Wow. You guys always keep us on our toes but this week, you bowled us over. As always, thank you to everyone who wrote, commented, and tweeted.
Honorable Mention | Soldier | @siobhanmuir and @charitygirlblog
@siobhanmuir for “Double D Deal”
Cara Says: For strength in submission. With so many misconceptions about “submissives” these days, it’s more than refreshing to see one set her boundaries loud and clear.
Ruth Says: Strong writing, complex characters, and open conversation make for a compelling story.
@charitygirlblog for ‘Untitled’
Cara Says: I read this piece twice to be sure I understood the ending. I won’t assume I did, but I really like my interpretation. This piece is emotionally dark and surreal.
Ruth Says: The hazy gloom and wicked hold of addiction is chilling and yet elicits empathy at the same time. A grim look into the face of the monster that leaves us unsettled.
Second Place | Underboss | @lizhedgcock
Cara Says: Poignant, with a “tang” of bitterness, this tale of a love that just never quite seems to let go of the MC is gorgeous. The ongoing use of scent brings life to the memories of people and major events for the character.
Ruth Says: Amazing for it’s masterful use of the prompt. Filled with so many details it’s the sort of story one reads over and over for the sheer pleasure of it.
First Place | Boss | @wakefieldmahon
Cara Says: Ripped from the headlines, this story begins with such sweet romance before turning into a horror story. Again, there is a continuous use of sensory detail to flesh out moments of beauty and fear and the aching memories that are all we are left in the end. The heartbreak in this is visceral, and the enduring love—so strong it might be a blessing to find it dulled—is haunting.
Ruth Says: The use of imagery and sensory elements propel us from moment to moment: The playfulness of lovers gives way to the sorrow of separation, which in turn gives way to disbelief and then unspeakable grief. Powerful and haunting.
THE WINNING STORY
188 By Wakefield Mahon
I breathe you in, jasmine and lavender mingle with something wilder, something primal. Your ragged breath fills my ears, a boost to my pride. The heat of your skin causes mine to tremble. I taste your lips, acacia and honey. Am I drinking you or are you devouring me? I don’t care. I want to shatter the clock, to steal this moment from eternity and hide it in my heart. A thousand thieves couldn’t steal it back.
But you tell me that you have to go and that I have to let you. The salt of my tears is bitter after the sweat of your skin.
The second hand of the clock slows to a crawl. It must be broken.
How long will you be in DC? New York is your home. The bright lights, the people, the music and the magic. Don’t you miss them? Don’t you miss me?
You laugh and tell me not to worry. You promise you’ll be home soon, and I believe you. The news anchor tells me you’re lying.
The clock stops.
You’ve left the track. Glass breaks. Metal twists. Screams fill a silent room. My heart turns end over end. It can’t be real. No, you are the truth and the television is lying. I scream at the screen. Shut up! But it won’t, they keep telling me the terrifying news.
I calm down for a moment, there is still hope. The phone rings. I answer. My hope evaporates in the wind. Silence.
Shattered and lonely, these nights drag on forever, ever since that iron horse carried you away.
Tonight I see you again. I see your smile and relief floods my heart. Sweet acacia and honey are still mine and they will always be. I’ll hold you in my arms forever and never let you go, even though it’s only in my dreams.