Play With The Prose II — Challenge #4: Playground Equipment

Round four of head-to-head challenge with Fiction 59 (59 word stories) revolved around playground equipment, of all things. Don’t ask me where this idea came from:

Atlas hated when his mother-in-law came to visit – Mrs. Atlas became even crabbier, and he was tasked with cleaning the house. Leaning on his broom in the kitchen, he had a brilliant idea, and went outside to retrieve the kids’ teeter-totter. Placing the low end under the Earth and heaving mightily, he swept all the penguins under the Antarctic.
  • After coming up with the idea, I had to research whether Atlas even HAD a wife and/or kids. I didn’t think he did, and he didn’t. Still, it IS Fiction 59, after all.
  • I was originally going to have him just sweep the pile of dirt under the Earth, but thinking of Antarctica down there at the south pole, penguins just made sense, didn’t they?

Resigned to a winless season? RESULTS

My story was submission #1 in the head-to-head — the judges’ comments:
MATTHEW: Is Story 2 another Hurricane Sandy story? Well, no matter, it’s interestingly written, but still feels like it skims over what could have been a more interesting telling of this character’s actions. Meanwhile, Story 1 makes very clever use of a teeter-totter, and has a funny payoff. And since story 2 doesn’t seem to really involve a piece of playground equipment (what could the obelisk be? A slide?), I’m tilting over to story 1. WINNER: 1.

ANDY: I like both of these stories. #1 has a nice, original story idea, and although #2 doesn’t seem quite as original after reading the first group, the flow of the language works well; it reads very easily. I have found after judging these after a few weeks that I seem to be rewarding original ideas and good flow of language the most, so these are both strong entries for me. The language is slightly more awkward in #1, and I have to give a slight edge to #2, as it feels a little more polished. Close call.

Novak- The first story seems similar to the kind of thing I might come up with, and feel very proud of myself for how clever I was. I’m proud of this author for being clever too. Pride because I assume I inspired it somehow. The second story seems to bite off a bit more than it can chew. The middle sentence about the first victim, and the last about the Times, are perfect. The rest of it all might be a bit too caught up details (twenty-first victim) that obscure the emotions captured in the other sentences. The win goes to the very clever author of #1.

WINNER: David Larson

I’m on the board! Time to rest on my laurels.


4 responses to “Play With The Prose II — Challenge #4: Playground Equipment

  1. Indeed. You finally decided to show up this week. Glad I inspired you.

  2. I laughed, hard, at this. Excellent stuff here, Rhubarb.

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