Tagged: Monthly competition
March 2, 2021 at 8:26 am #9851
I’m mesmerised, at this time of year, by the sudden appearance of bright spring flowers, transforming seemingly barren ground to a show of life and colour. So this month’s competition is about TRANSFORMATION. Any kind – winter garden to spring; person from human to angel. Whatever your imagination comes up with, in 400 words.March 15, 2021 at 10:44 am #9976
Now our winter comp is over – may I remind all of you wonderful story tellers that the monthly ones are still running, March already half-way through.
At present no contenders.March 16, 2021 at 11:43 am #9983
Despite the haste of his extreme, and unavoidably, late arrival – ‘Sorry, sorry, bastards took my phone so no way to warn. I’ll be fine, just need to wash the blood off … nose, yeah. Not broken. No, it’s fine, Alix paid my cab off at the door. And yeah, the police took witness statements.’ – he’d caught a glimpse of her as he hurried past the half-open door. Knew her straight off, even though, visually, she nothing like … like how he remembered.
No surprise there. Especially as the last time had been … necessary to forget.
What was surprising, least at first and speedy glance, impossible to say whether change for better or worse. (Change since the first time, of course; anything would’ve been better than the last.) God’s sake, it was years! – How many? He’d have to count.
Uni they’d met. Both first year. Which would’ve been October ’77. She’d been … he’d noticed her, straight away. (Wanted her, intended to have her, soon as he laid eyes on her.)
‘Gamine’ a much-bandied word at the time. Long-legged and impish certainly applied. That witchy cloud of black hair. (That obviously much changed. He now wanted to say spindrift except that applied to sea-spray whereas the whiteness of it fresh-fallen snow. Snow drift of course.
It had been thirty years.
But what was she doing here?
Same as him, she must’ve been invited.
Same as him, she’d must’ve changed her name. Otherwise the invitation would’ve given warning.
And, similarly warned, she’d not’ve come within a hundred miles. But why was she here? Attending his publisher’s literary event?
As one of five short-listers?
Quietly returning, he slipped in to stand at the nearest end of the announcement-poised line. She at the far end. Relief across the face of the compere, envelope in hand, ready to pull out the list and do the dramatic thing of opening and acting surprised even though he must know the name of the winner.
That they’d waited … could it be it was him?
It was her.
Stepping forward. Long sleeved, scarlet linen dress. Scarlet as the blood he’d just washed off his face. As the blood she’d last time lain in … Sleeves still necessary to hid the scars?
Blue eyes as remembered. As was the transformation from gratified to gut-sick horror as she turned to congratulate her fellow contenders. Saw and recognised him.
[400 words excluding title]March 23, 2021 at 10:21 am #10057
One week left for the March comp, with one excellent entry as yet.March 27, 2021 at 5:43 pm #10072SeagreenParticipant
UNTITLED (as usual!)
89 words, so a bit on the short side, and I don’t mind if this makes no sense to anyone but me 🙂
I saw the prompt and thought I would
Write a poem, if I could,
I took a vintage text (or two)
And tried to fashion something new,
Nothing worked till I caught sight
Of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight
And so my Transformation piece
Are august words condensed to these
Clear grey eyes
as still as stones
Seek out a place I do not know
Yellow and withered
Whirled the dust that the drought had made
Fierce and fell
As white as snowdrifts on the hillsMarch 30, 2021 at 5:55 pm #10097
last (24hr-ish) shout for the monthly comp (do we still want to keep this going in its current form?). Already we have two excellent entries, but one or two more would be lovely.March 31, 2021 at 2:38 pm #10102DaedalusParticipant
It’s easy to transform. You just change, from one state to
Another. Nothing much to worry
About. Examples are (quite literally) everywhere you
Look. Consider the universe. Just
Took the universe a picosecond to drag itself
Out of an incomprehensible
Mess, shrugging on the laws of physics, sorting
Its chaotic nature into four fundamental
Forces. (Put aside for
A moment that some of them don’t
Line up terribly
Well – the universe was doing its
Best. I’d like to see
You turn things around in a
Leaving a boson or two unaccounted for).
That’s self-confidence. And if
Things have been
Downhill since then (in terms of the
Conservation of energy) what
Of it? You might see an expanding girth. Others
See new horizons. Just
Pull yourself together and be your
Best. The universe
Didn’t exactly have it easy. But it
Got through the
Planck Epoch at 1.417×1032K
And look at it
Now. And butterflies. Who doesn’t
Love a butterfly?
Each one transformed, from a
Dull larva to
A glorious fluttering being. That
Could be you too
You know. Just takes the courage to
Fix your pupa and
Change. That’s it. Just wait while
Your organs liquify
And rebuild, while on the surface scales
Erupt, each expanding
From a single cell, and vestigial flaps flare
Into vivid wings,
Tearing your new self from the
Does it hurt? I can’t imagine
It doesn’t. Does
The butterfly remember what
It was, while
It flits and wafts among flowers, drinking
Nectar and living
Its best life? Perhaps it’s better
261 wordsMarch 31, 2021 at 2:55 pm #10103AthelstoneModerator
Rose the Cat
One day when I was seven, my sister Rose turned into a cat. I expected it because Rose had said ‘You won’t catch me here much longer. Not like this.’ Mr Cobden, the old man at the end of the road next to where the people had little walls all over their garden that my mum said were ‘common’, said to us that we would both live long and happy lives. And Mr Cobden knew about everything. I wasn’t sure whether Rose was happy being a cat or not, but I did know that cats live about fifteen years if they’re lucky and the very old ones as long as twenty something. And Rose was already seventeen. So, no, Mr Cobden, not a long life after all.
Mum didn’t seem surprised, but she cried loads. And Dad did when he drank his whisky which was when he thought nobody was watching like in the kitchen when he had his back to me and was taking great big swigs out of the bottle, and later I heard Mum say that he shouldn’t be necking booze like that and it wasn’t going to help anybody.
Rose was a very furry cat, and her fur was the same colour as her hair had been, which is obvious, I suppose, but she didn’t seem to know us. I imagined she would sleep in her own bedroom as usual but she never came closer than the garden. She meowed but wouldn’t come through the door when I opened it.
I’d seen somebody change before. When I was six Mum and me visited Mrs Foster at number twenty-eight and went to her kitchen door like normal but she was down on her hands and knees with a razor blade like Dad’s and it looked like she was trying to scrape the pattern off the lino and she was crying and said, ‘Oh God, Oh God, I can’t do it anymore.’ Mum took me straight home.
Later when I looked across the gardens, Mrs Foster had turned into something growing off a tree and I told Dad and he said ‘Oh God, Oh God,’ and Rose said, ‘No, she turned into a ghost.’
After a while, I didn’t see Rose again. I said to Dad, ‘Rose has gone, hasn’t she.’ And Dad looked at me and said, ‘She changed, sweetheart.’ And I said, ‘I know.’
398 ex titleApril 1, 2021 at 7:03 am #10104
I’m thinking Janette should be careful what she wished for – I guess her task has just quadrupled!April 1, 2021 at 9:37 am #10105
Wow, who would have guessed that no take-up would transform into four superb entries that I can’t fit a gnat’s wing between. I’ve read and re-read, and gone out for a walk – and here are my conclusions, before I change my mind:
Sandra – Catalyst
A gritty, rich voice taking us through a concise, gripping read and an unexpected but brilliantly thought out transformation – that twist at the end finished it perfectly.
Another unique twist – this turning words into poetry, inspired by Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Another concise, rich read, making the most of every word from a very canny wordsmith.
Daedalus – Transformation
Another oh-so clever piece that had me drawing breath – nature and all things natural, a topic close to my heart. It takes us from the transformation of our vast universe down to the smallest, most fragile insect – in verse. Ingenious.
Athelstone – Rose the Cat
Really touching, young voice, telling us of the transformation of her sister – or was it? The clue near the end, perhaps, of the old lady scratching at the floor; like the little girl making sense of a passing kind of transformation? An absolute delight of a read.
Yeah, how to choose from those? But I have to, and so I’m handing next month over to Sandra.April 1, 2021 at 9:47 am #10106
Wow. Thank you Janette, I’d relaxed, confident of having been entertainingly pipped at the post. Will drag myself from editing and see what I can come up with.April 1, 2021 at 1:14 pm #10108AthelstoneModerator
Smashing story, Sandra. Very well deserved win!April 1, 2021 at 1:57 pm #10109SeagreenParticipant
Congratulations, Sandra! 😊 And well done to Ath and Daeds. All brilliant entries!
Thanks for the prompt, Janette, that encouraged me to try something completely different 👍April 2, 2021 at 7:15 am #10110
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