Hello everyone and welcome to the fortieth month of this competition! Last month I received 36 entries from 20 authors for the theme of ‘the end’. NB You can all send in three stories (one per form please) for a better chance of being picked!
One was disqualified for being 101 words, only because two words had been incorrectly fused. A real shame as it was a super story.
The winning stories are ones that I reacted most favourably to… usually making me go “Wow”. They were clever, surprising, eek-making (in a good way),or gave me a warm fuzzy feeling (without being sickly). Sometimes a story beats another because it has a strong link to the theme so it’s worth writing a story to the theme rather than tweaking a story you already have to loosely fit it. If I get to the end of a story and go “Huh?” it doesn’t bode well.
You may have chosen a different order or indeed not placed one or more of them so if you entered and didn’t find your story / stories here, don’t lose heart. You probably only just missed out so do enter new stories this month*, next month, whenever you like (but not in advance!). It’s an ongoing competition and free, so you could win at any time. There were new and familiar names this month so anyone could win… it’s all dependent upon whether your story grabs me, for whatever reason (whether it be clever, funny, unusual, quirky, or sweet).
Apart from the top three and highly commended, there are some ‘Honourable Mentions’. They don’t win anything but they were so close to being Highly Commended that I wanted them to know how close they came. It’s still something for them to put on their CVs.
*The theme for January is ‘their own business’ and you can submit your entries (and do send three) at any time up to midnight (UK time) on Thursday 31st January. Details and entry forms on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/100-word-free-monthly-competition. So without further ado, below are the successful entries this month.
Jane Broughton with ‘Toy Story 5 ’
Ironically, the cockroaches died first. They emerged from their crannies during the night and never made it back the next morning. They were the most noticeable casualties. Then, when all the insects had gone, birds tumbled from the skies. The ground dried up, desiccated. Mankind was the last species to give up the struggle to breathe the coppery atmosphere. Eventually the world fell silent and barren.
God did not know or care. He had grown up and stopped playing with his toys. His mother sighed and rebuked him for littering. She tossed the empty ball into a nearby black hole.
Jeremy Chotzen with ‘Auntie May – The Professional’
Auntie May was a professional.
At the wake, they dressed her in shiny black leathers and knee-high boots (her working clothes) and painted her lips cherry red, the way she liked them. Despite the hole in her forehead, the size of a pothole, they managed to fill it all in.
Of the mourners who came, some offered up prayers, and others their silence, while I sobbed bitterly for my Auntie May.
Sure she bludgeoned dozens in their prime for unpaid debts, with a steak knife to the throat or bullet through the heart.
She was a professional to the end.
Karen Lawrence with ‘A Shorter Forever’
She kissed my bald head, wiping my tears with a shaky hand.
‘It’ll be okay.’
I shook my head. ‘How can it be? You’re leaving me.’
‘But I’ll be here.’ She placed her hand over my heart.
The nurse approached with my discharge paperwork.
‘I don’t want to leave you alone,’ I whispered. ‘I thought we’d be friends forever.’
‘We are, but my forever is shorter than yours.’
‘I wish I could believe in an afterlife.’
‘I do.’ She laughed. ‘I’ll warn Saint Peter to expect you, just not yet.’
As I walked away, I knew she was crying too.
Astra Lowelle with ‘A Battle Lost’
Gwerthfawr knew that he had lost the fight with Mynydd when frost began to steal over him. He twisted violently, struggling to escape the chill tendrils creeping swiftly up his body, freezing armor and muscle alike. His sword fell from his hands as they crackled into white stiffness.
“This isn’t over!” Gwerthfawr howled, his throat icing over. “This isn’t over! Do you hear me, Mynydd? This isn’t the end!”
Mynydd’s soft laugh mingled with the last echoes of the lingering roar as she appraised the lifeless statue of ice before her.
The enchantress vanished as the snow began to fall.
Caroline Cowan with ‘Lonely’
The loneliness was constant. No phone calls. No visitors.
Maggie had been moved into a flat as her home was being demolished. She was the last of her friends and family to be living.
Her bony hand pulled the blanket more snuggly around her, keeping her warm.
She lay back, closed her eyes, and enjoyed the special times spent with all her friends.
The warmth and love of everyone filled the room. She sensed her time on this earth was nearing its end, and she welcomed it.
The police found her body, but her soul was dancing with her friends.
- Charlett Goretzka with ‘Nature’s End’
- Jennie Gardner with ‘The Promise’
- Justin Rulton with ‘To Roam With A View’
- Lesley McLean with ‘The Prey’
- Lestie Mulholland with ‘It’s a Wrap!’
- Valerie Fish with ‘Feed the Birds’
Honourable mentions (not winning anything but only narrowly missing out and still looking good on their CV) – in alphabetical order:
- Alan Barker with ‘Light At The End Of The Tunnel’
- Barbara Young with ‘Doubting Thomas’
- Ian Marshall with ‘Miniature Railway’
- Juan Andrés González Romero with ‘Pulling the Trigger’
Congratulations, everyone. The entries for this month are already drifting in. Remember, you can send up to three per month so rather than miss out on a chance by sending one story, do submit more.
If you’ve enjoyed these stories and / or just want to leave a comment, please do so below and / or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org., although I won’t (can’t) discuss forthcoming entries unless it’s a general query.