I know you’ve been waiting. I know you’ve been wondering…
Okay, that’s a lie, because I know MOST of you didn’t even pay much attention to the contest. *aims SQUIRT BOTTLE OF SHAME at readers*
But that’s okay, because I’m delighted to announce that the WINNER came from this very blog. We had ten awesome entries, and it was really difficult to choose the best: some were funny, some were fairy-tale-rific, others gave us a shiver. But in the end, we narrowed it down, and now we’ve got four great offerings, creepy and fanciful, and I know you’ll love them all.
So without further ado, the winners of the Costumed Curses Flash Fiction Contest ARE…
In first place, our HERO: N. E. White, “Blood, Flesh, and Bone”
In second place, WARRIOR: Leslie Fulton, “Murphy’s Law”
In third place, our MINION: Stacy Bennett-Hoyt, “Stuck in the Loop”
And an unplanned HONORABLE MENTION goes to Eleni Sakellis, “The Bridge,” because we just couldn’t resist this story.
So winners, claim your badges and be sure to email me at KRISTINLYNNMCFARLAND AT GMAIL DOT COM (yep, you have to translate into characters, sorry bots), so that I can mail you your goody bag and help arrange for other prizes!
And readers, you can now enjoy our winning story.
Blood, Flesh, and Bone
N. E. White
Lilia Lluc buried her husband’s fingers, careful to scoop up the blood soaked soil and turn it under along with the severed digits. She wouldn’t want her children investigating the dark stain.
She frowned, thinking she would never be free of her strange children, then immediately chastised herself for such a blasphemous thought.
“What are you doing?”
She glanced up with a start. Her heart felt as if it would leap out of her chest.
A strange man stood above her, his face shadowed by his wide brimmed hat. The sun hung low in the western, clear sky, throwing long pillars of shadow through her almond orchard.
Standing, she swung her bloodied hand behind her back. In her other hand, she held tight to the ceramic succioro.
She gave him an innocent smile. “Hello and welcome. Are you lost?”
The man squinted at the sun. He snorted a laugh then said, “Actually, yes, I think I am. I was just passing by on the road…and, well, here I am. I’m not sure how I got here.”
Lilia kept the smile on her face though she did not feel it. Whether the stranger or she would enjoy the coupling, it mattered not, but she soon learned she might as well be pleasant enough with them. After all, she would be the last thing they ever saw.
Slipping the succioro into the pocket of her apron, she trailed her fingers across the top hem of her shirt, straining the fabric over her bosom.
“Do you want me?” she said.
The man took a step back, hands up in defense, but then he removed his hat, his eyes scanning her body before settling on her breasts.
“Yes,” he said, his voice already husky.
She sighed, the repetitive manner of the ritual boring her. Pointing to a nearby tree, she directed him to lay down and remove his trousers. Lifting her skirt, she straddled him and began a rhythmic rocking, waiting for him to plant his seed.
When she and her husband had failed to conceive within the first two years of their marriage, they had tried everything, until finally they consorted with a witch. Her potion had required her husband’s blood, flesh, and bone, a price that many would have thought too high. But not her husband. He said he was willing to sacrifice a bit of himself for his children.
And it worked. Oh, yes, each time it worked.
But the witch had not said anything about whose seed would take root.