(Edited to remove title and description of story, was thinking about it later last night, with all the people I now know it's possible a few are readers or judges, and as Dr. Phil reminded me, the contest is meant to be anonymous, so posting the title was stupid of me. See, it's been so long since I've done this I've forgotten the basics.)
Submitted to Writers of the Future because 1) I still qualify (dammit), 2) They pay big and reply quickly, 3) Would like to make it past Finalist Stage (3 time finalist, 2 time honorable mention), 4) still anxious by submission process even at this age 5) easing my way back in 6) it's a nice feather in the cap.
I think that's enough reasons.
I've loved this story for 6 years now. Stopped writing and working on short stories to work on novels. The ending, I think, is wonderful. I just hope I nailed the start to get the reader to the end. First story where I think all the characters want something. The antagonist also wins by giving the protag what they want, but not really how they wanted it. Both protag and antagonist are changed at the end. I never explicitly state exactly what is really happening (the subtextual themes), but hope I left enough clues. Maybe I made it too easy? Doesn't matter, the story is about the manipulation and culmination of wishes. Language plays into my wheelhouse of Biblical/Lyrical prose. We have failure, rejection, and eventual victory. So I'm babbling. Did I mention how I subvert several tropes?
And so begins the OCD of checking on its status.