Memory-Themed Prompt Contest

The flash fiction writing prompt contest for April 2020 is now officially over! The theme was memory. The entrants were given 150 words to create stories from three prompts, and they all did a fantastic job. Julia Skinner (@litaflameblog) and I had quite a time trying to choose the winners.

Here are the posts if you want to see all the entries:

Now onto the winners!

Prompt 1

I found this image on Pinterest.

“What about this one? This one’s cute!” Beth holds up a light green shirt with polka dots.

I shake my head. No. That’s the one I wore to the concert last July.

“This one?” Bright green with gathers.

Another headshake. I wore it when he teased me for not swearing.

Beth sighs. “Well you can’t wear your pajamas.” She digs a blue blouse out of the back of my closet and holds it up with a hopeful look.

I cringe. I’ve only worn that shirt once. The first time he kissed me. I shove my hands inside the sleeves of my baggy sweatshirt and pull my knees up to my chest.

Beth sits down and rests her head on my shoulder. “Maybe we should go shopping. Get you a new wardrobe.”

Yes. That’s what I need. New clothes. Throw away all the old ones. The memories hurt too much.

~ Kell Jasmer

Julia and I loved the angle Kell Jasmer (@kelljasmer) took on the prompt—using clothes to reveal the memories. It’s true; our minds associate certain details with memories, like clothing or setting. Watching the main character deal with her grief over her breakup was relatable and heartbreaking. I want to give her some chocolate and lots of hugs.

Prompt 2

I found this image on Pinterest.

“You forgot me. In the grocery store.” I put my tiny fists on my hips, glaring up at my companion.

He shrugs. “It was an accident. Never babysat before.” With that, he pops another Twinkie in his mouth. His wings shudder, turning a brilliant magenta. As I open my mouth to speak, he holds up a hand, swallowing the small cake bar. “In my defense,” he pauses to emit a ground-shaking burp, “I told you not to get lost.”

My jaw drops. “Not get—” I splutter, suddenly wishing I was tall enough to wrap my hands around his meaty neck.

Of all of the guardian angels I could have received, this one had to be the worst in all of Heaven.

I glare at the sky. /Am I being punished?/ “Some ‘protector of the weak’ you are.” I shake my head and stomp out the door.

~ Sarina White

Sarina White (@sarina.write) made everyone, judges and other entrants included, laugh. The Twinkie-munching guardian angel who casually shirks his responsibility and his tiny, offended charge are such memorable characters. Sarina promised us more—and she delivered more in the third prompt. Check out the third prompt post for the continuation of her story.

Prompt 3

Amber Ravatsaas (@amberravwrites) created the prompt.

I clearly remember the last three words we spoke to each other. We had left the house in a hurry, needing to get to the hospital in time to meet my new son. I was running late.

“Oh, shoot,” my sister breathed sharply ten minutes into the drive. “The flowers, I left them at home.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“But—the flowers—they’ll go to waste, they’ll die—”

“It’ll be fine.”

“The flowers—”

“Forget the flowers!” I snapped.

She went silent, and for one small second, I took my eyes off the road to glance at her. I opened my mouth to apologize, but nothing came out. A huge truck swerved onto the road, but I was too late to react.

I barely remember the collision. The sirens. The voices.

I made it to the hospital alive and in one piece. I didn’t see my son until much later.

Time passed. I stood over my sister’s grave, a bouquet of wild flowers in hand—the same kind she’d wanted to bring for my wife. “I’m sorry,” I whispered, the apology that had been due for so long. Now she’d never hear it. 

~ Germaine Han

Germaine Han (@germaine_han_author) collectively broke our hearts. The man’s grief, the suddenness and realness of the car accident, the beauty and tragedy of the flowers… amazing. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to always have the regret of an unspoken apology hanging over you.

The Next Contest

Thanks so much to all the participants! There would be no contests without you. And a huge shout-out to my amazing judge, Julia Skinner (@litaflameblog)! She supported both me and the entrants, promoted the contest, and helped me choose the winners, and I cannot be more grateful.

So, you know how I usually have contests every other month? Well… with COVID-19 messing up everyone’s lives and keeping lots of people (myself included) at home, I thought I’d change things up a bit. We could all use some fun in May.

So guess what? There will be a prompt contest this May, friends! 😀 I already have a judge willing to help… but I won’t reveal who it is yet. 😉

Well, I hope you enjoyed April’s contest as much as I did! I hope you have a great weekend, friends.

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