Here are the winning stories from F-BOM’s inaugural flash fiction contest, judged by LJ Cohen. Did you miss the contest this quarter? Our next topic will be revealed in November, during our Facebook Live interview with Intisar Khanani. Click here for submission guidelines.

Contest winner Lynn Vandermeer drinking coffee with her prizes
Lynn Vandermeer with her prizes: a copy of Ithaka Rising and a handmade bowl, both by LJ Cohen

First place: 

Murder in an ice cream scoop by Lynn Vandermeer

It’s not easy being part of a walking plant species; people treat you like chopped salad. That said, there are little things in life that soften this reality, like dessert. I docked the ship on New Saturn and rushed straight to Sally’s Ice Cream Shop.

I grinned and approached the counter, scanning the round tubs for my favorite flavor, silt churned with dry ice.

There was no silt, clay, or sand in sight.

“Excuse me,” I asked, “where are the plant-friendly options?”

“Oh, we don’t carry those anymore,” said the vendor, smiling, “but we have vegan flavors you could try!”

Second place:

An Embryo of Courage by RJ Rugroden

Perry looked him in his pixelated eyes for the first time since her ship disappeared accidentally into the gaseous nest. How she felt about those eyes told her she had changed since then. Or maybe it was how the screen flattened out his features. He was more imposing in person.

“I’m leaving,” she said, taking strength from the fact that she was six AU away, hovering in orbit, no longer stuck on a planet with no way off.

“Are you sure?”

She hesitated. Then: “I saw the birth of something beautiful. There’s a lot to discover about this new — thing.”

Learn more about RJ Rugroden here.

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