• Mary Decker

ATA Flash Fiction Winner

Our 2018 - Week 27 Winner is ...

We started the second half of the year with a video prompt:

Again, we had two entries:

Mil Ana - Your story manages to tell the story of a lifetime, painting a picture that draws parallels between the phases of our lives. Parallel items, like taking pills, with different reasons based on our progress for life. You took something that could have been small or belabored and instead made it something very profound. - Delightful.

Mark Morris - Your story took me into the tundra racing the wind - You mixed scenes and scents and the way you told the story, I could sense the connection between the musher and his dogs. Maybe someday the machine will win, but it will not be this day.

Today's winner is:

Mark Morris - I could feel the race and the song in your story and your pacing. And your last line made me laugh... and wonder if Alanis had something to do with the snow in the corroborator...

A Triumph... Heiko nodded at my sled and my huskies straining at their harnesses. “You think you can beat me with that? And those?” His jaw worked and for a moment I thought he was going to spit at Argos, my wheel dog, but she curled her lip at him and growled. He padded away then, probably already speculating on how much he’d enjoy his prize. “You know you can do it.” Alanis appeared, flat palms dusting away a covering of snow from her gloves. “I’ve a feeling he’ll fail…and besides I’d rather spend the evening with you. He’s too self-confident – you know how I hate that.” A high-revving engine popped and then whined, establishing a howl of its own. Heiko was ready. And so was I. Alanis raised the starters’ pistol, her finger tightening and then Heiko was off, his snowmobile arrowing for the herd. My ‘Hike’ coincided with the pistol’s crack, releasing Argos from her wait, Anubis and the others stumbling quickly to their feet, the sled jolting angrily beneath me as it built up speed. The reindeer were already split when I reached them, but my dogs were quick, reacting to my ‘gees’ and my ‘haws’, their pack instincts often anticipating my commands. I could do this – we could do this together – nature against technology against nature. Turning, we followed the hooves, outstripping my half of the herd, arcing around when we drew alongside, guiding them back to the bind we were using. I saw the lead doe glance toward me, wild-eyed, and then saw her swerve, the others arcing closely behind. As the sled turned about I caught a snapshot of Heiko, sitting adrift in the snow, hearing his starter screaming its rage above the drumming of paws and hooves loud about me, losing him again in their plume of snow spray and with their animal smells wrapping me tight. And then we were there, and they were in, their hot bodies quivering in place between the walls. We jinked, and we circled and then I rolled away, the thick padding of my clothes my salvation. I pulled the rope quickly across and the pistol cracked once again. I had won. Alanis shrugged as she came to congratulate me, large-shouldered in bulky clothing. “Heiko had mechanical problems,” she said, scowling. “His carburettor filled with snow...”

Thank you all once again and stay tuned tomorrow for our next installment of ATA Flash -

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