In future, when I look at this Oyster Art, my experience will be forever enriched by the astounding creativity of all the stories submitted. Each one took me on a new journey of appreciation for the artwork making it difficult to choose just one winner.
Congratulations and thanks to Dara Naraghi from the United States of America for his winning story ISBRYDER.
The Oyster Art is now christened with the name ISBRYDER. The story-starter caption, sourced from Dara’s story, reads as follows: “The ice dragon, Isbryder, landed with such force that it splintered the silver and indigo crystalline ice and created a spiderweb pattern reminiscent of her iridescent scales of silver and blue.”
There were twenty-five very creative stories within the word count limit submitted from Poland, Australia, United States, Denmark, Canada and the United Kingdom. With difficulty the story submissions were narrowed down to three making the final selection a challenge. Honourable Mentions go out to the stories SELF-ENCOUNTER by Jana Begoric, and CUSTODIAN by Bronwin Cartwright as runners up. ISBRYDER is now part of the Limited Edition Collection. The story behind the name is included below for you to enjoy. ISBRYDER and all the other fantastic stories are included in this free eBOOK. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have and be inspired to enter the next Shell of a Story writing competition!
ISBRYDER by Dara Naraghi No one knows where the ice dragons came from, nor how to explain their impossible manifestation. They simply appeared across the globe one day, creatures of legend, made flesh and blood. With iridescent scales of silver and blue, the massive creatures could spray a mist of amber venom from their ravenous maws, instantly freezing their prey, or enemies. A glittering female, known by the locals as Isbryder – Icebreaker – came to dominate the skies over northern Denmark. But sovereignty has always been challenged, and thus another ice dragon arose to usurp her crown. A ferocious battle was fought by the beasts over the skies of Limfjorden, a shallow sound in Denmark’s Jutland peninsula, once prized for its flat oysters. A fisherman from the village of Hvalpsund was the only surviving witness of the clash of these shimmering titans. He told of two giants flying, intertwined, rending with tooth and claw, acrid breath cutting like golden daggers across the sky. After a brutal melee, Isbryder finally vanquished her upstart challenger, sending its lifeless body crashing to the shoal below. Upon impact, the entirety of the fjord was instantly frozen solid. Alas, mortally wounded herself, Isbryder’s body came plummeting down to the icebound surface next. The force splintered the silver and indigo crystalline ice in all directions, creating a spiderweb pattern reminiscent of her own multi-hued scales. Her venom sprayed across the vast expanse, a frozen spray of speckled gold and deep ochre. Over a century later, the circular impact crater is still visible at the center of the eternally frozen fjord, the cerulean ice reflecting the clouds above. But all that remains of the once magnificent dragon is her bleached and splintered spine, like the jagged peaks of a fallen mountain range.