10 June 2010

Orange, with bits

I recently put first pen to paper then finger to keyboard and submitted an entry to the Guardian Orange First Words competition, for which the newspaper's readers (or mere website dropper-inners) were invited to write the first paragraph (up to 150 words) of an imaginary novel called Just Ourselves. This (rather clunky, I thought) title was magicked up by author Kate Mosse, co-founder and honorary director of the Orange Prize for Fiction, which had its starry pageant yesterday evening (Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna scooped top gong, since you're asking) to which I didn't win tickets.

Still you might as well read my effort. I like to imagine it may have made it onto the "high quality shortlist"; after all, I even seem to have shoehorned the word orange in, albeit totally subconsciously.

Just Ourselves – Written by Sarah-Clare Conlon

Where the baked bricks end, the darkness expands outwards. All the familiarity of the daytime becomes lost in a close wilderness of black secrets and mysterious noises. And here, together in the house on the hill, we huddle tight against the night and the howling. At least that's how I suppose you imagine us, but why? Are we paranoid because we don't see much of you, or do you really think we're hiding? We're not trying to be isolated up here, you know. I mean, just look at our place: it's radiating light and warmth. The windows glow orange, and they're gaping out into the heat. We're not shut off from the world. We turn our attention back from the outside, back to the moths, thrashing about wildly in the paper shade over the pendant bulb. The pair of them are going to disintegrate. Everyone knows; even them. Especially them.

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