FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016


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Post March 06, 2016, 03:04:15 PM

FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

The "Murder on the ISS" Challenge:


Wesley must die.

We've all known it for years. Wesley is insufferable, dislikeable, and keeps getting chances to do things we've only dreamed of, but the git won't take a dirt nap like we always wanted. In fact, you may have tried a time or two to off him in your sleep; I know I've imagined it.

Too gruesome for you? Ha! As little kids, we're taught to commit murder, albeit fictionally, thanks to the classic, in almost every home game Clue. How many times as youngsters have we clobbered Col. Mustard in the study with a lead pipe? Strung up Miss Scarlett with the rope in the Ball Room? Why, strange to say, but murder is almost as American as apple pie!

So, in this flash writing challenge, let's say someone has used that homicidal skill we all possessed to kill an American scientist on the International Space Station named Wesley. It's all right--no one really liked him anyway. :wink:

Your stories should start with Wesley already dead. Whether you want to proceed as a serious drama, spoof, whodunit, musical... whatever, the style after that is up to you.

Shall we play a game?


REQUIREMENTS: (1) Your story must involve the killing of a character named Wesley, who is already dead, on the International Space Station. (2) You must have at least two characters that "talk" to each other in some fashion. (2) 1,000 words or less, not counting title, byline, or "The End"; (3) The characters and story must be fictional and not previously published, even in these challenges; (4) One entry per author; (5) Give your story a title and a byline; and (6) Keep it clean. Rated 'PG-13'. (Basically, think, "Could I see or say this on network television, even late at night?" That allows a lot, really.)

CHARACTERS & SETTING: No copyrighted characters or settings, or references thereto. Please note: This is not a game of Clue. Clue is copyrighted and that would make it fan fiction, which we do not publish. Also, as a non-profit, zero-budget endeavor, we do not want to get sued. Famous, non-copyrighted fictional characters like Santa Claus, or religious figures such as the Devil, named angels such as Gabriel, or gods like Thor, etc. as supporting characters at best and at my discretion. The Wicked Witch and Dracula may be in the public domain, but 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." Except as noted above under non-copyrighted fictional persons, character names may not be copied from fiction or real life, even if changed, i.e. Char-less Darween. All non-copyrighted settings are ok. Famous, unique sites like Stonehenge may be used over and again. No fan fiction or sequels, so don't bother putting your story in the Land of Oz or that great place you thought up two challenges ago.

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.

HOW TO ENTER: Stories must be sent by PRIVATE MESSAGE, 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 'zine. 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. All tales are literally tossed into a pith helmet and chosen in 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 who have posted at least one message may submit a story. Without that one post, the system will not let you send a PM.

DEADLINE: Stories should be in by 9 p.m. Central Standard Time (GMT-6), Sunday, March 20, 2016. The stories will then be posted for voting at approximately 10 p.m. Voting will close on Sunday, March 27th at approximately 9 p.m., GMT-6.

VOTING: Stories are rated on a scale of 0-10 in whole numbers in 6 different categories by filling in scores in a form that is posted by me immediately following the post containing the stories for this challenge. Voters copy and paste the form into a PM and send it to me for tallying. One vote per user (that is, per ip address), and authors may not vote for their own story.

IF YOU WISH TO SCORE A ZERO FOR A STORY, YOU MUST ENTER A ZERO IN THAT POSITION ON THE VOTING FORM. A challenge entrant who does not vote for the other stories will receive a 10% deduction in their own score at the time of contest close, and the other stories will be given marks equaling whatever their story's average is at the time of contest close.

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

WHAT YOU WIN: Writers get improved short fiction skills, increasing their chances in the marketplace, without the lengthy investment in time a longer story would take. That, as well as bragging rights and pride--there is stiff competition each month amongst some great stories.

LEGAL STUFF: I'll try to do my best lawyer impersonation: By entering this challenge you are technically granting Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy perpetual electronic rights only to post and archive your challenge entry. Aphelion would rather not lay any claim on them at all, but by posting them on a public site, they'd legally count as being published no matter what.

Ok. A real lawyer would have been less interesting. I tried.


Finally, a bit of an apology: I found I needed to run this month's challenge at almost the last minute, so I didn't have time to write an example. Therefore, I'm going to write it right alongside the rest of you, for better or worse. Whatever I come up with, even if it isn't finished, will be posted for the vote.

To help you, there is a diagram of the ISS here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Diagrams_of_the_International_Space_Station#/media/File:ISS_configuration_2015-05_en.svg
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Post March 06, 2016, 10:22:49 PM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

Nate, you sure have a knack for inspiration. I might even have a try at this one myself!
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Post March 07, 2016, 03:53:50 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

Wonderful!!! There is something being already on my mind...eh,eh :D
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Post March 07, 2016, 06:17:27 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

Ok, mine it's completed, and now just waiting for some useful reviews/suggestions, as usual, before sending it...eh,eh :D

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Post March 07, 2016, 09:09:22 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

Mr/Ms Gundam, I don't know how you can write so quickly.

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Post March 07, 2016, 09:11:05 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

And yes, since we all love Wesley...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3Y6SUh8saQ

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Post March 07, 2016, 11:18:01 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

I'm a gettin' in on this one!
Been busy with some other things, but will try this one!
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Post March 08, 2016, 04:10:35 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

After receiving some very useful suggestions/reviews, I sent it today...eh,eh

For jto:

I don't know how you can write so quickly.


Truth is that I eat a lot of chocolate every day, this may be of help ( at least this greatly helps the Swiss chocolate shop-owner where I buy it)...eh,eh... :) :) :D
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Post March 08, 2016, 12:58:19 PM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

ente per ente wrote:After receiving some very useful suggestions/reviews, I sent it today...eh,eh

For jto:

I don't know how you can write so quickly.


Truth is that I eat a lot of chocolate every day, this may be of help ( at least this greatly helps the Swiss chocolate shop-owner where I buy it)...eh,eh... :) :) :D

Hey, I eat a lot of chocolate too, but I can't knock out a story in three hours!
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Post March 09, 2016, 10:39:05 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

Have a look at this .gif, many and many times a day...how could you ever resist...eh,eh?

http://www.lovethispic.com/uploaded_images/80944-Chocolate-Gif.gif?1


http://www.lovethispic.com/uploaded_ima ... -Gif.gif?1



:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Post March 09, 2016, 12:54:01 PM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

I received Sergio's submission, but just so everyone understands, I won't look at anyone's until I've finished writing my own entry. That's the only way to be fair.
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Post March 10, 2016, 12:10:08 PM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

Mine is finished, and although it's got quite a layer of rust on it, I'm positive it's not terrible. So... I've now got 3 entries, including mine, which is enough for a race.

Care to join in?
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Post March 10, 2016, 01:17:41 PM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

Don't rush me, Nate! I've got ten days left. I'll waste nine and a half of 'em, at least, but I do have an idea for once.
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Post March 16, 2016, 10:20:58 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

4 entries so far.
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Post March 17, 2016, 03:11:17 PM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

My entry is in. I wouldn't have written anything so quickly - but I know Wesley personally and he IS a twerp who deserved to die!
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.
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Post March 19, 2016, 05:14:30 PM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

Time is running out. Sunday night at 9 (my time) is the deadline.
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Post March 23, 2016, 06:33:39 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

I'm back from the scale model show in Rome...and my votes are in...eh,eh :D
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Post March 23, 2016, 09:06:44 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2016

My votes are waiting in the Evil Ice Gnome's inbox (may his name be forever praised). They are ready for his cold glare to look over, whenever he's ready. (They're still in my outbox).
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.

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