Wow! We asked for legend worthy entries and that’s what you gave us. What an epic batch of stories. Thanks to everyone who wrote, commented, and tweeted.
Honorable Mention | Soldier | Silver James | @silverjames_
Cara Says: A firebug and an arson investigator… what could go wrong in this courtship? :falls off chair laughing:
Ruth Says: Good heavens, woman! Where’s There’s Smoke, There’s Fire .. indeed! 😉
Honorable Mention | Soldier | Mark Ethridge | @lurchmunster
Cara Says: Emotionally taut and heavy with heartbreak. An excellent continuation of the Armor 17 story.
Ruth Says: I’m a huge fan of Armor 17 and this piece further piques my curiosity about his back story.
Second Place | Underboss | Wakefield Mahon | @WakefieldMahon
Cara Says: This ode to David Bowie is such sweet whimsy. I could see the Henson puppetry playing out this scene.
Ruth Says: Great mix of myth, wit, and nostalgia. Absolutely lovely tribute! ❤
Winner | Boss | Dave Ashton | @davejamesashton
Cara Says: You had this whole vintage truck stop /diner romance vibe going… Complete with the unrequited love of a short order cook, lol… Then BAM. Tentacles. I laughed so hard. What a brilliant payoff to the setup.
Ruth Says: There were so many little details to love, and when that final ZING came, I actually screeched out loud in shock and delight! Fantastic! 🙂
The Winning Story: Waiting For Him by Dave James Ashton
“Ain’t that just like him though sugar? To promise you the world then be a no show? Why you gotta go for the exotic sort? They’re all the same. Have a slice of pie on the house. It’s key lime, honey.”
Rachel smiled through her tears. “He’s coming, I know it. Leastways, that’s what I have to tell myself. You understand, right?” she pleaded, playing with her fork.
Lori nodded. Wordlessly she squeezed Rachel’s shoulder and headed in back. She dumped the dishes into the sink with more force than necessary and cussed to herself as she attacked them with a ratty sponge.
“Bert! Hey Bert! Take a hunk of the key lime out for Rachel, would ya, hon? I can’t stomach another round of her moping again.”
Bert sighed, and wiped his hands on his apron. He grabbed a plate and added a couple of scoops of ice-cream to it.
He stood behind Rachel for a moment, hesitating.
“Miss, them tears of yours don’t seem to be letting up any time soon.” Bert scooted closer, setting the plate on the table. “This here is some mighty fine pie. It’s sure to help somewhat.”
He stood there, confused, watching her crying silently. “You… you could always try and do something to get your mind off him Miss. There’s plenty of good guys from round these here parts who would be happy to show you a swell time -” He reddened, uncomfortable. “Uh, I didn’t… don’t mean me Miss. Just guys. You know. Uh, I don’t mean nothing, honest. Sorry!” Bert fled to the sanctuary of the kitchen, avoiding Lori’s stare.
Rachel picked up the fork and smushed the ice-cream into the plate, scowling. “Lori’s got it, I guess. You’re nothing but a-”
There was a roaring sound outside the diner, and a beatific smile broke out on Rachel’s face. Rubbing the back of her hands over her eyes, she tuned expectantly to the door. It slammed open, and there, wreathed in the exhaust jets from his lander was her beloved. She ran into his waiting tentacles, happy her spaceman had finally returned.