The £50 Winner of the 2009 

Earlyworks Press Flash Fiction Competition is... 

Liz Martinez

The £25 second prize goes to Krystyna Smallman

 

 

Works by the top ten authors, listed here, will be published in our forthcoming poetry and flash fiction anthology. 

 

Note added October 2009. The anthology is now available and, postal situation permitting, contributing authors will receive sample copies shortly. The book will be available on the website here but if you have work in the book, please do not use the Paypal buttons on site as they will charge you the full price. Once you receive your free author copies, you can if you wish order further discounted copies from us by email.

 

First Prize:

You Probably Think This Song Is About You 

by Liz Martinez

The radio people eavesdrop, sneaking their microwaves through my ears, the space between my eyeballs and their sockets, up my nostrils along the olfactory nerve into my brain. Whilst my overworked limbic system drenches my body in unseemly emotions, oozing like children’ secrets, the radio spies lap them up for broadcast to the waking world. Take today; one minor indiscretion taints a morning’s stream of respectable consciousness, and before I can apologise, rewind myself carefully like a dropped toilet roll to the last pure thought, commuters all over London are singing along.

© Liz Martinez 2009

 

 

Other shortlisted works...

 

Alchemy 

by Anne Lawson

It was the talented young jeweller’s masterpiece; a shimmering necklace of precious stones. Glistening drops of emerald, flashing sapphires, misty pearls and pure gold beads surrounded the central jewel, a dazzling heart- shaped ruby.
    His trembling hands placed the gift in hers. She listened, spellbound, as he revealed the mystical secrets of its making.
    Gently he fingered the ruby.
    “This is how much I love you,” he said.
    “I love you, too,” she smiled.
    And she hugged the little magician, whose love had conjured a priceless treasure from a few plastic beads and a shoe-lace.
    “Happy Birthday, Mum!” beamed Dominic.

© Anne Lawson 2009

On visiting a Relative 

  by Geoff Lowe

 

Not having a suitcase, George and Mildred had never traveled much. But today was special. It was time to make a move.

     They eased themselves off the sofa and shuffled slowly across the room. Mildred paused to fluff a cushion. Eventually they reached the aspidistra and looked at it.

    The plant, as usual, didn’t say anything. But George and Mildred reckoned it was happy in their company, here among kindred spirits. Being a houseplant it, too, never travelled much.

     “I do like the family get-togethers,” said Mildred, basking in the warmth of their shared genetic background.

© Geoff Lowe 2009

 

Plague 

by Lesley Mace

In Drury Lane red crosses mark the barricaded doors. Sarah looks down upon the filth-strewn street from an upstairs window. 
     She is untouched by sickness, although around her in the house her family are silent now, and cold. Her stomach gripes with hunger, she leans against the rotting sill. 
     A laden death-cart rumbles down the passage but she has no strength to call. Her closing eyes see words below the door crosses, ‘Lord have mercy upon us.’
     She whispers a prayer. It is the horse that senses she is there; he whickers softly until the carter sees her face. 

© Lesley Mace 2009

Chainsaw 

by Paul McQuillan

Some years ago I attended a short course for the longish termed unemployed. Team work, confidence building, the gaining of some basic skills, that sort of thing. It provided dry-stane dyking and chainsaw tuition. The latter involving the cutting down of “diseased” trees. 
     Near the end of the week I stood puffed and proud over a large beech that I had just felled. Helmeted, gloved, goggled I felt like a victorious gladiator. 
     At that moment a robin landed on a branch of the tree, surveyed the scene and, before I could say anything, before I could explain, flew away.

© Paul McQuillan 2009

 

 

 

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2nd Prize:

Medium Not Well Done

by Krystyna Smallman


I’ve come for a psychic session to try and get in contact with my mother.
‘When did she depart this life?’ asks Petrushka, the medium.
‘Eighteen years ago.’
Petrushka closes her eyes.
‘When I was two years old.’
She is taking deep breaths.
‘We were living in Kingsbridge, near Plymouth.’
She’s breathing faster and faster, swaying slightly.
‘She was a librarian.’
Suddenly, she goes completely still and quiet.
‘I’ve always missed her. That’s why I’m here.’
Her eyes fly open. 
‘Hello, Mum,’ I say. So much for psychic powers.
She looks like she’s seen a ghost.

© Krystyna Smallman 2009

 

 

Making an Impact 

by Dorothy O'Grady

Despite the firebomb that gutted the school office, today’s 25 year reunion is still on. Somehow they’ve managed to find my address.
     Sending a surrogate did occur. Some curvy actress with an enigmatic smile, failing, on my behalf, to recall the non-entities of the past. But I’ve had to forgo that plan. Too expensive.
     Instead I park in the lane, haul my twenty-five stone across the hockey fields and observe everyone through the back window.
     No need to go in. The shot-putt was always my forte, and I have enough explosive left to make the desired impact.

© Dorothy O'Grady 2009

 

Bird Strike 

by Iain Pattison

Gabriel stared at the Bald Eagle, shop steward of the world's bird population, looking for a sign that the feathered union rep was joking.
     "But you can't have computers," the archangel insisted. "Do you realise how much it would cost to buy 100 billion laptops? Why do you need them?"
     The Eagle tutted. "To blog, of course. To tell people what we're doing ... nesting tips ... worm recipes ... funny little incidents..."
     "But God will never agree. It's just too expensive."
The avian official became ruffled. "I think you'll find, if you look at our contracts, we're expected to twitter." 

© Iain Pattison 2009

 

Wanting

by Victoria Richman

The couple are curled together in the armchair, lips locked. Emily sits opposite watching them. The earphone falls from her ear but she doesn’t notice. Sam picks it up, winds it around the ipod and puts it away in his pocket.
    “Do you want a drink?” she turns to him suddenly and asks. He opens his mouth but she’s already jumped up before he can answer.
    His eyes follow her to the bar. She casts anguished glances back at the oblivious couple, her fists clenched. Sam rests his hand on the chair in the warm indent she left behind.

© Victoria Richman 2009

 

Sciurus carolinensis 

by David Wass

Dawn. Yawn. Itch. Scratch.

Check: left, right, down. Leap. Bough to trunk to grass; damp, cool. Smell! Stop.

Check: down. Nut. Brown. Grab, sniff, bite, taste, drop. Noise! Freeze.

Check: left, right, front. Feet. Legs. Chatter. Wait… Wait… Clear. To stones to flowers to fence to top. Stop.

Check: front. Gap. Beasts. Whoosh. Wait… Wait… Clear. To black to white to black to grass to gate to top. Noise! Freeze.

Check: down. Hair. Snarl. Wait… Wait… Clear. To flowers to grass to pillar to top. 

Check: front. Feet. Feathers. Squawk. Clear.

Check: down. Water. Cool. Clean.

Bath time.

© David Wass 2009

 

 

The anthology will also feature poetry by the winners and short-listed authors from the

 

Earlyworks Press Web Poetry Competition 

 

Competitions
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