• Mary Decker

ATA Flash Fiction Winner Announcement

Our 2018 - Week 52 Winner is ...

The last competition of the year and we had two entries - both interesting and a great gift for the end of the year.

This week' prompt:

Kristina Failing- Your story is interesting since it focuses on celebration of lights, and the darkness that follows. It draws parallels between three different people, from three different cultures, all lamenting the coming darkness.

Mark A Morris - Your story involved a count down to a known event, all the while tying it to the countdown of time remaining with a loved one - the known/finite target, and unknowable measure of time that remains, making the celebration joyous and bittersweet.

Thank you both for the gift of your writing, and I look forward to reading more from you in 2019. As always there can be only winner, and the winner of this last contest of 2018, is Mark A. Morris for giving us reason to celebrate.

Congratulations - you have a free 30 day trial membership and another hour of editing in the bank. as for bragging rights:

Counting Down

by Mark A Morris

60 minutes remaining.

He embraced her again. He felt each of the twelve months that had come between them. She was slimmer now, her hair thinner and her eyes sunk more deeply. Today, his arms wrapped further around her, his hands almost reaching up to his own shoulders.

But she was still here, as she’d promised she’d be.

His Elaine.

He’d arranged this meal, choosing to stage it in his home. He’d not known how well she’d be, revising the menu daily in the final few weeks, emailing his suggestions to the chef he’d engaged to cook for them both. There’d even been weeks – back in July – when he’d thought these preparations might come to nothing, her condition worsening until there was no surety that she’d even be able to attend this celebration of her life, this grim party falling apart for want of its principal guest.

30 minutes remaining.

Elaine ate little, choosing only the elements she knew to be the most choice. He watched her, knowing she was eating them mostly to please him, her palate no longer able to differentiate the subtleties of the tastes she’d relished last year at this time, that meal having been enjoyed in public. There’d been fewer worries then, her blood tests still far off in an unknowable future, the certainties of both their lives still secure and untried.

15 minutes remaining.

They danced for a while, the tune he’d chosen for her taking them back to a summer long ago. She was the elder of the two, the protector of the brother three years junior to her. He’d been entrusted to her care, Elaine protecting him when he was new to his school, being the sister who’d watched and warned for him, but doing it mostly without his knowing. She’d been taller than him then, her face full-fleshed and bold with colour, her inexpertly-applied makeup hiding nothing but the insecurities she’d felt as she grew to be a woman.

60 seconds remaining.

The music had finished long since, its final notes still ringing in their memories. They were holding each other again, counting minutes and breaths as they ebbed away, this year almost finished. Both wondered where they’d be in another twelve months - if fate would be kind to them, if they’d dance again, if they’d share another meal like this.

Their futures remained tight-lipped, saying nothing.

Stay Tuned for more information on the 2019 season of ATA Flash!

#FlashFiction #FlashContest #WritingPrompt #amwriting #writingchallenge #Fictioncontest #WritingContest #WritingContest #FlashFictionChallenge #ShortStoryCompetition

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