As many of you will know there is a free write competition going on over at the Carrot Ranch here. It’s taking place over the course of September and there is still time to enter. Basically Charli Mills will issue a prompt and you have 24 hours to write a 297 word piece to that prompt. Submit and you’re in the game.
So far I’ve done two pieces. No idea how they’ll fare but here’s one. I may post others. Please take part. You never know.
He lifted the hand, skin crinkled with a lifetime’s experiences and ran a finger along the little white scar, shaped like a disappearing moon. ‘My Everest’ she’d told him, recalling how Aunt Felicity had dared her to climb the bannister, with all the drama of her failure: pain, the cut, shock and grandma’s anger.
He rubbed the rough skin, fingers long crippled with arthritis. Lower class, they’d called her. ‘They told me I wasn’t good enough.’ Another laugh. ‘They said I put a spell on your father, made him marry me.’
‘Magic hands,’ his father said. And they both laughed. ‘Just another social climber.’
She hid the hurt in her smiles, but it was there, in those empty Christmases, the returned presents.
He kissed the knuckle near the kink, broken in frustration when the depression got so bad. He thought about how, alone, no husband or beloved sister she’d dragging herself out of the shadowlands, forcing herself to face a hurtful world, just to keep him fed and warm. What that must have cost her, hiding the clouds from him, those dents in her soul.
He turned over her hand, the dark ink-stained middle finger being the last remnant of those cruel days working to put food on their table. Forcing herself to confront the prejudice, refusing to let it hold her back, making herself indispensable, even as they disparaged the little woman with the permanent smile, who held the business together.
He laid the hand back in the coffin, letting them close the lid. The pall-bearers eased the casket onto wide shoulders, beginning her final climb to the church. Now the scars were his, bequeathed to him by her untimely demise, while she ascended, unblemished and, finally, pain-free to take her rightful place amongst the angels.
PS I checked and there’s nothing, least of all the judges stopping you posting your pieces.