Hello everyone and welcome to the forty-first month of this competition! Last month I received 25 entries from 14 authors for the theme of ‘their own business’. NB You can all send in three stories for a better chance of being picked!
Two stories (by the same author) were disqualified for only being 98 words and surprised me as submitted by a regular entrant. In each piece, there a (different) word which was correctly three words hyphenated so this must be why. Sadly they were the only submissions by that entrant so none went through to the judging.
The successful stories are ones that I reacted most favourably to. They were clever, surprising, eek-making (in a good way),or gave me a warm fuzzy feeling (without being sickly). Sometimes a story beats another because it has a strong link to the theme so it’s worth writing a story to the theme rather than tweaking a story you already have to loosely fit it.
You may have chosen a different order or indeed not placed one or more of them so if you entered and didn’t find your story / stories here, don’t lose heart. You probably only just missed out so do enter new stories this month*, next month, whenever you like (but not in advance!). It’s an ongoing competition and free, so you could win at any time. There were new and familiar names this month so anyone could win… it’s all dependent upon whether your story grabs me, for whatever reason (whether it be clever, funny, unusual, quirky, or sweet).
Apart from the top three and highly commended, there are some ‘Honourable Mentions’. They don’t win anything but they were so close to being Highly Commended that I wanted them to know how close they came. It’s still something for them to put on their CVs.
*The theme for February is ‘hard times’ and you can submit your entries (and do send three) at any time up to midnight (UK time) on Thursday 28th February. Details and entry forms on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/100-word-free-monthly-competition. So without further ado, below are the successful entries this month.
Valerie Fish with ‘Pulling Down The Shutters’
It was the final nail in the coffin; a hefty rise in their business rates on top of increasing competition from cheap online giants, left them not only about to lose their livelihood but their home too. They’d had thirty happy, profitable years running ‘The Loft’ bookshop, on the street leading down to the harbour; this last summer season, they’d only been getting a handful of customers a day.
They had no choice but to shut up shop.
Pulling down the shutters for the very last time, hand in hand, they walked down to the sea, and kept on walking.
Astra Lowelle with ‘That Could Be His Business’
She was upset, he knew.
She was heartbroken.
It had been a long day.
He knew very well that she didn’t want to talk about it, and besides, it was none of his business anyway. After all, she was a pretty private person.
But being private didn’t mean she didn’t like cinnamon cookies.
Which just happened to be his specialty.
So that, he decided, could be his business.
A little of this and a little of that, a sprinkling of sugar, a ding and the cookies were done.
He deposited the plate before her closed door, knocked gently, and left.
Caroline Cowan with ‘Mind Their Own Business’
Carrie meandered along the secluded canal path from school, feeling depressed and lonely. She had lost her friends over a silly squabble.
The cyber bullying had gone on for weeks. The girl’s threats were awful.
Carrie sat, watching the sun sparkling on the water. Why couldn’t they mind their own business and leave her alone? Ping, Ping went her phone, with more horrible messages. It was constant.
She couldn’t take anymore. Carrie messaged her mum. She walked to the water’s edge, and jumped into the freezing depths. The last thing she heard before disappearing, was the ping of her phone.
- Ian Marshall with ‘The Hit’
- Jeremy Chotzen with ‘Harvey’s Whole?’
- Juan Andrés González Romero with ‘Breaking’
- Karen Lawrence with ‘Fresh Blood’
- Laura Besleywith ‘Neighbourhood Watch’
Honourable mentions (not winning anything but only narrowly missing out and still looking good on their CV) – in alphabetical order:
- Carol Allison with ‘An Italian Adventure’
- Lesley McLean with ‘The Vulture’
- Lestie Mulholland with ‘No Rent Today’
- Patricia Cooksley with ‘Seaside Bolthole’
Congratulations, everyone. The entries for this month are already drifting in. Remember, you can send up to three per month so rather than miss out on a chance by sending one story, do submit more.
If you’ve enjoyed these stories and / or just want to leave a comment, please do so below and / or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org., although I won’t (can’t) discuss forthcoming entries unless it’s a general query.