This week I was treated, once again, to some truly great flash fiction from the half dozen competitors who came out to mix things up. As always, it's great to see returning writers as well as some fresh faces mingled in. I was quite pleased this week to find no one had opted to try for the Over-Achiever badge. While I always expected there would be those who would want to go above and beyond, the disparate collection of words I supply makes that exceptionally difficult. I applaud those who have figured out my "sometimes less is more" premise and realize that by only using the required prompts, you get 147 words worth of breathing room to weave a more open-ended tale.
Mark Ethridge for his story I Had This Dream. Though I have read and enjoyed many of Mark's entries in various flash challenges, I am forced to admit I just really didn't get this one.
Nellie Batz for her story Consequences. This story had a nice flow to it and some very descriptive phrasing that made for a good read. Unfortunately, some technical issues (punctuation and a word substitution) detracted from the impact of an otherwise good story.
Laura James for her story Kidnapped. It took me two reads of this story before I realized why, in spite of the fact that I liked it a lot, something kept nagging me about it. That "something" proved to be a run-on sentence that threw the pace of the tale off a bit. A judicious application of punctuation would have made this a top contender.
Kayla West for her untitled story. I liked the premise of the story but, unfortunately, think I have seen it applied in too many box office offerings for it to come across as anything but derivative. While I admit there are precious few original concepts (given the sheer volume of things that have come before), this story could have done with more of a spark of individuality.
Lupus Anthropos for his untitled story. This was a nasty little tale that left me smiling with the snap of its ending. What I especially liked about this story was that the prompts weren't just props trotted out on to the stage, but were pivotal to the progression of the tale to the point the story would have fallen apart were any of the prompts used taken away. That is how a story ought to be structured, in my opinion.
There were no Over-Achiever entries for this week.
Ruth Long for her story Blue Sky Parish. Ruth is no stranger to top honors here at Monday Mixer and shows why with a truly awesome offering this week. This story unfolded like a Hallmark movie premise, at first glance, but then drew me in. Ruth's descriptive phrasing and word choices were truly evocative and I could see in my mind's eye the exact things she wrote of. This was one of that rare breed of flash fiction stories that needed no back-story to set it in motion and a sufficiently tight ending to not suggest more needed to be told than space permitted. Bravo!
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.