May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting


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Post May 06, 2018, 11:30:13 AM

May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

Fearful Side Roads
May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting


General Thoughts:


This segment of the contest is important for both the voters and the readers. To communicate with thoughtful responses requires focused thinking which develops skills in a person's writing and public speaking.

Wormtongue, the Archive Editor wants the stories posted in separate posts so he can link onto them for the archive.


Timeline:

Voting and commenting for "Fearful Side Roads" Flash Fiction Contest begins today and will continue through Saturday May 12, 2018.

The results will be posted after the voting.


Commenting:

You can post comments anytime during the voting and afterwards as well.

If you have something unfavorable to say about a story, make it constructive so the author can benefit from your viewpoint and insight.

Never say anything negative about the authors themselves.

Praise and encourage the authors with any element that is worthy of it. Let them know they did good.


To Vote:

Send me a pm (private message) by clicking on my name on this post and then click the words private message on the following screen. Type in the name of the story you liked the best and click submit.

____________________

The titles of the 5 stories in this flash contest are:

Megawatts - A Dreamer in Class
Sergio Palumbo - The Long Road Back Home
Jolene Wilkerson - Endless Wishes
Robin Lipinski - And It Was So
Jim Statton - We Aim To Please
____________________
Last edited by Jim Statton on May 06, 2018, 11:40:17 AM, edited 2 times in total.

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Post May 06, 2018, 11:32:37 AM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

A Dreamer in Class
by Megawatts

The North Atlantic flashed through my mind, and the U-boats of WWII once again plowed through the waves after merchant ships. A careless reverie that crept into my mind as I sat looking at a trig problem, and the problem wasn’t getting any easier. Nobody had an answer–not even Kayla the smartest one in class. Angles and tangents and sines and degrees jumbled themselves together, but the U-boat navigator had to know this stuff for back in those days there weren’t any GPS or satellites that could fix a position within a few feet. Yes, men were men and . . . a cold splash of salt water cascaded down my face, then another and another. Where was I? Undulating waves filled my sight, and a salty wind pushed my hair about as I swayed from side to side in the conning tower of a U-boat.

I shook myself to end this reverie, but the reverie was now alive and my attempt to end it was answered with “Captain English destroyer sighted! It’s closing fast!”

“Captain, your orders?” my first officer said. I didn’t even know his name but for some reason unknown to me, I knew what to do.”

“Dive! Dive! Dive!” I yelled. All cleared the conning tower. The last man down secured the hatch and I found myself standing in the center of the control room watching the depth gauge indicate that we were sailing down under the waves, hiding from the destroyer. But it knew we were there.

“Right 45 degrees, make depth 200 meters--------sound man where is the destroyer?” I screamed.

I didn’t understand how I knew to give these orders, but they flowed forth without effort. Everybody was speaking German---I never had German—yet I could give orders and they would understand, and if one spoke to me, I could understand. I was speaking English to them and they German to me.

“Captain, destroyer closing in. Depth charges dropped!”

“Up angle, 100 meters!,” I screamed. Without any thought those orders came, and I prayed that they were the right ones.

Depth Charges exploded beneath us. The boat shook violently and pinging from the destroyer grew louder and louder. Again depth charges sounded, but this time I ordered a left flank.

“Captain, no damaged reported,” the bearded German looked happy and presented a stern expression eagerly waiting for me to say something. We looked at each other for a moment then I said, “Very good.” The German then said, “They build them good in Germany.”

My God, I thought: I heard that expression before in a movie about a German U-boot but for the life of it I couldn’t remember the name of that movie.

I ordered a silent run now, not wanting the destroyer to hear any noise from the U-boat.

The destroyer moved away. Another German sailor came up and whispered, “Captain, I think there’s a temperature inversion in the waters and the English are getting false readings with their pinging. Remember this happened before off the coast of Scotland.”

I nodded my head in agreement, and the German softly scampered away.

I knew what this was---but I also didn’t know. How could diametrical thoughts like these exist within me, yet they were which compounded my confusion. I was at school! And not home in bed having a dream, or had fallen asleep on the couch watching some submarine movie like the "Hunt for Red October". I can’t ever remember feeling this way before.

“Captain, I had a dream when resting. We sank fifty merchant ships and the Fuhrer gave each of us the Iron Cross. My father was so proud of me and my uncle said that I would be this partner in the business after we won the war. Everybody in my home town, Limburg, would celebrate our glorious success.” another German said which was no more than a whisper in my ear. He further added, “However, it seems like I was just walking with Greta. I know this sounds strange----but I don’t seem to be here!”

I couldn’t think of anything to say. What the hell could I say! This reverie took on it’s own life, with me just a marionette and the German U-boat sailors the same. Whoever pulled the strings directing this dream, well----let’s hope it ends soon. Sweat droplets formed on my brow, and within a minute to two they began to run down my nose and drop off finding my shirt or the floor. The destroyer’s screws grew fainter and fainter which brought refreshing smiles to the crew. All still remained silent, not moving or making any noise. Only whispers, head nods and understanding smiles at one another. I looked at the navigator’s map and saw the solution to the Trig problem that the class had been stumped on.

I don’t know how much time passed—time now marched to a different beat—but I ordered, “Surface.”

The U-boat up-angled, blew it ballast then surfaced a minute later. We couldn’t have been under long, yet the outside-ocean air felt so fresh that it reminded me of a camping trip once in the forests of Western Pennsylvania.

The sea was ruff, and waves splashed against the U-boat, and spray caught me again, washing down the left side of my face and chilling me a little even in bright sunlight. I shook the water off.

When I opened my eyes, I was staring at the Trig problem, in the class room with Kayla sitting next to me looking me over like I were the dumbest thing ever.

Our teacher, Mrs. Nelson said, “Kevin, are you with us today?’ She knew that I had been day dreaming.

I stood up and said, “I was just thinking the problem though and have come up with the answer--- it’s easy all you do is . . . .

The End

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Post May 06, 2018, 11:33:22 AM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

The Long Road Back Home
by Sergio Palumbo

Who would believe it? For years men were afraid that warlike aliens would one day arrive on Earth, fearing that those newcomers would be intent on killing all humans, bringing about an end to civilization. What an unexpected event it had been when human wizards, instead, had finally come to take over the world! It wasn’t long after they revealed themselves that they had begun to turn ordinary existence into turmoil, changing Earth forever…

They were from an ancient secretive Order and were capable of using their sorcerous powers to activate mechanisms, prevent computers from working, and even changing the climate itself. These events were really unbelievable!

This was why Paul Ghirl found that walking home was so difficult that day… no, in truth there was another reason that he felt so dejected.

From the beginning of their take-over, he had dared to oppose the new reign of those wizards in the world. As a politician, he had fought against the presence of those powerful humans who had remained in hiding for so long - one of the few who had not been corrupted worldwide. The wizards had waited for taking over until they believed the moment was right. The bald 40-year-old man had tried everything in his power to stop them legally, filing many civil actions to prevent people from being controlled…but his efforts had all been in vain, anyway.

In the beginning, he had seen many of his colleagues suddenly change their mind, openly bowing their heads to comply with the new regulations. Then, others had followed. As of yesterday, only he and one other politician had resisted. But after last night, Paul Ghirl was left to fight all by himself, as even his friend had given up all hope.

How was it possible? What torture had they used against all the others who had finally buckled under? It was difficult to say, as when he tried to approach his old allies they hardly talked to him, preferring not to say anything about what they had been forced to face, or the threats made against them.

Then, that evening, Paul had found out why the others had changed their minds. The man had just finished his job and was ready to go home. He put on his overcoat and picked up his bag, then started walking towards the main road leading from the Parliament to his house. He thought preferable to follow a different path, given the crowd that was in the main square ahead, busy worshipping the wizards and their teachings - because he was really tired of seeing those people who had given up. Another day of defeat had made him angry and he just wanted to stop thinking about such things at least for tonight. But the side road he had chosen had soon turned into a hellish trip.

What was going on? He began to wonder about what was happening when he found himself thrown into a desert-like setting. He had never been there, but he was certain it looked like the Great Victoria Desert, given its features and the images of it he had seen many times in TV documentaries. He even spotted a number of small marsupials in the distance which made him sure that he was correct. He had immediately started feeling dehydrated, his thirst becoming worse and worse as he kept walking, his mind fighting to adjust to the new unexpected reality under the unforgiving sun.

He had travelled in the desert for a few hours, eventually choosing what seemed to be a lonely, side path once used perhaps by Aboriginal peoples, and then he had found himself thrown into a completely different environment. Now there was a freezing wind blowing and there were glaciers surrounding him on all sides, making him jump to conclusion that he was in a polar climate! Though it was more difficult to say exactly where he was, he believed he had been magically transported to either Antarctica or to the North Pole. He was worried about freezing to death as he certainly wasn’t dressed to be in such a place. How could he be dressed appropriately, after all? A few hours ago he had only been trying to go back home after working - and had not meant to start out on a polar mission.

When he thought that he was going to die there, given the freezing temperatures and his lack of thermal apparel, his mind turned to the two things he loved most: his wife and his son. He wanted to survive, he wanted to be back with them, hugging the two and telling them how much he cared about them. But he had no way to escape, he saw no chance of making it out alive from that snowy plateau, anyway.

Then his thoughts became blurred and his will was lessened, and the man surrendered. He raised his blue eyes to the overcast sky and cried out, “Okay, I give up! You damned wizards, you win! Just let me get back home safely and, from this moment on, I promise I’ll worship you as the new rulers of Earth. I will never oppose you again because now I know how powerful you are.”

As he completed his words, he was immediately back on the trail he had first taken while trying to travel away from the main square full of people.

There was a new sadness in his face now because he knew how other members of the Parliament - who had at first sided with him - had probably been tormented. They had been put to the test and they had given up…just as he had given up today.

So the man, now content with being alive and having the chance to see his family again, started to slowly head for the square. There he was going to join the crowd to worship their new rulers, of course

The End

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Post May 06, 2018, 11:34:12 AM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

Endless Wishes
by Jolene Wilkerson

"How come your arms and legs don't work anymore?" the inquisitive young girl asked Japhet, who was in the same room as her grandfather at the veterans hospital, where she and her mother visited every week.

“Penelope don’t bother that man,” her mother interrupted.

“It's okay momma,” she said, "he's my friend."

"I decided I was not going to kill anymore," Japhet said from his hospital bed. "All I had to do was draw my weapon, but I just couldn't. So I got hit."

"You could have been killed," Penelope said sympathetically.

"Well that was kind of the idea. It would have been a lot easier than this," he said.

"There is still a lot you can do. Your body may be broken but your mind is still strong," said the little girl. "I brought you something." Penelope pulled out some flowers she had hidden behind her back. They were wild purple flowers with bright green leaves. "I picked them myself."

“I used to talk to flowers just like that when I was a boy!” he said in amazement.

Japhet remembered how as a child he could hear the crickets laugh and he talked with the guavo plants that grew in pots on his patio. He climbed trees in his back yard and conversed with the short winged finches about his hopes and dreams for the future.

His parents did not care that he was gifted with a vivid imagination. They gave him special medication to help him pay attention in school. Then, Japhet could no longer hear the crickets laugh or talk to the guavo plants or finches. When the military of Saven II sent him his draft notice, they didn't care that Japhet had a very special mind. Soon, he came face to face with the cruelties of war, when he was hit by a laser blast which severed his spinal chord and left him paralyzed from the neck down.

Japhet shared a small, crowded room with four other patients. There were drab kaki colored walls and a television blared in the background. It was a room in the “Hopeless Wing” of the military hospital. No one ever called it that even though, everyone knew it was true.

“Why don’t you talk?” Penelope asked Japhet, who laid listless on his bed.

“I haven't had anything to say, Japhet said without moving his lips.

He wondered why the little girl always tried to talk to him. But he was glad for it.

"How come you are not spending time with your grandfather?" he asked.

The little girl put the purple flowers in a tall water glass on the night stand by Japhet's bed.

"He is always so grumpy. All he does is complain," Penelope said looking over at the next bed where her grandfather and mother were talking.

"He is probably in a lot of pain, that makes people grumpy, you know," Japhet explained.

“I know. But I like to talk to you too. I thought the flowers would cheer you up. They are very special flowers you know," Penelope said with a playful grin.

"I know. I remember," he said.

Penelope adjusted the night stand, where Japhet could see the flowers. "They want you to make a wish," she said.

“A wish, huh? Let me see,” he said, as he stared at the blaring television. The TV news announcer said, “The threat of war seems imminent now, as President Jamal prepares to meet with Emperor Jung. The meeting will take place any minute now, however there is little hope that it will do anything to halt the certainty of war.”

“Well okay,” Japhet said. “I wish they would both show up in their pajamas so both nations could see what loons they are,” Japhet said to the flower, still not moving his lips.

Within minutes, the announcer said abruptly, “Breaking news! It seems President Jamal is now wearing what looks like his pajamas! The pajamas are blue with green dragons and purple flowers. Staff members report that the president was insistent on wearing them. It seems the two world leaders are now both in their pajamas playing with toy trucks on the presidential lawn. Onlookers here are aghast!”

There was a commotion outside the room as people gathered around a television at the nurses station.

Japhet smiled, but only Penelope could see it. To everyone else in the room, his face was without expression.

“See!” Penelope said laughing. “Now the flowers want you to wish for something else.”

“Okay," he said., playing along, "For my next wish, I wish the walls to be painted something bright and cheery."

Instantaneously, the walls began to come alive with color. First pale pink, then very slowly, brighter and brighter until it morphed into a royal purple, just like the flowers. Penelope clapped.

“Nice touch,” Japhet said.

The Hopeless Wing suddenly did not feel so hopeless. Penelope's grandfather began to smile, and then laugh.

As Penelope and her mother prepared to leave, a nurse walked into the room, with an intern following close behind her.

“Wow! Someone has painted this place while I was off duty,” she said, as they walked over to Japhet’s bed. "How are we doing today," she asked Japhet in a patronizing tone.

“Now this one is non responsive,” the nurse told the intern, as she checked the monitors and feeding tube. “He has been here five years. He has not spoken a word or responded to anything since he has been here. Sad case, really, combat wounded. Not a lot we can do."

Penelope waved bye to Japhet. "Go ahead, make another wish,” she whispered.

Japhet looked at the flowers and winked at the child, as she left. He knew that they were not magic. They just help you remember who you really are inside.

The End

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Post May 06, 2018, 11:35:00 AM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

And It Was So
by Robin B. Lipinski

Sitting there, the little bird rubbed its beak upon the branch, almost as if wiping crumbs off from the recent feast of birdseed.

This bird was content. Even starting to let the world know it was alive as it chirped and warbled a song of life… Life. What a fragile gift as no sooner than when the little bird opened its beak and sang, another song rang out. A much more powerful song; screech actually, as a bird hawk swooped down from the sky and grabbed the little bird, killing it instantly with the power of clutched talons.

There is a saying, ‘If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?’ Did anyone see the recent drama of life and death? Did they hear?

All around the forest there was life and sound. A strange sound now was heard by those there to hear… A whistle.

“Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go!” Such a strange phrase by the figure gliding through the forest. It was not the proverbial or metaphorical dwarf character from, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. So what was it? It definitely had voice and body. As for gender, age, size, shape… It changed. It changed right before your eyes.

“Hello little rabbit,” A standard greeting given by the figure.

“Hello to you too, sir.” The rabbit replied.

“And to you squirrel, a good hello to also.” Was that said by a smiling ‘face’?

“I don’t want to be bothered ma’am,” the squirrel said with its mouth full of a big walnut it was chewing on.

“No problem squirrel, no problem at all,” the smile was the only thing the squirrel saw just before a bear pounced and ate the tasty little tree dweller.

“So. What should I do today? Mmm… Oh my, look at that.” The large eyes turned towards a cave where long hair started to roll out of the opening. The hair looked like tree roots until one could see it was the hair of a human.

The figure reached down and grabbed the end of the nearest hair and pulled. At first it was hard to pull but soon the meadow was full of blonde hair, and then black, and then red, and finally gray.

“Ouch! Little boy, why are you pulling my hair?” A very wrinkled old woman asked the smirking little tyke as she stumbled out of the cave.

“Because I wanted too.” And with a giggle continued toying with the mountain of hair before him.

After a few minutes, a bald and very old man left the cave and stood near the woman. He saw the hair and the woman and asked, “Why is that little girl playing with your hair?”

“I think because she wants too,” the now young woman said as the little girl played with her long blonde hair.

“Enough of this, I think I…” And suddenly, lightning broke free from a cloud appearing out of nowhere. The bolt struck both of the infants once squalling and crying only a moment before… laying atop a mountain of hair.

“You there. What games do you play with the creatures of this forest?” This voice came from a very serious and very stoic owl as it glared at the cat now singing a tune below its perch. The cat was large, fat, and black.

“And what concern is it of yours owl? Ha! Look at you. Old. Wise. And dumb as the rock you drop waste upon.”

“Hmmph… So says a fat black cat.” The owl turned its attention towards a young mouse venturing forth from its home for the first time. Spreading its wings and plummeting down to grab the easy meal, the owl left such strange matters to anyone else listening, reading, or watching in the forest.

Things got a bit bizarre as suddenly fish started flying out of the small forest lake nestled between trees larger and older than time. Tree’s that also sang. And they joined in the song with a figure now looking like tongues of flame.

Frogs started to drop from the sky. The river turned red and smelled of fresh ox blood. Goats played checkers with worms. A New York yellow taxi cab stopped at a large rock and the driver said to his passenger, “That’ll be twenty bucks lady. You want that I should help you with your bags.”

“No, I can manage very well. Here keep the change,” She paid the driver thirty dollars and stood on the street curb watching the forest turn into a night street in a small town in Kansas.

“You are looking nice today,” a circus clown smiled as he stood on the sidewalk. He handed the woman a blue balloon.


She smiled and said, “Thank you. You remembered that blue is my favorite color.”

“Of course I did, I remember everything!” And now the clown was wearing a white robe with a rope tied around his waste and a wreath of flowers around his head. And in a chanting litany asked the lovely lady, “So, what do you want to do tonight?”

The lady was silent for a minute and then replied. “Well, you did send me to hell last time we were together… But, since you’re god, I guess we’ll do whatever it is you want to do.”

“God? Me? I’m not god, I’m…Oooh, look a butterfly!” And with that, god changed into comet and chased blackholes in space leaving a woman alone, standing on a curb in a small town in Kansas; sighing and saying, “When will it ever grow up…”

The End.

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Post May 06, 2018, 11:35:37 AM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

We Aim To Please
by Jim Statton

On a particularly beautiful, sun-rich, vibrant day, a voice spoke to me as I looked up wide-eyed in astonishment. "Your mind will create as it imagines."

"Why are you doing this?" No response.

"Well, never look a gift horse in the..." And there in front of me, was a white horse wrapped in ribbons with a big bow on his forehead.

"Wow, I mean seriously...wow!" Then I changed my thoughts and it was gone.

I said to myself..."Boris," sometimes I call myself self...a name I often refer to myself when speaking to myself, "How can I harness this power for good?"

I thought and I thought until it came to me, "I'll kill all the bad guys at the top of the evil food chain so the world could be balanced once again between good and evil."

The world really has been taking a hit these last few decades and evil's stock was on the rise.

So, I began searching the news, (they put the bad guys out there front and center) until I found a particular evil person, a serial killer who killed 12 people and raped 50 women over decades.

I imagined I went back in time before the first evil act of this future would be monster and I shot him - - 57 times. Only 3 of those bullets actually hit him, I'm gonna have to be graded here on a learning curve - - I've never done this before.

Standing there watching him bleed, I had a sick feeling to my stomach, the blood and all, the wounds and I was the one who caused them. I took a moment of quiet remorse.

Then, I took myself through my imagination to my regular time period and began to search for my next target.

Over time, the more people I shot the better I got at it. "Whoopee, I'm finally gonna get good at something."

***

Years had passed and I became a first rate mental assassin. My unique style was walking up to them and shooting them up close when they weren't looking.

And then one day, I had this funny feeling I was being watched. I heard giggling mixed with the sound of the wind. Then without notice, I was shot in the foot. Now that - - really - - hurt!

I looked all around and could not see where the bullet came from. Then another one grazed my right ear. I started running and the faster I ran the more wind giggling I heard.

Next, my left shoulder was hit and then my right hand. I screamed, "This is not what I signed up for!"

I shouted to the voice who gave me these powers, "Are you giggling at me?"

Suddenly, the clouds parted and a saw an image of a six-year-old boy laughing as he was shooting at me with a toy gun, hitting me with very "real" bullets.

There were more than one with the power that was bestowed upon me.

The bullets continued to hit the ground around me as I ran in every which direction until the one with my name on it hit.

He aimed to please.

The End
Last edited by Jim Statton on May 06, 2018, 11:56:57 AM, edited 1 time in total.

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Post May 06, 2018, 11:36:30 AM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

This concludes the stories in this contest.

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Post May 06, 2018, 11:38:39 AM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

Here are my comments up and front of the voting. Maybe they will act as teasers, beckoning readers to dive into these great tales.

***

Megawatts - A Dreamer in Class

From the first paragraph, the author sent the reader on a navel ship in the middle of World War II. We could feel the salt water splash our faces and the ominous feelings of the uncertain prospects that war may bring.

The dialogue was excellent and very believable. It made the scenes come alive. I felt I was there.

I like that the main character was experiencing the developing story as we the readers were. Everything seemed strange to him as it was happening and so it made the ending difficult to predict.

The phrasing of much of the exposition was powerfully worded and insightful like this line - "I don’t know how much time passed—time now marched to a different beat".

The sensory scene descriptions were so good!

Professional.

***

Sergio Palumbo - The Long Road Back Home

This is a fascinating story about The ending of society by powerful subhuman beings.

The author is speaking directly to the reader walking them through the story as it had unfolded. A lone individual stood against the masses, while seeing those around him fall.

Tying the beings to a secretive ancient order that had gained control of the weather, computers and all mechanisms sounded familiar to other beliefs held today about our world society.

The story takes a bleak look at humanity giving into overwhelming power and becoming content with a life of slavery.

The author has a gift for storytelling.

***

Jolene Wilkerson - Endless Wishes

This is a story about a person with a special mind, with gifts unused from choice and neglect. His parents gave him medication that suppressed his creativity as a child and he was made to conform with everyone else in society.

Japhet now, could not walk and was confined to a bed where his only joy was from a little girl who befriended him with occasional visits.

This story is an internal drama that focuses on a theme of hope where there is no hope naturally to be seen.

***

Robin Lipinski - And It Was So

The author paints vivid pictures in a poetic style, capturing both the scenery and the mood of the scene.

He personifies life and death with the song bird in beautiful song gets snatched up by a hawk and a squirrel getting eaten by a bear.

The writer leads the reader by the hand with a story commentary combined in the plot.

The imp like powerful character that causes trouble, playing with the lives of the creatures on the planet he resides reminds me of the Q character on Star Trek. A being playing mischief because it can.

One thing can be said about this imp like being, it had an extremely short attention span.

***

Jim Statton - We Aim To Please

A simple tale about reaping what one sows.

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Post May 06, 2018, 06:50:08 PM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

For this reader, this latest batch of stories were all my favorite. I feel each author rose to the occasion. My vote is for all but since only one is allowed it is easy for me to place as I know a man who fit one of the stories very well and he is young at only 93.

Too bad the constraints of PG 13 is in place as it definitely stifle the creativity of a writer whereas a 13 year old has absolutely no constraints and follows free will to fullest.

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Post May 06, 2018, 11:28:04 PM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

Gonna try and give my perspective (ha!) of the stories.

First, already voted but felt this batch were all first rate.

So, in reverse order:
1. We Aim to Please. This was one of my favorites but did not vote for it because another story caught my attention. Not for the actual story but because I had too for reasons not allowed to speak of. But, as to this story... Wow. Now, wow is a word used more often lately by many authors. Because of it's use it causes my mind to make the story believable as I see many real people around me using that word. The story itself was of course, wonderful and enjoyable. If I were to critique (which when it comes to poetry, I never do, but stories...sometimes) My critique would be, while well written the author actually needed about another three thousand words to make the story brilliant. As it was written, it was to the point but needed more visual. Good job Jim.

2. And it was So. The premise of this contest was to be able to have the power to do whatever was wanted. What better figure than a god. In history, god's made the rain, ruled the Universe, blah, blah, de blah blah... so, this author used a god. What was tried was to mix in a lot of stuff some people could understand and most, can not. While reading this story it will be interesting to see if the readers can identify the god as male, female, creature, old, or young. Most readers eyes tell the mind a picture, so 'he' 'she' etc are overlooked, especially in short stories and when people glance over with a casual read. Now, as to quality of this story? Just another story few will understand, and if anyone is interested, the old woman in the story was naked but I did not use the word as it may offend some young readers. The reason she was naked is because in the story of Adam and Eve, when they ate of the fruit of knowledge, they realized they were naked and tried to hide. So... this story is just a story... as to critique? A bit confusing for most readers and it will bore them.

3. Endless Wishes. A well written story and a twist. It fit the premise nicely and it brought to mind the usage of words. The word, 'wow' again being used well. And while my mind is a bit, different than normal, I truly loved the use of the word, momma. Momma is a great word and few American authors use it as they usually use, mother/mom. As to the story itself, it had a heart-warming feel to it and I liked it. Critique: Again, my mind operates differently and so when reading new names it causes my mind to stop every time I read the name as it see's new stories in just a name. So, Japhet, Penelope, Jung, Jamal caused a distraction whereas, momma and grandfather were words that made the story work for me. Wonderful to see the talking to flower aspect. Nice story Jolene.

4. Long Road Back Home. I like stories that begin with a question. Wise use of italics. The use of italics at the beginning and the end was interesting and I will steal that idea and use it in future stories. As to the story, of course it was well written and entertaining. Wizards are a great source of fantasy entertainment. (which is probably why a lot of people read stories about wizards, witches, unicorns, and such. Nice twist to blame wizards instead of aliens, (but what if wizards came to earth as aliens? Critique: While I loved the idea of starting the story and ending the story with italics, I'm not a fan of overused italics. To me, italics should be like hot sauce or spices... just enough to flavor but not overwhelm. Also, names again. My mind stopped at, Ghirl. (Paul was okay but adding Ghirl made my mind think paul was a girl) Though, credit is given for not overusing names. Names in stories, especially short stories, drive me crazy. Nice read Sergio.

5. A Dreamer in Class. This story got my vote. While well written and entertaining as the rest of the batch, it was the mental vibe imbued. As a speed reader I have consumed thousands of books and WWII was a favorite subject when about twelve years old. Read every book in the library about that war (and many others) So, the imagery and the way the author used certain words, roped me in. Plus, I have a great friend who is 93 years old and served in the US Navy aboard a submarine. I talked with this man a couple of days ago and his voice brought to life the memories of the stories he told me about the war and submarine life. Critique. It is hard to capture completely the story in 1000 words or less. This story did well but not completely. This was written in a style that demanded more from the author but the author was constrained by the limit of words. Excellent and great story Megawatts.

So, great stories and fun to read.

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Post May 06, 2018, 11:57:03 PM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

Lipinski wrote:Gonna try and give my perspective (ha!) of the stories.

First, already voted but felt this batch were all first rate.

So, great stories and fun to read.

First I want to say, thank you Robin for fully commenting on these stories. The commenting is the pay off for writers in addition to their personal satisfaction of writing itself.

Second, I liked when you used the word "Critique" prior to offering ideas on how to make the story better. Using that word prepares the reader for the instruction. And you were kind to the writers and I really love it when reviewers treat writers as friends.

And finally, about Sergio's use of italics...Shhhh...don't you know that Sergio is an Italic from Rome? :shock:
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Post May 07, 2018, 08:56:57 AM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

My vote is in...a lot of very beautiful entries this month, hard to chose is, as Master Yoda would say...eh,eh

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Post May 07, 2018, 02:34:53 PM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

ente per ente wrote:...a lot of very beautiful entries this month...

There really are and well worth the time to read.

2 votes are in within the first twenty-four hours. Since there are 5 stories with 5 expected votes we'll need more readers and voters for decisive results.

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Post May 07, 2018, 05:04:34 PM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

All stories I found excellent. Yes, each grew within the constraint required, and I must say I enjoyed then all and I hope my interpretation helps. Really, I couldn’t decide on a true winner. I re-read them three time, and after each read, I picked another story as the best. If I can’t decide after three reads, then all are equal in my eyes. I had this happen once or twice before over the years, and can say that I am stumped about which one is the best! The one that did effect me the most was ‘Endless Wishes by Jolene Wilkerson’ because I’m a veteran of the Vietnam War. But I didn’t let that cloud my opinion and once I subtracted my feeling about veterans, I was back not about to decide which was the better.

Very, very excellent job on this one to all!!


The Long Road Back Home by Sergio Palumbo 7

I like the internal monologue and the feelings that Pau Ghirl had during his trials with the Wizards. The overwhelming power that the wizards apparently had were superior to anything that Paul could administer. The Wizards won, and we Paul finally accepted his fate.


Endless Wishes by Jolene Wilkerson 7

Very poignant story that reminds me of the veterans in a VA hospital. I like how Penelope represented all the good things in life----an innocent child can effectively do that in an honest and sincere manner. Good writing and the characters came alive to me. Liked it.


And it Was So by Robin B. Lipinski 7


A story will many elements of fantasy presented by the rabbits, squirrels and bears in a forest. This story is typical of many reveries because daydreams often make little sense, and events many times are just flashes of images. This is the first story that does depict daydreams unfolding like images flashing before our mind’s eye!

Very good job with this one!!

We Aim To Please by Jim Statton 7

Follows the premise of this challenge to the letter. Good job at describing a reverie and this imaginative actions based on good verses evil. I like that. A short piece of flash fiction can be more emphatic than a longer one, and this one has that attribute.
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Post May 11, 2018, 02:13:19 PM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

Thank you Megawatts for your comments.

There are 2 days remaining for reading and voting on these interesting stories.

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Post May 13, 2018, 07:54:33 AM

May 2018 Flash Contest - The Results

In a landslide...the winner is...Megawatts for his professionally written story, "A Dreamer in Class".

Megawatts story was a stand out with Jolene Wilkerson's story coming in second and Sergio Palumbo's entry coming in third.

I want to thank every writer, reader and voter for their time and participation.

Here are all the entries for this contest.


Total votes - 11

Megawatts - A Dreamer in Class - 7
Jolene Wilkerson - Endless Wishes - 3
Sergio Palumbo - The Long Road Back Home - 1
Robin Lipinski - And It Was So - 0
Jim Statton - We Aim To Please - 0

The next contest is already in progress.

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Post May 13, 2018, 09:10:20 AM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

Thanks to all for voting me the best! That doesn't happen with me too often! For some strange reason this story flowed out without much thought! Maybe it's best to let one's 'Muse' dictate a story. I know that many great writers like Stephen Kings suggests that approach to story telling. I believe in the Freudian concept: Many things go on in one's mind that they are not conscience of! I really don't know but thanks to all once again!!
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Post May 13, 2018, 11:50:48 AM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

Excellent job, Megawatts! You earned the win with this exceptionally good story. I most liked how you tied the ends together with the trig problem, and the description of detail was very crisp and effective.

I know the feeling; once in a while something falls out of my head perfect and complete that way. I just wish it happened more often.
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Post May 13, 2018, 01:59:05 PM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

Congrats to Megawatts and all the others who participated.
Jim
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Post May 15, 2018, 03:28:11 AM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

Congratulations to the winner, indeed!!! :D

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Post May 15, 2018, 08:14:00 AM

Re: May 2018 Flash Contest - The Voting

Thanks to all! I appreciate everyone at Aphelion!
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