Thank you to everyone who participated in the third round of the 2015 Writer Unboxed Flash Fiction Contest!
The entries in March were a pleasure to read, and again there wasn’t much separating the winner from the honourable mentions. It’s such a delight to read all the different takes on a single prompt.
This month brought stories that made us laugh, stories that brought tears to our eyes, and stories that touched our hearts. Now, with no further ado, allow me to present March’s honourable mentions:
Daniel Anuchan (“I entered the immaculate room and looked over the rail at my wife in the bed.”)
Julia Jay (“‘What do you want?’”)
And now, joining our three previous winners as a finalist in the 2105 WU Flash Fiction Contest, allow me to introduce the winner of round three:
Larissa Thomson with Glory. Please read and enjoy the full story, in its encore performance.
Glory remembers the relevant things: the heavy thumping of the soldier’s boots as they marched near the shallow grave her mother frantically dug for them to hide in; the green strip of fabric ripped from the hem of her mother’s dress to cover her mouth and nose so she could breathe easier under the dirt; the feel of her mother’s hands—shredded and bleeding—in hers as they lay there together, hoping for silence and not discovery.
The coughing up of Nigerian silt for weeks after coming to Canada.
This wall is not her wall to paint. But those girls were not their girls to take. She carries her survivor’s guilt like it was a canvas satchel stuffed with boulders. She was lucky. Five minutes later and her mother would no longer have been at the school.
She paints a white girl on the brick wall even though she knows there are many colours with fear – white, yellow, black, red—and she paints the bubbles for her sisters.
219 bubbles to be painted in all and, one after another, they float lightly, freely, ironically, out from the paintbrush. There’s no freedom for her sisters yet, but she knows she needs to keep hoping.
In the bubbles, where the small white reflection of light would go, she paints their eyes as she feels them now: dark, terrified, resigned, frantic.
And underneath each bubble, in her beautiful cursive writing, she writes all their names: Esther, Maryam, Yagana, Awa, Rejoice, Lydia, Comfort…
We loved this story for so many reasons, from the details that set the scene to the humanising of a tragic event. We hope it touches your heart as much as it touched ours. And now, a bit more about the author.
Larissa Thomson is “just a small town girl, living in a lonely worl……” Oh. No? Ok, truth be told, she’s not a small town girl (anymore), and she lives on the West Coast of B.C.. She’s currently trying to hone her voice and skill in the short story department before taking the plunge in to, gulp, a novel. She’s really lucky to be surrounded by crazy and interesting people who will, more than likely, become characters in that novel (whether they like it or not). In the meantime, she’s collecting mannerisms and expressions from her recalcitrant teen and story ideas from her husband who, thankfully, sees the world very differently than she does.
Congratulations, Larissa! You’ve earned yourself a place in December’s final round of the 2015 WU Flash Fiction Contest.
Readers, ready for Round Four? It’s coming up in another hour, so stay tuned…