February 2016 Themed Flash Results

Thanks to everyone that entered the vanity-themed flash competition. I really enjoyed reading all of the entries and as always the quality of writing was excellent.  I’m delighted to announce the winners are…

1st Place: Lady in Red by Louise Mangos

Great voice and setting details so that I was instantly transported there walking down the road with the character and could really feel her joy at being alive and beautiful. I loved how the end revealed so much about her and completely turned the story on its head.
Read It


Runner-Up: Jimmy by Cath Barton

Again, this impressed me for how it turned out to be something so different to what it initially seemed.  It also showed how fickle people can be and how easily perceptions are changed.
Read It


The Shortlisted Stories
  • Selfie Queen by Sonya Oldwin
  • Vanity’s Reflection by Vicky Newham
  • Not Just a Pretty Face by Jan Keenan
  • Mirror, Mirror by Janie Holt
  • Self Love by Aidan Burns
  • Burned by Kayleigh Price
  • Feeling Famous by Kevin Line

Many congratulations to everyone who made the shortlist. The next theme is Belief. Send your stories by 31st March to be in with a chance of getting cash prizes and published on the website.  Enter here.

Lady In Red by Louise Mangos

The late autumn streets of the Quartier Popincourt sparkle in the darkness. Laughing carelessly, she walks away from one broken heart to weave her spell on another. Cruel words have spilled from her glossy lips. She leaves him on the steps of the Charonne métro station, discarded like a second thought.

She catches her reflection in a shop window. Taxis, lovers, dancers, bustle along the street as she stops to study her image.

‘Give us a pirouette, ma chérie,’ a voice rings in her head. She opens her coat and spins on the high heels of her patent shoes, her matching crimson skirt throwing rippling folds to the night air.

‘Damn, I look good in red,’ she thinks.

She hugs her coat back to her with one last twirl, and sashays towards the music.

‘Encore un tour pour moi?’ A vagabond’s voice jumps from a doorway as she holds her hand to her thumping chest. One more spin?

‘S’il vous plaît? Quelques centimes?’ He calls. She laughs, wrinkles her nose, shakes her head, and hurries along the pavement, the heels of her red shoes clicking.

A flash of light, and she falls from the curb as swiftly as her smile. The coins she would not give away drop from her eyes. In confusion she stares across the River Styx.

She’s not on the Boulevard Voltaire any more.



Louise’s flash pieces have twice won the Ad Hoc Fiction competition and have been published on Flash Flood and Spelk. One of her short stories was read out on BBC Radio last autumn, and one of her novels was shortlisted in the 2016 Exeter Novel Prize.