As for this week, I am shaking my head (you can't see it, but I am). You knock me out, and the quality of writing continues to rise. How can that be? No, I know exactly how - such talent...
So to summarise this week's outstanding fiction (sorry for lack of links):
- My Children of the Sand were 'Children of the Damned', blond and bored of playground competition between rival mothers.
- Erin Cole exposes the sibling hunter for what he truly is; and fortunately 'deals' with the problem in A Shot To The Left
- In Eaglewing & Mastermind to Save the Day? Aidan Fritz parades his nemesis Super Heroes across a perverse and illogical world.
- Antonia Woodville's Spring Sacrifice glides us through a beauty found only in this floral season before declaring the 'sacrifice' that man chooses to make of beast. Poor beast.
- Pixie J. King treats us to a glimpse of her realm in Beautiful Prison, where the victim - despite everything - will not survive,
- The Unwatered Well plunges us into filth and flesh until we drown in bilious and noxious liquid. A.J. Humpage goes full-scale horror.
- Monsieur Allinotte invites us back into the doll-like world of vampiric Ma petite homunculus, ma fiérté. Michaud va mourir, c'est sur.
- RR Kovar, Reba creates as if from the whisper of Mother Nature herself in the poetic Truth and Consequences. Meanwhile she misleads us into believing we are amongst naughty children in boarding school, until skin starts to smoke and a vampire flies to his exquisite death in Sunshine Laws.
- David Barber chills, making us all face our innermost demons as a judgemental reflection in the murderous Your Reflection?
- We hang from a spout of fear that captures mankind's perception of sin whilst evacuating The Devil beneath in John Xero's galactic, tremulous Tower.
- Ravens feed with relish at the bound body dealt up by Steven Chapman in his debut, untitled Prediction entry (entrée) as nourishment.
- William Davoll has us by the fragile bits - not once but twice. The Devil Inside forces us to linger inside the mind of a psycho-killer as he stalks and tortures his victims. In Pilot Error - OMG what a clever, and oh so Easter-timely play on words the Christ figure is only crucified because of a joke - a heckle. How our history might have been different without a Comedian from Coventry. ;)
- Kim slips in at the last moment with a fight. A carefully-planned and terrifying observation of the preparation, the circling of combatants in a raw pit as they attempt to blindside each other in The Pits.
A winner? Well, do what you will but - it's me! No, not really. I have two joint winners - as Antonia said last week, everyone else truly is a runner-up. Not a cop-out - a reality, and testament to your talent.
So - the winners are A.J. Humpage with the visceral, claustrophobic and hopeless The Unwatered Well, and Reba with the first (as if I could choose between them) of her entries Truth and Consequences, a beautiful birth.
But seriously, a huge well done to everyone; you are so inspiring.
Sleep well lovelies; I'll be back.