Theme : Friendship.
A couple of my very kind writing friends (the lovely Jacki D & Natalie B) pointed me in the direction of a few competitions.
The first one I wanted to try was Flash! Fiction.
150 word limit. A new theme and photo every Friday. Incredible writers flashing it up (obviously, not in the perv sense 🙂 ).
Here was the photo we were given to work with:-
Obviously, this is a very significant historical duel.
My first thoughts were to do something wacky with it. SF it in some way. I checked the first submission and someone had already done that and done it well. So, I opted for the following…
My enemy faces me. I know from his drooped shoulders, his stench of failure and his uncertain glances through bloodshot eyes that he has lost this duel already. His life is in my hands.
We have no fragments of friendship left, only the residue of contempt remains. I look at him, his weakness permeates through his shop-brand generic clothing, and his head hangs from his neck like a submissive dog. He offers me no resistance. He knows he is a walking shadow.
I shout at him, goad him, but he has no answers.
He is me and I am him.
The mirror is our conduit; it is the gun in our infinite duel of submission and loathing. The apparition faces me; he now starts to challenge me. Face another day; I dare you! I double dare you… Can you make it through without screaming or breaking down? I walk away. Duel deferred, until the next reflection…
156 Words @Making_Fiction
It was somewhat scary sending the story out there. Especially to a place with such talented writers.
Much to my delight, it got placed. A very nice 2nd runner-up slot with some lovely comments from the judge (thank you Betsy Streeter).
“Daily Duel.” It is always tricky to take a very unique approach and get it across in so few words without confusing the reader. This story does a wonderful job of making it very clear what is going on with the reveal halfway through, but doesn’t spoil it at the beginning. This required really confronting that rival in the mirror and speaking of him with full disgust, before letting on that this was really contempt for the self. “His life is in my hands…” because his life is my life. This story takes the duality of the self and places the mirror in the middle as a weapon, creating a painful moment to watch and giving us all pause to consider how we treat ourselves. Wonderful. “
Also, had some fantastic (and very supportive,) comments from the kind community that Flash! Friday. Dragons rule 🙂