A Second Life – Merran Jones
7300 word Historical Fiction
Asha, a young woman, is struggling with her lot in life when she meets an elderly woman named Mary. Mary recounts the story of her husband’s battles during and after the second world war. Through her words, Asha learns that her past and her circumstances don’t have to hold sway.
“Why do you pluck one eyebrow thinner than the other?” Betty asked. Asha gave a tepid smile and helped her sit. It’d taken a senile, elderly woman to say what her friends should have ages ago. She didn’t have time for this. They had to get Rebecca in bed, and Roma on the toilet before Roma decided a five minute delay was sufficient enough time to ring the emergency bell. The kitchen had been late with lunch, delaying the afternoon round. Then, they’d found Valma defecating in the ficus beside reception. “I have something for you dear.” Asha turned. Una stood behind her, smiling, offering a fragrant package. “Uh, thanks.”
Angelman – Merran Jones
4800 words General Fiction
Jemma hates the worldly arrogant Nick as soon as she meets him. But Nick always gets what he wants, and after he seduces her into sleeping with him, Jemma falls pregnant with his baby. It seems the worst possible situation, until they discover the child is carrying a secret. One that teaches them both about love and sacrifice and finding joy in hardship.
The Dorchester’s elegance suffocated Jemma. She knew nothing about the plight of the Persian leopard. She didn’t own a conscience attuned to upper-class global crises. All she had was a desk job—good and soul-destroying within the bowels of the public health system. That, and some coloured Post-Its. She was there because of her cousin, Sarah; her plus-one. Sarah’s PR job for a large firm meant she knew all about the doomed leopards. Which explained how Jemma, in her half-price H&M dress, stood surrounded by girls that went ‘mwah’ when they kissed. Blonde and tennisy, they had long gowns and even longer names, which must’ve been exhausting to cart around. They played their voices like an orchestra, made plans to ‘do lunch’, and decided they’d find themselves in Europe.