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Joyce Ann Wheatley

Winner of the February 2018 Prime Number Magazine 53-Word Story Contest

Judged by Garrett Kim, our fantastic spring intern from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking

Our Prompt for February 2018

Shadows are the things of myth and legend, sunny days and campfires. February is the time when that cuddly groundhog Punxsutawney Phil comes out of hiding to tell us if spring will be here soon or, if he sees his shadow, we can expect six more weeks of winter. And shadows have stories.

Write a 53-word story about a shadow



Bedtime Shadows by Joyce Ann Wheatley

He cast shadow puppets on the wall to distract us from monsters under the bed. Downstairs, our parents drank and argued. Angry voices rose and fell. Danny's fingers gobbled up the dark. Our brother told stories of children and enchanted beasts swinging from stars. His hands, larger than ours, kept bedtime fears away.


53-Word Biography

Joyce Ann Wheatley is a librarian in Ithaca, NY, where she lives with her husband and two cocker spaniels. Her work has appeared in Paragraph PlanetAdHoc FictionDrabble, and is forthcoming in Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing. When she was ten, Archie Club News featured a piece about her dog.