Well I had to really think hard on this one.
You rascally writers just up the stakes Every Single Time. (Very cool!)
I re-read all the finalists, and I even brought myself to re-read Mr. Forti's entry.
I soon realized there could not be just one winner.
Three of you wrote pieces that are aspects of the same heartache.
are all winners this week.
Here are their entries again:
Lizzie studies the empty dish then looks around. She doesn't know this place.
At the stove, an old man hums, spoons scrambled eggs into a bowl. She doesn't know this man.
Lizzie flings her fork at him. She tries to run, but she's wearing slippers, a robe.
He says he's her husband, Paul. Married many years. He points to her diamond, holds her gnarled hands. Says sometimes Lizzie forgets things.
He serves her eggs, butters her toast.
She doesn't remember. But she forgets.
Or so he says.
He turns away. Lizzie slips the knife into her pocket.
Just in case.
Seven plates. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven...
Seven spoons for dessert.
Six steak knives and a butter knife for the kid.
Dishes for the Caesar salad. Dad's favourite!
Bringing out the food now: ham, scalloped potatoes - cheesy, just the way Dad likes them - creamed corn, peas...
The turnips. Where are the turnips? Dad will freak if there aren't...
Burning eyes, removing the place setting at the head of the blurry table, avoiding the looks of the others as they take their seats.
No turnips tonight.
“You have to come, see for yourself,” my sister said. “The dementia’s getting worse.”
Dad carefully places dishes out for tomorrow: bowl, spoon, cereal. Plate, fork, knife, for the frozen meal he’ll insist on for dinner.
“G’night, Timmy,” on his way to bed. It’s barely seven.
Timmy. My twin who died when we were ten. “Sleep well, Dad.”
I grab the milk carton next to the bowl, return it to the fridge.
He needs the visuals: Rolls of tp piled on the bathroom counter. Mismatched clothes laid out. Old photos of Mom.
And I wonder… will I, too?
If each of you will send me your mailing address, and what kinds of books you like to read, I'll get your prize in the mail.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to write and post entries.
It's always a real pleasure to read your work.
And now, back to conniving about how to thwart my nemesis. I really thought I had him this time.