NYC Short Story Challenge

I’ve been a bit quiet lately. My family keeps throwing me into ambulances and dragging me off to hospitals. It’s only a matter of time before I find one of them standing over my bed, pillow in hand, whispering strange biblical quotations with just a glint of a tear in one eye.

Nevertheless I did manage to cobble together an entry to the NYC Short Story 2020 during the period immediately preceding my last confinement and therefore another potential source of shame and embarrassment when the judges take a knife to it.

The good news is that I expect to still be around for next year’s competition.

But, for this year, the requirement was for a 2500 word thriller featuring an addict and an investment. I don’t really do thrillers.

So …. only if you are bored …. here it is.

Down by the Tracks

18 thoughts on “NYC Short Story Challenge

  1. Wow, that’s really good. You do a great job of creating back story in a small amount of words. And I too had no idea how it would end, but I loved the ending! I’m so glad the narrator–WHO YOU FREAKISHLY DIDN’T NAME–OH MY GOSH–made it away from the tracks. Oh wow, that is masterful. You went all “Rebecca” by Daphne DuMaurier, and I didn’t even notice until I started typing here. Well done!! I hope the judges appreciate that! It’s amazing. Seriously, if any judges whine about it in the “needs improvement” section, I’d give them bad feedback. 😀 That’s awesome.

    I agree it’s not very thrillerlike, but I think it might be a contender anyway. My sense is that the judges simply check a box indicating that you didn’t stray too far from the assigned genre. I think they give more points for quality writing and great storytelling, in which case your story ought to be up there on the ranks!

    The story had an overall gloomy feel that was palpably realistic and morose. The pacing was spot-on and consistent. One issue I had was that I’ve never heard of MPs. (I’ve heard of parliament, but not the term MP.) I had to look it up. That’s probably a me-thing, but if not, you dove right into discussing politics in the next section, so that solved the issue. I loved the interspersed TV themes, which provided great juxtaposition to the hardcore reality of the twins’ lives. I seriously hope the judges give this high marks! Let’s make it to the next round!


    1. Thanks mate ….
      yeah, the ‘MP’ thing – I did realise that this might be a foreign concept for many … and it’s a bit of a quirky thing here in Oz. My local MP is someone I know quite well and a very run of the mill sort of guy – an auto-electrician. I run into him in a coffee shop or a pub fairly regularly. We chat about football. But he is frequently on national TV and was formally the Australian Minister of Defence. So for someone to refer to their local MP by their first name is quite common here. Gwen likely used to run the fish and chips shop.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m having trouble trying to open the document… I’ll try a little later, Murphy might be busy with someone else by then!

    Take good care… I send you my warmest thoughts, and they’ll probably be more effective soon 😉


  3. you are one hell of a writer, mister. Don’t ever do that toe-in-sand ‘aw shucks’ shuffle again. Loved the language, the careful build up, and no I never saw the ending coming.

    Bravo, bravo.


  4. what a masterpiece pops! If they don’t give you recognition then we’ll know it’s rigged …

    Hope you regain your full health again, all sounds a bit dramatic. Mum’s gone so now you’re craving attention …


  5. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the whole thing. This story is no exception to your talents. It also solidifies my opinion that you are one of my favorite WordPress writers! In my eye you already won!:) 🥇 👏👏


      1. Yes! I think I could be an impartial judge;)! Haaah Brutus you just made my day!!! I know that a marriage proposal from the likes of you would be what women dream of!:) From the mind of Brutus!:)


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