Saturday 24 May 2014

May Short Fiction Contest Winners

That fun time of the month is upon us and I announce the winners of the last short fiction contest. May's image was a rather enigmatic picture of the moon and as expected it inspired a diverse selection of stories. I'd like to thank everyone who entered, the standard of entries was consistently high which made the task of selecting the winning entries a difficult one.

Thanks also to everyone who shares the links to the contests, please continue to do so. I won't be satisfied until everyone knows about the contest and the wonderful stories people submit!

And now for the winners and some good news for the winners. I've already changed the rules for June's contest so the prizes can be either an Amazon gift card or a PayPal payment, well the same option will be offered to May's winners as well.

  • First prize of a £50 PayPal or Amazon gift card goes to Aravind for the story 'Mother Moon'
  • Second prize of a £20 PayPal or Amazon gift card goes to Sierra McComas for the story 'Under the Moon'
  • Third prize of a £10 PayPal or Amazon gift card goes to Jon Jefferson for his story 'Night of the Golem'
Congratulations to the winners, I'm sure you'll agree they're excellent stories.

Mother Moon by Aravind

The little star was totally depressed when he inquired his mother , "mother, how can you and father shine brightly while I can't? Both of your lights are beautifully reaching the earth. But since two months have been completed after I had born, I must also shine like you. Then why I can't produce light? " His mother , the moon, was surprised and happy for her son's growing knowledge and answered honestly to his query "your father, the sun, and I shine due to the same light's reflection. But you're too small now. Time will come for you to create your own light. " The little star wanted to know more "where does the light come from? " The moon said about the light which was created by sun, his own father. 

But this conversation didn't convince the little star.  He inquired again "mother,  how can father create his own light while I can't? " for this,  his mother explained about the vigorous flames of fire which is surrounding the sun and how it is helping him out to create his own light. And she also said that he can also create light like his father some day. 

One other fine night after the conversation with his mother, the little star was very embarrassed. Embarrassed to see the other stars shining brightly and beautifully with their outstanding brightness. And he was not. He didn't wanted himself to be black and dark. And see other stars outshine him. 

It was midnight, when the little star could do nothing but cry. Cry due to the fact that he can't produce light. He cried more and more until he came to remember the words of his mother, that his father creates light because of the flames of the fire surrounding him. 

The star took a decision. A very bad decision to burn itself with fire to create light like his father. And he did. Seconds later, he was screaming aloud for help. The moon and the rest of the stars came to notice that someone was on fire, then soon came to know the one in fire was none other than the moon's own son. 

Moon and the rest of stars rushed to the place to help her son. Moon tried to put the fire off with the help of the other stars. Finally, the fire was put off. On that time, the moon was very happy to see her son alive. So she smiled and shone brightfully and that day was called as the day of full moon. And the clouds surrounding the moon on that day was none other than the smoke, which was created when the fire was put off from the little star.

Under the Moon by Sierra McComas

Do you see it, sister? Do you see the brilliance in the sky tonight? That shining orb in the sky that lights the storm as it drifts away from this home – Can you see it?

It lights up the clouds, sister. It brings shape to the darkness, highlighting edges of things we never knew were there. It reveals secrets, some that we wish were sometimes kept hidden. They need to be shown, though. Only sometimes – Merely sometimes – there is no moon. Did you know that, sister?

The moon shines black sometimes. It shows nothing to us, and storms fly above our heads. Thunder roars in the home, and peace is not to be found. Rain falls from our eyes on those nights. The storm breaks, and what follows is a salty, bitter rain.

Then, the moon returns. It peeks its eyes from the darkness, glancing at us and our storm. It shines brighter as it seeks out more of what has happened – It does not hide as it sees the rain. Our storm covers it some nights, but it still stays, looking beyond the thunderclouds.

The moon is rising in the sky further now. It has come out of hiding, allowing us to see it as well. It highlights the storm, showing us our follies. The storm turns to normal clouds. The damage to our home may be done – the dishes broken, the living area wrecked – but the moon shows us that we are still able to fix all of those broken things. The moon is broken, did you know? Craters and holes litter it…

This storm is passing, sister. The moon in the sky shines and shows us that it is. Do you see the moon now, sister? Can you see how it shines on our life? Can you see it?

The little girl turned to her brother, wiping tears from her eyes as best she could, sniffing. A small smile was on her face. Despite all the fighting, and a simple question of what the moon looked like, the blind child smiled. “Yes, brother. I see it now.”

The two children held each other, watching the moon.

Night of the Golem by Jon Jefferson

Pillowy dark clouds pulled away at the sight of the moon. The hillock caressed by the soft light of the moon, revealed two figures crouched over a third form. No words were spoken as they stood and circled around the prone form. 

One of the two picked up a shovel and pressed the blade into the moist earth. The cut of the blade echoed into the darkness as he worked. The second figure pulled the body on the ground away from the hole. 

“How far you gonna dig that hole, Jim?” The first words spoken in a long silence. “We just need to get it buried, no more.” 

Jim leaned against his shovel. “If that was all it is, I could be done at any time,” he said. “But you know we gotta make sure the body stays buried.” He pressed the blade of the shovel into the earth with his foot. “

“I just don’t want us going to the extreme for him, not for this one,” he said. 

“You wanna be the one digging the grave?” Jim said. “This proves to me more and more that we need a better hobby.”

“Aren’t you the least bit curious? We followed the directions exactly,” he said. “You did set the switch, didn’t you?” 

Jim shoved the handle of the shovel into his hands. “Enough, I warned you,” he said. “You can finish the hole. Besides, Rick, none of them have worked yet. Why would you think this one would be different?”

“I don’t know,” Rick said. “Shelly’s book made it sound so easy, like we could figure this out?”

“Keep digging, we only need a few more feet,” Jim said. “Well, with this failure we need to slow down for a bit. People are going to question the strange sights in the cemetery at night. Besides, there are only so many graves you can steal parts from before people start to question the fresh earth on all of the graves.” 

“I think we’re deep enough now,” Rick said. “Help me get the body into the hole.” He laid the shovel on the ground and reached for the body. Jim grabbed the feet and hoisted them out into the world. “On three let’s hoist it up and drop it into the hole. 1… 2… 3…” 

The body landed in the hole with a juicy thud. “If we weren’t sure before, I think that would have confirmed it,” Jim said.

“Nope, I’m good. Let’s just finish this up,” Rick said. “Predators will be popping out of the woodwork.” He pushed dirt into the hole with the shovel. Jim walked around the edge of the hole and pushed dirt in with his feet. 

When the clouds shifted and covered the moon, they lost sight of bottom of the hole. The scrape of the shovel and feet across the earth, the thud of the dirt into the hole covered the sounds of movement at the bottom.

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