We received multiple entries for this week’s flash fiction contest. Some of them made us laugh; some of them made us sniffle. But only one of them beat out the competition and made both of our judges agree–this is the best flash fiction on the theme of ice that we received.
Here’s what our judges had to say….
“This is a compelling, emotional read. Masterful flash fiction!”
“10 / 10!”
Content warning: death of a child
Without further ado, please enjoy reading the 199-word masterpiece from our winner, Sierra Janisse!
“God had bleached everything. The shattering sky. Erin’s face. Even our baby’s perfect hands were white.
Tiny, frozen fingers assail the windshield while Erin shivers in the passenger seat. I ease the gas pedal cautiously, hesitantly—coaxing a reluctant lover.
Tires slip and I wonder if it would be so bad, sliding to our end in ice and pavement. Why not, with the cold body of our almost baby left at the hospital?
Erin clutches her abdomen, a lingering reflex, and whispers the name I refuse to remember. The name we picked when the world was warmer and life infinite summer.
Tire treads wrestle with the ice and win. Barely. We straighten on the road, but I can’t loosen my grip on the wheel. Erin’s foot pantomimes a frantic braking, which I ignore.
“Honey,” she says.
Even her endearment is harder, crystalline somehow, sharpened by the cold and falling sleet. Or maybe it is only the ice in my thoughts freezing my ears, my heart. Even the look I shoot back, before I can consider, carries stalactite daggers.
But Erin is not looking at me. Hands on her stomach, her eyes linger on the road ahead, reflecting only ice. "
Stay tuned for next week’s theme and your shot at the grand prize of $100. We can’t wait to read your flash fiction!