Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! Whether you’re celebrating it with a significant other or single and working all day like me, I hope you have an amazing day!
So, as some of you may know, I just ended my first flash fiction prompt contest of 2020. It went even better than I had hoped for. There were over 100 comments on two of the prompts (most were not entries–people were interacting with each other regarding the stories), and it was amazing to see.
Here are the prompt posts on Instagram if you want to see all the entries:
The abundance of participants also meant that this contest was even more difficult in terms of choosing a winner. Shaina and I deliberated for an hour last night trying to decide who would win. After talking with her, I might end up doing first and second place winners in future contests. We’ll see.
Anyway, onto the winners!
“You will not have her tonight.” He stepped through the archway leading to the garden.
A cobblestone walkway wound between the garden’s breathtaking wonders. Fountains trickled, their waters sparkling in the warm glow of lampposts. Hedge sculptures of maidens, animals, and dragons watched over the path. Prettiest of all were the flowers—bushes of wine-red roses, sky-blue tulips, silver-petaled—
He shook his head, forcing his attention back to the path. Mist crawled from the flowers, edging towards him. “You will not have me, either.”
He took off, sprinting down the path. Tendrils of mist snatched at his ankles, but he tore through them. Sweet scents intoxicated him, urging him to stop and…
…enjoy the flowers.⠀
He growled, “No,” and ran faster.⠀
His racing heart ached as wondered if he was too late. He would find her, he was sure, but could he save her from the garden’s captivation?~ Michael Erasmus
Michael (@michael.c_erasmus) portrays one of the most difficult battles–the battle of the mind. As someone with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I fight this daily, so I really related to the mental battle. Plus, it depicts our general fight against temptation, particularly if you are a Christian. And it was beautifully written, with magnificent prose and vivid descriptions.
The smell hit me the second I opened the door. My heart nearly broke as I saw the trail of rose petals leading to the candlelit kitchen.
I walked through the door and found him sitting at the table: just like last year. “Hello, Grand-paw.”
His milky-white eyes squinted my way. “You’re not my Hannah. Where is she?”
“Grand-maw died three years ago, Grand-paw.”
“Oh.” He looked at the candles and roses sitting on the table in confusion; then his face cleared, and he smiled. “Hannah is going to love these. Where is she?”
I sighed. “She’s gone, Grand-paw.”
But I knew he’d just forget again. Like he did every year. Their tradition, so beautiful in life, was all the more heartbreaking with death and dementia dividing them.~ Lindsi McIntyre
I think Lindsi (@yeahimaproser) broke all our hearts with this entry. I was expecting creepy entries since, you know, this prompt could easily be construed as a stalker being in your house, so this caught me totally off guard and touched my soul. I don’t personally have a family member with dementia, but I have seen others struggle with the pain of having someone they love forget who they are. What a beautiful, all too realistic story.
They said she was good like the river as it softly carried those upon it, and pure like the glittering sunlight beaming across the land, and life like the breath pumping within every living thing.
They were wrong.
They didn’t know the flower crown upon her head was stitched with jagged thorns, or that the crimson petal dress hid the scarlet stains of blood, or that the rainbow throne she sat upon was made of hardened stone.
They didn’t know the Winter King sent his ice and winds and rain to blanket the poison in her plants right before they bloomed. They only knew the bitter sting of his sleet, and the howling cold. And they cursed him for it.
They didn’t realize how he saved them, until the day his winds no longer came. Until her poison bloomed and the sun shone.
And they met a fate far worse than ice.~ Julia @LitAflame
I immediately fell in love with Julia’s (@litaflameblog) entry. Gorgeously written, vivid sensory details, and heartbreak. I guess I’m a sucker for pain. She painted such a beautiful story in only 150 words, and I’m in awe. I also want to cry because of how it ended. Such is the pain that comes with loving sad stories.
Thanks for Participating!
I couldn’t do these contests without you guys. Seriously. I mean, it’d be a bit awkward if I posted a contest prompt and no one responded. And you guys inspire me and awe me with the stories you create with so few words.
A huge thanks to Shaina, my fellow judge for this month! She does so much, guys. I can’t believe I ran contests by myself before.
My next contest will be in April, so watch out for that! The theme is undecided at the moment. But also, I will soon be posting my February story on the blog! It’s in five parts, so you’ll get to enjoy it for five days.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, friends! Love you all!