• Mary Decker

ATA Flash Fiction Winner

Our 2018 - Week 17 Winner is ...

Once again, it was my delight to read three, very different stories. It never ceases to amaze me how people can look at a prompt and come up with something beyond the picture and then tell a story in 350 words (or less).

Telling a story is not an easy thing, but one of the things I like about flash fiction is-- you don't have time to make it overly complicated, you don't have time to overthink what you're writing. Sometimes 350 words is all we can get out in a busy weekend. Sometimes its 350 words that lead to something bigger.

This week's prompt:

Generated three very different, well written entries.

Mark Morris you captured the tension perfectly, and I could feel myself in the cockpit, having to focus on the mission. having had similar 'emergencies', I understand the urgency completely.

Mil Ana - I love the concept of the surgeon accessing memories of their patient as they work, and I love the metaphor of the city and the Ego and the Id. It was very poetic.

Vivian Boukouvala - your story brings home a truth we tend to forget - No one gets out alive- but that doesn't mean you can't live.

It's interesting that we have three stories and each touches on different levels of our existence: physical, mental and spiritual. All spawned from the same image. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.


Picking this week's winner was difficult, each story was well constructed and other than the usual British vs American spellings - there were no grammatical issues. So it came down to the stories themselves. Ant this week's winner is "A Knight in Kevlar" by Mark Morris.

This story paints a picture of the city and creates a world between the city and the flight paths that lead to it - it brings it to live with action, danger and a little bit of humor.

Kudos for using lunkhead in a sentence.

The Winning Story:

A Knight in Kevlar - Mark A Morris Hong Kong blurred beneath us, a mosaic of colours, sounds and smells. It was three in the morning, but the city was as busy as ever, its night-time brightness punctuated with pockets of dark, rather than the other way about. But we could still fly above it unseen if we flew high enough. “It’s a good night to be alive,” Raider murmured, tucking her chin against her neck so her microphone could catch her voice. “It’s a blessing to be able to do this, seeing the city as though we were birds. Or gods, even.” “Yes, but it comes with a price. We have the far-sight, but also the responsibility to use it. We have the power to act whereas others with the will to do good are helpless. It’s a matter of balance and duty…” “Up ahead! Vector fifteen, fifteen, immediately!” I rolled about my centre-point, realigning my line-of-flight, only narrowly missing a Steppe eagle, its wings pushing it into a steep climb as I arrowed myself beneath it. I’d relaxed my attention for an instant and it could have ended badly for both of us. Perpetual vigilance was essential – my pontificating could wait. We climbed higher, gauging the volume of the flights coming from Hong Kong International against the high-flying raptors patrolling the city below. Too high and we’d appear on the radar, too low… Well, it was obvious what could happen then. We’d just completed our fifth circuit of the night when Raider spoke again, her voice tense, her words clipped and short. “Heading toward the Central Plaza, the Sky City Church. I’m going in fast – it’s an emergency.” I dutifully changed course, banking sharply to keep myself on the outside of her trajectory. I scanned the skies, looking for drones, warning beacons, more birds, but saw nothing. “What is it?” I hissed into my microphone. “I’ve got nada!” “Time for a leak, lunkhead,” Raider replied, scornfully. “Surely you know how hard it is to de-suit when you’re in a Kevlar onesie? And this is one emergency mission I’ve got to do solo.”

Thank you all once again and stay tuned tomorrow for our next contest!

Mark, please contact me about your free trial membership.

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