Today is the day! My story “Stealer of Secrets” is now officially published on Havok Publishing’s website!
“Stealer of Secrets” is based on a 70’s song (let me know if you can guess which one!). It’s about a telepathic girl despised by her people who dedicates her life to saving those trying to commit suicide, and in the process, she just might be saved too.
Unfortunately, the story is on the website TODAY ONLY. On Havok’s website, each story is posted for one day to the public, and a new story takes its place the next day. Once that special day is over, only Havok members can view the story. So, unless you’re a Havok member, if you want to read “Stealer of Secrets,” go to Havok’s website now.
That’s not the only exciting news I have, though. To celebrate my acceptance on Havok’s website, I hosted another prompt contest, similar to the one I did when I launched my blog. In this case, though, the prompts were water-themed, and the stories had to be under one-hundred words. The theme came from the fact that both “Stealer of Secrets” and the story I’m posting on my blog next week, “One Way,” revolve around water!
If you missed the contest, here are the posts I made, including all the incredible entries I received.
I didn’t want to choose just one winner from the entries, but that’s how a contest works. So, without further ado, here are the winners.
In my search for water-themed prompts, I discovered Deep Water Prompts on Pinterest. If you’re looking for good prompts, I would look at theirs! I have a section on my Writing Prompts Pinterest board for them, but you can also find your own.
This prompt intrigued me, and I thought it would be a good one for the contest. I think the entrants did too!
Here is the winning entry of the first mini contest:
Grandmother was a diver, harvesting pearls for the family until bellies and breasts were ample. But no one dared follow her into the sea.~ Sophia Hansen
“Will you take me with you?”
She gave me a toothless smile.
We dove the next morning. Grandmother glided through the currents while I followed clumsily. Sharks circled and she began to sound. Dolphins swarmed us. The sharks approached her nervously, respectfully. A bottlenose brushed past, clicking gleefully. A great white did the same, rubbing sandpapery skin against me.
We emerged, our sacks full of pearls.
She smiles at me. “I will teach you how to call.”
I absolutely adore the voice Sophia Hansen (@fiadawordster) imbued into this piece! It’s fresh and vivid and strong, and it draws me into the story. And the grandmother/grandchild bond is precious! Maybe I’m a bit biased toward the story because my WIP includes people diving for pearls, but that’s okay. She wrote an amazing story, and I’m proud to say that it was my contest that prompted it.
I saw this and knew it had to be one of the contest prompts. A hurricane as a human being? Give me more!
This is the entry that won for this prompt:
He was the ocean’s wrath, born of the ancient abyss. Condemned to mortal body, a storm in a bottle, he walked the world of men. His suppressed rage consumed him, straining to burst forth and rain violence again, until he met her.~ Michael Erasmus
Her sunlit eyes snared his restless gaze. Her smile broke through his darkest clouds. Her voice was a whispering breeze, and her touch gentle, lapping waves. Dawn pacified Hurricane with compassion, and fiercest love was born.
Now hand-in-hand, they venture to reclaim their forms, ere mortality snuffs her soothing light and stills his thunderous heart.
Michael Erasmus (@m_c_erasmus) paints a love story in such beautiful prose and so few words that I knew I had to name him the winner! I love the touch of the nature imagery further solidifying that this is a hurricane we’re reading about. Well done, Michael.
The final prompt is my personal favorite. I love the questions it prompted (no pun intended) and the possibilities that it encouraged in my mind. Most everyone has experienced the wrinkled fingers of prolonged water exposure, and it excited me to think about where they’d take this prompt.
Here is the final prompt contest winner!
Mother always told me tales of monsters that could dry the seas.~ Elizabeth Martin
I would float in the water each night, letting the waves cradle away the nausea the tales gave me. I would stay in the ocean for hours until my whole body shriveled up, but even then the salt and the spray called to me, luring me in like a drug.
But then the reports came. The oceans were waning, disappearing, more and more each day. They would not stop. Not until I stopped swimming.
Now, I leave the water before my fingers prune.
Before the oceans become me.
Elizabeth Martin (@elli.martin02) wrote such a beautiful, unique story that I had to choose it as the winner. I never would’ve thought about people being able to absorb the ocean, but that’s the beauty of prompts! Everyone takes them differently. I love the difficult choice the character makes: letting go of the thing they love most in order to save it.
What did you think of the entries? Weren’t they amazing? I hope you choose to participate in the next contest!
Yes, there will be more contests! I plan to have one every month, probably near the beginning of the month unless I want to coordinate it with something happening later in the month. I also plan to ask someone to help me judge the contests. It’s hard to pick a winner!
I will most likely alternate judges for each month, so it won’t be the same person helping me each time. The judge won’t be eligible to win the contest, but if he or she chooses to write stories based on the prompts, his or her stories will be featured in my blog post anyway.
I also plan to open the contests up to Facebook as well. Previously, they’ve been Instagram only, and some people haven’t been able to participate because of that. So, the plan is to have both a Facebook and an Instagram winner for each contest.
I’m excited for the future of the flash fiction prompt contests!
Back to Havok
Want to see a story set amidst black sand and an icy blue sea? Check out “Stealer of Secrets”—again, TODAY ONLY! Bonus points if you can figure out which song I based it on. There’s a hint in the title.
Also, look out next week for another story set in a watery world. It’ll be posted here on my blog next Friday, September 13th. It was supposed to be posted today, but with the Havok publication date, I decided to move it. Get ready for a feisty old woman dealing with sea serpents and struggling to keep her home.
Did you enjoy the contest entries? What about “Stealer of Secrets”? Are you excited for future contests and/or my Prompted story being posted next week? Let me know in the comments!