Friday, December 9, 2011

Thursday Review—Flash Fiction Contest Winners

I purposely didn't post my Thursday review yesterday. I wanted to wait a day so you'd have the opportunity to read some great flash fiction. Our local writers group just held our first annual Flash Fiction Contest. Yesterday we announced the winners at our group's Christmas party.

If you're not familiar with Flash Fiction, it's a growing genre of micro fiction. It's an entire story told in a very short word count. The word count for our contest was 300 words. Depending on the submission guidelines, the word count can vary, any where from 100 words up to 1000. It's harder to do than you might think. But our winners did a great job!

So with no further ado, drumroll please!

First Place
Lori Roeleveld for
Old Soldiers Never Die

Second Place
Marcia Moston for

Third Place
Tim Knopp
'Til Forever

And we decided to add an honorable mention because the scoring was so incredibly close:

Honorable Mention
Jen Bobo for
Her Favorite Thing

The next few weeks you'll be in for a treat as we publish some of the winners. Today we're starting with Lori's first place offering.

Old Soldiers Never Die
by Lori Roeleveld

Grandma’s been hearing critters in that attic. See anything, boy?” Howard took a step up the ladder, wincing when it creaked.

“Not one more move, Howard. Leave it to Tommy.” Alice hollered.

“Fine.” He grimaced but then Tommy’s feet appeared. “You got something?”

“No squirrels, but I found this.” He passed down a rectangular package wrapped in Christmas paper.

Howard set it down, bracing the ladder as the teen descended.

“Did I spoil someone’s surprise?” Tommy asked.

Howard sniffed, shaking his head. He folded up the ladder door.

 “What gives?” Tommy asked.

Howard put a finger to his lips and motioned him into the study where he gently unwrapped the G.I. Joe action figure. Tommy examined it then raised his eyebrows, puzzled.

“I bought it for your father when he was, I don’t know, ten.” Howard nodded toward the door.

“You know how your grandmother feels about war toys but, it was all Dennis wanted that year. I meant to surprise him.”

“What happened?”

“Got word on Christmas Eve about my brother. Vietnam was almost over but no one told the land mine that took Trevor.” Howard paused. “Guess I just forgot about it.”

Tommy ran a finger over the clear plastic window. “Dad told me Uncle Trevor’s death is what made him decide to become a missionary, did you know that?”

Howard nodded. “Losing someone young changes you. Made his mother proud.”

“Funny.” Said Tommy. “When he died in that church fire in Indonesia, Grandma said he was a casualty of war.”

“Battle for the kingdom.” Howard sighed. “Keep the toy soldier. Maybe it’ll remind you that we’re all soldiers on a vast battlefield. Always remember what you’re fighting for, Tommy.
Howard watched his grandson flip over the little tag still taped to the box.

“Merry Christmas, son. Love, Dad.”

Be sure to visit Lori on her blog, Deeper With Jesus in Rhode Island


  1. Lori's story gave me chills! Congratulations. I'm looking forward to reading more!

  2. Yay for the winners! You all did a great job. Love your story, Lori!

  3. Love the idea of "flash fiction" and loved that story!

  4. Congratulations to all the winners! Great story, Lori!