Aria is the winner of Round 22; Round 43, and Vol 2-24. Her writing story starts with one of those clichéd beginnings when an English teacher encouraged her to submit a class assignment for publication. That piece was printed, and let’s just say she was hooked!
In 2012, after a brief hiatus from writing, Aria won NaNoWriMo, which re-inspired her to pursue this crazy way of life. She dove into the new world of authorship, joining the vibrant virtual community with a brand new blog and social media presence. Soon after finishing her NaNo novel, she discovered Flash! Friday, which has become a staple in her weekly writing adventures.
Winner Vol 2-24
Waking up isn’t easy when you’re being baked alive.
A groan scratched its way out of my throat as I opened my eyes to the blistering sunlight. Soreness in my shoulders and ankles dissuaded me from moving.
One of only two shadows on the sand moved. Grit scraped my eyes as I tried to blink the motion away.
“Oh shut up.” The shadow fell over me for a blissful instant of relief, chased away by her grin. “How ya doin’ down there?”
“What the hell you stupid—”
“Ah, ah. Careful.”
The scorching spotlight found my face again. She spat, taunting me with the waste of water.
“You owe me,” I reminded.
“Well now, that’s why I’m here. You forget that little issue, and I’ll cut you free.”
“Are you off your—”
“Or.” Her shadow moved out of sight. “I could just leave you here, while I come up with the money. Shouldn’t take more than a couple weeks.”
Throwing children out of windows isn’t normal. At the height of their trajectory, they float for a heartbeat in the air. Orange light paints over their skin. It’s almost beautiful, but it isn’t normal.
Some of the older kids understand, and they all fight our holds instinctively in fear. But we’re stronger, and we’re determined. Their wiggling and crying cannot slow us down. Screams tear through me, but I don’t even pause.
“I hate heights,” the little boy in my arms whispers.
“Close your eyes,” I can’t help whispering back.
The second he does, I clench my jaw and toss. His arms flail as he flies. Fourteen.
I pray the hands outside will catch him.
We search the smoky room for any small bodies left behind. The flames lick at my feet through the remaining patches of floor.
This isn’t what I signed up for.
Winner Round 22
Shadowed figures plodded toward her, silhouetted against the setting sun. They blended together into one undefined mass, then separated into two distinct lumps – one half the size of the other – and congealed again, morphing with each movement.
Lacey let her book drift to her lap as she watched the slow progression through the steam around her cottage. The kitchen timer sounded, calling her away from the mesmerizing sight so that dinner wouldn’t burn.
A steady crunching accompanied the sounds of lasagna being pulled out of the oven and set on the counter. They were getting closer. Lacey left the oven open so its heat flooded the small kitchen and adjacent living room.
The crunching grew louder then suddenly stopped. Lacey’s head swiveled to watch the front door open, revealing two looming lumps. She dropped the oven mitts.
The smaller shape barreled toward her, shedding white powder all over the wooden floor.