• Mary Decker

ATA Flash Fiction Winner Announcement

Our 2018 - Week 32 Winner is ...

This week' prompt:

It's always fascinating to me how two people can see the same picture and see two different things - one when under the bridge and the other over and yet the both involved passages - a passage between worlds and the more metamorphic bridge between stages in life

Mark Morris - Your story took us between worlds and made us wonder, what lay beyond - I really want to see ore on this story - It seems the word count left us right as the real story picks up.

Mil Ana - .You took the overland route - between dreams and dream orientation. the concepts were interesting and the man who wasn't there made me think of an old child's poem.

There was a man upon the stair

A little man who wasn't there

He wasn't there again today

Gee I wish he'd go away.

Between that and looking up the song that involves a man, his dog and going to mow the meadow - I ended up distracting myself while reading the stories.

Four men, three men, two men, one man and his dog...

All competing for my attention. Sometimes you have to rely on the reader to fill in the blanks, and sometimes they become their own worst enemy.

For creating a world with a very spooky introduction, this week's winner is Mark A. Morris

The Way

by Mark A Morris

The archway appeared to be normal. Just a piercing where the rock had been etched away by the river beneath and the weather above. There was nothing about it that looked strange. And yet, there was still something. A something which made the skin across my shoulders grow tight.

Walking through it, the feeling continued. The rocks were the same, the river looked no different to how it was on the other side and the sky was an identical shade of blue, dotted by clouds that looked like the ones I’d seen earlier. I began to sing, my voice small in the wilderness, lacking confidence, the waters chuckling over the stones at its edges more loudly than the lyric I was singing. The man in my song had a dog and an ever-increasing number of companions but I felt alone here, looking regularly back at the arch and the place on the other side. The clouds began to move, the light fading as they gathered together, blotting out more of the sky. A chill began to fall from them and my voice faltered, the ninety-ninth man the last one to report for mowing duty.

The arch was a long way behind me now, but it still shone bright in the distance, the wedge of light pressing through it defined sharply against the rocks and the trees on either side of the river. I should turn back while there was still light here to see by, the footway having grown narrow and uneven, the way fading away and then reappearing as it passed between soil and sand and then bare rocks, the action of the trail animals’ feet less certain now.

I should turn back.

“Are you lost?” A man levered himself upright, his face tanned and lined. It seemed he’d been waiting for someone to pass, he was too attentive to have just woken, his eyes questioning and his mouth calm, offering nothing.

“I said, ‘Are you lost?’” He stumbled forward and then righted himself, brushing the backs of his jeans. He was taller than me and lean, looking as though he was well used to living in the country. He had a strange burr to his voice and an accent I didn’t recognise. He placed his hands on his hips and looked past me, nodding curtly at the arch which was now dark.

“The Way’s closed now,” he said.

Congratulations and thanks to all - you are an amazing band of writers.

Tune in tomorrow for another installment of ... the ATA Flash Fiction Contest!

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