A lot of you had lovely entries that weren't quite stories though.
Special recognition for using words I had to look up
AJ C. Matson 10:00am
Quiddity: the inherent nature or essence of someone or something/a distinctive feature; a peculiarity.
A gorgeous example of how rhythm is a key element of a good story
Kathy Joyce 9:52am
And hyacinths, then tulips,
Then peonies and daylilies
Roses daisies asters geraniums
Snapdragons zinnias gladiolas marigolds…
Winner of the René Magritte Award
Amy Schaefer 11:16am
I read the poem.
I read it again.
I nodded quietly to myself.
I turned off the computer.
I took my kids to the butterfly conservatory.
We had lunch with my sister and my niece.
I didn’t check my email. I didn’t read the news.
That hard fist in my chest eased a little.
Now I am going for a walk in the woods with my family.
And that is why I’m not entering the contest this week.
A gorgeous line
That night, like every other, Grace climbed into bed and pulled her grief up to her chin.
Special recognition for the perfect illustration of "what isn't said"
Sherry Howard 11:23pm
I saw Dr. Sanders—you remember him. Such good news today! He said it’ll only be a few weeks more now.
A line that is either utterly hilarious or a typo
Just Jan 6:46pm
She adjusted her dimple.
I stumble up cracked concrete steps
to a brownstone
caught in shadow,
follow you into the house
where cobwebs drape like curtains
and dust scatters beneath our feet.
On the floor by the staircase lies a single sock,
and a birch broom stands in the corner
by the open door,
splintering at the grip.
There’s a dip in the couch cushions,
an empty wineglass on the table.
“I know this place,” I whisper.
“But it’s been so long…”
I sense the rain within me.
“Can we stay?”
You pause, hand me the broom.
“I never left,” you say.
Sharyn Ekbergh 10:40am
If you are very lucky or very good
someone like this comes into your life.
I’m not good.
this is grass
is this grass?
how soft it is, how wonderful
this is a tree
is this a tree?
how high I can climb
watch me, how high
this is water
is this water?
how good, how sweet it is
to drink this water
watch me, watch me now
touch me, touch me now
love me, love me now
How I love my days here with you
there is a time bomb in my chest
Timothy Lowe 12:44pm
I loved accounting. Dimes shimmered between my fingers. I squandered my nights under LED lights, whistling as I paved a road to hell with dollar bills.
Case of bourbon: 349.99
Lady friends: 200.00/hr
Dinner at Rocco’s: 1243.60
Drinks at Tenochtitlan: 3650.00
DWI lawyer: 14,000.00
Interlock device: 200.00 a month
I paid for my mistakes. Price Waterhouse fired me. My friends deserted me. But I met someone at AA who told me that happiness is free.
Now we have another beautiful child coming, our sixth.
But hey - who’s counting?
Kate O 3:47pm
It smells like hot garbage.
Probably because I am in the garbage.
And the day is hot.
It wasn’t always like this.
I began life on a shelf, pristine beneath my plastic packaging. My bright future as yet unspooled.
But I was bought hastily, for a child with too much already. I was one of many.
If I had a heart, it would ache.
The garbage can tips. The indignity of something sticky smearing across my face as we tumble: strawberry jam.
A dog’s hot breath, its slobbery tongue.
But also, sunshine.
And also, a child’s voice.
“Mama, look! A doll!”
Lennon Faris 4:35pm
Two saplings gaze into a pool.
“See my brawny branches,” says Oak, stretching.
“And my ample trunk,” Sycamore preens, digging roots into the Earth.
“Your bark’s like a fungus.”
“Your progeny’s the teats of a fox, who milked too long.”
Why fight? hisses Wind, joyriding between their leaves. What do you accomplish?
Ignoring Wind, Oak roars to his squirrel brigade, “Hurl my progeny at that blasphemous ogre!” Songbirds of Sycamore dive-bomb the squirrels, screaming back insults. War rages in the canopy.
Below, a beaver meanders into the glen. He builds his home.
Eventually, the silent stumps turn back into dust.
Madeline Mora-Summonte 5:01pm
The park bench is hard on Harriet's old bones. Nearby, a little girl begs her mother unsuccessfully for ice cream.
Harriet, her heart long unraveled by regret, recalls her son's voice, how it grated her nerves. She was a lousy mother. She pushed him away over and over until he stayed away on his own. If she could have another chance, she'd grab it, never let go.
The girl wanders over. Harriet glances at the mother, focused on her cell. Harriet stands, holds out her hand. The girl takes it, weaving her fingers through Harriet's.
They walk away.
I think we drove over ninety to Ann Arbor the night he was born. First grandchild.
We were too late.
He was wrapped in a blanket at the graveside. I held him tight as they lowered her down.
“The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.”
He didn’t cry. I shook uncontrollably.
Months of going through the motions.
First word: Meema
He sits on the floor playing with Russian nesting dolls, endlessly stacking and restacking. Laughing at a joke only he knows.
His toes flex up in delight.
“Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Let me know what you think of these choices, and if you think I overlooked an entry that deserved recognition. Final results tomorrow (Monday)