“The Will of the Sky” and Contest Winners!

As some of you may know, my short story “The Will of the Sky” was published on Story Embers today! Story Embers is an incredible website, and I was so honored to receive second place in their short story contest this year. Finally, it has been shared with the world! (You should also check out Kate Flournoy’s “Ella,” which won first place. It’s well worth the heartbreak. Go New Wessex!)

“The Will of the Sky” is a desert fantasy about a man from an honor-shame culture who has been shamed by his son and wrestles with whether to forgive or exile him. It deals with the complicated nature of duty and family, honor and love. I hope you enjoy it.

The Contest

So, in honor of that win, I decided to make my third flash fiction contest desert-themed. Choosing winners is always so hard because of how many incredible stories I receive. I would recommend you check out all the entries, winners or not.

Here are the Instagram posts:

Here are the Facebook posts:

The Judge

This time, I had the honor of judging the contest alongside the lovely Shaina Merrick!

Shaina Merrick spins her web of stories from the Western Side of the Rockies. The mountains surrounding her show up in one way or another in many of her stories. Her favorite part of writing is the first blush of a story begging to be written. The germ of an idea carries her through the rest of the draft, and all the way through the editing process. As well as a healthy amount of chocolate and hiding in a cave of pillows with a good book. Books are the reason she began to write in the first place, the stories written down on paper whispered of the stories she could write, if she ever put the book down long enough to start them. The stories that inspire her the most are written by Maggie Steifvater, N.D. Wilson, and Jeanne Birdsall. If she could craft stories that are even half as compelling as those, life would be perfect.

I met Shaina at Realm Makers this year, and we became fast friends, holding deep conversations and giving lots of hugs. Having her help with the contest was not only fun but also helped me choose the winners! I’ll be switching off judges every month (though there will most likely be repeat judges over the months). If you’re interested in helping me judge, let me know!

Also, I hope you guys enjoyed the Facebook contest. I think it did decently well, so I plan to keep the Facebook contest running for at least another month to gauge its sustainability. As always, please let me know if there is anything I can do to better my contests. I want to make them the best they can be.

So, without further ado, here are the prompts and their esteemed winners!

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Shadow Wolf: Part 4

It would be greatly to your advantage if you read the first three parts (Part 1; Part 2; Part 3) of this story before continuing on. If you have, then congratulations! You’ve reached the final part of “Shadow Wolf.”

“Shadow Wolf” is based on a writing prompt posted by Intuitive Writing Guide:

“What big teeth you have, Grandmother!”

“All the better to––”

“Eat me with?”

“I was hoping you wouldn’t notice.”

“Yeahhh, I’m not sure why you thought that would work.”

~ Mirriam Neal

Now, let’s see how the story ends!


Stella

My head bumps into an unseen barrier. Gasping, I push against it with all my strength, which isn’t much. “Marielle!” I cry.

Then the barrier shifts. I push harder, my wings straining. A piece of sky starts to show––if one could call it that. It’s dark but not as dark as the inside of this box.

Am I in the shoebox?

With a heave, I throw off the lid and fly out. My head smacks against something hard. Yelping, I float lower. So much confinement! Sure enough, in the dim light, I can just make out the shoebox.

I’m in her world! But where am I? And where is Marielle?

I peer around the small expanse, limited by the hard substance above my head. To my right is a faint light. Rubbing my head, I fly toward it and meet a cloud of something gray and fuzzy. Shrieking, I try to brush it away, but it clings to my dress. At least it doesn’t seem malevolent, just . . . disgusting.

I continue scraping it away the best I can and glance around. More gray fuzz lingers to my left, but I can easily avoid that. My fingers brush something hard on my dress, and I yank on it unsuccessfully, then realize it’s the anchor. I gently finger the glowing green strand. I’ll come back to you, Lysander.

Oh, why am I delaying? Marielle needs me! I can almost hear her voice crying my name.

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