Many congratulations to Jess, the writer behind Jalana Laxyn, who won the July & August Writing Challenge with her short story “Fatal mistake.” This is Jess’s second win, following her first-place story in the December 2012 that wove a delightful tale that involved Klingons and Santa Claus. “Fatal mistake,” which was written in response to the Challenge’s theme of “Fashion,” was the high-risk “adventure” of a kidnapped kindergarten teacher sentenced to die for violating one of the sacred laws of another sentient species: wearing the color green. Judges had this to say about the story:
…the major stakes are personal and manifest in monologue or dialogue. Claire, with the unknown lizard alien, jogs between the two, and the result is a pleasing but distressing story about what happens to a Starfleet officer when there is no rescue at the end of the day. Very strong stuff! (judge’s character: Cassandra Egan Manno)
The identity of the main character, not a Starfleet officer, but a teacher, is smart and effective. Claire was brave enough to join a mission to deep space, but didn’t sign up for something like this. I instantly felt for her, and the tragedy of her end is enhanced by this. (judge’s character: Ren Rennyn)
Jess has kindly provided the theme for our September and October Writing Challenge, and it’s a perfect complement for the approach to Halloween: “Run Shivers Down My Spine.” Head over to the Writing Challenge forums to learn more!
As always, don’t forget that you can pick up a complete collection of all this round’s short stories, in PDF format, for free. Get yours here!