This month I found it really easy to use the prompts provided by the Australian Writers’ Centre Furious Fiction Short Story Competition. The good luck fairies were standing on my side of the fence! I have been able to progress my Frankie story and have managed to get the Judge and Frankie in the same room. There may be a few continuity errors creeping in but heh…I’ll fix all that up when I combine all the chapters I have been putting together over this year.
This short story competition is serious fun and I recommend it to anyone who likes creative writing. Only 500 words with a prize of $A500. I’ve given up on writing for the prize, now I am just trying to write my story. I’m getting closer to the end!
This month the prompts were as follows:
- LOCATION: Your story must take place at a HOTEL.
- OBJECT/PROP: Your story must include a PHOTOGRAPH.
- WORDS: Your story must include the following words: COLLAR, GLOOMY, POLICE, RHYTHM, SAPPHIRE.
In Australia, a hotel can mean a number of things. A pub or bar or a hotel where you can get accommodation. Theoretically all hotels have to offer accommodation.
This month I submitted the story at 6:30 PM on Saturday, although I had essentially finished it on Friday night. Exactly 500 words.
O’Mallory meet Frankie
It had been a long time since O’Mallory had been in a dive as gloomy as the Mumbai Sapphire. Despite its name, there was nothing colourful or exotic about it. The air was fetid and the carpet sticky. He gingerly picked up his glass, and satisfied it was clean, he took a deep swig. He sighed and closed his eyes wallowing in the simple pleasure of an ice-cold beer.
His eyes darted around the bar, looking for signs of recognition in the faces. Had any of these characters been in his courtroom?
As he sat waiting for the others he peeked at the photograph again, holding it under the table like a schoolboy with their phone. He snorted with glee! He couldn’t believe that the Honourable Karen Brooks, Minister for Social Inclusion, founding member of the Ultra Conservative Party and co-drafter of the Fashion Laws, had been so indiscreet. So undeniably, comprehensively indiscreet! He snorted again! He wanted to drum his feet on the floor in a happy little rhythm.
The longer he waited the less brave he felt. It was all very well to talk about sedition on a Friday night after a few whiskeys, but could he actually do it? He was tempted to leave the photo on the table and walk out. He was certain someone would report Brooks to the Fashion Police. The cops would collar her quicker than you could say Violation of the Federal Fashion Code. He’d read about it in tomorrow’s news from the safety of his own home, far away from any chance of being caught.
He toyed with this safer but short-sighted option for a few moments. The goal wasn’t to topple just one lousy Minister, however senior. He wanted to see every single duplicitous, shonky, hypocritical ratbag who made up the UCP scattered on the Parliamentary floor with no chance of political resurrection.
To do that he needed more evidence. To get the evidence he needed Thomas Ball and the ex-con he was bringing, Frankie. Frankly, he didn’t remember Frankie despite having sentenced him to five years.
Ball had heard about Frankie and his stash of incriminating photos when he was digging up dirt for his underground blog. According to Ball, the stash was worth much more than a blog post.
The Judge looked up and there stood a man with a shock of Elvis-like hair, pasty skin and the eyes of a scared animal, dressed in the regulation grey outfit of the times.
“Guv’nor” the man said and then O’Mallory remembered Frankie, the serial offender. The one with the blue pants and green shirt. The one with the silver and gold sequins.
The words fraternising with a known felon echoed in O’Mallory’s brain.
“Right-o, Frankie, down to business,” O’Mallory said clumsily, “who are these men with their back to the camera?”
“Beer first, Guv’nor. Business second.”
Frankie closed his eyes, and sipped his first beer in five years, he wallowed in the simple pleasure of the icy-cold liquid.
Are you a fan of short story competitions? Are there any others I could be entering? Add your ideas in the comments below.