Thank you to each and every one of the half dozen talented folks who came out to mix things up this week. I hope things were made a bit easier with the addition of hyper-links to the prompt word definitions. I have to say you folks made judging exceptionally difficult for me by producing some truly inventive & captivating stories from a very unique collection of words. Given the number of entries, everyone will get a bit of recognition this week.
Laura for her story Frontline. Given my former occupation in the army, I always enjoy any story with a military twist to it. Your descriptions were especially good and gave me a very clear mental image to accompany your word choices. The general's sense of anticipation and of retribution was clearly evident. The second sentence of the second paragraph contained an extra word to it. The competition this week was so tight as to make that the sole reason this story did not place in higher regard.
Leslie for her story Long Stored Vengeance. This tale had a decidedly spooky and ominous tone throughout that really drew me in. You wove the five prompt words chosen artfully with no sense they were forced or contrived. I loved how the story left the results of the vengeance taken wide-open for my own imagination to provide. When describing the tone of the pianoforte, however, your use of "plaitiff" instead of "plaintive" was, again, sufficient to hold an otherwise excellent telling to Honorable Mention.
Steph for her story Hiraeth. What a wonderfully complex and far-reaching tale this was! It took me from the placid quiet of the farmstead to the lands he fled and to places beyond imagining. His devotion to the care of his child was something anyone with a child could easily understand. While I did enjoy this story overall, I did find it left me feeling a bit too unfulfilled with too many questions left unanswered. I suspect with a longer word count it might have been reeled in a bit more toward resolution.
Bullish (Ruth) for her story Three To Go. I never know what to expect from Ruth but this entry was extremely enjoyable to read. The atmosphere of tension, of purpose, of hidden motivations gave this piece a compelling feel. I was, at once, surprised and amused by the concept of a cop gone bad for what, to her, were all the right reasons. While this could easily be the premise for a work of much greater scope, Ruth reined it in expertly to provide a tale that was sufficiently closed to stand alone.
Lisa for her story Silver. With something of an inside track on this week's words, I was curious to see what would emerge. I was not, at all, disappointed. This read like a folktale best told in a room lit only by hearth light and in whispered tones. The supernatural element was maintained throughout with five prompt words slipped in as if each naturally belonged to the whole. The two additional words of Welsh origin, though unknown to me, were chosen so that context could be inferred and not detract from the whole.
drmagoo for his Untitled Story. This was such a tight call but certainly a well-deserved pick. The overall tone of the story was so stark and foreboding the tension nearly leapt off the screen to ensnare me. The imagery is very intense and sent shivers through me. I especially liked the fact the tale had an indistinct and timeless feel to it that could have made it, just as easily, a dystopian or post apocalyptic setting as it could the more obvious medieval locale. This definitely read as the preface or an interlude to something much greater, but wound things up nicely as is.
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.