Flash Fiction Contest!

Last Wednesday, we held our every-semester Flash Fiction Contest. 

We got great entries – nearly everyone got at least one vote from at least one of the judges, so the results could have gone a lot of ways. 

We gave everyone the following 4 prompts and told them to go wherever they wanted with them…

1) Interpret this picture – provided by HCC alum Aliea Wallace (aliea.com) in any way you choose:

“The Summit House” by Aliea Wallace

2) Use gold as a symbol of social status in your story.

3) Your story must have parts to it – clearly indicated in some way (with space-breaks, numbers, section-titles, or some other clear way).

4) Each part of the story must begin and end with at least one sentence of dialogue.

 

We’re really very happy that everyone entered. We’ll publish more of these great stories in the days to come, but for now, to see who we chose as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, scroll down…

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Flash Fiction – Third Place!

Goodbye by Jullian Brown

“Are you really leaving?” I asked Wallace as we stood at the old bridge where we used to play as kids. The one where we used to walk past every day to and from school. The one where I cried on his shoulder when my mother passed away. The one where he proposed to me.

“I’m sorry Amy. The way things are now, we can’t continue living like this.” He looked at the river, not looking into my eyes. I knew that meant that he was serious. “The people who have all the gold has all the power, meanwhile we who have nothing just rot against the streets until we die.”

“But… Isn’t there something else you can do?” I grabbed hold of his hand, squeezed it, trying to get him to look at me. “Going off into some war so we could have something? I’ve read the news, I’ve seen the videos. We’re losing this war. Not one of the soldiers have come back.”

“At least you’ll have something!” Wallace screamed, something I haven’t seen since we were teenagers. “Soldier’s families get enough money so they can make a living, so even if I die, you won’t have to suffer.”

“Are you an idiot?” Tears started streaming out of my eyes. My heart wanted to jump out. “If you do die, then I’ll be left all alone! No one will be there by my side. I’ll be left without you! I don’t think I can live with that.”

There was a silence that loomed over both of us. Neither of us wanted to say more. I continued to cry, holding his hand. I could feel myself shake as tears fell from my eyes and into his hand. Then I could feel his soft hand touch my head. I knew what this meant as well. This meant that he made up his choice. He will see something through until the very end. Today, at the very same bridge we spent so many days together, in the middle of a freezing autumn, all the leaves falling from their homes and touch against the hard cold ground, he will make a very important choice.

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“Then I promise. I promise that I won’t die. I’ll come back to you, no matter what.” I looked at him to see him flashing his special cheshire grin. The smile that he showed me when we first met. All those years ago. “I promise.”

“You liar.” I don’t know who I was speaking to. Myself? A ghost? I don’t know. I sat all alone, in front of that bridge. The one we had fun. The one where he proposed. The one he lied straight to my face.

Three years ago, before he set off, he promised me that he would return to me after the war was over. I was stupid enough to believe him. I should’ve remembered when he gives that cheshire grin, that it would always lead to trouble, no matter what circumstances. This time was no difference.

Every day I waited for him to come home, only to get nothing in return. Every day I would come back to this very bridge, hoping to see him standing there waiting for me. I would run up to him. Hug him, kiss him, never letting him go again.

I’ve been living better since he left. I always had enough gold to get food and make a living for myself. I’ve been doing nothing much besides sitting and waiting for that fateful day he would return.

Yesterday an officer knocked at my door. He gave me a photograph of him and told me what happened. The officer explained how he was patrolling a town when he was caught in a major explosion, leaving no survivors. I don’t remember much what happened next. Apparently I’ve just been sitting down, doing nothing all day.

But today was different. I know what I’m about to do today. I sat up from the bench and felt that cold autumn breeze. I walked over to the bridge and stared at the river below. I could hear children playing just a few inches away.

“Please don’t look.” I whispered to them, hoping they heard me. I climbed over the railings and continued to stare. At first I saw nothing but darkness. Then I saw him. I saw him holding out his hand, inviting me to come join him. I smiled, completely ignoring the screams in the background. As tears ran down my face, I said “I love you. And I’ll see you soon.”

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Flash Fiction – Second Place!

Gold Eaters    by Eileen Castle

“What are you trying to tell me?” she asks.

This is the problem with newcomers. They think they have it all figured out. Their self-assurance parades as privilege and intelligence when in reality they’re fumbling for answers just as the rest of us are. No one is invincible; no one immune to the disease. “I’m telling you that you are going to die,” I say.

I check my watch. The black leather band fits too snug against the flesh of my wrist and it’s beginning to leave a mark. “In approximately ten minutes you will cease to exist and I will collect what is left of you.”

“But why? Why me?” she asks.

Humans are strange creatures. They are always wondering why. Even in their last seconds they continue searching for answers. It’s plain as day to the rest of us. The silly things already know the truth. They just bury it in order to escape.

I stand beside her on the balcony. “Greed is a terrible thing, love. It is all consuming. In your case I mean that in the most literal way possible.”

“I don’t want to go,” she says.

The humans began to adorn their bodies with gold many years ago. It began to symbolize their power, their stance above all others who couldn’t afford so much. Soon it wasn’t enough to just place the metal atop their skin. They began to paint it on and bathe within it. No one told them. It ate away their flesh, down to the very soul of them.

That’s where we come in. We collect what is left. They call us gold eaters. They’re still hiding the truth. It’s not the gold we want. It’s them. We want the soul that they leave behind; that the greed strips from them.

“I know, love. No one ever wants the fun to end.”

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Flash Fiction – Winner!

Immortals   By Theresa Miller

The First Day

“I am so sorry!” Arthur cried as he frantically scrambled around the bridge, picking up the items that had fallen. He had been in such a hurry that he had never seen the poor girl walking across. Her purse had tumbled from her arms, cascading its contents across the boards of the bridge and into the river below. Arthur cringed as he heard the soft plop of various items descending into the water.

Arthur stood himself straight to return the items he had been able to get to her, and as he did, he found himself breath-taken by her beauty. Almond shaped eyes stared at him blankly, an earthy sort of brown, almost green around the edges, outlined by the lightest touch of mascara and adorned with gold eye-shadow. Her delicate wrists and neck were encircled with gold jewelry, a sign that she was indeed a noble-woman, and her long hair, dark as a moonless night, was ornately braided and looped atop her head.

His appraisal of her was cut short, however, as she adjusted the sleeves of her long, red dress, the gold trimmings shimmering as her hands moved to her hips and she cleared her throat. “May I have my things please?” she inquired of him. Her voice was smooth as caramel, ringing softly in his ears like a bell, and he found his mouth too dry to speak. His heart beat a mile a minute as his ears were once again graced by the beauty of her voice, this time in the form of a laugh, and she gathered her things from him, placing them back into the small purse she carried.

“It was an accident,” she told him comfortingly, hand resting against his arm to reassure him, “don’t let it concern you too much.” And just like that, the angelic woman was gone, off to whatever sophisticated events or noble lifestyle awaited her, and Arthur was left feeling incredibly aware of the holes in his coat and the scuffs on his shoes. “Goodbye,” he mumbled to no one in particular, as the mysterious woman was now gone.

The Last Day

“I am so sorry,” Arthur wept as he sat beside his dying wife. So long ago had been the day when they had met on that bridge, the day that he had so clumsily knocked the contents of a gorgeous woman’s purse into the current below. Now here he sat, 60 years later, watching that same woman be washed away by the tides of death, so like the river that had washed away the items from her purse.

The beauty she had the day he had first met her was still very much alive within her. Beneath the wrinkles, the almond shape of her eyes could still be found. Beneath the clouded cataracts, that beautiful, chocolate brown could still be seen, with the gorgeous tint of spring green around the edges. Her fragile wrists retained the delicate appearance they had so long ago had, and he could almost see the smooth, milky skin she had once possessed beneath the dry, papery wrinkles coating her body.

Over the sound of her oxygen tank, he could barely here her whisper, “May I have my things, please?” Her voice came out in a rasp, so quiet he would’ve thought it to be nothing more than the shifting of the bed-sheets had he not seen her lips moving.

Arthur stood, taking his cane and hobbling to their dresser across the room. His eyes wandered of the pictures capturing their time together. Valentine’s day, Christmas, their wedding. All those happy events mixed with the tinge of pain at not being able to have a child, of having to run from her sophisticated life in order to marry a poor boy. And this was where it had led them. 60 years later, an old man praying for God to take him in place of his dying wife. An old man being denied his only prayer.

“It was an accident,” she breathed out once more. Her illness was preventable, but they had not been able to afford a doctor. Arthur had tried so hard to care for her himself, and it had all but failed. Her illness progressed twice as fast. She knew he blamed himself, and she knew that she never could a day in her life. “Don’t let it concern you too much.”

Arthur found tears welling in his eyes as he turned back to her, shuffling himself to her bedside and handing her that infamous purse that had started it all. She spoke not a word as she dug into it, a soft smile gracing her paled and cracked lips as she remembered back to the day they met.

After what seemed an eternity to Arthur, she finally pulled a picture from the purse, taking his hands and placing it into them. Tears glided slowly from her eyes and down her withered cheeks as she closed her eyes. There was no strength left in her to fight. She breathed her last breath, and all was silent.

Arthur blinked away the tears as he opened his hands, peering down at the picture she had placed between them. It showed a young, rather scrawny and anxious looking man. He was half turned away from the camera, on a bridge at sunset. There were holes in his coat and scuffs on his shoes, and he looked as though he had just decided to suck on a lemon, lips puckered in irritation.

As Arthur saw himself on that first day when they had met, as he saw that she had stopped to take a picture of the man she would some day married, his dams broke and the tears poured down his face. “Goodbye,” he sobbed to no one in particular, as the mysterious woman was now gone.

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Creative Writing for the Theater – Register Now for Spring, 2015…

Creative Writing for the Theater

with Dave Champoux

ENG 227.01 / THE 227.01

3 “C” Credits

Monday/Wednesday – 9:30-10:45

You don’t have to be a Theater or Creative Writing student to take this course. You’ll LEARN Creative Writing. Just be open-minded and willing to try…

  • We’ll take you through all the steps of brainstorming and journaling to come up with ideas. You’ll learn to “think dramatically” through a variety of exercises and activities.
  • Write plays and monologues.
  • Write a script and shoot a short movie.
  • Learn skills and techniques applicable to almost any field.

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SUBMIT!

Hi Everyone: 2 things…
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1. SUBMISSIONS for Pulp City – HCC’s Literary Magazine

Now is the time!

Send your poems, stories, monologues, or whatever you have as a Word doc to this email – dchampoux@hcc.edu

Do it by next Wednesday, October 15th

Pulp City editors are making choices for the Fall, 2014 edition of the magazine.

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2. WRITING GROUP – tomorrow…

Wednesday, October 8
11am-12noon
Don-360
Everyone is welcome.

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Thanks for an awesome showing at last week’s Spoken Word event.

Best crowd we’ve ever had!!!

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SPOKEN WORD TOMORROW!

Spoken Word

Open Mic

Wed., October 1st – 11:00am

In FPA-111

(the Black Box Theater in the basement of FPA – formerly C-Building)

Come to listen,

Or come to read your work.

Poetry, Raps, Rants:

whatever you want to bring…

We’ll have… a competition – with prizes!

And… a non-competitive Open Mic where people can just read their work if they want to.

Sign up at the event (come early to make sure you get a spot).

More info? Contact Dave Champoux: dchampoux@hcc.edu

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