SHORT STORY ENTRY: Write Invite, Saturday 26th March.
Here was my entry to last week’s ‘Write Invite’ competition (http://www.write-invite.com). To remind you, the competition goes live at 5.30pm GMT every Saturday and offers you three themes. You then have thirty minutes to pick one, write a short story using that theme; edit, proof and submit. If 6pm GMT comes and you haven’t submitted, then that’s it, you’re out! I started it a couple of weeks ago and it’s a great site, it is £4 to enter and the winner receives £50.
(Here’s the link to my first blog post about the site where I go into a bit more detail: http://rgrankine.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/write-on-site.html)
The theme I picked for last week was, ‘First Move’ and I’m happy to say I came fourth which although means I missed out on being shortlisted for the vote (top three only) it is far more than I expected and it’s nice to have good feedback here and there.
Why not join up and give it a go yourself? It's quite a stressful thirty minutes but in the best possible way :)
White Goes First
The pieces flatten. As his eyes strain, hot blood shoots up from his chest, the veins on his neck surge and pulsate, as thick as garden hoses. The blood pumps violently around his brain. For a second he felt like his head was expanding, it was as if he could sense each and every capillary bursting with pressure. The pieces remained indivisible, they had merged with the board. They had become round black filled circles, depthless, as if an illusion, a trick of perspective. No edges and no lines. They were spreading like hot wax melting into a cauldron of lava, uncontainable, and as with their shape, their meaning too, was lost. There was no connection between his mind and the pieces, they were void of use, indecipherable. He was now so hot he couldn't remember why he was even here, had he arrived by bus? Car? Had he driven himself or was there a friend out there somewhere, watching, filled with embarrassment and horror? Yes. That's right. Michael. Michael was here. They had shaken hands. Michael had wished him good luck. Where was he now? There he is. In the crowd. He has his fist clenched. He's waving his fist. He's still smiling. He's laughing. He's saying something but he's too far away. His face looks happy. Calm down. Go on! Go on! That's what he's saying. Go on! He looks at the board again and it lifts from the table, it jumps out, it becomes solid. It's real! The pieces fill and expand as if inflated and they shoot high into the sky like skyscrapers in a city landscape. There they are! Their shape is back. He can recognise them, they have names, they have titles, it's going to be fine. They have meaning! His head lightens and the blood slows. The pressure drops and he feels himself again. He takes a deep breath. He looks again at Michael laughing. The room is back to one he recognises. His opponent looks anxious, worried he is ill or upset. No, it's all okay. The panic is over. He wipes his hand across his forehead, casually and calmly as if this is how he starts every match. He straightens up in his chair, inhales through his nose and clears his throat. He smiles. He looks down at the board and nods. One last moment of composure. Yes. Let's go. He picks up the pawn, a slight shake in his grip, and moves it forward. He releases the piece and taps the little gold button on the clock. Game on.