Let's have a lookie-see to sum up:
- Michael thrust his way in with The Perfect Successor. Satan takes charge, flashing his serpent as he goes.
- Rebecca's Seed is all wistful, worrying wonder. Children and inheritance of manner and blood.
- Mimi's sacrificial lamb questions the people and faith as dubious rain begins to fall in Small Consolation.
- Aidan's playing an explosive game. Who is the winner, in Mr. Miners Lettuce in the Greenhouse with a Squib?
- The Horned One returns to slake his thirst of Melenka's fecund Pillar of the Community.
- Antonia's Dangerous Dabbling reveals far more than her character expected.
- The world has a sparkling parallel? A fantasy from the waste we make, in Asuqi's Magpies Lost.
- Revenge lies waiting in the arms of the Earth in my Dressing The Well.
- Ellie's pseudo-Messiah makes her mark whilst rejecting the masses in Second Coming.
- ravenways delivers finger food to the drooling Loup Garous in Last One Chosen, followed by her untitled poetry that sings of eternal spectral wanderings.
- Ally's Viet Cong girl submits unwillingly to a cruel platoon; twisted and tragic vengeance in A Songless Bird.
- Chris's Lawrence is asylum-bound when he meets the nubile Helena in the throbbing Waiting on Onuava.
- John's Acolyte obeys demands, utters spurious commandments and eats familial flesh.
- William's character is reeling with grief and regret, honouring the memory of the deceased in Squandered.
- Kim's Oasis leaves us gasping for resolution as his protagonist awaits the sword.
- Anthony is battle-weary but goes the final mile to survive in In Dark Trenches.
That this is hard to judge goes without saying, as always. And just to tell you know now - *next week's winner gets to do the judging!!!
The winner this week is Michael Solender with his gorgeously dark The Perfect Successor; one of the best last liners I've read for ages.
I could choose so many runners-up but it's down to two - ravenways Loup Garous on the make in Last One Chosen and Chris Allinotte's Waiting on Onuava. Both dangerous, both a wicked delight. Well done.
Back tomorrow for the next Prediction - and just a little extra pressure*. Bonne nuit.