That logic makes perfect sense. Wrapped in my own interpretation was not looking for an alternate. So, with regard to BenH's story, I still find myself confused as to whcih path he chose. The cancer cells could be considered priatical and Michael could be considered ninja. My shortcoming, no doubt.
I can see where you went with ninja and put a nice spin on that trope.
Given that change in my thought process about the theme, I stil would go with Sail and Shadow because of its thoroughness covering all the bases.
Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill by Dan Bieger
I'll echo the puzzlement at the bookends. Not really sure how they fit into the story. And I think I'm missing the significance of the hill as it pertains to the story. Is the story a vision brought on by the mist showing possible futures? I like the clever twist on the theme by going with corporate raiders and espionage, but I think it may have been a more interesting twist in a more modern setting.
The Body by Ben Hobson
Really neat take on the idea, totally unexpected. Not really sure what Michael was supposed to be though. He's built up as a sympathetic protagonist, then we find out he's been feeding cancer all along. And I don't think ending really conveys how we're supposed to feel about that. He feels relief at not being sick, but we know the cost is the death of whoever they're inside. He feels at home, but it's among beings that are killing everything around them, which doesn't quite gel with Michael as we've seen him. It's a good story, I just think it needs a stronger point of view at the end, one way or the other.
The Newly Sighted by Rich Matrunick
Really enjoyed this. The Order seems a little too out in the open to pass as classical ninjas, but that's just quibbling. The whole idea of losing your normal sight to gain a different kind of sight opens up all kinds of interesting possibilities. If I'm reading right, at the end, Derzan is cutting away the scar tissue left by the poker, which destroys the gift of New Sight he's been given. And that's a strong scene with Derzan willingly choosing one form of blindness by giving up another form he didn't choose. Nice work.
A Tale of Black J'oh by Mike Hazelwood
The most traditional take out of the bunch. As much as I like being surprised, there's something satisfying about a story that embraces the theme and runs with it so well. I do think you could have started the story with the second section and not lost a thing. And seeing how brutal Stan and Chester were to the pirate, I can't see how any temptation of treasure would convince them to get on a boat with him. I was most fascinated by the interrogation, that's probably the strongest writing in the whole piece. You really do a great job depicting his anger and defiance, and in making him more sympathetic.
I'm torn between the last two stories. I'll have to ponder before casting my vote.
After due deliberation, I went with A Tale of Black J'oh, but it was very close in my mind.
Oh but the first part was so much fun to write. I get what your saying though Rich. And I shall plead guilty again on the decision making of Stan to go for it. I knew it was iffy - I could not figure out how to get him out the door otherwise. Black J'oh sure was not going to be able to overpower them.
Given this is a forum to get feedback - Anyone have any ideas for me??????
Thanks for the vote my friend. Much apprececiated.
Spoiler Alert: Folk intending to read and vote should ignore this post as it contains an explanation of intent which could very well affect your assessment of the story. I have no qualms with the assessments thus far rendered but they suggest I owe those folks the following:
The intent was to demonstrate the piracy involved in modern management, the ninja in modern espionage, national or otherwise. Set up shows brother and sister offered their choice of uni and subsequent career. One tends toward management; one towards espionage.
Magic takes them to another time and place and puts them in the position they did not choose. This gave me the opportunity to play with the four functions of management as well as strategic plans.
Having experienced the path not chosen, the magic brings them back to their world and now they each have chosen the other side of their original choice.
The mist held the magic and the mist required the river. The river suggested the hill and all of a sudden I had a title I didn't want to relinquish.
Hmmmm... unless Jacob also helps J'oh conk out the two guards and the pirate takes them along for the ride...
Good stuff fellas - I would like to use Jacob Buckle more and I definitely wanted the thugs to get theirs. Perhaps I will revisit this story in the future and make some changes.
By a nose my vote goes to Daily Rich. I really liked both stories and there was some great writing, world building and characters in both. But the deciding factor for me was who had the most complete story in terms of me having no questions about what happened. Nice job lads. This 5000 word contest was a great stretch of the imagination for me and I hope to see you back here next time.
I chose DD's entry this month. Yes, it had some POV and tense issues, but it's the only one that held my interest long enough for me to want to read the whole thing. Basically, you had me hooked, DD. But, alas, I don't even have time to read all of your story, but I do WANT to finish it. None of the others made me want to finish 'em given that I have very little free time at the moment (actually, I have tons, but not in front of a computer).
Cheers everyone and hope to get back to writing again soon.
I shudder to think what the tie-breaker might be.
If I remember my Star Wars correctly, it's "You can't win, Darth."