Winning stories of the VI edition of The César Egido Serrano International Short Story Competition
Once the count of the votes cast by the members of the jury in the different languages of the VI César Egido Serrano International Short Story Competition edition, the result of the scrutiny is as follows:
FIRST PRIZE, endowed with TWENTY THOUSAND (20,000) dollars, for the story entitled "FLY", written in Spanish and whose author is Mr. José Manuel Dorrego Sáenz, from SPAIN.
First Prize Winner: “FLY”
Ever since the man selling helium balloons came to the park, we have less and less boys and girls in the city. They buy a balloon, grab hold of the string with their hand, and begin to float up until they disappear among the clouds. Then, we never hear from them again. And so it goes, every day. Now, the old people no longer play petanque or toss breadcrumbs to the pigeons. They prefer to sit on the benches, looking nostalgically at the sky and watching children fly.
Author: Mr. José Manuel Dorrego Sáenz, from Madrid, Spain
The jury approves awarding three second prizes of TWO THOUSAND (2,000) dollars each to the stories that have obtained the highest score in the other languages admitted to the contest and that have been:
First Accésit in English: "WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING?!"
I raise my voice, as my father combs his gray hair before the mirror, wearing his old tuxedo. Deep breath, count to five... He’s been slipping more lately, keeps forgetting we’re still in lockdown. Or that his career ended thirty years ago. The only response is his gentlest smile, as he steps out onto our balcony. A second... then his favourite Rossini blasts from our neighbour’s speakers. Dad’s voice hits every note perfectly, all the neighbours' balconies are VIP lounges. Applause echoes in the courtyard. If only for this one moment, he is back.
Author: Mrs. Emilia Sheppard, Resident in Warsaw, Poland
Second Accésit written in Arabic: “WOODPECKER”
At the start of creation, the trees, like all beings, had eyes. There was no blood on the land, except for what was spilled if a predator died of hunger. Then came man. The deluge of blood was more than what the trees could contain and their leaves turned white from terror. “God, blind us! Tear our eyes out!” sobbed the forests. And then came the woodpecker.
Author Mr. Natheer Alzuabi, resident in Vienna, Austria
Third Accésit written in Hebrew: “PINK”
Guital pressed her still wet curls into the pillow. She wished it was morning already and she prayed to God fervently, like the rabbi had taught her, and once again pleaded that the brown backpack they received from the charity would tomorrow be pink. That a miracle would happen. Although Guital knew that God didn’t usually listen to her, she put her hands together, brought them close to her chest and prayed that this time he wouldn’t disappoint her. She even promised to not steal anymore from Moshé at the corner shop. In the morning, when she woke up, she ran to the hallway and saw the backpack sitting in its place; faded, worn-out and brown. She brushed her teeth, said goodbye to her mother and went off to first grade. And on her way home, when Moshé bent over to give olives from the barrel to an older woman, she put her little hand into the clear plastic box and took a piece of chewing gum. Pink.
Author: Mrs. Ravit Grossman, Resident in Herzeliya Israel