A. L. Kaplan Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

A. L. Kaplan is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.)

Without further ado, here’s the winning story:

 

bok tower gardens 1 1998 flash fiction writing prompt copyright KS Brooks
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Dew Drops
by A. L. Kaplan

Water glistens on the poinsettias as the sun continues to rise. The bright red flowers stand cheerful and unblemished in the garden, a cruel mockery of recent events. We all said it could never happen, not here, not now. Enlightenment is the core of our society–or so we thought. Those words now burn my throat. My stomach churns as disbelief turns to reality.

The demons escaped last night. Their hate-filled rhetoric consumed the souls of the self-righteous uninformed. Darkened hearts surged through the country, intent on destroying any they deemed impure in an attempt to make America great again. Instead, they obliterated it’s diversity; it’s strength; it’s heart.

I’m not a demon, not part of the purging, yet I’m as much to blame as them. Neighbors screamed in terror while I hid and shut my ears and eyes to the destruction. I could have stood up. I could have stopped it. Instead I turned a blind eye to the hate as they were ripped apart. My silence condoned their deaths.

Now I stare at these delicate flower petals that are covered in angel’s tears. They’ve grown rich and red from the blood of innocence but they’re all the same. Their false beauty shrivels my soul. Tears stream down my cheeks as I search for a flower different from all the others, something unique, individual. There are none. My silence has destroyed them all.

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