Literary Maneuvers June 2019 - "We Found Him In The Park"


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  1. #1
    Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Literary Maneuvers June 2019 - "We Found Him In The Park"

    "We Found Him In The Park"
    650 words, deadline 23:59 GMT, Monday 17th June, 2019



    Introduction


    This month's prompt, as voted for by WF members, is "We Found Him In The Park", for which you are to write a maximum of 650 words of fiction. Pick your own title, write about whatever you want, in whatever prose style and interpreted as you see fit, as long as it's related in some way to the prompt. You decide the best way in which to dazzle your readers - and the judges.

    The judges this month are epimetheus, Megan Pearson, meegads, and Rookish. If you're listed here and don't wish to judge, please let me know at once.

    If you win, you'll get a badge pinned to your profile plus a month’s access to Friends of Writing Forums (FoWF) where you’ll have access to hidden forums. Pretty neat, eh?

    All entries that wish to retain their first rights should post in the LM Workshop Thread.

    All Judges' scores will be PMed to bdcharles as soon as possible after the competition closes. Note: I will give judges 3 days into the next month to deliver their scores and then I will post with what I have.

    All anonymous entries will be PMed to bdcharles.

    Lastly, why not check out this ancient text on how to best approach this task.


    Rules



    • All forum rules apply. The LM competition is considered a creative area of the forum. If your story contains inappropriate language or content, do not forget add a disclaimer or it could result in disciplinary actions taken. Click here for the full list of rules and guidelines of the forum.
    • No Poetry! Nothing against you poets out there, but this isn’t a place for your poems. Head on over to the poetry challenges for good competition over there. Some of us fiction people wouldn’t be able to understand your work! Click here for the poetry challenges. Play the prose-poem game at your own risk.
    • No posts that are not entries into the competition are allowed. If you have any questions, concerns, or wish to take part in discussion please head over to the LM Coffee Shop. We’ll be glad to take care of your needs over there.
    • Editing your entry after posting isn’t allowed. You’ll be given a ten minute grace period, but after that your story may not be scored.
    • Only one entry per member.
    • The word limit is 650 words not including the title. If you go over - Your story will not be counted. Microsoft Word is the standard for checking this. If you are unsure of the word count and don't have Word, please send your story to me and I'll check it for you.




    There are a few ways to post your entry:



    1. If you aren't too concerned about your first rights, then you can simply post your entry here in this thread.
    2. You can opt to have your entry posted in the Workshop which is a special thread just for LM entries. You would put your story there if you wish to protect your first rights, in case you wish to have the story published one day. Note: If you do post it in the workshop thread, you must post a link to it here in this thread otherwise your story may not be counted.
    3. You may post your story anonymously. To do so, send your story to the host of the competition. If you wish to have us post it in the workshop thread then say so. Your name will be revealed upon the release of the score.



    Everyone is welcome to participate, including judges. A judge's entry will receive a review by their fellow judges, but it will not receive a score. Please refrain from 'like'-ing or 'lol'-ing an entry until the scores are posted.

    Judges: In the tradition of LM competitions of yore, if you could send the scores one week after the closing date it will ensure a timely release of results. Please see the Judging Guidelines if you have questions. Following the suggested formatting will be much appreciated, too.

    This competition will close on:
    Monday night 17th of June at 11:59:59 PM, GMT, on the dot. Please note any time differences where you are and be mindful of daylight savings time.

    Scores would be appreciated by the last day of the current month, at the latest, pretty please, cherry on top, mmm? Too much later than that and I will have to post with any scores that I have.

    Click here for the current time. Good luck!


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  2. #2
    Last edited by velo; June 12th, 2019 at 04:01 PM.
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


  3. #3
    Mentor Megan Pearson's Avatar
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    Clark (650 words)
    "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
    ~ John A. Shedd


  4. #4

    The Rat (649 words.)

    "You're under arrest Bernie," said the policeman to the grubby vagabond.

    "Vagrancy again?" Bernie had played this game before and sat up on the park bench, frowning at the officer.

    "It could be robbery this time." The officer held up a pair of handcuffs. "Similar routine though."

    Bernie eyed the shiny, steel handcuffs. "Robbery? I think you're mistaken officer." He stood and extended both arms, wrists close together.

    The officer snapped the cuffs in place and shot his hand into Bernie's coat pocket, withdrawing a handful of precious stones. "You have the right to remain silent..."




    Bernie's daily routine never varied much. He slept in the park at night and spent most of his days out of sight, amongst the dumpsters, behind the small town's shopping complex. These dumpsters were Bernie's source of food, clothing and even shelter, when it rained. The staff at the shops knew about him and paid him no heed.

    The only friend Bernie had was a clever rat. He would play with his rat and teach it tricks to pass the time away. He would throw a set of car keys, he had found in the car-park and the rat would fetch them for him, rewarded suitably with a morsel from the dumpsters.

    "Get the keys." He threw them again and watched his friend scurry after them. "Good rat...Clever rat." He would feed the rat, reinforcing the desired behavior. He had also taught the rat to eat glass craft-beads, also scavenged from the dumpsters.

    Today, Bernie sat with his back against a brick wall, with an old, dirty blanket draped over his torso. He reached behind him, removing a loosened brick from the wall and he placed the rat in the hole. "Go boy. Eat the glass. Good rat...Clever rat."

    Rodents have the remarkable ability of being in close proximity to humans, without people being aware of their very existence and Bernie's rat excelled in this stealth behavior. It roamed the interior of the open jewelery store, scurrying from place to place unnoticed and sometimes remaining motionless for minutes at a time. All the while looking for 'glass' to eat, however there was no glass, only precious stones in trays ready for setting into gold and silver rings.

    The rat came back to Bernie and he put it in the front of his shirt, before returning the brick to the hole in the wall. He folded his grimy blanket and made his way to the park. All that remained now was to wait for the rat's bowel movements.




    "We found him in the park." The arresting officer led Bernie into the watch-house cell and locked the door.

    "Your hunch was right Sarge." The second officer held up the evidence bag full of precious jewels. "He had these in his pocket. How he got them is a mystery."

    The burly Sargent stood up from behind his desk and examined the evidence. "Good work fellers. I'm sure a nice, friendly chat with Bernie will reveal the whole story."

    "We're going to finish our rounds," said the first officer, dropping the cell keys on the desk and walking toward the door.

    The Sargent glanced at the wall clock. "I'm due in court soon, this puzzle will have to wait for now." He followed the officers outside, closing the door behind him.

    Bernie took the rat out of his shirt and gently placed it on the floor. "Get the keys boy. Good rat...Clever rat."




    A black Mercedes Maybach S600 stopped at the entrance of the dark alley. The uniformed driver got out and opened the back passenger door.

    "Good evening sir," said the driver, looking toward the alley.

    "Good evening Hutchinson," said Bernie, stepping from the shadows and handing the driver the bag of jewels. "Best we find ourselves another small town with a brick jewelery store, preferably far away from here."

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Warning: Adult content/red-hot sex.

    A Good Shag in the Park

    In his excitement, Charlie had left his phone at home before the mad, forty-mile drive to the coast. The last time he'd seen his phone he'd read the message : 'A Shag in Prince's Park, Eastbourne beach, visible from the road.'

    Desiring updates from the app, he kept forgetting that he'd forgotten his phone. Consequently, he kept reaching for it blindly on the passenger seat, impotent fingers fumbling at nothing as he stared at the road ahead.

    Due to lifelong physical infirmity, Charlie had never been more than a hundred miles away from London. So, although the Shag was not a rare seabird nationally, it wasn't common locally, and it would make his day, week or birdwatching year to see one for the very first time. He sadly remembered a joke made to him recently "You've never seen one and never had one." Charlie had laughed in order to be sociable.

    Hopefully, the Shag would be male, the more attractive of the bird genders. Hopefully, it would be a 'good' tick on the list - 'good' meaning bright, clear, male and no doubt in the identification of it. A 'bad' tick would be the glimpse of a tail-feather as it flew off and a knowing expert standing next to him saying "Yes, that was a shag."

    The message kept replaying in his mind like a whispered promise: '…visible from the road...' No wheelchair needed, maybe. A quick jerk of Charlie's head assured him that his crutches were on the back seat.

    "Visible from the road…" said Charlie, aloud to himself - almost as if saying the words gave weight to the promise. In life, one requires these occasional feel-good moments to keep one going.

    Charlie arrived on the seafront and worried that he wouldn't find his way anywhere; there were just so many people, too many. It was mid-day, bright , sunny, a lot of bared flesh, candy-floss, seaside-rock, sunglasses, high-pitched voices, para-gliders, too much colour and too much traffic; a veritable roaming circus of day-at-the-beach tourism.

    So, he very slowly drove along the beachfront, wondering at what point to stop and ask for directions (his SatNav app was on his phone, forty miles north).

    Without directions, Charlie found Prince's Park at the end of the promenade. He didn't even need to leave the car. With his binoculars he scanned the whole park and there was no Shag...

    …at first!

    Then, as mid-afternoon became late afternoon and then early evening, Charlie just sat in the car, his sad expression visible to nobody. He urinated twice and excreted once but, fortunately, had no need to move from the driver's seat due to his attached and handy bags, tubes and devices, taped and velcroed onto his body, paid for by the taxpayer.
    Erm, anyway…

    …A large dark bird flew onto the edge of the park pond. Charlie tensed and raised the binoculars to his rheumy old eyes. It was a heron. Charlie's withered shoulders only slumped for a moment before another bird flew in. Squinting into the bins, he saw it was a carrion crow. It immediately took off and landed to Charlie's left and he spotted two dogs mating, or at least trying to mate; a male alsation with a female sausage-dog (unless they were playing at role-reversal).

    He sat there for several minutes, totally engrossed in the hopeless, unsuccessful mating attempt by the two mismatched dogs.

    A shadow passed over the dogs, moving left to right. Charlie looked up and saw a large bird, with wings spread to land, slowly glide down and alight on the bank.

    Bright, and so green it was almost as if it was lit from within. Iridescent, magnificent and male (of course). It stood and raised its bill and head imperiously then spread its wings as if to declare its royalty.

    Box ticked!

    It was Charlie's first good Shag.

  7. #7
    Supervisor velo's Avatar
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    "Don't fuck with writers, we will describe you." -unknown

    My blog- Hidden Content thoughts on trauma and healing through psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy

    "When a child is abused, he or she will often internalise that abuse as deserved. It is a cruel reality that a child needs the parent so much, is evolutionarily programmed to trust them so implicitly, that when a parent is abusive the child will take the blame rather than completely upend their world and blame the person they depend on for survival." -velo

  8. #8
    Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  9. #9

  10. #10

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