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My latest piece (I did three) in the weekly Micro Bookends flash fiction contest wherein they provide the first (PEACE) and the last (PRIZE) words, respectively, and you provide no more than 110 words in response to the above photo prompt. For this one, I received a Honorable Mention from the gracious judge with the feedback:

“Peace as fungus?? This story attacked the bookends from a marvelously unique POV: someone who sees violence, not peace, as a prize. The wonderful language (in addition to peace fungus, we’ve got a “grease-smeared side of a McDonald’s booth”–how vivid is that?!) sealed this tale’s spot on the dais.”

My entry:

Peace sat on your tongue like an unwanted fungus. You couldn’t abide by it.

Goddamn you.

The village was teeming with the bustle of a people that’d never seen the grease-smeared side of a McDonald’s booth.

Women in sheep skin braided their daughters’ hair, men with beards that extended beyond their knees lectured small boys gathered in a circle, and one girl in particular carried a basin of water atop her head.

You set your sights on her, as a sniper would. Miles of trekking through the mud with your equipment caused your brain to callous.

Or maybe you were always like this, seeing violence, not peace, as the prize.

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