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Following hot on the heels of Voice Week 14, comes the Writers Online, Talkback One Word Challenge for September. The challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction, of up to 200 words, inspired by the one word prompt, which for this month was ‘quarry‘.

I’m chuffed to say that my entry was declared the winner – and here it is.

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The Pits

It wasn’t so much a quarry, as a gravel pit. Not the most scenic of places, but when you’re eight it’s better than any play park. As soon as the gates were locked, we crawled under the chain link fence into our forbidden world.

We scrabbled up the gravel mountain, pushing against the shifting grains, then threw ourselves, free fall, back down the pile, splashing stones across the yard. We raced across the sedimentation pool, like quicksand, slurping and tugging at our boots, then climbed on to the rusty, flaking frame of the conveyor. From the top we were kings of all we surveyed.

As the long, evening shadows crept across the pit we saw a dark shape at the side of the lake. In the time it took us to reach the shore, the sun had dropped below the cliff top. The gentle breeze brought a chill to the air, and wafted the awful smell leaking from the bag. As we pulled to get it closer, it split and spewed its rotting contents over our boots. We stumbled backwards up the bank.

Only when we realised it was old garden refuse did we start laughing.

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(c) K Patrick Moody, 2014