Sunday, 1 May 2011

It's Only A Number: 3rd Place

Congratulations to Simon Kewin whose story The Number Six came in at third place.

Simon, I will be in touch via email about your prize!

The Number Six

The young doctor explains what it all means, her face earnest, compassionate. Dan soon stops hearing her words. She wears a fine gold necklace with a single hexagonal diamond that glints as she talks. The sort of thing a lover buys. She has a whole life outside the hospital, of course. A whole future. Fun, friends, family.

Dan picks out the key word from what she tells him. It’s just another number from many but it’s the only one that matters. Six eggs in half a dozen, six branches of a snowflake, six legs on an insect, six months left to live. He absorbs the word while she carries on explaining, feeling the number settling into his brain, becoming a part of him. His mind becomes a clock-face, the long-hand already swept half-way round to midnight.

She stops speaking and looks at him. Has he anything he’d like to ask? He shakes his head. He has all he needs to know. He smiles and thanks her for her time as he stands to leave.

About the Author
Simon writes fiction, poetry and computer software, although usually not at the same time. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He lives in the UK with Alison and their two daughters, Eleanor and Rose. He blogs about writing at and can also be found on Twitter as @SimonKewin.

In those brief moments he likes to refer to as his spare time, he is learning to play the electric guitar. He generally finds turning it up loud helps.


  1. I love the fact that you manage to stop time during this, so evocative. Thank you

  2. Wonderful news! Many thanks for running this competition, Rebecca, and for placing my little story so highly. I'm truly delighted!

  3. Linda and mspeekay,

    Many thanks : your feedback is very much appreciated.

  4. Wonderful writing! Very poignant and real. Congrats on an awesome job. :D

  5. Thanks Cee! Really glad you enjoyed reading it.

  6. Congratulations Simon!! This is a powerful and heartbreaking story!! Thank you! Take care

  7. Simon I love the turn of phrase about "the long-hand already swept half-way round to midnight." Very evocative. Good little distraction whilst I'm finishing my degree here.

  8. Christopher,

    Thanks - hope it helps in some small way.