It pays to read the brief!

I’ve been using my commute over the past two days to write a piece for submission into a competition.  It’s the first time I have ever, EVER been compelled to do something like this, but I knew in an instant what I would write.

The brief was:

In the form of a story of 550 characters – in English explaining if a Floating House could take you anywhere, where would you go and why?

The judging criteria was:

70% originality and creativity of the story. Does it surprise and delight us?

30% spirit of the submission. How does the submission relate to the Floating House?

I wrote.

I wrote and proudly went to submit my story.  It was cut short, not accepted.  I re-read the brief.  Aaaaahhh 550 CHARACTERS not words – which is what I had done.


I diligently edited it down and still it gets cut short, which I’ve interpreted as a sign not to enter the competition, my story is much better in its entirety.

So here it is.  My story, in precisely 549 words explaining if a floating house could take me anywhere, where would I go and why?

Mesmerised by the buzz of bees in the wisteria, the grass is tickling my bare feet. Leaning back, my hair catches on the warm blue bricks, my eyes closed and the sun, having crept out from behind the rain clouds is now warming my eyelids. I smile as I drift and bob along, away to a place of carefree dreams…

The buzzing muffles while the scent of the wisteria and earthiness of freshwater morph into a gentle lapping sound and salty air; I inhale deeply, tasting it, I drift further.

I find I am riding the crest of a wave, surging steadily towards the shoreline. I see the silhouette of a solo surfer travelling towards the yellow sand and cliff framed beach ahead.

Stepping down into the water, its chill refreshes my soul, taking a sharp breath I submerge my shoulders and head. Alive, I live for these moments, this life; exhilarating and wonderful. I stand twisting my feet into the sand, smiling as a school of little fish quickly shake past. Spreading my toes to feel the steadiness of the land beneath me, I move forwards, the surge of the sea helping me reach the silvery foam lined shore.

I hear shrieks of delight, followed by contagious giggles, ahead I see little bodies clambering around the mussel lined rock pools. Loving families and friends gathered together, talking, making sandcastles; happy. I lay down, little beads of sand clinging to my wet skin which darkens and tightens in the penetrating heat of the sun.

I stir to the sound of running water, my body hot and patchy with white uneven circles of salt. I embrace the moment, my toes gripping to balance me on the large smooth pebbles below, I step under the freshwater spilling over the moss covered plates of rock and refresh my body, drink in the wetness, quenching my thirst.

Brrrr. I hug myself and sit, the imposing beauty of the green topped cliffs behind, sheltering me from the wind. The pebbles are warm, the hairs on my arms lay flat again; my goose bumps retract. Relaxing, the warmth of the hard pebbles beckoning me to lie down.

Did I just feel a cold splash of water on my toe, and now my stomach? I realise the sun is hiding again, the sky has darkened and the inevitable… rain. It’s home time, I return to the water, propelling myself out on a surf board, the water falling from the sky makes dimples on the surface of the ocean. I spot the lone surfer, the weather closes in as we find ourselves gently paddling towards each-other, a lightness in our eyes – smiling. Our skin wet, he leans forward and pulls me in close, our boards bumping as our salty lips touch.

A loud crack of thunder startles me, the bricks pulling my hair as I leap up to run indoors, wrapping a soft wool blanket around me as my bare feet pad across the floor. I sink into bed hugging the feathered duvet in close allowing my dream to continue as I flick through the Sea Change photography book that I brought upstairs with me hopeful to find my Sandymouth beach, oh such happy and love filled memories, if only my floating house would take me there.

#airbnb #floatinghouse #floatinghouseparty #readthebrief

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