Play With The Prose II — Challenge #10: Excuses

Round ten of head-to-head challenge with Fiction 59 (59-word stories) had a prolonged deadline due to the holidays…but that’s no excuse. HERE is the excuse:

“The Director needs his money — now.”

“I’m their daughter, and I don’t want you calling them anymore! You’re getting no more money from them. They’re on fixed incomes; they don’t even have a TV!”

“Lady, we know where they live…”

“Call again and I’m reporting you! Goodbye!”

“Mom, Dad — that’s it; absolutely no more pledging to PBS!”

  • Yeah, I had nothing. This thing just sort of fell together a few hours before the deadline.
  • Living on a pension and not having a TV aren’t much for excuses (an older couple without a TV? Come on!) but an excuse is an excuse.

More bad news? RESULTS

Mine was submission #2 this time around — the judges’ comments:
MATTHEW: Story 1 doesn’t really feel like an apology to me. Or an apology for someone else. Which is too bad, because it’s the first time anabelian geometry has been successfully used in one of these stories. Meanwhile #2 gave me a chuckle, and I like to chuckle. WINNER: #2

ANDY – I’m not sure what to make of the entries that force us to go on Wikipedia. Are you to be rewarded for the obvious extra effort, or do I fall back on my lazy nature, where I want to “get it” on the first read? I’m not sure about the first-person voice in #1. It’s not quite working for me. And I’m not sure the character is fully formed. #2 goes for the laughs, and succeeds, but it’s not quite a home run, as it suffers from a bit too long of a build up to the obvious punchline. Not to be too harsh, I actually enjoyed both of these. I’m going with #2 in a difficult call. The voice and flow is a little bit more consistent.

Novak – Oh, these are both clever. The exchange in 2 is solid, but it could have been punched up with a descriptive detail or two; maybe just one excuse? #1 is a bit awkward with the ellipses, but the genius of the approach is much appreciated. Of course, #1 isn’t someone giving an excuse for someone else, it’s giving an excuse for themselves. And on that technicality, I give the victory to #2.

WINNER: David Larson

How about that? My first concensus story! Gotta get my best Santa on for the next one, though…


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