Hello everyone. This month I received 27 entries from 17 authors. Two were disqualified for being 99 and 202 words but fortunately the authors had submitted other stories. Another two were disqualified for not being written to the theme (‘cool’) which was a shame because they were both by the same author who had not submitted before. Another story missed out because of a typo (form instead of from). I’m harsh, I’m sorry but 100 words isn’t a lot to read, read again and read until it’s word perfect. This is a competition; it’s not fair on the other entrants who have ensured their entries are right.
The winning stories are ones that I reacted most favourably to and scored accordingly. They were clever, surprising, eek-making (in a good way), or gave me a warm fuzzy feeling.
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. 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). *The theme for October is ‘a crime story’ and you can submit your entries at any time up to midnight (UK time) on Monday 31st October.
So without further ado, below are the successful entries this month.
Lesley Middleton with ‘Emergency Exit’
The fire alarm is deafening. The staircase is too narrow to cope with so many people. Everyone’s at a standstill.
Below me, there is screaming and banging on the emergency door.
“It’s probably locked, for security,” the man at my side surmises, his face pale with terror.
It’s hotter now and I can smell smoke. People are coughing. I must stay cool.
I lean over the rail and shout: “Follow me. This way. We need to find another way out.” It’s difficult to sound calm whilst shouting at the top of my voice – when I know there isn’t another exit.
Lestie Mulholland with ‘TQ aka Temperature Quotient’
I wonder if there’s a mathematical formula to work out the time it takes to cool down after a spitting argument with a cobra. Well, not really a live one, but that’s what I call my sweet snake of a mother-in-law.
Now let’s see.
If x equals the quarrel and y the intensity and you multiply it by z being frequency, and if you then minus c being the time taken for breaths in between sarcastic shouting, then x plus y times z minus c should give you the cool-down rate.
Does it? Dunno, I’m not very good at Maths.
Paul Isaac with ‘Good Decision’
‘Sorry mate. It’s all over the internet.’
Johnny set the cracked wing mirror down atop the wreck as his friend showed him footage from his smartphone. In it, Johnny’s now ex-girlfriend appeared to lay into his new car with a sledgehammer.
‘She asked me to choose,’ Johnny said, shrugging his shoulders. ‘I guess she didn’t like my answer.’
‘You seem remarkably cool about this.’
Johnny grinned, took his car keys from his pocket and raised them into the air, pressing the button. Behind him, an identical make and model blinked into life.
‘I bought mine because I liked my neighbour’s…’
Laura Besley with ‘How to Be Normal’
Get up at six (even if you wake up at three am), eat breakfast, drink tea, feed the dog, shower, get dressed, walk the dog, talk to someone (try to keep your cool when they ask you how you are now in that soft voice), buy the paper, come home, read the paper, do the crossword, have lunch, walk the dog again, eat dinner (cook something decent), wash up, watch television, go to bed.
Don’t have an afternoon nap, don’t look at old pictures of the two of you, don’t cry (please don’t cry), don’t stop breathing (in and out).
- BAM with Ohayou (おはよう)
- Brigette Furlonger with ‘Autumn Breeze’
- Jason Phillips with ‘One Day’
- Jim Landwehr with ‘Terestrially Adjusted’
- Monique Clements with ‘Carer’s Allowance’
- Ray Trzaska with ‘Jump’
- Sowmya Ramkumar with ‘Cool Granny’
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.