We had fun judging this 300-words writing competition where we gave you the opening line.
Congratulations to our winners.
1st Prize: £100 P. Murrey
2nd Prize: £75 Jean Marsh
3rd Prize: £50 Dennis Smith
by P. Murrey
Last night, my world turned grey. I am empty, as if the fabric of my life has been torn apart. Just one week earlier, the soldiers had returned. Triumphant, but lost, empty souls, as if bewildered by the line-up of people clapping and crying as they walked towards the church symbolising victory. I’d seen Hugh immediately. His eyes, gaunt, lost in the sharpness of his cheekbones. I knew then that he’d be hard to reach. It was as if in that split second, I recognised that he had imprisoned himself within. His best friend murdered and he, a surviving witness, could I reach him?
Now, a week later, I know the answer. I sit up on the bank that flanks the village, lost in the darkness and I watch the village celebrate. Music, dance and a bonfire that lights up the happiness and warm emotions. It pierces the armour for some, but not for Hugh and not for me. Sadness engulfs me, I realise I lost him the day he went away. In just 7-days, the longest of my life, I know that he cannot bear to see me. That hardness in his soul, the barrier, it’s for me. Not for others.
I told him I was going away, to give him time to heal. Now, as I look down upon the crowds, I see men rebuilding their lives, reunited with family and friends. I see Hugh too. Reaching out, not for me, but for the girl he’d always liked, now, it’s as if their stars have aligned, their hands touch. She offers him her innocence. She’s untouched by the war, and he can forget and start anew, but not with me. Not now, not ever. Our love lies buried, somewhere in war-torn fields.
Note: We only publish the overall winning submission because this allows the 2nd and 3rd place prize winners the opportunity to receive payment and still be able to place their submissions elsewhere.