• 08:50:53 pm on March 21, 2012 | 2
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Tuesday Tales WINNER 33!


    Challenge #33

     By entering, every contestant agrees to shamelessly promote and praise the winner on twitter.

    For all discussions about this challenge use hash tag #TuesdayTales

    I am happy to have this week’s Tuesdaytales Judgemasters take over: 

    Margaret C McNulty


    Writer of historical romance and Greek myths reinvented,

    Marvel lover & flash fictioneer. Don’t just follow – say hello!

    UK ·





    Philadelphia-area novelist, competitive dragon boater, & foodie. My work has appeared in Black Heart Magazine, The Molotov Cocktail, & Trembles Horror Mag.

    &Host of #5minutefiction

     Judges Notes:

    There is a lot to love in this story. It’s really skilfully crafted to grab attention, maximise tension and hint at a complete story – all in 100 words.

    Within the first three sentences Nicole establishes a mood, a character and a strong sense of voice.  She rapidly builds up tension, using specific repeated sentence rhythm to emphasise the importance of the wait that’s nearly over (“Soon. So Soon” and later “One minute. One more minute.”)   She drops in the necessary back story in a way that continues to build tension (“This endless cycle…. punishment.”)  Then she brings us into the moment with a snap (“Mommy!”) and ends on a fantastic horror cliff hanger.  



    A boy with a wet bottom sits. The urine soaks into my saddle. I’d buck him off if I could, the sniveling little bastard. Soon. So soon.

    I’ve come to loathe children.

    One minute. One more minute. The thought grits through my petrified wood brain, turning over and over. This endless cycle will end, and I will return to myself. Fifteen hundred years of this torture. This . . . punishment.

    The infernal calliope music wails and swells while the spell dissolves, wisping into the ether.

    “Mommy!” The child’s voice thickens with fear.

    My mouth stretches into a long-overdue sneer.




     “Hey lady, would you like to buy a balloon?”

    “No thank-you,” I say, taking my eyes off the carrousel for just a moment. Turning back to watch Juliana, I freeze. She is gone, yet the main attraction still cycles around, horses, devoid of children, moving up and down.

    “Juliana!” Running to the operator, I pummel him. “Where is my daughter? She was just on this ride.

    “Lady,” he says, “this carrousel has been closed for five years.”

    Looking again, I see the disrepair of the now still ride.

    The wind blows and I hear a whisper, “I am here mommy.”

    Judge’s Notes 

    I loved the poignancy of this story.  Lisa sets it up beautifully and then turns it on its head with a paranormal twist.   In just 100 words she takes us through panic, confusion and loss: I found myself really moved.


    Ain’t Nothing But A Ding Show

    On the madman’s carousel, the joker grinds the gears while the spy swings in silk — lazy, observant, bestial.

    It spins too fast and it isn’t over until he decides, or they get bored, or something — someone — explodes and dies. They like that. Pretty colors against pretty paints and lights.

    You don’t buy a ticket. Your entry’s tattooed on your soul. There’s nothing to show the jock — blind bastard can’t see through the stitches anyway. Just step up; step on. Choose your mount.


    Judge’s Notes: 

    I loved the pace in Dawn’s entry.  For me it captures the motion of the carousel in the rhythm of the words, it has a mad, frenetic, visceral feel.  Great use of alliteration, varied sentence structure and imagery to create a world. Really strong voice.


    “If I get on this carousel, and it spins around and around, how many cycles until I end up dead?”

    “Not enough, I’m afraid.”

    “In that case, I’ll make you a bet. We both get on. Whoever gets off last wins.”

    The old men laughed as they watched the children clamber up onto the horses.

    “Funny, Joe. Now that Abigail is gone, I’m tempted to take you up on that bet.”

    Joe studied his friend’s face, once young and vibrant but now folded and wrinkled and a hundred shades of liver spots.

    “So why don’t we? Here’s to living life!”

    Judges Notes:

     I chose this story as an honorary mention because it beautiful captures a moment of change, of a decision being made.  It’s a lovely balance between dialogue and description – just enough to set the scene and capture the sense of a warm friendship and a shared spirit of adventure.  Heart-warming and touching.

     Everyone spread the word of  the honorable mentions, @nicolewolverton   and  @charitygirlblog  for the awesome judgemastery!

    I would also like to invite our winner @nicolewolverton  to be a judge for next Tuesdaytales on March 20th , please let me know if your available 🙂


    You can check out all the rest of the entries of Tuesdaytales week 33 HERE

    OR check out the archive of all the tuesdaytales to escort you to your tuesdaytales needs HERE



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