#FlashMobWrites 1×49 Winners

So many twists and turns in this week’s submissions! Thank you to everyone who wrote, commented, and tweeted. 🙂

WRITERS

  1. @katheryn_avila
  2. @siobhanmuir
  3. @geofflepard
  4. @laughingandy
  5. @silverjames_
  6. @jasonlefthand
  7. @billmelaterplea
  8. @aightball
  9. @lizzie_koch
  10. @lurchmunster
  11. @bradythewriter

WINNERS

soldier49

Honorable Mention | Soldier | Kat Avila | @kathryn_avila

Cara Says: I’m not super familiar with this story’s world, but there are enough teasers to intrigue and capture my curiosity.

Ruth Says: Gah! I want to know/read more about this world because WOW. Lots of stories about angels getting assignments but demons, outside of romantic setups, not so much.

underboss49

Second Place | Underboss | Bill Engleson | @billmelaterplea

Cara Says: At last a witness! And one witness to his own father’s creeper tendencies, ick. I read this wondering if Quarry’s tough-guy play would backfire, but was thrilled to read otherwise.

Ruth Says: Such a joy to follow this serial and now, NOW we have a witness. I was so excited I actually shouted out loud in excitement when I read the final sentence!

boss49

Winner | Boss | Lizzie Koch | @Lizzie_Koch

Cara Says: A lot happens in this tale. It’s atmospheric, and what a mess the MC inadvertently creates. I’m not about to feel sorry for a cheater, but the ending’s explosive potential left me cursing the word count. This was about to burst into 50 shades of reality-tv, I just know it.

Ruth Says: Always enjoy a good curve-ball and this one was exceptional. Didn’t see it coming until it hit me between the eyes. And I’m with Cara. This cheater wriggled behind my defenses and into my curiosity. What happens next?! AUGH! 🙂

 


The Winning Story – Untitled by Lizzie Koch

Staying home instead of working the bar tonight for Tom is something I should have given serious consideration to. I know as soon as she walks in, she is going to cause me trouble. I know when she flirts with me, there is nothing innocent about it. What I should have done is what I usually do in these situations; flirt, serve the cocktails and make conversation. That’s it. And I do that. Sex on a beach and screaming orgasm are cocktails I have made a million times with pretty much the same conversation and howls of laughter like I haven’t heard it before. But the way the words fall in a soft caress from her perfectly glossed lips, the way her smoky almond eyes follow my every move like a cat stalking its prey, I know it is more than the drink she wants. And I am definitely interested.

She follows me outside when I have my break. Before I can speak, she flings her arms around my neck, presses her lips against mine. Of course, I respond, pushing her up against the wall, running my hand along her curves, feeling the warmth of her skin under the thin fabric. I ignore the wedding band. I ignore her reeking of alcohol, drowning instead in lust.

Glassy eyed, she straightens her dress and joins her friends. It isn’t long before I’m delivering another tray of cocktails. She blushes which is cute. Her friends tease her but they have no idea. Coerced into joining in for a photo, I sit next to her, a compulsion to touch her. She lays her hand on my thigh, instantly my body responds. Luckily the tray is on my lap, hiding my desire. Her friends cackle hysterically. She plays up to them, pouting her lips, thrusting out her breasts. I want her and she knows it.

I can’t wait for closing time. I don’t know nor do I care what she spins to her friends or her husband. My girlfriend hasn’t crossed my mind (but then, I’ve only been dating her for a few weeks) until she walks in just before closing. My mind races, trying to find an excuse lurking in my mind. There is one, I’m sure. There has to be. But my mind is blank as the woman and her friends are ready to leave.

“Hey, Mum,” my girlfriend says. “Mum, this is Daryl, the guy I’ve been telling you about and Daryl, this is Jane, my mum.”

A glass nearly slips from my hand as my girlfriend hugs her mum, the woman I just had sex with and plan to again within the next half an hour. Mum. She said ‘mum’. I see the color drain from Jane’s face. I see the sudden realization dawn on the faces of her friends. I feel sick. But not because of what I’ve done. But because I can’t stop thinking about Jane, the mother of my girlfriend.

 

#FlashMobWrites 1×48 Winners

Another wonderful batch of delicious mouth-watering stories! Thank you to everyone who wrote, commented, and tweeted. Cara’s on the lam this week so I’ll be judging by my lonesome. Yikes! 🙂

WRITERS

  1. @billmelaterplea
  2. @laughingandy
  3. @SweetSheil
  4. @SiobhanMuir
  5. @jasonlefthand
  6. @LurchMunster
  7. @el_Stevie
  8. @BradyTheWriter
  9. @SilverJames_
  10. @Aightball
  11. @katheryn_avila

WINNERS

soldier48

Honorable Mention | Soldier | Steph Ellis | @el_Stevie

Ruth Says: Love how this story so easily beguiles us – reader and character – to certain doom. The road to hell is paved with free whiskey! 🙂

underboss48

Second Place | Underboss | Jason | @jasonlefthand

Ruth Says: Such a fun read! Great concept and characters. Loved the dark humor and would love to see more of these two! 🙂

boss48

Winner | Boss | Brady Koch | @bradythewriter 

Ruth Says: As a funeral home employee, I deal with people trying to wrangle private information out of me every day, so this inventive story struck my funny bone. 🙂

 


The Winning Story: Finger on the Pulse of The Rich and Famous by Brady Koch

“Let’s see, today was pretty normal. I had an actress, a singer and a couple of normal people too. Nothing notable”

Sheila wrinkled her nose. It did seem like a normal day. “Who was the actress?”

“I think she was on a couple of Love Boat episodes back in the seventies. Darla something-or-other.”

“What’d she come in for?”

“Her heart.” Hank yawned. Her husband was always tired when he got home and eager to get in the shower to wash off the smell of his work. Sheila knew if she didn’t get any leads from him now he’d be too tired or disinterested in revisiting his work day to share more than he was allowed to.

“What about the singer?”

“Yea. I knew him off the bat.”

Sheila’s pulse quickened. Hank was unplugged from the entertainment world, so if he recognized the person, it had to be a big name “Who?”

“The fella who sang that one song. You know the one.”

She started rifling through the Rolling Stone covers she’d catalogued in her memory.

He cleared his throat, “Da, da, da, dum Family Auto Mart, it’s where the wheelin’ and dealin’ starts.” Hank smiled, pleased with himself. “You know that guy. The one from the commercials.”

Her stomach sank. Of course this would be the notable person that Hank would remember. Living in the middle of Hollywood, surrounded by celebrities and her husband got excited by the used car salesman.

He shook off his jacket and kissed her on the cheek, heading for the bathroom. “If it makes you happier, he at least came in with a pain pill overdose,” Hank offered.

Normally this would have been just the morsel of information she’d want to know, but a local TV commercial spokesperson didn’t have the cache anyone would be interested in gossiping about. Oscar winners, and nationally known celebrities were ideal. Even a celebutante would do if they were notorious enough. Today she’d have to settle with Darla something-or-other.

Sheila waited until Hank was out of the room before picking up the phone and speed dialing the number she’s conspicuously labeled Dry Cleaner.

“Sheila?” came the voice on the other end of the phone. She never met him in person, only seen his organization’s name on the checks that came in the mail.

“Slow day,” she started. “You remember the actress Darla from the Love Boat?”

“I can look her up.” Sheila could hear his keyboard already clicking on the other end of the phone.

“Yea, heart failure.”

“Hmmm. That’s it?”

“Yes.”

“Well, there’s always tomorrow,” the voice said, before hanging up.

Sheila sighed. She thought her journalism degree would lead to more than being a tabloid informant. She also thought marrying someone who had daily access to celebrities as a technician at the L.A. County Coroner’s office would have generated more leads than this.

 

#FlashMobWrites 1×47 Winners

You continue to amaze and entertain us every week! Thank you! As always, we appreciate all the entries, comments, and tweets! 🙂

WRITERS

  1. @SiobhanMuir
  2. @billmelaterplea
  3. @katheryn_avila
  4. @LaughingAndy
  5. @SweetSheil
  6. @SilverJames_
  7. @CarinMarais
  8. @Aightball
  9. @el_Stevie
  10. @EFOlsson

WINNERS

soldier47

Honorable Mention | Soldier | Laughing Andy | @laughingandy

Cara Says: Great Old Ones dispensing some karmic justice on the neighborhood protection racketeer. I’m imagining how Louie’s fate changes the local landscape.

Ruth Says: Loved the noir vibe here and the Lovecraft hat tip! Such a fun read! Would love more of this story!

underboss47

Second Place | Underboss | @billmelaterplea | Bill Engleson

Cara Says: This week’s installment of the Hazel offers a hope of resolution, then spins us about and adds a wild card in the form of Hap’s tucked-away son, Bobby. Damn it, someone around here knows something!

Ruth Says: I love how mysteries and secrets unfold throughout this serial, each one tucked inside another, and another, like little nesting dolls. Always a pleasure to read!

boss47

Winner | Boss | Siobhan Muir | @siobhanmuir

Cara Says: This scene has a soothing vibe with just the right underlying dose of ‘come to the Goddess.’ Balder clearly has a tough road ahead, so here’s hoping he finds an ally or two to help him along. Kicking it two weeks’ running with this continuation of Balder & Svanhild’s brewing epic, wtg.

Ruth Says: Darn it, Cara stole my word. Soothing. That’s what this scene conveys. A sense of peace and hope Balder’s battered soul needs as much as his lungs need air.


The Winning Story: Prices and Consequences by Siobhan Muir

Taking a chance, Balder glanced up at the person holding him. A woman with hazel eyes full of wisdom wearing an ornate breastplate decorated with wolves smiled at him.

“There, now. Feeling better, Balder?” Her voice held the music of the stars, ancient and seasoned, and some of his uncertainty faded.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Good. I see you’re working on your recovery, and I’m very pleased.”

He didn’t know why her pleasure meant anything to him, but it warmed his heart and threatened a blush across his cheeks.

“Where am I?”

“A safe place beyond time and consequence.” The woman tipped her head to the side. “I need you to do something for me, Balder.”

Wariness filled his gut. “What?”

“I need you to stay here in this town. I need you to put down roots and grow your family. And I need you to devote your considerable willpower to the people here. All people, including the Elder Races. Can you do that for me?”

He clenched his jaw. “Do I have any choice?”

“You can always tell me no.” She nodded. “But each choice, yay or nay, comes with prices and consequences.”

He thought about all the choices that had led him to this moment, this place, and wondered if he was doomed to follow the same lonely path forever. His gaze drifted around the room, searching for answers in the comfortable furnishings and homey knickknacks. He almost missed the warrior standing in the corner, waiting for direction.

He immediately recognized the woman who’d been on the porch. She wore her own breastplate, but hers had bears molded into the metal and looked like it had seen some action. Despite her forbidding presence, her brows pulled together in the middle and her jaw clenched as if she feared for someone.

Probably the Goddess holding me. He didn’t know why he knew she embodied the divine. Nothing had been said or shown, but certainty hit his gut along with the comfort she provided.

“And if I say no?”

She shrugged. “You’ll continue on your path as you are now. You’ll get help and you’ll eventually heal. But it will take longer, be harder and lonelier. And there are people who need you.” She nodded her head toward the woman warrior in the corner.

She needs me? That didn’t make any sense. Oh, wait. Maybe she needs me on my knees, with a sword in my gut. She didn’t look like someone who’d take kindly to him in any case.

But he wanted things to change. He wanted to be free of the programming that had damned him to this hideous existence, and he wanted Tiffany to be able to move on from his horrible actions.

“She needs me? To do what?”

The Goddess winked. “I can’t let every secret out of the bag. Where’s the fun in that?” When he sighed, she patted his ears. “I will say you’re not the only one who needs to heal and find redemption.”

#FlashMobWrites 1×46 Winners

What a crazy bag of tricks/stories this week! Thank you to everyone who wrote, commented, and tweeted! 

THE WRITERS

  1. @laughingAndy
  2. @SilverJames_
  3. @TwiAddictAnne
  4. @el_Stevie
  5. @billmelaterplea
  6. @SweetSheil
  7. @SiobhanMuir
  8. @Aightball
  9. @LurchMunster

THE WINNERS

soldier46

Honorable Mentions | Soldier | Steph Ellis | @el_Stevie

Cara Says: This story sucks you in with the easy confidence of the POV character. He’s just sure of himself and his game. Certainty slips quietly away as the setup is revealed. Creepy and a great read.

Ruth Says: Oh man, I took more pleasure than I should have watching this character get his just desserts! 🙂

underboss46

Second Place | Underboss | @LaughingAndy

Cara Says: Here’s another one that pulls you in. This time it’s a nonchalant sort of air about the MC. He knows his stuff, and he’s casually dropping some knowledge on the reader. In just a few sentences, a passionate hobby becomes a murderous one, and we see just how far he’s willing to go for those collectibles.

Ruth Says: I loved how the perception of the character goes from ‘hobbyist’ to ‘fanatic’ in the blink of an eye. I *might* have giggled with glee over the final three paragraphs. 😀

boss46

Winner | Boss | Siobhan Muir | @SiobhanMuir

Cara Says: Svanhild is a character who means business. In the few outings we’ve seen with her, she’s made no secret that she’s ready to kick ass and take names. I love that such a badass lady relies so strongly on her mystical senses. She trusts Kate with ease, and there’s clearly something about this man she sees that just ain’t right. Of course, this cliffhanger leaves us all wondering… will she help him in a time of obvious need? I’m dying to see these two start to connect.

Ruth Says: MORE, damn it. I NEED to know what’s going on here! Was excited to see more of this story show up this week!! The tension is off the charts!! 🙂


The Winning Story: Sizing Up the Competition by Siobhan Muir

Svanhild took a deep breath and gathered herself before stepping out the door of Kate’s house. Her heart thundered with joy and contentment like the world had shifted into alignment again, only more so. She’d been hit with a punch-drunk kiss of connection she hadn’t experienced since she’d first become a Valkyrie in the Goddess’s service. And she wanted more, more time with Kate Blackamber, serving her specifically.

The door closed behind her while Bart finished with Kate — something about his cousin and the local hunters. She took a deep breath and damn near ran over the person who’d just stepped up onto the porch. The creeping hiss of awareness that someone stood too close coupled with the smell of rain-soaked wool brought her up short and she braced for evasive action.

By the time her gaze had sharpened on the man in front of her, he’d shifted to the side and taken a defensive stance, his own expression tight with wariness. Her Valkyrie senses roared again, gearing up for battle with the black and poisonous taint surrounding him.

Her fists clenched at her side and she missed the feeling of her sword and hatchet. She realized she’d stepped into his space and throttled back the urge to carry the fight to the enemy.

“Excuse me.” The words came out more snarl than conversation. But she’d been more or less polite.

He dipped his head in acknowledgement and took another step back. “It’s not a problem. I didn’t mean to get so close.”

His own words were clipped and tense, and his hands clenched on his pant legs as if he needed something to hold on to. She raised her chin and stared him down, asserting her strengh and height over such an unclean apparition.

He met her gaze, holding his ground without openly challenging her.

“Why are you here?” The audacity of her question shocked her, but she’d learned to hide her surprise over her own unintentional actions.

His chin jerked as if he wanted to meet her blow for blow, but he inhaled slowly and released his breath with measured effort.

“I’m here for the Morukai.

“In what capacity?” Something about the guy suggested his visit might be more ambush than social call.

Again he took a long slow breath. “For…help.”

The words were forced, thrust between clenched teeth and riddled with reluctance. He shook with some suppressed emotion, but she couldn’t decipher it. Then his whole body stiffened and his eyes rolled back in his head before he crumpled to the floor of the porch.

#FlashMobWrites 1×45 Winners

Wow! Another great batch of stories! Thank you to everyone who wrote, commented, and tweeted.

THE WRITERS

  1. @SilverJames_
  2. @billmelaterplea
  3. @drmagoo
  4. @SiobhanMuir
  5. @katheryn_avila
  6. @NJCrosskey
  7. @EFOlsson
  8. @BradyTheWriter
  9. @Aightball
  10. @LurchMunster

 

THE WINNERS

soldier45

Honorable Mentions | Soldiers | Silver James and Kat Avila

Silver James | @SilverJames_

Cara Says: An intense scene peppered with humor and cheese, lol. Like that peek into Smoke’s life before arson (and Leigh).

Ruth Says: I love how you managed to weave humor, banter, back story, extreme danger AND both prompts into a snarky sexy scene!

Kat Avila |@katheryn_avila

Cara Says: The circumstances surrounding this pair hint at a star crossed lovers sort of thing. Love the connection between them.

Ruth Says: Love the fluctuation between sweet resistance and sweetly relenting. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

underboss45

Second Place | Underboss | Mark Ethridge | @lurchmunster

Cara Says: Armor 17 continues to develop and this entry is methodical and chilling. I love how he operates, ferreting out the bad guys with psychological games. Eager to see where this goes next.

Ruth Says: Again, one of my favorite elements of Armor 17 is his unique and unexpected perspective and interpersonal interactions. He captures my imagination.

boss45

Winner | Boss | NJ Crosskey | @NJCrosskey

Cara Says: The fun in this piece rests in how much the reader wants to see this killer MC get his comeuppance. That it should come from an even more cunning killer is perfection. The outward appearances hide serious darkness, and it plays out beautifully.

Ruth Says: The narrator’s voice is so compelling that I was completely unprepared when he became the victim. Such an enjoyable surprise.


The Winning Story: In Sheep’s Clothing by NJ Crosskey

As soon as I see her I know she’s the one.

She oozes self-loathing. The way she yanks her shrug across her middle tells me she carries that slight paunch like a millstone. Her steps are cautious, her gait apologetic, as she picks her way through the crowd. Always giving way.

Oh yes. Perfect. Exactly the sort to cream over an awkward, lonely loser like me.

It’s getting harder, there’s no doubt. I guess I’m a victim of my own success. They’re all so wary. It always has to be public, well-lit. But then she sees my flaky skin and wonky smile, hears my stammer, and her relief is visible. Danger doesn’t come in such a pathetic package. She’s been led to believe he’s a Romeo, a charmer. Suave and dashing – so the papers say.

A guy like me couldn’t possibly be the Sweetheart Killer.

It’s not the best moniker, I’ll admit. I’d have preferred something more butch. But, I can’t exactly call the press office to complain, so I guess I’m stuck with it.

Oh well, we all have our cross to bear.

Over drinks her guard drops. Her eyes fill with liquid pity when I confess crowds make me self-conscious. She suggests dinner, somewhere intimate. She’s like a pig in shit, finally she’s found someone to feel superior to. She stands a little taller, feeling attractive for the first time in God knows how long.

I let her talk all through dinner. That’s what these bitches really want. She babbles and blathers, and I nod in the right places. But I’m staring at that pudgy neck. Imagining the screams. I finger the blade in my pocket, and shiver.

Soon now.

She takes me to her apartment, all chintz and incense. As she pours us both a whiskey I’m breathless with anticipation. Soon now.

She prattles on about her dreary job, but suddenly her voice fades like the floating echoes of a dream. My head is pounding. The room starts shaking.

Christ, what’s wrong with me?

I try to excuse myself, but the words won’t form. I stagger down the drab hallway, trying to find the bathroom. I need to puke.

Too much booze. If I can just purge I’ll be good for the main event.

My knees buckle as I open the door, and I’m on the floor. I can’t seem to make my limbs move. What the fuck? It’s not a bathroom, it’s some kind of study. It’s getting hard to focus, but I squint at the walls. They’re covered in newspaper clippings. All about the Sweetheart Killer.

All about me.

I’m struggling for breath, I roll over and she’s there, standing over me.
“W-w-hat’s gerrin ohn?” I slur.

She smiles. Reaches down and pulls a slick, sharp silver knife from her knee-high boot. She straddles me, bringing the blade so close to my face I can almost taste the steel. “You just met your match, Sweetheart.”

#FlashMobWrites 1×44 Winner

Oh you storytellers, you! Just look at all the wonderful stories! You make it impossible to choose winners! 🙂 Thank you to everyone who wrote, commented, and tweeted!!

WRITERS

  1. @billmelaterplea
  2. @SweetSheil
  3. @jasonlefthand
  4. @SilverJames_
  5. @NJCrosskey
  6. @SiobhanMuir
  7. @MadilynQuinn
  8. @EFOlsson
  9. @AvLaidlaw
  10. @Aightball
  11. @LurchMunster

WINNERS

soldier44

Honorable Mention | Soldier | NJ Crosskey | @NJCrosskey

Cara Says: This futuristic morality scenario is all the scarier because it seems all too possible. Accomplishment withers and fades, as those who have the opportunity to help instead only see opportunity. As Daniel watches his dreams of saving the world crumble, he accepts a devil’s bargain to save one precious soul. Heartbreaking.

Ruth Says: An impossible choice! Oh, what we will do to save a loved one! Fantastic writing and storytelling!

underboss44

Second Place | Underboss | EF Olsson | @EFOlsson

Cara Says: As I read this one, I grew eager to see this story flip the idea of ghosts in the attic (or spare bedroom) on its head. You didn’t disappoint, as the POV revealed we watched this play out through the eyes of ghostly sisters Colleen and Maggie. Maggie’s line of, “But they’ll come back. They always come back.” peered right into how a ghost story might seem to the ghost.

Ruth Says: My eyes were racing as I read this, hurrying to discover what the hell was going on, fearful for the sisters and THEN … wow. I was so worried I never saw the twist coming!

boss44

Winner | Boss | Kelly Heinen | @Aightball

Cara Says: This is a hilarious blend of the pastor’s house and rock ‘n roll kids, with so many zingy lines, I laughed the whole way through. I love that this didn’t take the typical “disapproving church parents” approach, but instead showcased Marcella’s grace and humor. She manages to hope for success even as the sounds emerging from her basement seem to promise anything but. Her final good natured pleas for some divine soundproofing are icing on the cake. Great job!

Ruth Says: Love the mix of love, tolerance, and humor! I laughed just as much the second time through! Really lovely! 🙂


The Winning Story: Untitled by Kelly Heinen | @Aightball

Marcella Rickliefs rubbed her pounding temples. A cacophony of sounds belched out of her basement as though the underside of the house had a bad case of indigestion. She’d begged her son’s band to practice anywhere but the basement, but to no avail.

With all that racket downstairs, they’d better become world famous before the age of thirty.

She sighed and reached for a small, clear plastic, rectangular case. Inside, six bright orange blobs lay in neat rows on a piece of clear plastic backing. She peeled one off, rolled it between her thumb and fore finger and then smooshed it into her left ear. She followed suit with a second blob and her right ear.

“Ahhh…that’s better.”

She grabbed the Tylenol and begged it to cure her pounding headache. She had a sermon to practice. As associate pastor at her husband’s church, she sometimes filled in for her husband. He was out of town at a conference, so she was leading the service the next day. She envied him the silence he got to enjoy.

With the medication in her system, she went into the living room to read over the sermon she’d written. The floor vibrated and even her ear plugs couldn’t keep out a screech from a guitar. A shudder tingled down her spine as she opened her laptop.

“Sounds like they’re skinning cats or something,” she muttered. “That poor guitar.”

She’d entertained the idea of having her son and his band learn some worship music, but every time they practiced their heavy metal noise, she changed her mind. Jimmy already played piano at church, that would have to do. She made a mental note to have him practice his music that night.

She started reading, trying to focus more on the words and less on the dying animal sounds coming out of her basement. Then, something brushed her shoulder. She nearly dropped the laptop when she jumped and scrambled to catch it as it slid from her lap.

She yanked the ear plugs out, breath heaving in her chest. Jimmy grinned down at her, blue eyes mischievous. His arms snaked around her in a hug and she smiled.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you. The guys are heading home.”

She nodded, rubbing her still-throbbing temples. “All right. Practice for church tomorrow.”

He groaned. “Do I have to?”

“Do you want Margaret to hit you again?” She was referring to the nun that ran the music portion of services. She wasn’t afraid to whack any of the musicians if they didn’t perform to her standards.

“Fine. But after can I work on stuff for the band?”

She hoped he didn’t see her cringe. “Sure. But church first.”

He sat down at the piano in the living room and she smiled. The ear plugs sat forgotten on the wooden coffee table as the sweet sounds of a hymn filled the room. She glanced skyward and begged God to soundproof the basement before the next band rehearsal.

#FlashMobWrites 1×43 Winners

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.

WRITERS

  1. @WakefieldMahon
  2. @SiobhanMuir
  3. @billmelaterplea
  4. @LurchMunster
  5. @SweetSheil
  6. @EFOlsson
  7. @TwiAddictAnne
  8. @SilverJames_
  9. @drmagoo
  10. @solimond
  11. @davejamesashton
  12. @Aightball

WINNERS

soldier43

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.

underboss43

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! ❤

boss43

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.