Lucy Vickery

Competition | 19 March 2011

Lucy Vickery presents this week's competition

Lucy Vickery presents this week’s competition

In Competition No. 2688 you were invited to submit a short story incorporating six book titles. A deceptively straightforward assignment, this one. It is trickier than you might think to weave titles into prose in a way that is both unstilted and inventive — without compromising the quality of the tale. There was no upper limit on the number of book titles used and many of you seemed hellbent on packing in as many as possible, which didn’t gain any extra points, I’m afraid. Commendations to J. Seery, Pete Ritchie and Geoff Muss. The winners, printed below, get £25 each. Frank McDonald scoops £30.

Attracted by the call of the wild ocean they made their way to tall cliffs from where they could clearly hear the sound and the fury of the waves below. On the road to their destination some young members of the party asked where they were heading, and why. No one answered. It was as though in the distance they saw a great light leading them home Whatever pains they suffered to get to the lighthouse would be of no consequence; the end was all important. There was no one on the beach to bid them farewell; no one to wish them a safe journey. They had each other and they had their iron resolve. Nothing else mattered. Out of the sea rose the red and the black giants of stone, waiting to catch them. One by one the lemmings jumped, as their bible commanded.
Frank McDonald

After the funeral, the big four—the vicar, the dowager, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot — convened at Bertram’s Hotel for tea and, in the inspector’s case, black coffee with a pocket full of rye.

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