First, I want to take a minute to pimp my own short story, Tangles, which I posted last week. I've gotten some great feedback, but I would love more input. In particular, I'm interested in the answer to this question: Why does Melissa refuse to take the shampoo? Several people have said, "Guilt," and while that seems like an appropriate response on the surface, I'm going to suggest that her body language doesn't convey guilt. What do you think?
Next Friday, I'll share What the Author Had in Mind.
Okay, on to what everyone really came for. The entries were even stronger this week, and no broken rules, so I was forced to judge all 8 entries. Each story was very different, and each had a lot to recommend it. In the end, I chose this one because, even after reading it a second and third time, the ending gave me a little chill. So, congratulations to this week's winner, AnnieKay.
Since it only ran 98 words, I took the liberty of adding a title.
It was not what it seemed.
From her kitchen window Melissa could see straight into Sam’s dining room. They met three months earlier when he moved in. He was single, a former chef; a friendly new neighbor.
Over time Melissa observed six different women dining with Sam. “Why not me?” she wondered.
Then unexpectedly, Sam called. “I’m making my signature dish tonight and hate to dine alone; care to join me?” Melissa agreed.
Upon entering Sam’s place, her knees weakened. The six previous “dinner dates” were still there…motionless. “Melissa,” Sam smiled, “you’re my next ‘signature dish.’ Be seated.”
Next week's prompt: As neighbors go....