In honor of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s birthday, the Phoenix is sponsoring a mini-contest for the month of March. The theme of the contest is magical realism, as Marquez is one of the most famous magical realists. Writers are encouraged to submit a piece of prose no longer than 250 words, or a poem no longer than 15 lines, that incorporates magical realism in some way. The deadline for the contest is March 31, and the winner will be announced April 7. The winner will receive a certificate as well as an opportunity to be featured on the Phoenix website. Submissions, as well as any questions, can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Katrina Roberts, who won our March mini-contest for her flash fiction piece “Eulogy for a Goldfish”
Katrina is a junior in English with a concentration in creative writing. She loves being outside (where she’s currently writing from) and playing with her roommate’s dog; she actively avoids pickles. Coffee is her king. Writing is a big part of her life in many ways, but she is always impressed by the power it holds. It is a practice in imagination, creativity, and endurance, and it’s hard. But when it works and all the letters line up just right, it’s empowering.
Eulogy for a Goldfish
“Theodore Simmons passed Thursday, November 8. He is survived by his wife of six decades, their daughter, and his beloved goldfish of 58 years, Tank. Goodbye, old friend.”
Ms. Claudia read the obituary for the fourth time in as many days. Only her priest and God himself knew she was relieved when Theo died. Tank swam smugly around his glass box in the corner of her living room. She went to find the bleach.
In 1968, Theo was determined to win her the little fish. Claudia grinned at the young man huffing in front of her, his face reddening as he tried desperately to impress her. It wasn’t a bad first date.
She found the bleach on the middle shelf. Theo had moved everything down when Claudia first had trouble getting around. She hobbled back to the glass case, where Tank unknowingly swam, and removed the cap.
When Claudia and Theo got married, they were happy. They danced around their small apartment. Flowers were in a vase on the table. She laced her hand in his, and grinned. Tank swam in the corner.
Ms. Claudia paused.
Sarah was born. The flowers stopped, and Theo spent all his time watching Tank. He spent more time teaching Sarah how to feed and talk to the fish than he ever did speaking to her. At least he was a good father.
“Maybe you weren’t so bad,” she whispered. A tear streaked her cheek. “Goodbye, old friend.” She tipped the bottle.