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  1. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
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    Manchester, England

    Short Story Contest (16) - Theme: New Year / Resolutions

    Discussion in 'Monthly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Gannon, Jan 2, 2008.

    Short Story
    Contest 16
    Theme: New Year / Resolutions​

    Open to all, newbies and established members alike. Please post your entries in this thread. At the deadline I will collate all entries and put them forward for voting in a seperate thread. Sadly there are no prizes but honour on offer. The winning entry will be stickied until the next competition winner.

    Theme: New Year / Resolutions (courtesy of me): To continue with seasonal themes this contests topic is New Year and / or Resolutions. You could write a story about New Year and what it means to you, the festivities and feelings at this time of year and / or about Resoultions and their significance / adherence to or lack of etc.

    Required Length: 500 - 3000 words.
    Deadline for entries: 16th January 2008 18.00 (UK local)

    There is a ten percent leniency above and below the upper and lower word limits, respectively. Please try to stick within these limits I would hate for your pieces not to qualify.

    Try to make your story complete and have an ending rather than be an extract from a larger one.

    Please remember to give your piece a title and give its word count in brackets at the top of your story.

    Thanks and good luck.
  2. Heather Louise

    Heather Louise Contributor Contributor

    Dec 10, 2006
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    I would like to thank you, btw, Gannon, for runing the contests still even though they seem to be laggin at the moment. Thanks.

    Resolutions my Ar*e (1086 words)

    I hate New Years Eve. I just don’t see the point. And New Years Day. It is just a night and a day to go out, get smashed then make lots of promises, otherwise know as resolutions, which we will never keep.

    “This yea I want to stop drinking so much.”
    “I’m going to start saving the planet.”
    “I intend to get out of debt this year.”

    Yea, they seem like a good idea to begin with, but intending to do something is a whole world apart from actually doing something. I remember when I was little and I set myself a few resolutions. One of them was to stop picking my nose. Yea, that lasted long. No, New Years Eve is just a waste of time. A night for the drunk to think they had a blast and the sober to realise that they have spent yet another year doing f**k all.

    This New Years Eve I was planning on sitting at home, not doing anything. I had a bottle of red wine specially picked out, an expensive box of chocolates and Titanic hired from Blockbuster. I had my pink fluffy dressing gown wrapped tight around my body, hiding my stomach from site as I was carrying a little extra Christmas weight. There you go, if you want a resolution, I will lose some weight this year. A couple of pounds, which should be easy.

    So, I was half way through Titanic, at the part where Rose and Jack sleep together in the car, when the phone rang. I begrudgingly paused the DVD and answered the phone to hear one of my mates slurring down the line.

    “Where are you Kel, I need you,” Lisa managed to say after a few attempts. She sounded like she had been crying.

    “What’s wrong like chick?”

    “It’s Jason. I saw him getting off with some slag. San you come and pick me up, please? I’m down town, near Zanzibar.” I told her I would and put down the phone. An empty wine bottle stood next to the phone; I had drunk the whole bottle and hadn’t realised. Still, I felt fine and so went to get dressed. I don’t know why it is that I always end up cleaning up after my mates. One of them gets sad and I’m there. Someone needs a life and I jump in the car. My resolution for next year is to learn to say no to them, spend more time with myself. That’s what I’ll do next year.

    I had managed to drive all the way down town without hitting any red lights, which I was very surprised about. There was one that as slightly amber but I drove a little faster to get through. In the town centre I jumped from the car and weaved through the crowds searching for Lisa. She was standing in a bus shelter. Her make-up was dripping down her face and her boobs were popping out all over the place in the skimpy little top she had on. I thought about the sort of outfits I wore when I went out on the p**s. Skirts short enough to be belts, tops with slits right down the middle. The more skin you showed the better you looked had always been my prophecy. Now, looking at Lisa in her drunken, slaggy state I realised just how horrible I looked when I went out. That is when I decided, I was not to go out dressed like that any more next year. It’ll be my resolution, to dress more modestly.

    Half way home and I still hadn’t hit any red lights. Until now. The light ahead had just flicked from amber to bright red and I was devastated. I was trying to keep my run up, once you hit one red they all suddenly start turning the colour of the devil. Still, my speed remained high at 66mph. Wasn’t this a 40mph zone? Either way I decided I would jump the light, I mean; no-one else was around so it wasn’t doing any harm. It sped past the light and smashed into the side of something. A car! Everything was silent, despite the radio blasting at volume 27. I lifted my head and saw the widescreen had completely smashed. I looked into the side window of the car we had hit and saw a couple sitting in the front. The man that was driving has his head handing out of the window, falling onto our car bonnet in an unusual position. I amazed me that his neck could bend that way. The lady’s head rested against the dashboard, a net of jet black hair covering her face.

    I am never going to skip the light again. Never ever. And I’ll never drink drive, it is stupid. I thought I’d only had a little bit. My New Years resolution is to never skip the lights. And never drink again. Or drink drive. I couldn’t think straight; my head felt like it was crushed and I suddenly remembered about Lisa. I glanced towards her but turning my head in her direction made my eyes sting from the pain.

    “Lisa? Lisa, are you ok? Lisa?” Forcing past the pain I looked towards Lisa’s seat but it was empty. Confused and in pain, I tried to look behind me, to the left, the right, all directions. That’s when I saw Lisa lying upon the bonnet of the other car. Her bare legs hung upon the front and her body disappeared off the other side. She must not have been wearing her seat belt. I should have noticed, I should have made her wear it. My News Resolution is to check everyone is wearing their seatbelt when they are in my car, I will check every single time.

    The problem with resolutions is that you always make them too late. You promise to lose weight after you have gotten fat. You promise to stop drinking after you have developed cirrhosis and became an alcoholic. You decide never to skip the lights again after you did it once and smashed into a car and killed the couple driving it. You say you’ll never drink any more after your drunk mate was flown from a car (doing what turned out to be 75mph) and also died. You promise to check everyone is wearing a seat belt in your car because it was the only thing that saved your life.

    Yea, New Year Resolutions are s**t.
  3. Shreyass

    Shreyass New Member

    Jan 1, 2008
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    The Clock Was Too Fast

    The Clock Was Too Fast - 1349 Words

    He fumbled with the keys clumsily outside the apartment , the dimness of the lamp above his chipped wooden door making a complicated job even harder. At last. His hand grasped the right pair, and he lowered his eyes to the level of the key-hole and made sure he inserted the key the right way the first time - he had replaced the lock a dozen times already, and he had no wish to pay that greedy landlord any more than his weekly dues, which, he thought ironically, he would have to pay the day after. Ah well, it was only day after, and he could worry about it tomorrow. Today, no - he corrected himself, glancing at the watch - tonight, tonight was going to be glorious. New Year's Eve, the herald to the new year, a new beginning. Today was the start of him turning over a new leaf. Seven failed attempts didn't convince him otherwise.

    He shouldered open the door, and, walking into the small, thousand square foot flat that he proudly could claim as his, closed it behind him. His glance, more out of habit than anything else, strayed to the small built in bar that took up the whole right corner of his pad. There were six rows of bottles on top of the wood panelled bar - a good investment that, he thought lovingly, for after all he did not have much to spend his little money on - and all the bottles seemed to be corked and full. He peered a little closer. He had opted for a little variety last time - staring into the dour liquor seller's face, he had challenged him to produce the best that the shop had. Apparently these were it. But he would see later. Later, after it was the New Year. Tonight, he promised himself again, tonight was going to be a tribute to sobriety.

    He stumbled to the armchair, one of two chairs that comprised the only furniture, apart from a small cot and a refrigerator, that crowded his space, and sank down into it, revelling in the softness. Another good investment. He liked to think of himself as a bargain-getter, able to sneak great deals on great stuff from places that no one even knew about, and as he glanced around his flat - the inexpensive but loud music system and the refrigerator with the small but adequate television perched comfortably on top of it - he wondered if he was missing something. Maybe he should be doing more with his life. But what more? Again, his eyes drifted to the bar. Ah, his pride and joy. And the bottles that awaited him. Wait, he reminded himself. He sneaked a glance at the clock. Another two hours. Two hours. A bit much with nothing to wet the throat, wasn't it? A little bit won't hurt, he told himself, as he picked himself up and moved slowly towards that little haven.

    A shot glass lay by one of the bottles, the only glass in sight. Good, he nodded approvingly, that would help keep him in check. Not that he couldn't keep himself in check, he exclaimed indignantly - it was just, this helped. He removed the seventeen dollar corkscrew - another luxury he, a connoisseur, prided himself upon - from the top drawer of the bar table and sat down on one of the authentic barstools - one of three - that he had set up in front of the bottles. Then, slowly, lovingly, he set down the corkscrew and picked up the first bottle. Not bad, he thought, glancing at the label. An experiment, to be sure. He relished the thought of it.

    He twirled the bottle in his hands, and then set it down horizontally on the bottle holder. He then settled for a wait of a few minutes. They passed quickly. Then, screwing his eyes in concentration, he turned the corkscrew into the bottle and began to turn. Slowly now. Just until it reaches three fourth of the way, and then stop. That way, no fragments of the cork polluted the drink. The very idea of it happening disgusted him.

    There. He had managed it successfully. Smiling, he removed the cork, set it aside with the screw still sticking out, and poured out a little of the amber liquid into the shot glass. He then snuck a guilty look at the clock. More than an hour left, easily. He took a tiny sip. Best moderate himself. Ah screw it, it's just a shot glass, and it's one fifteenth of the first bottle. What are you, a kid? He downed the glass in one go, and poured himself another one. That went down quickly as well. So did the third. And the fourth. He blinked. That was fast. The first bottle was over. So quick? He sneaked another glance at the clock, and sighed in satisfaction. The numbers were as clear as day, about an hour left.

    Come on. He pulled himself together. A hardened drinker - no, not drinker, he corrected himself, a connoisseur - like you, and you're worried about a few glasses. Hell, he knew people who drank them by the pint and still walked as straight as an arrow when the coppers pulled them over. One bottle indeed. And an hour left.

    One. Two. Three. Two bottles remaining. His vision was starting to blur. Or was that his spectacles? He reached for them in order to clear them, and then realised with a silly grin that he didn't wear spectacles. Got to get those eyes checked then. He snickered to himself.

    He got up, and moved closer to the clock. Thirty minutes left. They would even have that countdown on TV, with all the fireworks and celebrations and the timer that went down till the last second. Should he follow that? He thought about it for a moment. Nah. His clock was trusty enough. He moved closer to it and took another look. Less than thirty minutes. Time for another bottle. He could definitely handle that.

    The bottle count whittled down to one. The room started to sway, and he began to see two of everything. He held up his fingers in front of his face, and let out a hiccup. Now it became three. Funny, that. The clock was three as well. The number of bottles had tripled. He reached out for support, and grasped the bar table.

    Just a few more minutes. A few more minutes. And three bottles. Or one. Anyway, there wasn't long to wait. He couldn't risk turning his head to look at the clock. He'd just wait for the twelve chimes then - thank God for that feature. Twelve chimes. Come on, twelve chimes.

    Just one more glass then. Not much. He was already slightly woozy, and going off to sleep in another few minutes - it didn't really matter. He poured the last shot glass down. All the bottles were finished, weren't they? He swept his hands in front of his face, and promptly knocked down three of the bottles. Wonderful. Now he would have to clear up the mess. But first things first. It was going to be the New Year in a few minutes.

    He could feel the drowsiness coming, feel himself slipping into that familiar warm haze that he enjoyed so much. Come on, just hold on for a bit. The clock started chiming. Yes, yes. He was going to keep that damn resolution after all. One. Two. Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight.

    Was that nine? ****, he had lost count. Oh well, he would know when it stopped. And then it would be time. Another. Damn, he was slipping. Slipping, slipping. He started to feel nice and warm. The bar stool wasn't that uncomfortable. Or was that the floor? It was cold. The floor then. And then, blessed oblivion. He didn't hear the chiming stop.

    Damn clock. Too fast.
  4. annabannannna

    annabannannna New Member

    Nov 17, 2007
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    Tony Goes Green (word count 911)

    I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. It’s all about permanently replacing bad habits with good habits. I can’t think of anything that I need to change. So I usually just do something for Lent. It only lasts 40 days – it’s just a temporary modification.

    My last Lent went incredibly well. That year I recycled by separating my green and brown glass. I received more compliments on that Lent resolution than any other year. A few people did say that they thought Lent was about sacrifice and denial by giving up something. Those people obviously didn’t recycle, otherwise they would have known how inconvenient it was to remember to separate those different colored beer bottles and drive the couple of miles to the local recycling center. Isn’t my time worth something? However, many girls thought it was a sweet gesture to try to save God’s creation during the Lent season. I never thought of it in that way, but it did sound pretty good.

    For this Lent I had been contemplating taking on two endeavors. I was tossing around the idea of having a meaningful relationship; and since being ‘green’ was such a hit last year with the ladies, I was willing to give recycling a second try. Apparently ‘green’ is in.

    A couple of days before Lent I decided to do some research on what today’s young sophisticated woman truly wants. To give me insight into the female mind, I went to a local doctor’s office to find some chick magazines to read. I figured with all the old reading material in their waiting room, it was the perfect place to also get a head start my recycling program. Why kill a tree on a brand new magazine, when there is a room full of magazines that were free for the taking and destined to take up valuable space in a landfill?

    While looking through the office’s magazine racks, I quickly noticed a magazine called Cosmopolitan. Judging by the woman on the cover, this magazine was very representative of who I was searching for; urban, fashionable, and a total knock out. Also the featured articles sounded intriguing – Arouse Him Like Crazy, Great Butt and Thighs, The Most Satisfying Sex Position Ever.

    I picked out several issues of Cosmopolitan and was leaving the office, when the receptionist asked me what I was doing. While selecting my magazines I had noticed her looking at me. She had been blatantly checking me out, but I had ignored her. Her finally speaking was an obvious last minute effort to get my attention. Although she was sort of cute, she wasn’t my type. She was dressed sort of dowdy, and I prefer a woman who isn’t bashful in wearing something that shows off her attributes. You would think she could dress a little more sexy and welcoming for her job of greeting the public.

    I thought, why not make her day and reward her vies for attention? In addition to being bashful, she was also extremely shy. As I walked towards her, she avoided looking into my eyes and instead stared at my magazines. Then I leaned over the counter so I could be closer to her when I asked her for her phone number. But instead of her meeting me by also leaning in to close the distance even further, she stepped back and met my eyes with a cold judgmental glare.

    She asked again what I was doing. A pick-up artist, she was not. She should have found something different to say, since she had already used that line on me. Also, she didn’t exactly have come-hither soft bedroom eyes.

    I decided to impress her before asking her for her number. I explained to the receptionist that I was getting an early start on my Lent resolution - I was undertaking a selfless endeavor by lessening my footprint on God’s earth by reading old magazines and then ensuring that they were recycled. At the time I believed it was best not to mention my other resolution of having a meaningful relationship, although after considering what happened next, maybe I should have. If I had, she would have never mistaken me for something I was not; and she would have happily partaken in my Lent resolution of finding a meaningful relationship.

    She asked me if I was serious about recycling the magazines, and I ensured her that I was. Her cold glare returned to my magazines and then I realized then I had made a huge mistake. From my reading selection she obviously believed that I was gay. Also she must have been extremely homophobic, because she told me to leave the office or she was going to call security. She also babbled something about me stealing magazines. Evidently she didn’t believe in saving the planet’s resources for future generations of God’s children.

    I was totally shocked that anyone in this day of age could react in such an inappropriate manner, just because they thought someone practiced an alternative lifestyle. I decided right then and there, I was not going to ask this close minded woman for a date. Also I was extremely insulted that she could have mistaken me for a pillow biter. So to make her question her hasty judgment of my sexuality, on my departure I also grabbed a couple of issues of Field & Stream.

    I hope she has troubles sleeping tonight, as she ponders how wrong she was about me.
  5. Tari

    Tari New Member

    Jan 13, 2008
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    West Coast, USA
    Late Christmas (1017 words)

    Not sure this really fits the prompt, but hey, why not try?

    Late Christmas

    Christmas was a few days ago, but for my family, the holiday actually takes about a week. We have to eat dinner with various cousins and distant relatives day after day. On Monday, we were eating with some cousins on my dad’s side of the family.

    Unlike one might suspect, I actually like my cousins and relatives. The entire family is full of silly, whimsical people, and we all get along, but even then, a full week (give or take a few days) of four-hour long dinners takes its toll. I wanted to get it over with, to go to sleep, to play some of the games I’d received on Christmas and on my birthday only a few days prior.

    And since this was the last “Christmas dinner” we were going to have, I was understandably anxious for it to be over.

    My cousins were supposed to arrive around six in the afternoon—or maybe the evening, depending on how one looks at it—, and I guessed they’d probably leave at around eleven. I lifted my head from where it lay on the couch to glance at the clock. Five o’ clock. I let my head fall back to the cushion and continued to watch the television, where a couple of guys were thoroughly destroying various vehicles for no practical reason.

    I managed to watch another hour-long episode of the show to pass the time, then I switched off the television and swung myself off of the couch. I stifled a sudden urge to yawn, then shook my head. If I was already tired, how was I going to stay awake for the entire dinner? Ah, well, I’d worry about it later, if I fell asleep in my soup or something.

    The doorbell rang, and a nearby clock displayed 18:12 in blinking red digits. I stopped to switch the clock out of twenty-four hour mode, then made my way to the door at my mom’s urging.

    “Hey,” I offered as I opened the door and let my relatives inside.

    “Hey to you, too,” said the younger of the two cousins. “Ah,” she said, glancing up at me. “Did you grow again?” I shook my head, and she raised an eyebrow.

    “Right, sure,” she said. “Stop growing, you keep making me feel shorter, you know. I’m older than you, so shouldn’t you be shorter than me?” She punched me lightly, and I staggered back in mock pain, and then we laughed lightly. Her older sister walked through the door, along with their dad, and I greeted all of them before closing the door and leading them to the kitchen, where my sister and dad were seated, and we all sat around, chatting.

    About half an hour later, dinner was served. It was a long dinner, and afterwards, we played some games, made jokes, and watched some stupid online videos. The phone rang at some point, but we didn’t notice in time to pick up, and the caller didn’t try again.

    It was ten-thirty when they left and we wished each other a merry, but late, Christmas, and my sister and I began to clean up the mess. It was another hour before we were done, and by then, I was asleep on my feet. I staggered to my room, slipped into my pajamas, and was asleep within a few minutes.

    The buzzing of my cell phone woke me. I groaned and rolled over, noting idly that I had kicked my blankets while I slept. My phone lay where I had left it all day, on top of the table by my bed. It buzzed angrily, and I glared at it, then grabbed it and flipped the lid up.

    “Yeah,” I said, putting it to my ear. “Hello?”

    “Hey!” a voice called from the other end of the line.

    “Matt?” I asked, reaching over to my bedside lamp and turning it on. “What’re you calling for? It’s, like, three in the morning, man.”

    “Huh? Were you sleeping?”

    “Well, yes. It’s what most people are doing at three o’ clock. Why?”

    “Uh, well. Sorry, I guess.”

    “Gee, I can feel your sincerity. Just get to the point, please? I’m tired as heck.”

    “Right, well, happy new years, bud. Have a good night.”

    The phone went dead, and I blinked a few times before rubbing the sleep from my eyes and focusing on the cell phone’s small screen. I looked at the bottom, where the date was. Januray 1st, 2008.

    I blinked again when I noticed the five messages I had on my phone. I sighed. I was already awake. Might as well just listen to them, get it over with. I punched in a few keys, then lifted the phone to my ear.

    “First message, at five-thirty, December thirty-first.”

    “Hey, man, we’re gonna have a get together tonight for New Year’s Eve. Wanna come? We’re gonna meet at Andrew’s house and play games all night long or something.”

    “Second message, at six-twenty-five, December thirty-first.”

    “Dammit, keep your phone on, man! At least I didn’t get sent to the leave a message thing immediately today, but still! Pshaw. Just call back, anyway.”

    “Third message, at seven-forty, December thirty-first.”

    The sounds of a fighting game were clear in the background as another friend’s voice came on the line. “Hey, Tom, we’re all here at my house now. We might head over the Kevin’s place, since my parents are going to bed. Anyway—hold on…” there were a few, muted bits of dialogue from the earpiece, then “Anyway, we’ll let you know if we go over there. Later, man.”

    “Forth message, at nine-fifteen, December thirty-first.”

    “Uhm, never mind. I’ll just call your house. I think Andrew has your number.”

    “Final message, at twelve-oh-four, January first.”

    “Happy new year, man. Geez, you need to pick up the phone.”

    I lowered the phone from my ear, flipped it shut, and dropped it back onto the desk. “Huh,” I muttered, “They actually got together for a party.”

    I rolled over, pulled up my blankets, and fell asleep, wishing, just a little, that I’d been there.
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