Thanks to everyone who took the time to write and post entries. It was such a pleasure to see your work. I've missed these contests!
Herewith the entries that caught my eye.
“For the love of Mike, Doug, he can’t fly!” said Les Nessman Jr.
The yellow-helicopter blades pulsed.
“He’s fine,” came from above. “He’s got feathers. Sister’s Imaginarium paid for his stunt.”
“He’s going to buy the farm if he jumps.” Les peered up. “My dad tried this. It didn’t work.”
“It’s okay. He bought a customized insurance policy from Liberty Mutual.”
“Which is?” asked Les.
“Accidental death, and I'm the beneficiary." Doug kicked Kevin Emu from the chopper. “Next time, don’t object to LiMu’s marriage!” Cupping his mouth and shouting, “Watch out, Les!”
On the ground, Les exclaimed, “Oh, the humanity!”
Still one of the greatest episodes of all time!
The canoeing trips with my family are a more frequent occurrence. My sister, the daring one, is reluctant to steer today; says her hair is falling out. Little brother is at the helm instead, and my paddle swings fruitless while he drives the canoe into shore. I lunge, ready to thwack him with my oar but stop when father pulls me back with love. Mother says, “Chill. Johnny takes it far more hard.” My oar is now lighter than a feather, family frozen like mosquitoes emulsified in amber, showing me what life could have been. If only I’d shown up.
ohhh! I'm not sure I quite understand what's going on, but if this was the first part of a query, I'd surely want to read more.
While other clutches wasted their days in what she called the Outback Imaginarium, Mom made us ready. Trained us for the day the Aussies would return. “This time we can’t merely resist. Eradication is the only way.”
Still, the day came too soon. Even with the knife at her long, feathered throat, Mom remained defiant. Her last command, drilled like the familiar tone of her zuffalo: vengeance. There may be far more of them, but this is our land. The human who killed Mom would be the first to die in the Second Emu War, but far from the last.
Love learning new words!
I touch the dry blood on the feather scarf. It’s all I have of my sister after they took her. I can hear her voice: "Emu feathers." Still don't know what that is. Or where she got this thing. Black market no doubt.
When darkness falls, I slip out the back. After miles of farmland, I reach the government building. I can taste my fear, but my sister’s love is with me.
I take out my only weapon. The paint runs down the wall, but the words are clear:
bù zìyóu wúnìng sǐ
Give me liberty or give me death.
I'm a dunderhead; I don't get this. Can someone explain "as if to a young child or a golden retriever*."
from one of my all-time favorite movies Margin Call.
The life of an emu is nothing to flight home about.
That's a little joke I tell myself to ease the sting of having feathers, but only vestigial wings. Even Henrietta, that annoying little clucker, sometimes takes off and alights on the roof, just to show she can.
My sister Ostrid tries to lend a sympathetic ear. But she's so tall, it's not like I can whisper into it.
How I'd love to soar, a far more glorious existence than scavenging for scraps, earthbound and ashamed.
At least I don't taste like chicken, I thought as they led Henrietta away.
As always, Michael Seese makes me laugh out loud.
This is not really a story, but I don't care.
Here are the three entries that really stood out for me. Each one produced an emotional reaction. Either laughter or gasps! Either way they reached off the page and grabbed me.
5’ 2” frame - featherweight
Two big cups
Pert (but demure)
Blender- but flashy
“Jason, about your Christmas List.”
“They don’t make Pert Shampoo anymore.”
“And 'black underwear' - do you want boxers or briefs?”
“Mom, you woke me up.”
“You need to be specific if you expect to get what you want, love.”
“I want a MacBook.”
“That’s not even on your list. “Farmer’s Daughter” - DVD? The wine? And stiletto- is that a knife? Is the featherweight frame for your bike?”
“Whoa - wrong list. Erase that. I’ll resend.”
This is wonderful.
Friends, rivals, comparing notes. Sipping cocktails sweet as nectar from stemmed glasses.
"He swept me off my feet. Literally!" He waved a token from our ex-lover. “Isn’t it divine?”
"A feather?" She laughed. "Not impressed. He showered me with gold."
"I win," said L. "Our precious daughters." One sister outshone the other, but still L had a point.
All three looked at me. Far meaner, my experience. "I don't kiss and tell."
They booed. I blushed.
Hell, I couldn't even admit to myself I fell for Zeus disguised as an emu.
What a lovely off-beat look at that notorious cad Zeus!
Sister opens the door. I hop out.
“Can’t you sleep in a bed like a normal kid?”
“It’s cozy in there.”
I get skittles on my Captain Crunch.
“Tell me again, how’d we defeat her?”
“I defeated her. You…didn’t do anything.”
“And then we ran?”
“As fast as we could?”
“Wasn’t far. Maybe a mile.”
We have some music and we bake cupcakes.
I can’t eat cookies anymore.
Late at night I go back.
The house is mostly gone now ‘cuz mice and foxes and stuff.
The old coal oven is cold.
I didn’t always have gumdrop eyes.
And this entry just took my breath away! A lovely twist on an old story.
This one takes the cake (sorry) this week! Luralee, if you'll let me know your preferred mailing address and what kind of book appeals to you, I'll send you a prize!