Flash Fiction WINNER 🏆🏆

Yes, friend, you read that title completely correctly. Don’t clean those lenses, don’t wipe your phone screen with your sleeve, DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SETS!

I WON!

For this WINNING 🏆🎈🎈entry I was taking part in the famous Tortive Theatre Flash Fiction 101 competition. Yes, I have entered it many times before and mentioned my successful stories on here too.

Tortive Theatre have been running their Flash Fiction 101 competition for as long as I can remember. In fact, I only missed a couple of months entering earlier this year. When my holiday from writing combined with Tortive Theatres admin department being delayed posting the results, it meant there was a looooong gap between my entries – which explains why I haven’t posted about them for a while.

But hey, if a break means a success then I’ll take the break each and every day!

It seems that might be an unreal pipe dream right now…

Unfortunately, it looks like the Tortive Theatre competitions will now end, and with it the small additional funding stream for the theatre itself, which I was always happy to donate to in order to take part. But the cost of living crisis is munching away at every crevice of society, and the arts is no exception. I have to assume the cost of running the competitions now makes it hard to keep going.

Im keeping my fingers crossed that there is a future for competitions like this and somehow Tortive Theatre continues to join the dots between the visual arts, theatrical arts and creative writing. They are intrinsically linked and creatives are a wonderful, supportive bunch who (mostly) want to help each other reach their goals, exactly how I felt about paying to enter their competition. You can see more about the theatre itself and the work the team are doing there by visiting the Tortive Theatre website.

Thank you Tortive Theatre for over a year of enjoyment, hours of thinking time with your prompts and for helping me improve my creativity.

Here is my flash fiction entry for you to read, and more information on why I chose this story is beneath it.

**********

Gratitude

“Ha! Checkmate! When will you learn?”

The sisters lay on their basement floor playing Chess. Christine was winning.

“I’m 9, you’re 11. I just need practice”

Christine admired Sophie’s belief that one day she’d win, and they’d always be free to play.

Christine wasn’t so sure.

Rumbling punctured the silence. Then a distant flash.

“Did you see that?”

“It’s ok, Soph.”

Christine walked to the window, knowing their father was out there fighting for their freedom.

She closed the curtains praying their army would succeed, that the war would end, and Kyiv would still be standing when she opened them tomorrow.

**********

I created this story back in March with the Tortive prompt “Did you see that?”. At the time the only news on the television, on my phone and in my mind was the atrocious events unfolding in Ukraine, and I used this competition as an opportunity to write about it. So, in 101 words exactly, I wrote a story about 2 young sisters in Kyiv. The story is below for you to read, and the proof that I really did win the competition can be seen on this link – https://www.tortivetheatre.com/post/april-s-winner-gratitude

Choosing to be political is something I’d never do lightly. I’ve typed up many a post on this blog about my desire to remain mostly impartial and avoid conflict. But when I see families torn apart, historical cities being destroyed, the torture and abuse of so many innocent people, hearing the haunting sound of air-raid sirens and watching on, praying for those involved and praying that these awful scenes don’t arrive closer to home, I find it impossible not to say something. My small addition to the horrified narrative comes in the form of 101 words, but hopefully conveys a little emotion.

It’s stupid to expect you to enjoy it, instead I simply hope you feel I did something useful with these 101 words.

To be honest it’s hard to write down how appalling the whole situation is, but I’ve tried in the only way I know how.

Most importantly – Слава Україні!

Thanks for reading.

Published by stephc2021

Hi! I'm Steph, an amateur writer and illustrator specialising in Mental Health and being a self-confessed Spoonie. My website is home to any successful fiction I create, with stories that have won so far covering difficult subjects such as baby loss and mental health in grief as well as some funny and heart-warming tales when I get the inspiration. Every drawing and picture on my website was created by me. I spend a lot of time coming up with illustrations to accompany all of my posts and pages. I try to create original content across all of my channels, whether I'm writing about my own fiction or just generally musing on mental health or my own issues. I want to be part of the change because I believe the understanding of MH in the UK is getting better, but has a very long way to go. By being honest about my own struggles and symptoms I think others will relate and hopefully it will encourage them to talk to someone and get the help and support they need. Long term my goal is to help children too, help them understand their own mental health and how to help with the mental health of those around them. I live in the UK with my partner, daughter and dog, I swear frequently and I adore a well made, traditional, gooey, chocolatey, delicious brownie.

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