QuickFic 15/07/16: The Winner

Quickfic

RUNNER-UP: Thom Willis (we’re going to have to ban you soon, Thom)

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“…bones, for some reason!” and he laughed; hugely, uproariously. She sank into herself. Oh god, that laugh. So certain of its own hilarity, so arrogant, so obnoxious. A toxic cloud of self-amusment that drifted slowly out from him until it stifled the genuine fun from any given room. He should have a warning, a yellow triangular sticker slapped on his face. Caution. Fumes.

She fumed. He could feel her resentment, white hot burning a hole in the sofa they just about shared. The gulf between them made it feel like two separate pieces of furniture. He tried to lighten the mood with a joke that screeched down to Earth in flames. Why did she do this? Incinerate the joy around her? She should have a warning, a red circle. Danger! Naked flame!

Those two are so great together, though you wouldn’t know it to hear them talk. They have a real spark, true chemistry. The way she reacts to him… It’s like hate, but you can see she’s knocked out by him, and she makes him just explode. They should have a warning, a big sign. Keep out. Private.

 

WINNER: Simon Higgs

Fathom

When Tom told what he considered to be an amusing anecdote, he would laugh the whole way through it. That uproarious laugh was one of a multitude of things that first drew Red toward him, a tide of tremendous traits that had turned, and now each and every one of them repulsed her.
 
As a child Red had watched her many brothers as they dammed the stream that ran past the house and created reservoirs for their toy naval battles. The steam always won in the end of course, especially if she gave it a little helping hand by tugging at an out-cropped twig or stone.
 
Tom had seemed to her like a rock, back in those days when she levered him away from his wife and children. Yet now she was breaking through and away downstream and running her inevitable course. The thing Tom had feared most, that she would one day change her course, had happened. The Storm had come and the swollen river, force of nature, was once more on the move, and he hadn’t even worked it out yet.
 
When that dam breaks, his soaring laugh will then be silenced, drowned deep beneath and unable to absorb. To Red this has already begun – his eyes now pearls, his bones of coral made. That damned laugh was his own drowning, and the story he was telling was not so funny, and everyone else could see the coming end.

 

Congratulations, Thom and Simon! And thanks everyone, for another round of astoundingly good flashing.

See you next week!

QuickFic 15/07/16

Hi there!

Firstly, sincere apologies for our non-appearance last week. It might have been the day after the Summer Party here and it might also have been someone’s significant birthday.

I can’t say for sure. It certainly wasn’t me.

(It was me.)

Anyway. Moving on. Here’s a new prompt!

As always, we’re looking for stories of 250 words or less, inspired by the prompt and sent to us at academy@faber.co.uk by 2:50pm. Please include a title and a word count.

You might win these books!

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Right then. Let’s have a look at this prompt.

Here it is:

Quickfic

Yep.

See you back here at 3:30!

By entering our QuickFic writing competitions, you’re granting us non-exclusive worldwide permission to reprint your story on our website should you win. The winner will also get a chance to win a place on one of our Start to Write one day courses, because at the end of the year we’ll be choosing our favourite of all the winners – the champion of champions, basically.

For more creative writing exercises, click here.

QuickFic 01/07/16: The Winner

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Runner-up: Laura Riley

The Question

A satisfied sigh curled from Jennifer Attley’s rouged lips, as she relaxed into her exquisitely upholstered chair. She drained the last drops of her weapon of choice – a Vodka martini. Ice cold Grey Goose, Noilly Prat Original Dry, and three olives leaning proudly at the side of the glass – served alongside a generous Xanax chaser. This particular cocktail had ensured many a good night’s sleep. She’d upped today’s dosage. Nothing short of the hand of God would rouse her once it took its effect.

It had been quite a day. The screen icon had listened intently as her husband – studio owner Jerry Montgomery – informed her of his plans to divorce her. There was an ingenue – not his first – but there was a complication this time. The ingenue was pregnant.

He told her this as they both sat upon their marital bed. He told her this, after they had just shared that bed. Once he was finished, Jennifer rose calmly, crossing the room to her bureau. She confidently grabbed for the revolver inside, and without a moment’s pause pointed it between her husband’s eyes and pulled the trigger. Wiping away her prints, she forced the gun into her husband’s dead hand.

They would find her first – immaculately laid out downstairs. Then they would find him – another apparent suicide – but who had been first? This would be the greatest story of her career. No-one would ever know the answer – but the question? Oh, the question would live on forever.

***

Winner: Rebecca Pizzey

Gored

Through an octopus of smoke in Spanish: you can’t die from a bull kick to the head. Several cigarette laughs and a thump on the poker table. Someone remarked that the matador deserved it – not quick on his feet.

The balcony was awash with late afternoon heat and a cacophony of sounds and smells from the street below, into which the men were leisurely spitting and tapping ash. His money spent, Thom turned away from the gambling men and saw that Biddy had arrived.

She was surveying him imperiously from between the encasing wings of an armchair, her long fingers encircling a crystal martini glass – the only thing she was known to embrace.

She looked utterly royal; everything about her, from her carefully arranged silk frills to the tight curl of her hair, was demanding of a Velázquez.

Thom extricated himself from the table and plunged into the heady hotel suite. The only movement in the velvet quiet was the revolving liquid in Biddy’s glass, over which she was appraising him.

‘You must have been devastated.’ Her voice was the punch of a diamond earring. ‘All that money – and he fell.

‘I didn’t watch the fight,’ she went on, a flush creeping up her exposed collarbones. ‘I was seeing to Marty.’

Thom’s voice died in his throat.

‘He’s as good as dead. Like your friend the matador.’ Her martini whisper folded itself into Thom, who had no time to wonder whether he could have been quicker on his feet.

***

Congratulations, Laura and Rebecca! And thanks, as always, to everyone for their brilliant stories.

See you next week!

QuickFic 01/07/16

Gooooood morning, team. Ready for a flash fiction fix?

We definitely are.

It’s been a couple of weeks so let’s remind ourselves of the rules, shall we? They go a little something like this:

  • At 9:50 on a Friday, we give you a prompt
  • You write us a story, a very small one (up to 250 words), and send it to us at academy@faber.co.uk
  • (But make sure it has a title and your wordcount included before you do that!)
  • Do all of that by 2:50pm, because that is when the deadline is

At 3:30, we’ll announce the winner – and the winner will win these excellent books:

qf67_books

They look nice, eh?

Come on then. Let’s have a look at this prompt:

qf67_orig

Yup.

See you back here at 3:30!

By entering our QuickFic writing competitions, you’re granting us non-exclusive worldwide permission to reprint your story on our website should you win. The winner will also get a chance to win a place on one of our Start to Write one day courses, because at the end of the year we’ll be choosing our favourite of all the winners – the champion of champions, basically.

For more creative writing exercises, click here.