The winning Story receiving a prize of $300
“Hand of Dog” by Elisa Hall
Sparks caught my eye as I was driving, a still black shape on the footpath. Crouched over the shape was a small child wearing a blue Elsa princess dress, a rainbow flag tied crookedly around his shoulders. I stopped, and quietly held the paw and the hand, until the end.
Our three Highly commended stories, presented in random order receiving prizes of $100
“Olives and Artichokes” by Russ Gluyas
We first meet eight years prior to making it official. I made gourmet sandwiches, he made costume jewellery. I would blush as he seduced me over the deli assortments. His favourite was ham, brie, pear and fruit chutney. My heart felt like ambers exploding. We were definitely destined for more.
“The Sparky” by Seth Malacari
A knock on the door. My date is early.
‘You’re early,’ I say. Overalls. Underdressed. Attractive though. ‘I thought we said 8 for dinner?’
‘I’m the electrician,’ she says, voice like honey.
‘Right, the lights. Bedroom is this way.’
I let my dressing gown fall open.
‘After you,’ she says.
“Straitjacket” by Susan McDonald
Tiny sparks flicker in the back of my brain. Listening to the trans woman at the work diversity seminar I know that my experience overlaps in ways more profound than our mutual love of wild hair colours. My chest tightens and the grey suit I wear feels like a straitjacket.