Let me just repeat what I said on one of my social sites:  I love hosting this competition.  It really is like reading a quick anthology every week!  This week we had 12 amazing entries from

J. P. Sloan - @J_P_Sloan
Bob Mahone - @Computilizer
Lisa McCourt Hollar - @jezri1
Sheilagh Lee - @SweetSheil
Nance P - @ModernBard1024
Charles W Jones - @ChuckWesJ
Cara Michaels - @caramichaels
R Brox - @etcet
David A Ludwig - @DavidALudwig
Nellie - @solimond
Ryan Strohman - @rastrohman
Stacey Jaine McIntosh - @StaceyJMcIntosh

The juge said, "This was a hard choice with ton of variety.  So much creativity at work from one little phrase and all were entertaining and great fun."  But, as always, the judge has a job to do,

Honorable Mentions

Ryan  Strohman  

I enjoy themes of redemption almost as much as I enjoy a good common literary convention turned one hundred and eighty degrees.  And when his fellow captive said: “Son, are you telling us that you were a zombie, an undead, and that a human bit you and you became human again?” I have to admit that I immediately thought of every zombie movie I’ve ever seen and asked “Wow, why didn’t they ever try that?”  Interesting take and well told for the length of the piece. Nice job!

Nance P

Thoroughly entertaining.  I liked the fast pace and the inclusion of so many descriptive characteristics yet still managed to complete the tale with a fun ending.  And a bad ass, Elvis loving, shape shifting manhunter?  Definitely my kind of girl.  Well done!

Cara Michaels

She managed to tell an intriguing and complete mob tale in a short venue.  It made me long for the Sopranos and their crew (God, I love those Jersey girls).  Nice job and the lines “I’d gone to the mattresses for my man. His testimony would follow mine and nail every last inch of Johnny DiBuono’s coffin shut” made me want to grab some popcorn and turn the page.  Fun stuff! 

The Winner

J.P Sloan

I believe this week’s overall winner is J.P Sloan.  I was expecting the mystical, the paranormal or even a modern horror.  What I got was a racing tale of legislative politics as gladiatorial games.  It was a great way to bitingly satirize today’s political atmosphere and do so in a novel, well told and entertaining story.  And the line "Down to one arm, but he's about to take the question on corn subsidies." in response to the question “How’s the Libertarian doing?”  Priceless.  Very clever and very relevant to our crazy world today.

The Winning Story

We never thought we'd see him again. But when that magnificent son of a bitch climbed out of the debate arena without so much as a scratch, I knew we had an electable candidate.

I turned to Sophie and gave her the "stop staring at the blood and fetch him some water" glare. The poor girl was new to West-Am politics. I could tell she was trying not to toss her cookies onto the deck of the debate armory as she backed away from Tavender.
Lou and Cora, my media team, were barking editing notes over the din from the arena as I guided Tavender to a molded plastic stool. They were already patching together the fight footage for Monday's news cycle. Lou ran the shot of Tavender pulling his halberd out of the Populist candidate's abdomen in slow motion. The man was a genius with video.

"How's the Libertarian doing?" Tavender huffed as he chugged some bio-water.

"Down to one arm, but he's about to take the question on corn subsidies."

"Cripes. Idaho's got a hell of a platform this season."

Sophie finally returned with a handful of white terrycloth. She helped me hose off Tavender as the arena erupted in applause.

"Advantage, Idaho," I muttered as Tavender ran his fingers through his hair to knock the blood out. "You got a stance on Big Corn, or should we just fall back to the spiked maul again?"

"Big Corn, I can handle. What's the word on the Unions? The longshoremen make me nervous."

Sophie's cheeks ballooned up, and she scurried off to the hose grate to puke.

Tavender smirked up at me. "New girl?"

"Yeah. She's from East-Am."

"Oh, Jesus."

"Right." I gave him an injection of anabolics and offered him a protein biscuit. "Listen, I have to admit something. I honestly didn't think you'd make it."

Tavender shrugged. "That's why they're calling me the dark horse, right?"

"Level with me," I whispered. "You're not gunning for California legislature, are you?"

His eyes sharpened as he stuck the nozzle of his bio-water in his mouth. But I caught the edge of his lips lift into a grin.

This was good news. Tavender wasn't some jerkwater public servant I had scouted out of the political cages in Bakersfield. He was a contender.

"Sophie, if you're done, I want you to run down to the minority whip and rustle up some ballistic armor. We've got the gun control question before lunch."
4/10/2012 10:39:08 am

Ah, thank you very much! I have to admit, I free-wrote this without any kind of plan, and I managed to knit together a Hunger Games/West Wing mashup. Hmm... Katniss versus C.J. Cregg.


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