August Competition

This month’s competition is:

Length: 250 words

Genre: Romance

Keyword: smile

Entry Conditions:

  • You must be a Ballarat Writers Member to enter.
  • Entries will not be accepted if they exceed the word limit – even if by a word.
  • All entries to be submitted USING THIS FORM by Friday August 21st. Voting will open the next day here on the blog. Come along to our Members’ Night on Wednesday August 26th, 7pm at Irish Murphy’s to hear the winner announced. (It will also be posted here on the blog the day after).
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And The July Winner Is…

Our very own Maureen Riches with her story ‘Another Mother’s Son.’

Entry 2 | Another Mother’s Son | 225 words

‘Are you happy, Mother?’ His arms are extended, slender hands resting lightly on my shoulders.

I catch my breath and look up at the fine young man towering over me, staggered at the generosity that moves him, in his circumstances, to ask if I am happy.

My peripheral vision encompasses the others who hover behind him, surrounding us, waiting their turn to kiss me goodbye. Fine young men all of them, emanating a patient resilience that makes me want to cry.

‘I’d be happy if I could take you…all of you…home with me.’

‘Oh, Mother! Little Mother!’ His broken voice betrays him, the title he gives me a tribute to my grey hairs. The others move closer, murmuring, reaching out to stroke my arms, my hands, my shoulders. ‘Will you come back, Mother?’

‘I will. I will come back.’ I get the words out without choking, forcing smiles for faces from Afghanistan, from Sudan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The Serco guard moves up. The young men back away.

No sound so cold, so heavy in my heart, as the clunk of steel deadlocking doors between us.

I blink. No tears in front of this man who holds the next door open and waves me out with such an obsequious show of chivalry.

‘Mother,’ Sanjay had called me.

I will come back.