Writing Challenge – July/August 2019

Visiting relatives, sunny days in the garden, and trips to the beach … oh, and whipping out the notepad to scribble down a summery story! Here at Lockerbie Writers, we’ve had a busy old summer, and it seems as if you have too. Thank you for all of the entries to our super-duper two-month writing challenge.

As if the photo prompt wasn’t enough, this time we had a twist: every story had to contain the words APPLE, SEQUIN and LUCKY.

How did they do? Read on and find out …

‘Shockwaves’ by Deborah Redden

A simple picnic of pork pies and apple tart, nothing too perilous there. Nothing too fancy, too adventurous, too prissy or overly flash. I liked that, took pleasure in its simplicity, my surroundings of sand and sea. And, had I not taken liberties with the rum, which I’m certain was laced with a sleeping draught, things might have retained their lucidity. Instead, I was found at sea, bedraggled and forlorn. I wanted to return to the merpeople, apparently – the ones whose long fishy tails flashed like sequins in the sun. I know I should feel lucky to be alive, and I do! But, it’s difficult to be cheery when you’re shackled to a bed, and dear nurse Ratchett threatens a few hundred volts with every second sentence.

‘The Apple Tree’ by Konstantina Sozou-Kyrkou

Clinging to the hardy apple tree
You reaped that sequin dress,
Not caring what is next,
Feeling lucky.

You donned it,
Each sequin a shield
Refracting the heat,
Reflecting the sky,
Flouting the clouds.
You really felt lucky.

Lunging into the ocean,
The sequins scales against the cold,
Oars against the waves,
Each pebble on the sea bed
A hurdle or a stepping stone.
You still felt lucky.

You slipped and fell on all fours,
Then held onto that apple tree,
Stood up every time,
Two sea creatures
Reflected in the sequins now,
Swimming or flying,
Yet, so very lucky.

‘Sand Sticks’ by Kerrie McKinnel

They say sand sticks to everything,
and I suppose that’s true.
After beach trips, I’d find it on the floor,
in socks, in bags, in shoes.

During last year’s summer holiday
we bought no souvenirs.
It was enough – more than enough –
to keep grains of the beach so near.

But it’s been a year at least
since we stood on the sand,
building castles with the kids
while working on our tans.

And so, I think you’ll understand
why I was so confused
when yesterday I came across
some sand in your best shoes.

They say sand sticks to everything
and I admit that’s true –
but nothing else sticks quite as well
as another woman’s perfume.

(And I’ll issue my apology now, because I forgot about including the 3 extra words while I was writing in this poem, but then I really liked it and didn’t want to mess it up trying to add them in!)

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this summer’s special writing challenge! What a mixture, as ever. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them – and please do share.

Have you been inspired to have a go? Check out our new Monthly Writing Challenge now!