Picture Prompt: The Winners

The picture prompt contest is over.... and now it is time to announce the winners!


The exceptionally creative entries for our photo prompt competition meant that it was very hard to choose our winners. Participants showed a remarkable ability to build character, evoke emotion and expand ideas.
The picture picture was given new life through the stories told, showing that words do tell what pictures may not.
Congratulations to everyone who entered, there really was some great writing. After much debate, we have ended up with four winners:
The park was empty. April brought showers; heavy metallic rain bled from the clouds onto the soft apple grass. Squelchy, sticky and sickly mud  was frothing and bubbling whilst glorious deep forest green trees quivered slightly. But there was someone standing in the park. Somebody strange. Hunted by so many and loved by so few. The clown.
The air is warm and dead and the outside I can hear the sound of movement through silence. The little golden girl with the fire in her cheeks is outside again, her chequered dress billowing about her knees like the awning of a patisserie on a windy Spring day. She flits up and down, the green grass seeping between her toes and she waves her fist at me, smiling still. My cracked pale lips spread across my mouth like a flame, the corners caught into a painful yet sincere smile. 
The ten pink balloons tied between them swayed softly in the gentle breeze whilst the joyous chorus of a hundred birds filled the air. How often he had looked at her, his Venus, whishing he could say the words that hang on the tip of his tongue; but alas, his courage deserts him and he bites his lip to keep from smiling as he remembers the day they first met. He could still see that day, as clear as glass, in his mind’s eye.
The girl picked her way between the trees toward the verge by the road. Her shoes, so inappropriate for the grass, sank into the soft ground. Long blonde hair hung around her downturned face, shielding her from the world…or, perhaps, the world from her.
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