We had a phenomenal week.  Readers from almost sixty cities in eight countries dropped by to enjoy the work of our sixteen competing writers.  I'm also glad to hear from new voices!

Susi Holliday and Miranda Kate brought stories of abusive wives from different perspectives, one very intense and the other deeply emotional
Angelica Dawson gave us an unrepentant cheating husband and Kimberly Gould shoved the intensity of a thriller into just 153 words.

Here is a complete list of our entrants and where you can find them on Twitter:

Sheilagh Lee ~ @SweetSheil
Ryan Strohman ~ @rastrohman
Kimberly Gould ~ @Kimmydonn
Angelica Dawson ~ @angelicadawson
Miranda Kate ~ @PurpleQueenNL
Charles W Jones ~ @chuckwesj
Lisa McCourt Hollar ~ @jezri1
David A Ludwig ~ @DavidALudwig
Susi Holliday ~ @SJIHolliday
Jeffrey Hollar ~ @klingorengi
Cara Michaels ~ @caramichaels
Bob Mahone ~ @Computilizer
Rebekah Postupak ~ @postupak
Nellie ~ @solimond
Rafe B ~ @etcet
Stacey Jaine McIntosh ~ @StaceyJMcIntosh

Judging this many great stories is no small task so I have to offer a huge thank you to this week's judge J. Whitworth Hazzard (or to you twitterati @ZombieMechanics).

Judges Notes

First, a great big thanks to Wakefield for letting me judge this week’s competition.  Second, I was really impressed with the number and quality of entries.  I ended up with 9 (NINE!) finalists after reading over the entries twice.

Honorable Mentions

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 I wish I could have given out more, but in no particular order, @SJIHolliday,  @AngelicaDawson, and @Solimond.

@SJIHolliday:
Susi’s piece was one of three lovely “domestic bliss” stories this week, and her’s was beautifully psychotic.  I thoroughly enjoy a romp through the perspective of crazy people.  Hmm, I wonder what that says about me? Remind me never to be late to dinner at her house. 
@AngelicaDawson: 
Angelica took the flip side of the equation and brought forth the put-upon husband’s perspective in an emotional tale of the regrets/no regrets decisions unhappy people make.  For anyone who’s ever gone through estrangement, this one is hard to forget.
@Solimond: 
Nellie’s Dr. Who-inspired tale of capture and magical imprisonment brought me back to the days of reading classic Strange Tales and watching Twilight Zone episodes.  Weird, scary, evocative, and thoroughly entertaining.

The Winner

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@Jezri1
It had all the elements of a great bit of flash fiction.  It was interesting, fast, cute, entertaining, had a bit of grisly in there for the horror fans, and a bit of fairy tale for the fantasy fans.  Excellent work.

Thank you everyone for submitting and please take to Twitter and congratulate our winner @Jezri1 and HMs, @SJIHolliday, @AngelicaDawson, and @Solimond. 

The Winning Story

A Troll’s Story
By Lisa McCourt Hollar

“It’s too late to apologize.”

I stared up at Shyll, my eyes narrowing. The creep glared down at me, his huge hook nose threatening to drip snot on me, if he didn’t wipe it soon. I couldn’t believe I had gotten this kind of reaction from the burly goon.

“Shyll, please get hold of yourself,” I said. Big mistake. The big lug reached down, wrapped his meat hooks around my waist and lifted me into the air.
“You get hold of yourself,” he growled, flinging spittle in my face.

Refusing to back down, I grabbed a handful of his green shirt, which was stained with something…I really didn’t want to know what, and wiped my face. Wrinkling my nose I glared daggers. “What the hell did you eat for breakfast, a goat?”

“You insulted me,” he said, refusing to be distracted.

“I did no such thing.”

“You called me an evil little troll.”

“You are a troll,” I said. “Or did you miss that the last time you looked in the mirror?”

“But I’m not little,” Shyll said, pulling himself up to his full height. He wasn’t either. Shyll was a respectable 8 feet, or somewhere in the vicinity, but his brothers were ten feet and his sister was nearly eleven. As far as troll’s went, Shyll was a shorty.

“I’m sorry,” I apologized. “I shouldn’t have disparaged your height.”

Shyll looked at me, still not willing to forgive. “And I am not evil.”

“Shyll, what DID you have for breakfast?’

He didn’t answer right away, looking away a bit sheepishly.

“Shyll?”

“That old woman with all those kids.”

“The one that lives in the shoe?”

“Aye.”

“Wouldn’t you think that qualifies you as being evil?”

“She stole my shoe!”

“True,” I said, “she should have asked, but the last shoe she lived in was falling apart and you weren’t using it anymore. Didn’t you just buy new shoes from the cobbler?”

“It was still my shoe.”
-
“Conceded,” I said. “But now what are those kids going to do? You ate their mother…and no, you cannot eat them for dessert.”

“Remind me again why I don’t eat you?”

“Because we are friends Shyll and friends don’t eat friends.”

“I think it’s because you sing such beautiful songs.”

“That too,” I sighed as he sat me back down. “Gently,” I cautioned. The big oaf nearly put a scratch in my gold finish.

“Play,” he said, ignoring me. He obviously wasn’t concerned about incurring my wrath. Wrapping my fingers around the strings of my harp, I sang a sweet tune, one that I knew was his favorite. My thoughts drifted to Jack, the boy that had tried to rescue me from my captivity. I wondered if he had managed to escape with the goose. In the corner, Shyll picked up an old bone and cleaned between his teeth, dislodging a finger I thought I recognized as the cobblers. I guess he didn’t like the new shoes as much as I had hoped.
 


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