Lucy Vickery

Prose poem

In Competition No. 2866 you were invited to pick a well-known poem and write a short story with the same title using the poem’s opening and closing lines to begin and end the piece. I liked Mike Morrison’s use of the first line of Eliot’s ‘Whispers of Immortality’ as a springboard into an intriguing snapshot of the lexicographer Noah Webster. Equally impressive was Josh Ekroy’s imagining of an alternative and far from uneventful life for Mr Bleaney, who is reincarnated as a ruthless terrorist. Other star performers were Max Ross, Sid Field, John O’Byrne and Ashani Lewis. The winners earn £25 each. G.M. Davis takes £30.

‘My old flame, my wife!’

I’d untied the knot in Reno five years before, so he was only half-right as well as half-cut.

Neither was any surprise with Hank. But I was on my own at the JFK taxi stand and when he suggested it I couldn’t think of a good enough reason not to share a cab.

First stop, a bar for martinis. With four hours’ drinking time before his meeting at the World Trade Center, he wasn’t going to waste it in studious preparation. So we drank and took some alcohol-enhanced trips down memory lane and parted before the bad stuff surfaced.

Next day I was driving to Boston when the radio brought the news. God knows Hank could be an asshole, but to lose him that way … my control evaporated. Blindly weeping, I pulled in to the side of the road.
G.M. Davis/‘The Old Flame’
I met a traveller from an ‘Antiqueland’, one of those trendy new boutiques selling allegedly ancient and magical items. Their stock apparently comes from somewhere out east, but the Dan Brown-style mysteriousness is pure marketing hype. Anyway, this guy, Ozzie Manders was his name, I think, was from the Basingstoke branch, distributing so-called Egyptian relics.

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