Congratulations to the winner of the August 2015 round!

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John Yeoman John Yeoman
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Congratulations to the winner of the August 2015 round!

This post was updated on .
I'm delighted to announce the winner of the August 2015 flash fiction contest. Jen Cole wins the $50 cash prize for her inventive story Twice As Bright.

The other top-rated contenders were (in no particular order):

Pat Linum for A Bad Hairdressing Day
Liz Green for Amy, The Hurricane Healer
Robert Marazas for Leaves
Tina Williams for Ash

Our judges Terry Odell and PJ Reece had a tough time assessing all the stories submitted. (If truth be told, they weren't totally in agreement over the ordering of the short-list so I had to play Solomon. Please direct all brickbats at me )

You can read everyone's entries in the last round by clicking this link. It will bring you to the thread itself. (Just click your back button if you want to get back to the main SPP page.)

http://story-penpal.1118678.n5.nabble.com/Flash-Fiction-Contest-Round-August-2015-ROUND-NOW-CLOSED-tp2289.html

Below is Jen Cole's winning story:

TWICE AS BRIGHT

The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long
. - Lao Tzu


"Millions are complaining - more every day."

"Perhaps, but no one suspects."

"Childhood was once a life sentence. Now even children are saying, "Where did the year go?"

"Still, no one suspects. How could they? They continue to count sixty seconds in a minute, twenty-four hours in a day. The stars and planets move at the same rate in relation to each other."

"Except that we've wound it up. Everything’s so much faster now."

"We've done it gradually. No one suspects.”

"Yet they sense the loss."

"Which makes our experiment possible."

“I weep at their tales filled with quests for longevity. Their yearning for more time also shows in their life-extending medicines and technologies."

"And as we postulated, their successes increase as their time decreases."

“Are we wrong to keep shortening it?”

"They are achieving far more than ever before."

"But what right do we have?"

"You've immersed yourself too deeply in their ideology. The subjects are influencing your thinking."

"I think we should stop."

"How could you lose your objectivity! Thousands of years we've spent on this project. Regard our creation - a ballet of fireflies!"

"When do we stop?”

"When we’ve convinced our kind that time is key to the creation of great works."

"Our people have created great works."

"Not since we made ourselves immortal. Our subjects have initiated more creative projects and made more discoveries in their short history than we have in the last ten eons. We stagnate. Once we were magnificent. Now we flow through the void, complacent, thinking nothing. Soon we will become nothing. This project is our last hope. The results will be a clarion call to all our kind."

"We have enough data already."

"Does it convince you?"

"Yes, but..."

"Not enough to make the leap."

"I need time to think."

"Time is the enemy - not lack but excess. Even those we experiment upon know that. You're aware of their discovery that the time it takes to do anything increases with the time available. We, having given ourselves eternity, achieve nothing."

“It’s true their accomplishments are breathtaking, but they've not yet produced something so stupendous, so astonishing, that I’d…”

"End your immortality? If you, who are so close to this project, hesitate, what is the likelihood the rest of our kind will make the sacrifice? Our subjects' supreme achievement is still to come. We must continue to speed up their time.”

"But individual lives are now down to minutes. What can this species possibly achieve?"

"Less than when their members live for only seconds. Perhaps not until their lives are reduced to a split second will their ultimate glory blaze forth. And then our kind, observing the phenomenon in awe, will finally discard immortality, understanding the sacrifice needed to steer us back to greatness."


Andrea reached for the box of decorations in disbelief. How could it possibly be Christmas already?
KF KF
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Re: Congratulations to the winner of the August 2015 round!

Fantastic story. Congratulations to the winner.
Coach Moe Coach Moe
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Re: Congratulations to the winner of the August 2015 round!

In reply to this post by John Yeoman
Way to go, Jen.  I really enjoyed your story.  Congrats. Hugs,Moe
Jen Jen
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Re: Congratulations to the winner of the August 2015 round!

This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by John Yeoman
Dear John, Terry and PJ

What an absolute thrill to win the inaugural flash fiction contest! When I read through the other entries coming in over the month I knew I was up against some strong contenders.

Congrats to Pat, Liz, Robert and Tina for getting into the top ratings and good luck to everyone for the September round!
Jen Jen
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Re: Congratulations to the winner of the August 2015 round!

In reply to this post by John Yeoman
Thanks KF and Coach Moe

I got the idea for the story when one of my grade three students echoed my own feelings when she said, 'Where did the year go?' I would never have said such a thing in grade three! Each year of my primary school life took forever!
cofcmom05 cofcmom05
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Re: Congratulations to the winner of the August 2015 round!

In reply to this post by John Yeoman
Congratulations Jen on your win and to all the others for placing on the short list. Great stories from all.
Sheila
Cowpasturechronicles.com
John Yeoman John Yeoman
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Re: Congratulations to the winner of the August 2015 round!

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Time speeding up seems to be a function of age, Jen. When I took the garbage bins out last night I complained to my wife "But I did it only yesterday!" "No, she sighed "you last did it seven days ago."
Jen Jen
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Re: Congratulations to the winner of the August 2015 round!

Sad but true. Which means that time should drag for kids (as indeed it did when we were kids). Not so in the case of kids today. In the school where I teach our students frequently exclaim about the speedy passage of time. Perhaps we just make life just too damn interesting for them.  
lizgreen8 lizgreen8
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Re: Congratulations to the winner of the August 2015 round!

In reply to this post by John Yeoman
Congrats to Jen and thank you for the special mention. This is my first 500 word story and first competitive story, and I'm really encouraged that I came in the top five.

John, Terry and PJ - thanks for taking the time to run this and thanks for making it free. You've helped boost my confidence tenfold. Plus, I've learnt a lot from reading everyone's creative stories.
j.wessier j.wessier
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Re: Congratulations to the winner of the August 2015 round!

In reply to this post by John Yeoman
Congratulations! Wonderful story.

Joey
Keir Keir
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Re: Congratulations to the winner of the August 2015 round!

Congratulations indeed. What a story. At my age I believe I've got just a few seconds left. Must post this with some urgency. More of this creativity please Keir.


engemi ferreira engemi ferreira
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Re: Congratulations to the winner of the August 2015 round!

In reply to this post by John Yeoman
NO NAMES MENTIONED AS I'D LOVE EVERYONE TO BELIEVE THE STORY I LIKED BEST WAS HIS OR HERS
Sincere congratulations to the one who won and the others who were mentioned. I am sure the ones who picked them had a daunting task, as I read the other stories which weren't mentioned and enjoyed some of them a lot. Great potential and great initiative. I'd even say there were one or two stories I regarded as winners too.

The potential over here intrigued me so much John, I thought I'd like to send a flyer to some wannabe writerfriends and would be so happy if you could supply us with such a thing, written in your wise and wonderfully persuasive words. Especially with a drawing card like the flash fiction, I'm sure my friends will flock over here!

Thanks once more for all the past happenings as well as those waiting round the corner. This is a lovely writing spot, as of course is its Big Brother THE (WICKED) WRITER'S VILLAGE
engemi ferreira