First of all, thanks to the fifteen writers who participated. Writing is difficult in and of itself, but putting your work out there to be read — and therefore judged — by others is an act of bravery. Especially gratifying were the comments from individuals saying that this little contest had given them cause to start writing again.
All of the entries entertained, but five distinguished themselves. Let’s begin with, in the order they were submitted, the three runners-up:
slippraypeople: Bruce Springsteenesque in its setting, Warren Zevonish in its resolution. Sturdy stuff.
limmenel: What begins all soft and gossamery turns dark and bloody without a misstep.
le_show_de_joe: The only entry that made me truly laugh out loud. Stuart Little as told by Edgar Allan Poe.
Choosing between first and second place was tough, because both exemplary entries are winners in their own right. With that mea culpa out of the way, second place goes to:
firstname.lastname@example.org: The only remotely “political” entry, this wartime drama expertly plays out a mother’s worst fear — with dignity.
And, finally, without further ado, our first-place winner:
so_theo: While a few of the entries confounded, this poetic excursion did so satisfyingly, in a way that rang true — something to which all writing should aspire. In 69 mere words, the two characters’ engimatic relationship was rendered in such a way that their life together lingered after the reading was over. Beautiful stuff.
Thanks again to everyone who played along.