Congratulations to our winner, 2013, for the Brunel Creative Writing Prize sponsored by Living Along The Thames magazines, Geeta Edwards.

We really enjoyed this short story and hope you do as well.

The last, sun kissed Saturday of August, twenty five years ago. Sultry air, red sky and three hot girls out on a hot summer night but they were not looking for love.  The girls simply wanted to dance the night away and leave twenty minutes before midnight.  Why? Well, that’s when the DJ starts to blast out, sexy slow songs.  This is the cue for their escape from the swaying Tattersall Castle, a disco-bar, moored along the Thames.

For Estelle, Monday to Friday encompassed pin stripe suites and demure dresses, so, she embraced the challenge of dressing en vogue on a Saturday night.  That year, Bermuda shorts, gaudily printed shirts, rah-rah and balloon skirts were all the rage.  The attire lent itself to the splendid weather that London was basking in.

It was eight pm; Estelle parked her Mini Mayfair, just past Blackfriars Bridge and three young ladies gathered themselves.  The short walk to the Tattersall Castle was a breeze; the girls had a spring in their step.  They laughed and joked as they walked along the gangplank, careful not to get their kitten heeled shoes stuck.

Estelle shrieked with joy, her favourite song had just started to play.  They paid for their entry fee and rushed through to the dance floor, literally getting into the groove, just as Madonna instructed them to.

Three hot girls on a hot summer night but they were definitely not looking for love but loved each other and sang and danced along to “We are Family.”  This was about to change forever, as three geeky guys barged on to the dance floor and joined the girls.  Estelle was not impressed but the other two were happy to let the boys “La Bamba” around them.

Half past eleven came and went.  Estelle glanced around and thought it was time to leave.  However, she was on her own with that idea, suddenly the DJ’s set drifted into “holding back the years.” Uh oh! Time to make a move but how could she on her own?  Then, as she awkwardly, stepped off the dance floor, Pierce, one of the geeks took her hand and said.

“How about a dance?”

Estelle, not wanting to be rude accepted.  He was so much taller than her, and slow dancing was not his forte or Estelle’s on this occasion.  Finally, she caught the eyes of her friends and they made their excuses to leave.  Just as Estelle said goodbye, Pierce handed her his business card, she took it, again, because she didn’t want to seem rude.

“Call me, please” were Pierce’s last words of the evening.

Estelle looked down at the card, smiled and left.

As the girls walked to the car, Estelle took the business card out of the pocket of her Bermuda shorts and showed it to the others.  There were shrills of laughter from all three, all the way home.  Still, they were three hot girls on a hot summer’s night and not looking for love.  However, was it possible that love found one of them?

Monday lunchtime, Frankie the PA and Estelle were deliberating on the efficacy of the business card.  A Gin and Tonic later, the decision to call Pierce was made.  This phone call resulted in a meeting at Victoria Station.  This was followed by dinners out and endless hours on the phone, smooching over pots of tea and racks of toast.  Then came an Engagement by a lake in Sweden and a Wedding “On the beach” along the Indian Ocean.  Today, it’s Estelle and Pierce’s Twentieth Wedding Anniversary!


Photo for Along the Thames.JPGAchieving a 2:1 in English with Creative Writing at Brunel University has been momentous for me in 2013.  My dissertation was a Creative Writing Special Project that took me on an incredible voyage of the mind and spirit and it is fair to say that the power of my imagination was unleashed by the fantastic tutors at Brunel, who gave me sound advice and encouragement.

I feel elated to have been awarded the Brunel School of Arts Prize for Creative Writing and for my writing to be published in the Along the Thames magazine.  What a superb end to three wonderful, academic years at Brunel.

The plan is to continue with an MA at Brunel and I am cautiously optimistic with what the future holds in terms of my next career, as it is likely to be totally different to the previous one, in the I.T. industry.

Geeta Edwards