From the Team

Dear Writers & Readers,

Before we begin, we would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone who participated in the IBD Flash Fiction & Non Fiction Writing Contest. The idea of hosting a Flash Writing Contest was an impulsive decision and we never anticipated the overwhelming response that we received. In a matter of only 72 hours, we had a total of 372 entries across 5 categories. The most popular category was the ‘Mystery/Thriller’ category which received over 110 entries alone. (At one point we even thought that we should call the directors of the TV show ‘1000 ways to Die‘ and share the inspiring treasure that our authors have bestowed onto us!)

With that said, the IBD Team would also like to apologize on the slight delay in the announcement of the results. We had some intense debates and a very hard time picking a few entries from among the 100’s that were equally deserving. Rest assured, the decision was a democratic one and the team decided to vote on a shortlist.

On a brighter side, because of the shear efforts and imagination put into these bite sized doses of pure entertainment, we decided to increase the number of winning entries from 2 to 3 per category – with a total of 15 winners (5 more than previously announced).

All the winning entries are posted below in their respective categories for you to enjoy. In addition to the winners, we have also listed the entries that are worthy of praise in the ‘Honorable Mentions‘  and the ‘Team Picks‘ sections. We will be publishing and distributing all the entries we received as 5 separate collections in the coming weeks. These collections will be accessible to all readers free of cost, if you would like to be notified of the publication you can join our Book Club here.

Finally, we hope you had great fun writing, as we had reading your submissions. We now leave you to explore the works of your fellow writers and journey with them into the world of Fantasia, or go on an adventure with Max Little. There is something for everyone and we are humbled to have had the pleasure of reading your craft. Feel free to share.

Warm Regards,

The IBD Team

P.S. Winners will receive an email from our team with the instructions to claim the prize.

Note: Contest details, prompts, word limits and further information can be found in this document.

69 Words of Romance - Winning Entries & More

Winning Entries:

In no particular order.

quincyjones

 Unrequited by Author Quincy Jones

She loves deep, I thought. Too deep.

 I could see it in her eyes. The way they danced and glittered.

 I moved my hand down to hers, closing hard around that porcelain skin, though not as hard as she held the knife in my guts.

 Floating now, growing lighter, lighter, hearing myself drip onto the floor.

 She loves too deep, I thought, and wished it was for me.

 

ValarieLovelight

Devastated  by Author Valarie Lovelight

“After, 8 years of trying, we finally have a child,” Sara smiled, standing by the crib.

Her husband David was gently stroking their 3 month olds hand as he slept and began to weep.

“Honey, why are you crying?”

“Remember when I went to the doctor and had some tests done a couple of weeks ago.”

 “Yes.”

Sadness and pain filled his eyes, “He said I was sterile.”

 

CyndiFaria

Masquerade by Author Cyndi Faria

Catherine strolled to Count Zacharie and batted lashes through her feathered mask. Tonight, she would be a Lady.

“I’m enchanted, Mademoiselle.” He kissed her gloved hand. “A dance?”

“Only with you.…” She twirled in her borrowed gown until she had to bid a tearful goodbye.

After weeks reliving the waltz in her mind, she answered a knock on her hut’s wooden door.

Zacharie knelt. “Dance with me forever?”

 

 Honorable Mentions:

nominee

His Eyes by Author Lesa Kinney Anders

 

He looks nervous, which worries her. When he admits that he brought her to the park so that they could talk about their relationship, her heart sinks. He’s been distant lately, and she is certain that his next words are going to destroy her. Instead, she feels him slip a ring on her finger, a question in his eyes. She answers with a nod, then a kiss.

 

nominee

CAUGHT by Author Ruby Foxx

 

“I’m not having an affair,” argued David to Kate and he squeezed her hand.

Arriving at a secluded beauty spot, they settled down.

“So this is where you disappear to all the time.”

“Only to clear my head,” protested David, hooking daisies around her ear.

“How novel,” Kate grinned just as a young girl ambled by.

Kate noticed the girl’s ear was decorated.

With a pretty daisy chain.

nominee

By Author Kirk Allmond

 

He missed his wife.  The previous seven months of solitude hadn’t been good to them.  Her eyes were hollow, her cheeks sunken.  In a few months she had changed so much but he couldn’t bear to be apart any longer. 

Ryan threw the front door open and ran to the love of his life, tears streaming.  As she tore into his flesh, he thought, “Finally.  Together again, zombies forever.”

 

nominee

Mountaineering for Singles by Author Terry Faust

    

Sarah was sure she’d found her ideal match–Donald. Being shy, she’d watched aggressive women steal men away from her before. Donald was shy himself. However, Liz had brazenly feigned ignorance of carabiners and forced Donald to help. The bitch!

“Sarah’s on belay,” Shouted the instructor. “Liz, let’s see you rappel to the bottom.”

Sarah’s tiny Swiss Army knife nestled perfectly in her palm.

 

nominee

Beyond the Veil by Author Lily Harlem

 

Searching, I lace my way through a maze of rainbow clouds, my dream gown flowing and veil billowing.

He steps from sugary mist, my groom, cocoons me in his arms. I inhale the scent of his neck as his lips brush my temple.

We sigh, content.

Church bells fade and the morning alarm steals him from me.

Reality dawns—until the night returns, I am alone.

IBD Team Picks:

nominee

Love in Traffic by Author Andy Halmay

A chance meeting at a crosswalk; the light was red. We had to wait. Our eyes met. My heart stopped. She was shy. She looked down. I felt compelled to say something, to tell her how beautiful she was. She glanced at me sideways. I recalled I had some cookies in a bag.  I fished one out and she wiggled her tail. It was requited love.

 

 

 

nominee

Self Deception by Author David Lee Stone

 

Daphne knew that she loved him, felt it with every fiber of her being. She froze whenever she was near him, whenever she felt his icy breath on her clammy skin. She longed to be near him, pined for him when she was away…but how could it ever come to anything in the long term? He was a fridge: nothing more.

 

 

nominee

Tainted Lust by Author Matthew Kinney

 

He caressed her gently, basking in the afterglow of sweet lovemaking.

“Danielle,” he said, guilt laying heavily in his voice, “I must confess, your beauty has coerced me into breaking the vows I have made to another woman.”

Danielle’s face fell with sadness, and she spoke.

“I, too, have a confession to make,” she said, guilt also deep in her voice. “My name is Dan.”

 

nominee

By Author Jaleta Clegg

 

April Fool’s, honey.” Bill laughed as Carol spit out the salty cake.

“Forty years of marriage, you’d think I’d learn.” Carol rinsed her mouth with water. Except the glass had been laced with vinegar and pepper.

Bill giggled at his deception.

Carol leaned over the sink, gagging at the taste. She waited until she heard him walk over to the coffee pot before smiling. It took two to play.

 

nominee

A Different Kind of Puppy Love by Author Rain E. Drew

 

Everyone in Mrs. Robinson’s first grade class knew of Louisa’s and Mark’s inseparability, and knew to never sit between them. Everyone in first grade recess knew they were boyfriend and girlfriend after five days of hand holding, and that they would surely get married someday.

Everyone in the second grade knew that Kevin had a girlfriend in Mrs. Robinson’s first grade class…

 

Word Soup for the Creative Soul - Winning Entries & More

Winning Entries:

In no particular order.

PeggyHolloway

Boundaries by Author Peggy Holloway

 

How, when does the creative process get stifled? Watch a small child when he colors. He doesn’t care about the boundaries. He colors all over the page. He has to be trained to stay within the boundaries. Compare this creative wizard to an adult. So, what is your conclusion?

 

 

 

MrMeus

FUN by Author Mr. Meus

Want to have fun, but don’t know how?  Think of a word, like “cattle,” or “cow.”  Then think of a rhyme… I know: “meow.”  Isn’t that fun: a meowing cow?  So get something to write on and cover in ink.  Can you make it fun?  What do you think?

 

 

 

 

StevenHobbs

 

Sublimation by Author Steven Hobbs

 

Empower your receptive mind; feed it through open eyes and ears. Enable the sublimation from spirit to substance. Capture the essence in your chosen form. Spin it, invert it; never reject it. What if? How? Why? And when it. Rest it, mature it, subliminally consider it. Ready? Write it.

 

 

 

 Honorable Mentions:

nominee

Questions and Answers by Author Lesa Kinney Anders

 

You wonder, “What if?”

The answer comes to you, but with it comes another question. “What then? What will happen next?”

You type out the answer, and the cycle repeats, over and over, until you hear only silence. Then you know that your current creation is complete.

 

nominee

‘Your Lips Don’t Lie, Shakira’ by Author Melanie Jo Moore

 

Silence can be my enemy.  I’ll tune Pandora to Shakira and she rocks my artistic world every single time.  Memories come back to me and flow from fingers to keyboard in rhythm of salsa.  Her music conveys anger, joy and pride as does my writing.

 

 

 

nominee

Creativity By Author Ann Frailey

 

Juxtaposing odd ideas generally opens doors, for if there is ever a moment when the mind revives, it is when it is startled awake. Ancient youth, blooming autumn, grossly beautiful; there is an infinite variety of peculiarities which proclaim the abundance of interesting life, transforming thought into wonder-filled words.    

 

 

nominee

Making Ideas by Author Ken Wickenden

 

Start with a hint of what you like.

Hold it in your head at night.

Sweet dreams will make your ideas fizz,

As you think what it would be like not what it is.

A pen and paper by the bed Jot down the notes, your subconscious lead.

 

nominee

Inspiration by Author Aimee Roseland

 

The bones! The bones! They are simpler than you think.

First! Describe how the story will feel – Dark.

Words, not sentences. Go slowly.

Then you can ask questions about the words. What is dark? The night, and a pit in the ground; recovery after suffering.

Now ask more…

IBD Team Picks:

nominee

Creativity by Author S. E. Smith

 

Stories are everywhere. The clouds, the wind, the birds, the waves, each shares a different tale. I see those who exist only in my mind. I gaze at the stars and see different worlds. I find myself listening. I am the storyteller retelling a life that belongs to another.

 

 

 

nominee

Words by Author James F. Lawrence

 

Think not about starting – just start! Wield the pen, or tap the keys, and write.

You may be surprised, as five minutes becomes two hours.

Were those characters hiding in last nights dream?

Inside, you want to fly – your ideas seek freedom.

Release them; unleash their power.

 

nominee

Bounce by Author David Lee Stone

 

Study your favorite writers, and find their ‘bounce': the rhythm of the voice. If you have two or three favorites, you can emulate their collective bounce and add your own to the mix. Eventually, you’ll end up with a blended quilt of styles that makes you completely unique.

 

 

 

nominee

She is Creativity by Author Matthew Kinney

 

Creativity is an alluring, yet jealous woman.

Dwell on her, pamper her, give her your soul.

Take her beauty inside you and it will flow like a majestic river into everything you touch.

But check your Facebook every five minutes and she’ll dump you.

 

nominee

Lessons from Gaints by Author Martin McCorkle

 

A mature giant sequoia is enormous, but it starts as a tiny seed. A seed only released from a stubborn cone by fire. Then, fed by freed sunlight and warm earth, a giant grows.

 Do not despise small ideas.

Let fire cleanse.

Live in the light.

Grow.

And Then They Were Dead - Winning Entries & More

Winning Entries:

In no particular order.

JohnDolan

 

HEAD by Author John Dolan

 

The psychiatrists are gathering. They huddle, talking to me. But words won’t get inside my head. Only one thing really gets inside a head; something heavy and sharp. Well, I know all about that.

 

 

 

SWVaughn

 

Blue Oyster Cult by Author S.W. Vaughn

 

They’re playing my song. Ironic—especially for this Halloween party.

Here she comes. Skimpy costume, sloppy smile. Buy me a drink, she says. I laugh.

That’s right, baby. Don’t fear the reaper…

 

RainEDrew

Dubiousness of a Hostess by Author Rain E. Drew

            Shirley told the detective that she had no idea how rat poison got into the punch bowl. She also couldn’t explain why all the party guests happened to be her ex-boyfriends.

 

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

nominee

 

The Maid by Author J Bennett

 

“The murderer is the maid,” I proclaimed as I strolled past the horrified guests into the kitchen.  “Or I’m the worst amateur detective in…”

Blood pooled around the knife in the maid’s chest.

 

nominee

 

DEATH CAME FROM HEAVEN by Author Alvaro Parro Pinto

 

It was the biggest party Manhattan had seen. Millions of people danced in the streets as the light in the sky flickered with a thundering sound… and then they were dead.

 

 

 

nominee

 

“Good Luck” by Author DCBourone

 

Max had arranged for a hot air balloon. “Helluva party,” he screamed, and off they went. Max was doing my wife. Too bad he didn’t check the Weather Channel.  I did.

   

 

 

nominee

 

And then by Author Mark Roman

 

Phone lines cut, power off, castle dark. Boat’s not due ‘til Wednesday. Four murdered in two days; just six left. No one knows who the killer is; no one even suspects me.

 

 

 

nominee

Dying to Party by Author Tom Winton

It was the night of my sixty-fifth birthday. I was standing on my Island, watching the thirty-five guests approaching on the ferry.  Lightning flashed—there were desperate screams—fog obscured the ferry.

 

 

 

 

IBD Team Picks:

nominee

 

Party Animals by Author Jason Brannon

 

Death strolled into the abattoir and smiled at so much meat wriggling on hooks like gruesome piñatas.  This party had its entertainment.  All it needed now were some zombie guests with hearty appetites.  

 

 

nominee

 

Recollection by Author David Lee Stone

 

One by one, Giles reduced them all to their component parts. It was a shame, but the guests were automated: he had to check seven different memory chips to find out who murdered who.

 

 

 

nominee

 

By Author Rebecca Davis

 

Sam watched headlights bounce off bottles littering his front yard. 

Izzer any more jello shotz lef’? He slurred to no one.

A different kind of shot hit him, and he joined the bottles.

Killer party.  

nominee

 

Dinner Time by Author Matthew Kinney

 

I poked my new friend playfully to set him at ease. 

“Justin!” My mom glared at me with her milky white eyes. “Stop playing with your food!”

I hate being a zombie.

 

nominee

Departure Lounge by Author James F. Lawrence

 

Seven guests sat around the table.

”A toast” James announced.

 The lights died, then lit.

A couple lay staring upwards.

“Poisoned!” someone shouted.

“With my wine?  Their necks look twisted,” Giles replied calmly.

The Chronicles of Fantasia - Winning Entries & More

Winning Entries:

In no particular order.

JenniferHanning

Fitting In by Author Jennifer Hanning

 

Clarmy Bluddlesock ventured out every night, poking out an eye from the sleeping citizens of Zubberblunk.  By the time his one-eyed son was old enough for school and had to be seen in public, it would be the two-eyed people who were odd.

 

 

 

DCBourone

“Looking Good” by Author DCBourne

 

Vanity is the death of dragons.  After thoroughly smoking Fantasia, just flat out torching it, Flame realized he’d just killed his manicurist, his scale polishers, and his dentist.  He picked through the rubble, looking for ribbons, or rouge.  He sulked.  Arrows and spears no longer his enemy.  Now he feared mirrors.

 

 

MarkRoman

 

Garethlor by Author Mark Roman

 

As the horde of slavering demons surrounded him, only one thing could save Naylor the Negligent now: his magic sword, Garethlor – forged by elvish blacksmiths, engraved by master craftsmen, and enchanted by Merlin himself. Shame he’d left it on the kitchen table that morning…

 

 

 Honorable Mentions:

nominee

Roscoe of Fantasia by Peggy Holloway

Mommy said, “He’s just a mythic creature, all in your mind, honey.” Mommy is wrong. Roscoe is my friend. He is pink with a big soft belly. He lets me sleep on top of him. He purrs and I sleep, totally unafraid.

 

 

 

 

nominee

 

XOSH THE MINOTAUR by Author Alvaro Parra Pinto

 

Fantasia trembled when Xosh, the Minotaur, fainted during the Planetary Games.

Queen Klynga asked her Chamberlain:

“Did doctor Zallycush examine Xosh as ordered?”

“Aye, it was only a rotten tooth… Zallycush pulled it out!”

“Then Xosh´s fine?”

“Aye, but he ate Zallycush!” 

nominee

 

Origins by Author Ian Cant

 

“Whence come myths?” Dragon asked Wyvern.  “Mother Earth?” replied Wyvern, sarcastic.  “If you believe in Humans” sneered Fairy.  Dragon, in his fireless and wingless youth, did not entirely disbelieve.  To Wizard he went, was wanded to Earth and there named Komodo.

 

 

nominee

Humans by Author R.C. Fettig

He’d thought they were a Fantasian myth, meant to scare the younger ones. The creatures would use his stomach to carry water, skin for covering and bones for weapons. He wanted to learn more, but instead incinerated them and burrowed underground to warn others.

 

 

 

 

nominee

 

Dragon Attack! by Author VE Shearman

 

The dragon swooped again, the village was burning.

Milos, the young peasant, turned to Sir Ignatius, the bold knight, and said, ‘someone needs to do something!’

‘You’re right!’ Sir Ignatius agreed. He unsheathed his mighty sword and handed it to Milos, ‘Good Luck!’

IBD Team Picks:

nominee

 

Wooden Sword by Author Harrison Pierce

 

            Out of all of Fantasia, the sword chose me.

            The blade that felled the fabled wyrm Yagpa the Deceiver ages ago, chose me.

            “Hey!” a small mouse squeaked, “You gonna buy that kid?”

            I glanced at the price and happily paid the shopkeeper.

nominee

 

The Onibaba by Author Stephen Randel

 

The wretched demon hag squatted on the riverbank chewing a severed arm.  Its former owner, a samurai, had failed to answer her riddle.  What can run, but never walks?  What has a mouth, but never talks?  She threw the mangled arm into…the river.

 

 

nominee

 

Mythinterpreted by Author B. Morris Allen

 

Fantasia had never needed an interpreter. With only one language, who would need one? But Grawk insisted on training, and at last, a well-armed human foreigner arrived. Things might have gone better if gryphon beaks and tongues could differentiate “Bill” from “Kill”.

 

 

nominee

 

Big Boned by Author David Lee Stone

 

It was a fat unicorn; you really couldn’t say much more about it. Apprentice Pollen

had looked all over Fantasia for the perfect specimen, but the Wizard Lord wasn’t

going to be happy with his birthday present: even the horn was crooked.

 

nominee

Fantasian Fast Food by Author J. Naomi Ay

 

Although Lily had eaten two hours ago, she was hungry again.  Conveniently, fat Leroy was hovering outside her nest, searching for magic coins to pay off his gambling debt to Danny Troll.

“Too bad,” Lily announced and barbequed Leroy with her breath.

 

 

The Adventures of Max Little - Winning Entries & More

Winning Entries:

In no particular order.

MGKing

Hailstorm by Author M.G. King

Max Little pecked the ground

That afternoon the sky fell down.

Steely clouds roared like trains

Dropping ice and dagger rains.

Max flapped and whooped

Others safely to the coop.

Max himself was stricken,

But oh, what a chicken!

MarciaGoldlist

Max’s Courage to Speak Up by Author Marcia Goldlist

When other kids were teased

Max Little was not pleased.

He said, “To tease is wrong

And it does not make you strong.

Please take my advice

And to others be nice.”

PaigeWPendleton

Monster by Author Paige W. Pendleton

 

What was that?

Under the bed!

Max pulled the covers

Over his head

 

He listened hard

Beneath the sheet

All he heard was

His own heartbeat

 

He laughed aloud

And told himself

You are such a

Silly Little elf!

 Honorable Mentions:

nominee

Brave Max! by Author Anne Thomas

Courageous Max!

He will not look, he will not check

Brave Max, mother becks

No, no! thinks Max in his bed,

Whether it be monster, man or nightmare maker,

he will not remove the covers from his head!

 

nominee

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT by Author Daniel Berenson

 

Max Little wanted dinner,

Something like himself.

So he scuba dived

To an ocean shelf.

 

He battled squid and octopi.

He survived, but with a limp.

But Max got his dinner:

Tasty jumbo shrimp.

nominee

Max Little, Superhero by Jemima Pett

I once knew a hero,

His name it was Max.

He liked jumping puddles

And stepping on cracks.

He rescued a kitten

He found up a tree,

And brought it safe home

To Mummy and me.

nominee

By Author Rebecca Davis

The hostage paced the tiled floor.

The white-coat beast opened the door.

Max Little’s heart was beating fast.

He faced his doom, next breath his last.

The needle neared, had the beast won?

Shots aren’t so bad. Quick pinch and done.  

nominee

Courage by Joshua Chapman

Max Little, though two pints tall

felt no fear, no fear at all.

Into bed he’d jump just fine

when his dad called out ‘bed time’.

No monster ever would come out

to see what courage was all about.

IBD Team Picks:

nominee

Spirit by Author Ruby Foxx

 

“Why can’t I be brave Mummy?” asked Max Little, putting on his superman cape.

“But you are.

Starting school is brave,

Hurting your knee is brave,

Visiting the dentist, that’s brave.”

Max smiled and took off his cape.

nominee

GOOD FRIDAY, 1865 by Author Alvaro Parra Pinto

 

To Ford Theatre Max Little went

The night Booth shot Lincoln dead.

 

Filled with bravery and courage

Little followed Booth´s swift steps.

 

The small boy soon warned the soldiers

And thanks to him Booth was shot dead!

nominee

“FIRST DAY” by Author Susan Rohrer

The school loomed large

That scary day,

Max Little gulped with fear

But then he spied

Sweet Sarah Small,

As skittish as a deer

“Don’t be afraid,”

He smiled her way,

“I’ll be your friend this year.”

nominee

The Adventures of Max Little by Author Matthew W. McFarland

Compared to a person, Max Little was small,

But at three-foot-four, for a mouse, he was tall.

He chased away cats, and birds, and dogs,

Keeping other mice safe, he was the bravest of all.

 

 

nominee

Courageous Max by Author R.C. Fettig

I’m brave like my daddy.

At least that’s what mommy says.

We’re like super heroes

But in different ways.

 

Daddy protects our country

I take care of mommy.

That way while he’s gone

He won’t have to worry.

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