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Friday, February 21, 2014

Flash Fiction Contest, Week 6 Winner!

Sorry for the delay this week in announcing the winner, but I was off vacationing in sunny Florida.  I know, I know, I won't get any sympathy over that.  Maybe I'll get a little if I tell you that I almost got stuck in Detroit on the way home because of an ice storm?

So enough about me, already.  Last week's prompt was a photograph, and it generated some wonderful pieces of flash:

[image courtesy of photographer D. Sharon Pruitt and the Creative Commons]

The winner this week has won before, but her piece was such a standout that it had to get first place.  I've always been a sucker for stories that are emotional without sinking into sentiment -- and this one has all of that, and more.  From JMcPike01 we have the following Valentine's Day story:

*****

Behind her she heard the rattle of a skateboard over cement. “Kay! Hey, Kay! Hold up!”

She held up and stepped out aside. It was the boy named Aloha. He had on a baggy shirt over his thin frame and floppy, ragged shoes that slapped on the cement. He rode that skateboard right up to her, kicked it up into his hand like a pro.

“Here,” he said and thrust something at her. “Take it.”

“What is it?”

“A flower, stupid.” He held the precious peachy-pink rose in his grubby fingers. “What else is it gonna be?”

“Why?”

“It’s Valentine’s Day, duh. Here, take it.”

“But,” her soft voice embarrassed her when his was so loud, “we’re not…sweethearts.”

He rolled his eyes. “Yeah we are. Don’t you remember what I said to you when you came into our class?”

“Oh.” She had thought it was a cruel joke. She’d never mentioned it to anyone.

“I’m gonna marry you when we’re grown up,” he told her. “Don’t forget.”

She accepted the rose from him and said nothing. He was exuberant. Blonde. Bright-eyed. Everything she wasn’t, with her dark curling hair and dark brown eyes. “I won’t if you won’t.” Carefully, she smiled at him, a genuine thing that she felt from her heart.

His smile was full of spaces. “I won’t.”

She kept the rose in a slim glass vase on her beside table. She looked online for ways to preserve the flower and pressed it flat between a fold of wax paper and dictionary. Its scent lingered in her dresser drawer. When she brought it out, thinking of him, she could still smell the rich, light fragrance and she remembered his promise.

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