1st Prize: £200.00 Chris Frank
2nd Prize:150.00 Mark Smith
3rd Prize: £125.00 Beth Wright
Congratulations to the winners of the 60 Minute Writing Challenge. It was a very difficult competition to judge but we received some wonderful 300-500 word submissions as per the rules and based upon the photo depicted here. Writers only had 60 minutes to create a short but compelling entry and we were really pleased by the results. As always, we only publish the overall winning entry to allow the other submissions to be entered into other competitions or published elsewhere. We hope you enjoy it.
Here’s the winner by Chris Frank:
Wanted – Dead or ALIVE
Austin Crawford sighed. It was time. The media were waiting for him, lining up like vultures waiting to salivate over his capture and to pick through the bones of his wrong-doing. All this for selling government secrets. As far as he was concerned, it showed a weakness in their security levels, one that deserved to be exploited. But being on the run was deadly dull. This was his way out and he’d do it in a blaze of media glory.
The sun warmed his skin as he walked across the tarmac. He was home at last. Austin could hear the frenzied murmur of journalists as cameras turned on him and so he took his time in the spotlight, relishing the sunshine and cool breeze.
“Have you come to give yourself up?” Multiple microphones were thrust at him.
“I am so tired of being chased.” He bowed his head for a moment allowing tears to form at the corner of his eyes. He swallowed hard and looked up, desperately blinking the tears away. “Life on the run is so lonely, it is not possible to ever form connections and to be accused…well….” He looked at the journalists, they were hanging onto his every word and he could see empathy in their eyes. It was working.
“You will go to prison for your crimes?” One asked
“Only the guilty should be sent to prison and know this, I am only a man who has come here for questioning. I have been chased across the globe and back with no evidence of my treason.”
“Are you saying you are innocent?”
“Innocent until proven guilty my dear,” He said flashing a wry smile at the pretty blonde journalist who blushed.
The newspapers would soon be filled with his surrender. They would hunt for every scrap of evidence, but they’d find nothing. There was a price to pay though. He swallowed hard. This was more painful than he’d imagined. At the plane, his loyal team…they were the real victims out of all this.
As he slipped his hand into his jacket pocket, a sudden explosion blasted them onto the ground and a ball of fire shot up into the sky. His plane and his team, gone in an instant. There was nothing left. Tears rolled down his face as they searched him frantically. No detonator only a prepared script for his media speech. His heart threatened to break as they led him away and he sobbed. It was over.
Bribing a hard-nosed journalist had been the perfect solution. She got her story providing she pressed one little button. The plane had been rigged to blow sky-high. Now all of the secrets, evidence and witnesses to his former crimes were gone. Even better, he’d not had to do the dirty work himself. But, he had never felt emotional pain like it. His heart was breaking but it meant freedom, his freedom, so their deaths were worth it.