BWI Flash Fiction competition for September, 2019

Hi everyone,

Congratulations to Alice Bhatt, winner of the August Flash Fiction competition, for her story , ‘A Closed Gate’.

What a bumper lot of entries. Here they are for this month’s competition. Happy reading:

Entry 1 The Package

James smiled as he put the handle with care sticker on the Package, in the package was his wedding present for his son and daughter in law. He regretted not being able to make the wedding in person but he couldn’t get the time off so this present would have to do. In the box was a glass statue of a mother holding her baby, it was fitting because his grandson didn’t even wait until after his parents were married to be born, he had made his grand entrance during the ceremony but at least it was a funny story.

Entry 2    Handle with Care 1

A frail old lady sits alone in her room. She is in an institution that cares for the aged. She is afraid of the outside. She looks out her living picture. Windows are obsolete. The outside is held at bay through forcefields. Rarely do they breakdown.

Today the forcefield breaks down bringing the outside in. Leaves are scattered throughout the room. The wind swirls them around inside.

Entry 3 2020

The Autumn leaves crunched under my sandals as I walked down the isle. Waiting for me was the man I had dreamt about but didn’t think really existed. Then one day on the side of the road there he was. Now only a year later about to enter into a covenant to travel the rest of the journey with me.

I’ll forever be thankful to that friend that helped me see that I didn’t need to live my life stamped “Handle with Care”. I’ll forever be thankful I decided to give my heart back to it’s creator.

“I do”.

Entry 4 In the Hands of Others

I’ve come to the café; book in hand, to read. It’s been many months since I last picked up this book. I’d felt a hesitation, and placed it back on the bookshelf. Now I glance at it lying on the café table – this time I will make a start.

The waitress wanders over.

‘I’ll just have a coffee please.’

‘What are you reading?’ she asks.

‘Handle with Care’.

‘Oh great. I’ve read that, loved it; couldn’t put it down. You’ll enjoy it.’

She moves away and I smile as I brush my hand across the cover of my first novel.

Entry 5 A Delicate Move

Carl placed one finger on the ivory queen.

He glanced at the revolver in the president’s hand. If he lost, members of Ultimate Daredevils Club would claim his life: a single muffled shot, beneath this billionaire’s country mansion.

So far, he had passed all their tests, sky-diving into rocky ravines, crossing highways while blindfolded. But death chess was the ultimate game. His life waged against a fortune.

He knew they were ruthless, and hatred cowards. But the gold, twenty gold bars!

Carl got a grip… springing his own daring ambush.

Checkmate!

His opponent smiled. “Now double or nothing,” he whispered.

Entry 6 Learning EFTPOS

Back in the community and volunteering, Roz soon got the rhythm of sorting clothes into men’s, ladies’ and kids’.

‘You’re in the shop today,’ Todd said. ‘Ailee can show you the ropes.’

She’d been dreading it: talking to customers, giving change —worse still, working the EFTPOS machine. And now Todd had paired her up with some smiley chick who looked like she’d been rinsed in a rainbow!

Ailee knew the names of regulars, asked after pets and was untroubled by toddler tantrums. When, after ten attempts, Roz mastered EFTPOS, Ailee clapped.

‘You champion, Roz! It’s all about handling with care!’

Entry 7 The Treasure

The mood was sombre. Everyone walked around whispering engaged in various activities. Cooking, cleaning, praying and this continued like clockwork cycle.   

“Susan, will you please come to Grandma’s room?”. Startled I turned my head,  not expecting my aunt to be standing behind me.

Upon entering the room, my Aunt opened a drawer, retrieved an item and placed it on my palm. She looked at me and said, “This was Grandma’s and Grandma would have wanted you to have it. It was a very old, delicate jade pendant. Handle it with loving care.” I simply nodded admiring this treasure.

Entry 8 Don’t Touch

‘Don’t touch, just look!’

What child could follow that instruction; isn’t curiously is a prerequisite of childhood? Her mother left the room.

Emma waiting for the soft scuffed footsteps to fade away, then using both hands and all her young strength, dragged the coffee table across the room and positioned it in front of the mantle piece. Up she climbed, then gently lifted the perfectly blown glass ornament and traced her fingers around its shapely edges. Still admitting all the tiny bubbles suspended inside, she carefully replaced it and climbed down. The coffee table legs bumped along the floorboards.

Smash!

Entry 9 In the End

He was gazing moodily down at the sea when Gabriel found him.

“Well, yes. But did you actually tell them to take care of things?” asked Gabe.

“I didn’t think they were that stupid!” God sighed.  The sea thrashed and roared under the whip of a punishing gale. “They understood life, death, love. Loss. Did they expect me to put a bloody label on everything?!”

He picked up a feather, focused on it. “They understood beauty”. A line of fire made its looping way along the feather’s spine: handle with care.

“Maybe it was the opposable thumbs…” Gabriel whispered.

Entry 10 Handle with Care 2

“It’s not a sea urchin. Sea urchins have spikes.”

“You’re right, Darling. Living sea urchins are covered in spikes, but when they die, the spikes fall off and all that is left is this delicate outside shell.”

“Mrs Carmody said that sea urchins always have spikes.”

“Look at the beautiful patterns. See all the tiny, bumpy rows?”

“What is it called?”

“It’s an exoskeleton of a sea creature. Would you like to hold it? You need to be very gentle.”

 “Ok, I’ll hold it, but it’s not a sea urchin. Sea urchins have spikes”

September’s Flash Fiction prompt is “Handle with Care “. Write about a very fragile or delicate object.

You are limited to 100 words (not including the title).

Our Flash Fiction prize is a commemorative wine glass engraved with the Ballarat Writers logo, and details of FF month, winner, and title of story if it’s not too long – the title I mean.

Entries close at 11.59 on Tuesday, 17 September.

Voting closes at 11.59 pm on Sunday, 22 September. 

The winner will be announced at our Members’ Night on Wednesday, 25 September.

Remember –

  • Times New Roman 12pt
  • Single line spacing
  • Must have a title or it will be rejected
  • Current BWI member
  • One entry each member
  • Submit as a ‘Word’ file
  • All conditions must be adhered to – e.g. not even one word over 250 (discipline!)

Your entry must be sent as an attachment to an email file. In the email make sure to include your name, the title of your entry, and the word count of your entry.

Submit your entry to: competitions@ballaratwriters.com

Regards,

Irene (in lieu of Phil while he’s sunning himself in Europe)

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