I didn’t read a certain Short Story Contest rules clearly enough. The submission date they have is a received by date not a postmarked one. Most contests say postmarked and this one used to, but not this year. I knew they changed some of the rules, but I just skimmed it instead of reading it properly. It means I’m too late. There is no way the mail will get there in time. I’ve had the story completed for a while, but I just didn’t get around to mailing it. Why did I procrastinate? Not that I think I would have won, but maybe… Ugh.
I thought that I’d include a sample of what I was going to send. Just so someone out there in the world can read it. The title of the story is Blink.
We exchanged a few more words, lost in the ether. The song of conversation, a sublime moment shared between friends. Yes, Julian could be my friend in time. The future is unknown, paths before us constantly changing.
Buckley turned and began walking away from the water, swaggering, the way only teenage boys can. He stopped, picked up his discarded footwear and continued on to join us.
We stood talking with the boys. The water was nice. The stars were bright and tomorrow would be a beautiful day. The conversation was enjoyable. Another unexpected moment, though of a different kind.
I found their joyful youth interesting. I was only about seven or eight years older, but it felt like decades. Had I ever been that young? I was certainly not a happy teenager. Most of my friends really were a bad influence. I was really depressed. I needed to find myself. Not the best adolescent years. For a few seconds, I envied the boys. They really were happy.
The laughter continued, and the echo of our voices spread down the beach. Three of us were smiling when Julian’s face changed. Laughter left his voice, then all smiles vanished. Another change in the scene occurred, though I was not sure why.
“Oh my God…” Julian was barely audible.
The three of us turned, our eyes guided by his gaze. Several metres down the beach, something was lying in the sand. Someone, rather. A round of deep breaths.
Instinctively, we began to move towards him. At least it looked like a ‘him’ from this distance. As we approached, I could see why we had not noticed him sooner. He was the colour of sand. His shorts, his sweatshirt, the hair on his legs. Sand covered the soles of his shoes. His back was to us, and the hood of his sweatshirt was pulled up over his head. I wondered how Julian had even seen him.