Here was my entry to last week’s ‘Write Invite’ competition. To remind you, the competition goes live at 5.30pm GMT every Saturday and offers you three themes. You then have thirty minutes to pick one, write a short story using that theme; edit, proof and submit. If 6pm GMT comes and you haven’t submitted, then that’s it, you’re out! I started it a couple of weeks ago and it’s a great site, it is £4 to enter and the winner receives £50. I am taking part because I really miss that ‘examination’ feeling and the stress that comes from having a fixed deadline… sounds strange but it’s true! Don’t hate me. Anyway, each week three entries are shortlisted and then everyone who took part has the opportunity to vote on which one of the three they think should win. As I have said I am not in the least bit worried about being shortlisted and don’t expect anything, I am using this to improve. So what I thought I would do is share with you my entries (after the competition has closed for that week of course). You can visit the website here: http://www.write-invite.com to register (and have a go yourself!) and then you can see the short listed stories (but you can’t vote unless you took part). Here is my entry for Saturday 20th Feb 2016. The three themes were: (1) The Art of Leaving (2) Handbag and (3) Cold Hands, Warm Heart. I must admit for the first two, possibly three minutes I was totally blank and then the brain shunted into gear and an idea using theme (2) Handbag, emerged. I used every single second of the available time and clicked the submit button just in time. Here it is:
The brazen terror's all peaches and cream when it suits. The sod's a right little actor.
"Was it a cappuccino?" Melissa shouts above the crowd.
"Yes please!" I mouth back, ignoring several heads that turn my way. I was terrified earlier that today might just be the day I'd tell the brat to shove his head in between the panini griddle. I can't ignore it again. It's the right thing to do.
"Well, you should have been there, honestly Sammy, it was soooo funny," Melissa starts to reel off, scene by scene, an episode at the bank. It's to do with something about a mobility scooter, "... their shopping basket went everywhere... " and she isn't going to miss out a single second of the action, "... the daughter of that woman who runs the cafe, the one with eczema..." but my attention is elsewhere.
There he goes, there the little bugger goes.
"... literally covered in milk..."
He's swanning around thinking everyone loves him, that everyone thinks he's adorable and butter wouldn't melt.
"... then it must have short wired or something because the thing started speeding all around the foyer..."
I've got my eye on you this time. Ahh. He's seen me. He knows I'm watching. What are you going to do now you brat?
"... then the lady with the crutches goes up in the air! It was such a hoot! Sammy... Sammy, are you there? You with me, girl?" My nods and smiles mustn't have been convincing enough. She's got me.
"Sorry, Mel. Go on, I was just daydreaming then, go on, it sounds hilarious."
He saw me getting caught out there. Look at that smile, little git. I don't believe it. He's actually staring at me now. He's... he's bloody daring me the swine. He thinks I won't say anything! Go on! Let's just see about that!
"... I really needed a good laugh today Sammy, I really did. You know how crap this week's been. It was just what the doctor ordered, it really was."
I forgot Melissa's waiting on those results. I feel bad now, I should have at least pretended I was listening. I wrinkle my nose and thin my eyes at Timmy. He's still staring. Then Melissa's eyes start watering over.
".. I mean, I know everything's going to be fine, but you know, it's tough just thinking about..."
Oh god. She's off.
I don't believe it. The smug little sod is smiling right at me. He's going to do it. He's bloody going to do it! No. Oh my god the little... He's done it! He's reached right into that lady's handbag and taken something again. He's looking at me! Right. That is enough. I'm not letting you get away with it again you little...
"Do you think I'll get the time off work again, Mel? They've been giving me stick for weeks now. I can't afford to mess this up."
She's in tears now. I don't believe this. She's crying right in the middle of the coffee shop. He's going to win an oscar for this. I can't believe my eyes. He's running up to us. Brazen, cheeky, cheating, evil little sod. He's the devil.
"Mummy! Why are you crying mummy? Don't cry!" He's wrapped himself around Mel's legs and... yep, there we go. I see you. He gives me a dirty look as Mel leans over and hugs him.
He knows I won't tell his mum. Little sod.
So that’s two completed now and I’m quite enjoying taking part. I’m not too fussed about how good the stories are (I know that is the point of course, it is a competition) for now I’m just pleased to remember what it is like to work in a test condition (even if it is just 30 minutes) and start from scratch on actually produce a finished product in time, if ‘product’ is the right word.
I can’t enter today as a good friend received tickets to the UFC as a xmas present from his wife and asked if I wanted to go with him. I think it’s only the second time the UFC has been in the UK and although the idea of seeing this up close (why do I want to add ‘and personal’?) is a little daunting (I’m getting squeamish as I age) it should be an interesting experience. It also means missing England play in the Rugby Six Nations tournament so it had better be good!
Lastly, I have noticed that since changing the look of my blog a couple of weeks ago when I post a new entry, the linked Google+ post (I have set it so it automatically shares) uses my profile photo as an accompanying image BUT it lows it up to it's original size! So it looks as if I am posting a photo of myself every time! Slightly embarrassing! I think it is because lately I have not been including any images in my blog post so to test this out I am embedding an Instagram photo I took this week. It is for a short story idea I have (another competition) that has a character taking a walk around an old bronze age burial site that is near where I live. I'll share more with you when that competition eventually closes and I copy it here. Here's the image:
Have a great weekend,