Lost And Found

Annabel's Lost and Found

In the midst of all the hub and bub finalising entries for the CELLAR DOOR award you might be forgiven for forgetting about ANNABEL’S LOST AND FOUND Award, an award idea dreamed up by one of our regular competitors. It is with great and somewhat belated pleasure that we finally get to print this author’s name as a winner, but if you’ve been reading NITH short lists for any period of time, or even participated as a judge, you would know what a wonderful and observant writer she can be. Please congratulate the perennial ‘student’ Clarissa NG! Clarissa has participated in just about every competition since she discovered NITH, and from what we understand, she has been making a lot of headway in other writing endeavours as well. Perhaps it’s …

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I was always encouraged to think outside the box and it was fair to say that I was quite good at it which was why I was so good at my job. Ideas flew into my mind like small birds flitting in and out; sometimes leaving before I knew they had come; abandoning me with a sense of vertigo and a chance missed. When they stayed, they danced about in my head spinning all my other ideas out of control like loose pieces of paper in the wind. And then, at times, ideas would come together and fight, vying for space in my thoughts. It was fun thinking outside the box and it was always safe but I went a bit too far and went out of the box completely. …

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To paraphrase one of the great philosophers of our time, “Short word counts and small turn arounds makes homer something something.” A focus on the mad, the crazy and the slightly off kilter in this week’s short list. Fair enough, We all go a little crazy sometimes. But a bit of friendly advice, just cause you’re thinking outside the box, doesn’t mean you need to lose your marbles. Full Short List here.

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We have been dining on the wrong side of life. It’s strange, really. This epiphany came to me on a certain chartreuse day, the kind of day where everything suddenly seems weird. Like when the taste of water is unbearable, and the washing machine seems to sing instead of complain about the feeling of wet socks slurping and slushing inside of him. Like when the ice cream truck plays Symphony No. 8 by Dvorák, and the ferns lean away from the sun instead of towards it. I woke up choking on dust. Nothing new, really. The air was still stale, and my creaky house was still dangling off the precipice of Mount Tsereve. Through the greasy, murky glass I could faintly see the other houses attached to the mountain by …

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Donald’s distressed groan woke Joyce immediately. She turned as quickly as her tired muscles allowed, her knees cracking in the cold. She observed Donald’s shadowed figure. He looked asleep, but his muscles were spasming gently. His leg quaked, and then his arm. ‘Don,’ Joyce said, shaking her husband’s shoulder. ‘Wake up.’ He whimpered, trapped in his dream, quietly pleading for somebody to save him. Joyce shook him again, a little more forcefully. He stirred. His eyelids fluttered and his eyes opened groggily. With an exhausted hand, he wiped away the sleep and pooling tears. A face haunted him. A little boy, alone in a dark room, water lapping at his ankles, rising to his thighs… Donald coughed, clearing the choking water and overwhelming sadness from his throat. ‘It’s okay.’ Joyce’s …

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>>>Trigger Warning: This story contains references to abuse. Some readers may want to skip it, or proceed with caution<<< “I am sorry for your loss”, Mr. Banks said as he put a hand on my shoulder. I knew that the concern on his face was genuine and he meant every word that he said. One of the few individuals I have known my life that were truthful in their manner and in their character. His forehead was white as that of a man gone sick and a bead of sweat trickled down on to his brow that he quickly wiped off with his handkerchief. Even though his words were sincere but they sounded meaningless to me. What loss was he talking about when he said that he was sorry for …

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Chelsea O’Connor sighed with frustration as she threw the last piece of paper onto the floor. ‘What does it mean?’ She gasped, clawing at her forehead. ‘What does it mean? How can I find out?’ She turned at the sound of footsteps to see her best friend, Pauline, standing at the door. Chelsea exhaled. ‘Pauline, thank God.’ Pauline walked slowly inside, unsure of how to approach this crazy woman. ‘Pauline, you must help me,’ Chelsea shook her head desperately. ‘I stumbled on these.’ She gestured towards the papers strewn across the floor. ‘They had words written on them. Words and pictures,’ Chelsea continued. ‘Yes, that’s generally what you use paper for. Words and pictures,’ Pauline raised her eyebrows, ‘Are you okay?’ Chelsea blinked frantically. ‘No. No, I am not okay. The …

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“Next case. Request 14875 on entry into the Houston Reproduction Program.” Commissioner Morris looked at his fellow commissioners. “Report on the genetic analysis?” Commissioner Buchman cleared her throat. “Yes, I have the results here. The figures are looking surprisingly well. Both samples are very promising and their combination might have a lot of potential.” “Historical background?” “I have those,” Commissioner Waldock said. “Our computers show no match between the relatives of the pair, as far as they can trace back. There should be no fear of inbreeding.” “Thank you, colleagues. So we have an agreement then?” The other two nodded, and Morris pushed a button. “Send them in, Sally.” Two people appeared, their worried faces trying to read an answer off the expression of the stern-looking Commissioners. Morris didn’t feel …

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I first noticed him when he was playing soccer with his friends under the blazing sun. He was drenched in sweat, his white uniform dirty and clung onto his body. But he was having a good time, laughing as he chased after the ball. Something about the way he laughed drew me to him. Later on, I would create all sort of excuses to hang around the field after school finished, and steal a glance at him. He was good looking, of course, but very clumsy. He always looked up at the clouds more than what laid ahead. Once, he tripped over a tree branch, and I couldn’t help bursting into laughter. He saw me laughing, and he laughed too. That was how we started to talk. “Do you like …

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Growing up is not as fun as we thought it would be when we were young. It’s a funny thing that can not even be described as a process, but more as a sudden event. We wake up one day, ready to go on with our lives the way we used to, and boom, reality hits us like a hammer in the head. We open our eyes and step into a whole new world, a world with no miracles and no magic. We have two alternatives: we can fight, or we can quit. And surprisingly, no one picks the second. I was the same; I had no idea whether I was an actress, a psychologist or a coach. Maybe I was a frantic journalist, I thought I would never know. …

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