Ruminate. "It was a pleasure to read this year's submissions," writes Richard. "In one story, grief is made real in images of rain and through music. In another, a woman hopes to find healing from her childhood, trying to accept love from those who often fail her and from a God who never does. A person of faith begins to have doubts during the prolonged death of a loved one, the meaning of the suffering proving elusive. A man struggles to keep the contents of his mind from spilling out at the end of his life. Another person of faith desires to surrender unto death, but the will to survive is stronger."
David Brendan Hopes: "Saturdays He Drove the Ford Pickup"
Terrence Cheng: "In San Francisco"
Megan Malone: "Safekeeping"
Daniel Casey: "RE: Sentencing"
Peter Court: "The Simple Art of Flight"
A.R. Gardner: "A Mother's Legacy"
Lindsey Griffin: "Tenebrae"
Linda McCullough Moore: "What a Lifetime Is"
Alexandre Puttick: "The Fall"
Richards writes, "David Hopes' 'Saturdays He Drove the Ford Pickup' spoke to me as a parable would, and I'm always inclined toward a parable. And on subsequent readings, it seemed a bit more layered than I originally thought. The things I first thought sentimental about the piece actually gave it ultimate poignancy."