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Mrs. Scott's sophomore flash fiction winners

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Clayton Ridge High School English teacher Mrs. Michelle Scott assigned her sophomore students to compose flash fiction stories (100 words or less). The students chose the following three as their favorites to be published in The Guttenberg Press. 

Shell Shock

By Kaden Arneson

War never changes. Covered in mud and blood from men I once knew to be my friends. While heavy artillery and gunfire are directed towards us, I sit in the trench aimlessly returning fire on the enemy soldiers. Ears ringing, I hear muffled screams to my right. As I look over to the source of the screams, time freezes and my chest tightens. The person I have been closest to since childhood, a man I could call my brother, lies before me as nothing but a lifeless body. I thought I had become desensitized to the killing but this broke that once empty and hollow facade. War strips people of their humanity, by taking away all they once had whether that be family, friends, or a person’s will to live. War affects everyone. Time unfreezes as I am shaken awake by another soldier. “We need to retreat!” he screams to me to make sure his message is received by me. My shaking legs prevent me from standing up feeling as though I am carrying a ton. Nevertheless I stand up because I know if I die there would be no meaning in my friend's death. I start to run through the muddy field littered with bodies of both friends and foe while being shot at with shells shot from tanks and mortars alike. Then black, I stumble awake covered with a cold sweat, I look down and see the white bed sheets covering me. “Oh just another dream.”

Defamation

By Darren Brandt

Eighteen-year-old Eleanor Whitman was in the back of a cop car yelling at the officer frantically. The cops burst into her family's home at 2:53 in the morning and grabbed her for reasons unknown to her. Eleanor and her 14-year-old sister shared a room all their life but when she was taken, her sister surprisingly didn't wake up, even in all the ruckus. Eventually, a week later Eleanor was in a courtroom. People were crying and giving her nasty looks. The judge spoke up, “Eleanor Whitman, you are charged with the murder of the Anderson Family. How do you plead?” She was shocked. She couldn't even respond to the man. He repeated his question. Eleanor gained her composure and through the tears in her eyes, she looked up at him and stated her innocence. As the court hearing moved onward, the evidence was being stacked against her. There was doorbell footage of the murder and it looked exactly like her, with fingerprints that were hers, and even highway footage of the car registered to her name. The judge stood up, “Eleanor, the Jury finds you guilty and you will be serving life in prison.” She broke down onto the floor and tried to mangle her way out of the guard's grasp. As she was dragged out of the courtroom she looked at her family one last time. She saw her sister, Marie. She was the only one not crying. Marie almost looked slightly relieved.

Vive Le Roi

By Brenden Priebe

“High treason I say! You want this to be your king?” The more he yells, the more the king sinks into his seat. “You all called war on the tyrants of the world, and you respect your own?” said the saint. 

With nothing more than an agreement for the saint's argument, the king realized he would be killed. The king was fighting to stop the revolution to save France, and now it was to be remembered as a good king. As he turned to provide a counter argument, the council settled on a decision. With a unanimous vote, the court voted 67-0, and he was to be beheaded the next morning. On the morning of January 21, 1793, when the former king was brought out of his cell, he asked the priest, “Will it be a quick death?”

The friend of the king replied, teary-eyed, “Don't worry, there is a paradise beyond our mortal world where you can live without remorse.” 

As the king was taken to the guillotine, he thanked the priest for all he did and said that he would see him in Nirvana. As the king walked up to the guillotine, he turned to his son and said, “Don't avenge me after my death, son; I lived a life of great prosperity.” The son nodded. 

Before he was killed, he announced, “Gentlemen, I am innocent of everything I am accused of. I hope that my blood may cement the good fortune of the French." Then the blade dropped.

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