[POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge


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Post January 15, 2017, 11:07:47 PM

[POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

To vote, rate these stories on the form in the post following this one and send it to me via PM.

Please do not post comments about the stories until the vote concludes.



The challenge was to write a story from the perspective of a human who murdered the alien Oola in the Great Lakes tourist town of Cranberry Bay.



The following entries were received:



Treasures



To say people liked Oola is vastly understating her popularity. Oola was here as part of the Earth-Chaimal exchange program. Every year, thousands of Chaimangi exchanged places with Earthlings to experience living on an alien planet. The locals were all mad about having an alien in their town. A tourist town like Cranberry Bay, on the banks of the gorgeous Lake Michigan, thrived on out-of-town visitors, and Oola was both a visitor -- anxious to spend ridiculous amounts of cash on her Earth experience -- and an attraction. How could the locals see this as anything but a win-win situation?

All I wanted was to be close to Oola, and, with some careful planning, I was sure I could make her mine.

***

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, she came into my store, Lakeshore Treasures. A tall, octopus-like creature, she sauntered in on four of her eight tentacles. After handing me the special filter that shifts her voice into the human auditory range, her operatically soprano voice filled my head, “What is it you do here?”

“I-I-I sell tourists souvenirs. These are little baubles to remind them of the happiness they found here.”

I picked up a delicate sea urchin-looking driftwood sculpture. “And I make these.”

Oola reached out a single, translucently blue-green tentacle to stroke the smooth pieces of wood. “It’s beautiful.”

“Sometime, perhaps you would like to see my workshop, or,” I rushed on feeling her discomfort at the idea, “maybe you could come with me when I go collecting.”

The finger of her tentacle brushed against my hand holding the sculpture. I could have died of rapture right then.

She only said, “That might be nice. The lakeshore is beautiful.”

***

I invited her that Monday to accompany me. The weather was perfect. Spring was only starting to give way to summer so the air was cool and the water cold. Oola balanced on four tentacles using the other four to sift through the sand and shells. Mostly we didn’t talk. I didn’t want to scare her off, and it’s not like we had any privacy. Everywhere she went, hordes of admirers followed. I had been one of those. But now I was more. Now, I might even be allowed to call her my friend.

At the end of the afternoon, my basket full of new treasures, I invited her to dinner.

“I can’t. I have other plans.” Did I imagine that her voice sounded sad? “Maybe some other time.”

***

Apparently, Oola enjoyed scoping for driftwood. She came into the shop early Tuesday to ask if she could accompany me the next week. I said yes.

I spent the entire week in a flurry. The workshop had to be ready for a tour, everything needed to be in place; and there was following Oola: catching every glimpse I could IRL, Facebook, Twitter, I even opened up a Snapchat account though I find all this social media exhausting and pointless. Of course, there was also minding the store; though I left that mainly to my assistant.

I snagged a dinner reservation for Friday at Toliver’s -- the steakhouse that Oola would be patronizing that night.

There she was, seated at the table next to me. She put the napkin on her head -- a mistake she’d made when she first arrived and now had adopted as a personal quirk. Then Oola invited me to come with her to an art opening at a studio in downtown Cranberry Bay.

After dinner, I winded my way downtown to the studio cum frame shop -- Badger Gallery. I wished there were some way to shed Oola’s entourage. Crammed into the tiny space, we drank wine and gaped at some local’s abstract impressions of the town. They were awful, but what could I do but stay?

I’d just about decided that it was useless, when she appeared by my side slipping a tentacle into my hand, “Do you want to get out of here?”

My breath caught, “Uh. Y-yeah. Sure.”

She tugged and I followed. We walked along the quiet downtown sidewalk.

Finally, she said, “Is the invitation to visit your workshop still open?”

I couldn’t even continue walking. All the preparations; all the faux conversations, wheedling, cajoling, enticing, seducing, all in my head, and here she was asking. Outright.

“Yes. Of course, yes. We can go there now if you’d like.”

She leaned in a little, “I’d like that.”

***

We got an Uber and ten minutes later we were standing at the threshold of my workshop. I opened the door.

Oola made a little “oh” at the sight of rows of driftwood Chaimangi dolls: awkward simulations of their jellyfish bodies with twig tentacles held together by pins, wire, and glue. Each one hand-stained blue with painted red eyes, four of them, and yellow lips.

“These are stunning,” Oola sang. Turning to me, she wrapped two tentacles around my neck and two grazed the bare skin of my calves, a thousand pinpricks of ecstasy. Then she kissed me.

Her lips were cool and intoxicating. I knew this was my chance, however much my body wanted to wait. I grabbed the knife from the work table next to us, and jammed it up into her soft underbelly.

Her eyes flew open, “Wh-what?”

I caught her in my arms and gently lowered her to the floor, “Now you’ll be mine, Oola. Always mine, and no one else’s.”

She laughed breathlessly. Green blood seeped down the corners of her mouth. “Enjoy me while you can, Shaina.”

“I will.” I kissed her, running a hand over her skin.

“Do you feel that? On your neck? On your legs?”

I did, the pinpricks of ecstasy turning into knife points of pain.

“Those are my babies, burrowing into your flesh, my dear. Soon you’ll be nothing but a distant memory.”

I had just enough time to see the workshop door open. Was that another Chaimangi?


The End



Just a Kiss



“Would anyone like some more cranberry sauce? Seems I made a lot more than that old turkey and mashed spuds could handle.” Martha, she was the matron of the Parker family. At age seventy-two she ran her home much like a Marine drill instructor, though with a thinly veiled sense-of-humor.

Some of those seated at the table were family, some were friends, some just ended up sitting there, but they all shared one thing in common, they all lived in the town named after the sauce, Cranberry Bay. It was no coincidence the Parker family lived there or served ample amounts of mashed sour cranberries…they owned many ponds and made their yearly living growing and harvesting the nasty product. And since this was also the Holiday season they all shared another of Martha’s locally famous fantastic gut busting turkey dinners.

“No thanks mother, I’m about as stuffed as the bird you served,” laughed Henry, her balding oldest son said as he pushed his chair back from the table and lit up his pipe filled with aroma inducing cherry tobacco.

As the room filled with the sweet smoke the conversation turned to recent events occurring in the boring town of Cranberry Bay, which by local standards as boring as waiting for a red stop sign to turn green.
“Say, did you all hear about the alien getting cut into tiny little pieces?” Henry said this with a smiling afterglow of consuming the wonderful meal.

“No, she was not cut into little pieces…” Martha said, a slight tremor in her voice. She was a very beautiful woman, a kind of woman not seen around here what with all those crazy human women running about here on this planet like a bunch of dressed up whores…”

The large group of people seated there at the very large table all started talked about the killing. It was kind of hard to concentrate. Snippets of conversation were: “I heard the killer used a chainsaw.” “Some say she was raped and then cut up into pieces.” “I heard she was cut into pieces and then raped.” “Cannibalism…” “Hate crime…” “Alien haters…” Oh my, the conversation was as varied as one would expect among a bunch of people talking about what they know nothing of. Most of them led boring, mundane lives, and most of them were really not that intelligent. Only two people could be considered smart, that being the head of the family Martha, and Henry, the oldest son of Martha.

Martha’s face was red when she said, “No, she was not raped or cut up into pieces, I know…” but before she could finish her sentence one of the guest asked, “What was the alien woman’s name?”

Henry said, “I knew that alien, her name was ‘O’ something…Ola, Olga, no…Oola, yes that’s her, I mean, was her name. Oola. She used to shop at lot at my store. Spent a lot of money she did. Nice person for being an alien and all. Aside from the strong odor of sulfur her skin emitted, she was actually not bad to look at.” And with a remembering thought added, “And her four breasts…Ah, my…They…”

“You watch your mouth Henry!” Martha was red in the face and angry that Henry was starting to stray into the taboo realm of sexuality, and for Cranberry Bay sex was the missionary position for married couples behind locked doors and minds.

“Oh come on mother, lighten up. Oola was very beautiful, and the way she screamed…I mean, she walked…” Henry’s face immediately turned white with his omission now known to the world.

Silence is often said to be invisible but in that room when Henry said, “Scream,” the whole room became very silent. It was a solid wall until the silence was broken after a few awkward seconds.

A cousin’s face was white when he asked Henry, “What do you mean when you said the alien screamed? How would you know this?”

“Okay. Okay. I confess. Oola and I were lovers. Such a wonderful love. We had sex in the woods, in my home, her space ship. My god, her body was beyond this world…”

Everyone looked at Henry with mixed looks of shock, dismay, envy, hate…It was the Babylon of emotions in that room as the people’s minds came to judge what they just heard: Henry engaged in, well, in outer world carnal lust and now one of those lovers had been discovered no longer among the living.

“Did you kill her?” “Why did you kill her” “What was the sex like?” “Do aliens have vagina’s or what the hell do they have? And so many more questions were thrown at Henry that he just sat there wondering why he had said anything at all. The answer on why was actually pretty simple: He loved that alien and he had drank a wee bit too much Scotch before/during/and after the wonderful dinner.

While the whole room had focused their attention on the confession of Henry they completely ignored Martha as she was just an old lady who just happened to cook wonderful meals and run the Parker family with an iron fist.

Now, if the people had paid attention to her earlier they would have seen her leave the room and return with the family double-barreled 12 gauge shotgun. They would have seen her but for sure they heard her open the barrel and insert two shells and with a quick snap, shut the barrels.

“How could you Henry? She was to be mine. She was my lover, my soul mate…I was going to marry her and move to her planet, yet it is you she wanted. You and not me… Damn you Henry. I had to kill her, and now I have to kill you…”

“No! Martha, no. Nooo!” Henry raised both of his hands in defense, but 00 buckshot? Human flesh is weak, just like love, and anger.


The End



Murder in a Small Town



“Oola looks at peace. Doesn’t she, Nate?”

“I guess.”

“You did a wonderful job picking out the coffin. The mahogany with the white overlay sets off her blue uniform nicely.”

“Least I could do.”

“It is, given the circumstances.”

“I’m surprised no one else is here. Everybody seemed to like Oola.”

“It’s early.”

“I’ve never been in a funeral home before. It’s like a dungeon in here, dark carpet, dark walls, dark mood. All it needs is shackles hanging on the walls. These chairs aren’t very comfortable, either, and the music reminds me of molasses. I hate the smell of molasses."

“Maybe those folks in New Orleans have the right idea, having a parade for the departed and making a party of it.”

“You know, she’s almost pretty lying there.”

“She never was a looker.”

“No, not really. The wig helped, but the long, oval face and small slit for a nose made her stand out.”

“That and the fact she oozed orange tears when she cried.”

“I don’t remember ever seeing her cry.”

“She did right after you stabbed her the first time.”

“Oh.”

“Hey, Nate. Remember when we found her rocket half submerged in the lake?”

“How could I forget? Strangest thing ever to happen in Cranberry Bay. That and the time Jack Burks fell into the water, pickup and all, while ice fishing. Idiot should have known it was too warm to drive out on the lake.”

“He was new to the village. Didn’t know the quirks of Lake Erie like the rest of us. Anyway, she was kinda woozy stepping out of that contraption. How would you describe it? Like a big old torpedo with four wings and a tail--certainly not the flying saucer you’d expect.”

“A torpedo with four wings sounds good to me. I was surprised how folks here took to her. Especially, Edna Farber. She never took to anyone.”

“When we told her Oonah was an alien, she wanted to deport her back to Mexico where she belonged. The rest took a liking to Oonah right off. Even kept her a secret to keep Nosy Rosies away.”

“You keep doing that. Her name’s Oola, not Oonah.”

“Right. I keep mixing her up with that poet lady. Anyway, it’s too bad you had to kill Oola.”

“I didn’t have any choice, according to you. She knew.”

“Maybe.”

“What do you mean maybe? Maybe she knew or maybe I had no choice.”

“Maybe she knew.”

“You’re the one who said she positively did and that I had to do something about it.”

“Well, you should know better than to trust me. Aren’t I the one who told you to shoot out Mr. Tundrell’s bedroom window because he was sleeping with his daughter.”

“Uh huh, and it turned out she was living in Seattle with her mother. A shoulder shrug? That’s all you got? I could have seriously injured the man. I heard the fights on the TV through the open living room window. You know he refuses to wear his hearing aids. I didn’t expect him to be in the bedroom.”

“And how about the time I told you to run over Mrs. Gilbert’s dog because he tried to bite me.”

“You mean the Rottweiler with no teeth?”

“Yea, that one.”

“You should have told me about the no teeth thing before I hit him.”

“That’s not how I work, Nate. You know that.”

“I should, but you constantly bug me until I can’t seem to help myself. So, did Oola know or not?”

“Does it really matter now? She’s dead.”

“Yea, she’s dead, and it’s your fault!"

“Hey, I’m not the one who found her sneaking out of our house. I’m not the one who turned angry and red and told her to not tell anyone about the money she found, and that she could have some if she kept silent. I’m not the one who called her a liar when she denied knowing anything about the money. I’m not the one who forgot to move the bag of money you found on River Road to a safer place—like I told you to. And I’m not the one who stuck the blade in her, then dropped her in the creek behind the Miller’s place. The creek was a good idea, though, since everybody likes that spot for fishing. Lots of footprints to confuse the cops. So, what have you got to say for yourself?”

“You bastard. You did it to me, again. Imposed your will on me, even though I tried to ignore you. You’re always whispering in my ear, egging me on to do bad things. And I keep listening to you, buckling under. Why can’t my angel side ever win? Why is it always your voice that prevails? Dr. Jensen is right. I need to get you out of my head. Stop listening to you. Be my own man.”

“She does say that a lot. Maybe Doc Jensen needs to be the next one. What do you think about that, Nate?”


The End



Put the Blame on the A.M.E.



Cranberry Bay was a small city situated along the coast on Lake Michigan, in Wisconsin. Named for the bay nearby, a wide stream flowed through the town, which was enjoyed by the few residents who actually lived there. The local population was meager which was common in the few villages and urban areas that were present this far north. However, there were huge numbers of tourists in this place – and these were, nowadays, mainly aliens, of course.

Nothing really happened there, at least not very frequently. This was why all the citizens were so worried and upset as soon as the news started spreading about the corpse of that visitor.

The dead alien’s name was Oola and the evidence indicated that he had been murdered in this quiet town. Being a typical tourist from another world who came every summer to visit the area, he seemed to love this village situated near the Great Lakes that reminded him of his birth planet: full of water with a perfect environment for him. The members of his species resembled yapok-like creatures – and they all usually spent a lot of money for touristy goods and services, much to the delight of the local shop-owners.

“Did you know that Bartholomew Hardwood harbored a deep resentment to the alien tourists?” a voice asked me. It was Grazia, the long-haired woman who owned the largest newsstand in town.

“Why do you say that? Do you think that he might have been involved in such a cruel murder?” I asked in return.

“A policeman who is a friend of mine told me that Oola was assaulted using some specialized tools that came from Bartholomew’s shop...the one that closed down not long ago. So, he is the man they are accusing of this crime.”

“I did hear him talking against the aliens before,” I said frowning.

“You see? It was him. Who else would have done this?”

As I move away, walking along the streets of Cranberry Bay which are full of worried alien tourists, I think about what I have done and I sneer. I also remember how it all started and how things got to this point.

What began the whole thing was the collapse of Earth’s economy which occurred the day the Agreement for Merchandise Exchange (the A.M.E.) was signed between the appointed Earth Government and the representatives of the Union of Monger Worlds. Well, it was not as if Earthlings had a choice, since they had admitted their goods were inferior once everyone had seen what the alien newcomers had for sale. The alien’s products were actually far better than anything else you could ever find on Earth: medicines, computers, electronics, there was nothing on our planet that could compare to these new products! And the technology by which the aliens made such merchandise was a tightly kept secret, so there was no chance for Earth companies to compete. In exchange, what aliens wanted was food and other special products that were typical of our world, that couldn’t be cultivated easily elsewhere.

So within a matter of 50 years, a large part of Earth had been turned into megafarms in order to sell those newcomers what they wanted, thus trading for the new unbelievable alien wares in return. On the other hand, all the companies on the planet based on human technology and old medical treatments were put aside, soon going to pot, leaving millions unemployed.

Earth’s military might have opposed all this but what could they try against aliens who travelled from one star to another in the same time a human could travel from home to his office? Our planet had no chance of winning a full blown war… But resentment and hatred against those alien newcomers had grown in some parts of the population, and it was said to be spreading in many areas of the country. In Wisconsin, too, some thought…

So, long story short, most of the unemployed humans simply turned to other activities, as it seemed that such aliens didn’t just like Earth’s food, but they also loved our planet as a perfect place to vacation. So, the tourist business greatly increased, although competition was stiff, every day.

This was exactly why the alien named Oola had to be murdered here in Cranberry Bay. It was why the alien tourists had to believe that it was due to some resident who hated aliens … someone who had just lost his income because of the family business closing down. Bartholomew was the perfect mark to hang this murder on. His stubborn family had been the last company in the area to manufacture small excavators and metallic hand tools, only closing up a few months ago.

He had to be blamed because he appeared to have a good reason to join one of the groups that spread hatred against the aliens across the country. The evidences that I planted at the crime scene would easily help the local policemen to come to that conclusion, as it was the obvious solution to the case.

Actually, as I said, competition is fierce among the small towns situated along the coast of Lake Michigan. Every place wants more tourists, as the aliens are the only financial resource now, fish and food apart, and a murder like Oola’s will force them to check out other better sites to vacation. They will find other less dangerous places nearby to spend their money, like Blackcurrant Bay, for example. By chance, I am from Blackcurrant Bay, I was born there 50 years ago, and what I did is for the good of my town. And for increasing my tourist business there, indeed…

Things were going to change now. Blackcurrant Bay would become a thriving place as soon as the aliens changed their destinations and started to go there instead. I was ready to welcome them, along with my fellow citizens - with the best possible vacation spot on Earth that they could ever dream of


The End



Oola the Rat



“Tourist my ass! She was a spy for the F.B.I. I know that. She came here pretending to be some dumb ass tourist but I know the truth about her. Yes, I know all truths and Oola was a rat beyond that meaning of rat.

Every day, every hour she smiled and looked happy. To me she’s just a rat. That thing that walked around on tentacles and wiggled down the sidewalk. Yet, they all loved her----the stupid shopkeepers. Just because she spent money they were all friendly toward her. I tell you she was a rat beyond the definition of the word. Yes, a rat! And that squeaky voice she had?

They didn’t know what I knew. Oola sucked the blood from winos. Yeah, did you know that! The winos under the pier. I seen her do that. And the stray dogs and cats that have been reported missing? Yes, Oola got them too. She got them all, that tentacled squid looking thing, but she made one and I mean it, one big mistake. You never trust a snake. A rat, or a two-face. The feds knew what she was doing, but didn’t arrest her. That told me that she was working for them. She had to be.

Oola thought that Buddy was a nobody. She didn’t know that Buddy works from me. I found him late one night--- high as the stars on marry-jane down at the beach. He was sixteen at the time, and just ran away from home. Nice kid, I thought. Told Joe to get him and bring him to my place. The kid took to me like a Republican to a tax cut. By the time he reached nineteen, I had him loan sharking. With his size he did a good job. Our nice little tourist town is just a cover. With all the people coming and going, they never suspect that I’m moving Heroin, weed, pills, along with laundering money in my little quaint shops along the piers. Hell, these tourists pay big time for junk. A lot of money’s flowing. I like that.

Oola asked too many questions. She was always stickin’ her ---what looked like a nose-- into my business. Asking the shop keeper in a friendly way about how much money they took in during the day. Trying to look in the back rooms. Hell, she even when so far as to ask if she could get into a poker game. Do you believe that! A poker game and she said that she heard through the grape vine that some big games go on in the back rooms.

When Buddy first told me about this Oola I thought that maybe she watched too many old Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson movies. You know these aliens from space just love the old gangster pictures. I don’t know why. I guess they all behave themselves up there. Oola kept it up. That day when she asked a storekeeper if she could have a fix, I knew something was up then. Nobody does that except a rat! And that storekeeper was Buddy.

Buddy did a good job of covering. Boy, did he do a good job. He looked back at Oola and said, “Do you have a flat tire?” Oola, according to Buddy just stuttered back. Boy that was a good one.

Buddy called me afterward and I tailed Oola. She’s smart, very smart in some ways. She didn’t call to text anybody. That’s smart. She didn’t leave any messages anywhere, and she didn’t talk to anyone out in the open. But she made one hell of a mistake. You see, Buddy knows things.

Oola went into the Historical Museum one day acting like some tourist. I had Buddy watch her. Boy was I lucky this time.

Oola went over to a picture of a light house. She spent some time looking at it and that’s where Buddy knew something was up. You see, the museum was a library one time, and where the picture of the lighthouse is, you could talk softly into the wall and be heard through it.

That’s how Buddy talked with his girl when he was a teenage. Her parents hated him and didn’t want her around him. Buddy would slip in the back janitor’s door and talk with her through the wall. Somebody else must have known about it and used it so Oola could talk with the feds. Yes! Probably some other rat the lives around here set things up. Buddy saw a fed leave the back janitor door shortly afterward.

I wanted to do the job myself---- been a long time since I killed a rat. Got out the old Tommy Gun my grandfather used when he was in the Capone gang. Been wanting to used it some day.

Wasn’t hard getting her, and the old Tommy gun would confuse he feds. Everybody uses new automatic weapons now. Not some old antique.

But I was worried. She might leave before . . . but she didn’t. No, she kept hanging around and going to this place and that. Boy, she never realized what was coming.

The 4th of July came and that’s when I got her. Nobody noticed the shots, how could they with all the fireworks going off. It was a nice-clean-job.

To this day nobody suspects me------ they think it was one of the Ardriennes. They hate Oola’s planet and have vowed to eliminate them. But what the hell. We do have a nice little tourist town----and everybody’s welcome.


The End
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Post January 15, 2017, 11:09:09 PM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

To vote, rate these stories using the long form below with scores of 0-10 (in whole numbers) and send it to me via Private Message (PM): (when logged in, copy it into memory, click the 'PM' button below my avatar (or depending on your board style, mouse over the green username by my avatar and a menu will pop up with an option to send a private message), paste the form in, & then fill in your scores.)

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2) How good was the Characterization?
3) How effective (or original) was the plot?
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6) How well did the story meet or address the challenge as it was given?

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Treasures
1) Overall:
2) Characterization:
3) Plot:
4) Setting:
5) Dialog:
6) Challenge:

Just a Kiss
1) Overall:
2) Characterization:
3) Plot:
4) Setting:
5) Dialog:
6) Challenge:

Murder in a Small town
1) Overall:
2) Characterization:
3) Plot:
4) Setting:
5) Dialog:
6) Challenge:

Put the Blame on A.M.E.
1) Overall:
2) Characterization:
3) Plot:
4) Setting:
5) Dialog:
6) Challenge:

Oola the Rat
1) Overall:
2) Characterization:
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4) Setting:
5) Dialog:
6) Challenge:


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Post January 16, 2017, 07:38:18 AM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

My votes are already in...eh,eh

And, while reading the entries, I easily found an indisputable winner, possibly... :D
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Post January 16, 2017, 08:51:59 PM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

The Day 1 leader is Jim! Kate is running in second.
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Post January 17, 2017, 08:24:49 PM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

On Day 2, Jim & George are tied for the lead!
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Post January 18, 2017, 09:42:32 PM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

Day 3, Jim still holds the lead, but Kate & Sergio are neck and neck for second.
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Post January 19, 2017, 08:29:29 PM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

There was no change for Day 4. No votes were cast.
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Post January 20, 2017, 08:26:29 PM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

It's rather odd. No votes came in today, either.
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Post January 20, 2017, 10:26:58 PM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

Ya got some now. Mine.
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Post January 21, 2017, 10:04:31 AM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

Well, got my votes in. A good take on this challenge. I liked them all. Poor Oola just didn't know what she was getting herself into. Maybe she should have vacationed in another spot. Who knows?
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Post January 21, 2017, 01:17:08 PM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

We come to bury Oola, not to mourn her (or him).
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Post January 21, 2017, 05:23:34 PM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

I wonder if Oola's big brothers or sisters intend to seek revenge? That would be another good story.
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Post January 22, 2017, 11:31:09 PM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

Voting has closed.


Thank you to all the members who voted.

Congratulations to Jim Harrington! He won the January challenge with his story, "Murder in a Small Town."



For the record, these were the authors of the entries for this month:


Treasures by Kate Stuart
Just a Kiss by Robin Lipinski
Murder in a Small Town by Jim Harrington
Put the Blame on A.M.E. by Sergio Palumbo
Oola the Rat by George T. Philibin


SCORES: (Overall next to the story title, then the average score next to each question #.) -



Treasures: 294
1) Overall: 7
2) Characterization: 6
3) Plot: 7
4) Setting: 7
5) Dialog: 7
6) Challenge: 8
# Zeroes: 0
# Perfect 10s: 5

Just a Kiss: 267
1) Overall: 6
2) Characterization: 7
3) Plot: 6
4) Setting: 6
5) Dialog: 7
6) Challenge: 7
# Zeroes: 0
# Perfect 10s: 1

Murder in a Small Town: 335
1) Overall: 8
2) Characterization: 8
3) Plot: 8
4) Setting: 6
5) Dialog: 8
6) Challenge: 6
# Zeroes: 0
# Perfect 10s: 8

Put the Blame on A.M.E.: 303
1) Overall: 7
2) Characterization: 7
3) Plot: 7
4) Setting: 7
5) Dialog: 6
6) Challenge: 9
# Zeroes: 0
# Perfect 10s: 5

Oola the Rat: 306
1) Overall: 7
2) Characterization: 7
3) Plot: 7
4) Setting: 7
5) Dialog: 6
6) Challenge: 9
# Zeroes: 0
# Perfect 10s:11
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Post January 23, 2017, 12:51:15 AM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

Congrats, Jim! Great job!

I've at least got some short comments this time:

Treasures
1) Overall: 8
2) Characterization: 6
3) Plot: 10
4) Setting: 6
5) Dialog: 7
6) Challenge: 10

total: 42

comments: I wish I'd had some hint early on that the PoV character was female. Also, there's the problem of your PoV character narrating from the grave.


Just a Kiss
1) Overall: 7
2) Characterization: 8
3) Plot: 6
4) Setting: 5
5) Dialog: 5
6) Challenge: 3

total: 34

comments: Not written from the killer's PoV, as specified in the challenge. Quotation marks missing in a couple places.


Murder in a Small town
1) Overall: 10
2) Characterization: 9
3) Plot: 10
4) Setting: 6
5) Dialog: 9
6) Challenge: 10

total: 54

comments: Surprise endings don't always work, but this one was great.

Put the Blame on A.M.E.
1) Overall: 6
2) Characterization: 7
3) Plot: 10
4) Setting: 7
5) Dialog: 7
6) Challenge: 10

total: 47

comments: Too much telling, not enough showing. Excellent plot.

Oola the Rat
1) Overall: 7
2) Characterization: 5
3) Plot: 5
4) Setting: 7
5) Dialog: 6
6) Challenge: 10

total: 40

comments: Only one line of dialog, but it was very good. I'd have liked more.
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Post January 23, 2017, 03:08:37 AM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

Congratulations to the winner, well done!!! :D :D

I gave Murder in a Small town 9 for each category, I was pretty sure it was going to win given the very surprising ending eventually...eh,eh :D

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Post January 23, 2017, 08:16:18 AM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

Congrats to Jim! Good job. I liked your story the best. Hope you keep writing here!
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Post January 23, 2017, 12:14:12 PM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

This was fun. All the stories were interesting to read. Got to see a lot of mental pictures of how people viewed an alien called, Oola. And, oh, look. Haven't seen that in awhile... Can it be?

"Yes, that is a piece of plant sticking out of your belly button Robin. That's what you get for... No. You're not going to eat that? Oh you sick (censored)"

Munch, munch... Anyway, fun challenge, thanks for the opportunity. And for any of you writer/readers sitting on the sidelines, why not get your (censored) mind to write something for the next challenge? As you can see from my (censored) style of writing if a crazy man like me can submit a totally (censored) story about a lesbian old lady with a taste for violence it does not take a rocket scientist to state your story submitted would be great!

Hey parasite, wanna taste of this sprig of hades? Nice. Much better than those week old brownies you've been hiding under your pillow.

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Post January 23, 2017, 12:32:47 PM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

My votes, with a little commentary:

Just a Kiss
1) Overall: 7
2) Characterization: 8
3) Plot: 8
4) Setting: 8
5) Dialog:8
6) Challenge: 7
I really felt like this missed the spirit of the challenge by not being told from a first-person perspective; and I wasn’t a big fan of the mother/son dynamic. Just not something that appeals to me personally.

Murder in a Small town
1) Overall: 7
2) Characterization: 9
3) Plot: 8
4) Setting: 7
5) Dialog: 8
6) Challenge: 9

Congratulations, Jim! You did a nice job with just the conversation and I like the way you worked in descriptions, but I still felt a bit lost through most of the story. I felt like the 2 voices were talking in a vacuum. And then the ending didn’t particularly surprise me . . . I felt like it should have, but it didn’t.

Put the Blame on A.M.E.
1) Overall: 8
2) Characterization: 7
3) Plot: 8
4) Setting: 7
5) Dialog: 9
6) Challenge: 9

I think this one was my favorite. It was a little overly explanatory, but I liked the premise, and I felt like the narrator’s voice came across nice and strongly.

Oola the Rat
1) Overall: 7
2) Characterization: 8
3) Plot: 7
4) Setting: 7
5) Dialog: 5
6) Challenge: 9

This was another one where I felt a bit lost through the story. The narrator just seemed slightly incoherent and majorly paranoid. I couldn’t quite figure out the narrator’s relationship to Buddy. Was he just an employee? And then is blood-sucking something all of Oola’s species do? Or was there something especially sinister about Oola? So, I liked it well enough, but I felt like it could have been more satisfying. . . .

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Post January 24, 2017, 09:56:24 AM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

Here's my short take on the stories. With the next challenge I intend to submit a much better critique than just a few short sentences. As I posted before, I did like all the stories and thought that each did an interesting take.


45
Treasures
1) Overall: 7
2) Characterization: 6
3) Plot: 7
4) Setting: 8
5) Dialog: 7
6) Challenge: 10

Good flash fiction piece. Oola came alive to me and Cranberry Bay also became vivid. I like the twist at the end.

39
Just a Kiss
1) Overall: 6
2) Characterization: 6
3) Plot: 5
4) Setting: 6
5) Dialog: 6
6) Challenge: 10

Liked the interaction between the characters in this one.

48
Murder in a Small town
1) Overall: 8
2) Characterization: 8
3) Plot: 7
4) Setting: 7
5) Dialog: 8
6) Challenge: 10
This story was all dialogue. I like that. The showing was very good.

47
Put the Blame on A.M.E.
1) Overall: 7
2) Characterization: 7
3) Plot: 8
4) Setting: 8
Dialog: 7
6) Challenge: 10

What a way to attract tourist!
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Post January 29, 2017, 02:03:34 PM

Re: [POLL] Vote: January 2017 Flash Challenge

The stories from this challenge have been added to Flash Index II.

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