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I just entered my first ever Flash Fiction contest. (Update: I won!) I have really needed to get back into writing mode after the holidays, and this sounded like fun!  It also seemed like a useful exercise at this time when I’m trying to finish a first draft of my first novel, and need practice condensing and cutting out unnecessary words.

The prompt was “Buying a new vehicle” and we had to write a story in 250 words.  I immediately knew I wanted to get creative on the meaning of “vehicle” and didn’t want it to be a car (although there is one awesome entry so far with a car and a surprise ending!). 

My mind  drifted over to Star Wars, due to my recent viewing of the latest installment (loved!). But I didn’t want to write fan fiction, and it turned out to be against the rules anyway.  My last contest entry was an illustration, and I went Steampunk (here).  So I stuck with my newfound theme and wrote exactly 250 words of riveting (pun intended) fiction.

Here it is, I’ll update when I find out who won! In the mean time, read the other entries and keep your eyes peeled (I always thought was an icky expression) for upcoming contests and amazing posts on Operation Awesome!

I’ll miss her fiercely,” Emiline lamented, her hand caressing the worn rivets along the tarnished brass hull of the once-magnificent landship.

“We have no choice,” Harrington reminded her. “She’s served her purpose, fought a good fight, and now she’s fetched a full purse.” Emiline was sentimental for a warrior, but Harrington had abandoned all but logic long ago.

“Not full for long,” Emiline countered, glancing toward a battered airship- the lone survivor of the First Defense. “This relic’s overpriced. I understand it’s not the merchants’ war, but why must they lance our pockets so.” She crumpled to the sand, grieved by much more than prices and overwhelmed by the precipice upon which their clan’s existence balanced.

Carmen rested a tiny hand on Emiline’s armored shoulder. “You can do this Emi. You’re the only one left in this hemisphere who can pilot an airship like this, and we’ve already paid dearly. Conrad would have wanted-”

“I know.” Tears slipped down Emiline’s resolute face. “I just need a moment to mourn. We’ve lost so much, and everything we’ve gained is because that landship held us together.”

Harrington signed the merchants’ documents, finalizing the trade. Engineered to run with perfect efficiency utilizing minimal puffs of steam, the last working airship took to the sky, and Emiline’s embodied memories shrunk below.

The landship was scrapped for parts long before the clan’s Final Offensive ran the enemy into the heavens forever, but it sailed on immortal in the hearts of grateful generations.