Announcing the winner of Flashback week!
The judges have voted, and the scores have been calculated!
As you know, the first week of September was Flashback week, and we encouraged all roleplayers to submit their flashback posts into our story competition. I picked 6 judges to cast their votes on the best story. The judges were:
- Xexes, who runs the Kickstart service on RPG-D, for helping new roleplaying games
- Aimee Shields Yankowski, winner of our 2012 First person fortnight competition
- Iz Stuart, roleplayer in various games on OngoingWorlds, and moderator of What will be, will be.
- Charles Star, roleplayer from Independence Fleet
- Amy Drysdale, roleplayer from Starbase 118
- Dennis Archer, roleplayer from Independence fleet
- David Ball (me!), creator of OngoingWorlds
I absolutely want to thank the judges who have read each story and had the difficult task of deciding which is their favourites.
Announcing the winners!
Here’s the top 3, in descending order…
3rd place – “The Bloody Snow”
Written by Brogan Young from Blue Dwarf.
This is a flashback to Thomas Plisken in a warzone, battling enemy creatures called the Vorka. Plisken is ordered to find the activation codes for a bomb, but gets his arm severed. Read the story here.
2nd place – “That Special Woman”
Written by Billie from Before the Mast.
This is a story about sailor Adoracion de Chucho at 16 and his first sexual experience, and the fears and insecurities that go along with it. Read the story here.
It’s now time to announce the winner… Drumroll please! (if you can’t imagine a drumroll, listen to one here!)
1st place – “Indelible Memories”
Written by Ed Brown from Starbase 118.
This is the story from Diego Herrera’s childhood, when he remembers watching his sister at a sport match, involving a tragic accident. The story is set in the Star Trek universe, but easily pulls on the heart strings, even if you’re not a regular Trek fan. You can read this story below.
Can you give them all an applause please? Even if you’re reading this alone at your computer, or in a coffee shop on your phone. I think the embarrassment is worth it 😉
Ed will win the mug (shown left), which I’ll contact him about to get it delivered.
You can read the winning story below, and the 2 runners up are posted separately, just click on the links next to their titles.
“Indelible Memories”, by Ed Brown
Santander, Spain, Earth. 2375
It had been a good year. Diego was old enough to understand the significance of the end of the Dominion War, even though his residence in Spain had protected him even from the Breen raid on San Francisco. School was going well the Corellia Comets had made a promising start to the Parrises Squares season and it looked as though they might place in the top five teams in the official league.
Squares had increasingly become a family affair. For the last five years, Diego had wielded his own ion mallet, initially playing junior games and then joining the school team, coached by his dad and endorsed and supported by both parents. His sister was his biggest fan, a fact of which he was particularly proud.
And today, he would become hers.
Adana had been showing an interest in Squares for some years now and she was able to name all of the teams in the official league and their star players. She and Diego had received Comets jerseys for Christmas for the last two years now and the Saturday afternoon games had become something of a family ritual. Their father, Carlos, would set up the stream on the viewscreen that was mounted on one of the walls of their living room. Their mother, Maria, would always time lunch to coincide with the opening klaxon. Today’s opening klaxon, though, was at their local Squares court in Santander and, despite the fact he had worn his jersey to the game, Diego wasn’t expecting to see any of their ranks step out for a game. This was going to be Adana’s first junior match; the local juniors’ club had arranged a fixture against Salamanca as a reward for their regular attendees.
She had been thrilled to be picked, Diego remembered. She had breezed in through the front door with a beaming grin on her face to tell him all about it. They had both changed into their Squares shirts and spent the evening practising passes in the garden, only coming in again for something to eat when the sun had slipped low enough in the sky that the inky twilight began to dull their accuracy. Their mother had commented on the fact that they were lucky to have something like that to bond over. Diego hadn’t really understood what she meant but she had explained that a lot of kids with their age difference would have spent the time that they had spent in the garden at odds with each other and bickering. Diego couldn’t imagine that. Even though Adana was younger than him by five years, she was like his best friend.
Diego had mentally followed Adana through the familiar sequence of warm ups; they were the same ones of which his own pre-game rituals were comprised. To Diego’s surprise, Adana had broken ranks after the team talk to come and give him a hug, rather than her mum or dad. He’d proudly returned it and wished her luck.
He strained and railed against his father’s restraining arm, head twisting frantically to free himself from his mother’s blindfolding hand. He had seen Adana fall, the result of a double check from both defenders on the Salamancan team. Her descent head first towards the corner of one of the raised squares had happened as if in slow motion and, mallet in her hands, he knew she would not be able to keep her head from taking the brunt of the impact. The gasp of the crowd followed by a noise that would forever scar Diego’s waking mind had confirmed his worst fears.
He wanted to see her. He had to. If this was going to be his last chance then it didn’t matter what she looked like, he just had to see her. As his parents’ protective grips weakened under the burden of their mounting grief, he surged forward, desperate to be at his sister’s side. He was barely able to register the obscene angle of her neck; the grisly visage was distorted through prisms of massing saltwater. The seconds that it took for the whine of transporters to reach his ears weighed heavily on him. He’d fallen short of making physical contact by a couple of feet. His legs had failed him and he had dropped to his knees. He wouldn’t understand until years later what would have happened if he had moved Adana, that it could have been the end of her.
“Hang on, ‘mana. Hang on. Everything’s going to be all right.” He struggled to find his breath between sobs. There was no conviction in his words. He had never seen this kind of injury before. The wind seemed to have turned chill, but it was his own fear that had his blood running cold. In his mind, Adana was already dead. He was alone. No sidekick. No best friend. No greatest fan. No sister. He’d drafted her into a dangerous sport that had led her to her end. The world began to blur and he sank back to his heels as he was overwhelmed with emotion. Then he felt a strong hand on his shoulder.
Wiping at his eyes, he saw a silver-haired man in a black uniform with a teal collar. His expression was sympathetic. Another two similarly dressed people, one woman and one man were kneeling next to Adana, unpacking an array of instruments for her treatment. Something in his head said Starfleet and, as he was guided to his feet and led back to the crowd, he took strength from the calm, professional way in which things were being handled. The medic asked for Diego to point out his parents, which he duly did. It didn’t feel as though his feet were connecting with the ground as he was guided back over to the safety of his father’s embrace.
In the ensuing minutes, the gutsy teenager clung to his father and may as well have been a toddler again, so helpless was he to impact upon the events unfolding on the squares court. By now, the other players had been evacuated and spectators had been pushed back to what was considered to be a safe distance by the marshals. An eerie silence descended on the surroundings; it felt as though Diego was watching a film with the sound muted as the attempt to save Adana played out in front of the unwitting audience. Her would be saviours exchanged inaudible words. Moments later, the three of them vanished. After reassuring Diego and his parents that they would receive a call to let them know of Adana’s condition, and that she would not have been beamed away if it had not been possible to stabilise her, so did the final medic.
Diego had lost track of the hours he had been sat holding his mother’s hand back in his living room before the call finally came through. That day, his life changed forever. Solemnly, but sympathetically, a man in surgical scrubs had explained to them that while Adana would survive, she would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Worse, the language centre of her brain had been damaged; from this day forward she would be suffering with aphasia, able to understand others but incapable of accurately articulating herself. All things considered, it was a miracle that she had managed to cling on to life and her saviours had left their mark on Diego. Whatever needed to be done, whatever he needed to be learned, that day he made a vow. There would be a way to fix the damage that had been done to her brain and spine.
And he was going to be the one to find it.
Once again, I’d like to thank the judges and for everyone who took part in Flashback week, whether you submitted your story into the competition or not, you helped encourage other roleplayers to do something cool and a bit different 🙂
I’m planning on doing another Flashback week competition next year. Make sure you keep checking this blog for an announcement. If you want to receive an email every time we publish a new article, subscribe to the blog using the form below.