline, "The End," or punctuation such as #### used to separate sections; (4) The characters and story must be fictional; (5) One entry per author; (6) Give your story a title and a byline; and (7) Keep it clean. No worse than PG-13. When it comes to ratings, I'm going to use movie ratings as a guide from now on. But bear in mind that ratings are fairly subjective and applying a movie or television rating to a flash story is not the easiest thing to do. A lot depends on context. If you think something in your story may push it beyond PG-13, but you can give me an example of a PG-13 movie where the same thing was allowed, then I'll allow it.

LEGAL RESTRICTIONS: While you may reuse your own intellectual property in these challenges, stories that infringe on the copyrights, trademarks, or personality rights of others will not be accepted.

Yes, now you can write a sequel to one of your own previously published contest stories, but you cannot write a sequel to another writer’s story. Works of fan fiction will not be accepted. That means there is no use of copyrighted characters or settings, or references thereto. Even though the Wicked Witch and Dracula may be in the public domain, don't expect me to allow them. No person that was ever a "real life" human being may be used as a character, but can be referred to, as in "President Kennedy had declared it would be so." Character names may not be copied from fiction or real life, even if changed, i.e. Char-less Darween.

DISQUALIFICATIONS/REFUSALS: If, in my judgment, any requirement or rule is missed, I won't post the story for voting, but authors are free to resubmit with changes until the deadline. Should a story be initially accepted and posted in the challenge, but then later judged by me to be in violation, the story may be disqualified and removed from contention at any time before contest end. Authors who feel a story may be in violation should send me a PM and state their case.

REUSABLE STORY ELEMENTS: Reusable story elements are unique story elements introduced in these challenges which may be used over and over again in any Aphelion Flash Fiction Contest by any author. A given reusable story element will not be appropriate for every challenge, given genre or other challenge restrictions, but if you feel a reusable story element fits the current challenge and its use will enhance your story, then you are free to incorporate the element into your story. Other authors' use of a reusable story element in no way limits or affects your use of the element. Only the information included in the description of the reusable story element is usable. Any expansion of this information in other authors' stories is not usable. You may, however, build on elements from your own previous stories with the caveat that you may be sacrificing your anonymity for the contest voting.

The Libro di Sinistro: use anything from the pseudo-history of this sinister book in your story.

Scheherazade 7: use anything from the framing story of Scheherazade 7, including the premise, characters, and setting.

Campfire Games: In the beginning Light, in the end Darkness

(see the respective challenges in the index for inspiration)

HOW TO ENTER: Stories must be sent by PRIVATE MESSAGE to EddieSullivan, and NOT posted into a thread. Just click the 'PM' button at the bottom of this post and paste your story in the message. You are responsible for doing your own formatting, and leave an extra line between paragraphs, just like when you see them in the webzine. I will allow different colors, but not changed fonts or sizes, artwork, or any other embedded or external links.

DO NOT send a regular email to me.

Stories will be posted "blind"--without the author's name on them. They are placed in a random order. When the poll closes after the voting week, I'll post a list of the stories and who wrote them. All entries will then be reposted in the Flash Archive with the author's byline.

Entries from new authors are strongly encouraged. C'mon. Give it a try!

NOTE: ONLY REGISTERED MEMBERS of Aphelion's forum who have posted at least one message may submit a story. Without that one post, the system will not let you send a PM. Registration is easy though. Click the "Register" link at the top of this page to get started.

DEADLINE: Stories should be in by 8 p.m. East Coast Time (EST-5), Thursday, February 19th, 2015. The stories will then be posted for voting at approximately 10 p.m. Voting will close on Saturday, February 28th, 2015 at approximately 8 p.m., East Coast Time.

VOTING: Voters will rank the stories by filling in a form that is posted by me immediately following the post containing the stories for this challenge. Voters will copy and paste the form into a PM and send it to me for tallying. One vote per user (that is, per ip address).

A challenge entrant who does not rank the stories will receive a deduction in their own score at the time of contest close.

If two or more stories are tied at the end of voting, there will be a succession of one-day runoff votes until a single winner is chosen.

WHAT YOU WIN: Bragging rights!

COPYRIGHTS: By entering this challenge you are granting Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy perpetual non-exclusive electronic rights to post and archive your contest entry. All other rights are retained by you, the author.






EXAMPLE:


The Night the Evening Went South in the Cold North



So I’m driving along after work buzzing down Route 14 listening to my favorite podcast. It hadn’t been a good day but hadn’t been a bad on either. Road is slippery but there isn’t much traffic, I figure I will be home in ten or fifteen. The guy in front of me isn’t tearing along but he is somewhere in the ball park of the speed limit, so I figure I will give him about two car lengths. No sooner had I thought this than he stopped dead in the middle of the road, in winter, in Vermont, doing forty miles an hour. It was hit him or go for the freshly plowed snow bank on the right side. I chose the snow bank. I figured I would pull out so I could tail him and introduce boot to ass, I didn’t catch his plate as he slowly started back up and pulled away. I was stuck and he was gone. My head started pounding. I rallied my composure. I had taken my medication, I had done my meditation earlier. This too shall pass.

No houses were right in sight. Very angry. A truck pulls up along side of my dilemma. Nice old couple real country folks, good folks.

“You need help son? I don’t think I can get you out even with my chains.”

I shake my head a bit, not answering “No”, just shaking it because it seems appropriate. Maybe I am hoping if I keep stirring the rage won’t settle.

“I appreciate it if you could give me a ride down the street and I will call the auto club.”

Old man nods a good natured Vermont nod and gestures to get in. His wife scoots over. It was like I said good folk. I definitely don’t want any rage to leak out now, not with kind folk doing a good deed. They leave me at the store and I dig out the auto club card and call their number. I tell the girl on the other end I know the local tow vendor they send.

“You need to tell him I am half way between the bridge and the high school, not far from the town-line.”

She gives a practiced retort like what I said didn’t even matter. God damn minimum wage zombie. She can go off script even in the service of better service. “I have to tell them a cross street sir.”

“They will know what I am saying, I need them to find me sooner rather than later.”

“Sir I will tell then you are on Route 14 near the Chelsea Street bridge.”

I am too pissed to think straight. “Sure whatever I will be at my car.” I head out to walk the miles back to my car to meet the tow truck. Given auto club response times I should just make it back if I hustle.

I need not have rushed. Miss “I can’t go off script” has given them directions which send them to the opposite end of town so I get back to the car with well over an hour to spare. I don’t do well with to much time to think when I have been wound up.

The tow guy is nice enough. He does his job and gets me out of the snow bank. He earns whatever the auto club pays him and the added bonus of me not decapitating him and feasting on his warm organs right there on the roadside. Whoa I really need to get home and get to my medication. I need to have enough benzodiazepines in me to tranquilize a rhino post haste or something bad is going to go down.

I drive up the snowy Vermont hill, well really it is a small mountain I live on. Coincidence continues to flop with me all the way home. I narrowly miss not one, not two, but three separate head on collisions with full grown deer. Three miles and I see a buck and two does almost smash into me in three separate spots. All miss narrowly and bound off into the woods. Not my night, this last bit really gets me worked up. It makes me want to hunt instead of go home.

I pull up my driveway and see the back end of a grey Dodge parked in my driveway. I live at the top of the hill. It is two miles of woods to the nearest neighbor. I don’t really do unexpected visitors, especially not tonight. Wait a God Damn minute! That is the car! I park and get out in one motion.

A piss-ant college looking turd gets out one side, and a buddy as smarmy looking and spoiled as the first get out the other side.

Dink one says, “Oh man were you the local yokel I brake checked back coming into town? Bummer. You should’t follow so close.” His friend was trying to hide a smirk.

“I think it best that you let me go inside, I need to take my medication. You should be gone when I look back out.”

He put his hand on my arm and his buddy came over on my other side and put his hand on my shoulder. “Wait a minute Bra’, we came all the way from upstate cause we heard you had inside info on a real wild trip. Someone said you knew where to find a Wendigo and you need to show us. We will even pay you enough you can buy moose meat or whatever you woods people eat.”

I looked into his eyes. “ Yeah you know what, now that I think about it, I don’t need those tranquilizers at all. You make an interesting offer. I can show you a Wendigo. I can show you possible the most wild, scary ass Wendigo to ever stalk these woods.”

The change comes quick when I don’t even other to hold it back. Dinner was served.
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman
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Post February 05, 2015, 12:41:14 AM

Re: FEBRUARY FLASH CONTEST

Great sample story! I'm sure this'll be fun!
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Post February 05, 2015, 06:43:57 AM

Re: FEBRUARY FLASH CONTEST

Mine is already done, more news soon...eh,eh :D
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Post February 05, 2015, 12:16:47 PM

Re: FEBRUARY FLASH CONTEST

Great challenge idea! I'll start thinking about this. Should be fun!
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.
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Post February 05, 2015, 12:54:45 PM

Re: FEBRUARY FLASH CONTEST

ente per ente wrote:Mine is already done, more news soon...eh,eh :D

Admit it, Sergio, you had yours done BEFORE HE EVEN POSTED THE CHALLENGE!

You don't have clones; you have a time machine!
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Post February 06, 2015, 03:57:26 AM

Re: FEBRUARY FLASH CONTEST

For Lester Curtis:

you have a time machine!


I wish I had, so I could find again where I have placed some documents in the office before they went lost...eh,eh... :mrgreen:

Anyway, by chance, before one of the previous Challenges in 2014, as a matter of fact, in reality I happened to write a draft of a Flash Fiction that did exactly meet the requirements for the next Challenge, some days after, so it was like a weather forecast, more or less, well, much more certain that the typical Italian weather forecasts that never are true...eh,eh :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :D :D
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Post February 06, 2015, 10:45:50 AM

Re: FEBRUARY FLASH CONTEST

Mine has been sent today, after some useful reviews/suggestions, as usual, certainly... :D
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Post February 14, 2015, 11:13:34 AM

Re: FEBRUARY FLASH CONTEST

I thought this was a fun challenge - so I sent my story in yesterday. The best story ever written in this or any universe, known or unknown! :twisted:
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Post February 19, 2015, 08:28:48 PM

Re: FEBRUARY FLASH CONTEST

30 minutes
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman
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Post February 19, 2015, 09:03:28 PM

Re: FEBRUARY FLASH CONTEST

Closed
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman

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