Woohoo! If you missed reading any of these stories, go check them out here. Otherwise, I won't waste any words and we'll get right to the judges comments:
Michael Simko: Spoiled
There are some wonderful throw away lines in this that inform the wider world (I particularly liked the one about the cats). There was also a feel of a wild riff on Bradbury’s story The Veldt. What is the ultimate toy a child can receive, and how will it be used. Very nicely done.
Miranda Gammella: unnamed fragment
As an amuse bouche this is inventive and involving. Too launch us into a WIP with no background was brave, and yet I felt that the details we have, the glimpse we have, of this creation was coherent and involving. I wish Mirja’a Upinde’s blessing on her quest of righteous revenge.
Dave James Ashton: Glark the Collector
An interesting take on the human experience as misery. I was reminded that it is good to think of how others see us, and what would the reaction be if they have the power to act on what they see.
Carolyn Astfalk: Busted
Some nicely comedic touches and we’re left unsure if this is a fangirl, or actually a survivor of a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. There was a small issue with a cell battery that I struggled to reconcile.
Lauren Greene: Frayne’s Sacrifice
This grew on me with each reading. Frayne’s discovery of Bash and her new life, and his comprehension of what that meant were nicely played. The shared dialogue was delightfully Mars/Venus in tone, and the last line is lovely.
Special Challenge Runner Up
Studyleaks: Returning Home
This was a story that left me wanting more. I want this story, but much bigger and longer. It built in crescendo, and we are taken to the brink of knowledge the alien wishes, only to be remade in the hands of a child. I love the conscious effort the MC takes to retain its new found humanity.
Foy S. Iver: WC:337
I was delighted with the line I provided for this weeks prompt. I love the way it is challenged by the second line used in this story. Then I get to the end of the story and find that the Special Challenge has also been subverted. Very clever writing.
Grand AND Special Challenge Champion
Christy: Silent Night
Genderless protagonists are difficult in the English language - we tend to default one way or another. This story provides a being who responds to stimuli, who has feelings and desire, but is uncontaminated by gender. I love the response to the wind chime, and that last sentence casts open a door to a back story that is the end of humanity itself. Terrific.