Both Sides of the Story - Bosnia

The roar of the explosives devastated the peace of the valley. Tibor had covered his ears, but the thudding explosion set off the bells in his head again. He dropped his hands as dust and grit rained down on him and his men. When the dust cleared, it revealed the shattered shell of the old farmhouse.

Winter 1993, Westminster, England: "Madam Speaker, I —" Baxter groaned and lifted his pen. He stuck the end in his mouth and sucked it, searching for a better opening line. He crossed out the first words and started again. "Madam Speaker, the —" His pen froze again. "Bugger, why won't the words flow?"

The Australian Writers' Centre ran a 29 Word Story Challenge on 29th August 2019. The rules were: The story must contain exactly 29 words, begin and end with the same word, and include the names of at least two countries. With a lucky hyphenation, my repurposed We Need to Talk was spot on 29 words.

The golden sand squeaks in soft protest as Megan presses her body into the beach towel. A gentle breeze carries the taste of the sea and cools the sweat tingling her sun-baked skin. Distant gulls crawk and nearby waves roll onto the shore in a relaxing rhythm. Megan sighs. And then the phone rings.

A faded photo of my dad from the 1970s inspired this microfiction. He had a faraway look in his eyes and a Mona Lisa smile on his much younger face. As art lovers have done for centuries with Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, I wondered what was on my dad's mind when the photo was taken?

To celebrate the introduction of 280-character Tweets by Twitter, Meanjin Quarterly ran a microfiction competition. The rules were simple: tweet a 280-character story and include the hashtag #meanjin280! The top ten stories to be published on the Meanjin Blog and the authors paid $1 a word.

The bench outside the headmaster's office was hard. It was designed to make you squirm. But once you'd sat down, you daren't wriggle to relieve the creeping pins and needles. Because if you did, Old Heavy-handed Hamilton, would look up through the glass of his office door and note your fidgeting.

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