And June’s winner is………………

wiinners cup

Congratulations to Kate Loveton who has won June’s micro flash fiction writing competition with ‘A Righteous Man’, proving that last is definitely not least! 🙂

As winner, Kate is now entitled to set the writing prompt for the next monthly competition and I will let you all know once I have more information on this.

Once again, thank you to all who took part this month and I hope that you, like me, enjoyed the many varied and clever entries that were submitted.

And May’s winner is………………

wiinners cup

Congratulations to Emma who has won May’s mini writing competition with ‘Enlightenment’.

As winner, Emma is now entitled to set the writing prompt for the next monthly competition and I will let you all know once I have more information on this.

Once again, thank you to all who took part this month.  🙂

Voting for May is now open!

voting slip

It’s good to be back! 🙂

Thank you to all those who took part and I think there was something in there for everyone.  The voting poll is now attached for you to vote for your favourite entry, whether you entered something yourself or not.  Voting will remain open until the end of the month and the winner will then get to set the next writing prompt.  As always, good luck to all who entered.

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

 

‘The Train Back Home’ by Sherri Matthews

A very warm welcome back to Sherri with her entry – ‘The Train Back Home’. My mum still always asks me to let her know when I’m home safely too! 🙂

blurred train 

  • Sherri says:

    The Train Back Home

    Jamie waved from the platform across from the car park. “Bye Mum, see you soon!” His mother honked the horn of her car and shot a quick wave back as she drove away. Great weekend, Jamie thought as he hopped on the train.

    Finding a seat by the window, he dropped his overstuffed backpack onto the floor at his feet and flopped down just as the train gave a quick lurch and pulled away. With heavy-metal guitar riffs screaming through his plugged-in earphones, Jamie settled into his seat and closed his eyes.

    His peace was shattered too soon when the door to his carriage whooshed open, allowing the too-familiar tones of her voice to break into the split-second moment that Jamie had decided to change his music. Before he knew it he looked up, straight into her dark eyes as they met his, locked in disbelief.

    Jamie froze, for an instant, but long enough to watch her turn away, flashing the smile that had once fooled him to the man standing next to her. ”Let’s sit there!” she said as Jamie’s shock exploded when the pair lumped down into the seats right in front of him.

    What the fuck? Of all the seats, they had to sit right there?

    He had no choice but to watch from behind as, giggling, she buried her mane of over-bleached hair into her man’s neck.

    “That’s Jamie sitting behind us!”

    Then they French-kissed.

    The blood raced to Jamie’s brain and his heart pounded. He jumped up, bumping hard into their seats as he grabbed his backpack and flung it across his shoulders. She laughed. Bitch. He didn’t stop walking until he came to the very end of the train, which, thank god, was a long one.

    His phone buzzed into life, a text from his mum.

    “Lovely to see you sweetheart! Don’t forget to let me know when you’re home!”

    He took a deep breath, his mother’s words reminding him of home. He had lost his home, he thought, when ‘she’ casually announced one afternoon a few months ago that she was bored and wanted to screw other men. She wanted him out.

    She’d done a real number on him, no doubt about it, but seeing her here, today, he realised that any slight affection he may have held for her was now eroded by disgust.

    The train came to Jamie’s stop. He couldn’t get off fast enough and he leapt out onto the platform, almost running for the stairs. As he passed by her window, he quickly glanced back and saw her staring blankly at him, biting her nails, caught off-guard, while her boyfriend glared back at him. Jamie almost smiled then. Poor bastard, it’ll be you next, he wanted to say.

    Turning away, he climbed the steps to the platform where his connection awaited, ready to take him a hundred miles away. His friends were waiting, something about going for a roast later. Jamie texted his mum and then he smiled.

    © Copyright Sherri Matthews 2014

‘A Letter’ by Ron McLaughlan

And now for something completely different!…… 🙂

Ron is a new contributor to this site and, as I said to him when I first read this, it is certainly a very unique take on the writing prompt!  Thank you Ron for your entry.

envelope

Ron McLaughlan says:

May 22, 2014 at 9:46 pm

  • A Letter

    It was on a Monday morning as I walked home from my dance lesson that I first saw the letter on the ground. It was just sitting there but it seemed to call to me. This could have been due the fact that it had two little hands and a mouth that whistled to me and formed the words, “Hey you handsome man”
    Now, this I was used to from handsome waiters with white teeth, but from a letter on the ground? Well, you can imagine… So I picked it up and took it home.
    Later that night while drinking some port and eating a bowl of pickled eggs I opened it. Inside was a ticket
    “You are invited to a Birthday Party”
    I was shocked, but I saw in my mind the date and place of the party. This could have been psychically transmitted, or simply due to the fact that it was written on the letter. So I got ready and put on my new boots.
    When I got to the location it was a dark building illuminated by a single blue light. No one was there. Was I early?
    The door opened and I went in and up a flight of stairs. I was scared but I sung a Beach Boys medley to myself in Swedish to keep up my spirits.
    Then I saw a huge room with lights and banners and the words ‘Happy Birthday’. But no one was there; just me.
    Suddenly music began and I felt even more nervous.
    As the happy dance tune played I felt in my pocket for the letter, but it had disappeared.
    What was going on? I checked my boots just in case it had slipped down the side of one.
    Then, suddenly, I could see it on the floor lying in front of me, the letter. I reached down for it, but before I could pick it up the letter began to move and out of the flap of the envelope came first one leg, then another, then a body and arms and, finally, a head. A man stood before me and he had the loveliest eyes I had ever seen. He smiled and I smiled back. He reached out with his hand and I reached out mine. We began to dance and I looked into his eyes.
    As the music brought us together I knew we would kiss.
    My body felt odd, and not the kind of odd that you get in a lift, but the kind of odd that is very odd!
    I fell and everything went black.
    When I awoke I looked at myself and I was a letter on the ground. Someone else looked at me and reached down to pick me up.

    (c) Ron McLaughlan

‘Enlightenment’ by Emma

Welcome also to another past contributor, Emma, with her fun and very visual poem on ‘the start of something new’.  Thank you for sharing! 🙂

glasses

Emma says:

ENLIGHTENMENT

Did you know that leaves have veins?
That flowers hold their heads up when it rains?
That the spider’s web is round and spun like lace?
That lovely little pansies have a face?

Did you know that Mum, have you seen?
Everything around us is so green!
Everything before was a blurred mystery
but now I have new glasses I can see!

(c) Emma

‘Room 8’ by Andrew Geary

I am very pleased to welcome back Andrew with a story that cleverly tells as much through what is missed out as through what is explicit. I really felt for the man as he watched the TV and loved the last line!

hotel

Andrew Geary says:
May 20, 2014

Room 8

Jeff tried opening the door but the little piece of plastic couldn’t get the light to come on. He pulled the card out and inserted it back in. No light. He flipped the card over and tried inserting again. When that didn’t work he flipped the card over again and wiggled it inside the slit. He sighed.

As Jeff tried over and over to dismantle the door, he heard footsteps coming from the other side of the hallway. Jeff turned his head. A man wearing a leather jacket and trucker cap was walking in his direction. Jeff looked back down at the impenetrable door handle, feeling a slight embarrassment. The man in the leather jacket eventually passed him and entered one of the other doors. Jeff tried wiggling his plastic key card a little bit more.

Somehow, the door opened. Jeff looked into his room with a mixture of surprise and relief, but that all faded away when he entered and dropped his suitcase on his bed. The room wasn’t dirty. There weren’t thick, brown stains slowly conquering the corners nor a dense, pungent air. But there was a print hanging above the bed depicting a sailboat rocking on a sea that was just a shade darker than the blue sky. The boat wasn’t a speck on the ocean but instead took up most of the painting. Like the rest of the room it elicited nothing within Jeff.

Jeff debated whether to put the contents of his suitcase into the drawers, in fear of nefarious little life forms tainting the remainder of his possessions. He sat on the bed and flipped through the channels. For a while, the TV remained on kids’ television station featuring a cartoon fish and his nautical pals. Jeff remembered having to sit through the cartoon fish and his fishy antics every night before their bedtime. Jeff flipped the channel.

(c) Andrew Geary

‘A New Start’ by Jan Strickland

In the last of today’s entries (so far) I am pleased to share Jan’s piece of memoir with you to round off three very diverse takes on the prompt of The Start of Something New. I always find it interesting to see the different interpretations of any prompt posted and hope that you enjoy sharing them too. 🙂

pad and pen2

A New Start

I have just had a birthday. Aries the Ram. On the same day I watched ‘This Morning’ on the TV and Russell Grant was doing an astrology slot. Now, I don’t really believe in all that but……… there was something about the new moon being in alignment with thingamajig etc. etc. then, “Arians Will be looking for a new start.” So I thought ‘new start’ – what can I write about that?
Having retired from life as a busy nurse and having become less able to do things over the years, I have had to find new interests and ones which I can do sitting down. So, to keep my mind active, I joined a creative writing group. Here we learnt such diverse things such as how to write plays (we have just finished one and are hoping to produce it in front of a real life audience at our community centre), short stories, flash fiction and poetry.
In fact, I found that I enjoyed writing so much that I joined another creative writing class and then became a member of the Scottish Association of Writers (SAW). I also joined a craft class. Although I’m generally useless with my hands, I have found that I can make jewellery, mainly earrings, so I now have hundreds of pairs of earrings in a large box stashed in my bedroom.
I would love to do something energetic, even if it was just being able to take the dog for walks, but at least I have something else to fall back on and I am immersing myself with like-minded people and really enjoying it. My past is past, never to be forgotten and often drawn upon as a basis for a lot of my writing. They say write about something you know so my childhood, all my nursing experience and my life as a wife of a Church of Scotland minister, as well as being mother to my three lovely children, all go into my stories.
I have been lucky enough to have had a few stories published in women’s magazines and poems published in anthologies, and these small successes spur me on.
So, my new start? I suppose you could say that it has been learning to devote time and energy to things that I enjoy and finding new hobbies……. albeit ones that you can do sitting down!

(c) Jan Strickland

‘The Start of Something New’ by lassfromlancashire

Welcome back to lassfromlancashire with her interpretation of this month’s writing prompt. I enjoyed this and personally can’t think of any retirees that I know who have struggled to fill their days. In fact, more often than not, most say they don’t know how they found the time to work in the first place! 🙂

happy retirement

The Start of Something New

I stand on the threshold
Look to the future, not the past.
This is the first day, as they say, of the rest of my life.
Today I step away from the world of work,
The daily nine-to-five grind
No more a slave to the clock.
Retirement, not an accurate term:
I’m not pulling back, retreating
I’m now free from the tyranny of work
Free to explore new things,
Seek out new places, new experiences,
Do things I’ve always wanted to:
I might learn to ski, to crochet or to scuba dive;
Visit places till now mere names on a map;
Study something odd and erudite,
Egyptian hieroglyphics or the teachings of Buddha
I might tangle with the word wide web,
Learn to program my computer

I clutch my cards and leaving presents
Smile at my work colleagues
I don’t reply when they ask “Won’t you be bored
With nothing to do all day?”
What’s the point of explaining
This isn’t the end
But the beginning of something new.

Esme

(c) lassfromlancashire

‘The Start of Something New’ by Margie Brizzolari

Thank you to Margie for her entry in to this month’s mini writing competition which highlights a hugely damaging practice. I’m proud that my blog can play even a small part in bringing this issue a little further into public consciousness and would urge you to follow the link and watch the video.

african tree

http://mbrizz.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/the-start-of-something-new/

(c) Margie Brizzolari