Since it was the first anniversary (birthday) of Writers' Forum's flash competition, apart from the story having to be exactly 500 words long, it had to begin with the words "X blew out the candles on the cake, closed his/her eyes and wished Y."
My story, To Have One's Cake, was written to mislead readers, begging them to re-read it. Apparently the editor of Writers' Forum felt I'd achieved my objectives. Here's what he had to say about To Have One's Cake:
"The story uses an old device (one that's often banned in fiction mags) but it does so confidently and without labouring the point. A more obvious reveal at the end would have ruined it. The story is neatly put together: everything is seen from Naomi's point of view; repetition is used well for minor characters; and it ends as it begins, with a cake. Ted's weight loss, although uneventful, is shown briskly in a series of scenes. And then, as Paul wanted, you have to re-read it in a new light. That shift in perspective has more power because Paul has kept things disarmingly simple and made the reader do the work."
Well, there you have it!
Below are links to my most recent Global Short Story Competition winning story, my short-listed story for the National newspaper (Abu Dhabi's annual short story competition) and another story that appeared on the Every Day Fiction site - where you can leave a comment: