Yearning for Wonderland
Although this is a UK based website, National Flash Fiction Day (#NFFD on Twitter) has gained traction worldwide. You can click here to find international recognition of the winners.
To be a winner is pleasant, but a WINNAR is a consummation devoutly to be wished.
To select the WINNARS of the Once Upon a Time Writing Contest was akin to finding your favorite puppy in a kennel. Some of them bark loudly to get your attention, some nip at you, some have big puppy eyes and…okay, enough with the simile. It was tough.
After a great deal of consultation with my lovely co-host, SJI Holliday, we FINALLY narrowed it down to three authors.
And without further ado, here are the WINNARS of the Once Upon a Time Writing Contest!
* The winner of the AWAKE Prize Package (Best Adaptation of an Existing Fairytale)
You can read Angela’s reboot of The Little Mermaid, entitled A Mermaid in Texas.
* The winner of the TWIXT Prize Package (Best Original Fairytale)
You can read Mackenzie’s original tale here.
* The winner of the Grand Prize Package
You can read Oliver’s story, Pink Bells.
Much thanks and congratulations to all who entered, who made it impossible for us to decide!
This is my non-eligible entry for the Once Upon a Time Flash Fiction contest. Of course, the linky is closed, but hope you enjoy it regardless.
The Ice Maiden
Inge was accustomed to her daughter’s formal way of speaking. It’d been a mistake to read Greta poetry, but she hated how mothers gibbered at their babies. As a result, Greta was all precocity at six.
Inge stirred in milk as the wind blew ceaseless at the shutters. After Erik left, she’d scorned moving to her parent’s flat in Reykjavik, opting for country solitude. She’d raise her daughter in peace, without interference or superstition.
“A story, please,” Greta had the golden braids and command of a Nordic princess.
“I told you all the stories I know.”
“Tell me the Ice Maiden.”
“On dark, starred nights the Ice Maiden comes, robed in velvet black and crowned with icicles. If you do not leave her a tribute at the hollow tree, she steals under your sill and kisses you with frozen lips.”
Inge knew the words, but was hopeless at the rich cadences her father once infused in them.
Greta didn’t mind, listening rapt, “Then what happened?”
Inge scooped her up, “Then they lived happily ever after, because it was past their bedtime.”
Once she deposited Greta in bed, Inge snuck to her bedroom for a secret cigarette. She cranked the window open an inch, watching the ash blot the snow on the eaves. Stupid of her to tell Greta that story; she needn’t fill her head with dark-edged tales.
The stove was turned too high and Inge nodded off in her chair.
Outside, snow whirled wildly, like they were encased in a glass globe.
Inge woke abruptly. Something had burned – cocoa! She hurried downstairs, pulling on her thin robe. Uneasy, she switched the stove off. Didn’t she turn it off before? Then she saw the open door.
She ran, bare feet crunching unfeeling through ice crust.
“Greta, Greta!” she cried, wind stealing her words.
She found her at the foot of the hollow tree, mug of cocoa clenched in ice-rimed hand, an unclaimed offering.
Inge kissed her daughter’s frozen lips, to keep from screaming.
ADDENDUM 5/4/12: The Once Upon a Time Fan Favorite Contest has ended! The winner, with a total of an unbelievable 47 votes is Cory Eadson (@evermore_evil) for his story, “Three Simple Words.” Go read it and comment and if you’re on Twitter, say congrats to Cory!
*drumroll* HEAR YE! HEAR YE! Tis time again for that ever popular FanFav contest on Twitter. If you are not on Twitter, I hereby recommend you create a free account. Go on. I’ll wait.
Okay, now that you are on Twitter I will fill you in on this fun and fast-paced contest. All you need to participate is a free Twitter account.
This FanFav contest involves the entries of the Once Upon a Time Writing Contest (tag #ouatwriting).
First, go and read the 88 entries for the #OUATWRITING contest. Or just read your favorites. Or the authors who have the best thumbnails. Then choose your three favorite. I’ll see you in 72 hours when you are done. (Just kidding, the contest starts tomorrow, 5/2/12).
* The contest is only open on Twitter. No other form of entries will be accepted.
* Each person can vote for a maximum of three stories.
* The contest is open for 12 hours ONLY, from 8 am EST to 8 pm EST on 5/2/12. All entries included in this time will be counted. All entries outside of that will be discarded.
TO CAST A VOTE:
* People will vote by tweeting the author’s name of their favorite story, followed by tags #fanfav and #ouatwriting. Both @SJIHolliday and I will be tracking and auditing votes separately for accuracy.
TO AUTHORS, I highly recommend you canvas for votes by tweeting your links, cajoling your followers, bullying, begging and earning votes by any (legal) means necessary in order to win this most amazing prize.
(And no, you cannot vote for yourself. Sheesh)
Oh yes, this is what you were wondering about, wasn’t it? Remember that amazing contest I ran just a month or so ago: the Fairy Ring Contest?
The audiobook is a brand-new release (List: $19.99) and 2 world-transporting hours away from our grey reality.
Are you ready for some hijinks? See you at 8 AM!
There once was a zebra named Zed. He was a zebra of the ordinary sort… white with black stripes. He looked and acted just like the other zebras of his herd. He grazed on the sweet grass. He drank at the nearby water hole. He flicked his tail at flies.
Zed had become bored with his life and longed for something different.
“Why?” asked Zoë, another young zebra. “We have the perfect life!”
“It’s not enough,” replied Zed. “I want to stand out from the crowd and be different.”
Zed had an idea and convinced two monkeys to help. They met behind the shrubs near the water hole. One monkey gathered white dust from the dry lake and mixed it with water. This made a slimy white paste, which he smeared all over Zed’s body until the stripes disappeared!
The second monkey gathered black stones and ground them into a fine powder. He mixed this powder with water and used his fingers to paint black polka dots all over Zed’s body. NOW, Zed felt different and special!
When Zed returned to the herd, the other zebras “oooohed” and “aaaahed” at his beautiful polka dots.
Everyone except Zoë. She rolled her eyes and shook her head.
Zed had another brilliant idea.
“Attention everybody,” he shouted. “Come forward and meet your new king… ME! From this moment forward, you will serve ME. Bring me some sweet grass from the meadow, NOW!”
To Zoë’s amazement, the others obeyed their new spotted ruler.
Early that evening, reports zipped among the zebras that cheetahs were approaching their herd.
Everyone was on high alert, except Zed. He was busy giving meal orders, having a polka dot touch-up, and demanding a hoof massage. As the cheetahs came nearer, the herd ran back and forth, attempting to confuse them with their shifting patterns of stripes.
This time, Zoë had the brilliant idea. She maneuvered closer to Zed and whinnied, “Zed, run!!!”
At last Zed noticed the cheetahs and bolted. Of course, the cheetahs spotted Zed’s polka dots immediately. And they didn’t mind the taste of the paint.
by Christine Anderton
In that instant, the sheer force of power emanating from the mirror knocked the gathered crowd off their feet, and my hands went up to shield my eyes from the flash of blinding light. I blinked hard to clear my vision. Around me, people were beginning to stand. I stared into the mirror, horrified and disgusted by what I saw. At the sight of glistening teeth, the townspeople screamed, in fear for their lives. She was quick to correct them. “Kind and gentle,” she said. I leaned in to get a closer look.
I recognized the mirror. I had seen it once before, the night we fled. I stared at the image before me, familiar dishonest eyes glaring back at me in a challenge.
And suddenly I knew. Memories flooded back, pounding me, one after another. Years of being second best. He had always been the favorite, never mind how he had tormented me when they weren’t around.
That night years ago, he had behaved as usual, without thinking about how his actions would affect anyone else. Because of him, my life had been taken away from me. He had selfishly ruined everything, and I felt no pity for him. He deserved such a curse. Since then, I had worked hard to become an expert huntsman and had actually made a name for myself.
I pulled my eyes away from the mirror and studied her. Her feelings were obvious. The way she looked at him, the way she cradled the mirror, the way her voice changed when she spoke about him. Kind and gentle? I knew what she didn’t. I knew what he was really like. And now he had my girl.
She would marry me. I had asked nicely, but she refused. I wouldn’t give up that easily. She just needed a little persuading. I had come here tonight prepared to take either her hand or her father – the decision was hers. Now I realized that something more stood in my way. I would have Belle for my wife yet, even if it meant killing my brother.