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"Extinction" by Dawn Edgcumbe — Our September 2018 Bronze Medal Winner

by - Sunday, November 11, 2018

Dawn Edgcumbe is our third place winner from the contest posted in our September, 2018 issue!

What the judges had to say:
"What a beautiful story. The details are clear and plentiful but not overpowering."
"Such a unique perspective for the setting given."

Meet Dawn:

Dawn lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband and five children, whom she home-schools. A self-confessed book addict and poetry enthusiast, her days are spent with one hand in the dish-pan and the other holding a book.

The photo prompt:


the unedited story:

Extinction

by Dawn Edgcumbe

He lumbered down the country lane. The oversized coat, scavenged from the hunting lodge in the hills to the north, doing little to provide the needed anonymity. Hunched under the drooping hood, he still felt exposed.

The day had been a long time coming. The world had grown smaller over the decades. The untouched virgin forests shrinking by the year. Mankind’s need to consume, to expand, is boundless. An insatiable appetite, eating up land and forest, river and sky. In the end he had waited too long. In the way of so many before them, the elders had been immobilized by tradition until it was too late. The clan had dwindled. Survival depended on adaption, never being discovered.

Many had tried to find them, to prove their existence. Eluding the searchers had proven more and more difficult. Now only he remained, the last bulwark of a dying race. Everyone else was gone, consumed like the forest. One by one his fellows had fallen. First to cruel metal traps, strange diseases and poisoned waters; later to despair.

He’d cut his hair and shaved. A hack job that would never pass close scrutiny, but it left him feeling small and vulnerable. He’d donned the clothes of the men he despised. They were tight and constricting, but in order to survive, sacrifices had to be made. There was no way he could fit into the boots, so he cut open the toes, unsure which would draw less notice, his huge feet or the damaged boots.

After losing so much, now he betrayed his own species. His only desire to pass unnoticed through the cruel human world, until perhaps, somewhere, he might find some untouched Eden, far from the reach of men, where he might spend his last years in peace. He held little hope of success for he knew that where mankind comes, destruction follows and who was he to stall the wheel of time or the gears of progress?

He raised his head to the sky and howled, a mournful sound. A tribute to a time now past. He knew what the future held; extinction. A modern world holds no room for mystical beasts of legend.

Slowly he ambled on, relegated into the mists of memory. Gone, but not forgotten, for on cold winter nights, when the wind howls and the children are tucked warmly in their beds, they remember. The children of every generation have always remembered. Out there in the world there are things we can’t understand and that science will never explain. Magic and mysteries bigger than our comprehension. Although extinct, the children will remember in their nightmares and imaginations that once he lived and roamed the forests freely. He took comfort in knowing that his name would remain forever in their imaginations and nightmares.

He was Bigfoot.


[Read the first and second 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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