WRiTE Club 2019: Now It Can Be Revealed!

Ta da!


Now that the 2019 Edition of WRiTE Club has ended (congratulations to Wendy Cross and all the participants!), I can reveal my own input:


I wrote under the pen name Galadhon, and fought in bout 3!


Here's the scene I entered, the opening of Blackbird's Song:

The ghost appeared in the doorway.


I saw her from my cot, and thought it was Alice, in a Victorian dress of her grandmother’s, or some such fool thing. But Alice is no fool, and she has no business in Vimy field hospital anyway.


Five other cots in this tent, all occupied. But this was in the still, cold hour before dawn, and the other men slept, wounds buried beneath prickly wool. I’d also been asleep, and dreaming of Alice, on an icy winter morning at the skating rink in Westmount Park. I was showing off, recreating some of my best weaves and dodges from last season’s hockey matches, and in my cot I tried to turn, and the searing pain in my leg jolted me awake.


I was afraid I’d cried out, and kept motionless, as if evading a sniper, until I’d worked out the snores from the other beds and could be certain that, even if I had overreacted, no one had heard me.


There were no sounds from beyond the tent except the distant thud of gunfire. The guns are always there. You breathe, your blood flows; and you breathe in the stench of the dead and your blood throbs with the rattle of the machine guns. Until a shot stops your blood, and your body becomes the stink in another man’s nostrils.


The pain was no less. I grunted, shifted my hips, rolled my shoulders. Did everything I could, short of wrenching my leg out of traction and clawing the dressings off with my ragged nails.


I opened my eyes, and that’s when I saw the ghost.


She was whiter than the grimy tent walls. The door flap was ajar, and she was poised with the darkness behind her and the flicker of our single lantern sending gold threads along the front of her high-collared dress. Yet neither black nor gold disturbed her essential paleness, which made of dress and skin one form. Like a figure carved from meerschaum, she was. Her arms hung low and she clasped her hands under her belly. Her limbs might have been embroidery on the dress, and its long skirts might have as easily been part of the shape of her legs.


All this I grasped in one swift instant, as my artist’s mind sought ways to make real and plausible what must otherwise be an impossible, fiendish spectre.


She looked me in the eye, and though hers were black pits open onto nothing, still I thought I saw a gleam there, as of an inferno in a corner of Hell, and I swept up my glass and flung the last of my water at her.


But she was two cot-lengths away, and even if a drop had reached her, she would not melt like meerschaum. The thought that the water might pass through her, provide physical proof that she was indeed a spectre, made me cry out again. One squawk, before I clamped my teeth into my lower lip.


What are your favourite flash fiction sites?
I'd love to have more time to participate in the WEP community! (Please excuse my ongoing lack of commenting; as soon as school is over, I promise!)
Have you entered a writing competition lately?

Comments

I remember that one! Definitely brave to enter and then reveal.
Roland Clarke said…
Impressed and pleased as I voted for you - well, I hope I did. Well written and so congratulations for making it into the Bouts.

As for my own entry, well that got rejected before the bouts even began -purple prose that I'm ashamed of (if if I did blog post it later).

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