Hello everyone and welcome to the forty-fifth month of this competition. Last month I received 29 entries from 16 authors for the theme of ‘irresponsible’. NB You can all send in three stories for a better chance of being picked.
Three stories were disqualified for only being 98-99 words. Sadly they were all by the same author. 😦
Another was only 99 words because a set of ellipses (with more than one in the story) had been left on their own rather than attached to the previous word so when reattached, lost a word.
One missed out on being placed because it less of an impact on me as a judge. I’m a stickler for repetition and there was a lot of repetition in it. That’s personal choice but, for me, it’s how much I enjoy the piece as well as how well it’s written. Its author, sadly, only submitted one story so missed out entirely.
One of the last submissions was only 99 words because a number (ninety-nine) wasn’t hyphenated so ironically was disqualified for only being 99 words. Even sadder is the fact that the author only submitted that story rather than taking up the offer of submitting up to three so missed out. Hopefully he / she will submit again for another theme.
Finally, one story was marked down for a typo (a ‘The’ instead of – I assumed – ‘He’) which was a shame. Please read, reread and read again your story before submitting. Read aloud. Read each sentence in reverse order, from the last to the first. It won’t make sense but that’s the point – you’re too close to your writing. Write it early, let it marinate, then read, tweak and submit when you’re 100% happy with it.
The winning 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 rather than being more ‘literary’, 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 June is ‘the wrong card’ and you can submit your entries (and do send three) at any time up to midnight (UK time) on Sunday 30th June. 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.
Gerry Coyle with ‘Endless Knot’
Your fingertips brush the bows of my bark, burning to penetrate my heart carved from hearts. You circle me, treading the path where lovers’ palms once kneaded soil and harts fed on grass. You wield an axe to ease my severance. I pine to strip flesh from ignorant bones. One tug on the cord and metal teeth begin to laugh. You fail to hear a warning cry over the laughter of your accomplice. The cry comes from a woman’s face behind a pantry window. In haste, you’ve failed to notice the wind direction. And the direction in which I lean.
Lucy Morrice with ‘Won’t Buy you Happiness’
For the first time, he experienced pure joy.
The trigger was another election, a shift further to the right, a society increasingly divided and cruel.
He recognised his part in the country’s downfall, the pursuit of wealth, climbing over others and stamping on their livelihoods.
His mother would be horrified. She always told him to keep something aside ‘for a rainy day’. He had given it all away, to the environmentalists, the food banks, the shelters for abused women.
He had enough to get by, and he had his hot feet cooling in a stream, with trout nibbling his toes.
Lestie Mulholland with ‘Payment Plan Percy’
I knew I was being irresponsible but I couldn’t help it. What I wanted was expensive, not-enough-money-in-my-bank-account expensive, but the taste of ownership had become peppery.
Maybe I could stretch my card? Maybe the bank manager would understand? I certainly did.
Caressing the fur, stroking it, feeling its sensual softness, delighting in the creamy colour and contemplating the consequences of my actions, I got lost in my thoughts.
Pure-bred Persian, aquamarine eyes, I would call him Percival. So what if they had a ‘no pets’ policy at the complex, I’d deal with that later as well.
Purring, I drove home.
- Anne-Marie Latter with ‘Blue Lines’
- Jennie Cordner with ‘Congratulations!’
- Kathy Schilbach with ‘Gone’
- Paul Mastaglio with ‘Sign of the Tides’
Honourable mentions (not winning anything but only narrowly missing out and still looking good on their CV) – in alphabetical order:
- Dide Siemmond with ‘Lilith’
- Katy Lohman with ‘Take Me’
- Shalom Aranas with ‘The Vampire Ogrencisi’
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 email@example.com, although I won’t (can’t) discuss forthcoming entries unless it’s a general query.