June 2019 Winners - Third Place
"Wisp" by Hana Shibazaki
He had run out of that house of despair, running from angry voices and pointing fingers.
The rough terrain had been difficult on his thin legs, and so he had stumbled over every
obstacle, the stars above mocking him. A skinny forearm had wiped away the crystal droplets,
and they dangled in the air for a split second as the wind blew through the trees.
He had stopped once he reached the outskirts of the dense forests, the smooth expanse
of beach, and the calm waters ahead. The sticky snail tracks under his eyes were hurriedly
He leisurely wandered the beach, tracing the path of fireflies with his pointed finger. The
moon rose above him, softly illuminating the agate sea.
Within the white sand, an aquamarine glint caught his eye, and he bent over to pick up
The piece of sea glass was only the size of his thumb, but as he held it up to the light he
could see the world reflected within a bluish hue.
He spun around, the gem pressed against his eye, until he saw her.
A shadowy figure, with long, streaming hair.
As she faced him, he swore he saw the world in her eyes.
He stepped forward, his right foot entering the water. Then his left foot.
She stood, suspended above the water, beckoning him, a mysterious smile on her lips.
He suddenly began to sprint, terrified that she would disappear also. His fingers fumbled,
and the gemstone fell from his hands.
As he looked up in dismay, the figure was gone, replaced by the lucid beams of the
rising moon, and the serene world around him.
The water engulfed him as he fell.
But he did not resist, for he was too hypnotized by an aquamarine glint.
"The Way We Walk and The Things That Break Us" by Lou F
Steady on the grounds, your feet they find me; you are walking. But will you walk forever? Content,
you will not stop, you are not searching, you do not seek, but find me anyway. If you find me, you
will not stop. But if the path ends, do you end with it? The trunks of trees begin their branching, all
things must start with another. A stick and a tree are not the same, yet, in a way, are similar enough
that they might be. So, if the path bends, do you bend with it? Legs are burning and the feet that found
me ache; lungs work in the dead of a fervent night. There is a hill to climb, the path climbs, you climb
with it. But if the path falls into the sky and splits the sun in two, would you fall with it? Is it you that
splits the sun? Wobble, wobble; I find you when the sun comes. Your long journey; yes, everything
must start with another, and all things must end. Are you the path that you walk on? If not before are
you now? If I asked you, would you know? My feet become yours, and your feet, at my hips. Have
you now become me or are you still walking? Gravel slides beneath soles of rubber, we slide with it.
Down, down; and now to these trees again. One is fallen. The path has ruptured its spleen. If the path
breaks into pieces, do you break with it? And if you broke, would I break the same?
"Death in the Garden" by Susi J Smith
The hooded figure was standing in the bushes when Evelyn first noticed it.
Between the wilted acer and the orange-tinged hydrangea, it silently
watched. Shadows obscured the face, long black robes hid the hands.
Evelyn turned her back and poured two cups of tea from her Royal
Albert teapot, the hot liquid splashed out of the bone china cups and onto
“Not now, please not now.” Gripping the pot with both hands, she
put it back on the table. With a pristine white napkin, she dabbed away
the trickle of spilt tea and brushed biscuit crumbs onto the soft grass
Bushes rustled. Hurried footsteps trampled the grass. Hands seized
“I know why you’re here,” Evelyn heard the tremor in her voice.
“I’ve seen you lurking; standing in the shadows, staring out from the
mirror. I knew it wouldn’t be long.”
Giggles accompanied the grip tightening on her dress.
A tear traced down her furrowed face. “Please, let me say goodbye,
just one last time.” Her trembling body dropped to its knees.
The figure bent, removing its hood. Bright blue eyes gazed at her.
“Are you alright, Gran?”
Evelyn smiled, nodding. “I stumbled, that’s all.”
“I’m sorry I scared you, I didn’t want you to fall. It’s just my
Halloween costume, remember?”
Pulling her legs round, Evelyn patted her lap, allowing Alfie to
scamper up. She swept a stray chestnut hair away from his eyes. “I’m
going to miss you when Death comes. We always have so much fun
Alfie wrapped his small arms around her neck. “I don’t want to play
“The game ends for us all, whether we want it to or not.” Evelyn
looked at the hooded figure standing in the bushes. A skeletal finger
pointed towards Alfie’s back.