First Place Winner:
By Yvonne Stafford
3AM. Anna from upstairs banging on the door, yelling at the top of her voice. Come
quick! Jonny dead on the floor with door open he dead! Mama gets up slow walk to
the door. She says, don’t ever wake me at this hour again. If he dead now, he be dead
in the morning. Closed door, and go back to sleep.
Yvonne Stafford is a non-fiction writer, researcher and author of From Fast
Foods to Slow Foods: How to Wake up Laughing. She holds a Masters Degree in
Communications from New York University. She is hard at work on her first novel, A Story Untold.
Second Place Winner
Stronger Than War
By N.M. Bassey
Corpses littered the ground like confetti. Bombs exploded in the distance, the air smelled of death. I saw her crouched in a ditch across a green field.
We took aim.
With a nod she dropped her rifle, I smiled and did same. Sometimes sisterhood was stronger than war.
N.M. Bassey is a writer and poet who lives in Nigeria. Their work has appeared in The Chimurenga, PolicyNg and Short Sharp Shots. You can follow on Twitter @StNaija or read the blog at www.thenaijawriter.wordpress.com.
Third Place Winner
By Crystal Senter-Brown
The wooden hope chest was a gift from her mother, perhaps a way to ensure she would be a good wife. But she needed more than sheets and towels and dishes, she needed to actually LOVE her husband. But as hard as she looked in the chest, there was no love to be found.
Crystal Senter-Brown has published seven books, one of which was made into a feature film in 2017 (The Rhythm in Blue). She also writes books for children of color (“Gabby Gives Back”, “AJ and the Magic Kite”). She is an adjunct professor and lives in New England with her husband and son. Find Crystal online at www.crystalsenterbrown.com.
Jill Yvonne Williams:
There was a Sunday school teacher who taught teens and tweens on obedience.
“Let’s say that you are not to let anyone into your house when you are alone, will you obey?”
The students said “yes”
“What if Beyonce needed to use your phone, would you let her in?”
They all said “yes.”
Jill Yvonne Williams is an author, motivational speaker, Chocolatier to the stars and a woan after God’s own heart. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
David Leon Morgan
John held him close. Seeping through the room window, prying their wool blanket apart, winter beat against their sticky skin. Hardened to its touch, John felt Damon’s quickening heartbeat; the clip in his breaths. Damon turned his head: “I love–.” John’s eyes widened: “…me?”
“Understand,” the woman said through cigarette pulls, “I’ve lived hard.” “Uh-huh,” Bri muttered, twirling a freshly done box braid in manicured nails, “But I need the mon— No! Wait!” A second: A blouse lifts. A blast echoes. Blood pools in the hallway; smoke trails from red lips.
David Leon Morgan is a digital marketing specialist, writer, and singer in Bronx, New York. When not burrowed in a book or listening to music, you can find him scouring local thrift stores or diligently attempting to make gains at the gym.