Emerging Writer Contest 2 Winning Entries
Hummingbird's Emerging Writer Contest 2 Semi-Finalists
THANK YOU to all that submitted entries for Hummingbird's Emerging Writer Contest 2. The work submitted was outstanding, and the panel of HB judges had their work cut out for them in selecting the top two entries. Submissions were unique and well written. The contest page was viewed more than 200 times, and this contest had three times as many entries as our first. We invite all of you, and more writers out there, to enter our next Contest!
In the meanwhile, it is now up to Hummingbird Readers to cast their votes for their favorite story. The semifinalist stories are below. Both stories are presented anonymously for the Hummingbird Reader vote. Each reader may cast only one vote. To vote, click the link below, insert the title of your favorite entry in the message space, and send. To be counted votes must be received by midnight on February 8, 2019. The winner will be announced, and author revealed on February 16, 2019. The winner will have the opportunity to publish another original story at a later date. (See Contest post for details.) Congratulations and good luck to the semi-finalists!
Click here to vote.
Guidelines for Entries:
Your story must contain or feature a “resolution” of some kind, in any context, i.e., it might relate to a problem solved, a pledge, a conflict real or imagined, or the “list” developed at New Year’s….
Up to 300 words.
Your story must have a title.
The woman behind the window yelled through the hole in the glass that separates her from the people who queue up on the other side. It was my turn.
“Why are you here?” she barked.
“For an order of protection,” I murmured.
“Against who?” she asked.
“My husband,” I answered, just above a whisper.
I sat down and began filling out the paperwork. I was thinking, “I don’t belong here.” The pledge I had made the night before was fading. I was close to leaving, but something made me stay.
Later I am before a probation officer. I tell her about the hands around my throat, tightening, tightening. I show her the bruises. The ones on my neck, on my wrist where he grabbed me as I broke free. The scratches on my cheek where my face hit the rug when he tossed me to the ground.
The officer sends me back to the waiting room. I stare at the colorful poster on the wall. There are drawings by children who have watched people in their families hurt other people in their families. Children like my daughter, my son.
I wait for a judge to decide whether I need protection. The other women in the room pace or talk on phones. Some chase after toddlers. Some like me just sit quietly, thinking deeply.
I am remembering the look on my son’s face last night. His eyes were wild with terror, like the children in the family violence poster. He was standing there in his pajamas, trembling.
“Mommy!” he was screaming. “Mommy, are you gonna be okay?” “Yes,” I struggled to comfort him as his father snatched him away. “You’ll see.”
It won’t be easy but today I begin. I promised.
The Man Over His Shoulder
His first thought was to rob her.
She was alone, and it was near three in the morning and the man had not seen a soul. He sat outside of Checkers since sundown, his stomach growling, and the rain continuously falling. He had no coat, but the woman approaching him was wearing a clean-white fur and had a black Coach bag on her arm, the zipper ajar. She was drunk, or so he thought, as if to justify his intent, but it was unneeded. The man over his shoulder was fully capable.
“Do it,” the man said.
The man over his shoulder, whispering in his ear, was about the same height. He wore a black leather jacket and boots, but the most discernible quality was his eyes.
He had the gaze of a man with no shame. He had eyes full of indifference, the eyes of a man overlooked but omnipresent. The man scanned the area and saw no one. No one in line at Checkers, no one trailing the blonde woman up the sidewalk, no one at all.
“If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” He heard the man over his shoulder say. He glanced at him and saw nothing but a smirk growing on his face.
His nerves fluttered, his stomach went atwitter, but as the woman neared, an overwhelming calmness fell over him. The rain briefly stopped. He feels a nudge on the back from the man over his shoulder, but remained taut.
The woman passed without incident.
“Tsk-Tsk,” the man over his shoulder said. But when he turned around, there was no man over his shoulder. All he saw was a mirror in the thrift shop behind him, reflecting the image of himself.