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. This week there was a tie, so the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules. Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Tamara McLanahan
Her decision to return to the sleepy village of Tadoussac for a visit was an easy one. Marie had always followed her intuition, more often than not it served her well. She’d lived here as a child, still remembered tumbling down the sandy hills on the west side of the village and climbing over rocks to watch ships sail peacefully along the Saguenay and Saint Lawrence Rivers. She’d watch for breaks in the water as whales were plentiful back then and Marie envied them their freedom. Their beauty as well as they sliced through the sparkling waves, setting her imagination soaring
Her father, ever the dreamer, had died first, leaving her with a mother ill equipped to handle the realities of being alone and raising an eight-year-old. Marie was only thirteen when her mother gave up that fight and so she moved away, a tearful goodbye to the sea creatures and coast she loved.
Her eldest sister was kind, encouraging her dreams to write. The first book was a fantasy, replacing mermaids in lieu of whales. She followed that up with kelpies, second in the series. Marie had barely begun the third when the urge to visit Tadoussac became overwhelming.
Grabbing a sweater to ward off the evening chill, she walked the familiar coastline. Water lapping gently, she paused, her restlessness of late replaced by a calming contentment.
At peace in the gauzy twilight, gazing outward, the sight of two fins made the sudden decision to stay all too easy.