a short piece for daily prompt 300 words - a story about someone entering a story contest
| Harold reclined his seat back slightly and unfolded his newspaper to the sports section. The flight attendants were just wrapping up their safety protocols, the woman on the microphone cracking jokes to lighten the mood in the cabin. Nobody was laughing.
Harold studied his fellow passengers. Some were reading, others were typing on laptops. The woman across the aisle from Harold was working feverishly on a crossword puzzle. Catching his eye she said, “It’s the Times, you know.” by way of explanation. Harold returned to his sports section as the plane began to taxi toward the runway.
“So, where you headed?” The question came from the thin man in the window seat. The seat between the two men was unoccupied, and this prompted the thin man to lean in toward Harold as he spoke.
“Toronto.” Harold answered, curtly snapping up his newspaper, hoping to dissuade him from asking any further questions. The man leaned in a little more, and Harold found himself adding, “I won a contest, a short story contest.”
Harold waited for him to ask another question, but for the moment, silence. Across the aisle, Harold could hear the crossword afficionado informing her seat companions. “I won this trip in a writing contest.”
The thin man spoke again. “You’re kidding me! I was blind sided when you said you won a short story contest. So did I. I’m a freelance journalist. I write stories in my spare time. Wow! What a coincidence.”
Across the aisle the crossword woman was learning that her seat mate had also won a writing contest. Harold was dumbfounded. Holy shit! A plane full of writing contest winners.
As the plane cleared the runway, the loudspeaker came on. “This is your captain. We’ll be taking an alternate route this evening. Prepare for severe turbulence...”
Word count - 300