Happy New Year! And the winner is………

wiinners cup

Congratulations to Tom F who, at over 36% of the vote, and after a hard-fought battle with second placed lassfromlancashire, won December’s mini writing competition with ‘So Here It Is’.

As winner, Tom is now entitled to set the first writing prompt of 2014 for January’s competition and I will notify you all once I have more information on this.

Thank you again to all who took part this month and once again I was impressed by the quality and variety of the submissions. 🙂

Merry Christmas – the voting is now open!

seasons greetings

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and here is the (slightly delayed) voting poll for December’s competition, with apologies for the late posting.  In light of this, the voting will be open until the 4th of January and, in the usual way, the winner will then get to set the first writing prompt of the New Year.  Good luck to all who entered and thank you for entertaining us over the festive season 🙂

Who will you vote for?  Voting is open to all whether you have contributed an entry or not so make sure that your vote counts.

I would also like to take the opportunity to wish all my fellow bloggers the very best for 2014.

‘So Here It Is…’ by Tom F

Welcome back to Tom F with his fun and light-hearted take on the Christmas theme. Office Christmas parties…. hmmm 😉 a minefield for story prompts at this time of year! 🙂

office christmas party

Tom F says:

December 22, 2013

So Here It Is ……..

It was the office party. Christmas was almost upon us. We headed for the local pub for the usual booze-up, a few pies and nibbles and a lot of loud music. I didn’t want to go that year, all a bit “ samey” I thought. But, I resigned myself, it had to be done, literally, or there were questions when the holiday was over.
I was twenty three, she was forty two. The wine had been flowing for two hours, and it was working its magic. I saw her across the room , she was looking directly, and very seductively , at me . She took the band from her hair , which she always wore in the office. She shook her head, and the long red locks swirled across her face. I had never seen her like this before, she was my boss, and she was , for God’s sake, twenty years older than me. And married !
I gulped a large mouthful of red wine, and tried to turn my head away, but I could feel her gaze forcing me to return the look. She was still staring , but now there was a fire in her eyes ,and she was swaying to the music. Was it the drink; was it the music, or a combination of both and the spirit of Christmas ? Or was it the way her body was moving as she glided slowly across the room, eyeing me deliberately. She certainly didn’t walk like that in the office !
As she reached me , there were no words, just the gaze . She took both my trembling hands and pulled me gently on to the dance floor . I felt the whole room watching us as we smooched for a very short time, and realized that she had manoevered us to the centre of the floor.
“ Here we are “ she whispered in my ear “ I’ve been wanting to do this all year “.
She looked up slowly ,and I followed her eyes to a huge piece of mistletoe hanging directly above our heads.
“ Heaven’s above !” I gasped, trying to make a joke out of the situation.
“ No, heaven is right here , right now , and later……..” .Her smile de-frosted me ! Her kiss melted me!
‘Later ?’…… I thought. ‘Later ?’ ….
Should I ? …. Could I ?….
Well…… I did !, and every Christmas for the next ten years ,until she took early retirement .
And Now ?….. Well I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day .!!

(c) Tom F

‘Christmas’ by Andrew Geary

Thank you to Andrew Geary with his thought-provoking entry to the December mini competition on the theme of Christmas.

red tree

Andrew Geary says:
December 19, 2013

Christmas

At six his hands were calloused.
he leapt onto beaches, over wires,
dying to meet evil’s swelling.
Four brothers dead. He limped
to the factory for decades.

Grandpa thrust his rant
from his aching
lungs. Mother listens
every Christmas
about the War
and his glories.

(Left in silence is the nigger
and his teeth on her father’s lawn,
and her brother.)

“This generation doesn’t know!”
He settles on the couch, coughs
hard into his handkerchief.
“Their damn ipods and gizmos!”

I watch
Grandpa’s wrinkly face.
I smile, and laugh with him.
“But you! You’re one
of the good ones!”

Mother fixes her hands
to the tree. She couldn’t think
about her brother being
disowned years ago.

(c) Andrew Geary

‘Decorating The Tree’ by Elizfrat

Here is my entry for this month’s mini writing competition on the theme of Christmas.  If you have a piece of poetry or flash fiction that you would like to enter you still have time to do so and you would be very welcome.

xmas tree

Decorating The Tree

I am a human Christmas tree

Small form strewn with tinsel

As I venture forward on unsteady legs

Crash to the floor in glee

 

I am a human Christmas tree

Arms festooned with shining baubles

Reaching up to parent

To help dress the fir

 

I am a human Christmas tree

Decorated for celebration

Much as the diminutive branches

That light up my meagre bed-sit

 

I am a human Christmas tree

Adorned with ornamented toddlers

Wrapped round legs and draped in arms

I pass on family tradition

 

I am a human Christmas tree

Stripped bare of jewels

Withered and forgotten

I sit alone

‘Under The Tree’ by Jan Strickland

Thank you to Jan for her contribution to this month’s mini competition.
Bit of a sad one this so get your hankies ready! 😦

tree

 

Under The Tree

 

They all looked so worried grouped around my bed

Mother in tears, her cool hands stroking my head

The doctor was saying, “I hope we’ve caught it in time

but with children this age it’s a very fine line”

 

Why are my Mummy and Daddy upset?

I don’t understand, don’t want them to fret

I don’t feel right, what’s wrong with me?

I want to get out and home for my tea

 

I’m now sitting back in the lounge of my home

There’s Mummy and Daddy, my dog with a bone

They’re laying out presents under the tree

A doll for my sister, a train set for me

 

Again as I watch I hear Mummy sob

“I can’t bear that we’ve lost him, our sweet little Rob”

My daddy looks sad as he comforts my mum

“How quick meningitis has taken our son”

 

The toys long forgotten, but I know they’re there

And I now understand how much they all care

I want them to know that I am still around

But I’m only six and I can’t make a sound

 

So Christmas this year will be very sad

I’ll watch over them all, my mum and my dad

My sister will open her gifts from the tree

The whole family there, all except me

(c) Jan Strickland

‘Afterwards’ by lassfromlancashire

I am happy to kick things off for December with a slightly wry and well observed piece by lassfromlancashire,  entitled ‘Afterwards’.

xmas dogs

lassfromlancashire says:

Afterwards

It’s the day after the day after Christmas

The kids have got bored with their toys

They’ve broken the trainset and eaten their sweets

And they’re making one hell of a noise.

 

Dad sits by the fire with a paper

And tries to work out what it cost

For the turkey, the booze and the mincepies

But gives up the struggle as lost.

 

In the kitchen Mum looks at the carcass

Can they scrape one more meal from the bird?

Her head aches, they’ve run out of aspirin

“I’m knackered! Aye, that’s the right word!”

 

Miss Jenkins, now eighty and housebound

Sits alone in her thirteenth-floor flat

Feasted and fussed over at Christmas

Now left like some jumble sale hat.

 

How generous we all are at Christmas

So full of good will and good cheer

We’ve a real Christian spirit at Christmas:

But what of the rest of the year?

 

(c) lassfromlancashire

New Writing Prompt for December

Close up of a small Christmas tree inside a spherical glass

Thank you to those who took part last month and to all who voted for my entry. I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to do so.

At the risk of being completely obvious, I am going to set December’s prompt as, ‘CHRISTMAS‘.

As such, I invite you to submit either a piece of flash fiction of under 500 words or a poem on the theme on the designated competition page.

Last entry date for this month is 24th of December (when I realise one or two of us will have a few other things on our minds 😉 ) and then people have between then and the end of the month to vote for their favourite.  The next competition will start in the New Year at the beginning of January, with the winner of this month setting the next writing prompt.

Once again, thank you in advance to all taking part and good luck! :)