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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > September 2016 > Short story: Read our No Dialogue Short Story Competition winner

Short story: Read our No Dialogue Short Story Competition winner

My old adversary and I each stand in our adjacent bay windows, separated by gleaming glass and immaculate vertical blinds on my side, grimy panes and dusty nets on hers. Our eyes meet and hold for too long; long enough for me to glimpse the excitement with a hint of a question in her expression. She is usually unable to hold my gaze and drops her eyes first, but not today. Today everything has changed.

Our unspoken battle has been as pointless as it has been persistent. Was she jealous of us when we first moved here? She was a shy, colourless little thing then, held prisoner by a dominant, demanding mother who treated her like a slave, while we were the upwardly mobile couple with double income, no kids.

Once bereaved, June stayed on in the house, never changing so much as the doormat, now a pathetic slice of coir flattened by the feet of the postman and milkman, her only regular visitors. I never understood why she didn’t revel in her freedom and reinvent herself. Instead her house slowly sank into a state of disrepair which she reflected in her charity shop shabbiness. I resented her dragging down the other half of our joined property. Whereas I insisted on having the latest car or most expensive dishwasher, she prided herself on being thrifty. Whenever a new item was delivered to our door, she was always there, standing in the miniscule front garden, sniffing her disapproval and chipping away at my enjoyment.

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About Writing Magazine

Star interview with Crime Novel of the Year winner and griplit star Clare Mackintosh 1 topic, 100 books: Make the most of your speciality Before you write a word: Start your writing life the right way 10 top tips: How the pros keep writing Author experiences: • Going back to school for a creative writing MA • "How I wrote three books at once" • Readers share their success stories WIN £119,000 in writing prizes News you can use! 20 packed pages of Writers' News

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