Authors can share their short stories (less than 2000 words please) or poetry, and it won’t cost you a penny! The deadline this month is 27th September. Stories or poems can be on any subject, but please keep them reasonably family friendly. On 29th September I will pick a winner and runner up and share the links in my newsletter and on my Facebook and Twitter pages. Please ensure that you add your story to this current month’s submission page and not any previous month, or it may be missed.
I look forward to reading your efforts. The winner and runner up will receive these laurels to add to their story:
Here’s one of my short stories for you:
THE SNOW ANGEL, BY STEVIE TURNER
Emily could see clumps of snow settling on the tree’s branches outside her bedroom window; each flake falling tantalisingly just out of reach. Next to her sat Bertie, the family’s chocolate brown Labrador, enthralled and seemingly also eager to shake off the pall of gloom that had been hanging over the house.
Her child’s mind assessed the situation. Okay, so she had some kind of illness with an unpronounceable name. Death was something that happened to old people, not to ten year old girls. She was tired, but then again she had been awake all night until the nurse had arrived to give her an injection. The pain was easing, the snow was falling, and Emily was ready to play.
Bertie wagged his tail as Emily stood up and put one finger to her lips. She ached to her very bones, but could hear children’s voices in the street beyond the garden fence and yearned to join in their games. Her friends had stopped calling some time ago after her mother had continually sent them away. Emily checked the clock and knew afternoon nap time would last another hour at least. She could hear no daytime TV programmes downstairs, and reasoned her mother would probably have taken the chance to sleep too, after the long night. The gods were smiling for a change.
She slipped on her boots and took a coat out of the wardrobe. Patting Bertie’s head, she held onto his collar as she eased open the bedroom door. The sound of snoring nearby brought a smile to her face. Her knees hurt badly when she tried to go down the stairs, and so she sat on the top step and bumped herself down slowly.
It had been ages since she had been on the ground floor. She walked stiffly through the kitchen to the back door, more tired than she had ever felt in her life. A large key still sat in the lock. Emily turned it and walked outside with Bertie to freedom.
The cold air made her take a quick breath, and her heart was pounding with the effort of moving. Emily lifted up her face to the sky and let the soft snowflakes fall on her face, while Bertie ran around her legs, making a scrabble of deep paw prints. She could hear Margaret’s voice out in the street daring her little sister to make a snow angel. Emily looked down the garden path and imagined her friend on the other side of the fence, but knew the distance was too far for her to walk. She decided it was time to make her own snow angel right there and then.
Letting Bertie prance about, she lay on her back on a thick carpet of snow. Above her, blue patches peeked out from behind angry dark clouds. She felt snowflakes melting on her cheeks. Her heart did a pitter-patter dance all of its own. She grinned and threw her arms out wide, closing her eyes as Bertie’s curious dog face came in close to her own.
Bertie’s sudden barking caused her to jump in alarm. An angel with white feathery wings flapped away in her vision, blocking clouds from view. Emily, unaccountably unafraid, moved her arms up and down in the snow, as the angel flapped in closer. Her pain and tiredness vanished, and she felt as free as a bird. She was one with the angel, first on the ground, and then up, up, up through the clouds. There was no more pain and suffering. She looked down at her frozen body, still with its arms outstretched. It was the best snow angel she had ever made.