"His Farm" by Sarah Gardiner — Our June 2018 Gold Medal Winner

by - Monday, August 20, 2018

We are so pleased to announce the winner of our eighth contest!

For the first time ever, we have a winner who also placed in the previous contest! In our March 2018 Write Prompt Challenge, Sarah Gardiner took second place with her story, Broken Windowand this time she's been awarded first place and publication in the September 2018 issue with her emotional entry, His Farm, where she takes the provided image prompt to areas of pain, catharsis, and the ultimate hope of healing.

What the judges had to say:
—Such contrasts between pain & beauty, love & loss, anger & happiness
—Well written & heavy
—Congratulations on deftly managing contradicting emotions

Meet Sarah:

Sarah Gardiner lives with her husband and two small children in Calgary, Alberta. Being a busy stay-at-home mom, she tries to use nap time as her creative opportunity to write, read, crochet, and cook. Writing has become a newfound love that allows her to escape and explore through new plots and characters. Her curiosity with people, possibilities, and forever asking ‘what if?’ seems to grow as her creative side continues to be challenged.

The photo prompt:


an excerpt:

His Farm

by Sarah Gardiner

The fire crackled and hissed. She turned her back to the hellish flame. With tears in her eyes, Dani swallowed the lump, pulled her jacket tight, and released a small shiver. For all the heat surrounding her, her body remained cold. Feeling her husband’s strong hand entwined in hers, he gave a supportive squeeze as they walked towards the house. 

It was strange how she could still love the house. Impressively tall, solid like a mountain. It was hard to tell in the dark, but the house itself was all stone in shades of blues and greys. The white shutters used to bang horrifically in storms. With golden flowing ease, the surrounding canola fields provided a stark contrast next to the sturdy home. He had loved his farm. Using such tenderness to care for the crops, the equipment, the house, and the dog. She hated that dog. That dog was loved and nurtured.

Their shoes now crunched and kicked against the pebbled path. Dani remembered the week he laid down these rocks. Wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow, unloading and loading, shovelling and raking, until the final day at dusk when a perfectly level trail curved up to the house and surrounded the wrap-around porch.

They reached the house and sat on the front steps, watching as orange embers peppered the night sky. The fire seemed to make the fields glow, as if presenting all that was now hers. After all he had taken from her, she now owned everything that he’d taken it for....

to read the rest of this story, purchase a copy of the September 2018 issue of Blank Spaces


[Read the second and third place stories]

Learn how you can participate in one of our Write-Prompt Flash Fiction Contests HERE

Order the next issue of Blank Spaces HERE  

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