2nd Place * Silvia C. Schneegans

Comments: The barely contained desperation was perfectly portrayed! I laughed until the tears rolled down my cheeks. It struck me as truly authentic. Lovely.

You´re Welcome

Are you at least a little bit ashamed? You come in here, sit down on my sofa and ask for cookies.  Then for coffee. Milk, no sugar, a sprinkle of cinnamon if possible. Freshly ground nutmeg would do if it absolutely has to be. Oh, and could I please provide a blanket – why on earth is my living-room so chilly? Once you are settled, you begin talking. Everybody knows that once you start, nothing can stop you. I don´t believe you yourself are aware of what you are saying. You breathe only when it is indispensable, but use up plenty of spit. That I can tell because it accumulates as foam in the corners of your mouth. You produce otherworldly linguistic constructions which defy the laws of punctuation. They begin with one topic, move on to several others and come to an end beyond where anyone could follow. You are merciless. You chew my brains until they’re down to the last cell, and my cookies away to the last chocolate chip. Both of them will eventually be excreted again. I retreat into the kitchen. You don´t even mind I am not in the room anymore. I can still hear you babbling as I lean against the counter. Can you overdose someone with nutmeg? At least the warmth of the blanket will keep you from following me around the house. You are going to ask for more cookies any moment. I pull a knife with an intimidating blade out of the knife block. It sparkles with promise. I instantly get scared of myself and hastily push it back into its slit. Maybe the kitchen is not such a good idea after all. Out of courtesy, I make an appearance in the living room and say “u-hum”. I don´t want you to think I am not listening. That would be rude. Another bowl of cookies? Sure. Damn it, the cookies are in the kitchen. I try not to look at the knife block. I have a large freezer in the basement, too. Please don´t also ask for ice-cream. Here you go, pecan and cranberry cookies. It will be best for both of us if I just stay in the living-room. What the heck, I can listen to you for an hour or two and then just let you go. Screw the movie I had rented out and will have to return tomorrow. There are more important things. Clinging on to the last remaining shreds of my sanity, for example. Next time you come around I shall pretend I am not at home. The last time I tried you were not to be fooled, but with practice I can improve. Some day you will buy it. It takes you another two loads of cookies, a cappuccino with Chantilly and a hot rosemary-footbath to finish your soliloquy. You finally toss back the blanket, stretch your clumsy limbs, yawn with content and head towards the door. The generous, unprotected surface of your back is tempting me witless. There is always the kitchen… Never mind. “Come back again soon” I say as I hand you your coat and watch you fade into the darkness of the evening.

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3rd Place * Christopher Hivner

http://www.chrishivner.com/

Comments:  Very funny! Loved the twist at the end, and who doesn’t fear and love the Rabbit Overlords?

 “It’s Bassbinder, Sir”

            At the Crackleberry Calendar, Note Pad, and Weapons-Grade Fissionable Material Production Laboratory, Marvin Bassbinder sat eating his lunch of cock-a-leekie soup. The spoon was reaching his mouth when the “We Have All Been Forsaken” alarm Klaxon blared causing Marvin to drop his bowl. The soup spilled onto his chest, burning his nipples because he was sitting in the middle of the cafeteria shirtless. The other employees stopped staring at Marvin and ran to the door, but it had locked automatically.

After pasting a dozen napkins to his wet torso, Marvin joined them. Through a rectangular window, he saw his boss, Mr. Tattler, standing on a conveyor belt, holding a cadmium rod and a 2013 calendar of The World’s Greatest Prime Ministers.

“Can’t you see what we’re doing here?” Tattler yelled, shaking the metal shaft like a club. “We create things that will be of no use in the revolution. What will you do when the rabbit overlords arrive and all you have to fight with is a note pad that says “I Love My English Springer Spaniel”? We must prepare before the bunnies start reading our thoughts!”

“Don’t worry, everyone,” Marvin said. “It looks like Mr. Tattler was in the glue processing room again. I’ll take care of this.”

“Put some pants on first,” someone shouted.

“Right,” Marvin replied.

“Underwear too.”

“Yes.”

Marvin put his clothes back on, finishing with the traditional top hat and brocade dickey of the head of security. He then used his keycard to enter the production floor. Mr. Tattler was ranting to one of the assembly workers.

“Twelve feet tall, that’s how big they’ll be, Ronnie. You won’t be smirking when the Lepus Lords force you to work in their carrot mines!”

“Mr. Tattler!” Marvin bellowed.

“Stay back, Musstinder!”

“It’s Bassbinder, sir.”

“Stay away, Frasshuffer.”

“Bassbinder.”

“Don’t attempt to stop me, Krisslender.”

“Bassbinder.”

“Really?” Ronnie said to Marvin. “How many times are you going to repeat your name?”

“Fine,” Marvin said. “Mr. Tattler, let’s go back to your office and lie down.”

“No, I won’t go, Cufflinker.”

“Bassbinder,” Marvin whispered.

“Dude,” Ronnie whined.

“Mr. Tattler, you’ve been huffing glue again.”

“How dare you? I am Benjamin Franklin Abraham Lincoln Howard Taft Tattler. I do not sniff glue.”

“Look out!” Ronnie suddenly shouted. “Rabbits!”

Mr. Tattler turned, and Marvin leapt to tackle him but caught only the cadmium rod. Tattler had ducked away and was now waving his shoes over his head.

“Everyone clap your shoes together! It will call the Majestic Order of the Pixies, and they will save us! Oh pixies, oh pixies, save us now! We love you, we love you, yessiree, oh wow and how!”

Marvin removed the stun gun from his utility belt. Mr. Tattler had taken a lot of volts already, so he hated to zap him again, but afterwards he could plug him in at the containment building and let his body run one of the generators. Tattler had formed a Venn diagram with packs of Mister Misty’s Musty Murky Moldy Mystery Myths post-it notes. He was standing in the area where the circles overlapped, talking to his loafers through a Dr. Scholl’s Extra Strength Sweat Absorbing insert.

Using Ronnie as a human shield, Marvin approached Mr. Tattler who threw note packs in defense.

“Crap, ow, dammit, stop, shit, son of a bitch, ouch!” Ronnie hissed.

With Ronnie’s face taking the beating, Marvin was able to get close enough to stun his boss. The man dropped to the floor with a weak “Marsha Pixie, come back, I want to marry you.”

Marvin hefted Tattler over his shoulder, took him to his office, and laid him on the sofa. He tucked a blanket around the older man’s chest, placing a stuffed animal next to him. Then he walked down the hall to the office of the company president. Marvin knocked and opened the door.

“Mr. Cottonball?”

The white, six-foot-tall rabbit sitting at an elaborate desk looked up. “Yes, Fusspimper?”

“It’s Bassbinder, sir.”

“Yes.”

“Mr. Tattler had another episode. I got him back to his office to sleep it off.”

“Hmm. This is happening far too often, Crasstinkler.”

“Bassbinder,” Marvin mumbled.

“I believe it’s time for Tattler to retire. I’ll draw up the paper work. I assume he tapped his shoes?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Please apologize to the Queen of the Pixies when her brood shows up. Tell her it won’t happen again. That will be all, Bassbinder.”

“It’s Bass . . . oh . . . never mind.”

END

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Honorable Mentions

Melissa Goode * A Lack of Oxygen

Comments: You truly capture the essence of despair. The grief at a path that wasn’t possible to choose. It ripped at me.


Ashley Smith 

www.comfortism.co.uk

 You Have No Right

Comments: Nice walk through the mental anguish and despair of a suicide attempt when there seems no other reasonable option. Nice character connection at the end.

Picture the Scenes

Comments: So many different and bizarre elements that paint such an interesting and really funny picture. I love the ending, bringing it back home. A joy to read.

Enemies are Cool

Comments: Nice character portrayal in a very brief story. You really get a feel for the guy’s narcissim and control issues, which despite his better judgement leads to his ultimate demise. Cool.


David Perlmutter

E-Mail- dperlmutter@mymts.net  Facebook- David Perlmutter- Writer  Twitter- @DKPLJW1  LinkedIn- David Perlmutter  Tumblr- yesdavidperlmutterfan

Dead Legs

Comments: Very entertaining story! Hooked me in first sentence. Really like the characterization and the bit of mystery. I hope you turn this into a mystery series.


Lucille Bellucci

http://www.authorsden.com/lucillebellucci

Flying down to Rio

Comments: Excellent portrayal of the mind of a girl that I would say is about 15-16? I see these as beginnings of chapters of a novel. One to start each chapter. Enjoyed it.


Dorothy Piper

A.K.A – http://www.jonihavel.com/

Painting the Town Red

Comments: Nice writing and storytelling skill. Lovely little story.


Cameron Dotti

Cam king of light

Comments: Wonderful skill at describing characters. Extremely funny. Jarring elements work very well.


Lenisa Kelly

http://www.southernmommycouture.blogspot.com/

Chimera

Comments: Beautiful writing, suspensful story and nice descriptions. Would make a great book.


Charles Robert Hallinan

My Favorite Bird

Comments: Most excellent how you bring it full-circle. Also love the O.C.D. elements in your character in the beginning. Lots of elements packed in, excellent.


Stacy Brody

http://stacybrodyinsl.wordpress.com/

Love Struck

Comments: Initial description of love-interest very well done. Depth of emotion is heartfelt and moving. Excellent.

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CONTEST CLOSED!

We had fourteen entries. Thanks to everyone who participated.  If you participated and want us to include a link to your webpage or blog, or your contact information, please email us ASAP. Doesn’t matter if you won or not, we’ll still promote you!

We will announce the winner next Monday, January 12th.

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