Fiction

Flash Fiction, 1st place - Anju Natarajan '22

The umbrella broke in the wind. The spokes curled and crumbled, the sidewalk reflecting its twisted silhouette. She hurriedly dropped the object, as it was rendered useless. Pulling her dark, black hat further over their face to shield the rain, she walked. Black lace covered her face, the same lace adorning her legs. Looking down as she walked, she finally arrived. Rows of headstones glistened in the rain, water drops rolling down them at an unfathomable pace. Someone offered her an umbrella, but she refused. The crowd opened for her, letting her walk to the front. As she walked, she felt sympathetic pats on her back and shoulders, the sound of gentle crying echoing throughout.

Flash Fiction, 1st place - Ella McDaniel '22

Sometime that morning, they forgot their own name. It wasn’t sudden or anything. It was as simple as forgetting to unload the dishwasher or letting wet clothes sit in the washing machine overnight. Maybe forgetting one’s own name would be startling, but maybe it was for the best. Some things are best meant to be forgotten. They went downstairs, carefully running the pads of their fingers over the textured wood railing, and noted that sensation. They checked the dishwasher: empty. The clothes were folded. Everything was neat, tidy like it was meant to be that way. These things were done with purpose, with resolve.

Flash Fiction, 2nd place - Katherine Becker '22

Everything was a reminder of what was left of her childhood. She was trying to forget, grow up, move on, but nothing around her would allow her to progress. It was everlasting, her childhood memories. Inescapable. Even as she grew up, seventeen now, the remnants remained, little pieces of patchwork fabric left sewn into the stairway, the teapot sitting on the kitchen table, the American flag that hung out front of the house. 

Flash Fiction - Catherine Horner '22

“Just don’t look over the railing.”

Just. As though you could pare down the psyche. As though you could erase all doubt with some upward tilt around the jugular. Heavens! If I avert my eyes from the railing, what I may imagine beneath me! I could quite paint a picture of Hell. Snakes and the mane of Medusa. Let there at least exist a bottom, whether lethal jaws or folds of grass. Because if an abyss stirs on the other side of this precipice, then I may plunge out of fear. Shoot me now! Shoot me now! I cannot bear this purgatory. I would rather face death than this continual pain. May I fall into the inviting arms of Death, sickly and dear to my quaking pulse. Take this pulse! I cannot bear the sound. Spare me from the inescapable toll! I would fall to my knees and beg to God that he remove me, take me wherever, but in my hysteria, I would surely lose step and plummet if I tried to find the floor. The railing rattles in the wake of emotion; what architectural folly to believe my will, my fear would not overcome its feeble structure. Look, I can see the screws shaking. One just burst from its place.

Flash Fiction - Stella Williams '24

The cat knocked over the inkpot. Slowly the ink dripped off the desk and onto the floor. It dripped faster and faster creating a larger and larger puddle. The inkpot seemed never ending, the stream of ink never slowing down. Rushing, gliding, spilling out creating a dense back lagoon on the ground. Soon the ink filled the entire base of the room and began to rise, rise up over the stools then over the counter. Soon the study became a large ocean of dark black ink. Waves of ink began crashing at the door begging to be let out, into the rest of the house. 

Flash Fiction - Jac Borich '24

My mind had divorced my body. My thoughts in the clouds above, floating, soaring even. Drawing pictures in the sky one moment, the next writing on a whiteboard. Artist and mathematician working together and fighting for control. Idly pulling the strings on my limbs like a puppeteer during a show. Back and forth, back and forth, up and down, up and down. Gliding through the water like a stingray, smooth and slow. All at once, the mind that was floating above comes crashing down upon my head, ready for control as I swim to the wall.

Le Poursuivant - Short Fiction - Virginia Ballowe '23

My mind had divorced my body. My thoughts in the clouds above, floating, soaring even. Drawing pictures in the sky one moment, the next writing on a whiteboard. Artist and mathematician working together and fighting for control. Idly pulling the strings on my limbs like a puppeteer during a show. Back and forth, back and forth, up and down, up and down. Gliding through the water like a stingray, smooth and slow. All at once, the mind that was floating above comes crashing down upon my head, ready for control as I swim to the wall.

The Illness - Short Fiction - Nat Lurie '23

Edgar Meyers, a relatively normal gentleman with a gray, forgettable face, had never loved anything in his life, but now he’d become scared it was finally about to happen to him. He had noticed the symptoms not long ago, when he was making his way down Corridor B-47 towards the best waste compactor on his level. There was a line; Compactor 1.82 was immensely popular among those intelligent enough to notice how well it fed in each trash bag, only the lowest of simpletons seem to ignore the obvious and allow themselves to use something like Compactor 1.89 that had a habit of spitting out little filaments of your recently shredded garbage onto your lower legs from its exhaust vent. So Edgar would rather stand patiently for a little while. 

The Cold - Short Fiction - Mason Chapman '22

His whole body was under attack, struggling to contain the limited heat within the goose-down jacket and merino wool shirts. The perspiration from his mouth and nose formed into a basin of humidity between his face and the balaclava. Below him, his feet had lost any sensation of pain, an absence that had started to worry him. He held fast to the guide rope and followed the blaze of orange in front of him. The dull roar of another airborne snowbank reached his ears and he braced against its impact. It slowed his progress for a second, but he was determined to make his way back quickly. The ‘expert’ in front of him, wearing the orange high-vis jacket, might not have killed him, but he had probably doomed one of Lake’s toes. Lake was already reluctant to rush out before a blizzard, but Philip S. Weld, Ph.D., had assured him the weather models were correct. Reaching the crest of a snowbank he looked down onto the lime green barracks of Scott Base. He was too numb to feel much real anger anyway, and the sight of heated buildings pushed away any lingering resentment.