Our 2018 - Week 24Winner is ...
We had a great collection of stories this week, reading them was a delight!
It's strange, I looked at this picture and all I saw was green and growing, others saw fall, freedom and danger-- it's all a matter of perspective
Mark Morris - I love how you took this path and turned it into a place full of threat and foreboding, if only in the protagonists' mind.
Mil Ana - I love the sense of eternity and longing in your story-- longing and a sense of savoring the moment with no future implied - The soul cannot be contained
Richard Gibney - While the title Circle Line refers to the location (or the path to the location) it also references the circles within circles in your story - the circle of life, the circles we travel in our lives. You paint a very vivid picture.
All three are excellent stories, and they were a delight to read, judging, not so much because only one can win.
Today's Winner is:
Mark Morris - For proving that sometimes the Protagonist and the Antagonist are the same person.
Ludmilla Took - An Anxious Trail
The forest was quiet. It was unusual for the trail to be so empty and Ludmilla pulled her shawl close, looking about for the something which had spooked everything. Normally, she would have been wondering about her next meal but today she’d felt troubled, the remaining mutton pies in her pack now forgotten. Her attention was more on the trees and bushes to either side, each of them large enough to hide something threatening, creeping along through the undergrowth in pursuit. Even the day itself seemed out of balance, the sun lower than it should have been and with the light already fading fast.
Ludmilla had spent the day by the Stock-brook, fishing for the shrimps needed for tomorrow night’s supper. Belba had been working in her place, filling flasks and bottles, serving elevenses and lunch. She would probably be busy now, laying tables and warming plates, visiting the pantry time and again, bustling about to put food out to be eaten, stopping only occasionally for a pipe. Ludmilla had her pipe with her now, nestling snug between the loaves and the pies she had with her, her tinderbox kept warm and dry against her breast. She could feel it there right now, sitting there, hard and square, offering her security and a way to build a fire.
To her rear, a twig cracked, almost deafening against the silence, Ludmilla almost stumbling into a run. She pulled her arms close in beside her, sensing danger everywhere. Was that a great spider hiding in that cleft above that branch? Was that a crebain sitting in that tree, spying on her? All at once, the emptiness seemed full, with dark eyes everywhere, each of them watching and waiting for her to fall. There could be wargs prowling beside this trail, muzzles slavering and yellowed teeth sharp. They could be following her now, herding her subtly away from home, the noises they were making designed to turn her about. There might be orcs with them too– they were never far away, if there were wargs – waiting brutishly in the shadows for the light to fade away. They could be readying themselves, their cruel hands reaching out, keen to snag her ankle and to pull her to the ground.
And then the forest fell away, rising up like a wall close behind. She could almost see her burrow – she was safe.
Thank you all once again and stay tuned tomorrow for our next installment of ATA Flash -
This will be our monthly contest where the winner will receive a free 30 day trial to the Author Transformation Alliance.