1. Verisimilitude (by Daniel Goss)Here is the judges' report:
2. Spa City Diner, Night Before a Funeral (by John Williams)
3. The Road from Damascus (by Matt Crowder)
Surprisingly, the two of us agreed on which stories belonged in first, second and third place. We didn't have to argue at all, which was a bit disappointing! The winner, 'Verisimilitude', was extremely original; it contained a good twist/surprise and a hilarious line that made us both laugh out loud - the line about seeing lurid headlines when trying to picture the father's face. It was unpredictable and intriguing and stood out right from the start. The runner-up, 'Spa City Diner', was beautifully written, understated and very economical. Despite being within the word-limit, there was so much more to this story than the actual words; you could almost feel a story behind the story, which is hard to achieve and was very skilfully done. The second runner-up, 'The Road from Damascus', was clever and easy to relate to, casting Jesus in the role of drifted-out-of-touch friend. And the last line added a nice twist.Many congrats to the three winners. I'll be contacting them about their prizes. Thanks again to everyone who entered, and to the two judges. If you want to go back to any of the stories, see the links at the bottom of this post.
And all of the shortlisted stories impressed at least one of us. Some we were unanimous about; others had to be vigorously fought for by one or other of the judges, which meant that at least one of us felt strongly that it deserved to be shortlisted. 'Time Slip' was a brilliant idea and use of the form, very well executed. 'Restored Equilibrium' and 'Chicken' also turned the restriction of the word limit into an advantage. 'Night Out' and 'Ristretto Forever' were perfect 'slice-of-life' stories, and 'Rebecca' was surreal and intriguing, almost dream-like. All in all, we were impressed with the quality of the entries.
As I said here, I'm happy to continue posting the occasional story, should anyone want to send one in.