Flash Fiction Contest | European Winner 2019

After a long and exciting journey, our EACWP Jury has finally come to a consensus for the final results of the second edition of our Flash Fiction Contest. Five authors from The Netherlands, UK, Spain, Belgium, Denmark and Germany were our 2019 European finalists

For this second edition, 1729 texts were received from February, 1st. to March, 15th. After a tight and competitive race, the EACWP 2019 Jury is delighted to officially announce the final results of the second edition of our  Flash Fiction Contest.

Taking Eurovision’s voting system as a model, this year, six European authors have reached the final stretch to the honour roll: one final winner and five finalists.

With 66 points, the 2019 winning text is the one entitled (click) by Marc van der Holst from Hague (The Netherlands). You can review the full contest results here.

On behalf of the EACWP family, we would like to thoroughly congratulate Marc for his commendable merit as well as the five European finalists and all the participant authors. Ultimately, we would also like to deeply thank the valuable and voluntary work of the jury, the translators and the different participating institutions for their engagement over the full process of the contest. Thank you all for heeding the call and for accepting the challenge of continuing to  dream and write Europe!

See you in our next edition!

Winning Flash Fiction Text 2019

Dutch (The Netherlands)

(klik)

Ik heb alle klokken het raam uitgegooid en hou met het klikken van mijn balpen de tijd bij (klik). Ik maak aantekeningen voor een roman in schaakzetten (klik). Buiten: een zacht schommelende schommel, hoewel het niet waait (klik). Binnen: een drieliterpak rode wijn en twee glazen, alsof ik nog iemand verwacht (klik). Buiten: een berg kapotte klokken onder het raam (klik). Ik ben vergeten wie er aan zet is (klik). Ik ken honderd woorden voor eenzaamheid (klik). Totdat de deurbel gaat, ben ik zowel wel als niet thuis (klik).

(click)

I’ve thrown every clock out of the window and keep track of time by clicking my ballpoint pen (click). I’m taking notes for a novel written in chess moves (click). Outside: a slowly swinging swing, even though there’s no wind (click). Inside: three litres of boxed red wine and two glasses, as if I’m expecting someone (click). Outside: a pile of broken clocks beneath the window (click). I’ve forgotten whose move it is (click). I know a hundred words for loneliness (click). Until the doorbell rings, I’m both at home and not at home at the same time (click).

  • Author: Marc van der Holst

Finalists’ Texts 2019

First finalist

English

The English Way

Out of habit, rather than cold, she wraps a beige Marks & Spencer’s cardigan over her colourful shirt. Back in the early 60s, the city’s cold and rain – and the loneliness – had almost driven her crazy. This gated house in Wilmslow, with footballers’ wives for neighbours, is climatically controlled and never drops below 25 degrees – a spring day in Lahore.

Maryam lays out a platter of deep-fried savoury snacks on a silver tray for her grandson. She stops herself from spooning sugar into the tea. He drinks it the English way: no sugar and a dash of milk.

  • Author: Amanda Addison

Second finalist

The second finalist goes this year to two different texts tied at the same score: Dopey by Alex Merino from Spain and Enyoy your meal by Johnny Nys from Belgium (favoured by 3 extra-points from the popular votes).

Spanish

Bobo

En cuanto aterrizó la nave, los alienígenas salieron en estampida. La policía no pudo apresarlos a todos y algunos lograron huir. Como Bobo, que ahora vive en mi sótano. Llegó hace dos meses, todo verde y famélico, apestando a vertedero espacial. Le di una cama, ropa limpia y hasta su bonito nuevo nombre. Le enseñé a cocinar, limpiar, planchar y cortar el césped, le introduje a mi Dios y le enseñé mi idioma. Todavía no lo domina, confunde las palabras “socorro” y “gracias”. Si se porta bien, le seguiré enseñando pacientemente, como haría cualquier buena persona.

Dopey

The moment the spaceship touched down, the aliens stampeded out. The police couldn’t catch them all, and some managed to escape. Bobo, for example, who lives in my basement now. He arrived two months ago, all green and starving, stinking like a rubbish dump from outer space. I gave him a bed, clean clothes and even his sweet new name. I taught him to cook, clean, iron and cut the grass, I introduced him to my god and I taught him my language. He hasn’t got it quite right yet and mixes up the words “save me” and “thank you”. If he behaves himself, I’ll carry on teaching him, patiently, like any right-thinking person would.

  • Author: Alex Merino

Dutch (Belgium)

Smakelijk

Het koppel zit in het restaurant. De jongen haalt een ring uit zijn broekzak. Hij reikt naar

haar hand, plaatst de ring om haar vinger. Hij stelt de vraag. Ze knikt. Gejuich alom.

Daar komt de maître met een nieuwe fles wijn.

“Het diner is van het huis,” zegt hij, en scheurt hun rekening stuk.

Ze drinken hun wijn en verlaten hand in hand het restaurant.

Buiten trekt het meisje de ring van haar vinger. De jongen laat hem lachend in zijn jaszak vallen.

“Tot morgen!”

“Chez Maurice?” vraagt het meisje.

Hij knikt. Ze verdwijnen in de nacht.

Enjoy your meal

A couple is sitting at a table in the restaurant. The young man takes a ring from his trouser pocket. He reaches for her hand and slips the ring on her finger. He pops the question. She nods. Cheers all round.

There is the maître-d’ with a fresh bottle of wine.

“Your dinner is on the house,” he says and rips up their bill.

They drink their wine and leave the restaurant holding hands.

Outside, the girl pulls the ring from her finger. The young man laughs and drops it in his coat pocket.

“See you tomorrow!”

“Chez Maurice?” the girl asks.

He nods. They disappear into the night.

  • Author: Johnny Nys

Third finalist

Danish

70’er-idyl

I provinsen i 70’erne er der altid nogen hjemme et eller andet sted. Mor drikker kaffe hos nabokonen, jeg cykler af sted på min røde trehjuler. Helt hen til købmanden. Alene.

Han kigger på mig over sine sjove halvbriller og stikker mig en slikkepind uden beregning. Jeg smiler tilbage og følger med ham ind i baglokalet.

Der er ingen pædofile i 70’erne, det er ikke et tema. På købmandens væg hænger en pinup. Jeg studerer benovet hendes store babser og pelsede tissekone.

Jeg er fire år, købmanden aer mig på kinden og ringer efter mor.

Hun er ikke hjemme.

Seventies idyll

In the provinces in the seventies there’s always someone home somewhere. Mum’s over for coffee at the neighbour’s. I pedal off on my red trike. All the way to the shop. On my own.

The shopkeeper peers at me over his funny half-glasses and hands me a lolly, no charge. I smile in return and follow him into the back room.

There aren’t any paedophiles in the seventies, it’s not a thing. There’s a girlie picture on the shopkeeper’s wall. Sheepishly, I study her big bosoms and hairy lady parts.

I’m four years old. The shopkeeper smoothes my cheek and phones for my mum.

She’s not in.

  • Author: Heidi Bobjerg

Fourth finalist

German

Die Krähen

Zwei englische Friedhofskrähen diskutieren auf einer Mauer die Beschaffenheit von Hoch- und Tiefnebel. Sie haben sich, wie unter Krähen üblich, in Rage geredet:

Der Nebel ist hoch.

Nay, der Nebel ist tief.

Unter ihnen setzen zwei Frauen Trauerblumen an den Gräbern ihrer Männer.
Sie sagen einander:

Hier bist du zuhause.

Nay, hier bist du zuhause.

Die Krähen picken an einer Nuss.

Die Frauen an den Blumen.

Niemand weiß, was an diesem Tag tatsächlich gesprochen und:

ob etwas entschieden wurde.

The Crows

On a wall, two English cemetery crows are debating the nature of high and low fog. As is usual among crows, they have talked themselves into a rage:

The fog is high.

Nay, the fog is low.

Below them, two women place flowers of remembrance upon their husbands’ graves.
They say to each other:

You’re at home here.

Nay, you’re at home here.

The crows peck at a nut.

The women pick at the flowers.

No-one knows what was really said on this day, nor

whether anything was resolved.

  • Author: Karl Kreiner

Finalist for the popular vote

Dutch (Belgium)

Smakelijk

Het koppel zit in het restaurant. De jongen haalt een ring uit zijn broekzak. Hij reikt naar

haar hand, plaatst de ring om haar vinger. Hij stelt de vraag. Ze knikt. Gejuich alom.

Daar komt de maître met een nieuwe fles wijn.

“Het diner is van het huis,” zegt hij, en scheurt hun rekening stuk.

Ze drinken hun wijn en verlaten hand in hand het restaurant.

Buiten trekt het meisje de ring van haar vinger. De jongen laat hem lachend in zijn jaszak vallen.

“Tot morgen!”

“Chez Maurice?” vraagt het meisje.

Hij knikt. Ze verdwijnen in de nacht.

Enjoy your meal

A couple is sitting at a table in the restaurant. The young man takes a ring from his trouser pocket. He reaches for her hand and slips the ring on her finger. He pops the question. She nods. Cheers all round.

There is the maître-d’ with a fresh bottle of wine.

“Your dinner is on the house,” he says and rips up their bill.

They drink their wine and leave the restaurant holding hands.

Outside, the girl pulls the ring from her finger. The young man laughs and drops it in his coat pocket.

“See you tomorrow!”

“Chez Maurice?” the girl asks.

He nods. They disappear into the night.

  • Author: Johnny Nys