#FlashMobWrites 1×17 Winners

A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who wrote, commented, and tweeted this week. You gave us a great mix of stories and we were hard pressed to choose top honors!

THE WRITERS

  1. @SiobhanMuir
  2. @billmelaterplea
  3. @Aightball
  4. @AvLaidlaw
  5. @davejamesashton
  6. @EFOlsson
  7. @LouisaBacio
  8. @SilverJames_
  9. @solimond
  10. @msbbrumley

 

THE WINNERS

soldier17

SOLDIERS | Honorable Mentions | @AvLaidlaw and @Aightball

@AvLaidlaw

Cara Says: Kid has a freaking MINOTAUR in his room. Game over. Hope everyone’s made peace with their respective makers.

Ruth Says: Love how smartly the child sets up his antagonist’s demise. This is one of those stories that sticks with you a long while, as you mull the details and possibilities!

@Aightball

Cara Says: This snippet cracked me up. The family dynamic is all too familiar. Teenagers are assholes. I know; I have one.

Ruth Says: Oh yeah, every parents knows the stab of the double-edged knife known as ‘the teenage years’ – one side anger, one side humor.

underboss17

UNDERBOSS | Second Place | @davejamesashton

Cara Says: This gruesome, yet humorous take on the family business has levels that add so much punch. No matter what, they’re not lying when they say they’re butchers.

Ruth Says: A perfectly wicked misdirect! I read this one several times for the sheer pleasure! 🙂

boss17

BOSS | First Place | @LouisaBacio

Cara Says: This is such a neat way to introduce a werewolf pack. I love the idea of this sort of transformation as transitional therapy for a veteran struggling to find his post-war place.

Ruth Says: Great concept! I’d love to see this play into a much larger story. There’s so much room for character and world building!

 


THE WINNING STORY: Coming Home by Louisa Bacio

When Janie saw Tyler, a doubt like a shadow hovered over the encounter. He returned from his Army deployment haunted. Black crescent-shaped bags under his eyes gave him a hollow appearance. Even music no longer chased away the ghosts.

In graduate school, she studied the history of the wolf population in the San Bernardino mountains. For nearly one hundred years, the animals were thought extinct in California. More recently, a lone male wolf had been seen on the Oregon border. She volunteered with the Big Bear zoo, and everyone said she was a natural with the animals. Little did they know how natural.

More than Tyler’s personality had changed in the six years since Janie had seen him. He sat next to her on a bench in the park, picking at the edge of a rip in the knee of his jeans. The smell of pine trees filled the air, and Janie scratched in the dirt with a long stick. The seeping sap made her fingers all sticky.

Finally, not able to take the silence any longer, she placed her hand on top of his. “You’re driving me batty.”

“Sorry,” he said. “It’s hard to be still. I’m used to doing. Going. Being sedentary kills me.”

“You need to find something else to do.”

“The only thing that kept me sane during deployment was you.” He stroked the side of her face, drinking her in as if he’d been parched.

“But we didn’t see each other, didn’t even talk,” she protested.

“Doesn’t matter. Just knowing you were out there, living, experiencing life, fueled me.”

The years spent apart evaporated like the morning mist on a hot day. A shuffle in the dry foliage drew Janie’s attention, and she searched the tree line. With a barely discernable nod, she gave consent.

“There’s something I have to tell you,” she said. “So much has changed since you’ve been gone.”

“Shhh,” he angled his face toward hers. The moment stretched out as he gazed into her eyes. He was going to kiss her. “It can’t stay the same, but how I feel about you never changed.”

First one wolf, then two, then three, stepped out from the forest. Tyler froze and his breathing sped up. “Don’t make any sudden movements,” he turned his upper body, placing himself between her and the perceived danger.

“It’s all right,” she said. “They’re friends.”

Holding out a hand, she approached the threesome. The lead wolf nuzzled her palm, and Janie dropped to her knees to scratch behind its ears.

“When you said you’ve been working with them, I had no idea.”

The fire of the wolf inside her sparked. She wanted to give Tyler the option of joining the pack, but seeing his internal pain moved up the timetable. He wasn’t adjusting well to civilian life.
“It’s a small pack, but growing.” She turned to take him in her arms. “What we need now is a leader.”

“We, as in the conservation effort?” he asked.

“Something like that.”

 

 

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