Costumed Curses: And the Winner Is…

I know you’ve been waiting. I know you’ve been wondering…

Okay, that’s a lie, because I know MOST of you didn’t even pay much attention to the contest. *aims SQUIRT BOTTLE OF SHAME at readers*

But that’s okay, because I’m delighted to announce that the WINNER came from this very blog. We had ten awesome entries, and it was really difficult to choose the best: some were funny, some were fairy-tale-rific, others gave us a shiver. But in the end, we narrowed it down, and now we’ve got four great offerings, creepy and fanciful, and I know you’ll love them all.

So without further ado, the winners of the Costumed Curses Flash Fiction Contest ARE…

In first place, our HERO: N. E. White, “Blood, Flesh, and Bone”

In second place, WARRIOR: Leslie Fulton, “Murphy’s Law”

In third place, our MINION: Stacy Bennett-Hoyt, “Stuck in the Loop”

And an unplanned HONORABLE MENTION goes to Eleni Sakellis, “The Bridge,” because we just couldn’t resist this story.

So winners, claim your badges and be sure to email me at KRISTINLYNNMCFARLAND AT GMAIL DOT COM (yep, you have to translate into characters, sorry bots), so that I can mail you your goody bag and help arrange for other prizes!

And readers, you can now enjoy our winning story.

Blood, Flesh, and Bone

N. E. White

420 words

Lilia Lluc buried her husband’s fingers, careful to scoop up the blood soaked soil and turn it under along with the severed digits. She wouldn’t want her children investigating the dark stain.

She frowned, thinking she would never be free of her strange children, then immediately chastised herself for such a blasphemous thought.

“What are you doing?”

She glanced up with a start. Her heart felt as if it would leap out of her chest.
A strange man stood above her, his face shadowed by his wide brimmed hat. The sun hung low in the western, clear sky, throwing long pillars of shadow through her almond orchard.

Standing, she swung her bloodied hand behind her back. In her other hand, she held tight to the ceramic succioro.

She gave him an innocent smile. “Hello and welcome. Are you lost?”

The man squinted at the sun. He snorted a laugh then said, “Actually, yes, I think I am. I was just passing by on the road…and, well, here I am. I’m not sure how I got here.”

Lilia kept the smile on her face though she did not feel it. Whether the stranger or she would enjoy the coupling, it mattered not, but she soon learned she might as well be pleasant enough with them. After all, she would be the last thing they ever saw.

Slipping the succioro into the pocket of her apron, she trailed her fingers across the top hem of her shirt, straining the fabric over her bosom.

“Do you want me?” she said.

The man took a step back, hands up in defense, but then he removed his hat, his eyes scanning her body before settling on her breasts.

“Yes,” he said, his voice already husky.

She sighed, the repetitive manner of the ritual boring her. Pointing to a nearby tree, she directed him to lay down and remove his trousers. Lifting her skirt, she straddled him and began a rhythmic rocking, waiting for him to plant his seed.

When she and her husband had failed to conceive within the first two years of their marriage, they had tried everything, until finally they consorted with a witch. Her potion had required her husband’s blood, flesh, and bone, a price that many would have thought too high. But not her husband. He said he was willing to sacrifice a bit of himself for his children.

And it worked. Oh, yes, each time it worked.

But the witch had not said anything about whose seed would take root.

The End

Costumed Curses: The End is Nigh

People, the end of the Costumed Curses flash fiction contest is TOMORROW, October 27, at 23:00 EDT.

So far from this blog, we’ve had one entry. ONE. I am deeply ashamed. You have cast dishonor on my family and on my people. I may never show my face on Twitter again. I shall have to punish myself by writing my own story and posting it here tomorrow.

Plus, if this were a contest between my blog readers and Emmie’s blog readers, Emmie’s readers would be spanking you guys with a rubber spatula. And you probably wouldn’t even notice!

So, COME ON! 500 words! You can do it! Just go to this page and leave your entry in the comments!

The Costumed Curses Flash Fiction Contest HAS ARRIVED.

The time has come… for you to wow us with your fairy tale creepiness.

So what is a costumed curse, you ask? A poisoned apple, a cursed spinning wheel, a dress that forces you to dance until you’re sweating blood. A kiss that kills instead of saving, a smiling face that lures you to your death. An assassin’s blow that feels like a caress, a whispered word that deafens. A granted wish that turns to dust, a maestro’s work that rots the brain…

The choice is yours: hide the evil and make us bite. We want dark fairy tales, stories that make our hair stand up and keep us awake at night, wishes, dreams, and hopes gone wrong.

BUT our wish (that will be granted, lest we punish you) is that you follow the rules. And what are those, you ask? Well…

When: 15 October at 0900 EDT (THAT’S TODAY!) until 27 October at 2359

Genre: Fantasy and all sub-genres. Dark fantasy, urban fantasy, horror fantasy, epic fantasy, contemporary fantasy, fairy tale fantasy, dystopian fantasy, whatever. (No sci-fi this time, sorry!)

Theme: Curses masquerading as blessings, granted wishes, deepest desires, secret yearnings. Take a gift and twist it. Take a wish and make it rot. Grant a deep desire and watch it burn.

Length: 500 words.

How to Enter: Post your entry in the COMMENTS TO THIS POST, and be sure to include the following information:

  • Your NAME
  • Your TWITTER HANDLE or EMAIL ADDRESS*
  • Your WORD COUNT

If these things are not included, you will have to drink from the Cup of the Blind, which will erode your entry into nothingness. Meaning, you will be disqualified and will have to wear the Cone of Shame.

*No, we won’t use your email address for anything other than notifying winners, distributing prizes. No, we won’t give it to evil cyber stalkers. No, we are not evil cyber stalkers. Does anyone use the word “cyber” anymore?

Prizes: Super snazzy prizes will include an Amazon gift card, manuscript critiques, goody bags (when was the last time you got goodies in the POST?! Alas, these will have to be limited to US residents only because we’re broke), and mucho de bragging rights. And some sweet badges which will be revealed later. Muahahaha! Winners will be crowned as follows:

  • 1st Place — HERO
  • 2nd Place — WARRIOR
  • 3rd Place — MINION

Your Judges: Me, of course, and Emmie Mears. We will be judging the posts on originality, use of the theme, quality of writing, and general badassery. R-rated stories are fine, but we’re not looking for erotica. Some sex is okay, but remember the theme and ask if it’s necessary. Don’t shoot for shock value. Wow us with your story and how you weave in the prompt.

Now, go! Be free! Write to make us shiver! And look forward to some featured stories, some curdled wishes to burn your mind.

Best of luck from,