Daily Archives: July 17, 2016

Results of Morgen’s last ever 500-word competition

Hello everyone. The entries to this competition have been a lot slower coming in than the 100-word competition… possibly because it’s me writing the story rather than you so the results this time are actually from mid-March to mid-July entries… with only nine entries in four months! I have therefore put this challenge on hold for now and can reveal the results of this final competition, and as I love dialogue, I decided to write all three in dialogue only… drum roll please…

First placed, winning a free <5,000-word edit: John T with…

  • Character name/s: Janice and Harry
  • Location: a cellar
  • Object: torch
  • Dilemma: something’s missing
  • Character trait / emotion / quirk: one’s afraid of the dark
  • Colour / shade of colour: yellow
  • Other comments: a twist ending please

Picked because I’m a sucker for twist endings


On / Off



“Come down here.”

“Where are you?”

“In the cellar.”

“What are you doing down there?”

“Looking for my torch.”

“What? Why are you looking for your torch? Surely you used it to get down there.”

“I did but then I put it down. It must have rolled on to the on / off button.”

“Put the light on then.”

“I can’t find the switch and need the torch to–”

“Yeah, OK. Oh, Harry. What are you like?”

“Six feet four, sixteen stones, salt and pepper…”

“Ha ha very funny. Can’t you find it on your own? You know what I’m like about the dark.”

“Only five minutes. Search together and it’ll halve the time.”


“So where did you put the torch?”

“On one of the benches.”

“The window side or the stairs side?”

“I don’t know, I can’t remember.”

“Alright, you take one side of the room, I’ll take the other and we’ll feel our way round.”

“Good idea.”

“Oh Harry, how often have I told you to clear up after yourself?”

“Often but it’s my space and you never come down here.”

“Except for when you lose the torch.”

“Except for… yes.”

“You’d think being yellow it would be easier to see in the dark… the torch.”

“You would. So did you have a good time at your gym class today?”

“Er, yes thank you.”

“Was Marjorie there?”

“Of course.”

“That’s nice. And you’ll be seeing her again tomorrow?”

“Erm… yes. You know I am.”

“Any luck your side, finding the torch?”

“Not so far… you?”

“No. Your voice is getting nearer so…”

“Here it is!”

“Oh, Janice, you’re such a star. Thank you.”

“There we are. Now you can see to… Harry? What’s all this stuff? It’s not DIY… it looks like… Harry? What… what are you doing? No, stop! Harry!”


Second placed, winning a free <3,000-word edit: Sandra

  • Character name/s: Duckie (female)
  • Location: her car
  • Object: hammer
  • Dilemma: the car won’t start
  • Character trait / emotion / quirk: frustrated
  • Colour / shade of colour: duck-egg blue

Picked because I felt it was a challenge making something interesting out of an ordinary situation. Not sure I succeeded!


It Tries to Chug

volkswagen-899046_640“We wouldn’t normally recommend you hit it with a hammer, madam.”

“It’s what a Japanese guy on YouTube recommends.”

“We’ve despatched an operative and he’ll be with you within the hour so if you’d like to refrain from… madam?”

“Yes still here.”

“And you have no life in the car at all?”

“It tries to chug but won’t start.”

“How many times have you tried?”

“Three. Toshiko says no more than three or it’ll flood the engine.”

“Very wise, Mrs Higginbottom.”

“And you say your man will be here within the hour.”

“Should be around forty minutes, no more than fifty. He has a flat tyre to change about a mile away from you then he’s all yours.”

“All mine. I like that.”


“Oh, nothing. Thank you, I appreciate it.”

“No problem, Mrs Higginbottom. It’s what you pay your dues for.”



“You shouldn’t end a sentence with a proposition.”

“I’m sorry. I…”

“No problem. I’m an English teacher.”

“I see. Well, Jonathan will be you shortly and… anything else we can help you with today?”

“Not unless you can get me a nice cup of hot sweet tea.”


“No, I’m fine, thank you.”

“OK, well, as I said Jonathan will be with you as soon as he can.”

“After the flat tyre.”

“Yes, Mrs Higginbottom.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. You take care now.”

“Oh, I will.”

“I forgot to ask… Are you away from your vehicle?”

“Oh, yes. Toshiko said to stand behind the crash barrier. It’s funny he called it that because it’s what we call it too.”

“Yes, right. As long as you’re OK, I’ll–”

“Oh yes, I’m fine. Tickedy boo in fact.”

“Good. Have a good day then, Mrs Higginbottom.”

“I will do after Jonathan… oh, she’s gone.”


“Hello, Madam.”

“Hello, Jonathan.”

“I understand it’s a non-starter. What seems–?”

“Like a horse.”


“My husband was a horse racing fan and it’s a term… he still would have been a fan of course but he died.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“It was a while ago now.”

“So, your car, van. What seems to be the problem exactly?”

“It tries to chug but won’t start.”

“How many times have you tried?”

“Three. Toshiko says no more than three or it’ll flood the engine.”


“YouTube. My sister’s boy is an avid fan and it’s so useful. I learned to change a washer in my kitchen sink’s tap. It’s not that difficult when you have someone else showing… anyway, you’re not hear to listen to me.”

“It’s fine. I have nothing else booked in after you. This is a lovely example of a VW camper. I would have loved one but my ex-wife was never the galavanting sort. Lovely colour too, this one.”

“Thank you. Ex?”

“It’s aqua?”

“Duck-egg blue.”

“Oh, nice.”

“My nickname’s Duckie.”

“It suits you. I’m sorry I didn’t mean…”

“Not at all. I love it. So ex?”

“I see what you mean about trying to chug.”

“Tries, yes. Ex?”


Third placed, winning a free <2,000-word edit: newbie

  • Character name/s: Sebastian and Zoe
  • Location: Zurich
  • Object: gun
  • Dilemma: bank robbery
  • Character trait / emotion / quirk: scared of noise
  • Colour / shade of colour: black

Picked because I’m a sucker for a crime story


bang-148261_640“What was that?”


“The noise. The bang.”

“Sounded like a car backfiring.”

“Didn’t think they did that anymore. It’s a terrorist attack!”

“It’s not a terrorist attack, Sebastian. You’d know if it was a terrorist attack.”


“There’d be more than one–”

“Another bang! It told you, Zoe, it’s a terrorist attack.”

“It’s fine. No one’s attacking us. We’re in Switzerland. No one attacks Switzerland.”

“But Zurich’s the capital. They’d go for capital–”

“No it’s not. Bern’s the capital of Switzerland.”

“It is?”

“Of course. Bern was a compromise. Back in the late 1800s, Zurich, Bern, and Lucerne were competing to be the capital. The Swiss French objected to Zurich so Bern was chosen. In compensation, Zurich got the ETH.”


“A huge science, technology, engineering, mathematics and management university.”

“Oh. Didn’t know you knew so much about Switzerland.”

“We did it in geography at school.”

“Another bang! Please, let’s get out of here.”

“My bank’s just round the corner. We’ll be fine in there. I know one of the cashiers quite well. We can see if she knows what’s going on.”


“Hey! What are you doing?”

“Shut up and sit in the corner with the others.”

“Zoe, what’s–?”

“Do what she says, Sebastian.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Nor do I, she was always so quiet when she served me.”


So, there have it. The last… for the foreseeable anyway, of my 500-word challenges. It’s been fun. Thank you to all those of you who entered. There’s still the 100-word comp, the deadline for which is the end of each month, with a different theme each month. I look forward to seeing you there! 🙂


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