A bigger shortlist this week, a combination of new and returning authors firing off some fantastic shorts. Let’s recap each story and see what the judges thought.
“Liked the mix between sexual tension and slight masochistic tendencies of the protagonist- it certainly was an adventure to go to the Dentist. There was also a slight underlying creep factor in the tone that elevated the tension and kept me reading”
“I’d never thought about a good torturer being anything other than sadistic – pushing the boundaries ever-further. But of course, making the victim believe that they’re over the worst of it, is torture in itself once the actual torture resumes.”
“That was just what the Doctor ordered. Ba dum dum. What could be more thrilling than dental hygiene on Dinosaurs.”
“HA! What a finish. So did not see that coming. What starts as a boring story about the noble art of Oral Hygiene become a disturbing warning about vanity and karma. I must confess, I’m a little scared. Great characters, creepy characters and all set in the hell that is the dental suite.”
“A clever mix of the narrator’s reality, imagination and hallucinations! This is not an easy feat but the author weaved the story together seamlessly and it worked really well.”
Even across 5 short stories the final scores were incredibly competitive. Each story was favoured by at least one judge (some judges favoured more than 1, if you’re doing the maths) which led to a knit of close scores.
It’s one of those situations where I’d love to show you the full score sheet just to demonstrate how wide open these comps can be. But out policy has always been not to put authors though the anxiety of a numbered score.
Instead, I’m just going to announce the winner. In this case (and not for the first time) it’s the inimitable Sophie L Macdonald with A Gentle Touch. Congratulations Sophie, and well done to everyone who participated!