Discussion Thread - 300-word Writing Challenge #52 (January 2024)

Oh bother! I’ve just submitted my story and realised it isn’t going to qualify, because it isn’t speculative fiction! Drat!

Oh, never mind. I’m not going to add in an alien or a ghost now…
Oh bother! I’ve just submitted my story and realised it isn’t going to qualify, because it isn’t speculative fiction! Drat!

Oh, never mind. I’m not going to add in an alien or a ghost now…
I wouldn't worry. Besides, how can "What if mice could speak English" not be speculative? :giggle:
As ever, I'm rushing in at the last minute.

Unusually for me, I had an idea several days ago, courtesy of a Lord Peter Wimsey story, but TDZ's entry in the 75 worder effectively blew that out of the water. I liked the setting though, so spent the last couple of days trying to find new characters for it, found her late this afternoon, started writing, then realised I was on course for a 1,000 word story...

So the setting got junked, too, leaving only the overmantel behind -- Grinling Gibbons crossed with Robert Thompson -- and a rush job since dinner to try and get some semblance of a plot around it, and failing miserably. Glum.
I wrote early, hastened by an impending visit to my partner's great grandchildren.
It's always useful to have a little story ready up your sleeve:giggle:
@Provincial .... The Fish Can .... Sometimes the sweetest memories are found in the stinkiest places.

@mosaix .... Of Mice and Men .... A story which reminds us that results do not always speak the truth about the success of an experiment.

@Phyrebrat .... The Dancing Doctor .... A story that slowly slips the knife between your ribs.

@The Judge .... Mousehole .... Sometimes a story leads you in a direction that you don't expect at all, and The Judge has led us down a surprising path.
Is it obvious I was struggling for ideas this month?
The Challenge is now closed to new entries...

...and the voting will be open not too long from now....
@BigJ .... The Writer’s Block .... This story helps me to understand that the writer's block can be defeated by a wooden block, or is that a blockhead?

@Ursa major .... Tableaux? .... This story reminds me that it's all a matter of perception, or the lack of same.

Well since the entry period has ended I can let everyone know that more than 30% of the stories arrived on the last day. Making me think that I working at a University and the end of the quarter was today. ;)
Parson: The highly detailed realism of this portrait of an all too probable tomorrow intensifies the satisfaction of its resolution.

Starbeast: The magical appeal of the carnival draws the reader into this story, rendering the shock ending even more powerful.

Christine Wheelwright: The cluelessness of this chilling tale's unreliable narrator makes us wonder what else is unknown to us.

AltLifeAStory: The swashbuckling derring-do of this adventure's bold duo serves as a reminder that bravery lies within even the meekest heart.

M. Robert Gibson: The good-natured mood of this tall tale is sure to charm and delight all who peruse it.

Bren G: This anthropomorphic fable of faith and perseverance offers the reassuring lesson that may be found after defeat.

Stable: In this allegory of war and peace we find that courage is not limited to those who engage in battle.

Elckerlyc: The unexpected climax of this whimsical fantasy makes it clear that benevolence may be found in the most unlikely places.

Swank: The psychological depth of this tragic tale causes readers to examine their own consciences for the flaws that define us.

Provincial: The twist ending of this sentimental story portrays the way in which the past is never truly gone.

mosaix: The subtle way in which the author makes use of interior dialogue creates an increasing sense of tension in this imaginative science fiction story.

Phyrebrat: With profound insight into the complexities of the human mind, the author creates an unblinking look into the darkness within us all.

The Judge: A small touch of magic transforms domestic turmoil into the promise of a better future in this quiet but powerful tale.

BigJ: With wry humor, the author examines the Sisyphean task of creation in this post-modern work.

Ursa major: This surrealistic tale creates a genuine sense of unreality, along with an unnerving sense of what might come next.


Votes to johnnyjet, Parson, and Phyrebrat.
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Good grief, this one is difficult!

Short list:
@Cat's Cradle - The Tithing of Grain - surviving in a corrupt regime
@Luiglin - Is The Light On? - a longed-for welcome home
@M. Robert Gibson - Time for Cheese - excellent Wellsian fantasy
@Stable - Small Honour - truth and humility foster reconciliation
@mosaix - Of Mice and Men - we really are the mice’s experiment!
@Phyrebrat - The Dancing Doctor - abuse in a clinical setting
@The Judge - Mousehole - finding refuge at last
@Ursa major - Tableaux? - Spooky, scary, unexplained.

Votes (not the best, just those I found most resonant):
@Ursa major

I am guessing that most of us late submitters were struggling for inspiration, but some of us (NOT me) clearly just spent the month perfecting their offerings… :)
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