Congrats to Kathy Steinemann

Kathy Steinemann is the readers’ choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge.

The winning entry is recognized with a special feature here today and a place in our collection of winners which will be published as an e-book at year end.

Without further ado, here’s the winning story:


Photo by K.S. Brooks

The Bridge
by Kathy Steinemann

Three bodies in less than two months.

Seamus Roper flinched when the medical examiner peeled back the sheet that covered the remains of their latest John Doe.

The ME apologized. “I haven’t found anything since the last time you visited, Detective. Poor slob was alive when the person or creature that committed this atrocity ate the guy’s face and internal organs.”

Seamus pursed his lips. “It’s been four weeks. Vick and I will watch the bridge tonight. If a serial killer did this, he’s sticking to a schedule. Maybe we’ll catch him trying to dump another body.”

The two detectives crunched through the frozen underbrush until they found an outcropping with an unobstructed view of the bridge. The October air smelled frosty, hinting at an early snowfall.

They waited—and shivered.

A coyote yelped from across the creek. Wind rustled the few fragile leaves still clinging to nearby trees. A noisy car spewed the pungent stink of burning oil as it sputtered over the bridge before dissolving into the darkness. An owl hooted.

Vick checked his iPhone, and cursed. “No reception here. If anything happens, we’re on our own.”

Seamus frowned. “My stomach hurts. I must have eaten something for supper that didn’t agree with me.” He leaned toward his partner. “I think—” He inhaled Vick’s intoxicating scent. Prey. Must eat. Now!

He succumbed to his instinct.

And his pain disappeared.

Seamus flexed his bloody claws and stared at the full moon through glowing, yellow eyes—then he yowled.

Author: Administrators

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10 thoughts on “Congrats to Kathy Steinemann”

    1. Kathy, we do not have plans for implementing a judging system for the flash fiction contest. It is something we have discussed and may revisit in the future.

      1. Thanks for the response, Stephen.

        I think entries that go through a judging process are more valid than a win by votes. I’ve been looking through past entries and your once yearly publication is missing some great talent. Many authors just don’t have the friends or social media presence to get the number of votes they deserve.

        1. Hi Kathy, we agree with you on that – but since IU is run by volunteers, we don’t really have the bandwidth to implement a panel of judges who could evaluate as many as (sometimes) fifteen entries within a 2 day period. That would then also exclude those judges from being able to enter. So, it is a complex issue. Hopefully not everyone is “voting for their friends” and instead they’re voting for the best entry, but there’s also no way to police that. Congratulations on your win.

          1. Thanks, K.S.

            Yes, setting up a judging system would be problematic. I just hate to see so many good entries left behind in the dust.

            The contest is a good writing exercise. Even if an author doesn’t enter, the writing prompts can produce some new ideas.

  1. K.S., I read your blog post from June. Interesting concept.

    Re your comment, “So, about fifteen minutes a week gets the Secret Scribe his/her own book.” I would argue that point. It takes longer than 15 minutes to write a quality story, even if it’s only 250 words long. The short length poses its own challenge.

    I’m going to share with my Facebook and Twitter followers.

    Writing a flash fiction piece every week would be a good exercise for any author.

    1. I know that for some it takes longer than 15 minutes, and less for others. I was basing that time on what I was told by the Secret Scribe when we discussed his concept. He said sometimes, depending on the prompt, it in fact takes him only 5 minutes. I personally can’t write short stuff, so I do know it’s a challenge!

      Thanks for sharing that post. I think the exercise itself is very important – and the ultimate goal is to get people writing. 🙂

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