May The Best Man Win

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  No Houses


Written for India Emerald's latest Flash Fiction challenge where she provides the final sentence.

Submitted: December 09, 2017

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Submitted: December 09, 2017

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May The Best Man Win

Every year the town held a competition to see who could come up with the best Gingerbread house. The number of entrants would vary, sometimes as few as ten taking part, while other years might see twenty-five or more. But ever since the competition had started, ten years now, Bert Butterworth and Vince Hollings would be taking part.

For the first two years neither of them did very well, not even getting a runner-up place, but then they began to compete with each other. And first Vince won, then Bert. It seemed like one or other of them would always be winning first place.

Come November, meticulous plans would be made, becoming ever more complicated by the year. The rules stated the house had to be made from Gingerbread, but anything else could be used, providing the entire thing remained edible.

Vince would scour the internet, looking for pictures of Gingerbread houses that others had produced. The idea was not to find something to copy....no, that would not be playing fair. All he wanted was some ideas to mix and match, to use to create his own masterpiece.

Bert was much more old-fashioned in his approach. He and his wife Mildred did not own a computer, so he would clip out pictures from magazines and recipe books, storing them up in a big old scrapbook.

Once their plans were made, there were ingredients to buy. Both men found themselves standing side by side by the marzipan, but they did not acknowledge each other and made sure to keep their distance. At the checkouts Frank was at one end of the shop, while Vince queued right at the other. Neither wanted the other to see their purchases.

That night the two of them would be spending hours working away in their own kitchens. Once the basic house structure was put in place, the fun would begin. Modelling, decorating, creating a magical scene that looked so impressive nobody would want to eat it.

Both carried their houses proudly into the hall, and both revelled in the gasps their creations received. Only now would they see each other’s creations, assessing which one had out-done the other.

As usual, they each believed their own to be the best. Both were far superior to the other entrants, but this year they had to admit it was a tough choice. Was it an accident when Bert jostled the table and made one of Vince’s chocolate flake fences collapse?

And who was this new entrant, Vera! Her house looked more like a palace. Were they really going to be ousted? By an outsider, no less!

Vera won, first place. Bert and Vince were runners up. But Vince knew he would have won if it had not been for Bert. Carefully, he made his way to Bert’s house and picked up the Gingerbread man that stood in the doorway. He snapped the head off the Gingerbread man and thought, that’ll teach him!


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