WooHoo! I finally made it to the computer to post the judges comments! :) Sorry for the wait. If you missed the entries, go here to read them all. Otherwise, let's read what the judge had to say:
Charles— Proofreading is tough, especially when on the clock. Something always slips through the cracks. That being said, your secondary characters were awesome. They really helped push the feeling of a rock climber brotherhood. It was a nice reveal when it turned out they weren't mean, like I thought, but teaching him an important lesson.
Emily— Your first paragraph was perfect. I was drawn in immediately. Your descriptive language was amazing. I feel a little cheated though. I have no idea who your characters are or where they were exploring. It feels like a small excerpt to a longer story. Maybe something you can build on. You definitely have something here.
Mary— Great story. You took the special challenge and used it to your advantage. I loved the line where your character was counting dead flies. It made me chuckle. I also enjoyed the trippy passage of time. You were doing everything right, but, and I hate that I didn't mention it before, you managed to use one of my biggest pet peeves in flash fiction—the “it was all a dream” twist. You could have taken the story in any other direction and I would have eaten it up. Still a great story though.
Michael—The setting you crafted was amazing. I felt like I was in those mountains, and I swear I could smell the rain (and it’s 105 degrees here). I loved your ending. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but the husband’s last words paired with the oncoming rainfall makes it seem like his wish will come true. Beautiful tragic ending to go along with the beautiful world you created.
Amy— I like the way you played off of Hansel and Gretel. Most people don’t realize how sick that fairytale villain is (a cannibalistic, child abducting old lady), but your take brings it from fairytale to reality. I hope they managed to escape.
Special Challenge Champion -- JM MacF (Mary)
Grand Champion -- Michael Simko