We sent those that signed up for this Weekend Creative Writing Challenge a photo of a man and woman sitting in a bar and asked that they create a story idea that used the two characters and the scene in some way, but in the first instance, they were to create an in-depth summary of the story within a maximum of 600 words including any title.
Then, using a male viewpoint, they had to write a section of the story so that the reader could understand what he was thinking, seeing and feeling. Then write an alternate section of story from the female viewpoint. Each viewpoint had to be completed within 400 words providing, dialogue, description or action scenes. It was as if an extract from an original story had been written. They had to stick to the point of view.
1st Prize: £200.00 Beverley Bradford
2nd Prize: £150.00 Kathy Davis
3rd Prize: £100.00 Angela Foster
4th Prize: £50.00 Keith Harlow
5th Prize: Short Story or First Chapter Evaluation Tammy Smith
6th Prize: 5 x Premier1 Write, Learn and Publish Membership (1 month) Paul Hopkins
Grant Baker is the face behind the successful bar/restaurant Candlelight Sagas, he is known for his charm and ease with women. But no-one can doubt his ability to work hard and to keep the establishment in the public eye and the takings were impressive. There is a regular stream of customers, exquisite food and a romantic ambiance that draws clientele from all over the region. Kirstin Talbot is employed by the silent partners to visit the establishment and to report back on their manager covertly as they have long had their suspicions about him. But none of the reports can be supported by hard facts. Kirstin takes on the project with great delight. She had watched him from a distance for a long time before making her move. He often left Candlelight Sagas with women, taking them to a hotel room nearby and then their husbands or partners were never seen again. Kirstin was very aware that she had to find an angle that would bring Grant’s true nature to the fore. It might not be easy. It depended on the size of his ego. But she was prepared to dig deep to be able to perform her role adequately and to report back to the senior partners with any real information.
Viewpoint – Grant Baker
Grant spotted the solitary woman at the bar. She wasn’t bad looking, natural blonde hair that softened her features and tumbled over her shoulders onto her breasts. Her jacket seemed to be a barrier to the soft curves beneath. He wondered how long it would take him to remove the jacket and the low cut top below. She was here alone, single women usually had an agenda. It was mainly couples who came here for the ambiance after all. He felt a jolt of anticipation.
“Hello.” He slid into the seat by her side, “You seem a little lost here. Is there anything that I can do for you?” His words were deliberately sultry but he wore his open, caring face to make her feel relaxed. He noted how she blushed just a little and dragged her eyes away from him almost reluctantly. “Not unless you want to fix a broken heart.” She sighed, continuing “My partner was supposed to meet me here, but if he didn’t show, well then…he would have chosen his lover over me.” She spoke softly, almost deliberately. “I hate him.”
Grant moved a little closer to her, relishing this inner angst. “I don’t blame you. He doesn’t deserve you. You are beautiful” She blushed again and he realised that she was unused to compliments.
“If I had a woman like you, I wouldn’t let her walk away.”
She shivered when he took her fingers and caressed them, and Grant knew she was desperate for love, affection and maybe something else. He could smell her perfume, oh the sweetness, but more, he could sense her inner turmoil. The combination was compelling.
“Tell me, is it possible to have loved so much that it consumes you?” She looked at him, grey eyes shimmering, “I never want to see him again but he is my business partner too. Do you think I am evil for wishing he were dead?”
Grant shook his head “He has hurt you, rejected you. You need me, I can kiss away those tears, make you feel good.” He stroked her cheek, and then moved his hand beneath her jacket, cupping one breast discreetly. “Tell me, what would you be prepared to do for me if your husband suddenly disappeared for good?”
She put her hand on his knee, trembling, her eyes desperate. “Anything you want.”
Viewpoint Kirstin Talbot
She sat at the bar for two hours, watching him effortlessly charm the guests. Her stomach was knotted, wondering just what he had in mind and how far she would have to go before she got her confession.
“I have just locked up.” He said finally, jangling the keys, “I think we should go somewhere more comfortable. I have a hotel room on stand-by.”
She allowed him to kiss her neck, sighing in pretend pleasure as he pulled her to him roughly. She resisted the urge to pull away.
They walked down the street together. Soft rainfall gave him the opportunity to hold her close. She could sense his eager anticipation. She was his prize. He couldn’t wait to un-wrap her. She shivered. He held the door open for her as they walked across the foyer and into the lift. He was like an animal possessed the moment the lift doors closed. Kirstin knew she had to take control and quickly.
He pressed her hard against the wall, kissing her firmly. When she came up for air, she managed to push him back a little, “I want you so much Grant but I need to know how you can help me. How can you get that man out of my life?”
“All in good time, babe.”He smiled suggestively, pulling her from the lift as the doors opened. Distracted, he fumbled with the lock of the hotel room for a second and then took her hand leading her in. It was spacious, the bed was huge.
“I can’t concentrate until you tell me what happens. What do I have to pay or do?” She protested, as he pulled her jacket from her shoulders.
His touch lingered on her breasts, reluctant to move away and then sighed. “Ok. This is how it works. You give me your husband’s details. I will then arrange a sudden accident for him in the next few days. It will be very quick. He won’t suffer. But so sad.” He grinned. “Payment starts now. I have your body tonight.” He licked his lips. “You pay for this room and you also arrange an expensive party booking at Candlelight Sagas, paying in full which is non-refundable but cancelled because of your grief of course.”
“Clever,” She said admiringly, “Did you get all that information boys?” And revealed the wire hidden in her bra, “Just not quite clever enough.”