It’s that time of the month again! The results for the Australian Writers’ Centre May 2021’s Furious Fiction competition are published today. The monthly Furious Fiction competition launches on the first Friday of each month and the prize is $500 for 500 words.
This month’s Furious Fiction prompts were as follows.
- It needed to be set during a storm
- It must include the words apple, mother and yesterday
- Include the phrase sit/sitting on the fence
This month’s Stats
This month my submission is 498 words. Once again a rush job. Completed and submitted by around 10 PM on Friday night. Frankie is still out in the cold!
The gnarly old farmer sat on the verandah watching over his orchard. The heavily pregnant clouds were fully dilated and ready to break open. He loved a good storm but today the smell of ozone and petrichor was bittersweet.
He’d prayed for rain.
And the month before.
And the months before that.
If the rain came now it would be a week before he could start picking. And that was a week he could not afford.
He needn’t have worried about the rain. The wind came first and with it a rattling shower of leaves and sticks. His precious apples quivered and fell. Their slender peduncles no match for the torrents of air. He watched them bounce on the hard ground to their untimely death.
His first decent crop in three years.
“They’ll be no good for the supermarkets now.” he thought. Their bruised and battered bodies would be no good for cider either. The bugs and mice would clean them up before he could get to them.
His wife came out to join him. “I knew I should have picked them yesterday,” he said.
“Even if you started yesterday, you wouldn’t have finished by today,” she said laying her hand on his tired shoulder.
“Well, I should have started last week!” he shouted.
“But you didn’t have any pickers last week!” she replied quietly.
It was no use. He’d beat himself up over the lost crop regardless of the fact it was out of his control.
He broke free of her grasp and headed towards the orchard. Towards the clouds and the storm and the impending rain.
She watched as he stooped to pick up some of the windfall apples. He tucked a few in his pockets and then disappeared under the espaliered canopy of leaves. Fat raindrops began leaving diverts in the sandy soil. She knew he’d be gone a while so she went back inside.
The din on the metal roof was deafening.
The storm was right overhead and the gap between the bang and the flash imperceptible.
She sighed and made a cup of tea. “What will be, will be,” she thought.
Time passed and she noticed the pitter-patter was pattering less. Then there was one almighty flash-bang that sounded different to the rest.
She jumped up to check the gun safe.
She raced outside; wanting to see, not wanting to see.
And there he was sitting on the fence, drenched to the bone, and crunching on apples. The shed was on fire and electricity still crackled in the air.
“Did you see that?” he yelled “Bang! Right on the shed! The rain’s stopped. The wind only ruined a few. All’s good!”
She stormed across the yard, moving faster than she’d moved in years! He jumped up and backed away from her flailing tea towel.
“No, it’s bloody NOT all good! Where’s the bloody gun?”
”Steady on Mother! It’s only a shed!”