Winners

APRIL
Story #23
Irreconcilable Differences
Agatha watched as thirty years of marriage disappeared into the waiting Ford Focus. Ken paused momentarily but didn’t look back as he drove away. She closed the front door and began to remove her cardigan. Her dress soon followed as she ascended the stairs. She lingered in the doorway to the bedroom and gazed at the glorious site before her. Without further hesitation she ran to the tantalising presence and climbed on top of what was now, unashamedly, hers. Starfishing on the freshly laundered sheets, Agatha smiled to herself as she realised she’d never have to share a bed again.
(c) Stephanie Anderson

MARCH
Story #22
Journeys
Why do weirdos and drunks insist on sitting next to me on the train? I note a near empty carriage as he plonks himself down. He smells of cigarettes and BO. He’s talking to me, oblivious that my noncommittal grunts and active concentration on my book are hints for him to shut up. He’s telling me about the job he hates, how his wife left him and the ingratitude of his kids. I start to feel pity and anger in equal measure, no doubt it’s all his fault but I know he’s only human.
Journeys with my dad are stressful.
(c) Mark Marsden

FEBRUARY
Story #10
The Ball
Come on. Throw it…
Yeah, of course I’m ready. Throw, throw, throw!
Wheeeeeeee!
Where’d it go? Where?
It went this way. I know it did. Where, where, where?
Is that it? Nope. Similar, but not right.
This is it! Yay!
Quick. Pick it up, pick it up. Before anybody steals it.
Gottit, gottit.
Now, quickly, which way did I come from? Gotta get back to him.
Back as fast as I possibly can.
Look, look. I found it. Here it is
Sorry it’s a bit slobbery.
Throw it again? Pleeeeeeez?
Yay! Again.
I could play this game all day long.
(c) Andrew Troth

JANUARY
Story #14
Green Peppers
Freezer ice had melted into grey beards grown on what was once bread. I pulled at a plastic bag; its bottom emptied. Out fell putrid slime.
I smelled damp; cabbage; urine. I remembered stacking the fridge head-high with healthy tomatoes, butter and cream from the farmers’ market; bright root vegetables.
Your fridge magnet still spelled: ‘dinners in oven’. It was a disaster of a lasagne, but I probably shouldn’t have flattened your skull with a mortar because of it.
I had told you I didn’t like green peppers.
After six years in Holloway, I had learnt to appreciate their taste.
(c) Rebecca Shahoud
 

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