|With the other prize winners - Gibraltar Spring Festival Short Story Competition 2013|
Time to brag. It's not something I do often nor easily, but I want to celebrate the fact that I won the runner up prize in the Gibraltar spring festival short story competition. Okay, not the first prize, but short story writing is not easy, and I was chuffed to bits. I'm looking forward to reading the other entries and learning from these - maybe this time next year, I'll have honed up enough to be a winner.
Here's the start to the story - the full version is due to be published in the Gibraltar Chronicle over this weekend, and I'm going to see if I can put it up for free download on Kindle for those of you who want to read the whole thing.
Like everything, practise makes perfect, so I'm whipping out my notebook tomorrow morning to work on another. And, if anyone out there thinks they might want to have a go, I would say, get writing straight away, write every day, and don't worry about writing rubbish, because eventually as you get better, the good stuff, the words other people will want to read, will emerge.
“You’re going to love not coming to work anymore,” says Emily. She places my cup of coffee exactly in the centre of my coaster. The coaster is old now, edges curling, a perfect circle marked in its centre from the countless cups of coffee placed there by a parade of assistants over the years.
I try not to cringe. Eight years of Emily’s gunpowder-strong concoction and I have never complained. And I shan’t today, of all days.
The telephone’s bleeping jars the peace of the morning and Emily scuttles. What a ridiculous statement. Half a century of crusty offices, whinging clients and cringing clerks; of course I’m delighted never to have to come in again.
I sip at the coffee, shudder and leave the rest. Emily has her back turned and is taking painstaking notes of her telephone conversation. Whoever is talking to her must be desperate with frustration.
I sigh and flick a switch. Despite the early hour the heat is suffocating. The air-conditioning groans into action and then buzzes like bluebottles around carrion. Within days the sounds that will come to my ears will be the sizzling of cicadas in the day and the grunt of marauding lions at night.