Table of Contents

New Neighbors by Robin Abess
Untitled by Sheilagh Lee
Untitled by J M Blackman
Untitled by H. L. Pauff
PROTOTYPE by David A Ludwig
Untitled by Rebekah Postupak
Untitled by Alissa Leonard
Untitled by Ryan Strohman
Untitled by Marie Frizelle
Untitled by Nellie
Untitled by Cara Michaels

Judge's Notes

I’ve read all of the stories several times, and enjoyed each and every one. I’m always so amazed, and slightly intimidated, by the sheer volume of talent I see here. Great job, everyone!

Some of the stories really spoke to me; they were inspiring and full of awesomeness. I loved J.M. Blackman’s story, especially how she kissed him – only to pull the trigger. Ryan Strohman took me by surprise with his technological invention, and I really enjoyed the strong and lively characters.

Honorable Mentions

Alissa Leonard:
It takes a lot of skill to create such a mess, induce so much panic; and, have it come out eloquent and understandable while using the language in the way you did. I very much enjoyed it.

Cara Michaels:
From the beginning of the story, I felt committed to it. I knew the smells, the scenery, the rising panic and uncertainty. The how, why and who kept me interested, and I would have continued reading if there had been more.


by Marie Frizelle

Well, that was unexpected.

The wind blew through the back screen door, knocked over my easel, spilled paint all over my carpet and ruined my painting. I’ve been working on that for months.

Wretched wind.

I got up and slammed the door shut, breaking a nail in the process. On my way back to my work, I stepped on one of the brushes in my bare feet, the surprise of it making me hop onto the other foot.
The ungainly movement tipped me in the direction of the china hutch, which broke what would have been my fall and also many of my teacups. Covington Court was a hard to come by and expensive pattern.

Damn wind.

Leaning over to right my easel, I bumped my head on the corner of the end table next to the couch, which toppled my now deceased parents wedding photo. The face-forward fall broke the glass, a shard of which left a huge gouge in the photo. It’s irreplaceable.

Stupid effing wind!

I sat down on the couch, took a deep breath and closed my eyes. From the backyard came a soft tinkling sound, a wind-chime made by my daughter for Mother’s Day when she was twelve. The sound washed over me, reminding me of her laughter and suddenly I no longer cared about the carnage in my living room.

Beautiful wind.

Judge's Comment:
I think this is a beautiful story; it shows daily life at its worst, but also life at its best. A lot of people can, and will, relate to the sensation of everything going wrong; and, the irritation of it happening. At the same time, it all vanishes due to one of life’s greatest gifts; motherhood. Great work!

8/29/2012 02:56:55 pm

Congratulations Marie! I loved your story as well! I loved how you took the silly slapstick craziness and turned it into something beautiful. Well done! :)

8/30/2012 01:04:31 am

Wow, most appreciated. :) I almost titled it but couldn't decide between "Blame" and "Perception". My take on positive thinking. Thanks!


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