Leftovers – Submit Your 11th Short Story For 2018 Today

Writers, we are so close to the end. This is the second last prompt for 2018. Well done to everyone who made it and who is still no track for #12/12.

[If you want to find out more about 12 Short Stories, click here: Short Story Challenge]

Submission process:

I will accept and approve posts for Leftovers (Word count: 500 words) from 7 November 2018, 8:00 (Johannesburg time | GMT +2:00), until 8 November 2018, 8:00 (Johannesburg time | GMT +2:00) on 12shortstories.com.  Please ask Google to figure out what time that will be in your part of the world. 

Please use the correct format:

In the post title bar:    Story Title by Author Name.

Just above the story:   Prompt: XXXXXX | Word count: XXXXXX | Genre: XXXXXX

Warning: Please add a warning if your story is not appropriate for sensitive or younger readers.

Can I still join?

You can join the 12 Short Story Challenge in any month. So, if you start in June, that will be month one for you and then May 2019 will be month 12.

2019 is going to be an amazing year on 12 Short Stories. I hope you will stick around.

Here is the procedure:

  1. Read today’s post.
  2. Post your story on 12 Short Stories.
  3. Read and comment on at least four other stories. Please spread the love. Look for stories that haven’t been read, instead of everyone reading and commenting on the same stories. If you want tips on how to comment, read this post: The Complete Guide To Evaluating Your Short Story.
  4. This is an exercise in discipline. The comments are a bonus. There is no prize because I want you to focus on writing for yourself and to try and take more risks.
  5. Be kind when you comment. Start with a positive comment, suggest an improvement, and end with something positive. We are here to learn.
  6. Our next prompt is at the end of this post.

A few more points:

  1. I will try to read as many posts as possible, but I do have a day job that I would like to keep.
  2. NO hate speech. None. If you see something nasty that I should be made aware of, please send me a message.
  3. Be careful of profanity.
  4. I need to approve every post. Please be patient with me. I am teaching during the day and I will approve them as quickly as I can. They will all go up.

Here is my short story:

Escape by Mia Botha 

Prompt: Leftovers |Word count: 500 words | Genre: Action

Warning: Violence

Joy sits upright. A dull ache remains in the back of her skull. She turns her head as someone presses a cup to her lips.

“Come child”, a soft voice whispers, “you need the water.”

“Padre?” She tries to blink, but the blindfold is pressed too tight.

“Yes, it’s me. Now here, drink first.” He pushes the cup against her lips again and she drinks.

She turns her head when she’s had enough. “What’s going on? Where did they capture you?”

“Let’s get this off you.” He unties her hands and the blindfold.

Her eyes adjust and she takes stock. They’re in a shed. It’s old, the last of the sunlight pierces the rusted corrugated walls and roof. The one corner has rusted away, leaving an open gap in the side of the building.

“I think I can get out through here.” She gets up, swaying a little as dizziness hits. “I’ll come around and open the door for you.”

“Sit down, Joy. We need to talk.”

She turns and smiles. “I know. I know about you. They told me.” She kneels at the rusted corner. “I have so many questions, but we need to get away.”


She turns and he’s standing at the door. The open door. “What is going on?”

“I have a lot to tell you.”

She follows him out into the jungle. “What is this place?”

They’re in the middle of a camp. Hundreds of men are bustling about. She recognises two young men who left the orphanage a year or two ago. She frowns when she sees them carrying automatic rifles and watches as they climb up a watch tower. Big rolls of barb wire hide in the foliage creating a fence.

“Padre, stop. What is going on?”

“It’ll be easier to understand if I showed you. Come on.”

She follows him towards the centre of the camp. People nod and make way as they pass. They pass a big green mess tent, inside a young woman catches her eye. Therese, can it be?

“Padre, you said Therese went to America. To her family. Why is she here?” she hurries after him. “And those boys? They’re also from the orphanage. What are they doing here, in a military camp?”    

“I’ll tell you everything now. I’ll explain it all, I promise, but I have something for you first.” He smiles his enigmatic smile. She hurries to catch-up and almost walks into him as he stops next to a tree. He grins and she gasps.

“Looks like leftovers.” Someone says and laughs.

A man is tied to a pole in the middle of the clearing in a soft pool of sunlight. A group of men stand around him, cheering him as the guy in the middle punches him, his head lolls from side to side, his face is a bloody pulp. She closes her eyes, but it’s too late, she’d recognise Josè Garcìas anywhere.

Padre takes her hand. “I brought him here, for you, my child.”

Here is the 12th prompt for the 2018 challenge:

 by Mia Botha

If you want to learn how to write a short story, join us for Short Cuts in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course.

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