Here are the winning stories from F-BOM’s Fall 2018 flash fiction contest, Darkness Spreads, judged by Chrysoula Tzavelas.

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

Winner, Most Imaginative Scenario:

Nemesis by Courtney B.

She lowers herself onto her knees before the panting girl.

“Is that fear which covers your face?”

She raises her eyes from their downcast respect.

“My queen –“

A dismissive gesture with her calloused hand.

“Formalities are of the old age.”

The girl smears blood as she wipes a dampened sleeve across her face.

“They’ve decimated our forces –”

The elite guards clasp their fists across their armored chests.

“Allow my future husband passage.”

She extends her arms in welcome as the servant raises her chin high.

“Let him claim his prize.”

Her crown catches the last rays of light.

Courtney B.’s bio: I’m the girl behind the server line shoving untouched battered pickle spears into my mouth, while dish tries to pry table six’s finished appetizer basket from my ink stained fingertips – that fill my server book with character descriptions, table conversations, scene notes, and flavor profiles.

Find more of Courtney B. at

Winner, Best Writing:

Quenched by Esme Godfrey

The landmarks of Leila’s early life look so small. In the orchard, and the village green, and the churchyard she feels echoes of their cruelty, those long-ago children who were full of darkness.

Their time has come. The arch-sorceress raises her staff, tells them softly, “Today you will see the light.” They shrink, eyes wide, breath held.

But Leila vanishes in a violet cloud, leaving no whiff of any curse. “Stupid!” they scathe. “Ugly! Grotesque!”

When dusk falls, the lamps do not light, and the hearths give no glow. The sunset is ordinary, memorable only for being the last one.

Winner, Best Imagery:

The Shadow Stones by Kimberly Kaufman

I get to the middle of the forest, where the sun finally disappears, and I sink into the scent of pine needles.  I take off my clothes and lie on the ground. Forget the nagging minutia, the cringeworthy moments of that day. It takes all my energy to just exist; to be more than an apparition.

My dreams are of rocks exploding in amber.

When I wake in the morning, my clothes now have shades of silver and blue.  My new armor. I walk back to my simple town filled with simple people, carrying buckets of darkness.

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