30 days. 30 prompts. 30 Words.
Welcome to our 30th Anniversary April Flash Fiction Challenge!
Down in the deepest of waters, where pages of rejected manuscripts lie as fodder on the seabed, and the white screens of blank documents illuminate a basin dark from words, sit courageous writers polishing their pearls of sentences and paragraphs. In commemoration of Writers Victoria 30th Anniversary, we are holding a Flash Fiction Challenge during April that will be exploring these deep waters! With prompts recognising the gruelling process of creating pearls from grit and prose from ideas, we have 30 days of prompts and writing. Write, submit and share by midnight, every night of April, for your chance to win a Writers Victoria 30th Anniversary tote bag! Of these, the most grit-worthy submission will win a free ticket to a workshop of their choice run by Writers Victoria.
Congratulations to our wonderful winners!
April 1: GRIT
I was born of the mountain. A million years to move from grandeur to insignificance. I’ll force you to acknowledge me, you’re chosen, yes you, I’m settling in your shoe. — Tony Messenger
April 2: IRRITATION
Cruelly cutting into my flesh, squeezing tight. Why does it have to hurt so much? Is it really necessary? Causing constant pain at every chance, nothing but irritation. Underwire bra.— Michelle Weitering
April 3: DIVING
This is harder than I expected. Shaky hands and waves of nausea, rolling, crashing. I need to get my brave on, dive in. A deep breath: hold— and click submit. — Allison Black
April 4: FRESHWATER
Every morning, Grandpa tastes the salt lake. Still haunted, he growls, spitting brine.
Oh, a lady I met, long ago.
After Grandpa passes, I taste the water. Fresh.— Grace Chan
April 5: RARE
The beast steadied her feet, flexed her neck and let out a long, melancholic cry… A song of sure solitude and knowing that she was the last of her kind. — Penny Smits
April 6: FREEDOM
Joseph realised he had lost all sense of rationality and personal freedom when the online bidding war ended. He lived in a studio apartment, where would he keep an elephant? — Ashara Fernando
April 7: SALTWATER
The serpent rises from the ocean seabed and looms over the pirate ship. Captain Cutthroat battles to right the hefty vessel. A voice calls, “Out of the bath now, Johnny.” — Andrea Barton
April 8: BAROQUE
Rae stopped me mid-trill.
“Your palm must be a nest for the music bird. Here; like this.” She repositioned my fingers over the harpsichord, ready to butcher Bach once more. — Paula Hanasz
April 9: IMITATION
All was lost in the fire. Her jewellery box sat quietly in the mess, melted like butter. She poked around, kicking at ashes, but none of it resembled her life. —@thatsgreatjen
April 10: SHELL
A hundred dreams of summer days
Of holding hands and bobbing waves
Seagulls crying on the shore
Footprints left are there no more
A bowl of shells is memory’s maze. —@truedialogue
April 11: TRAPPED
Desperation sets in.
Let me out.
Violent palpitations as it throws itself against the imprisoning glass.
At last, the jar is lifted and the moth flutters away into the garden.—Eva Rivera
April 12: WILD
In gauzy sunlight that highlights and warms, they partner each other, dancing and swaying in the breaths of a breeze; they are poppies and daisies, whispering grasses, wild and free. —@AnotherCatLane
April 13: LAYERS
In her final hours, she reveals her truth: the vulnerable child who became the crone, who never forgave, never accepted, loved. I touch her hand. I am not my mother. —@AJCollinsEditor
April 14: GLOSS
At first they were golden, sunshine bright. Soon, the gloss wore thin, revealing dull patches of disillusion. Unable to live without the awe of others, they moved; reinvented themselves, started again.
April 15: TEARS
They should’ve been a red flag; those beautiful, weeping girls tattooed on his biceps. They flexed and twisted grotesquely during our arguments, contorting until I could see my own reflection. —@xantheahere
April 16: BLUNDER
“Behold, the Seven Blunders of the World!”
The students stared at the swirling holographic images: oceans of plastic, extinct animals, parched earth, bee decolonisation, deforestation, pandemic disease, oil spills.
“Class dismissed.” —@BecksMuse
April 17: TENACITY
‘Son, is pursuing this band idea honestly worthwhile? You’re not getting regular gigs, your drummer keeps going AWOL. The band doesn’t even have a proper name.’
‘What’s wrong with ‘Tenacity?’ —@KTBricey
April 18: PRECIOUS
Tony taps my shoulder, “If…” The rest remained unsaid. He hands me his most precious possession, a photo of his wife. I hand him a photo of my kids. “If” —@sourhaggis
April 19: DESPAIR
They lined up, earnest, smiling, rehearsed. Licking their lips, elbows akimbo, eyes set, they steadied their six-year-old minds. With despair, the teacher raised the baton, The recorder concert started.
April 20: LUSTRE
The new shampoo gave Rex a shiny lustre.
When the door opened he ran straight to the corner of the yard.
Clean white fur now with a muddy top coat. —@rayseewriter
April 21: BEGINNING
Sujatha’s Ma braided her hair with coconut oil for the first day of Australian school. “Auspicious”
Ma said. Sujatha smiled at her new classmate. “You smell funny” the girl said. —Sumitra Shankar
April 22: INVENTIVE
She slit and dried a full-grown toad, warts and all, and crushed it into his porridge. He licked the bowl, unsuspicious, opened his mouth for the usual ridicule, and croaked. —@EugenBacon
April 23: CELEBRATE
6pm. Each fork in place, candles lit, and party hats prepared in a welcome of pinks and oranges. No guest arrived. She had forgotten the invitations. No dawn after dusk. —@little_rah
April 24: TRANSFORM
Hannah hated the old house. When she was alone it transformed. It remembered her childhood fears. It threw carnivorous shadows on the walls that stalked her through those hungry rooms. —@scicrow
April 25: REMEMBER
Grandfather sits, stiff-hipped and frail, watching the Dawn Service unfold on TV. Tears course silently down his cheeks as the aching Somme memories of his war flicker across his morning.—@robynjblack
April 26: IRIDESCENT
He turns it this way, that way, watches the light shift.
“Look what I found,” he crows, presses the dull stone into her palm.
Her fingers close around it carefully.
April 27: NACREOUS
The oil slick carried by the current spread. A deadly killer; its nacreous quality deceptive in its beauty. Sea birds and marine life struggled in its wake to stay alive. —@CTuvel
April 28: TREASURE
Hungover, Pirate Pete learned two very important life lessons. Firstly, never bury your treasure whilst drunk, and secondly and more importantly, don’t expect your parrot to remember where that was.
April 29— PERFECTIONISM
All night she toils, weaving delicate silken threads. A masterpiece of exquisite lace. As day breaks, a glint of golden sunlight catches on suspended beads of morning dew. Charlotte’s web. —@Yvonne_Sanders_