Monday, 30 June 2014
Another volume of prize-winning short stories from the Words with JAM BIGGER Short Story Competition 2013 is released ...
A heady mixture of stories, from romance to spine-chilling tension and from the virtual world to the extreme worlds of the self-deluded, these stories will take you to places you’ve never been before.
Longer stories are mixed with pieces of flash fiction. How long is a story? As long as it takes to tell it. This second volume of competition-winning stories proves the maxim once again.
Stories and contributors include:
Advertisement by James Collett
Guests by Alison Wassell
A Lonesome Snow Leopard by David McGrath
The Clock by James Harding
Apprentice Pillar by Ralph Jackman
Recycled by Marie Gethins
Drop-Dead Gorgeous by Helen Laycock
The Road to Repair by Gail Jack
Street Kids Don't Have Birthdays by Gill Sainsbury
Sackcloth and Ashes by Justin N Davies
Beneath the Arches by Lindsay Bamfield
Biological by KM Elkes
Is There Anything You’d Like to Say to the Person Who Donated this Food Parcel? by James Collett
The Baron’s Elixir by Mahsuda Snaith
Let Me Pay by Bren Gosling
Symbiosis by Mark Wilkinson
99 Red Balloons by Barbara Leahy
Cockles by A.M. Hall
Mustard Heart by L.A. Craig
Tell Me a Secret by Alison Wassell
Your Account is in Arrears Take Action Now by Justin N Davies
A Pointed Question by Brindley Hallam Dennis
Trumpet Dreams by Hilary McGrath
Little Legs by Julia Anderson.
Paperbacks are available from Amazon. Ebooks are available from Amazon,Kobo, Smashwords and other retailers.
Posted by Words with JAM
Sunday, 15 June 2014
In association with Bookmuse
A departure from our usual first page and short story competitions, this time we’re looking for a condensed spoof of your favourite genre, up to 1000 words. See examples below.
Entry is FREE and our favourites will be published in a Bookmuse Reader’s Journal later this year, which will include review templates, quotes, to-be-read record pages and more.
All published entrants will receive a complimentary copy of the journal, and the overall winner, chosen by the Triskele Books team, will receive a £30 Amazon voucher.
30th September 2014 (winners announced by 31st October 2014).
Simply send your entry as a Word Doc to email@example.com with the subject ‘Genre Spoof Competition’ and include your name, address and phone number in the body of the email.
A Few Rules
- We will not return or keep entries after the winners have been announced. Please keep your own copy.
- Entries must be in English.
- You must be 16 years or over.
- Stories must be previously unpublished either online or in print, and must not have been accepted for publication elsewhere. We do, however, accept stories that have been on critique forums or are currently submitted to another competition.
- No alterations may be made to a submission once received.
- Copyright remains with the author. However, Words with JAM/Bookmuse retain the right to publish the winning entries on their websites and in the Bookmuse Journal.
- Entries from regular columnists of Words with JAM are welcome.
- The prize of £30 Amazon voucher will be paid within 30 days of publication of the winning entry.
Making Up Stories, by Angelica Poppet
It could only happen to Honey!
She’s standing in the rain in only her chemise, her Uggs are soaked and the keys are still upstairs in her Mulberry Bayswater. She only ran out to stop JayCee escaping into the cute little park at the end of her divine Chelsea mews terrace. But the blue-point Siamese has a mind of his own. He slipped between Honey’s shapely, tanned and smooth ankles, just before the door slammed shut. Just wait till she tells the girls about this tonight at the Balenciaga apero!
A taxi pulls up and a man gets out. Honey has no time to notice the Savile Row suit, the hand-tooled Italian leather loafers and rose-gold Rolex Oyster, because she’s hypnotised by his absinthe-green eyes.
“You’re wet,” he says, his voice the rich roasted brown of Sicilian espresso.
“I know,” she breathes, her voice the rippling tinkle of Nepalese windchimes.
* * *
Allegra, Sophia and Loveday screech when they hear about the tall, dark, handsome, minted neighbour. By half-past Bellini, they’re talking weddings.
“And his name?” demands Allegra.
Sophia tuts. “If it’s neither one or three syllables, darling, I simply forbid further contact.”
Honey does the Lady Di (dipped chin, coy smile, lowered lashes).
Allegra gasps. “OhEmGee, it’s both!”
“His name’s Benedict Story. But I can call him Ben.”
Screams, air kisses, more Bellinis.
Allegra cuts to the cuticle. “So no visible weirds?”
Honey hesitates. “He is a bit... odd. He wants to know my ‘über-narrative’ and says stuff like ‘Content is king’. Is that normal?” Sophia scowls. “Probably works in publishing. Does he have a hairy back?”
* * *
Shanice finds her, eventually, with no tears left to cry. When Honey spills the reason she collapsed on the Conran chaise, unable to move since her morning macchiato, Shanice shrugs and gets on with the dusting. Honey gathers all her sobbed-out strength to confront her. Shanice says Ben has a point. Not only does Benedict see Honey as shallow and lacking a developmental arc, but her cleaning lady agrees! Honey can’t bear it. She has no alternative. She must go to Bali.
* * *
A monk in saffron robes (totes perfect for the downstairs bathroom) tells Honey she needs a spiritual leader. She tells him she already has one and confesses why she named her cat JayCee. Turns out he’s never heard of Jimmy Choo.
* * *
Meditation sucks. At least while sitting still for a facial peel, Honey knows she’ll look radiant. Inner contemplation is about as interesting as Radio Four. Sophia, Allegra and Loveday are in New York but ‘admire Honey so much for seeking herself’. Easy to say when sipping Cosmopolitans on Fifth Avenue.
* * *
Heathrow Airport, even after a First Class full reclining bed and antioxidant breakfast, is absolutely as hellish as Honey remembers. But before she can hail a taxi, a burly, brawny and Tom-Ford-scented pair of arms spins her off her feet.
“Benedict Story! I... um... what... er... ohm...”
“Honey. I missed you. So did JayCee. I may look like a catalogue model with passionate ethics and expressive brows, but I’m just a boy in love with the girl next door. Could we combine our expertise and contacts? What say we set up a bespoke personal service providing a beginning, middle and end for the terminally vacuous?”
“Why Benedict, I adore the idea. Whatever shall we call it?”
He blushes attractively. “If you will consent to become my wife, we could call it... Making Up Stories.”
Only Dead Fish Have Open Mouths by Jed Blood
It’s Friday night in Greensville, Colorado. Apple-cheeked Melanie Mills is pretty tired after school and a volunteer shift at Kitty Corner, the homeless cat charity. But tonight is special. She has a secret. She tells her folks she’s studying with the girls and heads out for her romantic blind date.
I’m neither romantic nor blind, but I’m waiting for you, Melanie. Inside my head is a lonely place. Inside my pocket is a garlic crusher. Tonight is for Daddy.
Lauren Laphroaig (don’t try to pronounce it, honey, you’ll choke) is woken at 3am by the phone. On the other end is Detective O’Malley, wearing a shower cap on each shoe, shouting at civilians to stand back and chain-smoking cheroots. The mutilated body of an apple-cheeked teenage girl just washed up in the creek. Lauren sighs, swears and drags on a leather jacket. En route to the river, she listens to Miles Davis, snacks on a chilli dog and regrets her inability to commit to relationships.
Chief Inspector Elmet Bird is at the scene when she arrives; besuited, livid and in urgent need of soundbites for the city council. Lauren rolls her eyes (because she’s feisty) and mimes ‘Bird Brain’ to O’Malley. Bird spots their sniggering and assigns one of his own to assist in the investigation. Travis C. Weed is a law-enforcement-consultant with an apricot tie and a handshake limper than wilted chard.
Pathologist Rita Ferrongut won’t hazard a wild guess as to cause of death, insisting on a full PM first. Lauren and Weed talk to Melanie’s parents (traumatic), her friends (dramatic) and the weird owner of the cat sanctuary (erratic). Weed takes everything in his stride and asks intelligent questions. Lauren notices his long eyelashes and warm smile but still hates his tie.
The morgue. Ferrongut is having lunch (sashimi, sushi and edamame beans) over Melanie’s eviscerated corpse. She offers everyone chopsticks, while demonstrating how the victim’s injuries were caused by kitchen implements, including an oyster schucker. Weed rushes out to puke. Ferrongut belches. Lauren sighs, swears and goes home for a hot shower.
Time to wash off all that death, grief and wasabi. Wraps herself in bathrobe, fills whisky glass, puts on Chet Baker, has bitter phone call with ex-husband. “Married to the job? Maybe. But I’d rather be married to something I care about.” She sighs, swears and sleeps on the sofa.
Detective O’Malley uncovers police records for Barry King, owner of Kitty Corner. The man is dangerous. So Lauren decides to investigate, at night, alone, with no phone. Oh, and it’s raining.
Stumbling blindly through the midnight-black catty-combs beneath the feline refuge, Lauren is whacked on the back of the head. When she comes around, she’s in a cage, gagged and tied with fish scales smeared on her face. Barry (call me Bar) King, with fetid tuna breath, unveils his master plan – the only restaurant in the world to serve human flesh.
Weed, worried, turns up at Lauren’s house. He finds her mobile and listens to the last message. Kitty Corner? That weird guy who smelt of Whiskas? Of course! He tracks them down and calls for back up. But waiting is not an option when Bar King selects the Hiromoto Hacker from his knife block. Today’s Dish of the Day, with truffle oil and rocket, will be Carpaccio of Inner Thigh.
Weed mans up and bursts in, wrests the cleaver from the madman’s grasp and stabs King with a chopstick. With his last gurgling breaths, King explains he was abused as a child and only allowed to eat tofu.
Beside the corpse, Weed unties Lauren and wipes the scales from her cheek. Relieved, she holds him tight. Confused, he confesses his love.
Lauren sighs, swears and with one regretful lingering kiss, moves on to the sequel.