I recently entered the Sue Vincent Classic Rodeo at the Carrot Ranch and was both surprised and delighted for my entry to be awarded first prize. You can read about other place getters here and all entries here.
The competition asked for 99-words stories with a beginning, middle and end to be written in response to this photo of Sue’s.
Here is my winning entry. I hope you enjoy it.
They stopped on a verge overlooking the valley.
“It’s beautiful, Dad. And so big. You said it was small.”
“Not small in size, son. Small in mind.”
“What’s that mean?”
“Folks round here didn’t want your mum and me getting married. They threatened to keep us apart. Cruel words were spoken. We left and never returned.”
“Why’re we coming back?”
“Your mother asked us — to make peace. Before it’s too late.”
“Like it is for her?” His voice trembled.
“Yeah.” He rubbed the boy’s head.
“We’ll know soon enough.”
He inched the car towards the village.
Here is what the judges said about it.
“This author nailed a response to a photo challenge with the opening line, taking the reader from photo to story with an economy of words. This is a smart strategy when you only have 99 words or 99 syllables. We step out of the image into the lives of a father and son. The dialog is clear, sharp, and tells the story of loss and hopeful redemption. The judges appreciated a place not small in size but small in mind. That single concept conveys much. A well-crafted story with emotion and purpose takes ownership of the photo.”
What do you think? Do you agree?
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your comments. Please share your thoughts.