I cohost, with Jim Matthews, a flash fiction-related page on Facebook. We declared a few winners a few months back, and they will be featured on this site. The entry by the first winner, Emily Di Febo Sheffer, is below:
“Duine amháin. Beirt. Triúir. ” She exhaled the words and blinked one emerald eye through a crack in the rocks over Lough Neagh.
“Only three?” he whispered.
“300, Deaglan,” she pulled him back to the forest floor to change the soaked dressing on his wound.
“Ailish, you must go to the Oracle before she fades.”
She parted broken lips to object but he shook his blood-streaked curls.
“Tá grá agam duit,” she whispered. I have love for you.
“Tá tu dom.” The words, his last, nestled into her ear and became the tattoo of her heartbeat in her head. She allowed herself one tear and one final kiss before rising to her feet, buckling his quiver to her back and blurring into the mist.
Blackwater was a fortnight’s ride on a good steed; on foot, she would barely arrive in time for Samhain. She could still smell the 300 horses of the King’s Dragoon. She scanned the blackening woods for the white owl the Oracle was to send for her. With a shrill crack, he swooped past her, leading the way through the damp darkness.
2 months later:
Ailish collapsed into the nameless pub, humid with stale beer. The drunken raucous drowned her weak moans. The owl called the room to attention with a shriek and flutter of wings. A red-faced brute in Norse armor caught her in his sight. “Woman!” he called, more as an accusation than a greeting.
“O-O-Oracle,” she grunted. A frost-haired crone parted the crowd, gliding to the door. Ailish turned her sweating brow to her, “We’ve made it.”
“Yes, now bite down on this…”
“He told me, ‘tá tu dom'” she sighed between clutches of tightening pain.
“Now he will always be with you. Bear down on three! Duine amháin. Beirt. Triúir!”