Those of you who vote are allowed to assign a range of “0” to “3” points, per entry. Since challengers may not vote for their own stories, a bonus of 2 points is given to a participant's highest-ranked work, if that participant also takes the time to numerically vote on the other entries.
Official judges receive a 30 point allocation, to assign as they see fit. The only restriction is that at most, only half of those points may be given to any single entry (unless there is only one entry, in which case the silly restriction is lifted!), and there is no requirement for a judge to use the entire 30 point allocation.
Jack Calverley is about to put on the “Editor Hat.” It's sort of like the “Sorting Hat” they use at Hogwarts (“You'll enjoy Professor Rasthmussin's class on carnivorous plants. Oh, he's been eaten? I meant Professor Gornificall's class.”), but a little less sarcastic.
“Chance Encounter” by Guy Stewart
Jack Calverley: First, thank you for submitting your story. I enjoyed reading it and it fits the bill exactly.
On starting, the story immediately imparts a sense of place and purpose. The plant is given character by placing it in opposition to the WheetAh, and by expressing its attitude to the WheetAh.
I like the reversal that someone formally educated in horticulture can only get a job in horticulture as a translator. It seems to me to reflect a truth about the human (or at least socitey's) condition.
Having earlier established the attitude to the WheetAh, that fact is neatly used to involve the reader via the expression: "the WheetAh begged" — the reader immediately understands how the plant will react to this.
I like the idea that the plant can control the chemicals it emits, and uses them to react to the human, revealing how it both deals with antagonism and lures its prey.
“The children!” is a nice touch.
I thought it might have been better to be more specific where the human says “...some skirmish thing...” or where the narrator says “the entire thing” (I suppose the word “thing” worries me). I think that naming the nitric acid specifically might have made the story more accessible to the non-chemist reader.
“It sloshed heavily” is a neat showing rather than telling.
Overall: a concise herbicide of invasive species.
Jack Calverley: 30
Again, an easy batch of numbers to tally:
1st Place: 30 points — “Chance Encounter” by Guy Stewart
Congratulations, Guy Stewart!
As a reminder, over the next few weeks we'll be trying something a little different. We'll be engaged in a few smaller, lighter challenges, while the holidays swirl us about, higgledy-piggledy and piggledy-pop. (Yes, that might just be a subtle hint about the next challenge...)
So rest your creative faculties, but if a challenge intrigues you during this holiday interval, then by all means join the fun! Our current challenge is: A Reindeer to Remember