Congratulations to everyone!!! If you missed any of the stories, go read them here. Done? Yay! Now you get to read what the judge had to say:
What a roller coaster of reading delight! Who would have thought that getting a man to cook for a woman would have been the cause of so much death, destruction and disaster? And here I thought I’d get a few funny foodie stories! So, while lying on a West Atlantic beach in France, with giant breakers rolling in, I read, and reread all your extremely diverse stories with much amusement!
“Inheritance” by Madilyn Quinn (@madilynquinn)
In this fairy tale/ Alice in Wonderland gone terribly wrong, the handsome but poor Queen’s trusted food taster thinks he has caught the Princess’s heart. But has he? I liked the spade being the garden instrument introduced (Queen of Spades/Hearts?) Nice touch!
“Freedom from Food” by Amberlee Dawn (@talithaarise)
This was the closest perhaps to what I guessed might happen - where some very interesting recipes came up - maybe I’ll even give them a try myself! The ‘chestnut & sumac stuffing’ sounds delectable while the ‘wild carrot and kohlrabi au gratin was stronger than titanium’ had me giggling, as did some of the other descriptions. I was happy that our heroine could end her days of drudgery working in the ‘white dungeon’ but am still wondering - will Tom ever recover from his surgery, (and from tasting her experiments?).
No Title, by Dr. Magoo (@drmagoo)
This was a creepy story, which reminded me of the standoff at Masada, or much more horrible, various death pacts that some loopy groups have made in the past. Short and not sweet, this piece succeeds in sending a chill up my spine, for sure! In Dutch there is only one word to describe this piece, and that is ‘gezellig’ - for those who don’t know it - try Google.
“Choices", by Charles W Short (@CharlesWShort)
This was a really serious and tragic story, of a man who loves a woman and wants to share her faith, but needs to decide whether to save himself or die with her. I’m not sure sure how much this is a Flash Fiction story, or a fatalistic account of what the future may actually become. Frighteningly close to one potential reality!
Special Challenge Runner Up:
“Usually the Arsenic Works” by Patrick Stahl (@patrickstahl)
The title itself was a dead giveaway that this was going to be a fun read, and so it was. The imaginative and lively fighting scenes between Jim, Nash and Sal versus Molly, kept me riveted - despite the ever changing point of view (necessary due to circumstances)! (Could this turn into Kill Bill 3?) I too might have tried the arsenic, but now I know what works if I ever need to defeat a she-devil!
Special Challenge Champion:
“Persimmon Pie” by Ophelia Leong (@OpheliaLeong)
Years ago, I wrote a poem called Persimmon Dream, and connected Persimmons to Persephone’s fate. In Persimmon Pie, a delightful tale is spun, which seems innocent enough, where the heroine, Abigail, helps her neighbor learn how to bake a pie for his mother. However, under the surface, there is more. She "moved slowly like a praying mantis…(or a cobra?)… hoping to keep his gaze on her."
She feeds on his innocence like Hades of the underworld, adding strange ingredients to these pies so he will keep coming back, steepening his learning curve, rather than easing the path for him. All a part of her very suggestive plan!
“What’s for dinner” by ParkInkSpot (Dave) (@parkInkSpot)
I had to draw the Wendigo while I was reading this story for the 3rd time, and it did come out scary indeed. I can imagine why Dave has nightmares about this (by the way, Dave, is this about you?!) And while I’m asking - did you actually mean ‘usual’ or ‘unusual’ in the second sentence? Each of these would turn the story in a whole different direction! In any case, this very realistic story of a therapist convincing her client that by eating some human flesh she can disprove his Wendigo psychosis and thus cure him turns out to be quite a nasty little trick - but on whom?! And this niggling little question is why I just have to award Dave the Grand Champion award, even though I don’t think there’s a garden tool here, is there? Still, it’s a story to be read, and reread!