Unfortunately, even with winning the Popular Vote, I only came 2nd in the TIW Winter Solstice Open Final. The 4 judges were very unkind to myself and another story, which I thought they would pick.
There was one piece of feedback...
4. Not So Neighborly : All
elements present. I could see the try for humor, but, for me, the
whole story was difficult to follow. To be truthful, I’m still not sure
that I actually “got it.” Errors in grammar and syntax were
My feedback on this judge's feedback?
There were no errors in grammar and syntax in my story. I'm an English teacher, proofreader and philologist. What do you think, huh? This judge also mentioned another story had errors, which it didn't, BUT seemed to completely ignore the many errors in another. This judge is incompetent. And that shows because they didn't "get it". What is there to "get"? On a superficial level, it is a couple talking about the noisy neighbour. On a deeper level it is a comment on the "Je Suis Charlie" massacre, the neighbours being religions. Didn't get it, huh? No surprise.
TIW...it's been 2 years. I think "Dani's Shorts 4" will be the last. I am in Challenges 100 and 105. I will finish with it then.
But before that happens, here's my take on Challenge 99!
(cartoon image of writer drinking coffee, smoking and trying to write, a howdah, Told from a POV of an alien who views humans both as food and pets, floor buffer)
Stravskee said there were good pickings on this planet and he was right. He did warn me, however, that I’d have to watch out, as these beasts weren’t all as dumb as they looked, with their smooth hairless bodies and four protruding limbs. Some took them home as pets, finding their grotesque form ’cute’. How they thought that, I had no idea, they were disgusting, their habits and smells so alien to me. I was here for food. The light jump between the last few quadrants had made me peckish. It was time to taste this so-called 'food from the heavens'.
"Ben! Is there anymore coffee? I really need a refill."
One of them was bent over a wooden structure, with smoke escaping from a long tube in its mouth, perhaps some breathing device. Its body sat on a metal stool and with one of its free limbs, bled a blue liquid onto a pressed fibrous material, creating scribbles on its surface. My first meal.
"No, Lexi! I’m going down the pub! I’ve started the ’monster’ up!"
"What? No, honey, you can’t do that! How can I concentrate on writing my novel now?"
"Close the door! Anyway, you’re the one who chose it! I wanted a Henry but you had to go and buy this souped-up floor buffer!"
"It’s an XV-12!"
"It’s a menace, that’s what it is! It sucked up one of my slippers the other week!"
These creatures were noisy, with their many mating calls and gestures. I would pounce on this first portion of meat as soon as they quietened down.
"It’s just very efficient."
"You said it would ’free us to explore other roads’. Well, I’m off to explore Tooley Street."
"Can you bring me a refill?"
"What are you? Some Maharaja on a howdah? Get off your arse and get your own coffee!"
The closest creature held up some ceramic object. This was clearly a symbolic ritual of release from the mate as the other poured a liquid into the reciprical and left the area with a loud bang of wood. Another sound began further away but this did not bother the sitting beast, who began to bleed more blue liquid onto the fibrous material. It was time to make my move. I crept closer to the wooden structure, hidden by my cloaking device and looked up at my next meal. The file mentioned that there were many ways to down this creature, though from here it was difficult to make a sudden attack. It needed to be standing. I threw a sound grenade between the wood at the end of the confined area and heard the explosion.
"What the hell?"
The beast stood up and separated the wood. Now was my chance! I readied my stance and allowed my claws to extend to their full length. My mouth began to drool with the impending taste of blood. A large and loud machine entered my view, its pull was too strong...