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Romantic Fiction Writing Competition Winner


We asked you to write a story based around the photo and we had some wonderfully creative submissions but the winners are:

1st Prize: £100.00 Gloria Butt

2nd Prize: £75.00 Frank Lemon

3rd Prize: £50.00 Lucy Walker


Clear that Clutter!

by Gloria Butt

Ginny surveyed the chaos with dismay.

“I’m going to kill him,” She hissed angrily, he had gone too far this time.

He had promised her that he would help her with the housework now that she was back out at work too. Instead, the moment she walked through the door, she ended up working again but this time, clearing up after his mess. As if starting a new job wasn’t bad enough, her feet were killing her and her back ached. All she wanted to do was to collapse in a heap but there was no way that she could ignore this debris.

How could he be this untidy? When she had left just that morning, the place had been tidy, now paperwork was strewn across the floor; drawers in the unit had been turned inside out. He’d even managed to knock down about three jackets from the coat stand in the hallway and had just left them discarded. He just wasn’t organised enough.  If she didn’t know better, she would have said that someone had broken in. Maybe living together was just too soon, she considered ruefully. They had only lived together for one month and in that time; he had turned into an absolute slob.

With the room restored to habitable, Ginny prepared to cook. The idea had been that she would cook something romantic, it was Valentine’s Day after all, but now her head ached and she began to have serious doubts about whether Max was the one for her. She loved him totally, but he was a pig. He knew she was a neat freak, he had teased her about it for long enough. After all, he had seen just how neat and tidy her flat had been when he had come to stay over. She had made him promise that he would be ultra tidy if she moved in with him, but now she wished she had made him sign a contract. Could you sue someone for being messy?

Ginny glanced at her watch; she had about half an hour before he came home and started to make her way up the stairs. She could take a quick shower first and make herself feel more awake before putting the dinner on. As she entered the bedroom, her jaw just dropped. What the hell had happened? Ginny had to fight back the tears as she surveyed the mess. How could he have strewn all of their things across the room like this? The cupboards had been turned out too, what the hell had he been looking for? Was he doing this on purpose? Maybe this was his way of driving her out of his life because he didn’t have the guts to tell her that he wanted to finish things.

Ginny could feel rage bubbling up inside her. She ran back downstairs grabbing the roll of black bin bags and armed, ran back to the offending room. This was it. She’d had it. Surely 30 days of messiness and a distinct lack of thought was enough? People committed crimes for less and she was at breaking point. Either the rubbish went or she did. Fuelled by anger, she forgot her bad back and her aching feet, scooping up all of the clothes, including his old favourite shirt that had long seen better days. Everything went into the bin bags, boxes, bags, cards and his old pants. Only once the floor was cleared, did she stop to survey the result. Much, much better she contemplated with a sense of satisfaction.

She heard the strangled scream from Max when he entered the bedroom. From a safe distance in the kitchen, she couldn’t help but smile. The sound of drawers opening and slamming shut in horror and the cupboard door opening and closing was enough to make her realise that he had just discovered that most of his things had been thrown out. Ginny couldn’t help but feel slightly smug. Served him right, she laughed out loud, adding some herbs to his favourite meal. Maybe this was the way to make him shape up his act. No more running about after him, if he couldn’t be tidy, then he didn’t deserve to keep his things. From the corner of her eye, she saw him outside turning the dustbin upside down and drew in a sharp breath. What the hell was he doing? Before she could move from the kitchen he was back inside the house, complete with all of the bin bags and had tipped the contents out onto the floor.


“You don’t understand!” He shouted in a panic. “I’ve lost something.”

“Yes, your marbles!” She snapped. “For goodness sake Max. I’m sick of the mess you keep making. What the hell did you do to the house this morning? Did a bomb go off and throw everything out of the cupboards and drawers into a heap on the floor? Or perhaps you, you messy little so and so managed to make the mess all on your own.”

“Did you throw everything in here?” He asked frantically.

“Yes, absolutely everything and don’t ask me what I threw out. I figured if it was on the floor, it must be rubbish- because no-one keeps good stuff on the floor do they?”

Max searched frantically and then sat back, breathing a deep sigh of relief, “Thank god, ok, I’ve found it. Not everything that is untidy is rubbish Ginny. You complete neat freak.”

Ginny turned to look at him, “What could be so important…that….? Oh my!”

Max held out a box to her, a small velvet box complete with a beautifully shiny gold ring inside.

“Happy valentine’s day Ginny,” Max cleared his throat, “Will you marry me?”

Ginny took the ring from Max who was kneeling in front of her and was looking terrified in case she said no, she and slid it onto her finger. It fitted beautifully and she loved it. “Yes, yes,” She shrieked. “I will marry you!”

Max stood up and swept her up in his arms, “Come on future wife,” he grinned, “We need to seal our contract upstairs.”

Ginny laughed, “Sounds good to me but…oh, what about the mess?” She groaned looking over his shoulder, “We can’t leave that here..”

Max carried her out of the kitchen, “I couldn’t remember where I had hidden your ring. I brought it weeks ago but don’t worry, I made the mess, I’ll clean up afterwards….deal?”

Ginny smiled, “Deal but don’t think for one moment that there won’t’ be an ‘I promise to never make a mess again clause’ in the wedding contract.”

They giggled together as Max holding her in his arms, kicked the bedroom door open and walked in purposely, “You my dear finance, can have anything in the contract that you like, perhaps we should discuss it now?”

“Later,” she informed him. “We have far more important things to think of,” and reaching out, slammed the bedroom door shut behind them as he laid her on their beautifully presented and clutter free bed.


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