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Announcing the Winner of the Musical Fiction Contest

By: Miss Marm

You've been so patient as I've dithered, debated, and put off picking a winner. But now, at long last, I'm ready to announce the victor in the Musical Fiction Contest!

...almost.

First, I'd like to send a heartfelt e-THANKS! to everyone who submitted stories. You should be very proud of yourselves, for three key reasons:

It's scary to send your work out into the world for strangers to read. You're letting me—and, if you're chosen as a finalists, your fellow Sparklers—judge your talent. You're saying, "I wrote this, I care about it, and I think it's good. Do you agree?" That takes cajones!
Plenty of people talk about writing, call themselves writers, or imagine that if they only had the time, they'd be capable of writing a masterpiece. Almost no one actually sits down at their laptops and writes. You do. That's amazing.
I'm very impressed by the quality of the work you're doing. It's thoughtful, funny, sharp, and, best of all, clearly written by people who love to read. I see bright, writerly futures for all of you.

A special thanks to the finalists, whose stories were chosen from among hundreds and hundreds of submissions for publication on the site. Their work can be found here.

Before I announce the winner, I'd delighted to present four honorable

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Pick Your Favorite Story

By: Miss Marm

Sparklers, the musical fiction contest is over, and the time has come to tell me which story you love best. I alone (I ALONE, mwwwwahahaha!) will determine the winner, but I'm easy to manipulate. Pick your favorite story and tell me why you love it in the comments.

Here are all the

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MFC: "You Don't Know Me"

By: Miss Marm

This is it! The very last finalist! djmcleod17's story is rough around the edges—the dialogue punctuation needs serious work—but I'm impressed by the convincing fights, which change tempo and whipsaw between emotions exactly as they do in real life. Thanks, djm, for bringing up the tail end of an impressive collection of Sparkler fiction.

Next week, I'll post a roundup of all the stories, and ask you to pick a favorite and tell me why you love it. I need help choosing the winner!

You Don't Know Me

“What’s wrong with you? Are you stupid?” You act retarded!” he heard her screech. George just sighed and continued typing on his laptop. He tried to block out the screaming of his wife at his daughter.  His eyes flicked towards the window to see the bare tree branches scrape the window as the bitter autumn air shoved them against the glass.  He sat in a worn chair covered in patches sewn in to cover the rapidly deteriorating cushions.  The television quietly hummed in the background while he silently clacked the keys on his

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MFC: "When I Wake"

By: Miss Marm

There are only two finalists left!

Yesterday's story was sad; today's story, by I.am.unique.too, is sadder; and tomorrow's story is (in my opinion) saddest.

Let the depression begin/continue!

When I Wake

A crash from the kitchen.

Drunken yell. Slurred

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MFC: "Teen Spirit"

By: Miss Marm

In high school, almost all of us are melodramatic, passionate, observant about the physicality of the world, and incapable of communicating with our parents. Scarlet Marie's story captures the self-pitying intensity of adolescence. (UPDATE: I added the link to the song! Sorry about that.)

Teen Spirit

she's sitting at the table with a bowl of wheaties in front of her - the breakfast of champions - and her mother asks how her night was.

she could

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MFC: "A Sorceress Spurned"

By: Miss Marm

nesgurl90's excellent story reminds me of The Penelopiad, by Margaret Atwood. That's high praise, nesgurl!

A Sorceress Spurned

Honey honey, the bees sing to me. One by one, they land on my cheek as I rock back and forth in my chemise hammock.  The softness of their legs and fluttering of their wings wakes me from my reverie. I move my hand and slowly crush the bees between my fingers.

They are not who I wanted to wake up

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MFC: "You Don't Know Me"

By: Miss Marm

Mere seconds ago, I finished reading the last of the fiction contest submissions. Only five finalists (including this one) remain. The tension is building!

Today's story, by pyromist, interests even a godless ex-Catholic like me. See what you think.

You Don't Know Me

"Sir! Sir, could I have just a

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MFC: "Collection"

By: Miss Marm

I get the feeling DarkWings44 is a fan of Poe, Hitchcock, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and maybe even Reno 911.

Collection

Most people try to collect things and most people try to save things that are precious to them.  They frame prized certificates, put pictures of important memories in photo albums, laminate papers that are too crucial to get torn or dirty.  Ted Banister was one such

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MFC: "Six Years"

By: Miss Marm

I love eavesdropping on fighting couples. It's not THAT evil—I'm not only enjoying the drama, I'm also doing dialogue research for my novel. (Sure I am.)

I really enjoyed Laura's quarrel with her paramour. See what you think of PieHo's story.

Six Years

I can feel you breathing next to me, in and out, completely relaxed.

I can’t relax. Every part of my body is tensed, waiting for the phone call. I know it will happen. It always does. The room is dark, but I can read the clock by the light of the moon. 10:53. Seven more minutes with you. It’s not

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MFC: "Things I Remember About You"

By: Miss Marm

The narrator of timeenough's story is quiet and sad—or is he quiet and furious?

Things I Remember About You

I remember your first boyfriend.

You were twelve. He was thirteen and in grade seven. An older guy. He was a skater, and that made him so much cooler than anyone in our grade. I remember he had an earring. You were so jealous – your mom wouldn’t let you get your ears pierced until you were

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