It’s been a long and grueling process, but Oonah and I are finally, after all this time, ready to announce the three winners of the 2010 MicroHorror Halloween Story Contest. Selecting our favorites wasn’t at all easy, but after great consideration and debate three stories rose to the top. Behind the jump, I turn the podium over to the lovely and talented Oonah Joslin to announce the winners.
Take it away, Oonah.
This superb piece addressed the theme literally, but effectively. We love its simplicity. It draws on very common, primal fears (like those of the dog) and feelings. And which of us has not felt at some time in the past that our “own mom could use a refresher on her Darwinism?” :)
In that turn of humour and with an added ray of sunshine against a yellow curtain, Chris gives us just enough light to make the darkness all the darker. The characters’ actions and motivations are realistic, and the monster is described in just enough detail so that the story never strays from the theme.
This is an excellent use of the theme. And strangely, (we had discussed this), Nathan and I both have very clear memories of drawing negative space in art class, and the otherness of suddenly paying attention to shapes you’ve ignored before. There is a nice ambiguity in this story over just how much of it is in the narrator’s head and this gives a very “Lovecraft” feel to the writing.
“The spaces wanted to exist and I had been chosen to free them.”
Juliet manages to take this unsettling reality of spaces into the world of relationships so that the space between things becomes a driving wedge between characters and a metaphor for death. Very well “drawn,” we thought, Juliet.
First of all, this is a fantastic meditation on the theme, and all the different ways space plays into a relationship: sharing space, personal space, needing one’s space. But also, Sandra goes for a twist ending and nails it perfectly. Even when you go back and give it a careful rereading, there were no tricks or cheats in that twist. The misdirection is executed flawlessly and the voice never wavers.
“You always loved a good Montrachet,” it says.
“I’ll see you soon, sweetheart.”
It is a cold, sweet voice that speaks from that ultimate space, the grave. Cheers, Sandra. Mmmm… Maybe not. :)
Thanks to everyone for your stories. It was so difficult to choose. And thank you, Nathan, for allowing me the privilege of setting and helping to judge this year’s competition.
Stay Scary X
Congratulations, Chris, Juliet and Sandra. My most sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute their work, and one final thank-you to Oonah, who has been the best co-judge I could have hoped for. Here’s to next year.
Yours in horror,