View Poll Results: Please vote for the story you like by January 1st.

Voters
18. You may not vote on this poll
  • Easy

    9 50.00%
  • The Scent of Mimosa

    3 16.67%
  • Turning

    2 11.11%
  • Waiting for the Light to Change

    4 22.22%
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 36

Thread: Short Story Competition Final '13

  1. #1
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Tweet @ScherLitNet
    Posts
    23,804

    Short Story Competition Final '13

    Here are the stories you have been voting for during 2013. Vote for your favourite and help us elect the best story of 2013.

    Discussion of the stories, to avoid influencing the outcome of the poll, are not allowed.

    If contributors would like to ask questions, they should email us at [email protected].

    Please note that the authors agree to keep their identities secret when they enter the competition.
    Those who breach this rule will be disqualified automatically.

    Good luck, everyone!



    Competition Rules
    .
    .
    Note: This poll will close on January 1st, 2014.
    .
    .
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


  2. #2
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Tweet @ScherLitNet
    Posts
    23,804
    Easy


    London sparkles in the early summer evening colours. It sparkles as if it's all excited about something. And it probably is. Not over some big event -- the Olympics were months ago and Kate Middleton is still some months away from delighting the romantic. But exciting things will happen all right -- to thousands of Londoners. Tonight.

    London will sparkle for each one of them.

    One of the people London is sparkling for tonight is Easy. Tonight, Easy will feel excited about her boyfriend, Bill. Suffice to say, if he ever asks again, this time she will say a 'yes' so big that London will explode with sparkles.

    Easy is really called Elizabeth, but Bill calls her Easy. It's her own fault: she absolutely was infuriatingly easy for Bill. She was aching, melting, disintegrating for him. On their first night out she asked him back to her place. After half a lager. And then it started, in a pub near her office in Bayswater. "El-easy-beth" her friend Tania called her, much to the amusement of the other pint-chinking hags. When Bill arrived to pick her up later that night, they practically had bets on who would first get a chance to call her that in front of him.

    It became her adopted name. She didn't mind anymore. More important things to focus on. Like Bill's voice, that gentle, omnibenevolent slow tenor saxophone. His eyes which were so big and so blue that she sometimes felt they were the eyes of a superhero with x-ray vision. His arms, his back, his chest, arches and hills and plains and lagoons of sweet lustful sweat as she runs her lips over the back of his waist. His impeccable manners. His genuine love of the theatre, his taste in wine. Everything is more important than the fact he calls her Easy. He surprises her with little gifts. Sometimes even big gifts, like long weekends in Trieste and that sort of thing. He talks with her for hours about everything and nothing, the past, the present, the future, the TV silent in the corner, the wine encouraging her heart to beat faster with every touch, then with every look, then with every breath.

    That is all more important than her nickname. It's a nickname. Some people are called Fats, or Buzz, or Benny Two Bottles Please Jimmy. It's all in good spirit.

    Huddled in the corner of the sofa, Easy is sipping slowly on a Californian chardonnay, wearing a tight, white t-shirt and a pair of silk white knickers, semi-transparent at the front; she's humming along to Ella Fitzgerald; she sighs.

    She is, by anyone's account, a beautiful woman. Eyes like forest thunderstorms. Delicate hands travel through the long, black hair like crazy canoes.

    She's thinking about what death in a plane crash would feel like. Not so much death per se, no. Rather, she's trying to imagine what the realisation of certain death within the next few seconds would feel like. Some people, she ponders, will feel so much fear at the sight of the wing breaking off that they will die of a heart attack before they hit the ground. Others will quickly glance over the instructions pamphlet (they were so sure they would never need it) and adopt the brace position. Others yet will hug the person next to them -- a spouse, perhaps, or a colleague, or even a total stranger. And then, bang. It's over.

    Planes don't crash, of course. She knows that. One is more likely to die using a Q-tip than on a plane. Especially when one already knows that one's beloved landed 20 minutes ago (the internet, she thought, was a huge evolutionary step) aviation really feels like a reliable thing. And the question is this: why hasn't he called to say he's arrived? Why hasn't he even sent an SMS? He never checks luggage in, he just jumps out the plane and into a taxi.

    In all honesty, Easy can't understand the reason why Bill isn't making contact.

    Of course, she shrugs, he's probably just very tired, and empties the last drops from her second glass into her mouth. She gets up and walks to the fridge. Many times, when Bill sees her get up for a refill, he turns his head and watches her walk. He talks dirty to her. Encouraged, she makes her hips move circularly, slowly with each step, describing in the air a pair of question marks facing each other. He laughs and gets up and hugs her from behind, kissing her back.

    However, no matter how tired Easy might be one day, if she's just landed in Heathrow after five whole nights away from him, she'd call him. It's not so hard.

    But, she sighs, it's been almost a year and half now, and for the last six months they'd been living together. It's natural not to have the same uncontrollable urge to call each other all the time. True, Easy nods to herself, this is transition time. Bill and her are becoming a real, firmly established couple. It's silly to expect the behaviour of the first few months to still be the norm.

    Yet, he spoils her, and he makes her expect it. He cooks for her. He waits for her to have an orgasm first. Or two. He's to blame. If he didn't make her feel so wonderful so often, she would be much more understanding about the fact that it's now quarter past nine and he still hasn't bothered to pick up the fukcin phone.

    He's with Gavin. Gavin his colleague. Gavin his 'number two'. Gavin, who's from Scotland, and dark, and tall, and bloody single. Bill probably doesn't want his single friend to hear him talking to his girlfriend. Bill is worried that Gavin would make fun of him for being with her. With Easy. "So, still with Easy? How's that going?", he would say, and then they would both laugh. Bill would play it all cool. He would invite Gavin for a pint at the airport bar. One for the long winding road back home, mate, what do you say? Well, whatever. Why can't he just tell him that he's going to the loo and get away for thirty seconds so he can say "Hi honey, I'm here, I'm coming home soon, I'm not detained by airport security because two Spanish hookers convinced me to lug cocaine for them." Honestly, how difficult is it?

    Is he even looking forward to coming home? She's made the place spotless. She's even cleaned behind the fridge. He said he would eat on the plane so not to bother cooking anything, but she'd made him a salad anyway. Cucumber and tomatoes and walnuts and stilton and basil dressing --

    He did say he would eat on the plane. That was just before he boarded. Barely three hours ago. Sinatra is singing How're you Fixed for Love. She drinks. It's not like he doesn't call. Sure, she nods again, he pays her more than enough attention. Like the other day, when they went to see Arsenal. As they were leaving, while negotiating the fast-paced crowd (still in ecstasy over Theo Walcott's late winning goal), he put his arm around her and held her close. And she felt protected. Attached to him. Sweetly dependent.

    It was hasty. He was rushing. Nobody asks a person to marry them within three months. And it's not like he had any kind of a decent reputation. Bill had fukced the majority of the girls at Larson & Brandt, where he worked, and a sizeable minority of the girls at Winchester & Frost, where she worked. A player. A heart-breaker. Fancy suits, big smiles, that saxophone voice: arrogant bastard.

    Is that a spot of rain on the window? She squints, trying hard to see. Is it raining?

    Why isn't he calling?

    Maybe what Bill needs is some time to himself. She dwells on that for a minute, staring at her legs. She has good legs, well-shaped, full, straight. She knows she's sexy. He can't keep his hands off her. The other night at the pub he almost gave her an orgasm pinching her. Yes, pinching her. Can you imagine that? He pinches her and she creams up. Then he takes her hand and puts it right between his legs, where he is swelling up like a long, pink balloon inflated with testosterone. But still, he might need some time to himself. And this is his way of telling her. By not calling as soon as he's landed. He's trying to break it to her gently. He's always gentle. Except for when he forces her down and gives her the kind of love a filthy stray dog would give a pedigree poodle with a gold tiara. Then he's rough. And Easy loves it. She stretches on the sofa and curls her toes. Just for a split second, she thinks about touching herself, right there. Right then. Because maybe, just maybe, she needs some time to herself, too.

    Was that a car door closing? She jumps up, runs out on the balcony. Yes, a taxi. Bill hasn't come out yet, but the cabbie is already unloading his case. That's definitely his cabin case. The right door at the back opens, then, and a leg appears. It's his leg. His right one. And his right foot, and his right shoe.

    She rushes back inside, thinking the following:

    Why didn't he call? Was it so hard? God, I'm such an idiot. I've ruined our evening with these silly thoughts. He will want to relax with me now and get all flirty and frisky, and I won't be able to. I just won't be able to.

    "Hey, butterfly!"

    That's his alternative to Easy. Butterfly. Easy sometimes thinks that butterfly is worse. They call hookers that in some parts of town, don't they? But he smiles at her too brightly, it seems, and her thoughts become blurred. Her heart jumps inside her chest, up to her throat. She's worried it'll make her burp. He throws his keys on the table and grabs her tight, pressing his face against her neck.

    Anger departs. Doubts dissolve. She breathes him in, deep.

    "Got you something," he says, breaking the hug.

    "What, like a present?", she meows.

    "Something to that effect," he replies, unzipping his case. He takes out a small dark blue cube-like thing. Box. Small, dark, and cube-like. Jewellery box. Ring.

    Mother of God. It's a ring.

    He says all of the following at a calm, steady pace, his voice filling the room with jazz:

    "I was going to give you this next weekend, and I had this big plan about how I was going to give it to you. You know. Somewhere for dinner, a small live band, me doing karaoke, that sort of thing. But coming home from the airport I realized I wanted to give this to you now. There is no good reason to delay it. Not even until we've sat down and we're drinking wine. Will you marry me?"

    Yes, Easy thinks, yes, I will. Even you were detained by airport security on suspicion of shuttling uranium. Can uranium even be shuttled?

    "Yes, Bill. I will marry you. I will be your wife."

    Outside, clouds have been sneaking up to spit on windows. The lonesome drop Easy saw on her window has long since been joined by a thousand others. Her eyes have welled up, too, but she presses them against his suit and when she looks at him her face is dry.

    "Why didn't you call me earlier?", she asks.
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


  3. #3
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Tweet @ScherLitNet
    Posts
    23,804
    Let's get voting, peeps!
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


  4. #4
    Justifiably inexcusable DocHeart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    685
    DH voted.

    And just because I'm on a diet this Christmas don't mean I ain't going to ask for no cookies.

    (Gosh, my Southern accent again. What's the matter with me?)
    Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine...

  5. #5
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Tweet @ScherLitNet
    Posts
    23,804
    Quote Originally Posted by DocHeart View Post

    And just because I'm on a diet this Christmas don't mean I ain't going to ask for no cookies.
    My sympathies for your diet! Darn the middle-age and its non-fat-free spread!

    To aid Doc with his diet and avoid any undue temptation, we will be offering cookie-scented candles instead of cookies this year! All the aroma of the cookies without the dreaded calories!

    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


  6. #6
    great post. i really ennjoyed

  7. #7
    Justifiably inexcusable DocHeart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    685
    Oh Christmas Tree
    Oh Christmas Tree
    Your leaves are green for ever...




    Attached Images Attached Images
    Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine...

  8. #8
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    London
    Posts
    9,905
    done!
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  9. #9
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    4,862
    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade View Post
    My sympathies for your diet! Darn the middle-age and its non-fat-free spread!

    To aid Doc with his diet and avoid any undue temptation, we will be offering cookie-scented candles instead of cookies this year! All the aroma of the cookies without the dreaded calories!

    Damn, my monitor must be broken. I tried scratching the picture on the screen, but couldn't smell it.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

  10. #10
    Registered User mona amon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    India
    Posts
    1,502
    No-calorie virtual cookie-scented candles instead of no-calorie virtual cookies?
    Exit, pursued by a bear.

  11. #11
    Justifiably inexcusable DocHeart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    685
    No: no-virtual-calorie virtual cookie-scented candles instead of no-virtual-calorie virtual cookies. Which means that if you read this sentence enough times, you'll actually be tasting them. Then you will stumble, desperately, to the cupboard.
    Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine...

  12. #12
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Tweet @ScherLitNet
    Posts
    23,804
    Yes, we strongly recommend that you avoid reading the above sentence more than three times a day... And each time, please make sure to enunciate each word carefully and slowly.
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


  13. #13
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, The Middle East, UK, The Philippines & Papua New Guinea.
    Posts
    2,103
    Blog Entries
    1
    Done. Over to the will of the people.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade View Post
    Waiting for the Light to Change


    Romance – - past, present, or future – was the farthest thing from my mind as I stepped
    off the curb. With my neck bent back, I squinted at the traffic light, decidedly red but pale
    in the noonday sun. My arms cradled a lidless box of 496 freshly-addressed mailing labels which I was to convey from the gritty print shop (where I worked) to a posh law office (where I didn’t.)

    In the brief delay I idly glanced at my destination across the street. Among the cluster of pedestrians on the opposite corner, there he was. Lucian! I recognized him in a nanosecond: a little balder, a little broader about the beam, maybe, but it really was he. Same chiseled facial features and – - I guessed –- the same irresistible grin, except he wasn’t smiling, merely frowning as he impatiently stared up at the traffic light, same as I was.

    Would he, I wondered, recognize me with my hair gone gray, my eyes grown dull in the space of so many years, the ever-widening distance between two divergent paths? Under my feet, the aging pavement was crumbling: decades of traffic had passed this way.

    It wasn’t as if I had forgotten him – - God, no. In my reflective moments his face or the sound of his voice would suddenly motor into my mind. The resurfacing memory of him had always been a personal keepsake, frequently taken down from the shelf, dusted off, and cherished. In the few moments it took for delivery trucks, buses, scores of late-model cars, and a phalanx of motorcycles to roll by, I recalled the long days cut down by quick quips, the all-too-brief nights stretched out with passionate conversation. Hand-held hikes on the beach, midnight walks. Sand flea bites, moonlit kisses. In the balmy stillness, light-years away from this busy thoroughfare, the sun had smiled its blessing on us. Away from brash city lights, the stars had looked as if some goddess had spilled her jewels on the floor of the night sky.

    What is it about selective memories? They place so much value on the good recollections
    that they chase away the bad, which scatter away from one’s consciousness as pigeons on a crowded sidewalk. But the unexpected sight of Lucian in the flesh caught me off-guard; within a split-second span I was startled, then embarrassed. What could I possibly say to him?

    Then I heard the click of the light changing to pale green. Some brakes screeched, and other vehicles stopped in sudden silence. Both sides of pedestrians made their way through the crosswalk, as if we all were innocent Israelites winding through the parted
    Red Sea. At midpoint we were nearly shoulder -to-shoulder, Lucian and I.

    Didn’t it take courage for me to make eye contact? Was I as unsightly and unrecognizable as the unfaithful Criseyde? I had not been the betrayer! What Chaucer says is true: “For time ylost may nought recovered be.” Lucian’s head turned toward mine and he looked - -
    not merely past me, but right through me.

    The next thing I knew is that all 496 labels had fallen from my hands. A cruel gust of wind disturbed their alphabetic order and scattered them all over the sidewalk. I could pick up the cards, if not the lost pieces of my life. At least I was on the other side of the street, which was neither sunnier nor shadier than its counterpart. The traffic resumed where it had left off, and the world continued going about its business.

  14. #14
    It wasn't me Jerrybaldy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3,287
    Blog Entries
    1
    That was touch and go between all four. Well done to all, seriously.

    For those who believe,
    no explanation is necessary.
    For those who do not,
    none will suffice.

  15. #15
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,443
    I can see clearly which one I like the best.
    Sancho voted!

    In all honesty, it was a tough choice. Nice work everybody.
    Some people call me Maurice
    'Cos I speak of the pompatus of love

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Short Story Competition Final '12
    By Scheherazade in forum 2012 Contest Archive
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 01-07-2013, 06:55 AM
  2. 2011 Short Story Competition Final
    By Scheherazade in forum 2011 Contest Archive
    Replies: 131
    Last Post: 01-06-2012, 04:16 PM
  3. 2007 Short Story Competition Final
    By Scheherazade in forum 2007 Contest Archive
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 09-17-2008, 12:50 PM
  4. 2006 Short Story Competition Final
    By Scheherazade in forum 2006 Contest Archive
    Replies: 93
    Last Post: 01-01-2007, 04:54 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •