True Story Flash Fiction Contest: We Have a Winner!!!

So, the assignment was: How would you have written this true story? I know that left a LOT of room for interpretation. There wasn’t a right or wrong way to do this, so thanks to everyone who sent in a submission! Here’s the winning entry, followed by why I picked it: 

Moaning to the rhythmic throbbing in my head, I rolled to squint at the clock. Ten in the morning. I began to wonder why I still heard pounding when the doorbell rang. What day is it? I grabbed for my robe.  Realizing I’d slept in my clothes I left the robe on the floor and ran downstairs.
 
“Who is it?”
 
 “Police, Ms. Challis.”
 
Police? And he knows my name.
 
In the few seconds it took for my shaking hand to reach the doorknob, a litany of tragic events flitted across my brain. I yanked the door open and stood silent as I waited for the young officer to tell me who died.
 
“Morning, sorry if I woke you.”
 
I knew I looked awful because I detected his slight recoil when he first saw me, which he recovered from almost immediately.  Can’t be worse than a dead body.
 
“Is everything all right, Miss?”
 
“With me? Of course. Why?”
 
I pushed my hair behind my ears and tugged down on my shirt.
 
“You here to check up on me?” I asked, annoyed. He caught my mood right away.
 
“No Ms. Challis. Actually, I came to return this check you wrote to A. Brody. I found it on the street in Langston.”
 
“Langston? That’s eleven miles from here. Kind of out of your way, isn’t it?”
 
“Not too far. I live in Stinton, just a mile or so.”
 
“Well, thank you, Officer…”
 
“Officer Mansfield—Jim Mansfield.”
 
“Thank you. I appreciate your returning this to me.”
 
He nodded “you’re welcome” and turned toward the street. I closed the door. Nice guy. I glanced at the check, dropped it on the table in the foyer and caught my reflection in the mirror. Oh my god!  No wonder he asked if I was all right. A purplish-yellow bruise colored my face just above my left cheekbone. What the hell?
 
I whirled back to the door to see if Officer Mansfield was still outside. The rush of air sent the check floating to the floor. The police officer was gone. My head ached as I picked up the check. While printed on ordinary parchment style paper, for an account at Langston National Bank, as my checks were, something was wrong.  The address was mine and the signature resembled my own illegible scrawl but the middle initial wasn’t mine and I didn’t know any A. Brody.
 
J. Ratto is a full time writer who has completed a middle grade novel and a mystery chapter book and is busy perfecting her query. She has attended the Hofstra University Summer Writer’s Program as well as other  conferences.
 
{There were so many great entries, it was difficult to choose a winner. Ultimately, it came down to that I loved the element of (WTF?!) mystery at the end!}
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5 Comments

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5 responses to “True Story Flash Fiction Contest: We Have a Winner!!!

  1. Judy Ratto

    Thanks, Linda, for choosing my entry and posting it on your blog! It was fun to do and keeping to a limited word count was a great writing exercise.

  2. R.L. Saunders

    Nice work, J. Ratto. Congrats!

  3. giora

    Yep, nice ending.

  4. Yes, the end was masterful, intriguing, satisfying.