DISCUSSION THREAD -- 300 Word Writing Challenge #48 (January 2023)

I was planning on giving it a go this time but kinda forgot. (Last night I dreamt that I won a writing competition with a story called 'Boobner Woman' so be grateful I didn't enter, I guess!) :sneaky: I will try to remember to vote.
Finally got around to casting my votes:

A Tale of Love and Laundry, @Yozh - A beautiful, heart-rending fable.
The Shirt On Your Back, @The Judge - A marvellously malevolent mantle.
THE JENNIES, @Jo Zebedee - A classically-creepy fairytale.

Honorable mentions to the following:

Hasty, @Rafellin
The Hunt, @Victoria Silverwolf
Washing Cycles, @BT Jones
Annual General Meeting of the Evil Cybernetic Corporation @paranoid marvin
You people make it very hard to vote! Many fine stories, and thanks, HareBrain, for the interesting inspiration photo. Thanks to our reviewers, as always.

JS Wiig, johnnyjet, Christine Wheelwright

Close to Receiving My Vote:
Rafellin, otaylor, mosaix, Phyrebrat

Victoria Silverwolf, The Judge, Jo Zebedee. I thought these three were especially fine.

Huge thanks to Christine Wheelwright, sule, Wayne Mack and JS Wiig for the listings. I am very grateful to Rafellin and johnnyjet for the votes.

One person is leading by a wide margin! :)
Time for a shortlist, I think...

Ursa Major
Perpetual Man

Nearly got my vote

The Judge
Jo Zebedeeeeeeeeeeeee

I feel a bit clique-y in that I have picked three old-timers (as in long-term Chronners) for the votes but want to assure Chronsgress that none of these votes are partisan, were funded by illegal campaigns, or other bureaucratic sorcery. I loved Yozh's idea and the lovely wording but the other three were just too good. Mosaix's made my head hurt with its maths-like iterative ending, Her Hon. had such a unique and entertaining tale (also loving the word "ensorcelled") that there was no way I'd not give her a vote, and the riff on Ms Greenwater by Jozeb was just wonderful. Also it made me think of the kappa of Asian folklore which has always troubled me ).

So there you go. Speaking of currying favour, votes and other mentions, I'd like to encourage everyone who's not voted, to pick me. Stealth votes are fine.
Speaking of stealth votes, I did find time to read and vote a couple of days ago, but not time to post!

My shortlist included Rafellin, Mosaix, Parson (very close to a vote that one), Christine Wheelwright (as I so often do, I love your voice), Luighlin and Phyre's lyrical take.

In the end, though, I went for JSWhig as one that stayed with me as I read through, PeterV (which was my favourite this month) and Her Honour, who seems to be doing all right, but I reckon I have this in the bag :D

On an important note - seriously, thank you to everyone who voted for me. I'm pretty surprised at how well it's gone down because a. I don't really write horror and b. although I had the idea for it for most of the month I had no time to write it and then felt guilty as entries seemed to be low but had hardly any time before the bear was due to lock the thread, and I'd had some wine (too much for writing with anyhow) and - the moral seems to be I should write more horror when drunk and faced with a deadline. :D
A lot of tales I really liked this quarter, so much so that half the stories appeared on my original shortlist. I've pruned it down to my usual length, but for once I've done a longlist, too, so those who only just missed the cut by the closest of margins get mentioned.

Just missed the shortlist:
BigJ -- One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy -- exhaustion and endurance and courage​
Elckerlyc -- There is more to laundry than meets the eye -- the writing's on the wall washing​
JS Wiig -- Of Seamstresses and Streams -- I loved the idea of a queen-in-waiting seeking to help her people​
Peter V -- Bounty Hunted -- the biter bit, and a perfect title​
Perpetual Man -- Beneath the Surface -- pity and horror and no honour anywhere​
Victoria Silverwolf -- The Hunt -- such wonderful scene-setting​
Yozh -- A Tale of Love and Laundry -- this reads like an ancient legend​
Made the shortlist:
Cat's Cradle -- A Smile More than Memory -- so very poignant and heartrending​
Christine Wheelwright -- The Flying Machines -- a witty exploration of machines and mistakes​
Jo Zebedee -- THE JENNIES -- the horror of emptiness​
Luiglin -- There is a spirit here that won't be broken -- moving and bittersweet​
Phyrebrat -- The Menace of Closure -- lyricism embroidering horror​
Rafellin -- Hasty -- low-tech meets high-tech​
Ursa major -- What a Mother Knows -- a bare-faced (and bare everything else) lie​
This was a tough one, and I kept changing my mind. In the end I went with three heartbreaking stories -- CC's tale of loss and reaching for memory, Luiglin's tale of loss as his child leaves, Phyrebrat's tale of loss of so many innocents. If I'd had a fourth vote then it would have gone to Rafellin's clever, inventive tale.

I'm gobsmacked at finding myself on so many lists here, so Ruffled Cutty Sark Thanks for the lovely mention/shortlistings Christine and BTJ, and Tremendous Blackworked Nemesis Thanks for the wonderful votes johnnyjet, sule, THX, Wayne, Parson, MRG, Shyrka, Elckerlyc, CC, Phyrebrat and Jo! Oh, gracious -- stealth votes, too! Clean, Mended and Definitely-Not-Psychopath-Shirt Thanks to nixie, elvet, BigJ, Peter, Ian and Yozh! (You must all be certifiable!)
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