Sept/Oct Flash Contest


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Post September 15, 2015, 09:11:25 PM

Sept/Oct Flash Contest

APHELION FLASH FICTION CONTEST: Sept/Oct 2015

The Rope a Dope Trope

This may be my final one as Flash Editor folks! Let’s have some fun.Take a standard horror trope and flip it on its head somehow.

THE PREMISE: The challenge this time is to write a flash story with a same old horror trope, but.... change an essential part that always ends up being a given.


THE CHALLENGE: I challenge you to write speculative flash fiction where a horror story is flipped on its head.

REQUIREMENTS: (1) Your story must a speculative (sci fi, fantasy, dark fantasy, bizarro, etc.) story; (2) Your story must involve a horror trope. (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), Friday Oct 2nd 2015. The stories will then be posted for voting at approximately 10 p.m. Voting will close on Friday Oct 23rd, 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:
Nope! It always bothered me that I got the esteemed position of flash fiction editor and became a published and paid author without ever winning this contest. (NOT EVEN ONCE!)
You are competing against me this month. All scores will be sent to me but they will also be sent to Vila. He will not even have to look at them or tabulate them in anyway unless of course I win in which case he can inspect the score to assure I am pure as the driven snow or in the case of someone disputing my math.
This month you all really have to beat me. Let’s see what you got!



Example:

The Thing in the Closet



“Mom, there is something in the closet, really.” Timmy had tried to tell her this for months ever since he himself noticed.

“Sweetheart, there are no such thing as monsters. Go to sleep. If you just close your eyes you will be out before you know it.”

She stood for a moment in the doorway framed by the light of the hall. She blew him a kiss and closed the door behind her.

It waited a moment so she wouldn’t be near. The sense of timing was perfect. There had never even been a close call.

“Psst.”

Timmy drew the sides of the pillow up in a “U” shape around his head blocking his ears.

“Psst.”

He stared up at the ceiling refusing to acknowledge it in any way.

“Psst. Kid I know you can hear me. Quit it. Over here, hey!”

Timmy turned over and buried his face in the mattress. He pressed the pillow down hard on the back of his head seemingly trying to suffocate himself. He could hear the floorboards creaking through the pillow. They stopped near the bed. The tiny sharp tip of a sharp grimy claw poked his behind through the blanket. No sooner than it poked him, feet scuffled across the floor back to the closet.

Timmy rolled over exasperated. He threw the pillow at the closet door. It bounced off the door and swung it closed until contact was made with something just inside the dark portal of the door jam.

Timmy sat up. “What...do..you..want? And if you say what I think you are going to say, I swear to God I will find a way to catch you and give you to the government.”

“Got any gum?”

“Arrrgg!” Timmy leaped out of bed and flew across the room, kicking Legos in an explosive pattern in front of him in a wave of destruction. He reached the light switch and flicked it on.

He heard his mother walking quickly down the hallway and ran back to his bed, jumping in. He had forgotten the light. Humph.

She opened the door.

“Sweetie. There are no monsters.”

“Yes there are. He is right in there.” Timmy waved his hand at the closet. She opened the door to reveal a closet full of clothes.

“Nothing kiddo. Besides what would a monster want here?”

“He wants gum.”

His mother got that disapproving look on her face. “Honey, it is okay to be scared of the dark. This stuff about monsters is ridiculous, so ridiculous you don’t even have a good reason fabricated for why one would be here.”

“But...”

“No “buts” young man. Go to sleep and stay in bed. Do you understand?”

“Yes Mom.” He scowled at her.

“And don’t give me that look or you will see what a real monster looks like. You’re eight years old, these bedtime shenanigans are getting old quick.”

He pointed to the pillow on the floor by the closet. She picked it up and threw it at him. He caught it and couldn’t help but smirk a little. Shoving it under his head he turned on his side and pulled up the covers. Mom blew another kiss and closed the door.

It waited the obligatory minute.

“Hey.”
“Hey.”
“Hey Tim.”
“Hey Timmy”
“Timmy boy.”
“Psst.”
“Youhoo.”

Timmy ignored it for as long as he could.

“Please. For the love of God, please talk about anything but gum.”

“Tim.”

“What?”

“Got any gum?”

“I hate you so much.”
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 September 15, 2015, 11:11:56 PM

Re: Sept/Oct Flash Contest

Re REQUIREMENTS (2):
I assume we don't actually need a crime, a jar, and a calendar?
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Post September 16, 2015, 06:40:05 AM

Re: Sept/Oct Flash Contest

Ha! Nope.
Score one for Joey T for fully reading the directions!
Flash Editor -1 point for an incomplete edit!
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 September 16, 2015, 06:46:21 AM

Re: Sept/Oct Flash Contest

Well, that's a great contest indeed!!! :D :D

My entry is already completed today, and it just needs the usual reviews/suggestions before being sent...eh,eh...not a bad one, in my opinion, we'll see...eh,eh :D

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Post September 16, 2015, 12:43:25 PM

Re: Sept/Oct Flash Contest

Deadline Fri Oct 2 ... come on, I gotta try to hold together!

I have a funny idea that's been wandering around my head for years, so maybe it can go here!
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Post September 17, 2015, 03:33:09 AM

Re: Sept/Oct Flash Contest

Mine has been sent just today...eh,eh :D
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Post September 29, 2015, 12:26:46 AM

Re: Sept/Oct Flash Contest

Hello Eddie,

I'm sorry to hear that this may be your last contest as Flash Editor. I hope you don't mind if I throw in a last minute entry, I should have it ready in a day or two.
Write for yourself, there's no one else more worth writing for.
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Post September 29, 2015, 10:47:20 AM

Re: Sept/Oct Flash Contest

I will still be around. I just can't keep my attention as divided as it has been lately. It isn't fair to the section as I get busier and busier. I found a good replacement.
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 September 29, 2015, 07:33:47 PM

Re: Sept/Oct Flash Contest

I hate to say it but I don't get it, your story or the rules. I'm not a big or classic type horror buff so I might be missing something. No I know I'm missing something.

RT
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Post September 29, 2015, 08:03:41 PM

Re: Sept/Oct Flash Contest

Make something like this

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HorrorTropes

into something funny,ridiculous, or silly.
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 October 01, 2015, 05:42:33 PM

Re: Sept/Oct Flash Contest

deadline tomorrow?

I just logged on the other day. I didn't look at the date. I'm still thinking about this one. No matter i will eventually come up with something.

My issue is the traditional horror aspect as it is generally presented. My story in Archives #158 PROTECT AND SERVE is a horror in a socio/political fashion, or somewhat dystopian, which could be considered horror by those not on the ruling side; not in power.

I just considered your example silly, and funny and a bit of a take on from a flunk out Monsters Inc. So i didn't see too much of a flip.

So I'll pass on this one. Let's see what the new guy brings to the party.

RT
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Post October 06, 2015, 02:52:33 PM

Re: Sept/Oct Flash Contest

Sorry for the delay. I will get them up shortly. Had a few too many things going on. I will do my best to post them tonight with an extended voting deadline.
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 October 06, 2015, 03:59:33 PM

Re: Sept/Oct Flash Contest

Things are crazy busy in Kentucky as well. Looking forward to seeing what people submitted. 8)
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.

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