Happy Sunday! We spent the day deliberating over the brilliant entries we received this week. Christian Miller’s striking photo prompt inspired a lovely variety of stories, all with special touches of magic.
If you are interested in seeing more of Christian’s work you can follow him on instagram, call sign “bookworm7219.” The prompt photograph was taken, as some of you may have guessed, at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The Musée building began its life as a railway station; Emily’s story for this picture, which you will see in the anthology, involves the clock in its actual habitat at the Musée.
We are happy to report that we selected three stories for the anthology this week, as well as one honorable mention that will be posted on our blog tomorrow. Anthology winners, please send Emily an email so she has your contact information for publishing logistics:
emily at luminouscreaturespress dot com
Honorable Mention: Hands of a Charlatan, by Chris Milam @Blukris
This piece captivates with its lush language, rich imagery, and a compelling opening premise. The voice of the protagonist shines and brings us down to the intimate and bittersweet end.
Anthology Winning Stories, in no particular order:
The Mistress of Neglected Time by Nancy Chenier @rowdy_phantom
We fell in love with this story and it’s endearing protagonist, 8:43. Well-crafted and satisfying like cool butter on warm bread, it pulled out all the stops. Nancy used such dynamic verbs, clear details, and evocative images; we were helplessly pulled under her bittersweet spell. The blending of the ordinary with the magical echoed a desire to find magic in a mundane world. Highlights of the gorgeous imagery: a gibbous moon peering through the clock face, 8:43 getting his toes tangled in a lace tablecloth, and the Mistress wearing a floral housecoat. And the ending’s poignancy will linger with readers long after they finish the story.
The Almanac of Kinks in Reality by Jacki Donnellan @Donnellanjacki
From the title to the last line, we adored this story, and we defy anyone to resist that delicious first line. We were roped in with Jacki’s full bodied characters and fast pacing, enchanted by verisimilitude amidst a magical storyline. This story also exemplifies great flash fiction: it has a clear arc, well-developed characters, a conflict, and a resolution—all in only 500 well-chosen words. True sprezzatura.
The Collector by David Borrowdale @MicroBookends
With undertones of horror, this story snuck inside our heads and took root like that dangerous first rule, leaving us thinking about it long after our multiple readings. Just enough foreshadowing enticed the reader and led to a satisfying conclusion structured with the tightness of fitted gears. The story concept was well-executed, and the clever structure really made the piece. We always love to see a strong villain.
Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all who participated. We hope to see you again next week!