May: Theme - The Underdog

Winning Entry:

He was just a pawn in their great Battle for power. The Revolt came and one day he left all foes behind and obliquely faced the King. Checkmate.

By Mariam Kizilbash

Runner up in our April competition, Mariam Kizilbash has gone one better this month to win the May competition, the theme for which was 'The underdog'. Mariam, from London, works in the legal human rights field and lives with her husband Syed who is usually the sole, but largely encouraging reader and critic of her literary attempts. Mariam has a keen passion for old tattered agatha christie books, popcorn cappuccino, trying to save the world and random fits of hope. She tells us how she simply love the Txtlit writing competitions as she finds they control her chronic overthinking by instead directing her grey cells into mosiacing together a micro story; whether on the bus, or at home. As a runner up last month she is delighted to have won this month!

Whilst we expected a much greater response for our 'Underdog' themed May competition, we were not disappointed by the quality of the entries we did receive. We had some really well thought out stories. We absolutely loved this story from Mariam Kizibash though, and chose it as the winner not least because of the way we were left with a feeling of being doubly tricked. We are introduced to the main character as being but a pawn in a power struggle. We immediately read this as being a figure of speech and our understanding is that we are being told of some insignificant person amidst a grand war between much more important people. As we are taken through the story we learn of how, following a revolt, he overcomes adversity leaving his enemies behind until he reaches what we read as being the ultimate in a power struggle, the King. Perhaps we can learn something from the use of the word obliquely, which means not head-on; because of course, pawns can only threaten other chess pieces that are diagonal to them. Yes, it is a game of chess and we have been reading about an actual pawn, which is strikingly revealed with the concluding word, 'Checkmate'.


Other shortlisted entries:
The crowds cheered at the finish line. The result was unexpected. In second place the favourite Sam O'hare, the winner the outsider  Jean Torte-Oise.

By Julie Fielding 

I chose you, prepared you for twelve, long months; your flesh is hard now, your size deceives. You defeat all challengers. My all-conquering conker!

By Patricia Cooney




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