Thanks to my Twitter pal Ree for asking me to take part in this small challenge. This particular piece may (or may not) grow as the challenge passes. Here goes:
Waiting for the words
And so it begins
Prompt Words: cheese, perks, dead end, bell, passion
Fred threw the cheese sandwich with curled edges onto the table.
“Bored, bored, bored” he said, “Bloody dead end job, no flaming perks, nothing to get me teeth into!”
“Yeah” Harry said, “me too.”
“What you saying? You ‘ad enough? You only just started.” another voice chimed in.
“I been here 4 weeks now” Fred continued, “promised the high life… a bit of travel, wine, women, song. Bit of passion, hanky panky, you know?”
“Yeah” Harry said, “me….”
“Shut yer gob before I knock five bells out of yer!”
Fred’s fist landed with a wallop: he wasn’t bored now.
(Originally featured on http://200wordtuesdays.blogspot.com.au)
There are some things that never change and one of these is the sound of siblings squabbling. The language may be different, but the gist of the conversation is always the same.
“You dropped that on purpose!”
“Did so not…”
“Go on then… baby…”
How tiresome it is to sit here listening to my two beloved children having this argument. My problem is that I can’t interfere. It’s part of their growing up. I am fading, just slightly, blurring at the edges quietly (and I hope with dignity) so nobody really notices, but I know the truth. One of them will have to take over, and soon. And I know that neither of them is yet ready which makes me sad.
I look down at the floor. Water. Earth. Small wriggly objects, smaller than most eyes can see thrash around and stop suddenly, like ants realising their time is up. I would speak, but I’ve lost my voice now, lost the will. I have to leave them to it, let them tough it out. Eyes closing, I pass over.
“Dad… he broke my world again.
“I did not”
Even gods must die.
I am very pleased to announce that the judges have come to a decision, 5 independently selecting the same winner and the 6th awarding it 2nd place!
I can now reveal The Winner of The Liar’s Key Writing Contest to be:
E.F. Russellfor the entry The Electric Heart Cannot Bleed.
With the overall high standard of the entries I would also like to give a special mention to the runners up:
First runner up:Peter,The Liar in the Cellar
Second runner up: A. S. Moser, Shadows
Once again thank you very much for taking the time to enter and submitting so many excellent works.
Special thanks to the brilliant judges panel: Mark Lawrence, David Jackson, T. Frohock, Myke Cole, T.o. Munro and Marc Aplin, for considering the entries and providing much appreciated feedback on the shortlisted pieces, that you…
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“She’s catatonic. We’re not quite sure why.” Disembodied words drift into my mind.
For those around me, I am to all intents and (medical) purposes locked into a vegetative state, brain-dead. Inside I live. And listen.
Music plays in the background. Someone has brought in my iPod and speakers, thinking to soothe me. But I listen for something – to something else – just beyond the music. I listen to the cue. Click.
“There’s no response. We’ve done so many tests. No response from her whatsoever. I’m so sorry, there’s nothing more that we can do. Perhaps we should consider switching…”
Eyes flicker behind shadows, belying the diagnoses of doctors. I am condemned by those who will soon know better.
“Should we consider moving her to another hospital? We can afford to pay. We have insurance that will cover it.”
My father’s strained words reach me. I hear him breathe heavily, trying to control himself, to hold back the tears.
“Well there is a place, I’m just not sure they’d take her. I’ll make a call and try. If you’d like to wait here, I won’t be long.”
Click. A door closes.
Again I hear the subliminal sound. Minutes pass as it bores its way into my brain until I hear the final note completing the sequence. The call to battle.
Click. A door opens.
“Yes, you’re in luck… they said they’d take……”
The words falter and stop.
In the room there is silence. The eerie silence you get when the monster within finally explodes out and kills. The silence of shock and horror that is unable to utter a word or scream.
“You gonna eat that?” He eyed my food greedily.
“Yeah… maybe… no… you want some – all of it?”
I’d been pushing my food round the plate again. I was thinking hard about my next move. Best restaurant this side of Tixlit, best meal on the menu and all I could do was prod it from one side to another. Not that it was still moving or anything. Elena’s Exotic Eatery was famed throughout the universe for the best food going at the best prices.
Yet here I was, undecided about whether to take a mouthful or do whatever I needed to do next.
My table companion’s heavy hand reached across and grabbed the meat. He bit into it, slurping down the juices and chewing in a way that left me no option but to see everything churning in his mouth, like some human shaped washing machine. His mama had obviously never bothered to teach him table manners. I don’t think I would have either, he was one big boy.
“S’good… you shoulda ….” The big man’s speaking and chewing was interrupted by him pulling out a bone which he threw over his shoulder. The enormous dog sitting behind pounced on it quickly, sliding under the table for safety.
I was still undecided what to do. It shouldn’t have ended like this. I had loved that woman more than anyone else I had come across. She was everything I needed: sassy, kind, moneyed. I could’ve moved up in the world, leaving my past behind, started afresh. Then her smart-alec dad put a tail on me and all my secrets came spilling out.
It’s hard when you’re on the run. People start to avoid you: things become much more expensive, money becomes scarce. I ended up on the dark side of every planet I landed on, always one step ahead of the bounty hunter. Until I reached here: too tired to eat, too tired to make a decision.
A blast of cold air, the door had opened. This time I knew it was too late. I turned and faced my nemesis.