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Flash Fiction Contest Round 7

Photo by Flickr user Rocky Raybell [1]
Photo by Flickr user Rocky Raybell

Thank you to everyone who participated in round 6 [2] of the WU Flash Fiction Contest. There were so many great stories — although I have to say that I’ve never before read so many tales of suicide, depression, death, and grief in one place!

Our July contest is now open. You have seven days to write a 250 word story about the picture above to be in the running for an absolutely fabulous prize pack.

The rules:

What the winner receives: 

Each month’s winning story will be announced the following month, and republished on Writer Unboxed, along with the author’s bio, and links to the winner’s website and social media accounts. As well as this platform-raising exposure, the monthly winner gets bragging rights and the exclusive opportunity to compete for the grand prize in December.

In December, each of the monthly winners will be asked to write a new flash fiction story based on a new prompt. The overall winning story will be selected by a mix of votes via a poll and our own discretion.

The overall winner of the 2015 Writer Unboxed Flash Fiction Contest will be announced by the end of December 2015, and will receive:

The other finalists will receive the a beautiful “Edit” poster from Three Figs Villa [7], as kindly donated by the generous Cyd Peroni.

Good luck and happy writing!

And now… announcing the winner of Round 6 of the WU Flash Fiction Contest.

Photo by Jo Eberhardt
Photo by Jo Eberhardt

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Vincent Bracco (“A Thing That Can Never Go Wrong”)

Nancy Hatch (“How long could regret last?”)

Matthew Eaton (“The river ripped as the stone skipped across its surface.”)

Congratulations Vincent, Nancy, and Matthew. I can’t wait to see what you write this month.

WINNING ENTRY

Congratulations to Tonia Marie Harris [8], whose story won this round, earning her a place in the 2015 WU Flash Fiction grand final!

Please read and enjoy the full story, “The Baptism”, in its encore performance.

Every year they drew the lottery,
the old folk
for their baptism, their limbs scrawny
skin like old letters worn
out by the lover’s reading.

Everyone, including us, who changed
their bed pans and kept their pills
in plastic boxes, lined up and categorized
like tin soldiers,
forgot they had once been beautiful
like the trees that bowed over that
strip of riverbank.

I thought I knew one thing
nature is not a friend, time is a stranger,
unkind and leaving us all to fend the waters
for ourselves, drowning, unknowing
the depths never tested. They told me,
young and uninitiated,
to take them and I patted their grey heads
settled them into the van.
We drove into the late summer heat,
their chattering like old records
worn and familiar.

They stripped down
to their underclothes, embarrassed, I wondered
when gravity
would take hold of me, how long I had to
breathe in smell of water and green
in wide gulps before I bore lines on my face
and aching in my hips.

In the wake of silence I turned, afraid the river
had claimed them.
They bobbed along,
each face lit like white butterflies,
Accepting the current that bore
them away.
I tried to shout into the stillness,
plead with them to come back to me.

I ran after them, brambles tearing at me
Like grief, like bad dreams.

I dived into the river
Consumed by charging darkness
Bore up again by gentle hands
Into shallow light.
Alone.

Tonia Marie Harris [8] writes poetry and speculative fiction. Her work has been shortlisted for the Mashstories.com competition, appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, and been published in Twice Upon a Time, an anthology of retold fairy tales. She claims her muse is a cross-dressing goblin with a penchant for drinking and Kafka novels. Chocolate is her kryptonite. You can also find Tonia on Twitter @TMarieHarris.

Congratulations, Tonia!  

About Jo Eberhardt [9]

Jo Eberhardt is a writer of speculative fiction, mother to two adorable boys, and lover of words and stories. She lives in rural Queensland, Australia, and spends her non-writing time worrying that the neighbor's cows will one day succeed in sneaking into her yard and eating everything in her veggie garden.