By C. Jai. Ferry
In Challenge 5 of the Carrot Ranch Rodeo, writers were tasked with writing a complete 99-word story using Twitter. Of course, we couldn’t make it that simple. Every #Twitterflash story also had to be 11 sentences with exactly 9 words each. We included a ridiculously long set of rules, but everyone #rosetothechallenge and the results were amazing. In fact, the judges’ scoring sheets all had multiple sets of high-scoring ties. So without further ado…
Winner: D. Avery @daveryshiftn
On his fourth birthday his dad went to prison.
Shortly before his eighth birthday his dad was paroled.
His mom and dad partied together until she od’d.
The man called dad left her, left him, again.
He searched the house in vain for hidden presents.
He found needles, empty bottles and some uneaten oreos.
He ate in silence, imagining that she only slept.
Twisting each oreo apart, licking the filling, he knew.
This wasn’t birthday cake and his mom wasn’t asleep.
On TV, 911 calls bring action, help, and noise.
He would call but after the oreos were gone.
Our #Twitterguru judge Mardra Sikora (@MardraSikora) summed up this Twitterflash quite succinctly:
“This story rang innocent, true, and cynical all at once. Like many good flash stories, the emotions twisted and revealed in a quick, short space.”
Wallace Peach @Dwallacepeach
A mermaid’s sequined tail lures me to the sea
Gulls shrill a warning, I’m headed to a drowning
Lulled by a sirens song, footprints forsake the sand
Wash away my castles when love sings me home
She is my nixie, nymph of an airless death
Bare toes sink, swallowed by the sea’s lapping tongue
Fingers caress my ankles, beckoning me farther from shore
Entangled am I in floating whorls of unbound hair
Her silver arms are the surge embracing my surrender
A life forlorn abandoned for her wild blue beauty
Yielding to the tides, breathless in my seamaid’s kiss
Judge Lisa Kovanda (@lisa_kovanda) explained:
“This story made use of lyrical sentences and commas to create poetic lines that have rhythm. This use of poetic pacing made each line tweetworthy. If I read one tweet out of the middle, I would be intrigued to read more. Overall, it has a wild beauty, even though the overall tone is dark, which made for a nice juxtaposition.”
Murder, My Tweet by Bill Engleson @billmelaterplea
As the night choked me, my bowels cut loose.
Taking the case, trusting the blonde, was a mistake.
I made a baker’s dozen of mistakes back then.
My cheating husband owns Dolly’s Delicious Do-Nuts, she said.
Every little hole-in-the-wall tramp has been licking his icing.
So, I said, you want a photograph incriminating him?
She says, screw incriminating, I want to incinerate him.
I followed him 24/7 though a thousand do-nut joints.
Every franchise told a story of cholesterol and infidelity.
My pathetic yearning for sweet, greasy fat overwhelmed me.
I lost my soul going down the donut hole.
According to Mardra Sikora (@MardraSikora):
“I loved the title and it captured a balance of twisted humor, which is particularly difficult in flash. As tweetable lines go, this one particularly amused me: ‘Every little hole-in-the-wall tramp has been licking his icing.’ #Clever”
Is anyone else seeing what I’m seeing out there?
If this is how things end I’m getting drunk!
Apparently they come in peace, but my mate Jed’s disappeared!
How drunk am I because I think Im #insideaspaceship
I’ve managed to evade them, is anyone reading this?
Ive found Jed, watching him from an air vent.
Sweet Jesus, they seem to be probing him now!
How the dickens did they fit that in there!?!?.
I think the bloody things are laughing you know.
Oh bloody hell they’ve spotted me, PLEASE SEND HELP!
The visitors are our friends and come in peace.
C. Jai Ferry (@CJaiFerry) commented:
“#PickALineAnyLine! If I had seen any of these lines on Twitter, I would have immediately clicked to read more. Each line is a story in itself, and I had to read faster and faster to see how it all worked out.”
Thanks for coming out to play with us and congratulations to everyone for embracing the challenge and writing superb #Twitterflash stories (seriously, the scores were #superclose).
NOTE FROM CARROT RANCH:
Congratulations to all the writers who entered! You dared to stretch your writing and braved the first Rodeo at Carrot Ranch. Each participant has earned the following badge, which you may copy and post on your blog, social media or print out and frame. It’s a badge of honor. And now you can say, you have had your first rodeo! You wrote well. And you braved twitter!
We want to share all the contest entries in a collection. We’ll be contacting each of our contestants and challengers to seek interest and permission to publish a digital collection in January. Writers retain all copyrights to their work.
We’d appreciate your feedback! We want to make this an annual event that is fun, engaging and supportive of literary art. Please take a few minutes for a brief 5 question survey. Thank you!