Winner Announcement: The Separation Anxiety Award

A strong mix of stories about relationships ending and people coming apart. Let’s kick things off with a recap.


Tobias Madden’s Moving Day brings a touching twist to the end of a relationship, as Aaron prepares Tom for some sad news:

Tom stared at the photo of the two of them on the wall.

‘We’ve been through a lot of shit together, Tommy, and I will always love y—’ Aaron’s voice faltered. He paused and rested his face in his palms, breathing deep. ‘I will always love you…”


David R. Ford injects some thoroughly dark humour into the proceedings with Darling, I Wish You Hadn’t Done That:

“What’s the plan then?” he finally asked, as he stepped out of his pit.
“We go back to the house together, you go straight to the spare room and don’t come out till the morning. By that time I’ll be long gone. Then you can do whatever the hell you like, you’ll be single then,”
“So that’s it? Over, just like that? Ten years of marriage just gone in a suitcase?”
“You must have known this would happen. I can’t be around you after what you’ve done,”

While Jeanette Stampone presented us with the bittersweet melancholy of life’s best memories in Time To Go:

“Tell me. Where are we going? I hope it’s not the pictures again. I would much rather go to a dance.”

How I wish we were going to a dance. I would give anything to feel the air rush past my face as we spin across the floor. To feel wooden floorboards bouncing under thumping feet. To hear laughter and music filling the space.

And reigning Champ Sophie Macdonald Lent her trademark supernatural scribblings to the short list with the Gaiman-esque Roses For My Love:

“Nothing scary,” I said. “I mean it, David. If lights start going on and off when I’m alone I will never forgive you.”

And then, two weeks after your funeral, it was my birthday and I awoke to the smell of your aftershave. I smiled for a moment, in that hazy state, and rolled over to find you, but of course you were not there. Instead, on your pillow, was a red rose.

We also welcomed two authors on début for the Separation Anxiety Award. Katarina Krajcirovicova’s The Sentence of Love looked at the power of political forces on relationships in post war Europe:

“I need to go! I need to go to see her!” Gejza’s frustration made him almost scream. He wanted to grab his brother by the shoulders and shake him hard to make his brother see how important it was for him to leave the Slovak boarders and get to Austria.

“It’s 1948. Do you know what it means? You’re not only responsible for yourself, but for the whole family.”

While Andrew Szemeredy’s SWIRL featured a similar setting, albeit a lighter mood:

She had come to visit the old charmer, the rescuer of her life, who stole her out on a red-cross train from Lithuania to Germany when the front was moving west and the Germans were speedily retreating from the advancing Russian troops.

Winner Announcement

A close race, with several outstanding entries worthy of a first place finish. Sophie Macdonald almost made it three from three this week, snagging second place just fractions behind our winner.

Separating themselves from the pack with a story fraught with anxious humour, please congratulate Tobias Madden for his winning entry Moving Day!!It’s a delightful and bittersweet tale with a great twist, so make sure you give it a read.

Thanks to everyone who participated and a warm welcome to Andrew and Katarina who join us for the first time. Up this week, part 4 of the To The Nines Award. Check it out here

Separation Anxiety Award