We had so much fun reading all of your entries, and there was a vast range - from the humorous, to the inventive, to those that tugged on our heartstrings, it was fantastic to see so many different approaches to the theme.
So, without further ado, the winning entry was ...
Tony Riggs for his entry Tripadvisor
Stayed one night mid-winter. With no rooms available, we took the garage as we had to park the transport. A sleepless night due to the traffic: tradesmen on quad-bikes, toffs in limousines. Even the light outside kept us awake. Can’t complain though; we paid for a room for two and when another one came along, we weren’t charged any extra.
This entry really stood out for the judges as a clear winner. Very clever and succinct, exactly as flash fiction should be!
Congratulations Tony, you will receive a year's supply of HarperCollins books!
The judges also selected three runners-up as there were a few we wanted to give a special mention to:
Father died yesterday, but already dismantled. Rolled out of bed but injured left arm. A beautiful indigo sky greeted me as I drew back the curtains, songbirds singing electric ballads on snow covered window-sills.
At breakfast, Winthrop, my servant, downloaded the morning news. May retire him. Old, electric knees are failing! Expensive to replace. DIY on my arm by rewiring.
Front page news-China builds second prison on moon-Ancient gravestone discovered on beach. Poodle, my search engine, gave no results for tombstone.
It's minus 20 outside. Cleared icicles off sledge. Electric reindeer-away...
An imaginative and humorous sci-fi Christmas scene, this was one of the more original and inventive entries.
Snow softly fell, masking the horrors of the previous days. Reginald stared at the decimated landscape; a ground ravaged by the vengeance of man. His friends, frozen in a snap-shot of time, stared accusingly at him through lifeless eyes; why was he alive when so many had perished?
“Positions, lads. 5 minutes.”
Reginald picked up his rifle and stood at the foot of the wooden ladder. He looked up and down the line; some cried, some prayed. Looking to the stars, he closed his eyes. “Happy Christmas, sweetheart.” He whispered.
The shrill call of the whistle sounded…
There were a few entries inspired by the anniversary of WW1 but the judges felt this was particularly poignant one, and tells a story effectively in a short amount of words.
The snow fell early in the morning. It dusted, then covered the grass and the soil and the paths in equal measure. Bushes and trees looked delicious under their icing. Here and there, ice crystals waited for their chance to sparkle. The moment the sun broke through the clouds to light a pristine world: heavenly.
I cherished those hours, knowing they could not last.
Robins hopped through my garden. I watched their restless quest for hidden sustenance. Their tracks criss-crossed the patch where, for now, only I knew the ground was disturbed.
This is a lovely descriptive piece. It's not a contained story as such, but a beautifully crafted moment of stillness and peace - something we all yearn for during the hectic festive season!
Congrats to the winner and runners-up and thank you so much to everyone who entered, it really was a pleasure to read your festive flash fictions!