Despite being a pretty specific award, the Taupe Toupee Award managed to raise a few hairs with four diverse hues that fit perfectly (seriously, it just looks so natural) with the themes of the award.
Steve Ashton showed a deftness of pace and dialogue to go with a delightful sense of humour in The Mystery Of The Taupe Toupee.
The crate, she explained, had contained a balding, naked contortionist. Once inside the warehouse, he planned to enter the air-conditioning ducting system, and then, lubricated by the sweat on his naked body, wriggle through to the inner sanctum where he hoped to find documents proving the existence of extraterrestrial beings.
“Ah,” the Director said, shoulders slumping, “so you’ve heard about those fellows.”
While Caitlin Farrugia tempered the lyrical Toupee You by foreshadowing a daring transformation.
Thankful for the seventeenth hour of the day, Charlie left through the backdoor of the warehouse, strapping herself onto a red painted bike and pedalling home. Clouds redirected themselves in the sky, as though two magnets needing to be joined, hugging in safety of the bitter storm they were about to release.
Alicia Bruzzone took us to the interrogation room with Vanity Is Weakness.
“I was set up, that’s what it was. Preying on the poor, self-conscience, bald man. They know vanity is a weakness, don’t you ever let them think you don’t know.”
Doctor Crowe wrote notes in her book with a delicate scrawl, assuring Alfred in a soothing voice that there was no need to become defensive. “I haven’t accused you of anything.”
While Lydia Trethewey positioned her faux follicle folly at the heart of global politics with Wrong Colour.
The two men smiled benignly in the bright afternoon sunlight. At the other end of the warehouse, a lone agent lumbered towards the crate wearing a padded khaki uniform and helmet reminiscent of an old deep-sea diving suit.
One of the agents spoke into his walkie-talkie. ‘Everyone has been evacuated. Proceed.’
Our winner this week is relatively new to NiTH, with good showings over past few weeks that have promised greater things to come. Please congratulate Steve Ashton, who claims his first win at Needle In The Hay with The Mystery Of The Taupe Toupee!
Well done to Steve and to all our shortlisted authors this week, it was an odd brief but you guys were more than up for the challenge. And as always a thank you to our judges who donated their valuable time and efforts.
Due to scheduling conflicts (blame the intern) the next short list will be a quick fire weekend award. Sharpen your digital pencils and get ready for the Brevity Is What? Award.