Monthly Archives: June 2014

Summer of Super Short Stories Week One Winner!

Thank you to everyone who submitted a story! This week’s prompt—a photo of Luminous Creature Emily June Street—inspired wonderful tales of faraway places, retellings of myths, and a racy story of enchanted love.

Karl A. Russell’s delicious story The Enchantment centered on the daughter of a lord desperate for the stable boy’s love.

Catherine Connolly cleverly invoked the Persephone myth in her image-rich story “The Descent.”

“The Bargain” by David Gentner brought readers to a crowded bazaar with its vivid descriptions of sights, smells, and sounds.

In his humorous “Fruit of a Fallen Hesperide,” Russell Magellan imagines Atalanta confronting Aphrodite about the fruit that changed her life.

With such lovely variety of stories so beautifully rendered, it is hard to choose a winner. But such is the nature of contests, so here we go:

First Runner-Up goes to David Gentner. In addition to his beautifully drawn world, he offered a poignant twist reminiscent of the Gift of the Magi at his story’s end.

Week One Winner is Karl A. Russell. The first sentence pulled me right into Elizabeth’s story, conveying so much in so few words. With such gorgeous language, Karl freed Elizabeth’s from the confines of her role, allowing her to experience passion. And the little twist at the end, that uneaten enchanted peach—delicious.

Congratulations, Karl! Your story will appear on the LCP blog tomorrow!

Summer of Super Short Stories Week One

Welcome to Luminous Creatures Press’s first Flash Fiction contest!

You have until 6 pm (PST) on Saturday to submit a 500-word story based on the prompt picture below. Post your story in the comments section; include your name, a title, the word count (not including title), and your Twitter handle if applicable. Only stories submitted before the deadline will be eligible to win. LCP is on San Francisco time; check the world clock if you have any questions. Good luck!!

Photo courtesy of Emily June Street

Photo courtesy of Emily June Street

Summer of Super Short Stories Week Nine

Welcome to week nine of Luminous Creatures Press’s first Flash Fiction contest! Our guest judge this week is flash master Karl A. Russell.

You have until 6 pm (PST) on Saturday to submit a 500-word story based on the prompt picture below. Post your story in the comments section; include your name, a title, the word count (not including title), and your Twitter handle if you’ve got one. Only stories submitted before the deadline will be eligible to win. We’re on San Francisco time; check the world clock if you have any questions. Good luck!!

Photo courtesy of Beth Deitchman

Photo courtesy of Beth Deitchman

Summer of Super Short Stories Week Four!

Welcome to week four of Luminous Creatures Press’s first Flash Fiction contest! Luminous Creature Emily June Street returns for another week of judging!

You have until 6 pm (PST) on Saturday to submit a 500-word story based on the prompt picture below. Post your story in the comments section; include your name, a title, the word count (not including title), and your Twitter handle if applicable. Only stories submitted before the deadline will be eligible to win. LCP is on San Francisco time; check the world clock if you have any questions. Good luck!!

Photo courtesy of Laura Lynn Lukens

Photo courtesy of Laura Lynn Lukens

The Summer of Super Short Stories: LCP’s Flash Fiction Contest!

Starting June 19th Luminous Creatures Press is hosting our own ten-week Flash Fiction Contest: the Summer of Super Short Stories!

Here’s how it works:
Every Thursday morning we’ll post a prompt picture. Writers will have until 6 pm (PST) on Saturday to post a 500-word story in the comments section. We’ll announce the results on Sunday evenings. Each Monday the winner’s story will appear on the Luminous Creatures Press blog with a bio and links to their own websites–just in time for #mondayblogs on Twitter. At the end of the summer, the writer who wins the most rounds gets the LCP book of his or her choice!

Week Seven Winner: The Choosing by Karl A. Russell

They ran through the woods, white clad ghosts flitting between the trees. Lachlan caught sight of Sheilagh and swerved to join her, hoping that she would be one of the lucky ones. He called her name, then realised too late that she was not alone. A roar of hungry triumph told him that The Beast was close by, but it was a meaningless, abstract realization. For the moment at least, all of his thoughts were of Moira.

She wore the ceremonial robes, as they all did, an ornate headdress singling her out as the Chieftain’s daughter, but where it would look foolish on Sheilagh, a child’s drawing of a clown, Moira looked beautiful and elegant, as if she had chosen to dress that way. He slowed to a jog, his voice dying in his throat. The women turned to look at him, expectant and confused.

“Lachlan…?”

Sheilagh frowned, the familiar name made strange by the other woman’s voice. Lachlan looked away, trying to hide his shame even as he turned towards the woman he truly loved.

“We need to keep moving. It’s close.”

As if to confirm this, a cry went up from the path ahead, cut short by a feral snarl. Like sparrows, the trio turned as one and plunged into the undergrowth, running at right angles to the path, away from The Beast’s latest kill. As they ran, Sheilagh fell in on his left, Moira on his right, and without thinking, he gripped their hands and pulled them both along.

It would be so easy, he thought, to let Sheilagh slip, to run on ahead and take another path. But what if she survived? Each year, The Beast decimated the youth of the village, but that still left strong odds in her favour. And even if she was taken, there was no guarantee that Moira would be his; They had talked in the shadows of the fire hall, but she only knew him as Sheilagh’s betrothed. Could she ever understand how he felt for her? Had she always known but chosen to ignore it? He was beneath her after all, by birth and by caste; Even if they were free to wed, would she want him?

The thoughts tormented him, stinging him as the low branches lashed at his face, drawing blood which speckled the front of his own robes. Blood which scented the wind and drew the attention of The Beast.

It broke through the treeline before them, rearing up on its shaggy haunches, baring it’s broken, clotted fangs and spreading it’s great sinewy arms in welcome.

They faltered, frozen by the sight of the thing they had been raised to fear.

It was time to decide; Push Moira forwards and hope that he could live with himself and with Sheilagh afterwards, or sacrifice Sheilagh and hope that Moira would understand and accept him.

The Beast roared, forcing him to act.

Closing his eyes, he raised his hands, gathered the ceremonial robes in his fists and pushed.

Karl A. Russell comes from the North West of England, where he lives with his wife and five year old daughter (his toughest critics). He’s been writing on and off for his whole life, but only started to actually finish and submit things a couple of years ago, when the spectre of turning 40 started looming in the not too distant future. He can be found most weekends posting at Flash! Friday and The Angry Hourglass.

Karl is currently working on a novel, which he might get to the end of this time, if he doesn’t waste all his spare moments on Twitter. If you want to read more of his work, his pay-what-you-want charity collection is available here.