Between Thursday and Saturday, I whittled the competition entries down from 28 to 10, and by Sunday afternoon I had a pretty clear shortlist in my head. Over the next few hours, this achingly powerful piece of writing from Malin James bounced up and down between just about every position on that list. I know from the various bits of feedback I’ve had over the last couple of weeks that it’s a piece which divides opinion, and for a while I couldn’t quite decide what I thought of it either.
There’s pain in almost every paragraph, and a yearning that’s not so much erotic as it is tormented. It’s the written equivalent of watching a couple go through a tearful break-up in a bar: you can’t bear to see it happening, and you can’t bring yourself to look away.
The words though…the words themselves are HOT. The thick, black ink on her skin, and the way she’s reduced to ‘an arching back, a curving neck, a gaping, needy cunt.’ The catharsis in her recollection of every exquisite, erotic, emptying mark he left upon her is both haunting and compelling, but as a reader you’re left with no doubt that beneath it all, there’s this explosive sexual connection between them.
Malin’s story was one of the first I read, and I’ve gone back to it several times since then. It’s a truly superb piece of flash fiction, inspired by a very sexy photo. Each time I read it, it feels fresh, and each time I linger over a different sentence or image. I understand why it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but in a very strong field, it’s the one story that I ultimately felt happy elevating above the rest.
So congratulations to Malin, who wins the amazing Fantasy Bondage Kit from Cara Sutra, and a $15 voucher for Dreamspinner Press! I’m sure she’ll put both to good use…
Finally, thank you so much to everyone who donated a prize – you’re all fucking awesome, and I was blown away by the generosity you all showed. And thanks to Molly (also fucking awesome, btw) for letting me tie this in with Sinful Sunday.
Till next time!