The quality and strength of writing in the May Competition was very high and we decided to crown 3 winners!

Each is special in its own way and they were chosen because we simply couldn't get these three out of heads.
See the comments underneath each story, and decide if anything resonates with YOU...

Heartbreak

 

by Jacqueline Harrett

A black cat arrived one winter morning. He sat on the window sill and demanded to enter. He ate, settled on the sofa, groomed himself and slept.

We had never been owned by a cat before.

He stole our hearts and ruled the household. He became the focus of every day.

The night it snowed he sat at the window. In the morning, he had gone. All we had left were paw-prints in the snow.

©Jacqueline Harrett 2017


This is a beautifully concise little story and oh-so-true! It shows how fickle cats are, how their nonchalant behaviour kind of mesmerises us and almost turns us into slaves.

We're usually looking for a bit of poetic prose, or metaphors or mysterious hints at something much bigger; but this little story has stolen my heart ...





Body and Soul

by Gaynor Jones

‘There’ll come a time,’ a wiser woman told me, ‘that you really won't care about the size of your bottom.’

That time is now. I no longer look in the mirror and feel.

My body is not me. The scars, the lines, the rolls - they just exist.

I watch my daughter, nappy-free in a joyful mess of paint and paper, and I pray that she never battles with her body as I did.


© Gaynor Jones 2017


With perfect grammar, punctuation and spelling - always a pleasure - this is a clever vignette. What I really like about it is the message. Having children swipes your self-consciousness; it makes you lose inhibitions and puts bodily concerns into perspective.

If I were to change anything at all about this little piece, it would be 'a wiser woman'. Swap it for 'my beautiful mother'; 'my friend's mum'; or even 'the ballet teacher': something to draw a character because 'a wiser woman' is a bit distant and vague. It's a lovely down to earth piece, saying more than it tells. .


The Cost of Living

by Nadine Little


“Your father is dying.”

The remembered words scald Leona’s heart, quickening her steps.


He’s all she has left.


“There is one cure—a plant. Rare.”


It had taken their entire savings and a race around the world. If she loses, she will never afford his price.


Seller’s market.


Her boots whisper through grass. A shaft of sunlight bejewels downy leaves.

Shadows opposite. Three men. Guns.

Him.


Her trembling fingers reach for the precious violet petals.

© Nadine Little 2017

Gosh, a thriller in the making. Very compelling and beautiful. 'Her boots whisper through grass' very atmospheric. '... sunlight bejewels downy leaves.' I love these phrases, they really add a lot to the story.

I'm so pleased you said 'around' the world as so many people use 'round' wrongly. I'm a bit confused about the race: thinking at first it was referring to speed (to get medication for her father) but then the apparent conflict of three men and a gun; not to mention 'Him'.

I want to know more! Now that is the sign of a good story, whether it's 75ish words or 75,000