We ended up with five entries, well down on previous competitions in terms of quantity, but well up to or above standard in quality, in my opinion.
A reminder of the Rules
‘A work of whatever length you wish and in whatever genre you choose on the theme of looking forward or looking back.
Prescribed words: ‘party’, ‘permanent’ and ‘accident’.
Not essential if you choose not to work them into your effort but I will give serious weight to their creative use in the event of a tie.
The entries in order of submission
Janus – ‘A Permanent Reminder’
The thing that really gets on my wick about Janus is the sublime and enviable ease with which he seems to be able to produce his poetic masterpieces. It may well be that he actually spends hours in a lonely garret, struggling to find the mot juste, but his finished products never suggest anything other than effortless and superlative craftmanship to me. I believe that the world of Slacky Bottom deserves a much wider audience.
Araminta – ‘The Political Wife’
A superbly, seriously scary story . What I really liked was the fact that I was left with not one shred of sympathy for him. As Ara herself says, she could have wimped out and given us a ‘happy’ ending. I am glad that she did not and three cheers for the catalytic Gwen who is, quite clearly, a CO sort of person.
The Royalist –‘Canvasses and Mattresses’
My pal JW, as I like to think of him, never ceases to amaze me. I think that he is going from strength to strength and his efforts are always a joy to read. Added to which, there is always something in his work to take you shooting off in a new direction.
Thanks to him, and google, I now know that the official marching song of the French Foreign Legion is a paean of praise to the black pudding
That’s valuable knowledge for when we get on to ‘Eggheads’ Anybody else fancy putting up a ‘Boa’s Chariot’ team to challenge them, by the way?
Seriously, JW, a great entry and an honourable mention for incorporating all three words in the same sentence.
Pseu –‘Perfect Conkers’
In submitting her entry, Pseu said that it was ‘longer than usual’ and apologised. Absolutely no need to apologise. Maybe mainly written before the competition, as she also says, but it fits completely into the looking back theme. As she must know herself, it could be much, much longer.
I was left wanting to know more about how it turned out with Mr Spencer and the choir, those older boys, Richard’s Dad, etc etc. Above all else, it gave me memories of my childhood with, for example, Mrs Todd’s maquillage reminding me of my own dear maiden aunts as they swooped in for the obligatory kiss.
In sum, Pseu’s tale worked for me on so many levels.
I remember OZ’s first part of this tale very well. This is also, I believe, a story that could expand in so many ways. I found this terse telling of Sassie’s side completely compelling and I am left wanting to know more. OZ seems to me to be an effortless writer, however modest his disclaimers, and I always enjoy his work.
Readers Prize: Appears to be a tie between Janus and Ara at the moment of posting.
Packing Room Prize: Over to Bearsy
My Decision: Thanks for all the entries. Ara is runner-up and I award the competition to Pseu.