Woohoo! So much fun, as usual! If you missed any of the stories, you can read them all here. Otherwise, let's read what the judge had to say (Thanks, Jeff!):
As always, it's a lot of fun to see how many imaginative variations can be made from a single opening line. This was a very tough call since all of the stories had something to recommend them.
Casey Rose and her story Just Desserts was an outstanding reminder, while it is possible to have your pie and eat it too, it may not be the tasty treat you are accustomed to.
Amy Wood and her story The Glittering Gems will then be Thine had me thinking "the family that steals together feels together." Somehow, I doubt there won't be more mayhem in their future.
Asekingprincess17 with the story Murmade had me wondering just what exactly the girl was taking camera phone photos of. I'm not quite sure I totally got this story but I have my dense moments.
Judge's Challenge Champion: Snellopy for his untitled story. This was a very poignant and emotional story in such a small space. The sense of loss underlying the innocence of children was priceless. The inclusion of the gemstone challenge was seamless and very natural.
Runner Up: Lurchmunster for his tale of Dragons and Angels. This was a nicely-done fantasy snippet and could easily be expanded into a fuller and more lengthy tale. I'd be interested to know exactly what happened to put the two at odds with each other so violently.
Grand Champion: @CaitlinStatus for Guarded Secrets. This was a delightfully-blended mix of secret love mixed with a valiant quest and capped off with an impressive snippet of treachery and betrayal. I would like to think someday this less-than-honorable princess will see the error of her ways but I suspect she may not. Nevertheless, underneath it all she got a fine lesson that being a person of privilege doesn't mean you get everything you want in life.