Hi there. That went rather quickly, didn’t it?
This week, we asked for stories about these two ladies:
What are they up to, eh?
Well, you had plenty of answers to that question, and they have entertained and intrigued us all day. So thanks!
We did of course have to choose a winner, so that our lovely stack of books has a place to live. So here are this week’s winning and running-up (shh, that’s a thing) stories.
RUNNER-UP: Thom Willis
‘Keep writing,’ the tone wavered between hope and command. ‘No. No that. It wasn’t that.’ She flipped past another postcard, reached for a cigarette and took a shaking drag.
It had been two weeks; both of them holed up in a hotel room writing postcard after postcard. The room service bill alone would wipe them out if they had any intention of paying it.
‘I don’t remember what it said!’ She tapped the light card with the tip of the pen. ‘Whose handwriting was it in?’
‘I’m sure it was yours.’ Another nervous pull on the cigarette.
Her hand was cramping as she began again. Salutation. Brief message. Sign off. Address, well, that was easy because they found it here a fortnight ago, dated tomorrow. A warning. ‘But you can’t tell me what the warning was?’ She grabbed the wine glass at the foot of the bed, scowled at its stubborn emptiness, refilled, drank. Perhaps she needed to be drunk, perhaps the words would come in those stretching gaps between thought.
‘I think I might just tell us not to waste our lives here,’ she declared. She looked at the card and started doodling and scribbling. ‘I want to go now.’ She stood up, threw the last card on the pile and left. The back was covered in pictures. Two people, hearts, the sun, all slashed through with thick strokes of the pen. A grey smear of dropped ash.
WINNER: Bethan James
Lying low was the only way for it now, after what we’d done.
Sylvia thought it was all a bit of fun, of course. She always did. Lounging around on the motel bed like it was some holiday we were on. More of a getaway.
I noticed she still had a fleck of blood on her cheek. It wasn’t her own.
While Sylvia was flicking through the newspaper and sipping whisky from that damn hip flask of hers, I was busy adding up what cash we had left and trying to figure where the hell to go next. I never was no good at map reading.
I cowered at the sound of every footstep and whisper coming from the corridor. She must’ve seen the frown lines gathering on my forehead.
‘Will you quit worrying Emily!’ She chucked a pillow at me.
‘Could they find us out here?’
‘We’re miles away now, and no one knows where we are anyhow.’
‘Shh. Can you hear that? Ain’t it him whistlin’ that tune out in the parking lot?’
She rolled her eyes. I got up to look through the curtains, but she grabbed my arm and thrust the whisky into my hand.
I enjoyed how the amber liquid burnt my throat.
Never did figure out if I was the one takin’ care of her, or if she was takin’ care of me.
Then there was pounding on the door.
The last thing I heard was that tune he always whistled.
Congratulations, Thom and Bethan! And thanks to everyone who entered. The most wonderful of weekend wishes to you.