Les gagnants du Winter Writing Contest sont…
Le gagnant et la gagnante du Winter Writing Contest sont maintenant connus.
Dans la catégorie Short Story, il s’agit de Victor Savard-Arsenault, avec sa nouvelle In the Dark, laquelle nous fait vivre le cauchemar anxiogène du double maléfique ou doppelgänger.
Pour le Personal Essay, Sara-Maude Munger nous ramène dans la lumière avec Learning from an Injury Is Possible.
Les deux se méritent un prix de 100 $.
Vous pouvez lire les oeuvres primées ci-dessous.
In the Dark
By Victor Savard-Arseneault
The room was gloomy in front of Rachel’s eyes. If it could even be called a room. This place was more of an empty dark void, really.
Noticing she was lying on her back, Rachel pushed herself up.
The pain hit her like fire. Wincing, she fell to the floor again and slowly lifted up her torn shirt, looking at her belly. The garment was soaked with blood, and she could feel the blade of the knife that had ripped through her flesh. The wound was still very fresh.
Slowly, however, the pain began to fade. Blood that had spilled out of her body began trickling back in and her skin mended itself. Perhaps a minute later, there was nothing left of the injury that had killed her, including her previously ruined clothes.
Dazed at what had just happened, the young woman tried standing up again. This time she was able to do it with little effort, although she still felt a tad nauseous. As she gathered her wits, Rachel started inspecting her surroundings. Despite the overwhelming blackness, she could see very clearly, though there was nothing to look at except for her own self — nothing to hear either, other than some white noise she wasn’t able to identify. Now, where in the bloody hell was she?
Unsure of what she should do, Rachel shivered. This place was quite chilly, and she began feeling a breeze weakly riffling her skirt.
Unexpectedly, she felt a light tap on her left shoulder. Turning around, she saw another person pass her. Where had this woman even come from?
The stranger faced away from her. She was wearing a crimson shirt with a dark skirt and black leggings. Her waist-long hair was braided. Rachel couldn’t help but feel like she’d seen her somewhere before. But who was she? And why was her taste in fashion so eerily similar to Rachel’s?
Just as she was about to call out to her, the other woman stopped walking and spun around, smirking at Rachel.
Then the realization hit her like a steel club.
This woman was… her. Same clothes, same green eyes, same mischievous smile, same everything. Now, how weird was that?
Her doppelgänger turned back around and started walking again, still grinning, motioning at Rachel to follow her. She reluctantly did, bottling up all her questions and uncertainties in the process.
After a little while, a bright white rectangle appeared on the horizon. As they got closer to it, Rachel noticed it was about the same size as her. When she reached it, the other her strolled through and held out a hand. Rachel took it and cautiously followed her through the opening, still unsure of everything. Where could this flaming woman be taking her?
Once on the other side, Rachel blinked a few times and squinted, not yet accustomed to the newfound brightness.
The young woman took a quick look around…
…and gasped as she saw another bunch of copies of herself.
They were walking about aimlessly, yet somehow staying close together. Rachel counted them quickly: there were about twenty of them.
In the approximate center of their “formation”, another, different woman stood motionless, her long silver hair gently swaying in the now slightly stronger breeze.
Rachel examined her face but didn’t recognize her.
She turned toward her clone once more, hoping she could get some answers to at least a few of her burning questions.
Her double simply smiled before violently shoving her into the white room. Rachel fell to the ground, then pushed herself up on all fours and shot a look at the black rectangle.
The bloody woman was waving at her!
A mere second later, the opening vanished.
Learning from an Injury Is Possible!
By Sara-Maude Munger
Soccer is a sport where injuries are common, especially among women due to greater elasticity of tendons and muscles. On February 11th, 2019, I seriously injured myself. This event and the surgery I had as a result of this incident have made me evolve on a personal level. You will find out as you read my story.
Firstly, this accident upset my life in different ways. To put you in context, I was in high school grade 4 in a program where each day in the morning I was studying, and in the afternoon, I was practicing my sport. On February 11th, 2019, I was starting my day like any other day, but I had no idea that at 2 pm, my life was going to change forever. I was playing soccer at the Mario Tremblay Center and suddenly, I fell! At that moment my world collapsed. My knee was broken. In my head, it was over, I could never play soccer again. I was screaming and crying in pain. Then, I lost consciousness because the pain was unbearable. This phenomenon is called a vagal shock. When I regained consciousness, I was on a stretcher heading for the hospital. Upon my arrival, the nurses sent me home because my knee was too swollen. Two or three weeks later, I decided to go to my family doctor because I couldn’t walk or even put a little pressure on my right leg, my knee was hurting too much. I’m really close to my doctor, so he called an orthopedist, a muscle, tendons and bones specialist. The orthopedist sent me to undergo several tests. What was the final diagnosis? All the ligaments in my knee without exception were partially or completely torn and I had to be operated very quickly. On May 10th, 2019, the orthopedic surgeon did her best on me. She removed the principal hamstrings in my right leg to rebuild my knee. The recovery and reinforcement work was going to begin.
This recovery and reinforcement phase would last several months. For the first month, I was seeing my orthopedist, physiotherapist, kinesiologist and my family doctor twice a week. After 3 months of recovery, my orthopedist said to me and I will remember it all my life “You are in the phase where it is very important to regain strength, otherwise you will suffer for it all your life.”, I lost 70% of my initial muscle mass, which is huge. I had a dream at that time, which was to start playing soccer again. So, I made it count. I started going to the gym 4 and 5 times a week and I went swimming once a week. After 3 weeks, I was starting to see a big difference, I could see the demarcation of my muscles again. In November 2019, I had my final physical condition evaluation with my physiotherapist. Several strengths and balance tests were carried out to see if I had recovered my muscle mass. Finally, I had built more muscle mass than I’ve had before my surgery. I was so happy; I was crying, and I was jumping everywhere. I could start soccer again.
In the mix of all this, I realized that this event wasn’t a big deal. I wouldn’t die because my knee was broken. Every problem has its solution. I learned so much about myself. I learned my physical and mental limitations, I learned that when you want, you can and most importantly, I learned that with perseverance, I can do anything. If you have a goal in your life, go for it. If I hadn’t persevered, I wouldn’t play soccer again. Don’t ever give up, that’s what I’ve learned from this event. Nothing happens without a reason in life, and we must learn from every situation.