Our 2018 - Week 28 Winner is ...
This week we had two prompts:
And we had three touching, insightful entries:
Mark Morris - You made a very effective use of your words - using the short format to enhance the sense of how quickly time passes, and the fact that time waits for no one - but, perhaps, the funeral procession can.
Mil Ana - Your story has an almost dream quality to it. With hands, and meaning drifting away and leaving the protagonist to roam through the dream - free yet tethered till the end.
Candy Hill Johansens - Your story took something complicated, space travel through a planet's atmosphere/gravitational pull. It's interesting that, like Mil Ana's story it involves freedom and being untethered, but in a very different way. There was a lot there to contemplate, and I would love to see this in a longer, fully filled out story.
Today's winner is:
Mark Morris - For one brief reflection on a lifetime - and taking the time to take it all in- actually making the world stop for once, so the protagonist can take a moment to reflect - Your story is this week's winner.
The Passage of Time...and the Loss of Innocence
The clock on the wall taunted him, hands fixed, its ticks never slowing.
He’d been a boy when he’d sat here first, his feet dangling over the edge of the chair. He’d worn shorts then, khaki shorts and a pair of soon-scuffed sandals his mother had bought for him, knowing he’d grow more quickly out of any other shoes. He’d worn those all that summer, kicking up dust, taking them off whenever it got sticky-hot, laying the soles of his feet flat on the dirt and then wriggling his toes deep into the soil. Sometimes it had got hotter still and he’d have had to put them back on again when the heat got too much to bear. That’d been long ago in ’76, when he’d been nine; easily old enough to be rebellious but far too young to ever be heard.
His mother had been younger then too. She’d always seemed old to him, but she’d still had some vitality about her. She’d been more of a middle-aged age than truly old like Grandma had been, still busy with her work around the house and with the shopping and the washing-machine that came out on Mondays. She’d always had that furrowed brow he’d stroked when she’d dozed but with none of the deep lines Grandma had had, his mother only napping for an hour in the afternoons while her mother spent most of her days asleep, sitting hunched in her chair with her eyes closed, snoring gently in time with her ever-present cat.
But that’d been a lifetime ago. Or maybe two…or three…or many, many more fingers than he’d ever care to use. His knees were angled upwards now, his feet in sensible shoes, him wearing a pair of long, dark trousers with a suit and with a wife who was waiting outside while he put together his thoughts. That boy was long gone too, lost long ago along with the innocence he’d never known he’d had, briefly unaware of the passage of time and of the mortality of men and women. It’d been a cruel awakening for him lately, seeing her fail first and then die, the return of his prodigal father no consolation for the things that had happened.
The clock continued to tick, measuring time.
The funeral cars could wait a little longer.
Thank you all once again and stay tuned tomorrow for our next installment of ATA Flash -
And tune in next week where our prize will be a 30 Day trial membership with the ATA.
(I'm going to schedule this now and see if I can differentiate between AM and PM.)