ATA Flash Fiction Winner

April 6, 2018

Our 2018 - Week 13 Winner is ...

 

 

First, my apologies.  I didn't realize that it was Friday until about 10 minutes ago.  Now on with the judging.

 

Two Amazing stories were written and it is both my privilege and honor to read both stories and judge them  They were both well constructed, but there were some things that set the two stories apart.  

 

First we have an entry from Mark Morris - This story packed a lot of tension into so few words.  You painted a picture and added to the tension giving us a false start and managing to include the cat  Well done.

 

The second entry was by Vivian Boukouvala - and it told a touching story about a woman's personal journey of discovery.  

 

In both cases I want to know more about the story, but the winning story pulled me in immediately and I was drawn into the tension and the action.  As much as I hate the cliche of Show don't tell that was the final deciding factor.


The Prompt:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The entries:

 

Honorable Mention  - Vivian Voukouvala - I loved the story and the feeling as the heroine found what she had been looking for, this is a good start to something that could be a much bigger story.  If you take a little more time to let the reader experience that feeling that something was missing... It would turn a good story into an amazing story.  You have an amazing talent.  Do not be afraid to take your time with it.

 

Winner - Mark Morris-- you pulled me into the story almost immediately.  I could feel the tension and you let actions show some of the surroundings.  The dialog built the tension perfectly and little things you added to the actions - such as a dropped book sending a cloud of dust into the air...  it was a perfect way to pull the reader in.

 

 

Thank you all once again for sharing your talent.

 

Winning Story

 

 

Adams sighted the sun with his sextant through the window, noting its angle above the horizon. “We’ve very little time, Professor,” he said. “It’ll be sun-down in less than three hours!”

Professor Gaines barely acknowledged him. They’d already exhausted the shelves in the public area and were now working their way through the book-stacks, searching for the volume they needed. “Perhaps your time would be better spent searching than checking the time,” he muttered, removing the dust jacket from the book he was holding and then immediately discarding it. They had to check every book – it was possible the one they needed could have been misshelved or inadvertently disguised by someone replacing the covering of another book onto the one they needed. The leather-bound volumes were much easier, so long as the writing on their spines hadn’t faded into illegibility. If only there'd been more than the two of them searching they would have had more chance. As it was, they’d need luck and a lot of it if they were find the book in time.

Adams replaced the instrument onto the table, noting the Zeppelin that was hovering outside. “I believe we’ve got company,” he said. “The Viscount Mark, I’m guessing, judging by the tail number. That ‘VM#01’ identifier’s a giveaway. He’s never one for discretion.”

“Only ways to accumulate more Deutschemarks,” the Professor said, cursing under his breath. “We can only hope the librarians delay him long enough for us to find the book first. Maybe we could lock ourselves in; make it more difficult for him to get into the closed stack area. We’ve only minutes to find the book now, so any way we can get an advantage over him could make the difference. If only he hadn’t heard about the Felicitation Tome – that’s got to be why he’s here. There’s no other explanation.”

“People talk, and he can be generous if he thinks it’ll lead to a profit. I’m betting he got to Williams – there’s a man I never trusted.” Adams clasped his hands and then reversed them, making his knuckles click one after another. “We should have found a way to silence him, even if it meant abandoning a few of our principles.”

“No. Never. And lower us to his level?” The Professor dropped the book he was inspecting, sending a cloud of dust up into the air. “The prophecy was explicit about that. The integrity of the person who reads the sacrament is of paramount importance. He’d corrupt the power inherent in the ceremony; it’s crucial that an innocent reads it, otherwise the whole world will be dragged into ruin…”

“…and the will of its peoples will be void.” Adams sing-songed, continuing the quote. “Honestly, Professor, can you really claim to be an innocent? I know you’re a little naïve, but…”

“Yes. I can. And what of it?” The older man stared intently back, the glow of the gas-globe flickering across his eye-glasses. “I’m a principled man and it’s men like me that make the difference. These are pivotal times and the smallest thing could change the course of history. Especially now…wait, what was that?”

Both stopped what they were doing, the Professor holding a finger against his lips for silence. They both looked to the doors, regretting not having taken the opportunity to secure them when they’d had the time. There’d been a thudding noise from the other side of the stack; they were no longer alone.

Adams crept to the end of the shelving, peering between the books, trying to gain an advantage by sighting the others before they’d been seen themselves. The professor followed close behind, a heavy volume ready in his hand. Adams froze and then turned back, grinning, holding a kitten by the scruff of its neck. “Does the library have a cat?” he asked, putting it down between them.

“It’s not abnormal,” the professor replied. “Mice could be a huge problem here. But wait…what’s that?” He picked up a book from the floor, presumably knocked off its shelf by the cat. “I don’t believe it,” he said. “I was thinking we’d need a stroke of luck if we were to succeed...”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations all!

 

Mark please PM me about your ATA Membership

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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