I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

A Shameless Short Story

I love these kinds of challenges. In a competition at The Clarity of Night, we were given a photo as inspiration for a short piece of fiction. There were 51 entries and the winner will be announced on Sunday night. The word limit was 250! My fellow bloggers Minx, Verilion and Cailleach are also among those who entered, producing some stunning work. Here's what I produced.



Montmartre


I was glad when I found that old photograph amongst his things; it was a reminder of one of the few projects he’d never accomplished.

My dear, impossible Arthur, who would wake up in the morning holding his beloved chisel and hammer. The kids used to say they were scared that one day they would come home from school and find a pile of rubble because of all his tinkering. He just couldn’t leave things alone, always having to go on mending, changing and improving. I suspect he’ll be doing the same thing in heaven, interfering with those golden gates no doubt, trying to convince his lordship that they should swing in and not out.

You can have a giant mural or a bay window, he’d said to me with a monkey’s grin. He argued it was high time we got rid of that damn awful void, those wires hanging down like poison ivy, blood leaking through the stone. I rattled with laughter, until I realised he was absolutely serious; he’d already been down to the library to find a glossy picture of Paris and had already got a quote on ten different tubs of acrylic. A window, he explained, would bring the morning sun directly into our bed, perhaps even do something for our love life.

This week, in memory of my wonderful Arthur, I decided to have both: a bay window in a classy, colourful Montmartre building. The kids are out there now, directing the workers.

© Copyright, 2007. Seamus Kearney.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice piece Shameless.

Shameless said...

TSP,
Thanks. Isn't the photo amazing, as well? I also love writing poems based on photographs.

And oh my goodness I forgot to say thanks to those lovely people who left comments under the story at Clarity of Night. So, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shameless,
Indeed, it was a lovely piece. I would have commented yesterday.
Yes...yesterday! :-)

P.S: Thanks too for giving me a welcome on Skint's blog. Very kind of you.

Anonymous said...

I found the 250 word limit a bit of a squeeze (think I must be a complete rambler!), but the competition is really good. There are some lovely pieces on there but I have to say that I didn't find the pic very inspiring.
A good exercise anyway, and one that I would enter again.

Shameless said...

Have you bought a ball gown in case you are named the winner on Sunday night, Minx?

It was funny to see how different people interpreted the same image. 250 words, though, yes, that was hard.

Anonymous said...

Hey Shameless, thanks for the plug. Did you vote in the Reader's choice? I ploughed through all fifty last night and it is amazing the different stuff that emerged. In the end I read them, ate my dinner and the ones that stuck in my head after my nut roast were the ones I voted for (I'm sure that's not how real judges do the judging!) I'm really looking forward to the results on Sunday night.

Shameless said...

That is sooooooo strange Verilion; that's exactly how I approached my voting responsibilities. I read all of them ... well, they aren't that long and I'd read many already. Then I had dinner and tried to think of the ones that stayed with me. Very fun exercise. I won't reveal my votes though. :)

Shameless said...

Susan,
Thanks. Do you enter this? You may have been one of those entering with a pseudonyms. :) And I hope I didn't miss any of my other fellow bloggers.
Thanks for your comments, they really are appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Yay, ditto, me too. I think this is the only way to vote - the ones that leave a lingering taste in the mouth.
Thanks to you as well for the comments - it is lovely to see so many names I know this time.

Anonymous said...

Hi again Shameless,
And what dinner menu would have so inspired your thoughts to something as exciting as voting responsibilities? tee-hee

Anyway...
no, I'm afraid I did not take part.
But Atyllah did.
She's a brave young hen & doesn't chicken out like me when it comes to competitions. :-)

moontopples said...

Shameless,

I found out about this contest on the day of, and didn't have time to write something by the deadline, but I imagine I'll try my hand at the next one. 250 words seems piercingly short. You did a great job with yours, though. Left me wishing it were longer, which is always a good sign.

Shameless said...

Moon,

These are always great exercises for getting the word juices flowing!

I look forward to seeing your effort in the next one!

moontopples said...

Shameless,

Congratulations on your story receiving an Honorable Mention award.

I'm putting some serious thought into hosting this sort of contest myself. I'll let you know if I do.

Shameless said...

Moon,
I'm really pleased to have got the honourable mention, especially when there were 51 entries and a lot of excellent writing. What a wonderful motivation exercise!

Susan,
Thanks for your nice comments about my story. Was that Verilion in 4th place? I'm not sure if she goes by MV? If it is ... a huge congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Honourable mention? Can I have your autograph?

I've been somewhat busy recently, as you know, so sorry I hadn't seen this earlier. Haven't yet made it to check the other entries but I really liked yours. Very poignant but positive too. You made every word count - crucial for an exercise like this but also a good skill to have for longer pieces.

Thanks so much for your balance and support. And the tea.

Shameless said...

Debi,
Thanks for your comments. I've never won anything in a writing competition before, so even an honourable mention has put on jupiter.

I think you've handled your recent stressful situation very well. We are here, as always, doing this thing we love, and that's all that counts. And Susan is on board on my blog now too.

I'm glad you liked the Christmas tea. The Madagascar tea is good too, and so is "the devil's body" tea! Good with a cracking book and the cat at the feet. :)

Anonymous said...

Well done in the Claruty comp, Shameless, it's great to see a few of the online writers I know making the grade! T'was good fun too.

Shameless said...

Cailleach,
Thanks for your kind words. It was super fun!
What were you listed under Cailleach .... caveblog? I did look out for you, but couldn't work it out!

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