The winner of the photo-prompted fantasy flash fiction contest is (insert drum roll here☺) Emily Livingstone!!! Her entry , Play Date, spun a scenario based on the provided photo that nailed it in my opinion!
Being able to present an entire story, that creates imagery and emotion in less than 300 words is no small endeavor. Emily Livingstone has shown a unique and very adept talent in doing just that! Just check out the photo prompt ( belbelowiw the runner ups entry) that was provided for the contest and I am sure you will agree.
Contest Entry – 296 words
Mama pointed out the window.
“Don’t look at that building, or that one. Close your ears to the street noise. Stop seeing blinking lights.”
Jake leaned in, listening.
“In your dream, you’ll go to a field, way far away, with tall, golden grass swaying in the breeze. There’s this tree, right in the center, so beautiful, with a light glowing behind it. That’s where you’ll play, by the special tree.”
Mama tucked him in.
“Maybe I’ll meet you under the tree tonight.”
Jake had never dreamed of the tree in all the nights Mama had told the story—until tonight. Now, Jake stood underneath, gazing up at the strong black branches that twisted into feathery nothing in the sky.
The glow was there, too.
Something walked forward from the glow and put a hand on the tree trunk.
“Jake?” a boy’s voice asked.
“Hey, yeah, it’s me,” Carlos said.
They hugged in a quick, child way. They played hide-and-seek in the golden grass.
The moon set, and Carlos stopped.
“Guess you better go.”
“Guess so,” Jake said.
Carlos climbed up into the tree. Carlos grabbed at knots and branches like he’d climbed trees a million times, but Jake knew this wasn’t true. Carlos was a city kid, too. Jake wanted to climb, to try it, but Carlos looked down and said,“Jake, you gotta go! Hasta mañana, man!”
Jake laughed, because “hasta mañana” was something Carlos had taught him. He said it back. Jake walked away, and his mind grew fuzzy.
When Jake woke, he remembered.
She came in.
“I saw the tree, Mama! Carlos was climbing it.”
Mama laid a hand on Jake’s arm, and the hand said “shush.” Mama’s voice said, “Honey, Carlos was in an accident. You won’t see him anymore.”
Congratulations Emily Livingstone! Reading Play Date was a pleasure. Your first place win is well earned for sure!!!
I’m sure when you see the photo used in the contest you will agree! Great job and a pleasure to read.
Our runner up in this very close contest is Karen Mossman with her entry of, I Am Alive!!! Congratulations, Karen on your writing talent and your 2nd place win!
I Am Alive
Standing in front of the tree I stared up as the mist swirled around it. I had escaped. I was outside in the real world and it had been too long.
Breathing deeply, the dampness assaulted my senses, but I liked it. My bare feet were cold on the early morning grass and I liked that too. The sky looked huge and went on forever. Touching the bark it was hard and damp under my fingertips.
I was alive. I had left my home on the promise of work, in fact I was promised many things when I came to this country. They were all lies.
I had done terrible things without choice, I learned things about myself that I didn’t know, that I didn’t want to know. But most of all I learned I could endure.
I never lost me and vowed one-day I would escape the dark house with closed curtains and the men I entertained. I hadn’t realised it would be so long, I feel old before my time.
Running my hands over the bark, it felt rough with the smell of rich bark. I sat down resting my back against it, and looked out across the field and saw the men were coming for me.
It was sheer chance that I found that coalhole in basement. I couldn’t believe it opened. So I waited until the early hours to make my escape.
I climbed the tree, my feet sore and bleeding. I fought my way up the branches as high as I could go. The men approached, shouting. I looked down on them and smiled. I was free. I raised my hands and jumped.
Karen conveyed the very intense emotions of her main character with finness!
I hope you have all enjoyed both Emily and Karen’s winning entries as much as we did! And thank you ladies for sharing your work!