DISCUSSION THREAD -- October 2023 -- 75 Word Writing Challenge

AnRoinnUltra

Cé scéal tuthóg?
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Well done @genelewis, congratulations -figured it had a good chance for the win when I saw it, thanks for a story that increased by vocabulary by two, once in the title and once (eldritch) in the text;)
 

M. Robert Gibson

is encumbered by a cumbersome cucumber
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Well done @genelewis

Massive thanks for the :ninja: vote from @JS Wiig. Totally unexpected

And thanks for the mentions @Yozh @Phyrebrat @Hugh @Daysman


As for my effort I hold my hands up as someone who missed the theme. In fact, I was so preoccupied with shoehorning in Lovecraftian words that I totally forget about it. Until, of course, the hour's editing window had passed. I thought maybe I could get away with it because the protagonist was suffering from despair and wanted to die by sacrificing himself to the thing in the building and therefore he had a broken, fragmented mind, but nah. Too tenuous.:rolleyes:

Anyway, thanks everyone for another great month. Where else can one read first-class stories for free? (y)
 

mosaix

Shropshire, U.K.
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As for my effort I hold my hands up as someone who missed the theme. In fact, I was so preoccupied with shoehorning in Lovecraftian words that I totally forget about it.
That is so easy to do. On numerous occasions, I've become so occupied with either the theme or the genre that I've completely forgotten about the other one.
 

genelewis

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Thanks for the congrats, everyone, and for your stories!

I was inspired to expand this one to a longer version, if anyone's interested:

Anopheles

All creatures have a purpose.

It was a lesson we learned too late.

The end of the mosquitoes was the beginning, you see. They spread disease. Their bites itched. They served no known ecological niche. So, after many attempts, we made them extinct. We found a switch in their genetic code that caused infertility – eggs melting into gray sludge at the touch of water – and bred that variant into the population until it became dominant. They birthed one more generation and then died off all at once.

The achievement was celebrated worldwide. The team of scientists responsible received Nobel Prizes – shining medals they would later wear to their public executions.

You see, soon after the mosquitoes were gone, our symptoms began. For the most fortunate, piercing headaches and sudden nosebleeds were the worst of it. Rates of insomnia, anxiety, and self-harm skyrocketed. The most sensitive experienced sanity destroying visions.

By careful interviews, between the sobbing and screams of these unlucky souls, we pieced together a story. We learned that we were not the first technological species to call Earth home. Millennia before our ancestors crawled up from burrows, the planet hosted a race with biological sciences far beyond our own.

They had a problem much worse than mosquitoes. They were plagued by something older than the universe itself – hideous, eldritch gods, hungry for blood sacrifice. But this ingenious species found a distributed solution. They created the mosquito, and bite by bite, the old gods were appeased.

Eventually, the inventors became too proficient at creating diseases for their intra-species wars, and they destroyed themselves. The mosquitoes lived on as their most important legacy.

But now the mosquitoes are gone. And what they kept in abeyance has returned, hungrier than ever.

The ancient ones brought a message, too. They told us this, as they opened maws like the night sky and reached for us with long, sharp tongues:

All creatures have a purpose.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
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@genelewis Congratulations, I thought your original story was wonderful, and your expanded? version above makes it even better.

Sincere thank yous to:
@sule, @Yozh, @Victoria Silverwolf, @Cat's Cradle for the very generous short listing.

A special thank you to @Phyrebrat for the kind words and the third place. I learned something I did not know about genre so even a complete flop at the contest, which this definitely was not for me, would have been satisfactory.

And then wonder of wonders: A VOTE from @StilLearning. My heart skipped a beat.

----------

The origin story of this story is a bit convoluted.

Once you lot helped me to understand a bit about what the genre was my thought was to do a story about the parousia from the point of view of someone who was left behind but I could not find a way to get into that story and out of it in only 75 words, and, perhaps more importantly, it just didn't feel right to me.

My next thought was that I could perhaps do something with a pagan God and I suspect because some of my granddaughters like Mona, I thought of Polynesian and Hawai'ian cultures. I did a little research and I had my God's name, my MC's name, and the story almost wrote itself. I especially liked the lesson at the end.
 

Phyrebrat

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for my effort I hold my hands up as someone who missed the theme
I was more lenient this time re voting because I noticed a few who missed the theme but still shortlisted them because they were just too good not to.

I’m motivated by learning and love a challenge, but after all these years of types of fantasy (trad, high, grimdark etc) it’s just too much of the same imo. If every few months there was a horror type of genre, I think there’d be quite a few people dropping out or dissenting. What you horror-haters got this month, is often how I feel mostmonths.

That’s not to imply I chose the genre and theme to teach anyone a ‘lesson’ but to highlight that horror comes under the banner of genre fiction— and perhaps cosmic horror leans into fantasy much more than say a gothic ghost story.

I’ve found the best months for stories ( and inspiration) are when we’re challenged by difficult genres. It makes us far stronger writers. Kind of like the creative equivalent of reading outside of our preferred oeuvre, which is generally agreed to be crucial to successful self-development.

It also was much easier for me to read these because I enjoyed them all. I felt like this was almost á personal gift from the chronners. And knowing you guys for so long — esp people like Parson — I know it was a slog for some; that just touched me even more. I was so happy with Parson’s entry because I was asking him to go into an area he’s not keen on and look what he came up with.

So I’m feeling grateful and happy and all mushy :)
 

Starbeast

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Congratulations Genelewis
@genelewis


My Story: Inspiration came from the 1981 film, Time Bandits. I am aware that some may not have seen the movie or remember it. I haven't watched it in a while myself, but it's still one of my favorite films of all time.

Screenshot 2023-10-29 1.14.03 PM.png
 

M. Robert Gibson

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Congratulations Genelewis
@genelewis


My Story: Inspiration came from the 1981 film, Time Bandits. I am aware that some may not have seen the movie or remember it. I haven't watched it in a while myself, but it's still one of my favorite films of all time.

It's one of my favourite films too, so as soon as Horseflesh was mentioned, I knew and understood all the references ;)
 

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