Sunday Photo Fiction – Be careful what you wish for



‘Well,’ says the shiny suited announcer, ‘this is the moment we have all been waiting for. The votes have been counted and verified and I can confirm the winner, who will receive a 5 year recording contract, is….’

I squint into the audience, blinded equally by the spotlights and the judging panels teeth. Spectators hold their breath, hands grip each other tightly. Who will win? Will it be the one they have supported and voted for? Am I their favourite? It means such a lot to them. I have given my best performance tonight, I am confident of that.

I glance at the other semi finalist. Sweat beads on her forehead, hands clenched tightly by her sides as she sways slightly. I hope she doesn’t faint during overdramatic tv pause. It means such a lot to her.

What does it mean to me though? How would the accolade of being the nation’s winner change things? I would have an album out by the end of the year. Possibly a tour. I envisage myself being mobbed wherever I go, recording music I don’t like to a crowd who doesn’t appreciate the real me.

My heart hammers as the presenter touches his ear lightly, acknowledging the result coming through.

My nan used to say ‘be careful what you wish for’. I never understood what that meant until now.

Clutching my guitar and my dignity I run.



Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story of around 200 words inspired by a photo prompt.


13 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Fiction – Be careful what you wish for

  1. I agree with other posts that whoever won, the ‘runner’ would be the one remembered! As for an ‘ending’ I think it works really well; not what the reader (and perhaps even the character) expected and leaving the reader with more possibilities to ponder than simply ending with winning or losing. It also added humour to the whole build up (made me smile, anyway). It’s an image I won’t forget and is a piece that works well.
    As for constructive criticism … You could begin at the start of the second paragraph and not even have the announcement at the beginning. I often delete paragraphs once I have ‘finished’ something. I read an interview with a recently published author last week and she said the first thing the editor did was suggest she scrapped the first three chapters. Even if it’s not something you’d want to do with this piece, I find it a really useful editing tool, though it can be painful getting rid of sentences I’ve sweated over, and which, sometimes, I really love. One of the bloggers I follow wrote a great post on editing: It’s worth a look.

  2. Nicely done. I think there really are times like this when one wants to run away from ‘what might be’. I too love your second para as a possible beginning.

    • Thanks Andrew. That turned out to be really great advice. I wrote my magazine column this morning and loved my opening paragraph but it didn’t really fit with the whole piece when it was finished. Last month I probably would have turned it in anyway but I have deleted it and submitted very quickly before I changed my mind!

Constructive criticism appreciated

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