In his first flash fiction competition ever, Thomas Loy has sent us a piece full of nostalgia.
Dreaming of Heaven and Big Back Yards
As I long to stay awake, I can feel slumber being forced upon me and the thoughts of heaven and home begin to lay me down to sleep. As the sleep fairy takes me away to slumber town, I can see my home in Tennessee at the bottom of the long hill with the weeping willow tree and my big back yard.
I saw the world in my backyard. The Big Orange played and beat Alabama everyday. The ivy walls of Wrigley Field and the maple tree was the big green wall at Fenway Park.
The smell of fresh cut grass in the summer and fallen leaves in the fall. A picnic table to eat peanut butter sandwichs and drink cherry Kool Aid on hot summer days.
Dogwood trees were magic tents. Evel Knievel rode and Bear Bryant stood, leaning against the old oak tree. Normandy Beach was stormed many times and the battle always interupted by the call of my loving grandmother offering homemade biscuits and freshly fried chicken.
It’s where my first dog had her puppies. The Lone Ranger chased a thousand outlaws there. The swing where I stole my first kiss. Summer days and magic ways. Life has never been as simple since.
I believe there is a heaven. I believe we go as kids and our family waits patiently for us with outstretched arms, because heavens just another place just like my big back yard.
This entry courtesy of Victoria Boulton.
A unicorn! She was luminous with beauty in the silver light. My inner-child rose up from the depths of my heart, dancing and laughing. I wished that I had never silenced her and had dared to believe.
I came out from behind the tree trunk and held out my hand as you would to a skittish pet. “Hello.” My voice was soft with nerves and stupid with wonder.
The unicorn snorted and pawed at the ground, and I thought she would flee, leaving me forever wondering. But then my heart soared up on a wave of heat and happiness as she approached. My fingers twitched as her breath tickled my palm. So close, I thought. She lowered her horn.
The unicorn was knocked aside by a boulder of brown flesh – a troll, a lumpy, misshapen man with curved claws and walrus-like tusks.
“Don’t!” I threw myself forwards, grabbing the arm he had drawn back to strike.
I staggered as he shook me loose, but at this reprieve the unicorn trumpeted her victory and lunged, burying her horn deep into my belly.
“Broaam!”The troll grabbed the unicorn and flung her; she hit a tree with a sickening crack! I sank to my knees; the unicorn did not stir.
I pressed shaking hands to my belly. “It’s… so wet…”
“Girl.”I looked up and he scooped me into his arms. “You were foolish to approach a white fey,” he rumbled as he carried me. “I will bring you to the goblinfolk- they are clever with their hands and will know what to do with you.”
I struggled not to faint into the chest of my saviour, half-dead because of the lies my mother read me when I was a child.
From the brain of Mark Wilson (@mors_kajak), our first entry about banjos. Enjoy.
Kappa Die Tutti Capo  by Mark Wilson
The house was full of dust, but my cough as I entered was exaggerated, an “Anyone there?!” composed of fear. Not reassured, I moved towards the door at the end of the hall.
Distance had meant I hadn’t seen my late grandfather for years, although we continued to correspond: “Before you take possession of my house, there is something I must share. You probably don’t remember the pond in the wood that borders my garden…”
I had been to that pond this morning. The day was still and hot, but the woodland sounds had died into silence by the time I was twenty feet from the water, and the air seem to hum by the time I was within ten feet, which was as close as I dared approach.
“I don’t know if I got them all. I learned to reason with them, but they are so very dangerous, and I risked the lives of so many.“
I opened the door to the basement, shivering despite the sweat running off me.
“The kappa are so polite, you see, but there were so many, I had to bargain them all into giving a concert…“
I descended the stairs, my attempt at a further cough only a quite rasp.
As I entered the basement, I was greeted by a tableau of terror. A dozen of the creatures, frozen in polite rictus, each with one of grandfather’s banjos clutched in dead hands, the rusted capos still clamped round the third fret. Their heads were bowed to the empty chairs, as if still receiving echoes of long-ago applause, the floorboards around their feet stained from where the pond fluid had spilled from their heads.
There was a drip from the ceiling. A scrape on a capo, and the sound of a banjo string snapping…
 Desperately contrived and unamusing (except to me) sort-of Latin pun. I expect there are bonus points for that…. 🙂