[Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge


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Post April 21, 2013, 10:07:05 PM

[Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

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


The challenge was to tell the story of the family of a simple huntsman trying to get along with each other.



The following entries were received:



The Kay-Ram-Glossi



The broad flat back of his axe hit the table. That got their attention. Silence filled the once raucous dining hall. All of the animals held their collective tongues. The Alpha Cat, known as Big Cat, surveyed his clan with his bright yellow sparkle eyes. The young ones were in front as was planned. They had been trained in hunting, but social manners and way of the world, were they lacking. From below he heard:

“He’s touching me.’

“Am not.”

“He poked me.”

“You’re crazy. I’m 5 paw lengths away. Big Cat would have seen that.”

Big Cat waited staring straight into the face of the two that he knew were soon to lead the hunts, the two he knew who caused the most trouble. He had a few other things he wanted to impart besides simply getting along with your siblings and neighbors. He was concerned about their young impressionable minds.

“He just shoved me off the bench,” she wailed, as all 4 paws hit the floor, razor sharp claws extended and ready to strike. Any other time he would have looked the other way and let her haul into her antagonist, just to teach a lesson in “manners”. But PSYOP techniques and defense against other predators was on the agenda today.

“The two of you knock it off or I will make sure neither of you reach adulthood,” he bellowed. They knew he was both serious and kidding. But they also knew the time for picking on each other was about to end.

“You two, future leaders of the clan and hunters, this is no way to behave. It’s time to put your rivalry and bickering behind and work together. The world is dangerous. You are the future leaders. At home you will sort out problems and decide the proper rewards and punishments as I have, and those before me have done.”

“But today I have more to relate to you than proper family behavior. As you know there are other things besides metal traps, and weapons that can slay you.”

“What do you mean?” asked a young voice from the back of the pack.

Big Cat wanted them to learn how to work with and for each other. That would take time. Up until then they were taught only to hunt. Hunting reinforced the strong while unfortunately eliminated the weak who could not find other gainful tasks in and for the clan. There were also highly intelligent young ones that were removed from the daily exercises and trained in techniques such metallurgy.

Big Cat wanted to impress upon the new little ones and reiterate what had been stated in previous meetings. “I have a bit a poem-story for you all. Listen and take heart and repeat each line after me.”

The slippery speaking slithering snake upon your mind will hold and take
with words of love and warm delight,
“Repeat,” he commanded.
will into your soul there alight
and with time and words so fine
“Repeat!”
gain your confidence and in bind
you must watch for flatterers near
especially when you’re young my dears.
“Repeat.”
Experience you have not in the world
and this the snake knowingly entraps, unfurls
“Repeat.”
slippery smooth and words so kind
your youth and your wealth will soon you’ll find
gone and spent and when you cry
“Repeat.”
for your dearest friend nearby?
Well no he’s gone and slipped away
to do it again, another day.
“Repeat!”

They all repeated every word.

He handed a copy of the poem-story to all of them and said, “memorize this, think about today when you hear that smooth silky voice, and you know in your heart of hearts that there is something amiss, not right that doesn’t add up to the reality as you sense it. Most of the time this will come from an outsider looking for power, advancement and many times,” and Big Cat hesitated for a second or so for effect… “YOUR LIFE.”

Some of you may have met other animals like this. It can be a snake, or a mole or a weasel or even one of our own. But most of the time it will be someone attempting to gain your trust, that doesn’t deserve it. Rely on your family. Check with them first, or call me or best yet, the new leaders.” He pointed to the two in front that up until today had been at each others throats. He noticed they were now sitting closer to each other, paw in paw, claws retracted. Yes this is what he was hoping for. For if the little ones saw these two come and work together, then they would mimic them. Peer pressure and the desire to be like them would help to bring this new group together.

He looked around and saw their faces. It was working. He walked down among them and gave a hug to the two New Leaders to be. He patted them both on the back and looked to all the others and stated, “These are your new leaders, trust them. Come to them with your questions, ideas and anything else. They will maintain confidences, protect you and help you grow to be big strong hunting cats that will make our clan, The Kay-Ram- Glossi, the leadership clan that we have always been.”

Big Cat knew that the two were beginning to awaken to the responsibility that they held in their paws. He saw it in their eyes, and he noticed they had separated themselves from the others, and were scared. It still scared him he thought. But look, they were not fighting or squabbling. That was the beginning he had hopefully anticipated.

He thought of his old partner who was laid to rest some time ago and the effort they had undertaken to make this clan come together. “Those two will bring the little ones along just fine,” he whispered to himself as if she were still there.


The End



A Tale Well Told



The six children trudged along through the forests of Dumersil, leaving their schooldays worries behind them, heading towards a small cabin they called home.

“That’s a dogwood tree, Catfish,” said the teenage boy to his younger sister.

“No it’s not, Firebird,” she insisted. “That’s a pear tree in full blossom.”

Stanza could not help himself but jump in. “If it’s a pear tree, where are the pears Sissy?”

Lionhearted was the next to enter the row: “It is not yet time for the fruit to come forth. First the promise of Spring and then the wealth of Summer and Fall.”

“You might be wrong about the tree, Lionhearted,” said Target. “But you’re certainly a poet who don’t know it.” This made half of the brood chuckle, but the other half wasn’t satisfied.

The young boy who prided himself in making all things even out – Justice - said, “Perhaps we can ask our parents when we get home and they will inform us, so we won’t need to argue about this again.”

“Even if mama says what we saw was a pear tree, I know what I know, and I know that I’m right,” said Firebird, beginning the entire disagreement again.

And so they quarreled long after they had passed the tree in question, never truly coming to any agreement. As they approached the house they could clearly see their father returning from the hunt, a dead deer thrown over his shoulders as if it were a cloak. The children ran through the front door and the huntsman entered through the back, throwing the carcass of the deer onto a wooden table. He took off his red hat and scratched at his full, white beard.

His wife rushed to see the kill exclaiming: “What a beautiful creature, she will feed us for a fortnight.”

The children peeked around the corner. “I can see the story of the stars written in her silent eyes,” said Lionhearted.
Justice said, “Mother deer, we thank you for dying so that we may live.”

Chester, the oldest boy who had just come in from chopping wood said, “I’m so hungry that I could tear it apart and devour this deer right now.”

“That might prove to be a mistake,” laughed the mother. “Raw meat can be dangerous.”

Target laughed, “Sometimes bad decisions make good stories!”

Catfish pushed her way into the conversation. “I just checked, Chester, and mama already has supper ready to put on the table – so leave the poor deer as it is.”

“That sounds like an excellent idea,” said Papa, and the small family went inside to eat.

After a delicious meal of what mama said was sea monsters and Khalkotauroi (but may have been eels and puppies, because in a stew no one knows you’re a dog) the huntsman stoked the fire and the boys went in to join him.

“Don’t you think you boys should help clean up?” asked the father, puffing on his pipe.

“Catfish knows how to do all that,” said Stanza. “Catfish and mama can do all that – they’re the girls.”

“You’re telling me you don’t know how then,” asked the huntsman, crossing his arms over his round belly. The boys all shook their heads ‘no’. All except for Chester who knew where this was headed and left go enjoy the night air.

“Then Catfish can tell you boys what to do and you fellas can do all the work.”

The girl straightened up as if the dark grey sash she wore around the middle of her dress had been pulled tight and – with obvious delight – she gave her male siblings orders. “Stanza, you need to get wood to stoke the fire in the stove so we can heat the water. Lionhearted can draw three buckets of water from the well – pouring the first one into the sink, the second into the pan on the stove, and leaving the third bucket by the sink.” She waited for the boys to get busy, wiggling her fingers to shoo them out of the house.

“Justice, you can clear the table, scraping the leftover food into the slop bucket for the pig. And Firebird can stack the dishes neatly beside the sink, so they’ll be ready for Target to wash them.”

The dark-haired boy, the one called Firebird, nodded his head towards the dinner plates that Justice was scraping and the plates began to stack themselves – but papa stopped him immediately. “Whatever gifts you possess, this time use your elbow grease instead of your magic.” So the boy shrugged and began to bustle towards the kitchen.

The parents smiled at each other as their children went about their assigned tasks, getting the job done in harmony (finally!).

When the dishes and pots had been cleaned and put away on sturdy wooden shelves, the family gathered in front of the warmth of the fireplace.

“Who wants to tell a story?” asked mama.

Target’s had shot-up with delight and he sped into his tale. “A deer, a priest, and a rabbit walk into a bar and…”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” said papa chuckling. “I think we’ve all heard that story before. Why don’t we let Justice tell us one tonight?”

The smallest of all the assemblage got up from his stool, thought for a moment and began. “Many years ago, in a magical land far beyond the brightest stars that we see in the deepest night sky, there lived a huntsman and his small family, who were in fact much like us…”

As Papa silently looked around at his children, drawing his wife closer to him, he realized that in spite of all their quarrelling, what the children really wanted was to simply sit beside the fire and hear a story well told.


The End



A Sustainable Development



The sun was going down among the trees and the usual hurly burly had begun inside the small wooden house in the forest. It was the huntsman’s home and it seemed to happen every single day, late in the evening, when the father was getting ready to go to work.

Elvew, his daughter, was a bit aggressive, which was always the case with her, and that was mostly due to her being a teenager and going through that awkward period of life between being a child and before becoming an adult. He had undergone that, too, when he was younger, twenty years before.

But there were other issues with her, different from the ones he had faced. Elvew was so different from him, not only because she was a girl and he was her middle-aged father. If only his dead wife were still with them to help him constrain his unruly daughter! But that wasn’t possible anymore.

“Why can’t you accept what I do for a living? Why must everything always be so difficult?” the tall, blonde-haired man asked the pale, slender girl in the kitchen when darkness began filling the air outside the window.

The fair-haired girl looked angrily at him for a short time, then she retorted, “You know why! But you don’t care about it…”

“There are jobs worse than mine, even before your young-but-still-too-pretentious eyes, my darling…”

Stop it! You know that it’s thanks to people like you that the local land-barons are able to increase their property and their wealth. Their manors grow from small castles to enormous palaces, and then those become towns, capitals and so on. Eventually nothing will be left of this land, no forest, no meadow, no free space for the commoners… And then the only thing left will be a paved terrain, a built-up area with no wilderness at all.”

“You would be right if I resulted to be a common logger, or if I were a peasant who was going begin farming despite the woods. Actually, I never tried to wipe every piece of nature out of existence. I hunt, I do it on behalf of the Lord of the Realm, and I have always done it since I was much younger. Moreover, I will do it until I'm knackered, because it’s due to my job that our family has been allowed to possess a small house here, with a yard and have the provisions we need to live.”

The daughter gave her parent a very nasty look. “You never heard of sustainability, certainly!”

“I have…”

“No, you haven’t! All of us should do all that we can in order to ensure long-term sustainability of natural resources and wildlife around us. But you destroy nature; you wipe out wild vegetation and damage the surroundings!”

“But I’m not a logger, I told you, I’m a huntsman!”

“No, what is much worse is that you’re both!

“What do you mean?” the man cried out, surprised.

“Your actions contribute to turning this world into a modern land, full of buildings, without animals or any creatures, and if it continues this way, in a very short time nothing will be left of the wilderness in the whole area.”

Being unable to discuss his daughter’s controversial viewpoints any longer, the middle-aged parent turned his back on Elvew and went outside, slamming the metallic garden gate in the middle of the enclosure.

While walking across the nearby undergrowth that night, he considered the many things on his mind.

The man understood the deep sense of ecology his daughter had, which addressed the full scale of life, from tiny insects to processes that spanned the entire realm. The ones like her, the ecologists, studied many complex relations among species and Elvew was very interested at the interdisciplinary field that included biology and Earth science, but maybe she was going too far now, at least from his point of view…

As far as his job, it wasn’t as bloody or terrible as the girl thought: he didn’t hunt poor birds, hares nor bucks. The huntsman wasn’t even a killer of common wild animals. He just entered that secluded part of the forest at night, when those creatures -- he was searching for -- had already settled down on a certain site and were asleep, so he only had to sneak up on them in silence and then begin killing using a good ax. Maybe it wasn’t a fair method, but that was the easiest one…

Dryads were female creatures of nature who presided over that part of the forest, and he simply hunted them. That was all! Each one was born with a certain tree over which the dryad watched: as they were made of wood, should the trunk that enveloped their essence perish, then they died with it.

Having to deal with such beings when they were awake was very dangerous, and there were so many of them in there - too many for a single human huntsman like him. On the other hand, going near them and killing them at night when they were asleep was as easy as cutting dead branches, with no time for those to react appropriately.

The father could comprehend his daughter’s motivations, if he were only a man destroying common trees or removing plants from the ground - but he was only hunting for those legendary living beings who could move and fight vehemently over the course of the day, removing them forever from the Lord of the Realm’s land to keep it clear.

'It's hard job but someone has to do it!' the man thought, choosing the first target of tonight’s work and preparing to deliver the first cut of the day.

As he went on mowing and destroying the spleeping wooden creatures around, he considered that his daughter’s words just cut him to the heart, in a way…


The End
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Post April 21, 2013, 10:07:46 PM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

To vote, rate these stories using the form below with scores of 0-10 (in whole numbers) and send it to me via PM: (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.)

Categories:
1) What overall score would you give the story?
2) How good was the Characterization?
3) How effective (or original) was the plot?
4) How clear was the setting to you?
5) How good was the use of dialog?
6) How well did the story meet or address the challenge as it was given?

NOTE: you must have posted at least one message before you can send a PM. Join in a discussion or just say hi in a thread before voting via PM. If I suspect a voter of being a false identity (i.e. a troll), I won't count their vote.

Author scores for their own entry will not be counted.




The Kay-Ram-Glossi
1) Overall:
2) Characterization:
3) Plot:
4) Setting:
5) Dialog:
6) Challenge:

A Tale Well Told
1) Overall:
2) Characterization:
3) Plot:
4) Setting:
5) Dialog:
6) Challenge:

A Sustainable Development
1) Overall:
2) Characterization:
3) Plot:
4) Setting:
5) Dialog:
6) Challenge:
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Post April 22, 2013, 02:25:33 PM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

I Voted! :D Really good stories this time to vote on. If you can't have quantity, may as well have quality. Great job authors!
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Post April 22, 2013, 05:47:28 PM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

Your early leader is Sergio!
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Post April 23, 2013, 08:36:19 PM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

My votes are in the pipe. (Don't worry; I'm done smoking it.)
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Post April 24, 2013, 02:38:31 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

My votes are in...and I'll be back online after 25th April that, in Italy, is a sort of holidays period to remember when the nazi occupation army surrendered and left northern Italy after the Allied arrived and after a general insurrection by the Italian resistance in WWII… :D

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Post April 24, 2013, 08:09:23 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

My votes are in. Good stories!
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Post April 24, 2013, 08:20:07 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

Yup, voted.

And don't think I didn't see that thing about the stew, because I did and when I find out who the author is....
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Post April 25, 2013, 10:53:09 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

And don't think I didn't see that thing about the stew, because I did and when I find out who the author is....
(Verse)
And you'll do what? - stew about it? hahahahaha >:D
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Post April 26, 2013, 04:05:13 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

Stew is as stew does...or was it a different quote...? :D :mrgreen: :D
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Post April 26, 2013, 06:01:04 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

bottomdweller wrote:
And don't think I didn't see that thing about the stew, because I did and when I find out who the author is....
(Verse)
And you'll do what? - stew about it? hahahahaha >:D


I will use their name for the despicable villain, the big bad, in my next short story. That character will have tiny genitals and horribly perverted fetishes.

Bwa Ha Ha HA HA HA ha ha ha ha!
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Post April 26, 2013, 08:58:40 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

Verse wrote:
bottomdweller wrote:
And don't think I didn't see that thing about the stew, because I did and when I find out who the author is....
(Verse)
And you'll do what? - stew about it? hahahahaha >:D


I will use their name for the despicable villain, the big bad, in my next short story. That character will have tiny genitals and horribly perverted fetishes.

Bwa Ha Ha HA HA HA ha ha ha ha!


Depending on gender, tiny genitals may be viewed as a good thing... Horribly perverted fetishes, of course, are ALWAYS a good thing. (Why else would "50 Shades of Slightly-dingy Eggshell" be such a phenomenon?)
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Post April 26, 2013, 11:55:16 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

You guys crack me up.
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Post April 28, 2013, 11:12:31 PM

Winner's Announcement

Sergio Palumbo makes it two in a row by winning the Huntsman's Family challenge with story "A Sustainable Development." Sergio also wins the cash prize from the anonymous donor. Congratulations, Sergio!



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

The Kay-Ram-Glossi by Richard Tornello
A Tale Well Told by Michele Dutcher
A Sustainable Development by Sergio Palumbo



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




The Kay-Ram-Glossi : 236
1) Overall: 7
2) Characterization: 7
3) Plot: 6
4) Setting: 5
5) Dialog: 7
6) Challenge: 8
# Zeroes: 0
# Perfect 10s: 2

A Tale Well Told : 249
1) Overall: 7
2) Characterization: 6
3) Plot: 6
4) Setting: 7
5) Dialog: 8
6) Challenge: 8
# Zeroes: 0
# Perfect 10s: 4

A Sustainable Development : 268
1) Overall: 8
2) Characterization: 7
3) Plot: 9
4) Setting: 8
5) Dialog: 7
6) Challenge: 8
# Zeroes: 0
# Perfect 10s: 4
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Post April 29, 2013, 12:28:44 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

Wow. Congratulations, Sergio, you took this one with a pretty good margin.

Here are my overall scores and comments:

The Kay-Ram-Glossi
I kept wondering if the title was a randomly-made-up name or if it was an obscure reference to something else, or maybe a pun.

I also wondered about the poem. Was this just the topic of the day, or was it a special lesson? Good lesson, anyway.

Dialog and characterization were okay; hardly any setting.
Score 38
*********************

A Tale Well Told
Cute -- a story within a story. Lighthearted, but not very substantial. No real plot to speak of. I did get a new vocabulary word: Khalkotauroi. Must have been the mother's humor; I can't imagine bronze beef making a very good stew.
Score 33
**********************

A Sustainable Development
Fascinating concept! Very thought-provoking; I don't even believe in such things, and yet I couldn't help but wonder about the implications for the environment if it were true.

That said, it comes across as being just a little bit preachy; not quite as much on the second reading.
Score 49
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Post April 29, 2013, 02:40:48 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

Thank you all very much, indeed!!!
:D :D

My first choice this month was A Tale Well Told, as I gave it 7 in each category, anyway...

Well, I'll ask around to know to which U.S. institution/charity I'd better give the amount I won and I'll let you know as soon as possible, of course... :D
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Post April 29, 2013, 08:03:55 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

Congrats Sergio! I enjoyed your story very much, and thought it was a thoughtful fantasy tale.
Better luck to me next month. :wink:
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Post April 29, 2013, 08:05:35 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

Hey, well done my European cousin!

Character Development for my next story - the Evil villainess, Michelle, a femme fatale with halitosis and a tentacle fetish. Any similarity between this character and BD is purely incidental. :wink:
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Post April 29, 2013, 08:15:34 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

the Evil villainess, Michelle, a femme fatale with halitosis and a tentacle fetish.
Oh, Verse, how did you know about my tentacle fetish? - were you watching through my window? a bit of voyeurism perhaps?
As far as how mythological bulls taste - I can't be sure, but if they have hooves of bronze they must have Rocky Mountain oysters made of steel. :shock:
I thought Richard's tale was interesting, with the succession of duties being chosen within the family. It's fun to see how our backgrounds influence our stories.
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Post April 29, 2013, 09:04:04 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

bottomdweller wrote:
the Evil villainess, Michelle, a femme fatale with halitosis and a tentacle fetish.
Oh, Verse, how did you know about my tentacle fetish? - were you watching through my window? a bit of voyeurism perhaps?
As far as how mythological bulls taste - I can't be sure, but if they have hooves of bronze they must have Rocky Mountain oysters made of steel. :shock:
I thought Richard's tale was interesting, with the succession of duties being chosen within the family. It's fun to see how our backgrounds influence our stories.


What I want to know is, how did he know about the halitosis? Is there a new version of Skype with olfactory add-ons, or is there some kind of conspiracy happening here?
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Post April 29, 2013, 01:02:28 PM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

Congrats as usual.

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Post April 29, 2013, 01:42:59 PM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

Congrats Sergio! Good job!
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Post April 29, 2013, 02:02:11 PM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

What I want to know is, how did he know about the halitosis? Is there a new version of Skype with olfactory add-ons, or is there some kind of conspiracy happening here?
She drinks Budweiser. That's enough for a guess.
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Post April 30, 2013, 02:27:39 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

What I want to know is, how did he know about the halitosis? Is there a new version of Skype with olfactory add-ons,


It was Google Nose, that was released just on last April Fools' Day... :D :D :D
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Post April 30, 2013, 06:46:10 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

Oh, its done and now I feel horribly guilty. I am a bad dog.

I made Michelle into a... lawyer!
Doggerel is a derogatory term for verse considered of little literary value.
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Master Critic

Posts: 1329

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kentucky

Post April 30, 2013, 08:04:23 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

Someone called me a lawyer? - Hey I've been called worse (I guess)
Someone who wishes to remain nameless asked me to pass along the news that Ente per Ente chose to donate $20 USD to the charity listed below, the money he won in the flash contest for April. I'm sure they'll use it wisely.

This email confirms that you have donated $20.00 USD to Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky (msinger@hhck.org) using PayPal.

Donation Details

Confirmation number: 24P34498AH678160S
Donation amount: $20.00 USD
Total: $20.00 USD
Purpose: Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.
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Master Critic

Posts: 1331

Joined: September 18, 2009, 05:02:54 AM

Location: Italy

Post April 30, 2013, 08:40:18 AM

Re: [Poll] Vote: April '13 Flash Challenge

Thanks for all, dear Michele "Bottomdweller"!!! Well done!!!

And now I am going to enjoy holidays, as tomorrow (May 1) here around will be Labour Day that in Europe is set on a different date from U.S.A., as a matter of fact... :D ::) :)

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