GVPL’s 2019 Tiny Stories Contest has ended, with more than 170 entries submitted. The contest reception was held December 3, where winners read their winning pieces. Thank you to all participants for sharing your thoughtful, creative, meaningful works with us. We congratulate everyone who entered.
Our judges awarded prizes to fourteen participants, seven in the adult category and seven in the teen. Read their winning submissions below.
GVPL gratefully acknowledges IslandLink Library Federation for their support of the Tiny Stories Contest.
Winning Stories – Adult
Frozen by Cini Pandi
Through the blurry haze of inches of ice, six men in dark suits and two blue-clad scientists surrounded him in a celebratory semicircle, regarding him as an oddity. The man felt paralyzed with pain, unable to blink his eyes or move a muscle as he read what was written on a large white sign to the left of him: ‘Grand Success of the First Cryogenic Freezing.’ He had no way of letting them know he was still conscious.
The Chase by A Rachel Samson
Her skin tingled and heart raced. He was close. She darted into the woods; hands up to protect her face, low branches left to trace red lines on her bare legs. Her throat ached, dry from the exertion and stifling heat. She crouched behind a tree and held her breath; her ears ignoring the sunny forest sounds and focusing on his footsteps. He was above her. She closed her eyes. He grabbed her shoulder. “You’re it!”
The Wait by Amanda Smith
On a wooden bench she waits. Hair curled, lips painted red, purse clutched on lap. A whistle blows. The 10 o’clock train to Toronto is now boarding on platform 2. Opening her purse she takes out the note. She traces her fingers over the faded words. ‘Meet me at the station 9 o’clock. We will be together soon.’ Final boarding for the 10 o’clock to Toronto. Cane in hand she slowly rises. Tomorrow she will return.
The Dance by Heather Laing
He watched her as the music started. She looked happy, even smiling coquettishly at her dance partner. He waited for the song to end before approaching her, hoping she would agree to dance with him. Taking his proffered hand, her eyes searched his face before asking if she knew him. Rather than answering again, he held her close, their bodies instinctively finding the rhythm of the last fifty-four years.
420 by Corrina Bada
Just one more push was all Lea needed to give. She knew she was strong but was this worth the reward? The sunlight coming in the window was blinding her. She rested a moment and wiped her brow. She felt strong and weak at the same time. After a moment she was ready to push once more. There, it was done, as painful as it was. She smiled with satisfaction and marveled at how beautiful her new desk looked in the corner.
Hibernation by Sarah Reynolds
His bed was dry, soft, and warm. His belly was full of sweet berries and buttery salmon. And he knew his dreams would be only of light and laughter. He couldn’t wait for spring to begin so he could further explore the forest. But he was looking forward to a long snooze while the snow fell softly around his cozy den. The bear knew he was one of the lucky ones as he sighed and drifted off to sleep with one last smile.
Him by Kari Lourenco
He grips me and steals my breath. My hands are shaking but I can’t find the power to breakaway. I look into his eyes knowing that I have the power to leave him, but my voice stays stuck and I let the tension go. I fall into his embrace and find comfort in the familiar. My thoughts drift to happier times, as I let the warmth of memories flood my mind. I never thought I would be here, but my lover’s name is depression.
Winning Stories – Teen
Monster by Archana Pandi
The woman tucked her son deftly into the fresh sheets heavy with the scent of evening primrose. “Don’t forget to check under my bed for monsters,” the boy said with familiar blue eyes and a dimpled smile. Crouching limply to the floor, the mother found another boy with the same pair of stark blue eyes and dimpled cheeks, these ones looking up at her with a demented, frantic terror. “Ma, there’s a monster on my bed.”
Ready or Not by Alicia Bai
My hair a tense bun. Skates tied tight. Sweat starts to trickle down my body. My toes tingle like flowers feel the bees. My face flaming as bright as a rose. My stomach is alive with butterflies. I look at my partner. His eyes tell me, he is worried for me. I smiled at him slightly. The announcer sounds like gibberish. We were next.
Prince by Celina Lessard
I’m hungry. I refuse to eat. Even the thought of putting my face near the filth my family has prepared is repulsing. I come to a conclusion: they’re trying to kill me. They’re actually trying to kill me! I can’t believe I ever truste-
“Mommy the cat needs food,” says the young one. The older one sighs. “Then feed him, please.” The young one trots over, bringing a fresh dish.
Okay, maybe they’re not so bad.
Choices by Charlotte
Smoke plumed above the school, darkening the sky; flames eating wood; melting stone. All had been evacuated-but one. Trapped behind a locked door, face bright against the window. Imprisoned by the furnace. He saw me, lips forming,
He had yelled through the halls, left my nose dripping red. He had the power,
I stood still. Bricks fell, smoke and flame hiding him away.
It haunts me still
Heights by Quinn Parfitt
Ren hated heights and everyone knew it. Yet still, he found himself staring down into the rushing waters of the Niagara Falls and hating his unwillingness to say no to his best friend. The boy in question was leaning over the very thin and rickety railing, the only thing stopping them from falling, copper hair blowing into his face. Then Aydyn turned and gave him a blinding smile, and Ren knew he’d be all right.
Illiteracy by Brigid Godwin
The girl walked through the ruined city into what was once a library, with shelves as high as the caved-in ceiling. “Hello?” Voices whispered behind her, there was no one. “Hello?” Voices swirled around her, the books telling her stories of conquerors and consequences, but she didn’t understand the language of rustling pages. The books knew she didn’t grasp their words, so whispered a hopeful one to each other “yet”.
Waiting by Hailey Powell
Allie Rook stood at the very edge of the sidewalk, her Sunday school shoes balancing over the edge, not a single wrinkle on her clothing, searching for mother’s car. Tiny drops of rain hit her head and looking up at the sky she shivered. She pictured mother wearing her suit with her hair in a tight ponytail, sitting at her desk, an ignored sticky note right in plain sight reminding her to pick up her daughter.