As promised last week, I’m delighted to announce the results of my flash fiction competition. Please read the simply brilliant winning entries below and the judge’s comments following. An enormous thank you to all those who entered. You made it extremely difficult for me to choose. I read, re-read and read yet again, all the entries, changing my mind several times over! Results for the ‘Treasure’ themed competition will appear here, this time next week.
1st Place: The Life of a Teddy Bear by Sacha Black
2nd Place: Money by Adam Dixon
3rd Place: Morning Antlers by Julia Anderson
The Boy Who Lost His Shadow by Geoff Le Pard
Snatching Some Peace by Rachel Louise Dove
Who Me? by Lestie Mulholland
Fire Exit by Jocelyn Barker
Why? by David Harrison
Know Your Enemy by Geoff Le Pard
Here are the stories. Enjoy:
The Life of a Teddy Bear
I protected him for ten years. Now he closes the cardboard coffin on me. It makes my stuffing heart ache until it breaks in two.
I never told him, but I’m terrified of the dark. Only his cuddles kept me brave. And now there’s no one to protect me. I’m all alone in the loft.
Tears trickle out button eyes for what feels like an eternity.
Until one day, a crack appears in the box. Blonde locks and bright blue eyes smile at me, sewing the first stitch of my heart back together.
This story had me right from the start. By the end of the first paragraph I was hooked, feeling that sense of abandonment, along with the teddy bear. The first person viewpoint is the perfect choice for this story; the reader is carried along with the bear, feeling and experiencing everything along with him. It’s a simple concept but so beautifully told. The story takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster; not easy to do in only 100 words. I love the descriptive language; I could imagine this whole cycle of the life of the teddy bear in my mind. In a story of such short length, every word has to count and, in this story, it certainly does. A very worthy winner.
You know me. You covet me. Gold, silver, copper, paper and plastic; I have had many guises but I am always known. Young, old, man, woman, saint or sinner, it matters not; all hear my voice, my siren call. I lurk in the caverns of your minds and whisper to you constantly, maddeningly, irresistibly. Sleepless nights, broken friendships and dark deeds await you, for Greed is my puppet and he serves me well. I am the root of all evil and my reach is tireless…I will watch you teeter on the brink of madness and laugh at your despair.
When I first set this competition, I advised entrants to think outside the box and this is exactly what Adam has done in his story. You don’t often see a story written in the second person and it’s a brilliant choice here. Adam sums up the subject of money and its hold upon us superbly, making us almost believe that money is a living, breathing being that we can’t escape. A wonderfully atmospheric story.
Every day, my dear teenage daughter, your morning antlers slay my peace. You butt heads with me and endlessly bleat, “This isn’t right; that’s wrong,” before you set off for school. Why are you never satisfied?
The new breakfast cereal you chose and munched at the weekend is no longer to your exact taste. Your expensive shoes that were bang up to the minute in fashion last week are now, “So last year, Mother. I can’t possibly be seen dead in them.”
Oh yes, you can, dear daughter. Step closer and let me fasten the tie on your school uniform.
I loved this story on first reading. With a fifteen-year-old daughter, I immediately connected with the mother in the story. I know just how she feels! The story is also very cleverly told and the use of language spot-on. I wondered how Julia would bring the story to a conclusion and the ending is a highly satisfying one. Once again, this story offered something a little different and so it instantly stood out.