June Flash Fiction

News!! This month’s Flash Fiction has a three way tie between entries # 2 (Johanna Botman) #6 (Guenter Sahr) and #7 (Neville Hiatt). Congratulations to all.

Welcome to Flash Fiction for June 2018.  See below Conditions of Entry for the fabulous entries!

This month’s challenge is a little different. You have 99 words. No more, no less. Any subject, any genre. BUT, you must use the word AMBITION as the 50th word.

That means 49 words, ambition, 49 words. No variation of the word AMBITION.

Let’s see what you can do with that. Good luck and, most of all, have fun.

Entries close Wednesday 20th June at midnight. Voting will open as soon as possible after that and close at 6pm on Tuesday 26th June. Winner announced at Members Night June 27th.

Conditions of entry

Your entry must:

  1. Be in 12 point Times New Roman font
  2. Have single line spacing
  3. Have a title
  4. Include the author’s name
  5. Include the word count, not including the title
  6. Be submitted as a Word.doc, or .docx file (PDF files lose all formatting in their transition)

Submit entries to: competitions@ballaratwriters.com by 11.59 pm Tuesday 20th June 2018.Voting will open here the next day and will close at 6 pm on Tuesday, 26th  June.

Entry #1 – Mum Would Be Happy

It was the day my mother died. She was quite young really, only fifty-five. It had been a hard life for her. A loving husband, but no work. They had seven children to cook, clean, and provide for; almost impossible just on the dole.

She failed to achieve her ambition of being in showbiz, consoling herself in the knowledge that her offspring were educated, loving, and caring.

That day was the worst of my young life. Only thirteen, motherless, and trying to understand the wildly fluctuating emotions of puberty. My vow that day was to become her; an actress.

Entry # 2 – What I Should Have Done

I should have kept going past the city on the freeway that allowed me to rush past the skyline, past the traffic.

I would have kept driving through the night on roads waiting to be useful then disappearing in the darkness behind.

I had no idea. I had no ambition.

I could have driven on until I was alone.

Instead, I made the turn off the freeway, off the highway, into the street and parked in front of the house. They were waiting for me there. All of them. I was filled with anxiety when I faced them. Alone.

Entry # 3 – What’s in a Name?

Jane had planned to write a novel ever since she won the Flash Fiction competition in high school.

Tom scoffed, ‘Anyone can write a book.’

Maryanne frowned, ‘You won’t make any money from writing.’

Still Jane was not deterred; she’d succeed, for within her was the driving force of ambition.

But as the years rolled on, and her novel progressed, Jane found that ambition was not enough in the world of publishing. She sent her manuscript to numerous publishers, accepting the rejections with increasing alarm.

Until one day it dawned on her, and she changed her name to Jack.

Entry # 4 – Ambition

“How to succeed in business without really trying”

was his favourite movie,

and he had read Norman Vincent Peale’s

“The power of positive thinking” five times at just seventeen years old.

He studied accounting, then business management,

graduating with Honours and an MBA from Melbourne University.

His one burning ambition was to retire at thirty five

and travel the world in a manner he would

like to become accustomed to.

But the world conspired against him,

overworked and underpaid, and management

didn’t accept his pushy style.

All alone on his thirty fifth birthday

he admitted failure, and hanged himself.

Entry # 5 – My Fair Children

Mother was a woman of ample proportions. Her personality likewise was never mistaken for uncertainty nor ambivalence. That is until she met her second husband, Professor Higgins. No quiet lamb was he, I assure you. “Give me a boy and I’ll make him a man”, he asserted with grand ambition.

Simply amazing was his amplitude, the way he kept on and on at us, to make us in his image. Until at last, after two whole months, on the eve of the Royal Gala, she did it. Casting aside all ambiguity, she screamed “Admit it! You’ve inherited thirteen daughters!”

Entry # 6 – Life in the (write) zone

Oh, my gawd! Ninety-nine words, no more and no less.  What a seemingly difficult task (and somewhat contrived, as they all are!)  Only a particularly sadistic exponent of the art of creative writing would devise such a task; perhaps there is more than one such in Ballarat. Ah, yes, ambition, it drives us all.  Whenever there is a solitary exponent of a refined art, others are certain to become emulators after an appropriate interval; a tidal movement that ebbs and flows with some unique variations in content, but traversing the same inter-tidal zone where chaotic life thrives in abundance.

Entry # 7 – 2016

I grew up believing that driving a car would get me pregnant and kissing would give me cancer. Touching someone was how the devil got you to do what he wanted and using the telephone was how people could read your thoughts. I don’t think it was my mothers ambition to make me believe all these lies it was the voices. I know now that my mother was crazy. The world outside is scary and dangerous but it’s also beautiful and surprising. She’s dead now, but some days I think it was easier taking care of her than this.

Entry # 8 – Political Reality

He finally made it, anointed

as the Country’s Prime Minister.

He didn’t really understand

what this meant,

but he smiled anyway,

a smirk of insincerity

dressed up in lycra;

he just thought he looked really good.

His advisors weren’t going to tell him

anything different.

It was his focussed ambition,

he had made it,

he felt good, no great

and powerful,

he felt omnipotent.

But the problem with omnipotence

is that voters don’t like it,

and many worked to break it,

by consensus or a knife in the back,

it doesn’t matter either way.

Now he’s just a pest.

Entry # 9 – Mother Love

If only he could win something. An award, whatever the size, whatever the significance, would set him up. His blurbs would thereafter include the descriptor “award-winning” – a magnet for the eye. But our man George had come to know that (frustratingly) all dreams are unattainable when fuelled solely by ambition. George took a long hard look at himself. Could he live inside the boundaries prescribed by the depth and breadth of his talent? Self-publishing had never been in his career plan, and he doubted that his KDP earnings could feed his growing family. Perhaps his mother had been right.


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