The Contest

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: All Star Story Writers

Chapter 22 (v.1) - WHERE IS SCOTT?

Submitted: October 11, 2018

Reads: 71

Comments: 2

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 11, 2018



I settled Icon into the kitchen with Nettie, much to the annoyance of Roxie, and made my way over to the stable block.

With some rare time off from my many duties, I had arranged to go horse riding with Scott later that morning.

Pop used to breed horses, and gave Calista to me as a tiny foal for my 15th birthday. I always take pride in grooming her beautiful black coat until it shines like glass. Of the many beautiful horses we used to own, only Calista and Sempron (father’s chestnut gelding), remain with us, sadly all the others were sold, to good homes, to raise money.

When I had finished grooming Calista, I put a head collar on Sempron, led him from the field and then saddled up both horses in readiness for our ride.

Glancing at my watch I realised that Scott was late, so I sent him a script to remind him, thinking he must have forgotten. Ten minutes later, when he still hadn’t replied, I went up to his room.

Rapping on the door, I shouted. “Scott, it’s me, are you in there? Had you forgotten we arranged to go riding?”

There was no reply, so I hesitantly opened the door.

All his personal belongings had gone, and a feeling of utter disbelief and sadness engulfed me. I just stood there, momentarily stunned, before frantically searching his room hoping to find something . . . anything that might give me some clue as to why he had left. But I found nothing, just an empty, silent room, in which lingered the faint masculine scent of Scott that I inhaled deeply, as if doing so, might bring him back.

I fled down to the kitchen where Roxie was busy preparing lunch in the steamy kitchen, her fat face dripping with sweat. I knew that Scott often popped in if he was feeling hungry between meals.

“Have you seen Scott?” I blurted, tears stinging my eyes.

“Sorry Eemay, he hasn’t been in here this morning.”

I fled the kitchen and went in search of my parents who were both in the morning room having a coffee break after digging up vegetables in the allotments, for the day ahead.

“Scott’s g-g-gone,” I spluttered. “His r-r-room is empty and all his th-th-things have gone.”

My parents both came over to comfort me. “Calm down Eemay,” Pop urged. “There must be some mistake, I was talking to Scott only yesterday and he seemed absolutely fine then.”

“Well he’s gone now. We had arranged to go out riding together and when he didn’t show up I went up to his room to see if he had forgotten and …”

At this point I was just too upset to continue.

“I’ll go and make some enquiries,” Pop said, striding from the room.

“Has his car gone?” Mum asked.

“Don't you remember, it had to be towed away to be repaired.”

“Well he must have called a taxi to take him to the station. Surely someone must have seen him, he can’t have just vanished into thin air.”

I was now sitting, staring into space, it was all too much to take in. His sudden disappearance had made me realise just how much he meant to me, and the thought of never seeing him again sent me into spasms of heart rending sobs. Mum hugged me, while tears splashed down my face.

A little later Pop returned. “It’s all very strange, but no-one spoke to or saw Scott leave, it’s as if he has just disappeared. The only conclusion I can come to, is that he must have done some sort of moonlight flit.”

“I wonder if it was something I said or did, to make him want to leave? I thought we were getting on so well, I don’t understand it.”

“Well if it’s any consolation, you still have Hugh,” Mum said. “At the end of the day, if Scott was having doubts, then I’m glad he has gone.”

This only made me even more upset. “B-but none of this makes any s-sense.”

I found it impossible to relax, so reached for my cyPhone, catching my breath, when I saw a new message in my inbox from Scott. Beginning to tremble, I opened and read it…


My Dear Eemay,

By the time you read this I will already be far away. I am so sorry, but The Contest has become unbearable for me, so much so, I have decided to withdraw from it.

I have enjoyed myself tremendously getting to know you, but I have now come to the conclusion that you and I are not meant for each other.

I would ask you not to try to get in touch with me, as I have made my decision, and truly believe that a clean break will be better for us both, to allow us to get on with our lives. Please respect my decision.

I know you will find true happiness with Hugh, and I hope you have a long and happy life together.

Yours truly



It still didn’t make any sense. I honestly believed that if he had been having doubts, he would have been man enough to tell me face to face, before leaving. This was just so out of character and was not the Scott I had come to know.

My immediate reaction was to reply, asking him why he felt the way he did and why he hadn’t had the decency to tell me face to face. I was just about to send it, when I asked myself if I really wanted to know the truth. His explanation might upset me even more, so in the end, I decided against it, particularly as he had asked me not to contact him.

I decided to go for a walk, thinking that at least Nettie and Icon might be able to lift me out of my despondent mood. I took their leads from the hook in the kitchen, and they excitedly bounded after me, leaping through the kitchen door, and out into to the courtyard. They chased madly around together, and the sight of them so happy and carefree, lifted my heavy heart.

I walked down through the fields towards the lake, to the place where we had first sat under the shade of the mashlok tree, and tears again filled my eyes.

“What’s the matter Eemay?” said a voice behind me.

I swung round thinking that Scott had returned, but it was Hugh’s eyes that I looked into.

“Scott has left,” I said.

“Left?” he said in amazement. “Why?”

“I don’t know, but he sent me a message telling me he has withdrawn from The Contest, and not to contact him.”

Hugh went to put his arms around me to comfort me. “Please Hugh, not now. I’m feeling confused and shocked.”

Just then, the two dogs came running up from the lake dripping wet, shaking their coats vigorously.

“Get away from me,” Hugh ordered sharply, his arms flailing as he tried to escape the spray.

Both dogs immediately crouched down, long low menacing growls rattling in their throats, turning quickly into ferocious snarls, revealing vicious fangs.

He instinctively retreated from their unexpected display of hostility, shouting at the top of his voice, “Those dogs are dangerous.”

I couldn’t believe it, they were normally the most docile little creatures anyone could wish for, but in Hugh’s company they had both reacted in exactly the same way, as if they were scared or threatened by him in some way.

“I think you had better leave, for whatever reason, they obviously feel threatened by you, but I’ll catch up with you later, I promise. Hugh, please be patient, I’m finding this very difficult.”

“Take as long as you need, I’ll be waiting for you when you’re ready.”

I watched him walk slowly back along the path and when he reached the bend he paused, turned and waved.

This small gesture tugged at my heart. It's not his fault that Scott decided to leave, I thought, feeling guilty at my reaction.

© Copyright 2020 Sue Harris. All rights reserved.


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