Five Sentence Fiction: The Library’s Whispers

I almost missed this week’s Five Sentence Fiction by Lillie McFerrin. That would have been a real loss, as she chose this week’s theme – my favorite, Faeries – and mentioned me and my Faerytaleish board most graciously.

The Library’s Whispers

All she’d said was “I never want to leave this place.” – a simple, childish wish, but someone had heard her.

Years passed and her beloved books crumbled to dust from the rain that pattered through the sunken skylight. She splintered every piece of furniture in her rage but one, though she never sat.

The wind rattling through the eaves sounded like a whisper, sounded like a giggle.

She pressed her face against the chill glass of the window and watched as yet another twilight faded from the sky.

Faerytaleish Pinterest Contest Winners & General Gratitude

“I’m here for the winners of the Faerypin Contest, please.”

Once all the fun excitement of promoting a flash fiction contest has ended, I have to review the 50-100 entries and actually pick a winner. (Fairy Ring and Once Upon a Time Writing)

Every contest I run, I create one ineligible entry so I remind myself how jaw-droppingly difficult it is to create a story of depth and delight in 300 words.

If you open your favorite book, 300 words barely gives them enough time to introduce the protagonist. The author of flash fiction has not a word to waste – they must paint setting, character, detail in a broad brush. They cut to the bone; all the pretty adverbs and adjectives must go!

The Faerytaleish Pinterest Contest blended art and writing. Writers use images to inspire them, collecting images that embody their work. This time, I asked entrants to find a new image on the Faerytaleish Pinterest Page that struck them and then tell that story.

The results were kaleidoscopic. Please take the time to read all the entries and comment. The supportive comments in this contest were particularly delightful.

I am passing on the Flash Fiction crown to my friends Ruth Long and Lillie McFerrin. They are running a blog hop themed on Forbidden Love. I encourage those now addicted to writing flash to go enter.

As for me, I am taking a break from the madcap world of flash fiction contest. It’s been a lovely run. I have met more talent from this than I could have ever expected. Thank you all and keep writing.

Without further ado, the winners of the Faerytaleish Pinterest Contest:

Most Lyrical

La Belle Tristesse by My Vitreous Humour

The writing was savagely beautiful and troubling and vividly painted the chosen painting in words. This entry wins a copy of The Fairy Ring audiobook for the music of the words.


Most Transformative

Wish by Dawn Nikithser

I initially dismissed this image for my own shortlist as saccharine and one-dimensional. Dawn took the image and, through her story, transformed it into a touching and aching fable about love and loss. Dawn wins a paperback copy of Awake by Jessica Grey (thanks Jess!)

Honorable Mentions

Meg McNulty for “The Lady in the Lamp”

This little flash was chock full of well-considered details and a quick stick in the heart at the end.

Cameron Lawton for “Untitled”

Cameron created a perfect summer romance in 300 words.

Lisa Shambrook for “The Coat”

Such an innocent little girl…isn’t she? A well-crafted shocker from Lisa Shambrook.

Congratulations to all who entered and thank you! You have all created something new that did not exist before; I consider that a win as well.

Faerytaleish Pinterest Contest: Anna Meade

You came to Colchis.
I pulled loose acanthus branches.
Though thorns cut my hands,
I wound them ‘round columns for you.
I honored your victory with laurel wreaths.
I wound them in your dark gloss’d curls.
I slept to murmured words of love,
My face buried in your bronzed throat.
I burned for you.

I did all to help you.

I gave you unguents and herbs.
Hecate laughed at my blind adulation.
They say: The gods laugh when they answer your prayers.
I killed my brother for you.
I cut him in a thousand pieces.
They never found them all to bury.
I did all to hurt you.
You left me for Glauce, princess.
Her wedding gifts: a gold coronet and dress of crimson cloth.
I worked hatred into the weft and poison into the weave.
I, whom you called barbarian,
I sent her our sons, bearing these gifts of my love for you.
She burned for you, her soft flesh melting like wax.
Now the wedding dress is her shroud.
I wander the ruin’d garden.
This twilight is never-ending.
The vines pull my dress and hair.
I walk up the crumbling steps.             
My skirts weigh me down.
The children pull at them.
I keep looking, looking for you.
I raise my right hand to the gods.
I implore for vengeance.
They turn their faces away.
I  hear Hecate laughing.
Leaves redden in the dying light.
My hands are too empty.
I killed our sons for you.
I wound my hand in their dark gloss’d curls.
I bared their bronzed throats, so like their father’s.
I cut them in a thousand pieces.
I scattered them to the sea.
I still hear their voices, feel their breath.
It pulls at me like a thousand vines, binding me to twilight.
300 ineligible words