Tamara McLanahan Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Tamara McLanahan 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:

glendale glitter 2016 flash fiction writing prompt copyright KSBrooks
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Glendale Glitters
by Tamara McLanahan

A warm breeze stirred the fronds of the brightly decorated palms. They preened and posed in the sultry night air, each trying to outdo the other. Each thinking that they were the most beautiful, the best.

The Queen Anne palm thought her white lights to be like the stars above. “Surely,” she whispered, all can see I’m heavenly. Pure. I’m better than the likes of all of you!”

The Sabal Palmetto begged to differ. “I’m graced with green lights, the same color of my unparalleled fronds and the grass all around us. I’m definitely the most beautiful!”

The oldest of them, the Washingtonia Robusta roused himself. He’d seen many years, was missing half his fronds but was decked out in patriotic colors. In a deep voice, he sighed, “Have you no eyes? All who look upon me are dazzled! I symbolize the best.”

“Sure, you old coot,” crowed the youngest of them, a Date palm barely three years and glowing in red. “They decorated me like the Sun. Of course I’m the best!”

A family approached and they stopped their bickering, too intent on looking their finest, out-glowing each other. Words, carried on that still warm breeze, surprised them all.

“I don’t know which one is the prettiest, Mama! All together they’re the most beautiful trees I’ve ever seen!”

The Queen Anne spoke first. “How silly we’ve all been. I think I understand now. Each of us shines in our own unique way but together? We are magnificent.”

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6 thoughts on “Tamara McLanahan Wins Flash Fiction Challenge”

  1. Congratulations on winning the Flash Fiction Challenge, Tamara! You wrote a beautiful story and I enjoyed it. I think you did a little research, too. Bravo!

    1. Thank you, Mary Kay! It was fun to write and yes, I did a bit of research which is always enjoyable as well. I adore palm trees, am lucky enough in FL to have many of them. Ironically, I learned while researching names for my daughter decades ago that historically Tamara/Tammy means Palm Tree.

  2. Bravo Tamara McLanahan! They are such strong specimens. Giving them identities does them justice. Made me recall Joni Mitchell “Woodstock” Thanks. Keep writing.

  3. Wow, I didn’t know that Tamara means “Palm Tree.” I spent some time in Florida, and I loved the palm trees. My first impression of Florida was feeling like I was on another planet! Next, after discovering lizards, I realized that palm trees come in many varieties, which is also evident in your story. What an interesting world we live in.

    1. Definitely an interesting place to live. It’s a bit like a mini Jurassic Park with lizards preening and posing everywhere you look. Not crazy about the palmettos (big flying roaches, not the palms) and the Love Bugs can be pesky.

      I lived in Central FL for a few years, much prefer being near the Atlantic now, except for the darn hurricanes. Ugh.

  4. Thank you, John, for the kind words and encouragement. I tend to anthropomorphize all sorts of things and I do adore palms. Not only for their variety and beauty but that they remain green. After living in the D.C. area for a few decades it’s a relief from watching things wither and die each Winter. Don’t miss snow at all but…I do miss the glory of Fall, especially on Skyline Drive. And good applebutter. Lol

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