Monday, March 1, 2010

Writing Contests

Writing contests are a great way to hone your skills and read what are considered award-winning works. I entered a short fiction contest and enjoyed the challenge of following the rules. The topic had to be on love--love of any kind, e.g., a friend, the environment, knitting, whatever the writer decided, and could not exceed 275 words. I chose love of a pet. The reward I received was being named a finalist.

I have the piece here. Let me know what you think.

Love Bite

Connie reached to pet the tiny Boston terrier but withdrew when Tilda snapped at her outstretched fingers.
“She’s frightened,” the breeder said, clutching Tilda closer to her chest. “She’s the runt of the litter. She’s been overlooked for six months.”
“My two preschoolers are boys. They want an active boy dog,” Connie countered.
“Tilda can be an active dog for boys. She just needs some encouragement.”
Connie reached again but Tilda stuck her nose in the air and turned her head away, brushing Connie’s fingers in the process. Connie smacked her lips and frowned then pointed to a lounging pup in the far corner of the room. “How about that one?”
“You don’t want Henry. He doesn’t move, not even to eat. He’s the laziest dog I’ve ever owned.” Henry rested his head in his paws and closed his eyes.
“I see a Boston running in the backyard.”
“Hazel doesn’t like people. That’s why she’s back there. She’s left alone. I leave her food on the porch so she doesn’t have to get close to people.”
“That one by the front door looks friendly, healthy and happy,” Connie answered.
“You don’t want Pete. He eats everything—photographs, computer keyboards, toilet paper. Not a good match. Tilda eats very little, loves people and is active enough for boys.” She petted Tilda, who turned to face Connie.
“I’m—” Connie fanned her hands.
At that moment, Tilda jumped from the breeder’s arms into Connie’s extended hands and licked the clutching fingers as if to heal them.
Startled, Connie hugged the dog close. “How much?” she asked, dipping her chin to caress Tilda’s furry spine.

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