In November, we sent out 4 specific challenges for contestants and they had to complete all 4 challenges and return them to us within the 7 day period. There were photos for inspiration and specific word counts to make the tasks harder. We had some exciting and well-written submissions making our job to judge and award prizes extremely tough but here are the winning details. Congratulations to everyone.
1st Prize: £300 Kat Marsh
2nd Prize: £250.00 Andrea Baker
3rd Prize: £150.00 T. Parsons
4th Prize: £100.00 Suzanne Miller
5th Prize: £75.00 Alan Watson
6th Prize: £50.00 F.Brooks
7th, 8th,9th and 10th Prizes: £20.00 Creative Competitor Gift Vouchers = Jean Rogers, Laura Bell, Shaun Foster and, Beth Long.
Here’s the overall winner’s submissions as sent by Kat Marsh.
100 Word Challenge
The remit of this challenge was to write a story in 100 words starting the story with, ‘It rolled..’
It rolled down the snowy slopes gathering speed, bouncing past the surprised set of skiers.
“Are you mad woman?” Angus shouted at her as he started to ski down after it.
Henrietta smiled broadly as she began to make her way back to the lodge ready to pack and wondered if he would catch up with the family heirloom – the snowball containing the gold wedding and engagement ring. But she didn’t care. If he could bring the mother –in-law from hell on their honeymoon with them, it was completely over as far as she was concerned! The mummy’s boy!
She had felt his presence over the years but had always managed to stay one step ahead. Nowadays, working at the theatre was rare but when she did, she performed and then left quickly, not even staying for a nice cuppa in the bar with the other actors. This theatre had always been terrifying, there’d been an evil here long before him, but his dark soul had joined the malevolent atmosphere, she was sure of it. Sometimes, she noticed strange shadows lurking on the stairs but with a blink of an eye, the shadows dissipated under her frightened stare.
The theatre had grown cold, she was late getting away tonight, the last of the voices had disappeared out into the rain-drenched streets, but still, she only had to lock the dressing room door, make her way up those scary old stairs and she’d be out and home in no time. Swallowing hard and with shaking fingers, she left the safety of the dressing room, turned the key in the lock and then hurried to the shadowy stairs. Tonight the stairs seemed steeper, longer and her legs heavier, then she saw the shape coming towards the top…as the air turned cold, swirling around her.
“Harry,” she whispered.
Somehow, her legs carried her forward, up towards his dark presence, yet, inside she was crying out with the will to turn around and to lock herself back in the safety of the dressing room. He’d waited, all these years, he’d been barely patient, but she’d known that one day he would reclaim her. He’d died here, Harry Velancey, her dance partner and lover before she’d found fame and fortune in the arms of another. Harry had begged her to come back to him, he couldn’t live without her, he’d said, and he hadn’t. He’d hung himself from the beam above these stairs and now, he wanted revenge. As the years had passed, his ghostly anger had grown. She felt his icy touch piercing her abdomen, pushing, as she fell backwards, her arms and legs cycling mid air. Fear rose up inside of her as she landed, the hardness of the stair cracking the base of her skull, she felt the sticky blood, yet momentum carried her further, finally lying prone on the floor. Before her eyes glazed over, she saw his lips mouth the words….. “Curtain call.”
The Mystery Woman
He’d found her. The words kept repeating in his mind, over and over, all these years of searching. There was hope at last that he could fill the void in his life. It was dark; his car had broken down at the top of the track leading to the old farmhouse that stood bleakly on the edge of the moors. He wondered why she had moved to somewhere so remote, having lived such a glamorous life for so long, yet now, she’d shut out the world. Was it because of him?
He trudged wearily over the cobbled drive, tiredness sweeping over him and winced as the gate creaked, heralding his presence. He paused, there was no movement within, only a dim light shining out into the inky blackness. “Soon,” he whispered, “soon.”
The bell was understated, its weak noise sounding through the darkness and he strained his ears to detect any sound from within. She had to be home, he gritted his teeth, he’d come too far to fail, had waited too long for this moment. Life could not get any more cruel for him, hadn’t he been through enough?
He reached out, his fingers frozen, the wood cold against his hands as he touched the door, paint chipping away as he gripped the handle and slowly turned it, it opened easily and he peered into the dimly lit hallway, the volume from the television in the other room faint even to his keen ears. He let himself in, he would surprise her. She deserved that. His muddied boots squeaked against the lino in the kitchen but he pressed forward, the light acting as a beacon and, there she was. He focused, his eyes moist, emotions running deep. The last of her beauty had left her, there was a glimmer of her former looks only, her wrinkled skin, eyes sunken in their sockets, hair white and framing her face. Asleep?
As he stepped nearer, his intention to touch, to smooth that wrinkled brow, he turned slightly, attracted and repelled by her mirror image, the other woman, same hair, same face, same aged torso slumped in the opposite chair. Which one? Which one? His tears came thick and fast, he’d been cheated again. No, no, no! He still had no idea which woman had given birth to him and which one had cruelly left him at the orphanage seeking out the bright lights of London and fame and fortune over him. Now, two women, two sisters…twins…dead, only a bottle of pills between them and the newspaper cutting heralding his release from prison. They’d known then about his mission to find her and kill her. She’d escaped his wrath and the two sisters had chosen to face death their way rather than by his knife.
Now he was truly alone. No answers, no revenge.
The handcuffs were digging into his wrists painfully but no-one seemed to care. In fact, they all looked a bit embarrassed at his ineffectual struggles. He guessed these ‘cuffs hadn’t been designed for someone with such a large build, his hands were like shovels and his arms, chunky and wide adorned with thick, dark curling hair, he was the ultimate in masculinity, yet he squirmed, panting with exhaustion in a desperate bid to free himself.
Everyone seemed to be looking away, he wasn’t even worthy of their attention he realised in horror. One big effort he thought to himself, arching his back, manipulating the cuffs, almost dislocating one wrist in the process. He slid back against the wall, his ruddy, darkly tanned features flushed with embarrassment. They all pitied him and he’d only wanted to take centre stage for once, to be someone, instead, he was ridiculed yet again and knew he couldn’t bear it any longer. He ran, dashing along the darkened corridor and out into the foyer where his poster mocked him.
Come and see Alexandros the Great Greek Escape Artist.
Alexandros ran, head down and out into the streets where he could finally stop and contemplate his situation. He kept his eyes down at the pavement, trying not to look at any of the curious passersby. Maybe he should have worked for his father’s Greek restaurant after all, maybe it was all he was good for, taking coats and hanging them up. Saddened and humiliated, he walked in the direction of home, hoping that he had a spare set of handcuff keys. His only great escape had been leaving the theatre before the audience had turned ugly on him, Alexandros sighed, his stage career was over, he was officially retired.