mary daleyCongratulations to Mary J. Daley for her story “The Forever Summer.” 

She placed second in The Flash Fiction Chronicles String-of-10 Contest held in August.  The challenge was to write a piece of short fiction, 250 words or less, using at least four of the following prompt words: 


 QUOTATION: And when is there time to remember, to sift, to weigh, to estimate, to total? –Tillie Olsen*  


by  Mary J. Daley

He had seventy-nine tattoos from his ankles to the nape of his neck. All declaring the same thing, “Wanda Forever.” Wanda’s sense of fun had started it. On the twenty-first day of June she approached him and said,  “I’ll let you bed me on one condition.”

He happily left her bed two hours later for the tattoo parlor.

He loved her immediately.  She stood four foot four and had long golden hair streaked with black that she refused to touch with clip, elastic or brush. She smelled of ripened cantaloupe during sex, ate only steam vegetables, and liked her whisky neat.

Wanda blew his summer into all shades of happy, and only asked that he mark each bout of love making with his confirmation that it was forever.
But when autumn came, Wanda refused his touch, even when he stood naked in front of her pointing to her name and his promise that encompassed his body.  She just shook her head and said nothing, and he stood there with seventy-nine tattoos, hoping somehow they would blow back the best summer of his life.


Mary J. Daley lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and  two daughters. Her short fiction has appeared in Allegory, The Harrow, Gryphonwood ,and Gemini Magazine. 


Third Place was published here at Flash Fiction Chronicles on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 and First Place will be published at Every Day Fiction on Sunday, October 25, 2009.

 *The quotation was also part of the prompt, but there was no requirement to use it in the story.