A little diversion before I go on holiday.
In 2004 Radio 4’s Front Row ran a little competition to celebrate World Book Day. Entrants had to submit the first 100 words of a novel in any genre, with the catch that it had to include five words relating to accountancy: offshore, loophole, savings, spreadsheet, and figure.
Never before have I felt so assured of winning a competition. I had a witty title, punchy dialogue, and a heroine with an absurd name. I also – ingeniously, I thought at the time – split two of the prescribed words in half across paragraphs. You can imagine my devastation at not even being placed in the top three. I can only surmise that my e-mail got lost somewhere in the ether. The triumphant entry, which you can read here, though excellent, was a take-off of Longfellow. Not even in the format of a novel! Since that day I have never been able to look at Mark Lawson without vomiting.
But the bitterness has eaten away at me for too long. In the hope that its publication will offer me something in the way of rehabilitation and you something in the way of amusement, here is my entry in all its brazen glory. I hope you enjoy it. N.B. I did not submit it under this pseudonym.
No Accounting For Love
by Fanny St George
Bevis leant back and threaded her ponytail carefully through the loophole in her hair-band.
Charles admired her figure from across the office. Since this Harvard-educated beauty had come into his life, hers was the first face he saw in the morning and the last at night when he closed his eyes beneath the bedspread.
Sheets of savings certificates lying uninspected on his table, Charles was woken from his reverie by the sound of Bevis turning the door handle.
Impetuously he enquired, “Do you have to rush off?”
“Sure I do,” she giggled, “but don’t you worry – I’ll be back later.”