Hello everyone. I launched this competition on 12th December, giving the first entrants only four days to propose components for me to pick my favourite and write a <500-word story for posting today, the first Friday of the following month.
The ‘winner’ wins a free <5,000-word edit of a piece (or pieces) of their choice – worth £30 (€40 / US$45 / CA$ & AS$60) see Editing & Critique for details and testimonials – and second-placed doesn’t have their story written but win a free <3,000-word and <2,000-word full edit respectively on a piece (or pieces) of their choice – worth £12 (€16 / US$18 / CA$ & AS$24) per person.
If you want to challenge me, complete the form on the https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/500-word-flash-fiction-challenge page and you may get your story written and win a course or two!
So without further ado… drum roll please… here is the winning story…
Hold up… do you want to know what the components were? If so, scroll down after the story. I’ve not posted them beforehand just in case it’ll spoil the story for you…
Portela or Sacavém perhaps (500 words on the clichéd nose!)
“You caught something, Bobby?”
Bobby pulled up his fishing rod and shook his head. He then looked at the mini-mountain of fish sitting next to his older brother Alonzo and shrugged, a half-meant smile and nod delivered before looking back at the slightly murky water of the Tagus.
Bobby thought of the fish and sighed for those still moving, one a particularly beautiful shade of sea-foam green. He wished they were fishing off a boat out to sea, nowhere dangerous like the Atlantic, but east, along the coast… Portela or Sacavém perhaps.
But they couldn’t afford a boat, not since…
Alonzo standing distracted Bobby. “Better put all this lot away before it goes off,” the older boy said and returned to his car.
Bobby watched him and wanted to throw back the fish but knew the repercussions if he did. Just returning the wriggling ones would be bad enough but all of them? He shook his head. No, he could never do that. He owed his life to Alonzo and however little love lost there was between them, they were still blood. “Blood brothers,” Bobby said, then squealed as Alonzo pulled him up by his right ear.
“What you saying?”
“Nothing,” Bobby whimpered then rubbed his ear when Alonzo let go.
“Good. Best for everyone if you saying nothing.” Alonzo leaned in closer. “Ever. You hear?”
Bobby nodded and looked down at his feet. A couple of his toes were threatening to burst through the scuffed left shoe, the one he used to kick the ground with when he was waiting for his brother, which was more often than he would have liked.
“Here, give me a hand.” Alonzo pointed towards their mother’s old washing basket.
“Poor little orphans,” their neighbour, Padre Clemente, had said on hearing news of their mother’s death, then the priest had scuttled back inside to his dinner.
Alonzo had also blamed Bobby for their father leaving. Although Bobby had been his favourite son, the easy one, the one named after the Manchester United captain, Senhor D’Souza had still left him on the eve of his seventh birthday to be brought up by their alcoholic mother and the older brother who had always resented him but their mother had loved more. Bobby had been the last one to see her alive and Alonzo had said it was his fault, could only have been his fault.
With the basket full and back in the car, Alonzo got in the driver’s seat and waited for his brother to join him.
Bobby shook his head.
Alonzo muted the already-blaring radio and wound down the passenger-side window. “What? Get in.”
Bobby shook his head again. “I’ll walk.”
Alonzo laughed. “It’s twenty kilometres. Bit more.”
Bobby shrugged. “It’s a nice day.”
Alonzo shook his head, wound up the window, unmuted the radio, and drove off.
Bobby turned his face as the dust blew up from the battered Opel. He had a confession to make and knew just the person to tell.
and the winner was Amanda Niehaus-Hard (who wins a free 5,000-word edit of her writing) with the following suggested components…
- Character name/s: Alonzo, Bobby
- Location: Lisbon
- Object: Fishing pole
- Dilemma: A secret that is known to both parties but must be admitted
- Character trait / emotion / quirk: Shyness
- Colour / shade of colour: Sea foam green
- Other comments: Down ending 🙂
You can read the story again and / or download the eBook version on Smashwords.
So, let me know what you think. We’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to have a go at setting me a writing challenge, take a look at https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/500-word-flash-fiction-challenge or if you’d like to write up to three 100-word stories per month, take a look at 100-word (free) Comp for the current theme.
You can subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app via Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com. Alternatively, you can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything (see right-hand vertical menu).
You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my books (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping List, various short story collections and writer’s block workbooks) and If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating. Thank you.
If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.