David Blackburn

Short story competition

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The results of the Spectator-Barclays Wealth short story competition have been published over at the Spectator Book Club’s discussion boards. We received more than 500 entries of the highest quality, and trying to pick the winners from a shortlist of 10 inspired bitter debate at 22 Old Queen Street. The four runners-up have been printed in full at Spectator.co.uk, but the winning entry, Black Box by Jonathan Wynne Evans, is printed in the Spectator Christmas double issue. Here’s a taster of his suspense filled story:

Drifting curtains of fenland rain obscured everything from 20 yards so that, pedalling round the perimeter, the only indications of intense activity were waves of clatter from each dispersal as ground crews completed the arming of the Lancasters. Met had given it clear by 2100, only an hour away. Looked like we might yet have a quiet night in the Mason’s Arms.

The first discernible form as I rolled up to our kite was Connor’s stumpy figure, a Russian-doll silhouette, back to the weather with cloud of pipe-smoke visible even through the gloom. Hearing the whirr of my bike, he turned quickly. Quick was not Connor’s usual thing. Looked as if he was awaiting me.