*Programming Note: As it’s becoming increasingly difficult for me to get on here at 9:30 and post the day’s winner, I think from now on I’m just going to post it the next morning. That will make it possible to leave voting open later and also accommodate the fact that my life is crazy sometimes.)
We have a winner(s), folks! That’s right, a tie. In spite of the appalling number of votes, we have two that came out on top. (Honestly, I can’t remember the last time we had so few votes. For all the writers seem to have come back from vacation, the voters apparently haven’t.
The winners are:
WOOHOO! Congratulations you too! Below are their entries. Enjoy. And congratulate them next time you see them.
“Attach this to your collar and you will always remember me.” Those were the last tearful words she said to me, as she pinned a feather to my jacket. She was crying I was crying. My heart was been ripped in two and I could not understand why.
“Why are you doing this?” I whimpered, pathetically.
“We can never be together, we are too different.” I held her close cheek to cheek, I could taste her salty tears, feel the dampness on my face.
“Fuck them!” I said. “Fuck their rules and their feud and their bitterness. Let’s runaway, we can go somewhere no one will know us. We can live together just the two of us.”
“I can’t do that,” she said, pulling away from me. “I love you,” she mouthed. She ran from me then. I wanted to follow her, to hold her fast and never let her go, to make her understand we could change things, we could break with tradition. But I didn’t, I couldn’t, because she was right. We could never be together, we were like night and day.
I watched her spread her wings then, her glorious off-white wings as she took to the air, so graceful, so beautiful.
“You coming them? If we don’t have fifty souls in the bag by morning there’ll be hell to pay.” He cackled at his own joke.
I nodded my assent. Behind him a smoking pit opened in the ground, with a smile he leapt in, his fiery red tale the last thing to enter.
“I’m coming brother, I’m coming.”
The child stared at the small blanket in his hand, then back at the social worker. It was for the best, she said. His older sister came out of her room and grasped his small shoulders to reassure him, a grim smile plastered on her face.
“It’s going to be better this way,” she whispered to him. “We won’t hear mama cry anymore.”
He couldn’t see how it would be better. He wasn’t even sure what was happening. All he knew was that things were changing and he didn’t like change.
His fingers tightened around the clump of fabric that was once his prized blankie. The edges were frayed and there were patches of dried juice and drool across the surface. Everywhere he went, it went–his mom used to say he needed something to attach to. Whatever the reason, it gave him some comfort now.
“Are you bringing that with us?” his sister asked.
She turned to the social worker. “We’re ready.” Her voice was strong, confident. Not scared at all, like him.
Risking a last glance toward the chalk drawing on the living room floor, he linked his free hand with his sister’s, then they proceeded forward to the sedan parked outside.