Flash Fiction Competition Winners!
Congratulations to Karl Russell, Clare Kirwan & Clive Roberts, who took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place at our superb final
event of our Flash Fiction at the End of the World Competition. Competition was fiece and the readings were excellent, and our guest Judge, X-Men writer, Mike Carey, admitted it was hard to select the final three. Our winner, Karl Russell, will soon be in possession of a collection of signed books by Mike Carey. All finalists will now be published in an e-book with a foreword by Mike Carey.
Click here to read all the entries.
Here is Karl Russell's winning entry:
The Only Living Boy in New York
In the morning, when our lips were bruised from kissing all night, Nate gave me a going away present. It was a radio, tuned to an Argentinian station, so that I could listen to the comings and goings down there while I waited for him to come home. It was one of his great ideas, typical Nate, so sweet and thoughtful and never mind the fact that I knew less than a dozen words of Spanish.
‘You don't need to understand it. You can be like Paul Simon; you can gather all the news you need from the weather report.’
His singing was abysmal, but I smiled anyway, hugged him and dragged him back to bed for a last goodbye.
We missed his cab and I had to run him across town myself.
Later, when he called from the airport, he taught me the words to listen for; esta lloviendo, it’s raining, and esta soleado, it’s sunny.
‘If it's sunny, then we're out at the spill site, working. And if it's not, then we're probably still out there working, just with more pissing and bitching.’
And then he was gone, off to introduce the world to SmartSand and self cleaning water. We all know how that worked out. It was another typical Nate idea; why spend all your time trying to get oil and plastic fibre out of the ocean when you can take the water molecules out of the muck? In the lab it worked perfectly, leaving them with a bucket full of gelatinous filth and another full of pure, clean water, every time. Never mind that the human body is 60 percent water.
He managed to get one call out to me, just after they realised that it had got into the food chain. The US government was demanding his extradition, and the tin pot generals down there were saying that he was already out of the country, that it was all a US-UK plot to destabilise their territory. It didn't seem to register that our own beef herds were melting away just as quickly as theirs.
‘I'm going to try and get up through Colombia, maybe as far as Mexico. Can you come down and meet me?’
I stood at the window, peering out through the plastic sheets I had taped up across them. The park always looked so beautiful in the rain.
‘I'm scared,’ I told him.
‘Wait for me?’
I don't know how long the tinned food will hold out or if I'll be able to break into any other apartments in the building.
I don't know if the plastic sheets really keep anything out or if I'll just end up breathing it in while I sleep.
I don't even know if Nate made it to Mexico.
I still turn the radio on though, twice a day, at 12 and 6 local time.
One of their DJs still reads the news - The only news anyone is really interested in anyway.