Anna Says: My god, what hath I (and you) wrought? This is what I get for volunteering to judge so soon after I finished #fairyring. 30 entries and some true excellence in flash fiction. Thank you so much for the opportunity to select from such impossible choices :D.
Anna Says: Daniel has a talent in describing tiny details to offer vivid shading in his story – “limp plastic motel cup” is a perfect description. His finely worked story about a man careening over the edge had a grim humor of its own.
Anna Says: Once I caught on to what was happening in Emmie’s tale, I was totally charmed. Hazel is likely the old lady I will end up being; I doubt bridge will satisfy me either.
Anna Says: Jeff’s entry had a distinct noir-ish feel, his assassin who kills the guy and doesn’t get the girl. Terse and gritty, it had a strong beat and left our hero alone in the motel room to face his fears.
Anna Says: Zombie fiction is tricky, but Kimberly wrote this entry with true heart and a touch of pathos at the end. ‘Meat sacks’ made me laugh out loud. Kimberly’s story moves with great energy and verve and really captured the ‘can’t go home again’ theme; it gave me a twinge.
Cassie keeps her rifle raised. She swings the barrel from left to right, watching the street for meat sacks. The sound coming from behind her is raucous. Smashing, banging, clanking, squishing. It sounds like someone is being attacked. It sounds serious.
Anna Says: When I look for a flash fiction winner, I look for strong writing and an entire story encapsulated within word limit. Hemingway famously did so in just 6 words: “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn”. Phoenix used every single word allowed and offered a story that surprised me greatly and yet offered a dark chuckle. Read it or lose your soul!
“Is this the Camp Knox Motel?” The buffoonish man inquires.
“No, I put that sign up to trap insipid travelers.” I respond in my usual monotone, making him laugh.
“You’re an odd one. Haha, can I rent a room for the night?” His painfully dull voice and laugh irritate me.
“Sign here.” I point to the next empty line in my book with my sharp black nail. He grabs the pen and inspects it carefully.
“What is this? Smoke?” He speaks of the misty aura surrounding the pen. I stare at him from behind my hood. The silence makes him chuckle uncomfortably and clear his throat. He decides he wants to get away from me as soon as possible and signs his name.
“Enjoy your stay. You can’t ever go home again.” My lips curl into a sharp-toothed grin.
“Alright, you’re creepin’ me out. Your voice totally sounds serious… Don’t I have to pay?” He backs away.
“You have. Room thirteen.” I hand the empty vessel the key and it leaves. I read the name of my newest soul and laugh. “You thought a fake name could save you?” I extract his soul from the pen and eat it.