Phew! Sorry it took me so long to get this to you this week! If you missed any of the stories, check them out here. Otherwise, go read what the judge had to say:
This week offered a variety of tales, from transgressive fiction, to homages, to humorous contemporary vignettes, to wild sci-fi and a Christian allegory, there is a little something for everyone here. Thanks for answering the call to create and participating in this week's challenge!
Untitled by @lurchmunster - This tale of obsession just didn't sit right with me. And it wasn't supposed to. From the first couple sentences (which included some dark foreshadowing), to the building tension as the narrator describes Florence's obvious teasing advances, to the final chilling conclusion, this piece paints the portrait of a disturbed man giving in to his basest urges. I really didn't like the narrator. I mean really. And that's a testament to your ability to get inside the head of a misogynist who would use another human being as an object, justify his behavior, and absolve himself by blaming his actions on the victim. Ew. Just ew. Not my cup of tea, as far as genre goes, but very effective.
Untitled by Audrey Gran Weinberg @studyleaks - This piece had a built-in second read. When I got to the last line, there was that moment of "Oooooh!" Part of the reason being I'm a big Wizard of Oz fan, partly because I loved how the roles of the characters were so different from their usual portrayal. There were details that really added some nice flesh to the narrative. That she was in love with rocks and stones - Emerald City, AMIRIGHT? Her commanding breasts, her cruel laugh, her forceful assistance. It reminds me of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf. Instead of calling this a fanfic, I'll call it an homage.
Untitled by Nick Hoins - This vignette, staged at an awkward social mixer, is painfully familiar. I think anyone could relate. Lovely details: flowered backpack, twirling the ends of her hair, pizza being late, even the vague description of the "cigarette tower thingy" all combined to create a scene that would fit as easily in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as it would in Big Bang Theory. This ever happened to you, Nick?
Blood Runs Thicker by @fs_iver - This is exactly the sort of thing that I'm trying to work myself into writing. I loved the abandon, the pure chaos, the insane sort of anything-goes. It conjured up wild images and I could see it as something by Pendleton Ward, maybe a Bravest Warriors episode. The description of Viktoria, and the reveal of her relationship to the person she was rescuing. Hover crafts, Granite Monsters, katana sword arms, diamond crushing teeth. Holy miracle cream! This was a wild ride.
The Slayer of the Undead by @iwrites - This story was unexpectedly delightful. While I have been known to state that Jesus was one of the very first zombies, seeing him as a badass warrior in armor facing down hordes of the undead was really a treat. Nice dialogue, nice details, nice en media res. And it made me laugh. Instead of calling this a fanfic, I'll call it an alternate history fantasy... zombie horror. AHFZH. That sounds fair.
Roommate by @jaimeburchardt - This brief, comic vignette had me laughing. From Addison's constant questions, to "All up in my space!" to the slapstick scene with the narrator running around the apartment screaming GET IT OUT while Addison hops after him? I didn't expect any of it to end the way it did. But of course Addison would become a chaotic force of nature in the narrator's life that he would miss. Very Oscar and Felix, very opposites attract. It all had a taste of realism that made me wonder if it was based on a true story.
Jenny's Enemy by @CharlesWShort - As with @studyleaks' piece, this tale has a built-in second read and I found what you did here fascinating. I loved the way you brought the enemy into sharp relief with the every-day details of his actions. The first time I read it, I was thinking, "What is this? Domestic abuse? A stalker?" And when the last line brings it all into focus, I read it again to get the full effect. It was great how, in the end, their roles are reversed, and she becomes, in her empowerment, a wrench in his plans.
While it's difficult to choose standouts from these vastly differing and very enjoyable offerings, the rules dictate that I must do so. Thanks again, everyone, for playing this week and please come again to Finish That Thought! Yes! Come again! :)
Special Challenge Champion:
@fs_iver with Blood Runs Thicker.
This story is absolutely insane and I adore your unique application of the special challenge mentions. Never in a million years would I have guess someone would use them in this way. Well done. Also, I assume that "hoover craft" was an autocorrect, but I consider it a fortunate one. I wanted the first mention (not autocorrected) to be changed to "hoover craft," because it just made the whole thing even more insanely funny. (This tale kind of made me want to draw a character design for Viktoria.)
@iwrites with The Slayer of the Undead:
This story was completely unexpected. A delightful combination of light-hearted and grim. With all the details of the hero's appearance, to the fleeing Simon, the Wardens, the Undead, Judas as his brother, Jesus' stalking zombies with a magical broadsword -- I really couldn't get enough. You're going to write this into a novel, right? ;) I giggled throughout. "It was time they learned the true meaning behind Lion of Judah." HELL YEAH, IT'S TIME. Cheers.