Mary Kay Bonfante Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Mary Kay Bonfante 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:

sonoran desert museum hummingbird feb 2017 tucson
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

by Mary Kay Bonfante

Won Cho Lee gazed out of his cell at the prison. The midday sun brightened the courtyard, and birds were singing, unseen, despite the sterile surroundings. A few plants stubbornly found their way up through the ground, cracking the concrete in their persistent struggle to survive.

His 6 x 8 solitary cell was foul smelling, with a bucket used for a toilet in the corner. He guessed he was there for preaching his faith, albeit quietly, in the oppressive regime he lived under. No one ever explained it.

One day three uniformed men had burst into his house, and one of them administered an injection. He blacked out, and found himself here.

It was their mistake to leave him a window. The whole world happened in that courtyard. The rays of the sun shone through his small, barred window around sunset.

And now, a hummingbird! It lighted upon the largest plant he could see. Its gray body appeared to have a purple cape. Its motion was swift, amazing. It was a sign to Won. He would be going home soon, either to his family, or to Heaven.

The next day, he received another injection, and awoke on his front porch. He crawled to the door and knocked. His wife answered, in tears, helping him to his feet.

From bed, he looked out his big window, which had no bars. He gazed at a lovely tree, with its fern-like leaves and berries. He was waiting for another hummingbird.

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2 thoughts on “Mary Kay Bonfante Wins Flash Fiction Challenge”

  1. I was so happy to win this week’s Reader’s Choice, all the more, because I wasn’t trying to win this time, and voted for someone else… when I checked the website Thursday night, imagine my surprise when I realized that I was winning by a landslide! Since I don’t know who you are, I would like to say “thank you!” to anyone who voted for me. THANK YOU!

  2. This is the same as a comment I posted on Facebook.

    I have gotten into the habit of reading all of the stories of my fellow contestants. I enjoy this little exercise very much. As I said, I don’t always try to win – this is not only because we can only win the Reader’s Choice once a month (providing we have enough votes, of course), but also because it’s good to give others a chance to shine. This weekly contest is not just for winning – it also helps to keep us writing, and challenging ourselves to try different ways of expressing ourselves creatively.

    I frequently read stories that I wish could win, but which don’t have the votes. I want to put a comment about the other stories under the winning article sometimes, but I don’t want to take away from anyone else’s applause.

    So I feel free to mention some of the writers whose stories I enjoyed on this go-round. I noticed that there were several stories which had themes involving a mechanical bird (whether for surveillance or some other reason, it was varied and very creative). The stories were by Tom Kepler, Ann Zimmerman, Judith Garcia and Rutger Galtiarii. My favorite was Tom Kepler’s, whose drone was instrumental in foiling an attack on Air Force One. But we really have so many talented people writing, whose stories I like. Being involved with Indies Unlimited is a joy!

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