All posts in Short Stories

My “24 hour” submission

If you missed my post from yesterday about this contest – here it is –¬†http://www.samanthaball.ca/?p=1111

And here’s my entry in the contest ūüôā

 

MONDAY

As a new mother, I had arranged for a photographer, however, Mary Ball found being posed like an Anne Geddes picture inconvenient.¬† Her sudden cries and flailing seemed timed to the photographer leaning in for the shot. I tried to calm her by giving her a bottle.¬† Within seconds of guzzling her milk‚Ķthe telltale sounds of a wet poop.¬† Under her bare bottom, I was mortified to see poo on the photographer‚Äôs WHITE blanket.¬† ¬†The photographer suggested we end the session.¬† With relief, I cleaned and scooped up Mary ‚Äď then felt the warm wetness of pee all over my lap‚Ķ

 

***One of the contest rules was that the person whose name was “dropped” had to consent to the story. ¬†Since my one month old can’t “consent”, I may be disqualified, but I thought I’d try to send it in anyway ūüôā

Canada Writes – My submission

Last night, I sent my submission to the CBC Books – Canada Writes – Short Story Competition!¬† I am¬†excited as I’ve never actually submitted to a writing contest before – but I am not holding my breath either.¬† The¬†results of the competition won’t be known for another 6 months or so.¬†

I found entering the contest to be fairly straightforward and I especially appreciated the fact that you could submit your short story online as well as pay the $25 fee online.  I was worried the various steps to send the submission would take alot of time, but my story was sent through within about 5 minutes.  Great!  I also found that their rules and regulations were pretty simple and overall, the process was much less painful than I anticipated.

On¬†their site last night I noticed that they had posted about some individuals having difficulties receiving a “submission accepted” email from the contest organizers.¬† I haven’t received one yet¬†either, but it was nice to see that they addressed the issue online so that contest participants wouldn’t be worried about whether their submission¬†was actually accepted or not.¬† They also provided¬†contact information for the more¬†anxious¬†writer who would want to ensure that their submission was received.

On a personal note, though I was happy with the process overall and will definitely submit to another CBC contest, I don’t feel that I allowed myself enough time to provide my best work.¬† I am now almost 9 months pregnant and though I had left¬†a full weekend to this project, I found my energy levels at the time were not great and so I ended up completing my submission just prior to deadline.¬† Not a great strategy, but I am happy nonetheless that I sent in my story.¬† I anticipate this is just a taste of the balancing act to come as I attempt to finish and edit my novel while pregnant and with an infant to care for.

In related news, the Creative Nonfiction Prize opens on December 1st.¬† I am looking forward to it and already have a concept in mind ūüôā

…!

The door of the establishment opened, and he was taken aback.  She was a beauty.  Perfect for him.  Her curves, her luscious lips and smirky smile.  Yes.  She was the one.

He sat watching her, screaming to himself, look at me!  let me be yours!

She turned, and saw him.  Her eyes lit up and her face brightened.  She was a new woman.  There was joy in her heart.  She had found everything that she had been looking for.

She walked toward him, and he held his breath, waiting, wondering if she wanted him Рwhen she could have anything.  The world was her oyster.

They left together.  They went straight to her house.  She sat down with him on the couch and began undressing him.  His skin was hot to the touch.  Within seconds, he was inside her.

She moaned with pleasure and satisfaction.

The Big Mac.

The wife’s secret place

I love my husband.  I do.  And I love my son.  He means everything to me.  But sometimes I think I am a bad wife and mother.  I leave.  On purpose.  Very pre-meditated.  I tell my husband that I made plans with girlfriends, I kiss my snuggly son goodbye and I go away.

I never go far. ¬†But I always go somewhere new. ¬†And just far enough that my husband won’t run into me if he’s doing errands. ¬†It would be too hard to explain myself. ¬†I am not running away to meet up with a lover. ¬†Although if anyone knew what I did, they probably would think that anyway; that I am skipping off to some seedy motel to meet up with a colleague or a friend’s husband for some physical fun and to escape my problems. ¬†But that’s not where I go.

I go wherever I end up.  Sometimes a mall, sometimes a tiny out-of-the-way bookstore, sometimes a deserted beach.  But I guess I lied.  I do meet up with someone at my rendez-vous.  I meet up with myself.  I run away to a quiet place where I can be alone with my thoughts.  Where I can take a minute to breathe deeply.

Wherever I end up, there isn’t someone asking me where his clean underwear are (in the drawer where they always are). ¬†Or a baby who wakes up in the night, screaming, seemingly for no reason (what can I do to help? ¬†Nothing is working. ¬†I just want to help). ¬†Wherever I end up is quiet. ¬†Everything is still around me but my thoughts. ¬†Even if I end up amongst bustling shoppers with their own precious loads, or at a park with children running and laughing. ¬†My own daily duties are silent.

I am anonymous. ¬†I answer to no one and no one expects answers from me. ¬†I’ve dropped off into nowhere.

And after awhile – the amount of time I am gone depends on just me – I return. ¬†To my home. ¬†Where, really, I don’t have that many problems in the grand scheme of things. ¬†To my husband who is happy to have me back and to my son’s thrilled face and outstretched arms. ¬†And I am happy. ¬†I really am.

But I will never give away my secret place.

A beauty Pageant Contestant – inner monologue

The last question is finally finished. ¬†Boy am I glad, I blanked for a second on stage. ¬†I wonder if I should hug Cassandra when she wins? ¬†I sure hope she wins, she’s been acting like a bitch since last night. ¬†As if she included in her speech that she should win Pageant Queen because she’s a good role model for others – that’s pretty arrogant!

Alex looks so handsome in his tie, I must look hot, he’s been staring at me all night. ¬†Or else I have something in my teeth. ¬†The latter is more likely. ¬†Oh my gawd! His arms are so buff! ¬†He must, like, do bicep curls or something. ¬†Wait, what is going on?

Okay. ¬†Cassandra knows what she is doing, follow Cassandra. ¬†Oh no! ¬†It must be almost time for the crowning if everyone is lining up again. ¬†Boy, does Maggie ever look nervous. ¬†I think she’s going to puke.

Why is Rebecca crying? ¬†They haven’t even announced the Queen yet. ¬†It must be about her dad. ¬†I’ll just give her a little hug. ¬†There. ¬†She’ll feel better now.

Cassandra Davis, stop pacing! ¬†You’ve won the pageant! ¬†We know it, you know it. ¬†It’s probably fixed every year. ¬†Oh shit! ¬†Where’s my earring? ¬†We have to go out in ten seconds and my earring falls out! ¬†I shouldn’t have been spinning it. ¬†I can’t believe Alex is on his hands and knees looking for the back to my earrings. ¬†He is so awesome, maybe we’ll get married!

Okay. ¬†Don’t play with your earrings. ¬†When¬†Cassandra wins, be nice, give her a hug.

I wonder who will get Runner Up?

I can’t believe the stupid Miss Congeniality thing. ¬†Why would they pick a name out of a hat? ¬†Lindsay and Emma are pretty pissed about that…how do they know that they are the two names in the hat?

I should never have entered this stupid pageant. ¬†I hate pageants. ¬†I hate Pageant Queens. ¬†I should have at least practiced longer than this morning. ¬†Why did Cassandra get her questions a month ago? ¬†That’s pretty suspicious.

Okay, okay, it’s time to sit down. ¬†You’ve faked confidence this far, you can do it. ¬†Nerves of steel, babe. ¬†Alex is so frickin’ hot. ¬†Okay girl – shoulders back, back straight, smile. ¬†Link arms with Alex. ¬†I love his arms. ¬†Walk sexy yet demure. ¬†Don’t strut too much. ¬†I hope I’m not slouching.

There’s Ben Thompson! Why is he here? ¬†Is that Todd with him? ¬†I hope they look at me. ¬†Yes boys, take a good look…I clean up well.

Okay, sit dainty. ¬†Why is Cassandra congratulating me and tapping me on the back? ¬†Is she trying to be humble before she gets the crown? ¬†Maybe I’ve misread her this whole time and she isn’t a horrible vixen out to get the crown at all costs. ¬†I am a horrible person.

Uh Oh! ¬†Alex looks like he’s glaring at Cassandra. ¬†I don’t think he likes her very much. ¬†Maybe the glare was for me to think he doesn’t like her when he really does like her. ¬†She’s awfully pretty. ¬†Listen, Cassandra Davis, you do what you want with the crown when you get it, but you stay away from my man!

Why is everyone smiling at me? Have I fallen out of my dress? ¬†Nope. ¬†Boobs are in. ¬†I can’t be giving Alex an eye-full over there. ¬†Maybe I’ll just give my dress a little puller upper. ¬†I can’t believe none of us girls are wearing bras. ¬†At least I am not the only one. ¬†What does Mom expect with half inch straps? I am never going to wear a strapless bra. ¬†Those things are accidents waiting to happen.

Okay, Maggie and Lindsay are getting up. ¬†Time to go on stage. ¬†Keep nose at friendly level. ¬†Back straight. ¬†Why isn’t Alex jumping out of his seat? ¬†He’s not having fun, I can tell. ¬†I should have asked someone else. ¬†I don’t think Alex likes being in the spotlight. ¬†Uh oh! We’re moving!

Up the steps. ¬†Slowly. ¬†Don’t trip and fall on your ass, whatever you do! ¬†Walk across the stage, line up with the rest of the girls. ¬†Is Cassandra pushing me? ¬†Maybe I should walk faster.

Are these lights ever bright! ¬†I wonder where they buy them. ¬†Oh my gawd! ¬†Why are there so many speeches!? ¬†Why is Emily Henry saying a speech? ¬†Wasn’t she only Runner Up last year? ¬†Holy shit she wears alot of makeup! ¬†She’s pretty though, in an “I’m sponsored by¬†M.A.C. cosmetics” sort of way. ¬†How long is she going to talk?

Marsha Gibson! ¬†She’s gorgeous. ¬†I wonder if the judges knew when they crowned her last year that she beat that chick up. ¬†Probably not. ¬†I haven’t seen Jeff in awhile. ¬†Maybe the boot camp rumours are true.

I wonder if I have a chance at winning.

Aww, I can’t believe Jen and Christina are in the front row. ¬†They look so excited for me. ¬†I think they are going to hop out of their seats.

I wish Alex could have stayed on stage…I don’t want to be here. ¬†This is my mom’s dream, not mine. ¬†What am I doing? I am going to look like a fool when I lose whether I wanted it or not.

Why does that judge keep smiling at me?

Okay, they’re finally going to call Miss Congeniality up. ¬†Why does the stupid emcee keep stalling? ¬†I have things to do when this is over. ¬†I didn’t know this dumb pageant was going to take three hours!

Maybe I’ll win Miss Congeniality. ¬†I am usually pretty congenial.

Lindsay! ¬†Oh my god! ¬†I have to hug her. ¬†I love her so much. ¬†Why isn’t she moving? ¬†Get going, girl! ¬†You just won! She looks so cute walking down the runway. ¬†AHH! ¬†I need a copy of this DVD. ¬†I have to hug her. ¬†She is so cute!

Is it time for Runner Up? ¬†I have no idea who will get this. ¬†Maybe I’ll be Runner Up. ¬†Jen and Christina are so great. ¬†I am so happy they are here! ¬†Is he still talking? ¬†No wonder he’s the emcee, he never shuts up. ¬†Let’s get on with it.

Could I win Runner¬†Up?¬†¬†I didn’t even forget anything. ¬†Last year, Marsha forgot her speech and she won Queen! ¬†So maybe I’ll get Runner Up.

My eyes are really stinging. ¬†I think I might have an infection from my contacts. ¬†These lights aren’t helping anything. ¬†I can’t stop blinking. ¬†I must look like such a ditz! ¬†I wonder how many people are in the audience. ¬†I can only see Jen, Christina and the judges. ¬†These lights are burning holes in my eyes.

Oh yeah, Miss Runner Up.  Why is Cassandra asking me if Miss Runner Up walks the aisle?  How the hell am I supposed to know?  Maybe I should have paid attention during practice instead of goofing off with Alex.  I wish Alex was closer and not halfway across the room.

I don’t get it. ¬†“It shouldn’t be too hard for Miss Runner Up to walk the aisle with Miss Congeniality?” ¬†Why would it be hard? ¬†Maybe I should be listening to this guy. ¬†Lindsay! ¬†Again! ¬†Frig. ¬†I didn’t see that coming. ¬†I can’t believe she won two things! ¬†Has that happened before!? The judges must really think she’s cute. ¬†She looks great in her little dress. ¬†She’s so short though. ¬†I wonder if she’ll ever grow? ¬†Well, her figure has rounded out a bit this year, that’s a good thing. She won’t look like she’s twelve anymore. ¬†She’s smiling like there’s no tomorrow. ¬†Gotta love that kid.

Oh well, I tried and I lost. ¬†No big deal. ¬†Why are Jen and Christina still smiling? ¬†Don’t they realize the pageant is over for me? ¬†It’s too bad Maggie and Rebecca didn’t win anything either. ¬†They’re sweet.

Well, I have to be a good sport until the end.  Keep smiling! Shoulders back, back straight, smile.

The judges said the vote for Queen was unanimous. ¬†Duh. ¬†Cassandra’s been practicing for a month. ¬†She wants this so bad. ¬†I hope she’s less bitchy when she finally gets the crown. ¬†I mean, this was supposed to be fun, right?

Better pay attention, he’s about to call Cassandra’s name.

Maybe I’ll win Pageant Queen…Nah.