The first Summer 2015 edition of Flash Mob Writes provided a slew of stories focused on messages, many of them delivered via paranormal means, and made for some great reading! Thank you to everyone who wrote, commented, and tweeted!
UNDERBOSS | Second Place | @mishmhem
Cara Says: I love this twisty little tale, and to be honest, the only reason this didn’t snag top honors for me is because it’s more of a “telling” piece than a “showing” piece. The concept is so intriguing, and this is something I would love to see expanded, with all that wonderful ghostly noir developed.
Ruth Says: This is a great piece and I’d love to see it in novella form. There is so much to chew on here and I love that she is able to confront her betrayer. Wonderful concept! 🙂
BOSS | First Place | @siobhanmuir
Cara Says: It’s not always easy for snippets of bigger stories to win, in large part because they can’t often deliver the “big” moments that shorter pieces work toward. With this snippet though, a consistent sense of intrigue is maintained throughout, with the additional emotional layer of Jaime’s attraction to Stanton. Bonus – The writing is clean and solid from start to finish.
Ruth Says: There’s so much going on here, so much to ponder, story-wise and character-wise. I love how there is clarity to a point, we get enough to know we want more, need more, even! What a fun read!
THE WINNING STORY: Lost and Found, Kentucky Style by Siobhan Muir
Jaime wrote notes. “Do you have any names of the soldiers who went missing? Or of their commanding officer? Maybe I can get some other information about Bethany from them.”
Stanton frowned. “Here’s the thing. The commanding officer was one of the ones gone missin’. I think his name was McMacken. That’s what the stablehand said. One of the missin’ did come back. A woman named Bryant, but she was whisked away pretty damn quick for debriefin’. I don’t know any of the other names.”
“What were they there to do other than find your sister?” When the Chief raised his eyebrows, she shrugged. “There had to be something going on because what was so supernatural about one young woman going missing? Obviously there was some reason to bring in the SNAIFU.”
Stanton lapsed into an intense, thoughtful silence, and Jaime tried to ignore how sexy it made him. He put all his energies into whatever he did and when it came to thinking, the intensity ramped up. God, why didn’t I go home with him after Chris’s wedding? He abruptly raised his gaze and swung it around the café as if looking for those who might be listening in. The hair on her arms raised in visceral awareness and she resisted the urge to smooth them down.
“How ’bout we talk a walk along the pier? It’s pretty nice today.” He rose and stood by her chair, waiting for her to comply.
It wasn’t nice out. It was windy as hell, but something about his secretiveness made her curious. What did he not want others to hear? She stood and followed him out into the windy morning. Fortunately, the sun took some of the chill out of the day and the enthusiasm of the college kids on spring break was catching. In the sun, the ships moored at the pier carried a majesty she never tired of, and she let the small joys of the day lift some of her tension. But none of her curiosity.
Stanton led her to a bench set along the boardwalk facing the moored battleships under the shadows of some coconut palms. He settled onto it, crossed his legs, and reclined at apparent ease with everything. But Jaime didn’t buy it. He’d shaded his eyes with dark sunglasses, but she suspected he still scanned everywhere for listeners.
Jaime was determined to wait for a sign they’d arrived at some aural safe haven and sat down beside him, closing her eyes and inhaling the salty air. The wind blew her hair around, but she’d given up caring. At this point, her hair was the least of her concerns.
“The SNAIFU was brought in because there was somethin’ weird goin’ on in the grounds of the estate.”
Stanton’s voice sounded casual, like they were discussing the dimensions of the ships in front of them, but his words set her heart to fluttering. Weird?
“Yeah, things cleared up after the missin’ soldier came back.”