Here are the winning stories from F-BOM’s Summer 2018 flash fiction contest, Lead Astray, judged by Fiona J.R. Titchenell.

Did you miss the contest this quarter? Our next topic will be revealed in November. Follow us on Facebook for updates. Click here for submission guidelines.

First place:

Longing for Addiction by Catriona Huber

It caught the sun just right, always. I had never touched it. I wanted to. The glass would be kind to my skin. Imagine feeling something bright, yet so cool. A shame, that ash which sat in the bottom and smoldered smugly. Grey dust I could make patterns in… Over time it became just as inviting. Why had I never touched it? I reached out and felt the ridges of the edge. Brilliance spun, tipped, tumbled. Shards of glass cut my hands cruelly when I tried in vain to salvage the shattered relic of past conversation over a shared cigarette.

Find more of Catriona on Tumblr @ten-thousand-words-a-day or on Wattpad as @Tiszta.

Second place:

Native Maidens Are Getting Too Hard to Find by RJ Rugroden

Babushka arrives early and a good thing too: snow is piling around the cottage fast. The offering she brings through the door has the usual glassy-eyed look, except this time it’s a male.

“Babushka, is this why you are home so early?”

“Yes.” She replies, pleased, as she takes a chair by the fire. “Got him with the promise of kielbasa and boiled eggs. The dziewczyna,” she clicks her tongue, “they want entire fantasies, husbands, castles.”

His smile warms my stomach as he eats the prettiest dish he’s ever seen. It will be a good winter with this offering.

Honorable Mentions:

On the Street by Krista Wallace

“Excuse me,” the driver called. “How do I get to the Convention Centre from here?”

I pointed. “Turn left at the next intersection, go straight for four blocks and turn right on Hastings. It’s—”

“No, no! Wrong,” Kyle interrupted. “Turn right here. Then straight and go left on 23rd.”

I looked at Kyle, astonished.

The driver said, “Thanks,” pulled away, and turned right.

“But—” I could hardly speak through my tightened throat. “That was a lie.”

Kyle smirked. “Yeah, but isn’t it entertaining that he believed me, not you?”

We walked, reflecting on how easily people choose fake over fact.

Krista writes primarily Fantasy, in a closet in Port Coquitlam, BC. Her story “To Serve and Protect” appears in 49th Parallels, (Bundoran Press), and she also has work in Pulp Literature and Electric Spec. Her theatre background has led her to being Musical Director for highschool productions (Rent, In the Heights, Anything Goes, etc.), to co-create a play with her husband and two offspring for the Victoria Fringe Festival, and to add audiobook narration to her CV. Krista sings in two bands: FAT Jazz and the Itty Bitty Big Band.  Her website is and she is on Twitter as @KristaWallace.


Catch the Bride by Ursa Woodring

“Train Here” the sign reads.

“Yes!” I think.

“I shall leave my forced wedding behind.”

An arrow on the sign

points through a doorway.

Wet grime

fills my nostrils

as I enter.

Everything becomes dark.



many of them,

touching me,


Cool cloth

over my head,

drapes across

body, heavy.

I’m shoved,

I trip,

stand up,

begin to


Hours pass,


in the dark.


there’s light.

And a person.

“Where’s the train?” I pant.

“It’s not that kind of train, dear.

You were trained to wear a train.”

I groan.

Ursa Woodring is a creative human being living in Portland Oregon. Currently, she is attending the Wayfinding Academy, where she is learning how to create community, find purpose, and is exploring her interests in writing and visual art. Ursa also enjoys waking up early, exploring the forest, and brewing her own kombucha. Find her on Instagram @blackbeartheartist


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