Tyler Polani winner of the Gray Finder Fiction Contest

The Man In Grey by Tyler Polani

He was 6 feet 5 inches, broad shoulders and big feet. He always wore a grey polo, black slacks with black dress shoes. He had always lived in town and everyone knew him, but no one knew his name. No one ever asked because it had never seemed that important, he was known and people had respect for him. When others laughed hysterically, he would only grin. There was much mystery and secrecy behind this man. He always minded his own business, never seen during the day, only at night at restaurants or bars with fellow townsmen. It was unknown as to where this man lived or what he even did for a living. One day a little girl walked up to him and asked, "What's your name mister?" He smiled big, for the first time ever seen, and replied, "The man in grey." 
Almost all the stories for this round of the competition were almost more vignettes then a fully plotted out narratives. I’m a real sucker for a sense of humor and I like a sort of zap at the end of the story. So while I thought all the stories were fun and I enjoyed reading them I liked Tyler Polani’s story the best. A very close second was Denise Nomura’s story which was actually very plot driven. Here’s why:

“The Man in Grey” by Tyler Polani was a tight interesting little vignette that was satisfyingly tied to the iconography of the painting. It was also brief and packed a bit of a wallop. The end of the story was a kind of punch line that drew a smile on my face.

“The Lost and Not Found” by Gregory Bush was another character study and its appeal was a wild sense of fantasy, kind of like “Supernatural” crossed with “Indiana Jones.”

Laura Gonsalves’ story was more of a first chapter in a novel that I want to see her finish. She is certainly a fine writer: one fantastic turn of phrase, “Everything went black for Gray.” I’m waiting to see how the story will develop in the “future?”

Aside from a little confusion as to whether the story revolved around a wedding or a funeral, I thought Denise Nomura’s ending was great. It’s the kind of story that could have happened to me when I was a kid. There was a kind of realism to it that really got to me.

Patrick Nelson almost always takes a zig when I expect a zag. I love the element of surprise at the end of the story although parts of it were just a little too close to home for me but I liked where he went with it.

While very fine short story with some clever and interesting ideas in it, there was a part of me that felt “Words of Wisdom” by Tara Ingraham. I guess that her wise words are both enigmatic and a little oblique.

Another wonderful vignette was Power of Hope by Payal Gupta. I like his optimism. A sort of optimistic take on how a bank robbery went was offered up by Stephanie Pellegrini. The character of the story and the main character of “Gray” was a wonderful mixture of “All the Usual Suspects” crossed with the series “White Collar.” Both stories had an optimistic charm!

Read them all here:

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Upcoming Shows:

Elliott Fouts Gallery, Sacramento California 
February 4th - March 1st, 2012.
Reception: Saturday February 11th  6PM-9PM 4749 J. Street Sacramento, CA 95819 
Phone (916) 736-1429

Ohlone College, Fremont California 
February 7th -  March 9th
Reception, Saturday, February 25, 2012 
6PM - 8PM Louie Meager Art Gallery in the Smith Center at
Ohlone College, 43600 Mission Blvd.
Fremont, California 94539

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