I have decided to make short stories a regular part of my blogging, I think it makes a nice change from photos, travel and gut bacteria! Most months I enter the Australian Writers’ Centre Furious Fiction Competition. $500 prize, 500 words and 55 hours to write it. My stories are not polished. I write it on the Friday night it comes out. If it’s not finished by Friday bedtime, I don’t enter. You can find two other stories here and here
The prerequisites for the January competition were
- the first word had to be New
- it must contain the words nineteen, desert and present
- It needed to include a list (open to interpretation – either include an actual list or have a list included as part of the story)
Here is my story. I hope you enjoy it!
“New Years Resolutions,” the brand new pink glitter pen wrote with an excessively enthusiastic flourish on the first page of the blank journal.
The woman looked at the Pen’s work; satisfied and pleased with its efforts! She liked this Pen.
This year was gonna be a good year!
“We’re gonna party like it’s twenty – nineteen ….
Party like it’s twennnn-ty ninnnnnne-teeeeen.”
No matter how hard she tired, she could not get the rhythm right…
She brought her attention back to the blank page. It shone creamy-white, like a desert waiting for the rain to transform it into an oasis and fulfil its real purpose. #blessed
Enough of the inspirational quotes, let’s get down to it….”New Year’s Resolutions”. The Pen traced over the letters and filled in the missing apostrophe.
- Go all year without alcohol.
Scratch that. The Pen scribbled over the statement. Listen, Lady, that’s just silly. It’s your birthday in three weeks. Then there’s Henry’s birthday and then Valentine’s and then….
So many “and thens”. The Pen knew more than the woman even though they’d just met.
“Let’s be more realistic,” it said. The woman obliged
- Go without alcohol for 6 months.
What in a row?
Ok… not in a row.
- Go without alcohol for 6 of the 12 months; it doesn’t need to be consecutive.
The Pen was ready to move on
2. Exercise six days per week.
Does yoga count as exercise?
OK! Lock it in Eddy!
3. Eat a wholly plant-based diet.
What about yogurt? Yogurt’s healthy, and it’s not from a plant. And kefir? That’s even better than yogurt!
- Eat mostly plants, but dairy is OK too.
- Be more mindful. Live in the present.
Hah! Why are we writing this stupid list then? This is a future based document. Your whole premise is just shot to pieces, and it’s not even 9 AM on the first of January! Hah!
- BE MORE MINDFUL!
Alright….don’t lose your cool. I’m only saying…
FIVE? How many of these do we have to have? Surely we should only have 3 – 4 SMART goals… not a great long list of things you’ll just look back on in a year and feel regret, remorse and recrimination over.
- Remain calm in the face of criticism.
What? Having a crack, are we? Can’t handle a little constructive banter? Well, don’t be blaming me when you fall in a heap before autumn!
- Read at least four books from the “good books” list.
What? …Excuse me! You’re gonna do that anyway. You’re a librarian. You read books for a living! Surely you can come up with something more inspiring than that? Where are the resolutions that challenge the envelope? The ones that will stretch us to our limits? Heh? Where are they?
- Climb Mt Everest!
- Drop pink glitter Pen into the abyss!
Hang on… I’m only trying to heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllppppppph!
She chose another pen…