Another week of amazing entries.  Some of the most evocative and provocative stories yet.  Let's give another thanks to our judge Ryan Strohman! And now the stories:

Untitled by Sheilagh Lee
For Always by Stevie McCoy
Untitled by Lupus Anthropos
From The Ashes Arisen by Jeffrey Hollar
Untitled by David A Ludwig
Untitled by Chessny Silth
Untitled by Rebecca Postupak
Untitled by: Alissa Leonard
Fires of Love by Robin Abbess
Burning Evil by Lisa McCourt Hollar

Judges Notes

This was a difficult decision, and I’m usually not indecisive. Everyone had great stories. These are the ones that really shined for me:

I loved LupusAntropos’s surprise at the end. Despite the author and his penchant for anthropomorphism, I didn’t see that one coming.

David Ludwig’s tale reminded me of one of my favorite novels, Year Zero by Jeff Long, although David’s characters were a bit more intriguing and left me wanting more. This story could potentially be a great novel.

Alissa’s tale was great as well, reminding me a bit of the ill-fated Heroes television show from a few years ago. Awesome stuff!

Honorable Mentions

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Jeffrey Hollar wowed me with his wonderful writing—so much so that I even had to look a word’s meaning up in the dictionary—and his story of walking away from abuse was exquisitely and dually horrifying and moving. For that he gets an honorable mention.

I loved Robin Abess’s tale. Like Jeffrey Hollar’s, she wrote about walking away from an abusive relationship, but the “fiery wreckage” was both symbolic and literal as we learned at the end, and the fact that Annie’s love/addiction to her husband, despite the years of abuse, led her back into the fire was a great twist. Robin receives an honorable mention as well.

Winner

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And finally we come to Lisa McCourt Hollar’s story. It takes a lot to send a shiver up my spine, but burning your evil offspring made me cringe. I have an overly rambunctious three-year-old AND a pregnant wife, so this one hit a little too close to home. Kudos (I think) to Lisa for her winning story! Now don’t scare me like that again!

Burning Evil
By Lisa McCourt Hollar

Hannah stumbled away from the fiery wreckage, a blast of hot air searing at her back as one more explosion erupted. Falling to the ground, she looked back at the home she had shared with her family for the past seven years. She and Don had bought it and moved in right after their wedding. No Honeymoon… she was already eight months pregnant with John and not in the mood for travel.

Around her, people screamed, pointing at the house and gasping in horror. John, whose seventh birthday is tomorrow, stood at the window, engulfed in flames. Someone put their arms around Hannah, trying to pull her farther from the inferno, but she yanked free and stood, watching her son. The same person that had tried to pull Hannah away now yelled at her that she shouldn’t be seeing this, as if she could just look away; as if she could avoid the outcome of what she had done.

John had always been a willful child. At first Hannah had thought it was because he was a boy. Her own brothers’ had been obstinate, so she wasn’t worried. If she stuck to her guns, eventually he would become the obedient child she knew he could be.

His behavior got worse and over the years she had shed many tears over his behavior. When she found their dog dead, John standing over the body, she knew he had killed him. When the neighbor’s cat disappeared, she had no delusions that he was innocent. When little Katie Thompson went missing last week, she had hoped he was. Then she found Katie’s underwear under John’s mattress. She wanted to deny it. She asked John about them, but he didn’t answer her, pretending she wasn’t even in the room.
She showed the underwear to her husband.

“Hannah, John could have gotten those anywhere; don’t go borrowing trouble assuming they belong to Katie.”

“But Don, they have her name written in them.”

“Maybe he found them.”

“We should call the police.”

“Didn’t I just say not to go borrowing trouble?”

Hannah relented and kept quiet. A few days later, a smell led her to their basement where she found Katie. John was there with her…doing things to her body no seven year old should be doing to anyone’s body, let alone a corpse.

Don still wanted her to be quiet.

“They will take him away Hannah. Do you want to see our son put behind bars? They treat seven year olds like adults in cases like this.”

“But Don, he’s sick. He needs help.”

“He needs us, Hannah.”

She didn’t know how John knew, but she was pregnant again. She’d found the pictures in her room that he had drawn, Mommy with a swollen belly and a knife sticking out of her. Another of a baby, its arms ripped off and being devoured by Johnny. He was evil and now, watching her son burn, Hannah knew she had done the right thing.



8/7/2012 05:16:03 am

Thanks so much for your kind words! I had a lot of fun writing it! And Lisa's story...yeah, 'Wow' is all I can say. :) Congrats to everyone!

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