Counting by Numbers – Ceri Lowe-Petraske

2000 words General Fiction / Literary

Following a tragic childhood accident for which he feels partly responsible, Georgie is haunted by flashbacks of what happened that lead him to follow a life of trouble. Will Ugly Suzie provide him with the lifeline he needs or will Georgie be forced to make a terrible decision?

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In the days before Duchess and the Ugly Suzie, when Georgie was very small, the cupboard in the spare bedroom was his favourite hiding place. It was always the last place that Mama looked for him and it was warm and dark and soft in there. He would squeeze himself in at the bottom, and wait until she came to find him. While he was waiting, he would run his finger along the inside of the cupboard door where Mama had scratched how tall he was each year. He hoped he would grow big and strong like Mama always said

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I’m Not Scared – Ceri Lowe-Petraske

500 words General Fiction

Religious business can be very demanding and this woman has a very special job to do. Her bosses want answers and in her line of work, the boss is never to be disobeyed.

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Although she was not of this, nor any particular denomination, the church was reassuringly dark and cool, providing a sanctuary from the sweltering heat outside. Unusually there was the slow, hollow tock-tock heartbeat of a clock – somewhere behind the pulpit she presumed.

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The Peacock Tapestry – Ceri Lowe-Petraske

3000 words General / Literary

Following the death of his grandmother, Kevin is made to search her house for an unexpected legacy. Whilst doing so he uncovers a secret that has been kept hidden in his family for decades. What will the impact of the secret be upon his family?

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It was late in the evening when Aunt Jessica called, and I could tell it was her because my mother sounded irritated. She used the voice we only ever heard when Aunt Jessica called, which wasn’t often. “When?” said my mother. And then “Was it peaceful?” There was silence while Aunt Jessica was talking. From my hiding place on the landing I could see my mother with her back to me, fixing her hair in the mirror in the hallway. There was some mumbling while she translated the call to my father and then she made a strange sound like a bird hiccupping. I tiptoed back to my bed so as not to get caught. I was much younger then, only seven, and I should have been asleep.

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