Please vote carefully for the entry you consider best in areas including, readability, appropriate spelling and punctuation, general grammar, syntax, and ‘feel’.

Voting closes at 11.59pm on Monday (Easter Monday) 22 April

1 Captured by a Genius.

The emotions I felt as I read those first words were ones I rarely felt in my job. My red pencil normally needed sharpening before the end of the first page. I left it neglected on my desk that night  as I read chapter 2 on my walk to the train. Dinner went cold as I devoured chapter 4.

I knew so much would need to be cut. It was as if his brain was the train engine and he’d held pages above the smoke stack collecting every single thought as he powered forward at full speed. Yet I felt every single page belonged in a frame hanging in the Louvre.

As the candle wick extinguished in the puddle of melted wax, I crawled into bed unable to stay awake any longer. As soon as the sun pierced my eyelids I fell back into a world I’d lived in but never experienced like this. The imagery was like a weekend lived every day of the week.

I don’t know what happened in my home that weekend I was transported into a world I knew I had to share with the world. Editing it was going to be the challenge of my career. How to mould and shape this manuscript into something that would sell without losing it’s soul. When that day finally arrived though, what a day it would be.

2         The Colour Red

Four year old Amy spins around and around in her new red coat, the grass soft upon her feet. The birds in the forest beckon as she takes off through the open gate, and scampers down the path.

Inside the house the family celebrate her grandfather’s birthday. Balloons float above tables of food and drink.

Out the back of the homestead the children play, caught up in a game of cricket.

Paul wanders outside to the watch them, drink in hand, looking for the red coat.

‘Where’s Amy?’ he calls, an edge to his voice.

Robbie yells, ‘She’s out the front,’ and takes off after the ball.

‘I told you to look after her,’ he bellows.

‘She’s just dancing on the grass,’ Robbie retorts.

Paul heads around the side of the house, calling out. The front lawn is bare and his heart misses a beat as he notices the open gate. His eyes fly up to those on the patio.

‘Is Amy inside? Have you seen her?’ he shouts, panic rising in his voice.

His brother disappears inside then dashes back to the patio. ‘No she’s not here.’

Frantic now, Paul flies down the path.

At the edge of the creek he catches a glimpse of the colour red floating amongst the reeds. Overwhelming emotion engulfs him as he slumps to the ground, and lunges forward.

A torturous wailing echoes through the forest.

3         Emotion

He couldn’t talk anymore, his breathing too laboured and now choking him.

He let go of my hand and made the sign of the cross with his left thumb on hog forehead .

I had never seen this before.

He coughed and was quiet.

All over.

Relief the main emotion I felt, then sadness and love.


4         The Storm

Fishing boats

On rainy seas,

Wash out of the dark

And through the waves.


Towards the shore,

Cliffs timelessly bleached,

Like looming headstones

On certain graves.


A fear delights

Within the heart,

Against the will

Of frightened man.


A torture riles,

And stirs the gut,

Then churns the swell,

Waters and sand.


It twists their minds

Sense of control,

And strangles,

Each exhausted breath,


Vindictively longing

To take them down,

One last swallow,

To morbid depths.


A vacuumous pull

Brings the darkest dread,

Sucked from the surface,

Out of the light,


Into the black

Of Poseidon’s throat,

He splutters and coughs,

They desperately fight.


Kicking out teeth,

Clinging to tonsils,

One well placed punch,

Then spasmatic release,


Ejected from

The salty gullet,

Back to the rhelm

Of pending peace.


Gasps of confusion,

Gasps of relief,

Tired bodies tossed

On the surface still rough.


They roll to the rocks,

Coral tearing their skin,

Praying to God,

That their strength is enough.


But the perilous sea

Shows no emotion,

Saline spray will not

Quench their thirst,


With each rolling wave,

They are losing the battle,

As daylight fades

The storm grows worse.


Into the small hours

Their weary souls cling,

Held tight to the hope,

That they will be found,


And as morning breaks,

Their hearts lie, still waiting,

Poseidon named victor,

Of this final round.



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