Killyleagh Girl Wins A Special Down News Flash Fiction Prize

Killyleagh girl (9) Esme Morrow has won a special prize in the Down New flash fiction competition.

Killyleagh girl (9) Esme Morrow has won a special prize in the Down New flash fiction competition.

Esme’s well written, imaginative piece of flash fiction around a very bad dream about coronavirus – being chased and caught and then hospitalised by the virus.

But she wakens, somewhat anxious, and reads, then has a breakfast of chocolate Easter eggs like any other nine year old does on Easter Sunday writes Jim Masson, editor.

Esme Morrow depicts a surreal, dream-like experience, polished off with a breakfast of creme egss and a few books to read on Easter Sunday during the lockdown.

The action flows well through the dream into her present state of thinking and then from the awful world of lockdown, she immerses herself in her role as a child, a key demolisher of chocolate easter eggs for breakfast.

There is a touch of the surreal and uncomfortable in her piece, something we may all now be familiar with because of the coronavirus lockdown experience which has shattered the settled way of living we had and created a global trauma. But this flash fiction is just through her child’s eyes, of her experience and imagination.

And a great phrase “the thing in the world” – the thing that shall be nameless… coronavirus. A subtle understatement in a world of coronavirus information overload.

A very good effort for someone so young. Well done Esme! She has certainly ticked the boxes.

“This piece has that elemental fear many children have of ‘the bogeyman’. I can remember my father scaring the hell out of me telling stories about the bogeyman when I was a wee lad. Esme has touched on an experience many of us have shared,” said Jim Masson.

She will receive a book token from Down News.

Well done Esme!


‘Me in Lockdown’ by Esme Morrow.

I remember tripping over a cat and this giant spikey ball rolling towards me.

So, I got up and ran to my house down the street as fast as I could possibly go.

My leg dripping with blood from where I fell and staining my pyjama bottoms – they were my favourite ones but I didn’t care. I only cared that I got home safe, but it was catching up and I knew what it was  – it was the coronavirus.

I got back home and slammed the door with a bang but it followed me in to my house so I got a bucket of water and filled it with soap and hand sanitiser and chucked it at the coronavirus – but it was too late – it got me and I became sick. 

Just before I went into hospital I woke up, in my bed, safe and sound. I hugged my rag after this nightmare and I checked my phone to see what time it was. It was 5 o’clock in the morning, so I read some books.

It turned 6 o’clock in the morning, so I went into the kitchen to get my breakfast. Then I remembered it was Easter Sunday, so I could just relax and eat chocolate eggs and not care about the thing in the world.


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