Skip to main content

Your Story #105: Winner

Image placeholder title

Prompt: Write a short story of 650 words or fewer based on the photo prompt above. You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.

Email your submission to yourstorycontest@aimmedia.com with the subject line “Your Story #105.” Include your name and mailing address. Entries without a name and mailing address will be disqualified. Paste your submission directly into the body of the email; attachments will not be opened.

Out of over 150 entries, Writer's Digest editors selected the winning story by Micki Morency of Hudson, Fla. Micki's story will be published in the November/December 2020 issue of the magazine.

Unfortunately, we cannot respond to every entry we receive, due to volume. No confirmation emails will be sent out to confirm receipt of submission. But be assured all submissions received before entry deadline are considered carefully. Official Rules

Yesterday

By Micki Morency

Six feet. How can anything grow from being buried so deep into the earth? And how can I get my heart back? These thoughts crowd my head as shovelfuls of dirt clobber the top of the white casket.

I squeeze the wilted flowers until cramps make me relax my fingers and they scatter at my feet on the ground. I stare at the mound in front of me as if my eyes can tunnel through and see his smile. The one he gave me yesterday as he ran into the fields, plucking yellow wildflowers to make me a bouquet.

Yesterday.

Before the roosters crowed, I turned on my back on the edge of the bed and opened my eyes. My cotton muumuu stuck to my skin by a sheen of sweat. I automatically reached to remove the bedsheet off Bélizaire’s face. He wasn’t there. I lit the kerosene lamp on the floor, stood and stretched my back and opened the window.

“Boy, it’s too early?” I raised the lamp over my head. The moon had already faded to make room for the rising sun. “What was the dream now?” I teased. “A flying pig with red eyes or a talking donkey?”

“Manman.” He sniffed. “I was kinda not sleeping this time. Toto had wings and it flew away, crying, ‘don’t kill me tomorrow.’”

I smiled. “See, Béli, told you not to name’em,” I said. “Gotta sell the meat to buy your uniform. Thought you’d be excited to start kindergarten next month?”

“I am…but…but I can go in my church clothes.” He threw his arm around the goat’s neck.

I stared at his small frame and wondered why he grew so fast. For years, I tried to have a child. I prayed. I fasted. I cried. Then, two months after Gaston left, I found out I was pregnant. It was as though the gift was only mine.

Weeks later, I tied my baby to my back and worked the small plot in the back of our two-room hut for the food we need and raised goats and chickens to provide for everything else.

Yesterday.

Belizaire held my hand, a small basket of beans on his head. We sang church hymns he’d learned from Sunday school. Soon, we stopped by the river, under the breadfruit tree. I lifted the sack of plantain, yucca and coconut off my head and placed it on the ground. I rotated my shoulders to release the kinks, before spreading a cloth on the floor. Bélizaire massaged my neck, his hands like butterflies’ wings on my skin.

“Manman, when I’m big, I’ll buy you a big house in Port-Au-Prince like Auntie’s.”

He jumped in front of me and opened his arms wide.

“With lots of food.”

I patted his gleeful face. “I know, Béli, but I’m happy here in the village.”

“But …but you won’t ever need to kill again.” He kissed my cheek and sat across from me to eat his lunch.

“You’re my gift from God, my little wise man.” I smiled. “I won’t ever need anything more than you.”

He raised his head from his plate and touched his chest. “I’ll always be with you, Manman.”

Later, he played with the boys across the road, taking the goat with him and laughing as if he was choking with joy.

Yesterday

“Béli, where’s the goat?” I asked.

“I…don’t know. It was behind me.”

I took his hand. “Let’s go find it.”

He ran ahead of me. “Slow down, Béli.”

He plucked the yellow ones, the sunset framing his smiling face. He extended the bouquet toward me. “Here, Manman.” He laughed. I rushed to grab him. The cliff. My hand brushed his fingers. He released the flowers.

Tonight.

I look around. I’m alone. I pick a yellow petal off the ground, waiting for my heart to sprout from the mound.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unreal Character

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unreal Character

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character turn out to be less than they seem.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 15th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.

Valeria Ruelas: On Teaching Tarot, Brujeria, and Witchcraft

Valeria Ruelas: On Teaching Tarot, Brujeria, and Witchcraft

Author Valeria Ruelas discusses the process of writing her new book, The Mexican Witch Lifestyle.

What Is the Hook, the Book, and Cook Query Pitching Technique for Writers?

What Is the Hook, the Book, and the Cook Query Pitching Technique for Writers?

Find out what "the hook, the book, and the cook" are in relation to writing query letters and pitching books to literary agents and book editors. This post answers the question of what each one is and how to successfully assemble the pieces.

Romance Retellings of Literary Classics

Romance Retellings of Literary Classics

Author Chloe Liese makes a case for the romance genre being the natural home for retellings, and shares some tips on how to write a successful romance retelling of literary classics.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30

For the 2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. And now we're on Day 30.

Rae Meadows: On a Personal Passion Inspiring Literary Fiction

Rae Meadows: On a Personal Passion Inspiring Literary Fiction

Award-winning author Rae Meadows discusses how her lifelong love of gymnastics helped inspire her new literary novel, Winterland.

The Fae

The Fae

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, your character discovers that there are fae in their backyard.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

For the 2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Day 29 features our fifth (and final) Two-for-Tuesday prompt.