We had 59 entries to the Summer Contest. People connected their characters through carnivorous stones, lost hats, curtains, magic shoes and much more. The stories were touching, funny, sad, and outrageous. I want to thank everyone who put in time and effort to make these entries shine. It was extraordinarily difficult for the judges to score and choose just three winners (particularly with one of them having no access to the internet for a month ), but we did it! And here are the results.
But for the small purple stain on its border, the banknote was non-descript.
It had a value but men value things in different ways and by different means. It had a value, but its value is not it's story.
It landed on the church plate face up, coming to rest softly on the flat silver base amongst the loose change like it was tossed to the cloth of a gambling table, soundless but with a small sense of resignation. A man paying for luck, a man asking his God for a favor.
It came from the wallet of a small sad man, who feared the Good Lord daily. The banknote was the weekly price of his penance, the bill of sale for those half-remembered crimes of a misspent youth and other things unmentionable.
The small sad man's hands were fat and white and callouses sat on his thumb and forefingers, the scars of a bank teller, a money counter, a man who knew about value. The hair on his head was grey and his eyes were blue below his wrinkled forehead and tonight would be the last time he
brassteeth wins the following:
3-Month Premium Membership donated by GrannyJae
1 copy of Bluebird by Shane Mckinney (spoems) donated by ExistenceWeSummonYou
momo-madness wins the following:
3-Month Premium Membership
1 copy of The Cookbook by Natalie Easton (apple-dark) donated by ExistenceWeSummonYou
Star Dust.When Pop died, he'd already put his last affairs in order. The money was divided up equally among his six children, (most of) the jewellery was donated at his request and the house was to be sold to repay his final debts. We each got something by the end of it.
"To Anjulie, I leave one of my most prized possessions." Though Tante Doralee read the will, I heard it in Pop's crinkled voice, smelling the words as the smoke of his cigars. "The bullet they pulled from my chest; I added the chain so I could carry it with me as a reminder of the horrors I've survived. Take it with you to the furthest reaches you travel, as I know you're headed for the stars."
He didn't know I literally was, and at the time, neither did I. Doralee dropped the piece into my open hand, adding under her breath, "If you ever lose this, no one will forgive you."
I wore it through my training in the Air Force, and I kept it around my neck when I test-f
laurotica wins the following:
Critique from ShadowedAcolyte and neurotype
Feature from DailyLitDeviations, shebledgreenink, pinballwitch, Lockian, andSadisticIceCream
There were simply too many entries to award every remarkable story and poem with a prize, but I hope you'll take a moment to read through some of these intriguing honorable mentions.
The Marigold ChocolatesThe chocolates on the marble pedestal inside the chic red shop window held our rapt attention, but not for good reasons.
"Three thousand, three hundred and thirty two pounds and ninety eight pence?!" My friend Rick uttered in disbelief, "Raphi, remind me again why we're looking at this monstrosity?"
"Because Mickaela said she really really liked them and I wanted to get her them for our third anniversary." I replied, not taking my eye off the price tag.
"Third anniversary of dating you mean. Besides, who uses the term 'anniversary' to describe dating? You're 23, not 13."
I didn't respond, I was transfixed. I hadn't blinked in a while and my eyes were beginning to tear up. Perhaps if my vision went wavy those numbers might resolve into something less frightening.
Rick continued: "Why can't Mickaela be like other normal woman? Can't she just want a fat piece of carbon? I know a dealer who can set you up with a shiny piece of quartz - looks like the real thing but for a tenth of the price
Spray Your Sins Away!It was a scene of utmost suspense, the cliché that often made its way into romantic comedies and commercials. Inside Dick's We-Carry-Every-Item-Imaginable-for-the-Filthy-Rich, two different people reached for the last can of Sins-B-Gone in cinematic slow motion. One hand was French-manicured and wore an ostentatious diamond ring (inscribed "Love forever, to my Richard"); the other had "Vermilion Vixen" nails and was likely to never wear such a wedding ring. Fingers from both hands closed in on the blue spray can like eager vultures, plucking it off the shelf in synch. Both ladies blinked in confusion before they realized the other was there.
"Sweetie, I believe I grabbed it first," said the Richard-loving woman.
"No dear," the Vixen replied, "I'm sure I did. I certainly need it more that you do."
The two women stared each other down without batting their fake eyelashes. It wasn't difficult for eitherBotox injections did wonders to their blank facades. The first