Read on for the awesome drabbles from round five, the winner, and the illustration. But first: I think it’s for the best if we give you all some more time to write drabbles before judging them. Two days is just not quite enough time. So from now on, Drabble lab is going to be a once-every-two-weeks feature. You’ll have a week to submit drabbles, I’ll post a comment when I’ve chosen a winner, and we’ll announce the winner and post the illustration the following week. This has the added advantage of giving our artists more time to draw. Hopefully this way we can maintain the momentum we’ve created!
On to last week’s drabbles:
This one, by breadbox, was great because the surprise went both ways:
His apartment manager recognized her, but even so he wouldn’t let her in until she bribed him with promises of leftover birthday cake. She had a full hour to spare, so she took the opportunity to blow up the balloons. But the cake wasn’t even unboxed when he burst into the apartment. From her perch atop the back of the couch, stretching to affix a green balloon to the ceiling, she watched him pull the nylon stocking off of his head, let some of the loose bills fall out of hoodie’s front pocket, and say: “Well, this is a surprise.”
And this one, by Olivia, was touching because the surprise was that there was none:
I am a birthday queen. My birthday is not a single day affair, it is a week-long affair. This year I chose not to lavish myself with the birthday party I deserved because I had picked up intelligence that there was to be a surprise party. Needless to say I was ecstatic. The day arrived and I waited and waited for someone to hijack me, for people to jump out, yell. The work day ended. I drove home in my normal way. I unlocked my door, expecting a room packed with friends. It was quiet inside. No one lurked. Surprise.
Coelecanth describes something that maybe shouldn’t be surprising, but nonetheless always is:
“Objects at rest want to stay at rest.”
He was pretty sure he’d said it out loud. Somehow getting up and beginning the process of sorting through what was left seemed too difficult. And so he sat there in the rubble as the light dimmed and the night chorus began. The thousand voice choir, amphibian and avian, was unchanged despite how profoundly things were different on the inside of the walls.
He’d spent the day not thinking about it as hard as he could, but he knew what awaited him at home.
“I should have told her I loved her.”
And the winner, by scurvygirl, I just love the way it trails off perfectly, without really leaving any ambiguity.
Alan adjusted his hat more firmly to his head. The wind was pulling at it with a desperate longing. He normally rode the bus to work, but he had missed it by a mere minute that morning. The one time his regular ride was running ahead of schedule. He walked slowly, figuring late was late and that maybe he could enjoy an atypical stroll. No one would miss him anyway. The wind pulled again at his hat, lifting it up and setting it free to dance across the sky. Alan stopped to watch it, which was why he didn’t see…
And here’s the illustration, by Jill:
Congrats, scurvygirl! And thanks to everyone for participating!
For next week the theme is valor. I look forward to reading your drabbles!