flash fiction winners

CONCEALMENT – WRITING CONTEST RESULTS

Many thanks to Judge Charles Rammelkamp for choosing our contest theme and volunteering his time to select the three prizewinners. Thanks also to the 250 brilliant writers who entered this contest.

Charles Rammelkamp

FIRST PRIZE— Andrew M Stockton, Sunday Lunch (Again)
SECOND PRIZE—Lesley Middleton, Little Joe
THIRD PRIZE— Mark Warren, The Cleaner

Judge: Charles Rammelkamp
Theme: Concealment

 

FIRST PRIZE: Sunday Lunch (Again) by Andrew M. Stockton

Judge’s Comments: Sunday Lunch (Again) is like an oyster concealing a pearl. Just as the food smells are described as “invisible but powerful,” so is the secret of incest that’s only alluded to. Is it the daughter’s father? Her uncle? Both? All that’s certain is the shame and the “naked, remorseless memories” behind the sham of the family dinner.

Sunday Lunch (Again)
By Andrew M Stockton

Walking into cooking-smells, cabbage, the roast, food smells, invisible but powerful, making me salivate. “Hi, it’s me; your daughter’s home for Sunday lunch! Feed me!”

Dad’s laid the table, and the tablecloth is so bright and white it could warn ships about hazards. Wish I’d had such a hazard warning years ago. Mum checks the cutlery and moves the bottle of wine that uncle Danny bought to hide a small stain on the cloth. (more…)

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AFTERMATH – Writing Contest Results

Many thanks to the 450 international writers who entered this contest—and we extend our deepest gratitude to Judge Abigail Favale for offering her time and expertise to choose the top three prizewinners.

Dr. Abigail Favale

Dr. Abigail Favale

First Prize: Erin O’Loughlin, Brother Fox
Second Prize: Susan James, Home for the Holidays
Third Prize: Anne Anthony, Bathroom Break

Judge: Dr. Abigail Favale
Theme: Aftermath

 

 

FIRST PRIZE: Brother Fox by Erin O’Loughlin

Judge’s Comments: This piece does everything a flash fiction piece should do. A benign yet beguiling beginning, zooming out to reveal a potential tragedy unfolding in real time. I read it with a slow-dawning dread that climaxes at just the right moment, the moment of the “flash.”

Brother Fox
By Erin O’Loughlin

Imagine the fox, the only spark of color in this bright landscape. All that endless powder white, broken only by a flash of red—there—then gone again. There is more life than you know, under all these layers and layers of snow.

Imagine how he cocks his head listening (the skill is not unique to the male of the species—vixens do it also). You can see he is straining his senses, listening for the soft scrabble under the snow. Then, ears high in the air, he dives headfirst into the snow, body flailing awkwardly as the front paws find purchase under all that cold white. And he will come back up with a limp little mouse in his jaws. So far this might be an acute sense of hearing, an expert dancer’s timing. But the strange thing is that nine times out of ten, a fox that dives to the north will catch his prey. A fox that leaps and dives to the south will lose it. Somehow a fox’s body is aligned to the magnetic north. In tune with it. If his quarry lies that way, the hunt will be good. An innate geo-location, gift of the wintry gods that govern small creatures. (more…)