For our first Flash 405 contest of 2017, judge and Expo editor Lauren Gorski asked for short form narratives that explored “the abnormal, deviations from the acceptable, the outsiders”—and you delivered, with a “monster” number of submissions! From February 4 to March 5, we broke another Flash 405 record for most entries, receiving almost 100 submissions!
Among these entries were stories that scared us, thrilled us, and softened us to the gentle monster within. Lauren wanted “the emotion of Quasimodo compacted to 405 words. The violence of Grendel in 4-5 lines. The conviction of John Proctor in 4-5 pages.” We think she got it. The winners that emerged were able to deftly weave emotion, ugliness, and horror to create very human, but no less memorable monsters. Read on to discover them for yourself!