CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!!! If you missed any of the stories, check them out here. Otherwise, let's read what the judge had to say:
@talithaarise A Tea-Stained Goodbye
Using the flames to 'antique' a letter rather than destroy it was an original touch to this story of sisterly loss. Amberlee used some beautiful imagery to give a perfect sense of how different in character the sisters were: Rosa, the 'geeky one', the 'dusty reference book' approached by a few whilst Lynee was the 'hyacinth everyone hovered by' to catch her scent. Gradually time and life brought them back together only to be parted too soon, to discover that Lynee was the little sister makes this even more emotive. Lovely, heartfelt piece.
@patrickjstahl Last Words
'It was warm by the hearth but the silence made Lea shiver', a carefully crafted sentence that immediately piles on the tension, you just know that something is not right, setting the scene nicely for the story of loss and regret that follows. Yet despite the tears, the tale ended on an upbeat note in which personal faith filled a void that could so easily have been occupied by despair. It's a shame in a way that both fathers had to deliver their messages in either letter or tv sermon rather than speak to their children personally, this makes it even more sad. Nice job.
Special Challenge Champion: @ParkInkSpot
Halo of Flies
A message destroyed but no regrets here, this burned letter sets up a tale of intrigue and deception à la Bond. The discussion between the Russians encourages the reader up to expect a tale about a traitorous American selling secrets to the Russians only to have this turned on its head at the end. The use of my 'umbrella' challenge was unforced and neatly done.
Grand Champion: @geofflepard
Burning in the Crucible of Love
Obsession, determination and fantasy combine in a woman clearly unbalanced by unrequited love. Geoff developed great pace to the story with the repetition of Betty's name at the start of the sentences building a sense of the strength of her obsession as she played out the future she foresaw for herself. Yet despite her fantasy and her attempts at removing the reality of Doris and Clive's relationship it seems that nothing she can do - or imagine - will break them up, as represented by the grinding of the image of the silhouette of bride and groom into the stone, and the burning down of the church in a freak accident causing them to elope; Doris and Clive were clearly meant to be. The hint of 'unpleasantness' from last year adds a touch more to Betty's psychosis making me wonder did they guess at her disturbed state of mind, particularly with the mother-in-law's final 'I knew you'd want to be first to congratulate them.' At least no bunny's were boiled!