#FlashFiction contest judge Dan Holloway says:"This modern fairytale is very Hans Christian Anderson, and has a feel of timelessness but a quick google assures me it's original - the fact I had to do that speaks volumes for its understated effectiveness. Each story on this shortlist excels on many levels but is an object lesson in one area. This is truly heartbreaking, but what really marks it out is its pacing. There is a rhythm of action, dialogue, development and breathing space that is an object lesson in how to draw the reader through your journey."
Little Wooden Hands
Cee Martinez, Golden, Colorado USA
The glass cabinet was open.
“Disloyal little doll,” Peter said.
He found her sitting on the daffodils, a letter opener in her brown hand as she carved on her leg.
"Stop hurting yourself!" He shouted.
"But I'm made of wood, and what wooden thing feels?" She said, and she set the blade down and ran her fingertips over the gouges. Powder pale wood shavings sprinkled onto the grass.
“Let’s go back,” Peter said. “You’re not safe here.”
She disobeyed, however, and gathered flowers in her hands, planting a kiss on each bud.
"It will freeze soon!" he said.
She set the flowers on her lap and tapped her cheek. The tapping made a sound like a bell.
"My face is made of glass,” she said, “ does that freeze?"
So he watched from the window as the frost collected on the chocolate brown hair spilling over her shoulders. When she fell asleep he carried her back inside and settled her in the glass cabinet.
He never goes back into that room now, but sometimes he can hear the frantic tapping against the cabinet door. It does not worry him, however, because we all know little wooden hands cannot break glass.
Our finalists were forwarded to judge Dan Holloway without names or countries of origin and were copied here without edits or corrections. A panel of three members of the League of Extraordinary Authors, including LeagueXA founder Joni Rodgers will select the grand prize winner. We invite your comments. Let us know who you think should win the Kindle Fire!
Self-editing masterclass snapshots: endings and epilogues - This week I’m running a series of the sharpest questions from my Guardian self-editing masterclass. Yesterday I ran a post about three/four-act structure. ...
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