2016 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

The Flash Fiction Contest is a fiction writing contest where you write a fiction peice in 45 minutes. Our first contest of the year produced a lot of great submissions so we named a first place and a runner-up!

Our winner is Madeleine Watkins (’19):

There’s a man sitting next to me on this old park bench reading a newspaper. I turn my attention back to the empty street. This isn’t right. The walkways are silent. Not a foot moves over the pavement, and it seems even the birds have stopped singing. The world is quiet. I turn back to the man. My brow furrows. He hasn’t moved. His eyes have stopped scanning the page and in them is a blank stare. I extend my hand to his shoulder. The minute I touch him, he crumbles to the ground in a small pile of pale ash. I start and leap to my feet. Falling to my knees, I grab at the pile of ash, trying in vain to restore them to the man I had been sitting next to. The newspaper is still on the bench, ruffling lightly in the breeze. I stand and slowly back away, scanning the city squares that surround me for any sign of life. As my eyes return once more to the bench, something catches my eye. The paper has gone blank. My breath catches in my throat and I can feel my heartbeat in my arms and hands. I back away slowly, gaining speed until I turn and sprint in the opposite direction. I run for blocks, looking for someone, anyone. I turn a corner and run down the concrete steps leading towards the lake. The slapping of my shoes on concrete echoe between the broken shells of the buildings that have lost their residences. I reach the far end of the concrete bridge connecting a small island in the middle of the man-made lake to the center of the metropolitan community. Leaning against a tree, I gasp for air, my lungs searing with every laboured breath I take. Spots cloud my vision. No. It wasn’t supposed to end like this. This was never supposed to happen. I turn and sink the ground, holding my head in my hands. As hot tears stream down my face I open my eyes, taking in the city from the outside. The building and parks, sidewalks and shops are all slowly disintegrating before my eyes. The colours seep from their captors, escaping into the atmosphere and rising into the sky, leaving my world devoid of color and warmth. I shake with anxiety as I pull myself to my feet, stumbling along a path that leads further down the island. Everything is fading. As a bench to my right fades to an ever lighter color of grey, it starts to become transparent. I lunge at it, fighting the destruction, but to no avail. I hit the ground hard as the bench disappears. The rest of the island is going fast, and as I look past the swirling, dark abyss of the water, I realize everything has gone too. Slowly, the world closes in around me, definition of grey fading into nothingness. I watch the ground slowly disappear before me. Until there is nothing left.

And our runner up is Jake Darling (’19):

It wasn’t supposed to end up like this. It was supposed to be a simple mission, in and out but once we were inside that all changed. We were on the roof of a house walking silently in the night. Once we got to the target we checked our equipment and knew we were ready to go in. We rapelled down into a window and jumped through. First room clear. We scanned the room for cameras and checked under the door with our flexible wire camera, Nothing. We silently opened the first door and snuck down the hall. Another door. We check under the door and see our objective, the hostage. We kick down the door and begin to untie him when all of the sudden we hear footsteps down the hall moving quickly in our direction. “Defensive positions!” Frederick yells. I rush to the right side of the door, gun ready.

Chaos ensues as people outside heard us scrambling around. We throw smoke walls out so we can stay hidden. One in the door, one in the middle of the room, and one at the window to make a sharp shooter relatively useless. However, this does not affect the people outside, the rush inside shooting wildly into the smokes, I hear screams of my friends as they get hit. I rush outside to try and get behind the enemy’s but it does not work, they have more outside. I am caught with my gun down against four with their guns drawn. They take me into a separate room and tie me up just like the first person we found. They take my gear and distribute it to those who have little. Here they leave me, tied up and listening to the screams of my friends as they are tortured until their death. I am well aware that there will not be another mission sent out to rescue us due to the danger of failing another time. I am alone.

In the spirit of the beauty of small things, the featured image above is a food-mini created by Mary Ottley.

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