I have to apologise: I said on the AGM post in September that there would be more info on the Flash Fiction results shortly and then failed to get anything put up on the blog. Ooops. So a big “sorry!” to all that entered and especially to the winning authors. And here’s one I should have made earlier…
Our Flash Fiction competition was on the theme of ‘Journey’ and we decided to push the word count out to a massively generous 200 words to see what you’d come up with. Long-time (now retired) Fosseway member Kirsty Adlard kindly judged the entries and gave the following comments:
“Flash Fiction is not an easy genre for any writer, however experienced they may be; every word must count. The quality of writing was high and extraordinarily varied and what mainly influenced me was their immediate impact at my initial reading; whether the text rang true and told a meaningful, and sometimes beautifully described, story. I assure you that every piece was well worth reading and an awful lot of reshuffling took place before I reached my final choices! Do enter again, all of you.”
As well as the top three, Kirsty awarded a ‘commended’ badge of honour to “The Journey” by Liz Moran of Brigg.
Tired after a day’s work, the humdrum motion of the bus was welcoming as I settled myself down to the long journey home. A slim, attractive young woman sat beside me. Something about her reminded me of myself some fifty years earlier. Wistfully, I thought how quickly those years have flown by. Lulled by the rocking, I closed my eyes. Breathing deeply, I began to relax. The woman shuffled slightly, releasing a pleasing hint of perfume, which floated into the air accessing a memory deep in the recesses of my mind. I recognised it. Waves of scented memories melted away the years, reminding me of being in love, of endless days of craziness, when youthfulness knew no boundaries, a time when I was carefree and the world was there to be conquered. Its bouquet plunged me deeper, journeying back in time where I drowned in its delicate hues, remembering the excitement, the adventure of once being desirable. How could I have forgotten the sensual delight of being eighteen again? The heavenly fragrance electrified me, liberating me once more from earthly ties. The woman turned and smiled. “It’s the elixir of life,” she instinctively whispered to me as if she knew…
Second and third places were both awarded to entries by Lynne Emmerson of Hull.
3rd: “A Journey Into Vinyl“
The record rotates, the stylus juddering slightly. Music streams: ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’. I watch, filling my head with sound as my eyes follow the endless grooves round and round… and then it happens! As the record spins, my room spins too, I spin: sickeningly, scarily. Reality transmutes into a hilltop surrounded by a glorious midnight-blue sky sprinkling with stars like, well, diamonds! And as I stare, freaking slightly, I see a woman dancing, silhouetted against the stars. Lucy? Then it hits me: I’m inside the music and poetry of Lennon and McCartney. Oh man, this is weird. Has anyone else ever done this? I shiver with excitement then a brief twinge of fear before letting myself sway in time with woman and song. As the last notes die, everything begins spinning again and I ‘awake’ in my room staring disbelievingly at the slowing black vinyl just as the playing arm swings back onto its cradle. What just happened? Was I dreaming? Can I repeat it? Is it a strange property of this particular record? What about CDs, iPods, vid-phones and wrist comps? Can I ‘psych’ into any recording? There is only one way to find out!
2nd: “The River: a journey through time and space“
Ever-moving chronicler of epochs, transforming and recording thee mutable landscape of its ecology, the river has experienced much in the long ages of its existence: the expansive chilling darkness when its icy waters sliced through a frozen landscape; the raging thaw carving out valleys and smoothing jagged crags into shallow verges; the temperate times when newly-emerged humankind travelled in tree-carved canoes, settling along its fertile margins taking advantage of bountiful fish, the nutritious vegetation that grew there, enjoying its unwitting protection from danger. Onwards into futuristic times of suspension bridges and factories punctuating its fecund muddiness, a witness to the new gods of commerce and manufacturing. The river has know joy in falling headlong, white-foamed, down the mountain slopes of its youth; surging past dark, mysterious forests where the old gods roam. Hurtling its mad downward race between rearing stone-giant cliffs before changing pace to navigate more sedate gradients. Now: it meanders gently through meadows and woodlands of luscious flood plains, anticipating impending freedom as it heads inexorably towards the sea, heralded by the heart-rending calls of seagulls. And it knows ecstasy when, ultimately, it is rewarded for its endurance by the welcoming waves of mother ocean’s continually-shifting, moon-steered tides.
First prize was awarded to Janey Harvey of Newark.
“One Way Ticket“
My bag sits by the door. It’s been packed for days. There’s not much in it; I won’t need much where I’m going. There’s a book I’ve been engrossed in, that I would really like to finish if I can and some photographs of the girls. I glance at my watch for what must be the hundredth time in the last hour. Time has a habit of dragging its heels when we want it to hurry up and today is no exception. I hear the noise of the taxi pull up outside. It’s time. I take a last look around my home of the last 42 years, close the door behind me; post the keys through the letterbox for the estate agent.
“The airport?” The taxi driver smiles at me in the rear-view mirror.
“You going anywhere nice?”
I shake my head.
“Oh! Switzerland’s not really a holiday destination, is it?”
I smile, “I suppose not.”
We reach the airport, I pay the driver and he hands me a card, “In case you need to book a taxi for when you come home.”
But I won’t be coming home. Mine is a one-way ticket…
Thanks to everyone who entered!