Again opening the envelope … announcing the 100 word Short-Shorts Contest Winners!
Drum roll ….
We’re pleased to present the third place winner: “Here again” by Casie Cook!
Announcing the second place winner: “Temporary” by Tami Mohamed Brown!
And Finally, the first place winner of the Short-Shorts’ 100-word contest: “Farmhand” by Luke Anderson!
Congratulations, Casie, Tami and Luke. We loved your short-shorts.
This time around we had 41 wonderful entries, again from all over the state, on all sorts of topics. We thank all of you who submitted to our fourth contest.
Again, our judges had to make difficult choices, and again we thank these wonderful women for their wisdom and generosity: Penny Heaberlin, Jennifer Howe Salzwedel, Karon Sherarts and Sharon Spartz.
And, once again, we thank all the readers of MinnPost who support the writings of fellow Minnesotans.
And now for your reading pleasure: the three winning short-shorts for 2012.
“Here again” by Casie Cook
There’s a moment between semiconscious and awake when I’ve opened my eyes but my mind hasn’t quite caught up.
It’s during this hazy time when all that’s happened to us seems like a distant, torturous dream.
Just as I muster enough energy to reach for the phone to call you, familiar heartsick feelings flood through me like water rushing through a hose until I find full consciousness and know you’re really gone.
But for a brief time, you were here again.
Casie Cook is a strategic communications professional with a B.A. in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She has an inherent desire to understand people and find ways to inspire them, whether through writing or simply a conversation. You can find some of her casual musings on her blog (although she despises the term blog), CreateHappy.org. She’s also known to tweet from time to time. If you’re into that, you can follow @KaceeMaree.
“Temporary” by Tami Mohamed Brown
“It was a job share,” the agency woman explained when she offered me the temp position.
One of the women was on a Galapagos cruise. I found out about the other woman my third day in the office.
“Smothered,” said a secretary. “Her son stuffed her body in a bag, drove south. She was real nice.”
When the family came for her things, I was at lunch. They took the bobble-head turtle from the desk, the white cardigan from its hook.
They left the peace lily, leaves brittle. I dumped my coffee in the dirt; it was already dead.
Tami Mohamed Brown lives in Bloomington with her husband and daughter and holds an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University. She is the recipient of a Loft Mentor Series Award and a Blacklock Nature Sanctuary Emerging Artist Fellowship. Her writing has been published in Minnesota Parent, Mizna, Colere, and Dust and Fire, and appears on a regular basis in the Minnesota Women’s Press.
“Farmhand” by Luke Anderson
The exhausted farmhand rests his forehead on swarthy forearms held flat across the wooden gate. His lanky body leans bent and beaten.
Years scrolled by as he pitched tons of manure, stacked thousands of bales, and plowed hundreds of acres.
Today, he hangs on the gate with nothing saved — only tales to tell.
He lifts his head to scan the farmstead and wipes his sweaty face. He plants fists on hips and barks, “I quit.”
Tomorrow, he’ll throw everything in his dented pickup, cash his first social security check, and head south where rivers never freeze.
Luke Anderson began writing poetry and memoir after retiring from a career managing nonprofit organizations. He has won several region-wide literary contests and awards and his writing has been published in The Talking Stick 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20; The Ottertail Review and Lake Region Review. He is a member of the Fergus Falls Writers’ Group and a founding member of the Lake Region Writers Network, currently serving as its president.