A huge thank you to our dear Like a Fox, the judges, and everyone who entered!
Right. Let's get to it...
Flapjack - 17, 12, 16, 18 = 63 - Average = 15.75
Dreamworx - 18, 13, 16, 16 = 63 Average = 15.75
Crazed Scribe -16, 11, 15.5, 16 = 58.5 - Average = 14.625
Baba Yaga - 19, 14, 19.5, 16 = 68.5 - Average = 17.125
bazz cargo - 17, 15, 18, 18 = 68 - Average = 17
DuKane - 18, 16, 17, 16 = 67 - Average = 16.75
Bilston Blue - 18, 17, 19, 20 = 74 - Average = 18.5
ChicagoHeart - 17, 12, 17, 20 = 66 - Average = 16.5
spider8 - N/A - Judge
alanmt - 17, 14, 18, 20 = 69 - Average = 17.25
Tom - 16, 11, 18, 19 = 64 - Average = 16
InsanityStrickenWriter - 16, 13, 16.5, 19 = 64.5 - Average = 16.125
Anna Buttons - 19, 19, 19, 19 = 76 - Average = 19
Rustgold - 17, 14, 18.5, 19 = 68.5 - Average = 17.125
morc44u - N/A
Monkey Doctor - N/A
And the winners are:
First Place - Anna Buttons!
Second Place - Bilston Blue!
Third Place - Alanmt!
Congratulations to all the winners and all of the entrants. Thank you so much for the enjoyable reads!
Note: Any formatting problem in the following scores are completely my fault. Or my computer's fault. Or the internet's fault. They are not the judges fault.
Also Note: If there are any errors or omissions, please PM me asap. Thank you.
I enjoy your efforts immensely! So many entries and you are writing so well that I found this very hard to judge, and found myself relying on impression, impact and eloquence. Thank you for having me.
Peaceful Priorities by Flapjack
My understanding of this was very tongue in cheek, so ah, hoping that is how it was meant. Really liked the bit about the toast. That was my favorite part, even though I’d taken a jaunt over to Wikipedia and was envisioning the true catastrophe, whilst reading about the benefits of a super toaster. Which while I cringe at the history here, if you knew me, you’d know that toast is one of my favorite things ever. Cleanly written, and lightly humorous, but an approach that feels like déjà vu. I think you could step out a bit farther on your limb, you are quite capable.
Dreaming On the Danube River by Dreamworks95
This story set me on a long course of research, and I learned a lot I did not know before, one link leading to another and the conclusion being, that while your prose flows as always, you are too much a sweet child to convincingly get into the head of a psychopath, even a young one. I wonder if this would have worked better for me in third person for that reason. It may be that I am too biased in his case and cannot make the leap you’re your ambitious artist to future mass murderer. He sounds like a petulant child here and I understand where you were going with this, I believe. It is just not convincing me of the person you are writing about.
You’re innocent perspective is a profound part of your writing. Your talent and time may take you to a place where I would believe, but I would never want you to understand him like that either.
The connection with Rienzi I enjoyed very much.
The Curse of Tutankhamen by Crazed Scribe
Though I’d heard of the curse, I really knew nothing about it, and it was amusing to take a peek into it after reading your piece. I do wonder if I am missing something here, some social relevance, but I did learn, and that is always good.
In the beginning, you use don’t disclose the sex of the student, but it is no secret as you do shortly, so I would use –bow his head, instead of bow their head--. Also reread a time or two more for things like ‘precautions’ and a back and forth sentence regarding the hall being empty.
A good play between master and priest and I could easily visualize the scene. And I can’t help but think that the priest was up to something. Keep it up!
At the Gates of Hell by Baba Yaga
The circular theme of your story resonates with me, and feels very complete. I would love to be able to pull that off. That, well chosen words, an easy style and a character I can really empathize with, made it so much more heart wrenching.
I saw this as possible in many places, but it first brought to mind Israel and Palestine.
I was in fact a little confused about the jeeps that were theirs, but the militia that were not? And the paragraph that dealt with the tanks and shells, but is placed before the jeeps arrived had me briefly wondering if it was the same incident. I think it was, but no matter. A very succinct portrayal of the lunacy of war.
The Next Step by bazz cargo
Very enjoyable in an -- oops, those poor saps are doomed-- kind of way. British comedy felt like, and lightens my way, for much of history told, is intense.
Invigorating to be out on the field, watching this spectacular disaster to be, and allowed to find humour in it. A day to remember, can’t believe the queen did not come to see those brave men thrust to their spectacular end for the sake of scientific ambition. My only particulars are in the last lines. It stands out oddly and can’t decide if it draws the mood a little too low, or if it is in fact quite fitting.
If Only by DuKane
I am curious how you came to write about Tanday? This is a story I knew I had to understand better, and again, was lead to learn so much more about both WWI and WWII. So thank you! I’ve watched movies, and mostly I can’t, and avoid the subject, finding it too painful.
Your take is encouraging. You’ve shown the strong and valiant heart of a man that is the exact opposite of Hitler and even though he shoots him, he regrets the need and his haste which had him shoot before properly evaluating the situation. But he did see, and spared Hitler in our history. Had he killed him, it would have been excused, certainly under the circumstances, but Tanday could not because of who he was. Ah the irony, a soul like his the hand that allowed such a foul man to live, recognizing him as another casualty, knowing nothing about him. And so many more were called to show their belief in right over wrong. I really like that you showed if only, and yet showed why it could not be also. I wondered why there was an exclamation after ‘never heard of him’.
And what is a Bosch? I found the artist, so is that the reference’s origin?
They were Red and White (and Ninety-Six) by Bilston Blue
Bilston, this is a tribute to be proud of. I went missing when I was six for several hours. I knew where I was the whole time and was safe, but I remember when my mother first laid eyes on me again and you’ve captured that perfectly. The relief, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. Written to evoke, and while I see that you are talented, it also feels like it came rather naturally this time. It is written simply, and yet every time I read it, I am hushed.
I’d not known about this tragedy. I think somewhere, I’d heard something went very wrong and deadly at a game, but until I’d researched it, I hadn’t realized the horror of it. This history challenge has been great for learning.
The Truth About Thunder Thighs by ChicagoHeart
And off we go way, way back to the land before time. Yes, but I have watched that many times, and Jurassic park, read and reread several children’s books, and so duly appreciate your little quip here! I like the reincarnation angle; a soul with a mission! No nits just a good time rant.
I also am of the notion that we still know less than nothing about those times, fun as it is to make believe. Of course Brontosaurus was intelligent and able. Take elephants and whales. In their element, they are divine. Ever wonder if a different ratio of oxygen might have been a key to the giants of the past?
A Lock of Blonde Hair by spider8
Genuinely heartwarming. I’m glad you contributed and I look forward to reading more of your work. The speech patterns had the effect of bringing me as close as Tony was, watching Gunter, feeling his joy and gratitude at the end. The story itself is a touch cliché but you pulled it off with class. I can’t figure out how to type Gunter with the proper U.
Beneath the Angry Eyes of an Ugly God by alanmt
This felt familiar to me and I’m not sure if it is because I am becoming accustomed to your style, or because this is history and somehow I’ve come upon it before and forgotten. It felt like a chapter of a great long story, and so it is. Having been inspired to look into it, I see your motivation in writing this piece.
Your ability with words, form, etc indeed gets better by the story. It feels more like a telling though and while it works exactly as intended for the purposes herein, and is done really well [I have such faith in your novel], it felt less like ‘you’. I think that is mostly because it is an old story retold, but remember that you are the essence.
The Man in the Mirror by Tom
Ack! I fight this all the way to the end. I am aghast, refusing to believe a sane man could do this, no matter from what hell he came. Or could he? No. Maybe. I try and mostly fail to believe he could operate through this torment, that he does not end it, that he did not years ago.
He has killed his namesake? Did he come in from the future because the original Adolf was not up to the job? And he can imagine himself a hero, because he was able to become a monster? Can you be other than you live? A mind mess this is. And mess is not the word I’d have chosen if given leave. Bravo? And yikes! Setting me to ponder the place he came from, and yet I can’t go there, making his justification his alone.
No, actually this cannot be abided. Who could be sent back to do this, who could volunteer? It is rather a sacrifice invented for an egomaniac by a people that demand that someone take the responsibility of morality for them, someone else to suffer and pave their way, like Christ, but in this case, the Antichrist. Such is this world built that an impossible burden be deemed necessary to save us from ourselves.
Fear, frustration and psychosis in one form or another, had the effect of knocking sense into us, but why must we be pushed so far before we react?
I hope my reaction is acceptable as comments. It just flew from my fingertips.
Battle of Waterloo by InsanityStrickenWriter
Found this funny in places but confusing. I felt I was missing the point, as I just do not know enough about this area in history and felt I needed to know to make this piece work for me. I tried to research, came across the reference to the mud and on a tangent, learned about the Napoleonic code, which of course I’d heard about, but now have a better grasp on. Try not to be too astonished at my ignorance. The writing was neat and quick, though very contemptuous of Napoleon; again, just wished I understood your take better. The switch from battle to board game would be a good way to learn more, given a much larger word allowance, as I believe you stated elsewhere. And sometimes I have to adjust my thinking to make things work, like Spongebob. Maybe that is the case here.
Hebony by Anna Buttons
Reading your writing is like bathing in honeyed milk. Each time through is dreamier than the last. Blissfully poetic. I don’t know who Hebony may have been, and at the end, refused to look further into it, preferring the mystery of Cleopatra’s beloved. Your references to her many lives, and her knowledge of them is intriguing. One day I might take a trip into Egyptian lore and learn more.
The only line that gave me pause was the one about Hebony lighting up rooms. Felt like a word was missing somehow/somewhere, or maybe just a comma. I did not understand how her not dying would cause her children shame, but I’m thinking that is more my ignorance of the situation than anything else.
Forest Dossier Delivery by Rustgold [B.D.Branch]
Not so long ago, I began watching movies on this war. My interest followed a series in fiction and I have to say your story rings painfully true to what I’ve come to learn of this very long and brutal conflict. You have my respect for showing the true tragedy of innocents and innocence lost and broken.
The first ¾’s explained the situation, but with only 650 words, should probably have been shorter, because the end, where I was at the edge of my seat, was a little too short and confusing. Who was there with them? I guess he dispatched that person too?
------“My boss has convicted her, don’t interfere,” I said; but it didn’t matter, for only quickly decaying ripples were remaining.------
So she threw herself into the river while he was speaking? Or was helped?
Also you said –They were major bones breaking. Did you mean, There were, or they as in, Those were major…?
One of my favorite takes this time around. I do hope you write happier endings sometimes. I was as sad for the loss of this man by his actions, as for his actions. I appreciate his seeing those under his bosses thumb as criminals and desperados and that he included himself amongst the caught. It is this type of character that I most desperately want to prevail over himself.
Don’t be disheartened if you see I’ve given you a low mark. My marks are influenced by comparative placements also.
Peaceful Priorities by FlapJack
This felt awkward to read, starting with the opening sentence and wondering what ‘hazard pay’ was. Then I wondered why you had the unnecessary - ‘I asked the young man.’
Then ‘The Lieutenant Early’ had me puzzling. Maybe you want me to work things out during the course of the read. Unfortunately, I still can’t.
Has the Manhattan Project been changed into making a toaster? Great idea! Or do the soldiers just not know?
I’m not sure if your link is the Manhattan Project or a huge change in the second world war (Both?). If the former, I’m not sure that having two people talk about it is the way to go. If the latter, the story seems to be about changing facts. Fine, but there doesn’t seem to be a story apart from this.Perhaps, as a reader, I’m just meant to be viewing a scene which would also be okay if there was more to it. I couldn’t help spotting erroneous punctuation which prevented you engaging me. Overall, just not clear enough for me. The ideas are perhaps too big for 650 words.
I liked the general liveliness of the dialogue that nearly pulled me from my awkwardness.
Dreaming on the Danube River by Dreamworx95
A good story and good recovery after a slow, passive opening paragraph that could have done without ‘was’. Also in that opening, if you had put ‘I sat atop a grassy hill,sketching the…‘, and then followed with the description of the scene I think it would have been stronger. I do remember that Hitler used to paint in his youth.I don’t know why you had him sketching instead (with a pen?), shading the greenery has me thinking of water colours or painting (brush).
“Yesterday’s show was incredible, wasn’t it?” Starting a new paragraph with this had me thinking this was August’s line.
I think the punchline and revelation is the name Adolf.Before this, I was thinking ‘Monet? Dali?’ etc. So something about it had me already thinking that there was a punchline and it would be the name. But it was still a good’un.
I’d never heard of Rienzi.The first time you use it, you correctly italicise it - which made me think itwas a title, not a person. But because the next two times you don’t use italics,I looked back and thought it was just an inflection from the character. Now I’ve googled it and yes, you must italicise it all three times.
‘…sat up on his elbows.’ If he was lying on his stomach,yes. But perhaps the word limit omitted a couple of words. So, I’d have preferred the omission of ‘…on his elbows.’
I liked it, which was the important thing. Not sure about the cloud and the ‘Exactly like I said.’ at the end. It had me hunting back and failing to find the link.
The Curse of Tutankhamen by Crazed Scribe
It’s difficult to get into a story with ‘off’ instead of‘of’ in sentence 1. ‘their’ instead of ‘his’ in sentence 2 (only with hindsight– because of ‘their’ I imagined a lecture room and wondered at the missing ‘s’ in ‘students). ‘Sack and pillage…’ Now I’m wondering if you should have one or the other –see what happens to me with the first two mistakes? I’m now looking for them instead of being focussed on the story. In the last para you have ‘there’ instead of ‘their’. A few more mistakes as well (in fact, many more). Anyway,enough of them!
A nice little scene and idea let down by a general lack of clarity.
At the Gates of Hell by Baba Yaga
A clumsy mistake with ‘barley’ early in. I enjoyed this despite certain problems. For instance, soldiers leading militiamen- aren’t militiamen soldiers?
‘…identified the vehicles as their own…were indeed theirs’ I don’t know who ‘their/s’ refers to as there are three factions; the prisoners,or refugees(?), Nevet’s people and the militiamen. On a second look, probably the militiamen’s.
Also, I’m not sure about the history link.
I loved the ending with Nevet closing her eyes but unable to close her ears. The bullets tearing through the night had me thinking tearing through flesh. Overall very nicely written, which I appreciated.
The Next Step by Bazz Cargo
Great idea. I linked them to Rocket early on then you nicely took me out of my comfort zone with the space locomotive. Good funny dialogue from you again but needs better punctuation. i.e. ‘Blood and sand George!’should be ‘Blood and sand, George!’ and ‘Hells teeth Brunel what was that thing?’ should be ‘Hell’s teeth, Brunel! What was that thing?’ In fact, missing commas were the only problem. I think the nature of the quaint dialogue renders me forgiving over things like ‘Pon…’
‘…wealth we can, only do it for next to nowt.’ Made me smile.
You got me to read this with a jaunt in my stride, if you know what I mean.
If Only by DuKane
Your word count’s a good bit off, it was well under 648 words(632? Yes, I’m that sad, I counted them manually because of Monkey Doctor!)
There was a sprinkling of small errors such as:
‘Tanday was also mention in despatches…’
‘He was a well built under his…’
I’m not sure if using ‘Harold’ and ‘Harris’ for the two men is wise. I loved the few hairs ‘defiantly attached’ and the differences between the men.
I’ve read so much about the Great War that I immediately felt in a comfort-zone, or perhaps your well composed piece put me there.Though there were instances where I thought an extra word or two would help me, and I blamed the word-limit for you.
Great story, great ending, that totally caught me out.
Red and White by Bilston Blue
The only problem, a minor one that I had with this story,was Uncle Ron seeming to appear from nowhere, too coincidentally, just after Bobby. That felt contrived. Though it is possible.
The story opened my eyes a little, with the police thinking the crowd were just infighting so they left the crowd to it. The link to the photo helped put me in a comfort-zone immediately. BB, if you weren’t at the ground yourself, this story is pretty awesome. I myself do remember seeing the crushed barriers on the news. If you were there, then you have my sympathies and appreciation.
The last few lines could have been a touch clearer, less potentially ambiguous. ‘He didn’t make it’. Now of course you mean he died. But it could mean he didn’t make it to the match or, ridiculously, didn’t deliver the papers.
Overall - Well done! I’m giving you an extra point for the link.
The Truth about Thunder Thighs by ChicagoHeart
Great opening line that grabbed me.
Very original piece. A nice little exercise in ‘What if..’Nicely written but the second half doesn’t quite live up to the first half’s promise. It felt a bit flat for me due to lack of a story really, but I still found it interesting and mentally smiled a couple of times. That inner smile never quite caused my facial muscles to react though.
Perhaps I was taking it too seriously. The best thing about it was your ideas came across clearly.
Beneath the Angry Eyes of an Ugly God by Alanmt
645 words btw.
Most of this is well written but I got tripped up by a couple of things such as ‘All that Chrysanthos could see…men behind him.’ And too many men watching Chrysanthos stab that man. What were they all doing meantime? The biggest trip-up for me was the history-link: I just don’t see one(although I’m sure there is). I was just about to expect another Hitler link and then didn’t know who you were talking about. (Perhaps Alexander the Great?)
It’s not your fault that this challenge has inspired several personality-reveals as the punchlines. Overall, an enjoyable read though due to the smooth prose.
The Man in the Mirror by Tom
Another Hitler one? Surely not.
It’s certainly not your fault there’s been 2 already. But each one weakens the other.
There were one or two problematic sentences like the third one in, that I had to read two or three times to work out where the comma should be put (to help me understand). And another problem later, ‘I shuffle into the closet.’?
The first section ended well with the punchy ‘You have people to kill.’
Some great lines like ‘…horrific fiction…twisted reality…’though I’m not sure if it suits - this slows down what was earlier speeding up.
Certain aspects felt vague to me. Almost like you knew what you were doing and not understanding my ignorance. I think I could just be mentally failing to join up the dots.
Battle of Waterloo by InsanityStrickenWriter
I didn’t really understand the game which was a big let-down. I’ve read the end again and again. So much that I had to go back and read your story again from the start because I’d forgotten it. As with your Superhero story, there’s a nice silliness to some of this. But this one isn’t as funny for me, especially under a closer, dissecting scrutiny. In fact I found it annoying – that is always a danger with humour.
99% of this is very well written (saving you from a lower mark), though spoiled by one or two careless mistakes like ‘eying’ second sentence in. I spotted at least one punctuation error after this.
This tale just didn’t work for me I’m afraid.
Hebony by Anna Buttons
It seems unfair that you won the last one (or last but one?)and have now conjured this marvel up. The authority you display with the ending lifted me with appreciation and admiration. It lifted me up, and made me feelgood. It made me feel gr88888t! Great idea, brilliantly executed. I think the poetry at the end raised it from good to great. I would love to give perfect marks but I can’t because of one or two things I perceive as mistakes.e.g. I think ‘…heirs own…’ should be ‘…heir’s own…’ and didn’t like the US spelling of ‘maneuvres’ – nothing wrong with that, though.. As a reader, these can be partially forgiven because of the overall quality. I think this is the best thing I’ve read on this forum.
One or two vague moments that strangely suited the whole, if you know what I mean.
Despite being yet another name-reveal, you pulled it off,made it work.
I’m so glad our old friend Adolf didn’t show up at the end to spoil it! I’ve just about had enough of Adolf.
Well done. Sometimes mathematics is waylaid by genius.
Forest Dossier Delivery by Rustgold
Without your other posts I wouldn’t have seen the historical link. But I’ll have to mark you down nevertheless because as it stands on its own there isn’t a link.
Anyway: A captivating little story. You take care not to shove the details down my throat and I liked the resulting elusive quality.
One or two mistakes like ‘In the forest, I was expected to have slit her throat.’ and some unclear thoughts because of punctuation.
A bit of ambiguity at the end with ‘Still I couldn’t help but hope.’ Hope for what? (should have a comma after ‘Still…’)
I didn’t like the use of ‘&’ instead of ‘and’.
But a good moody piece.
The Barnyard Aeronauts by morc44u
This is the only tale where I haven’t spotted a mistake while reading. Well done.
It seemed almost perfect as a small piece: a dash of humour, a slow revelation (as I realised the envelope was a balloon), great links. You maxed out on all the guidelines.
And I learned something.
Well written without seeming to try – effortlessly written.I hope to see more of your good stuff.
Untitled by Monkey Doctor
I made this 672 words, so be careful not to trust your word counter too much (it can often be out of kilter with reality). Some people sacrifice words to keep to the limit so it’s important to try, out of respect for the others. Having bumblebee instead of bumble bee would have saved you a few. As a result of your carelessness, I have spent several hours manually counting words in the other stories, with bits of paper, each paragraph counted and numbered. But, I’m sorry if your computer led you astray. No hard feelings.
Anyway, onwards and upwards…(or rather, in this case,onwards and downwards).
Apart from the idea itself, this didn’t do much for me. I was getting distracted early on because you didn’t give me a sense of place until too late (also, I would have appreciated a ‘he said, she said’ to help me out). Once I arrived though, I was able to focus.
I feel there were too many vague comments by the characters.With me not knowing much about religion, I couldn’t work it out.
Some of the punctuation could be polished. i.e. ‘it’s too late,Eve.’ And ‘Oh, come on.’
Good effort and idea though. But I just feel that you, with a bit more effort, could have done better.
Flapjack - Peaceful Priorities - 17
Nits: comma needed before all sir.
I liked this. Not out of my mind in love with it, though. I liked how the young soldier spoke of toast and such, and his commanding officer fluffed it off as no big. I'm sure many would have done exactly the same. Sad, innit.
Dreamworx95 - Dreaming On the Danube River - 18
I loved that at first I didn't know who 'I' was. I really enjoyed your story, too. It was chilling, just as I suspect you were aiming for. Really good work here, Dream.
Crazed Scribe - The Curse of Tutankhamen - 16
Nits: off = of?; their head = his head; must be precautions = take precautions; ...was barren, now that they... = suggest two different sentences; you don't need a comma after every name, only if there is a pause, which there wasn't.
I'm a huge Egyptology freak so I easily got into this. Funny how the priests changed things to suit themselves. Nice twist of the obvious. (Just to say, there's evidence that Tut simply fell out of his chariot.) Was the scepter not reserved for gods and pharaohs only? Good work here.
BabaYaga - At the Gates of Hell - 19
That touched me. I like your voice and I like how it flowed. I would have liked to have read more, too. Good work.
bazz cargo - The Next Step - 17
Nits: Pon = threw me for a minute. Maybe 'Pon; comma before Jack; ...turned up, [.] “Isambard [,] old bunion [,] how goes the circus?”; many missing commas; button?” Asked = asked; ...cheered, having... = semicolon; a top = atop; “Hells = Hell's
I'm sorry, but I didn't get what this was based on. I also kept getting thrown out of the work by the nits. The idea was sound though. It just needed to be cleaned up.
DuKane - If Only - 18
Nits: Missing a few commas; exchange comma for period before dialogue tag.
A nice, clean bit of writing, other than what I mentioned above. At the end, I found myself thinking If only as I’m sure many other readers did. Good work, this. It had little description and yet I still felt like I could ‘see’ the people there… perhaps to do with the many Remembrance Day services I’ve witnessed on TV and in person. Good job.
Bilston Blue - They were Red and White (and Ninety-Six) - 18
Nits: I’d capitalize all ‘dad’ or none of ‘dad’; …Dad continued, ‘it’s just a…” = ’It
I vaguely remember hearing something about this, or a similar instance. How horrific. Happens at rock concerts, too. I can’t imagine… Good work with this and nicely handled, Bilston.
ChicagoHeart - The Truth About Thunder Thighs - 17
Nits: It’s best to double-space between paragraphs for reading ease.
For whatever reason, this didn’t reminded of Jurassic Park, but instead We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story. (Mostly because it talks, I suppose.) I thought this was as cute as a button, but just not enough of an actual plot and more of a blog entry/rant, if you know what I mean. Still cute, though. Also, you could have taken more advantage of the word count. Just saying.
spider8 - A Lock of Blonde Hair - N/A - Judge
Nits: prised = pried; watch dialogue tags - “…not know,” he said.
He finally found out that his father loved him. It took a lifetime, yes, but at least he found out. Really nice work here, spider. Moving. Super job.
alanmt - Beneath The Angry Eyes of an Ugly God - 17
This was a nice background of the unknown past of Alexander The Great’s friend. Still, I would’ve liked to have felt even more for this boy, though I’m not sure how that could have been accomplished. A good tale. Nice and clean, too.
Tom - The Man in the Mirror - 16
I’m surprised by the amount of Hitler works there are in this competition. It’s nothing against your work; I’m just saying. First person reflecting on the future isn’t sitting all that well with me. Sticking to the murderer / hero would have sat much better. I liked it though and it was a clean read. Just a little too lean a story where you really could have let the dog off the chain. You’ve got the talent, dude.
InsanityStrickenWriter - Battle of Waterloo - 16
Nits: It’s best to double-space between paragraphs for reading ease; ...and even,” he paused to laugh and placed a hand on Wellington’s shoulder, “A tyrant!” = a tyrant!” (there was a pause, not a finished sentence).
A ‘short’ game. Funny and creative, though not new. I’m not the first to say that it’s too bad more battles weren’t won or lost this way… but what if the wrong guys won? As for the soldiers. Maybe we could swap them out for politicians. Just a happy thought. Good work.
Anna Buttons - Hebony - 19
Nice, nice, nice work. I enjoyed.
Rustgold - Forest Dossier Delivery - 17
Nits: An awful lot of semicolons in this, although I realize that they’re used as a way to cut the word count. Still, a lot can get distracting. There are also a few extra commas.
I think I kept getting hooped up with the use of the word ‘men’ when I think these were more like creatures. Unless I’m completely wrong. In any case, I sort of understood it, but unfortunately not enough. And I didn’t feel for the main character, sadly, so I didn’t care that he did what he did, even though he was sort of remorseful (and even though he sort of reminded me of the Huntsman in Little Red Riding Hood).
morc44u - The Barnyard Aeronauts - N/A - no link
This was pretty darn good even if sticking fairly closely with what actually happened. I liked it and it worked for me. I hope you continue to enter the LMs.
Monkey Doctor - Out In The Cold - N/A - over max
Nits: don’t forget punctuation at the end of your sentences; some missing commas; some missing capitals.
I really liked this. It was fun and had a nice twist to it. In fact, I’m still smiling. I hope you continue to enter the LMs.
Thanks to all who participated. Good stories. Sorry if I come off harsh sometimes, but I'm a tough crowd. You'll likely have a chance to return in kind
The "voice" in general is very good, the tone is even and works well with the character. Minor spelling errors and a bit of grammatical idiosyncracy are on display (Manhatten?). A tale well-told, though, and exhibiting the esprit de corps of the Armed Forces in an altworld format. Interesting and near-perfect. PKD won a Hugo and a Nebula for an extended version of this idea, 49 years ago.
Dreamworx95-Dreaming on the Danube River
The first paragraph is grammatically uneven. My impression is that the sun is gleaming only in the spot from which the narrator "overlooks the panorama". The dialogue is a little stilted and the whole is more of a vignette than a story. Moves ok after that first paragraph, but those runons ruin the piece.
Crazed Scribe-The Curse of Tutankhamen
Good story if a trifle cliched. I don't believe that the cat o'nine tails was available in classical Egypt. The opening is rife with spelling errors- "off" for "of", "student keeping their head low". Not the highest caliber of editing. A little awkward as far as phrasing. Still readable though.
BabaYaga-At the Gates of Hell
I'm sorry, but "barely audible" and "blaring" are contradictory. "Barley audible" has nary a grain of truth to it. No dialogue, cliched subject matter-nothing really happens to drive the point home. Better luck next time.
bazz cargo-The Next Step
Good opening. Maybe a little poesy-ish but effective. A few minor spagnits keep this tale from perfection...apostrophes missing in spots and an absent comma.
Multiple spagnits mar this otherwise unremarkable tale. I particularly like how someone is a well-built underneath a camel hair overcoat...could have gone through the editor's routine once more. On the plus side, the descriptions are excellent and the author has a good ear for dialogue.
Bilston Blue-They were Red and White (and Ninety-Six)
No spelling or grammatical errors, involving storyline. Well-characterized in economical fashion. Competently edited. A perfect score.
alanmt-Beneath the Angry Eyes of an Ugly God
Deep into the author's Allen's metier. I bet he was really upset when the idea of historical fiction was introduced. Great title. No spagnits whatsoever...a second perfect score. I actually read this one three times to be sure I got it.
Rustgold-Forest Dossier Delivery
Good but not quite great. I'm not sure what nature of beast/man the narrator is (or the boss-my take is that such needed to be spelled out), and that didn't help my comprehension. Otherwise enjoyable-I do love tales told by the putative monster.
morc44u-The Barnyard Aeronauts
I could give this 20 but the missing comma knocks off a point. (“Your invention has potential to bring glory to France” replied King Louis with a scowl.) Great idea though, really liked it and the execution. Would have read better in the francais but that isn't an option here
Monkey Doctor-Out in the Cold
Lots of missing punctuation. All dialogue, which is cool. Decent story with a climax, a little bit cliche but whatever. World's shortest joke-"Fleas. Adam, had 'em." Different way to deal with the myth.
ChicagoHeart-The Truth About Thunder Thighs
Hilarious. The brachiosaurus as bandersnatch. No spagnits, and I laughed out loud at the premise.
Tom-the Man in the Mirror
Trying to outfox Norman Spinrad in a flash fiction. Tall order and almost pulled off. Minor spagnits keep this from achieving a perfect score. I recommend The Iron Dream for the author's perusal. Excellent premise.
InsanityStrickenWriter-the Battle of Waterloo
Funny story. Napoleon's garlic had me chortling. Minor spelling errors stole a point. The central conceit is well-developed and the dialogue realistic given the premise.
There's nothing really wrong with this piece...I just was not as captivated by it as by some of the others. No spagnits but I couldn't give it a perfect score.