Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Competition - National rivalries  (Read 187 times)

WHAM

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National rivalries


The Finns and the Swedes. The Americans and the Canadians. The British and the French. The Germans and the French. Hell, everyone and the French!
It seems that every nationality out there has some kind of rivalry with another. Some of those are good spirited and humorous, others (especially when it comes to sports, damn Swedes...) less so.

Your task for the upcoming fortnight is to write up a story revolving around a national rivalry, be it a comedic one or a dead serious one.

Points are awarded in the following categories:
Best Rivalry: The most interesting or unimaginable pairing of nations, or perhaps the reason of the rivalry itself.
Best Writing: Grammar, structure, clarity and word choice.
Best Story: The one tale of rivalries that most entertained or educated the reader.

Bonus point:
If your tale is based on a historical or ongoing real-world national rivalry, and you provide a source for it to prove you didn't just make it up, you get a single (1) free point in your final scoring!
(It is not REQUIRED to write of a real-world rivalry. You just pass up on the one (1) free point if you opt for a more imaginative setting. Remember: truth is often more fanciful than fiction!)

Deadline for submissions is Sunday 24th of June at 23:59 GMT.
Deadline for voting shall be Friday 29th of June at 23:59 GMT (to maximize voting time and allow next competition to be started in the weekend).
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
https://goo.gl/VUQbzU

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - National rivalries
« Reply #1 on: 18 Jun 2018, 03:53 »
I'm actually going to put some serious thought into this, starting right now. :)

Sinitrena

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - National rivalries
« Reply #2 on: 22 Jun 2018, 21:08 »
A Flag of Discord


Who cares where you are from? It was always their motto. They got along great, two families that were strangers where they lived here in Germany. They greeted each other when they met. Their children played with each other. When they celebrated a birthday, they invited each other. In short, they had stepped over the border between mere neighbourhood and had become friends.

It started harmless, as all fights tend to do: a noisy look into the neighbour’s garden, a wrong word at the wrong time, a car parked in another‘s spot.

In this case, it was a flag in front of a window. Ismet put it there in the morning, attached to a flagpole that reached into the alleyway between the two houses. It flapped gently in a breeze.

Well, maybe not so gently. At least, Ioannis didn’t think so. You see, his wife, Despina, had a headache that day, a migraine that started the day before. The drilling in the morning to attach the flagpole to the side of the house was already pretty annoying. But neighbours have to work on their houses from time to time, right? And they are usually done in a reasonable amount of time, aren’t they? And Ioannis and Despina did work late into the night and usually slept in, so they did keep an unusual schedule.

Ioannis didn’t care about the drilling that much. But then it was replaced by the flapping and whipping of the heavy cloth of the flag when he and his wife tried to get a few more hours of sleep. Despina moaned loudly when the noise just wouldn’t stop. And as is a well known fact, when you are already annoyed by something, no matter how minor it is, and it just won’t stop, you get more and more irritated.

They only had two hours left before they had to return to their restaurant, and besides, the flag wouldn’t stop on its own ever.

So Ioannis went over to his neighbour’s door and rung the doorbell. But Ismet’s and Aysel’s little grocery store had opened about an hour ago and nobody answered. Deniz also wasn’t home.

When Ismet and Aysel came home from work, they found their flag neatly folded on their front porch, a heavy garden gnome, one of their own, was lying on the star and stretching its legs towards the moon as if it were presented – dead - on a stage.

The wind had knocked the gnome over and blown away the note Ioannis left behind. But Ismet did not know that, of course.

That evening, there was shouting heard in their living room. Well, Deniz, their son, did not hear it, because he was still at work as an apprentice cook in a Greek restaurant. Sometimes, nepotism is a good thing. What better way to get your son his dream job but to ask your long-time neighbours?

But Aysel certainly did hear the yelling. She tried to calm her husband down, but it just didn’t work. He could not let such disrespect to his flag stand.

For the longest time, Ioannis and Despina had their front door painted blue and white. Helena, the name of their restaurant, stood there in fake Greek script and underneath was a little map and the business hours. It was free advertising and nobody minded. As a matter of fact, it had a certain charm and the restaurant, just a block away, was the meeting point of the neighbourhood.

They usually came home at around one in the morning after cleaning and closing. Deniz walked with them. After all, they had the same way. They reached his house first and wished him a good night.

The porch light came on and at the same moment a gust of wind sent the smell of paint over to them. The door was red.

Of course Ioannis knew who had done this. Not least of all because the flag was – again – hanging lifeless and unmoving in the summer night. Again, yelling was heard in one of the two houses.

Of course this happened because they were Greek and their neighbours Turkish, didn’t it? It was a quarrel as old as time itself. This was the reason. There was no other explanation.

Well, reality becomes a minor inconvenience when emotions begin to boil hot and heavy. And minor faults seem so much more important than they really are.

He wasn’t late for the first time, but what are five minutes between friends? He worked hard, after all. And it was the trains fault. He couldn’t even leave earlier, school just didn’t leave out earlier. And he was dedicated to his job. On the other hand, there was too much salt in the soup but you can correct this, can’t you? And he just started this job. You must spoil before you spin, and all that. And that the knife broke in his hand really wasn’t his fault. He did clean up and made absolutely sure that no part of the blade landed in the food.

But what is truth? When you are angry, it is easy to find fault where there is little.

Ioannis wanted to fire Deniz right then and there. He screamed at him, he hit the wall next to him. Despina had to pull him away. Maybe nepotism isn’t such a good idea.

Normally, Aysel and Ismet ate every Friday after the Jumu’ah at the Helena. It was a tradition for more than seven years, ever since the restaurant opened. Every week, like clockwork, they came there, and only during Ramadan they changed their usual time to later. If one of them got sick, the other still came, so ingrained in their rituals was it by now.

That week, they did not come. Deniz, who never was very religious, waited for his parents to spend his lunch with them, but to no avail. Their table, reserved without any official agreement, stayed empty.

Of course, Ioannis perceived it as scorn.

Hadn’t he mentioned just a few weeks ago that they planned to extend their hours, that they meant to expand in the small way a family-own restaurant can? And now they lost clients. Did Ismet incite his friends to go eat somewhere else? Was there gossip and slander?

After that, who did what when got a bit blurry. There was something about a keyed car; another car driving through a front lawn; something about a call to the health office because a store selling fresh vegetables had rats; a broken window. In short, it got out of hands, had gotten out of hands long ago.

They’ll talk again in front of a judge in a few weeks. It is the only way they talk now.

Meanwhile, the flag still hangs in the gently blowing wind, long forgotten.

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Jumu'ah is the prayer held on fridays at noon in mosques. Ramadan is the month of fasting in the muslim calendar. I'm not Muslim and do not know all that much about Islam, so if I did use those words wrong, I apologize. But as I only mention them, I hope I'm fine.

The relations between Greece and Turkey are not exactly great. No idea if it fits the definition of rivalry (or if my story does, for that matter.)

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Wow, that was so not my topic. I drew a complete blank for the longest time.

WHAM

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - National rivalries
« Reply #3 on: 23 Jun 2018, 12:19 »
Huzzah, an entry! I was worried the unusual topic might deter entries entirely, but we now have one, and Baron has stated they are already working on something, so things might turn interesting after all.

A little more time left, people! Time to dig up those bitter grudges!
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
https://goo.gl/VUQbzU

JudasFm

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - National rivalries
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 15:27 »
I was worried the unusual topic might deter entries
To be honest, the bonus point for real life rivalries was what deterred me. I liked the topic a lot, but openly giving preferential treatment to one type of entry as opposed to another kind of put me off entering :(

Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - National rivalries
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 22:10 »
I have an idea I'm working on, I'll see if I can find the time to write it down.

Baron

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I've had a busy weekend and haven't been able to devote any time to writing. :tongue:  Any chance of a couple day extension?