Here is the shortlist of 5 stories, in alphabetical order by title and well done to all those who’ve reached this stage – and the longlist stage. It was very hard to whittle the entries down from 10 to 5, believe me!
The judge has had these 5 to choose from over the weekend (without knowing who wrote them) and he/she has chosen his/her winner and runner-up, so feel free to comment below and choose your favourite, if you so wish! (And if you’re late to the party – or you’ve forgotten – the 5 words that had to be used – in a max 100 word piece – were: whale, kidney, race, honey and seven).
Final results will be up in a day or so but in the meantime, if you want more ‘flash fiction’ competitions have a look here on Christopher Fielden’s website. (His very comprehensive list was only updated on 15th September).
As Pretty As – Stacey Taylor
Seven stone. You’re getting there in your quest for thinness. You can still feel the honey on your tongue, all heavy and sticky, coating your throat with calories. You had to have something so they’d leave you alone for a bit. No matter, only a small sidetrack, and at least you don’t look like a beached whale anymore.
The doctor comes back into the room.
You hear the words, but they don’t sink in.
Then there’s another voice. ‘If you lose a bit of weight you’ll be as pretty as your sister.’
You smile. You’re winning the race.
Don’t Say I Never Treat You – Maryanne Pike
Trouble and strife’s on at me ‘bout taking ‘er out, says I don’t care. So I says, ‘Paint a smile on yer boat race, we’re going down the rub-a-dub for kidney-punch.
She eyes the roast but I’m short of the old bread ‘n honey and it’s only seven nicker for a pie and pint.
Me chinas were there for laughs. I told her beer washes out and ‘ad took air freshener for the jam tarts. I wouldn’t leave ‘til the match on the jelly finished, it were a whale of a time.
I’ll not have to take ‘er out again.
Full House – Christine Cherry
She spotted him, first day, at lunch club.
“Peter,” he said.
“Rita,” she said.
They laughed. The Bingo began.
‘What a honey,’ she thought. He winked, over steak and kidney pie.
“Had a whale of a time,” he kissed her.
Every week, hair set, saving his seat; sharing her sweets, and his jokes.
“Got to tell you,” he sighed. “It’s love.”
Her heart raced, as she marked off her card.
“Getting married,” he whispered. ” You’ll love her, my Joan, can’t believe it.”
“Seven!” the call.
“Bingo!” His nudge, and that wink. “Well…aren’t you the lucky one, Rita?”
Mary, Mary Quite Contrary – Aly Rhodes
‘Blubber whale!’ The children’s taunts pursue Mary, waddling her way home.
Her heart races as she climbs the stairs to the seventh floor. One bulb stutters. On its death bed.
The tins of cat food clink against her thigh, leaving indentations. Mary thinks fondly of her beloved Honey. Her soul companion.
‘I’m home.’ The flat is sullen in its silence.
Where is she? Her beautiful Siamese?
On the lino lies gnawed at steak and kidney pie. Their tea.
‘PAY US RAN SUM’ is scribbled across the wall. Again.
Mary extracts a carving knife from the oven.
‘Lesson time.’ She purrs.
Whale Watching – Ciarán Parkes
Evenings, they’d lie in the kidney shaped pool, looking out for whales.
Their hillside folly had finally paid off. When the ocean flooded the town they didn’t have to join the race for higher ground.
‘Look!’, said Honey, ‘there’s a Minke’. Or maybe it was a Sperm Whale. Google Image Search was down. Permanently.
It was high tide. The spires of drowned churches stuck out of the heavy waves like switched off lighthouses. Seven of them. The whales floating above like unexpected miracles.