Regular readers of the Abergavenny Focus will know that over the past few months we have been running a Flash Fiction competition, which we organised together with Bookish and The Words Counts. Our Flash Fiction competition formed part of a national series of events, which took place to mark the first National Flash Fiction Day on May 16th
Firstly I would like to extend a huge thanks to all of those readers who took time to enter the competition and send us their stories. We had a wonderful response and enjoyed reading every single story. It was very difficult to whittle down the entries to form a shortlist and even more of a challenge to come to a conclusion about who the winners would be! Nevertheless, shortlists were drawn up and winners chosen and, on National Flash Fiction Day itself, we got together at the Kings Head in Abergavenny (big thanks to Ruth and Ken!) and enjoyed a wonderful evening of Flash Fiction reading and prize giving.
Huge thanks must go to both Emma Corfield-Walters at Bookish in Crickhowell and to Cath Barton of The Word Counts, for all their hard work and participation in running the competition and in organising the Flash Fiction Event itself. Also a big thank you to Oliver Barton for his fantastic reading of those highly commended or winning entries whose authors could not be there on the night, and to Philip Schofield for his fabulous Flash Fiction piece of writing that he created live, during the event itself.
It gives me huge pleasure to announce our winners as well as those who were highly commended in each category below. We are delighted to publish all of these authors’ work for your enjoyment as well as Philip Schofield’s live piece and something of my own. Winning entries have also been published in the June issues of our sister magazines: The Monnow Voice, The Ross Voice and The Chepstow Voice. I am sure you will agree that they are very worthy winners!
Under 12 yrs Category
Winner : Cara Newsam
See the Spring
By Cara Newsam
Snout was already awake. He was pondering over what sparrow had said yesterday. “He said, spring was coming, so…whispered Snout determinedly, ”I will go and meet her myself.”
He set off at once into the forest, towards the meadow. He had only been five minutes when he saw Squeak, a shy mouse. Squeak asked Snout if she could accompany him and of course Snout said ‘yes’. The forest was dark with night when they reached a clearing. Here they met a squirrel named Bristle. “ I will come too I think,” exclaimed Bristle haughtily, and he did. They made quite a trio, what with Snouts spikes, Squeaks huge whiskers and Bristles’ fluffy tail.
It seemed like hours by the time they reached the edge of the forest and it had been hours for it was now morning. Snout yawned, as the nocturnol-ness inside him demanded sleep. “Spring is not here,” said Bristle bossily, “I’m going back.” He turned tail and marched back. Nervously, Squeak followed.
Snout sat down and looked around. Below him a meadow lay full of flowers and bouncy lambs. A diamond tear rolled down Snout’s cheek. Spring won’t come he thought. He was just giving up when a lamb bounced over. When informed of Snout’s worry she explained that Spring was ‘a season of joy’. Snout suddenly realised what Spring was and that ‘she’ was well and truly here.
12-18 yrs Category
Winner : Eleanor Newsam
What Dad Did!
By Eleanor Newsam
They could see it coming closer and closer, the great big hand stretching down towards them. They were so terrified they couldn’t move. Frozen to the spot the two of them in their metal house trembled bearing their crosses shakily on their heads. The gigantic hand reached down and picked up their house. For a split second they saw an enormous human face with short dark brown hair and strange metal rectangles on top of its browny –green eyes and then they were in another place. Their house was standing on a slightly rusty metal grill and the air extremely hot and stuffy. It was also (they noticed after some period of time) getting steadily hotter and hotter. They could feel themselves burning and getting black. Then faintly they heard a voice crying“I smell something burning, Lily quick go and check the grill.” Then a sound of running feet and then the door of our cell opened and a rounded glove came towards us and lifted our house out into the cool air
“oh daaad,” a voice moaned “You’ve burnt the hot cross buns.”
Over 18 yrs Category
Winner : Barbara Weeks
By Barbara Weeks
The sofa – long past its first flush of youth – sat exposed and embarrassed on the Trenton Cross roundabout. Dumped without ceremony, it was like some faded Hollywood starlet, once beautiful and feted, now aged and unloved. As I passed every morning on my way to work I would wonder how it had come to find itself in such unhappy circumstances; rained on, mud splattered and windswept. And it remained there for days and days, poor thing, as if it were waiting – like Greyfriar’s Bobby – for a much loved master to return.
It had sat there for about a week before I noticed one morning that something had changed. There was a man. A man in smart suit and tie sitting motionless on the abandoned sofa as cars and buses and lorries circled endlessly. Like castaways, I thought, on an island in an unfriendly sea.
And so I took the next exit, doubled back towards Trenton Cross and parked in the industrial estate. I marched up to the roundabout, side-stepped across the busy lanes as drivers gestured in irritation, and then jogged over the damp grass to face them – the man, the sofa – both impassive as the traffic streamed about us.
‘It looked lonely,’ he said.
I nodded and sat beside him. And together, centre stage – the sofa, the man and me – we watched as the world hurriedly madly around us…and waited.
- Louisa Adjoa Parker
- Josephine Corcoran
- Linda Vickers
- Natalie Bowers
- Jonathan Margetts
- Sue Anderson
- Stella Price
- June M Hodges
Pictures from the event
Winner Over 18s Category By Barbara Weeks The sofa – long past its first flush of youth – sat exposed and embarrassed on the Trenton Cross roundabout. Dumped without ceremony, it was like some faded Hollywood starlet, once beautiful and feted, now aged and unloved. As I passed every morning on my way to work […]
Highly Commended Over 18s Category By Natalie Bowers Kathy had only popped round to ask the deaf old dear to turn down her telly. “Jason’s on nights you see,” she said as she followed Mrs Carpenter along the hallway. “Never you mind about that, sweetie.” Mrs Carpenter shuffled along, gnarled fingers kneading the length of […]
It Felt Like Sleeping
Highly Commended Over 18s Category By Jonathan Margetts A bottle of vodka in an open-air playground at night; bark-based pine surfacing; a rusted blue slide; a bin filled with crisp packets; ready salted, smoky bacon. Her breath was a combination of Mayfair cigarettes, Smirnoff and strawberry lip balm. We played with extra-safe Durex, and we […]
How To Make Them Like You
Highly Commended Over 18s Category By Josephine Corcoran Make it look as though you are rubbing dirt from your forehead, from your heart, from one shoulder, then the other shoulder. Clasp your hands together in a way that makes them believe you are anticipating happiness. Always wear an electronic device. Don’t move your lips; […]
Highly Commended Over 18s Category By Louisa Adjoa Parker In the end, their daughter, their girl, was nothing more than a bag of bones; a skull and pelvis, picked clean. Bones like bleached driftwood. They wanted to tip the black bin-bag she’d been found in upside down, shake out every last splinter of bone. […]
Highly Commended Over 18s Category By Linda Vickers Bare legs, waxed and Bali-brown, pound the path. The ruined roundabout and forgotten flowerbeds whizz by unnoticed. The sky is darkling. Mara vaults the steps to the dilapidated bandstand. “Damn.” She clutches a stitch. “Jay!” Mara paces, panting into the hands-free. “I took a wrong turn. […]
Highly Commended Over 18s Category By Sue Anderson I’m having a grey day, so I put on my blue jeans and go down to the fair. Pink sugar smells in the air, golden oldies blazing out, rides to make you scream. The carousel calls but the waltzers are best. As we spin, colours mix […]
Highly Commended Over 18s Category By Stella Price Molly loved to stare into the sky late at night and read under the porch light. “Can you see the man in the moon?” asked her mother. Molly looked up. “There is no man in the moon.” “Everyone in the whole world knows there’s a man […]
Highly Commended Over 18s Category By June M Hodges Every night at ten o’clock the halls of Twilight Time were filled with the loud jangle of Edith’s telephone. “Cursed thing….!” Swore the dinosaur in Matron’s tunic who ruled the Earth here. “Waking everyone up….” She cut a swathe of disinfectant as she steamed into […]
What Dad Did!
Winner 12-18 Yrs Category By Eleanor Newsam They could see it coming closer and closer, the great big hand stretching down towards them. They were so terrified they couldn’t move. Frozen to the spot the two of them in their metal house trembled bearing their crosses shakily on their heads. The gigantic hand reached down […]
The Factories Funghi
Highly Commended 12-18 Yrs Category by Karish Seeburrun Mr Jones was the most famous salesman in the Northern Hemisphere because he had invented an astounding machine, which could convert crude oil into harmless delectable vanilla soda; no ordinary soda, but a creamier and tastier drink that even had a mouth-watering aroma. The building containing […]
The Line of Peach Trees
Highly Commended 12-18 Yrs Category By Fraser Clark Once a line of picturesque peach trees stood amongst a field in the rich countryside. There in that field amongst those trees, children played. They built dens, played soldiers and feasted on the ripe, succulent peaches when they ripened in late July. Although this would not last; […]
See the Spring
Winner Under 12 Years Category By Cara Newsam Snout was already awake. He was pondering over what sparrow had said yesterday. “He said, spring was coming, so…” whispered Snout determinedly, ”I will go and meet her myself.” He set off at once into the forest, towards the meadow. He had only been five minutes when […]
Highly Commended Under 12 Years Category By Dewi McConnaughie The air was filled with sound as the midnight bell struck. All the noises of the world softened into a clean and still silence. Everywhere, blackness covered the land. The fields were still, for there was no wind that night. Around me my family and friends […]
The Giant of Portmeirion
Highly Commended Under 12 Years Category By Cosmo Bawler Once there was a big-nosed fighting giant who ate any iron, metal or bronze he could find. This was a problem for the blacksmiths in the nearby villages. They were rapidly running out of metal. One day in Portmeirion some blacksmiths were talking. “We must get […]
The Dragon and the very annoying skeletons
Highly Commended Under 12 Years Category By Sydney Bawler Dick the Dragon dwelt in a magical part of the woods in a cave full of skeletons. Dick had a problem because every minute the skeletons would play a tune with their bones. Now that was a problem because it really annoyed him and it would […]
The Lady in Disguise
Highly Commended Under 12 Years Category By Bethan White It was the seventh second, of the seventh minute, of the seventh hour, of the seventh day, of the seventh month, oh you get it there is lots of sevens. It all started when me and my family went on holiday to Miami in this spooky […]
Are You Mad?
Highly Commended Under 12 Years Category By Lily Newsam I love this skating it’s a really fun thing to do. Oh dear here comes my mum. She’ll go mad. Now the ice is starting to crack. If only I had been sensible enough to practice even better flying skills. Then I wouldn’t have to skate […]
As Most Cats Do
Highly Commended Under 12 Years Category By Robyn Pearce I padded slowly, as most cats do, up to the old stable and peered inside the gap between the doors. I saw the hooves of the horse, and heard a gentle ‘neigh’ from inside. I decided to slink through the small gap, as most cats do. […]
How it All Began
The following Flash Fiction is very special as it was kindly written by Philip Schofield during our Flash Fiction Event. Philip put pen to paper as the evening’s events unfolded and came up with this. Enjoy! By Philip Schofield It is a little known fact that Flash Fiction originated in Abergavenny in middle of […]
And the final story has been written by myself. As editor of the Abergavenny Focus, I couldn’t help getting in on the Flash Fiction action too! By Hannah Hill She straightened the net curtains, the yellowing hem catching on the dust-clad objects that lined the sill. A thimble, decorated with a red fox […]