Two guys and their pet gorilla walked into a bar.
*UPDATE April 2021*
Well, folks. It did win.
My short story won first prize in Writing Magazine’s July competition for their “Twist Story” and was published in their December 2020 issue. Buoyed by its success, I revisited my original story, which came in at a little under 2,000 words, adding greater depth and more nuance to the characters and exploring in more depth part of the storyline. I then submitted this longer version of “A Lame Joke” to the Costa Short Story competition. It didn’t win that one! Still, I am still delighted with my win in the magazine and, especially, with the judges comments.
A week or so back, I had the above line pop into my head. At least, it was a version of that early line; I have since tweaked it once or twice to get it just right.
Just right for what? Good question.
At the time I was reading a collection of “noir” crime short stories and, encouraged by what I was reading, an idea for my own short tale was germinated. Anyway, over the next few days, that initial line grew into a story close to 1700 words in length. Less than a week later, the story was finished.
I gave it a title, “A Lame Joke”.
I don’t write many short stories but writing this was a real pleasure and, if I do say so myself, the end result was very pleasing. I showed it to a friend of mine – a best-selling crime writer – and he liked it very much and had some very positive comments on it. Suitably emboldened, I submitted it to one of Writing Magazine’s monthly competitions.
Who knows if it will win.*
I hope it does because a wider audience, other than two friends and a few family members, will get a chance to see how that opening punchline works out.