Jump to content

November 2012 theme and competition entries

Recommended Posts

November 2012 theme & competition: Closure

Set by LFT1


It is a real shame that the monthly story competition is drawing to close. With that in mind I propose the theme of Closure. This could be the end of the year / era / relationship / crime / project. Any sort of closure theme.


I look forward to reading them.


TO ENTER: Your story must be 500 words or less, and should be posted on this thread.


JUDGING: LFT1 will judge the entries.


** Announcement ** The monthly competitions will be drawing to a close after November, so please take this final opportunity to participate.


Good luck!



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



The breeze felt good on my sunburnt neck but my eyes felt gritty as I squinted at the lone cumulus adrift in a sea of blue. I was hot, thirsty and tired so I closed my eyes to rest them and nodded off to the babbling sound of children playing. How long was I out for? It couldn’t have been more than a minute.


She sat down so gently on the bench that it felt like a small bird alighting from the sky.


I opened my eyes and reeled as the sunlight punched my retinas. Disorientated, I scanned the crowd and was relieved to spot Luke in the sea of children; he was playing near the statue.


“It’s lovely here, isn’t it?” said the old lady “I hope I didn’t wake you, you looked so peaceful.”


“No, not at all,” I replied politely, “thank you, I should be keeping an eye on laddo over there.”


I pointed towards Luke; his bright blonde hair looked white in the noon sunlight.


“What a lovely boy! How old is he?”


“Three and a half, he’ll be four next Christmas day.”


“Oh what a lovely present he must have been! I’ll bet you and your wife were delighted.”


“We were certainly very surprised, he was a month early. He's had a few problems but...” I sighed.

“He doesn’t say very much , we’re getting a bit worried.”


“Is he your first child?”


“Yes, he is."


“They grow up so quickly,” she sighed wistfully, “He looks a lot like my little boy used to. He was seven when he died,” she added “ he used to call me ‘mar-mar', you never forget…”


“Oh I’m so sorry –“


“Oh, don’t be! Really, it was a long time ago. Scarlet fever. We’re lucky today; the doctors know such much more…”


“They do indeed.”


We chatted some more until Karen, my wife, finally appeared over the far side of the plaza, I waved as she headed towards the statue.


Luke ran up to us and the old lady asked him if it was true that his birthday was on Christmas day, he said yes as she placed her arm on his shoulder, then to my amazement he started to tell her about all the presents he'd received, chatting about a blue car, a yellow teddy bear and even a ‘Rupert Bear’ scarf and hat that I’d completely forgotten about. It was like they’d known each other for years.


Where the hell was Karen? She had to hear this! I turned and walked over to her as she examined the plaque near the statue.


“Luke's talking! Come and listen!”


“Who to?”


“That old lady,” I turned to point, ”over ther –" but she'd gone.


Luke ran over and raised his arms, I scooped him up and he gripped my neck tightly as I scanned the plaza, his heart was racing.


“Where did the old lady go Luke?" I asked.


“Mar-mar gone back to heaven,” he replied.


He was freezing.

Edited by Mantaspook
Added a missing " & sorted the atrocious spacing out!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



I am thinking of living in Australia.


Which will mean as I am 76 on leaving England I may never see my friends again, my life as I know it will not exist. My home, my memories but most of all my Son wil be thousands of miles away--you see my son has Asberges Sydrome and finds travell and change almost impossible.


I realise that as my Medical condition gets worse I shall no longer be independent and staying here I would have to consider living in a home.


My autistic son has been part of my life for 50 yrs and together we have fought and won many a battle. Battles with officials who then knew nothing of A/S Even recently we were distainfully treat by a Keir workman because he saw us as vunerable not knowing that when attacked we bite.


Our life together has been a long difficult journey starting with school when his peers held him over a railway bridge by his shoes to when his teacher said to the class ' we have 32 in this class o no we have 31 and a half we have (my sin was named )


On his leaving school a burden rolled of our backs only to find we faced years of trying to sort through the benefit system. He was 38 when finally diagnosed and by that time we had together done all that was needed to be done

ie He could cook, wash, iron and manage all the mechanics of life.


How can I leave him behind we both know he cannot look after me after all he just manages to look after himself.


My heart will break


He once said I was the most beautiful thing in his life


I said that makes me feel very humble.


How can I leave him.


I have a choice of living with my other 2 sons who will include me in their lives and if I go now I will have a chance of some quality time with them in Australia.


But how can I leave him


He says go Mom I will be alright


But Will I.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Miss Young,


I am writing regarding your treatment of my mother who, as you are acutely aware, passed away recently. Her death has led to an outpouring of emotions, which have been restrained for many years. But the dam has burst, and I am struggling to cope, as submerged thoughts and feelings threaten to overwhelm me. This is quite common, apparently, and it has been suggested that I confront you with my complaints so that I might achieve some closure.


We all read about cases of abuse by carers against frail, vulnerable people, and it is hard for most people to understand why a carer would deliberately mistreat someone in their care. I suppose I can appreciate some of the frustrations; performing the same menial tasks, day in, day out. But your treatment of my mother, cannot be explained by frustration. I sense there was something else going on.


In her day she was very active. She ran an efficient home, whistling while she worked. And as each chore was completed, a sigh and a smile would betray a short-lived sense of satisfaction, before a look of determination returned. Ends would meet, thanks mainly to her resolve that they would.


I sometimes wished she would be firmer with us. Make us pull our weight. But that was the nature of the woman; she lived for her children, and looking after us was a pleasure for her. But I became lazy, and it has caused problems. I didn’t grow up. I was spoilt. In a way she deprived me of any chance to grow up. Stripped me of any sense of responsibility. Consequently I wasn’t prepared for adult life. Friends would leave home, get married, have children. But I remained frozen in time, preserved like a precious painting that never sees the light of day. Who knows what adventures I might have experienced had things been different. And it was all her fault.


She said she loved me (many times a day). But they say ‘if you love someone set them free’, so she couldn’t have, because I was never set free. I ended up looking after her, performing the same menial tasks, day in, day out. I’ve not had a life, and that’s why I grew to hate her and treated her so badly. Her kindness was actually selfishness masquerading as kindness. But she’s dead now. And I can start to live.


It has been useful writing this letter, Janice. Things seem clearer, and I think on some level it helps me to forgive you. Perhaps I can move on now.


Take care of yourself,


Janice Young

Edited by Ron Blanco

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Three really good stories. I'll have a good mull and come back to you soon.


---------- Post added 05-12-2012 at 13:29 ----------


Well, a good trio of stories to bring closure to the competition.


Mantaspook: I loved the idea that the closure was achieved by the old lady, as light as a bird, through her interaction with her reincarnated son. I good tale that kept me rereading.


Hazel: A real dilemma for a mother that has struggled to allow her son to live as fulfilled a life as possible. You conveyed the image of someone that had lived for one of her sons, to the omission of her own life and possibly to the relationship between her and her other two children. They both moved as far away as possible to develop their independent lives. They are now offering to support their mother as she now requires help. Interesting that until halfway through we assume that the woman has only one son as she says 'My son' at the outset - not one of my sons. Rather than closure on one relationship, this looks to me like the beginning of building new relationships with the other two sons...... maybe the next tale?


Ron Blanco: I like the therapeutic idea of writing to self. And this is not evident until a fair way through the story, leading to a reread on completion. I do wonder whether, although the letter was written to allow closure, the outcome might just be denial of personal responsibility and transference of blame onto Mum.


Three good stories that were a pleasure to read. It is a tough decision but based upon the theme of closure, I think that the winner of the November 2012 competition is Mantaspook.


Congratulations to all participants and I would personally like to thank all the competition entrants over the past years for their creativity and entertainment.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lytisha, thank you for supervising a fitting finale.


Nice one, Mantaspook.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks Lytisha (what a lovely name!) and Ron, I’m gutted to be playing Bradley Wiggins to your Jessica Ennis, never mind, as compensation I’ll buy you a pint with the prize money.


Hang on, I’ve just spotted a flaw….

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

... ah yes, Mantaspook, I see the flaw in your plan - there is no prize money. And now I will miss out on your offer of a pint. And a sighting of your wallet will remain an elusive dream. I've not felt this disheartened since missing the passing of Halley's comet.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

An elusive sighting of my wallet is indeed the myth of legends; disappointed numismatic lepidopterists from all over the world still consider this to be the one true Holy Grail.


However, some good news Ron, Halley’s comet will return in July 2061!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
An elusive sighting of my wallet is indeed the myth of legends


Of course the quip is slightly undermined by my own experience of having received a SFWG prize from your own pocket, Mantaspook. Consequently, I suppose I can claim that I have made money from my writing. And although the £10 book token did not prompt me to give up the day job, nevertheless I am in your debt. :nod:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.