Oh my, I couldn’t write this one ahead of time. I never had any idea who would win. It was one vote one way or the other all afternoon and evening. How FUN!
Well, I’m very happy to announce that after a long and desperate struggle, T.L. Tyson has triumphed.
Congratulations to a perpetually excellent writer. Here is her winning entry:
The thin spiral of smoke curled from the tip of Shelby’s cigarette, drifting into her eye. She squinted, then shooed the toxic vapour away from her face. She let the ciggie dangle from her lips and reached out to take her drink off the table. The ice clinked in the glass and she shook the liquid, enjoying the sound the cubes made against the glass. Taking another deep drag, she pulled the smoke into her lungs, then expelled through her nose.
Her nail were bitten down to the quick, she grabbed the cigarette holding it between index and middle finger. She pointed at the man across from her and said, “You’re a fucking cancer.”
“I’m sorry, Ma’am. What do you mean?” He adjusted his glasses, crossed and uncrossed his legs and then added, “I don’t understand.”
Shelby scoffed, and then she laughed, a gravelly chuckle that turned into a cough. When she regained her composure she said, “What don’t you understand?”
“I don’t know what you mean saying I am a cancer.”
“You,” she pointed at him again. “Her,” she said pointing to a girl on the other side of the recreation room. “Them,” she added pointing to a couple in the corner. “All of you. All of us. We’re a fucking cancer. We are a disease. We shouldn’t be allowed to do this.”
“Do what?” The man baited her. He knew she wasn’t ready, he could tell by the way she picked at the scabs on her wrists and rocked back and forth.
She raised her crystal blue eyes to look into his brown ones. Then she smiled, a sweet, almost loving, smile that caused a stir of desire to flare up within him.
“Destroy the world, Doctor Henderson.”
“And you feel we are destroying the world?”
She didn’t answer him, she simply pointed out the window. He turned to look even though he knew what he would see. The sky was on fire. It had been for days.
In a low whisper, Shelby said, “They say it’s the end of the world, but I think it’s just the end of humankind.”
“And what of the world?” the doctor asked.
“For the world, it’s a new beginning.”