A hearty thank you and huzzah to the intrepid half dozen competitors who came out for this week's edition. I was delighted to see an almost equal mix of new and returning competitors. I would love to see all of you return for the next round to mix things up again. Given the number of entries this week, it seems only fair to expand the number of honorable mentions so everyone gets feedback for their efforts.
Ruth Long for her story Heavy Metal Revenge. This was a thoroughly entertaining read making use of the best elements of fantasy and historical fiction. The imagery was superb and the emotions so well portrayed as to make the tale seemingly spring forth from the page. I read this story several times, hoping Ruth had chosen to use four prompt words instead of three since her use of the word "smithy" was not as a location but as a thing. Sadly, she did not and so I was unable to choose the story for higher kudos.
Mark Ethrridge for his story Simon's Playhouse. I enjoyed the narrative tone of this piece as it evoked memories of different times and places. It was an excellent parable of how choices made, for good or bad, can have unexpected and unpleasant consequences. While I enjoyed the overall tone of the story, I felt the repetition of the name "Simon" as well as repeats of a few other words could have been presented differently to maximize the tale's impact.
Rosalind Smith-Nazili for her untitled story. It was a real pleasure to see Rosalind return to flash fiction after her unexpected absence. This premier entry to the contest was a delightful read with a nice blend of both humor and marital discord. This tale reminds me of why I hate judging, in that there was not a single thing I can say against it, only that, of the choices available, a few of the other stories simply caught my fancy more.
Kate for her story Playhouse. Another first-time participant, Kate delivered excellently. The descriptive imagery that Kate employed was perfection, almost leaving me feeling as cold and miserable as her tale's character. Amongst all of that vivid descriptive magic were sprinkled three prompt words that held their spots in the overall product without the least hint of being forced. Extra nods for daring to explore the relationship dynamics of one of Disney's iconic characters.
Stacey Bennett-Hoyt for her story The Outing. Stacey is another of my flash fiction faves who I was, also, glad to see back on the scene again. Stacey went full-bore into the challenge by using all nine of the prompt words in her first appearance. This was a cute story that demonstrated so perfectly the potential of children to mingle fancy with logic so seamlessly. Using all of the prompts could not help but leave the tale feeling a bit forced at points but still got the job done.
Snellopy for his story Heraldry. I never know what to expect out of Snellopy from week to week, but I always know it will be something interesting. This week's story had a delightful tongue-in-cheek blend of fantasy and humor. I like the idea of a knight wanting an atypical symbol on his shield and, like others, will ponder why a manatee? Leaving the reader guessing is always fun for a flash fiction writer to do.
As mentioned in the Monday Mixer Challenge post, the winner of this week's challenge receives the $5 Amazon Gift Card. To claim your electronic gift card, please send your email address to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please bear in mind my decisions are entirely subjective and may not find favor or agreement with all, but decisions are like that. For those writers not mentioned, no slight is intended and I hope next week will find you back for more.
Here is the link to view and read all of the truly inspired offerings for this week. Please show a little Monday Mixer love and make a point of clicking on each entry and checking them out. Remember, each link clicked on takes you directly to that particular writer's page and provides them blog traffic and, hopefully, feedback to encourage them to come out & play next week.