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10th Annual Fiction 101

Storytelling 101 words at a time


Page 2 of 3

Honorable Mention, $75

Greg Likins, Nampa

Boom Town

Tractors exhumed the mound where we buried Sweet Maggie, and a strip mall bloomed. Streets uncoiled. Rows of houses blighted our fields.

Stand your ground, Pa commanded, and we hurled prayers and threats as families swarmed in—city folk, pale, with pupils wide as moons. They scurried indoors and pretended not to see us, told each other we were ghosts startled from a waking dream, pieces of the past receding.

By autumn we were gone. Sweet Maggie's laughter beckoned us into the hills. Nights, you'll hear our voices on the storming sky; the thunder is our cursing, the rain our tears.

Honorable Mention, $75

Michael Hopkins, Boise

Grandpa's Tool Box

Time beaten now, worn and weathered, I unclasp this wooden memory box and the aroma of leather and dust releases his ghost. There are the gloves he wore, the hammer he wielded. There the dirt floored, sagging, rickety workshop. The anvil stand, workbench, branding irons hooked, dangling from rafters overhead. There the tools, the tangible testaments of his genius to survive harsh, brutal northeastern Montana winters.

Springtime again, warm chinook winds traveling down the east slope of the Rockies, cause for celebration. Saturday nights, some Sunday afternoons grandpa grabbed another tool box containing the fiddle. Spreading joy and merriment county wide.