A Dollop of Mother – Chloe Banks

2000 words General Fiction

Melanie’s attempts to charm her village neighbours by entering the Victoria Sponge Cake competition have only succeeded in proving she is not the culinary queen her mother was. This year, she’s determined to do better. Can she avoid scorn? Will her sponge be light enough? And will she ever learn to be like her mother?

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I never wanted to be like my mother. Not until I realised I didn’t know how to be. The gene for perfectly-coiffed hair and superb scrap-booking abilities must skip generations, for I am as clumsy and inelegant as my mother was graceful and regal. Heaven knows, the woman tried to instil some Women’s Institute values into me, but it was no use. I was – and have remained – hopelessly inadequate. And now I’ve gone and done something stupid, and Mum will be turning in her grave. I’ve entered a Victoria Sponge Cake in the Village Show. Again.

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Breakdown – Chloe Banks

1500 words General Fiction

Convinced she will never be the mother she should be, Jenny is running away from her daughter in order to give her a better life. However, on a late-night train to Anywhere-At-All, she falls into conversation with an odd ticket inspector and suddenly things don’t seem quite so simple.

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She had thought she was alone in the carriage. “Ticket please, Miss.” It was only then Jenny realised the train wasn’t moving. How long had they been stopped? She peered out of the window. Nothing but blackness. “I’m sorry.” She scrabbled in her handbag. “I was in a bit of a rush and I didn’t quite have time…” Her mad dash for the train as the warning beeps had sounded had driven any thought of a ticket out of her head. In the dark of the deserted station she’d noticed nothing except the doors that threatened to close and cut off her escape.

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