I owe a very big thank you to both the returning entrants as well as the first time contributors for keeping this challenge fun and interesting. I promise all of you that, in the very foreseeable future, the life and work distractions that keep interfering with my ability to get this contest judged and publicized in a timely manner will be resolving themselves. Thanks for your patience in the meantime.
Marje Myers for her story No Regrets. This was a wonderfully complex little tale that managed to work all nine prompt words into a single offering. It was an excellent story of fighting the odds to follow a dream and, sadly, paying the price for that dream when you fail. I wanted to rate this story much more highly, but the use of the word "visage" when I suspect what was intended was "vision" threw things off track for me.
The Imaginator for his story Yegg. This tale packed a lot of action, adventure and adrenaline into a very short space. There's nothing worse than pulling off the snatch of a lifetime to only almost get away. In this case, the use of the word "penetrating" as a verb rather than an adjective took the story out of contention for higher regard.
redshirt6 for his untitled story. This story had a delightfully dark sense of magic and mystery, evil and betrayal. That's a lot to fit into such a tight word count. I really enjoyed this story but, again, the use of "penetrating" as a verb rather than an adjective was a limitation to rating it more highly.
Lupus Anthropos for his untitled story. This week's prompts seemed to lend themselves well to deception, betrayal and the demise of someone. This little tale pulled me along just as seductively as the female character drew in her unexpected victim. I liked that I wasn't, entirely, sure where this story was headed and how it took me almost as much by surprise as it did the unfortunate chap with the knife stuck in his rib cage. Ouch.
Bullish for her story Purlwise. This was a simple, homey tale of unexpected romance set against the backdrop of a country craft sale. I loved how the prompts seem to fit in so effortlessly and advanced the story at a comfortable rambling pace. Working in the imagery of yarn and knitting along with the down home rustic phrasing made this a truly enjoyable read. Nice.
Rebekah Postupak for her story The Throne. This tale literally brimmed with fantasy, adventure and an amazing degree of world building within the constraining word count. The struggle, the danger, the loss of life on a quest were all elements that combined perfectly. I was presented with a complete and vivid mental picture with just enough mystery as to what happens next to keep me wondering. This story had the distinction of also meeting the Over Achiever standard but going just that wee little bit beyond to garner the top spot. I think this an excellent example of flash fiction that could easily lend itself to becoming something more vast.
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.