Posted in Short Stories

Spring Fling Writing Contest 2020

The Challenge

Find a gif and write a Spring-inspired children’s story, using a maximum of 150 words.

Snoopy & Woodstock gardening

My Entry: ‘THE JAMMIE DODGER TREE’ (149 words)

Archie Pickle firmly believed that a good day started with a pair of galoshes and a runcible spoon. Spring was springing and he had work to do before it was sprung.

“I’m planting a Jammie Dodger tree!” He dug a hole in the lawn and surrendered one of his favourite tea-dunkers. Watering it generously, he tapped the soil with his sole, marvelling at a job well done.

That night, the next-door neighbour twitched her curtains, grumbling to her long-suffering husband.

“That crackpot Pickle woman is digging up her front garden.”

“Mm-hmm.”

“It’s two a.m.!”

“Mm-hmm.”

“Any sane person would be in bed!”

Next morning, Archie shimmied on his galoshes and raced outside. A glorious, jamilicious treat-laden tree had sprung up.

Mrs Pickle gazed at the delicious wonder. “It’s magic,” she sighed.

Archie rolled his eyes, pointing at the spoon and the watering can. “It’s not magic, mum. It’s science.”

Posted in Short Stories

Valentiny Writing Contest 2020

The Challenge

To write a children’s Valentines story, in which someone feels curious, using a maximum of 214 words.

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My Entry: ‘CUPID CAPER’ (214 words)

“One last time.” The cop rubbed his jowl. “Where were you on the night of February 14th?”

The chubby cherub scratched his bottom. Wing-cuffed, because he was considered a flight-risk, Cupid had been in the windowless room for ten hours.

“I was at home, watching Love Actually.” With his rosy cheeks, bottomless blue eyes, and golden curls, he had the face of a criminal.

“Can anyone verify that?”

“Would you believe me if I said the Easter Bunny?”

The cop slammed his hand on the table. “Tell me how you did it, Mr Cupid!”

“I can’t do that, Chief Inspector.” There was a twinkle in Cupid’s eye, like a villain.

Furiously frazzled and utterly knick-knacked, the cop stormed out.

“Any luck, sir?” the rookie asked.

The cop took out his handkerchief and mopped his brow. “Diddly-squat.”

“But every year, sir, like clockwork: the switchboard gets inundated with calls of people falling in love!”

The cop hurled his handkerchief to the ground. “I know! And the culprit is in that room! What I don’t know is, how he does it.”

“The victims?”

“Don’t remember a blasted thing.”

“I’ve got a friend, married 25 years because of him. It’s scandalous!”

The cop chuckled mirthlessly. “Oh, he’s been playing this game a lot longer than that, sunshine.”


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Thank you to Susanna Hill for setting up this marvellous contest; to the judges for their time in judging all the amazing entries posted (an unenviable task); and to the prize-givers for putting the icing on the cake.

The Result:

I am absolutely over-the-moon to have been awarded an HONOURABLE MENTION for humour! Yay me!

Posted in Short Stories

KidLit Fall Writing Frenzy 2019

THE CHALLENGE:

To write a max 200-word short story inspired by one of the given images. Here is the one I chose:

MY ENTRY: ‘AUCTION MOUSE’

“Roll up, roll up!” A dapper sootish mouse with a permanently puffed-up chest and glint in his eye, tapped the edge of the Baked Beans can that he stood on, and cleared his throat. “It is the day after Halloween… And you know what that means? That’s right, Gentlemice! HOUSES FOR SALE!”

The town-mice edged closer; casting longing looks at the higgledy-piggledy pile of carved pumpkins lolling next to the wheelie-bin. They all wanted one.

“We’ve got big ones, small ones, ones with windows, ones with TWO windows…” the auctioneer rattled on, watching the eyes of his patrons grow wider.

“Five nuggets of cheese for the one with the crooked smile!” a portly mouse with a missing front tooth shouted from the back.

“TEN!” The old church-mouse narrowed her eyes.

“FIFTEEN NUGGETS OF CHEESE AND A BUNDLE OF FLUFF!” The tailor-mouse waved his paw, tripping over his mouselings who were hopped up with glee.

The auctioneer glanced at the pumpkins with their rictus grins. ‘Keep smiling’, he thought deliciously. ‘Halloween’s not over yet.’

“SOLD!”

THE RESULT

This was the first writing competition I’d ever entered, so I was absolutely DELIGHTED to have been awarded an HONOURABLE MENTION for “Fantastic Characterization”. Thank you to all those hard-working busy bees who organised and contributed to the contest. I’ll be sure to try again next year!