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

A Shameless Short Story


What a wonderful distraction on the day that France goes to the polls in the first round of its presidential election. Jason at Clarity of Night has organised another short story contest, with this photo as the inspiration.

Given that I don't have the right to vote in this presidential election - here non-French nationals can only vote in municipal and European polls - I really needed something to focus on. Jason's contest was perfect. I was also down to work this weekend on the elections, but I've been forced to stay at home with a bout of laryngitis! Talk about frustrating!

So, this is what I've sent off to Jason's contest, which had a word limit of 250:

Marble Point.

Not long after the smell of the date and walnut loaf had sulked away into the woods, the majority of the group made their awkward farewells and headed off along the mud track. Flo joined her dear friend, Tim, on the veranda, aware that the decision to put Marble Point on the market had hit him the hardest. She put an arm around him.

‘I thought we’d be coming here every year until we died,’ he whispered.

She avoided the view in front of them, the velvet valley that had seduced her and her eight university chums some 30 years earlier. ‘We’re the only ones who’ve really made use of the place.’

He folded his arms. ‘We all promised we’d never sell it.’

She pictured that summer of ’74: living in tents for two months, everyone chipping in to build their “castle”, starting the tradition of the date and walnut loaf. But that was before the weddings, the kids, the break-ups, the sickness.

He said, ‘Maybe we should’ve agreed to the access road, electricity, an indoor loo.’

‘We let them hook up the water! That was compromise enough … though we were the only ones who ever did the washing up.’

He almost smiled. ‘I’ll boil the water, and then we can take our last hike down to the waterfall.’

At that very moment Flo made a decision: yes, she would tell him about her divorce and the huge settlement, news that had been eclipsed by all the emotional exchanges.

© Copyright, 2007. Seamus Kearney.


Unknown said...

Well looks like it's a Sarkozy v Royale 2nd round! She hasn't got a bloody chance has she? Un reve francais indeed! He's on the news at the moment. In keeping with the rules of the comp I'll comment on Jason's site before I give you some feedback here. I'm being very organised this time, I'm making notes!

Unknown said...

Hot on yer heels, babe. Well, I will be once I have edited myself down from 1,000 words! Find these shorties excruciating.

S. Kearney said...

Whew! It's what I hoped for. Will things change that much ahead of the second round? Hard to say.

Yesssssss. 250 was an acrobat's number! Bloody hell that was hard! And I had so much to get in. Oh well, it's a good exercise and at least every word had to count! I think I finished off at 250 on the dot! :) I look forward to reading yours.

S. Kearney said...

Why does this always happen to me?
I've just seen that Maht (Moon Topples) has a character called Tim in his entry. Snap!!!! Too late to change mine though ... it's all emailed off to Jason. Kind of funny, no?

Suzan Abrams, email: suzanabrams@live.co.uk said...

Hi Seamus,
Why does a mere 250-word contest look HUGE on your blog...almost as if you've written a large number of words. Ahh...illusions.

I felt I had dipped into a country novel. But with its history springing from somewhere else.

Good luck, Seamus!

Anonymous said...

I love this, Seamus! Will send mine soon. Hopefully, it can compete.

Unknown said...

Ooh you've left us wondering there Seamus! I don't think it matters if names crop up again here and again, it's the story that counts.

S. Kearney said...

Thanks. Huge? Nothing like good spacing! :)

I'm glad you liked it, and I look forward to reading your entry. Will it be under your blog name?

and V,
Yes, something nice and open, I decided. I'm glad there aren't too many Tims then! :)

Unknown said...

It is lovely to see so many bloggers that I know this time.
Loved yer entry and appreciate the sweat to cut it down to the bone!

S. Kearney said...

Ooooo, Minx, is yours up yet? I must look! Glad you like mine. :)

L.M.Noonan said...

I'm always surprised when I read your work. At the risk of sounding ageist, you've got a wise- possibly even world weary, head on that young body. Thirty something's seldom concern themselves with the sorts of relationships you're so good at. You must be a good listener,
Well done.

Unknown said...

yes well done from me too shamie, succinct and kept the best reveal til last. :)