Who doesn’t love mermaids?
My judge for this month’s Prompted Contest is practically a mermaid expert, so when we were deciding a theme for the contest, we knew exactly what to choose. As exhausted as I am, hosting the contest was so refreshing. The participants inspire me.
Here are the contest posts:
A big thanks to Beka Gremikova (@beka.gremikova), who helped me judge this month. She is an expert flash fiction writer–if you’re a Havok member, check out her Havok author page–and a fantastic person, and I loved having her at my side!
Now for the August winners!
Sharks don’t often get second chances. When you’ve got a hideous maw full of admittedly intimidating chompers, people and witches alike tend to wanna make you the bad guy. There are just some things a strict no-people diet and a “Stop Pollution” campaign ain’t gonna change.
So when I broke an obscure No Hunting After Midnight rule (obviously an accident) and some young up-and-coming spell-caster decided to sentence me to spend the rest of my days as a mermaid in a jar, I saw an opportunity. Sure, it meant losing my toned cartilaginous figure as well as freedom and meaning in life, but on the off chance that someone discovered me and had pity on me (hair has that effect), I had a real shot at a life of acceptance.
Someone’s bound to stumble over my jar. Maybe some kids. I like kids.~ Shay W. Griffin
Shay W. Griffin (@thegriffinpen) wowed Beka and I with this unique, funny entry. The character’s voice is so fresh and invigorating, and I never would’ve thought to use sharks in relation to this prompt, but it works so well! Fantastic job, Shay!
“Despite the fact that they were emperor penguins, they were but chicks and thus defenseless.” The penguin paused dramatically.
“So,” I encouraged, “what did you do, Sir Addie?”
His small chest puffed out. “I ran headlong at the giant petrel and dared him to meet me in single combat.”
As he continued the tale of his gallant rescue and escort of the chicks to their parents, I couldn’t help but wonder if he saw his own chick in those he saved, the chick he’d failed to return to so many months ago. My memory replayed the last I’d seen of my family, everyone scattering as the orcas chased us.
With a thrust of my tail, I crawled up on the ice floe and pulled Sir Addie into a hug. For this brave little penguin had saved me from loneliness just as much as he’d saved those chicks.~ Ariel Jackson
Ariel Jackson (@eruvanne) used the prompt simply and perfectly, with the penguin relaying stories to the mermaid but with some emotional sting to it. I love the backstories of the two characters and the sweet relationship between them. Plus, Beka and I loved Ariel’s exploration of penguin culture!
I found her.
I expected to find the same smiling green-eyed girl. The same one I lost to the sea seven years ago. I never believed she was dead.
And here she is. A big, blue, beautiful…
What is she?
“Lily,” I choke. “I found you. You’re alive.”
She floats around me. Graceful. Confident. “Hello, David.”
I flap my flippers harder. “That’s all you can say? I’m here. I saved you.”
Confusion passes over her lovely features as she studies me. “I told you. I told you I was different. Over and over again.”
What is she saying?
“I told you I belonged in the sea. I wasn’t human. Never was.”
My heart falls to the very bottom of the dark ocean depths. “You’re not coming with me?”
She smiles sadly as she shakes her head. “No, Davy. I’ve been away from the ocean too long. And now I’m home.”~ Jenna Terese
Jenna Terese (@jenna.terese)’s entry was loved well both by the fellow contestants and by us judges. The doomed love and the emotional conflict, combined with fascinating characters and a deep sea setting, made this story a real winner. Thanks for participating, Jenna!
The next Prompted Contest will take place in October. My fellow judge and I are already planning how we can make this a great contest for all of you!
I don’t plan to post on my blog at all in September. After a year of blogging regularly with little to show for it, I’ve decided to stop posting stories every month and instead focus on novels, stories to submit to publications like Havok, and Prompted Contests. I may occasionally post a story anyway, but don’t expect any regularly. This also has to do with the fact that my prompt buddy, Laura, just started college (woo!), so she won’t be doing any Prompted stories anytime soon. ‘Twas a fun year, though!
Thanks so much for all your support, and I look forward to the next contest!