March: Theme - Betrayal

March: Theme - Betrayal People image created by Katemangostar - Freepik.com

Winning Entry:

United and uniting. They'd called him the 'new Messiah'. They'd flocked to see him wherever he went. Now he was Judas. Tempted by the money. Playing for City.

By  Sim Smailes

 

Regular contributor Sim Smailes wins the March Txtlit writing competition which was themed Sim Smailes  Betrayal. This is the third Txtlit win for Sim, a primary school teacher from Essex . He's a big fan of Txtlit and loves the format which makes him practice keeping his writing tight and succinct, with every word having to earn its place on the page. Sim has had some success with his writing but the dream is still to have a book published one day. 

The "Betrayal" theme of our March competition led many of you to relate the theme to an extra-marital affair. This was a good tactic to use as the implied trust of a marriage or relationship does a lot of the backstory work and conveys a situation where we can easily see a betrayal happen. A useful tool when you are so restricted on the number of characters you can use. Sim Smailes was the ultimate winner though with this story that ticked all the boxes. A quirky opening sentence gets us thinking and teases us to read on. Great use of language such as "new Messiah" and "Judas" fool us into thinking that perhaps we are reading a biblical story, particularly as the crowds flock to see this person. And still we are drawn in; a single word like "tempted" is brilliantly used to keep us misguided in where we think the story might be leading. The final reveal is a perfectly timed as we learn that the subject of the story is actually a footballer and has switched clubs for a bigger pay-cheque. The link to the opening sentence suddenly becomes clear. Not only are we treated to top quality writing here, but Sim calls into question the very real issue of what motivates the allegiance of highly paid footballers, and sports men and women in general.

 

Other shortlisted entries:

This was no ordinary kiss, it shouted 'He's the one'. He'd seen it coming but was prepared to accept his fate. The following morning he was hung up to die.

By  Val Fish 
 

The heartbreakingly familiar cramping gnawing at her very soul. Intrusive procedures for something so natural and yet another month her body betrays her.

By  Shirley Thomson
  

The monitor beeps my heart's rhythm. You hold my hand, head bowed. If I could, I'd wrench myself free from your grasp. You always promised, yet I'm still here.

By  Diane Easthope  

 

 

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