You are all writers after my own heart. You took a lovely pastoral photograph and turned it into something ominous. I enjoyed all of the stories, and was a bit jealous I hadn’t come up with one or two of them. 😉
Golden Afternoon – Poor Adam, all he wanted was to enjoy one last golden afternoon before the end of the world. Impatient Eva made sure it was the last thing he would enjoy. I liked the choices Carlos made regarding his character’s names; whether it was his intent or not, I rather enjoyed seeing Genesis unmade.
Country Air – I really enjoyed this one. It reminded me a lot of one of my favorite stories by Stephen King, Jerusalem’s Lot, which is also told in an epistolary fashion. If you haven’t read it, you should. The tone was slightly uneven—bouncing back and forth between excitement (inviting another friend to join her) and unease/fear (wanting to leave)—which made me wonder how the character was really feeling about her visit, but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless.
After – So much is implied in this piece of flash, the truth hiding in peripheral shadows. I am dying to know exactly what has happened, but at the same time, I think this is a case where knowing too much would ruin the atmosphere. Suffice it to say that something bad—very bad—is going down, and that those auburn curls and freckles and not nearly as innocent and adorable as they sound. I’m kinda glad I didn’t see what was behind the door.
Speaking of innocent…
Innocence – The last line of this piece freaks me out. When you rob something of its center, leaving a vacuum in its place, what indeed remains to fill the void? Things that like to dwell in dark places, methinks. I have no sympathy for this narrator—as he said in the first line, he deserved what he got—the only sadness I feel for him was the sadness that his torment might soon be over. I hope the children are still waiting for him in the darkness.
Of Earth and Stone – This one struck a strong cord with me, perhaps because of the current political climate here in the States. It pissed me off. I’m not anti-religion, but I am strongly anti-force-others-to-live-by-your-religous-beliefs, and I think that is why this piece spoke so strongly to me. I was glad that the missionary was crushed by his own labor, it was a satisfying ending for a story that too-often in the real world, doesn’t quite play out that way.
My choice for winning story this week goes to Of Earth and Stone. The whole point of writing is to make your reader feel something, and though I enjoyed all the stories this week, David Gentner’s tale of paternalism evoked the strongest emotional response for me. Well done.
Thanks much, Beth, for letting me judge this week. It’s a tough gig, but every time I judge I feel like I learn a bit more about being a writer. It’s a wonderful exercise. Thanks David, Karl, Jacki, Voima and Carlos for sharing your stories this week. Keep writing!
Rebecca J. Allred
Thank you, Rebecca! And congratulations, David! Your story will appear on our blog tomorrow morning, just in time for #mondayblogs.