13 and Under Flash Fiction

First Place

This competition was kindly sponsored by Kanturk Credit Union

Forgotten by Paddy Duggan


I stand alone, exposed to the harsh wind that blows in from the wild Atlantic Ocean. Beauty surrounds me in every direction. The waves of the royal blue waters crash against the jagged cliff face below me. Yet I am out of place in the centre of this breath-taking landscape. My weakened frame now struggles to hold up the crumbling roof which once sheltered my devoted inhabitants. The occasional adventurous spirit wanders past, merely casting a glance in my direction. I am a wart on this magnificent cliff face. When did it all go wrong?
I was not always like this. I once stood strong against the elements. I was well maintained by my family, they cared for me and, in return, I provided for them. I watched the farmer work the land, while his wife managed the household, cooking and caring for their children around the cosy frames of my glowing hearth. These flickering frames illuminated my interior, mimicking the warmth of the day. I was their shelter, their steadfast resting place. The cheerful voices of carefree children echoed around my gable ends, as they pranced and danced with their colourful kites under the dazzling Summer sun. 
Time moved on and I no longer serve a purpose. My family left me, drawn to the hustle and bustle of city life. In an effort to better themselves, they have caused my decline. My weather-beaten shell succumbed to Mother Nature. I am derelict and broken. 
A solitary mouse scurries into my empty fireplace. There is no warmth to be found there now. I did not choose solitude. I am forgotten.

********************

Second Place

The Gate To The Secret Garden by Ronan Harrington


            Grace went off for a picnic with her family to the park. She didn’t want to go but she couldn’t have been left at home alone. At the park Grace went over to the swing set where she spotted something out of the corner of her eye. It was a gate, the temptation got to her. She had to open it. The gate was rusty and covered with moss. Everything except the handle. It was like someone had been keeping it clean.
Grace ran over as fast as the wind to the gate. She slowly opened it and it squeaked quietly. There were footprints in the grass. Grace followed the footprints past the hedge and saw a man with a dog. The dog ran around in circles, around the trees. Suddenly something came from behind the tree with the dog. It was a cat. A noise came from around the trees. It sounded like a lion. It gave Grace the biggest fright she ever had. The lion jumped out behind the cat, but the man didn’t even flinch, as if he was used to it happening.
Was he?
BOOM!
Out came an elephant and a tiger. It was like a zoo coming out of the trees all at once. A monkey then popped out of the tree above Grace and grabbed her. The monkey dropped Grace in front of the man.
He asked Grace a few questions, but she said nothing and ran back to her parents, past the trees, down the stone path and out through the gate.
For the rest of her life every time Grace went to the park she went into the secret garden hoping to find the man and ask him some questions about the garden, but she never did.

************

Highly Commended

The Figure, by Eoin O’Keeffe

“But I don’t want to get up,” moaned Simon as his father dragged him mercilessly out of bed. Simon, looking forlornly at his bed, reluctantly got dressed for his day exploring. His heroes (Neil Armstrong and Roald Amundsen) said that a kit was important, so he had one of his own consisting of some sandwiches, water and his Granddads trusty pocket knife.
As the waves crashed against the weather-beaten cliffs, Simon took stock of his sun lit coastal surroundings. The derelict farmhouse looked shabby and long forgotten about. It was somewhat frightening, but Simon was inspired by his idols. He gently opened the creaking ancient door, expecting something to jump out like in a horror movie. As he entered the house a shiver ran down his spine like an icy finger. Suddenly, a white-as-snow figure came bounding out of the fireplace screaming like a cat being strangled for all the world to hear. Simon, terror-stricken absconded from the place like an Olympic sprinter, as fast as the wind. He was so frightened that he didn’t even notice himself skedaddling out over the cliff-face. He found himself dropping nearly vertically to dagger-like rocks and the swaying sea. In a last futile attempt, he lashed out with his right hand that was clutching his pocket knife and dug it into the cliff face. His heart pounded like a drum, his legs sapped of strength, his arms heavy, but somehow, he pulled himself up harnessing the energy of his natural instinct to survive. 
When he finally regained the clifftop, the figure was still there, staring at him straight in the eye and advancing closer and closer with every second that passed. “Surely not,” Simon muttered under his breath as his life flashed before his eyes….

************


’A Mystical World’by Eva Fenlon

Once upon a time there was a beautiful little girl. Her name was Julia. She had very soft, curly, ginger hair. She was only three years old.
One day she went for a walk far far away. She kept on walking until she came across something strange she had never seen before. It was a golden gate. You could see all the things on the other side. What is it she thought but there was no one to answer. She opened the gate. It was an amazing stunning garden, with multicoloured butterflies, humming birds and much more.
Julia met a kind little boy. He was about the same age as her. He asked her to follow him. She did, and the boy made her realise that it was not just a pretty garden, but it was home too. A home to all types of creatures and the boy as well. The boy lived in this place alone, but he seemed happy. “Join me” said the boy in bad grammar. Julia was confused, she was asking herself, join me where? Who is this boy? What is he doing?
The two of them became friends after a while.
It was getting darker and darker. Julia was scared of the dark and to make it worse she didn’t know how to get back home. The boy walked her to the sand pit, not just any old sandpit. The sand in it was magical. “you pick up a handful of sand and make a wish” said the boy. Julia did that. She wished to be home again. One second later, she was in her bed.
The end

************