Furious Fiction – October 2021

The brief of the AWC Furious Fiction—October 2021 short story competition was as follows:

  • Your story’s setting: a COURT of some kind.
  • Your story must include a character who measures something.
  • Your story must include the words BALLOON, ROCK, UMBRELLA.



I’ve lived in this apartment complex for ten years. I moved here when I was 18, fresh out of school, new to an entry-level, minimum wage job, as well as adulthood. My initial goal was to save money to buy my own luxury house, but over time I fell in love with the complex and the people that lived within it, even more when I repaired one bench and eventually became the complex’s handy man.

I bought the complex from the owner, my father figure, for a steal, as it needs a major makeover (small repairs over time can only go so far). My first project – the courtyard. When I first moved in the courtyard was just renovated, new and pristine, but over time, especially with kids and the weather, it’s worn and torn. When I measured the walls for water features, bits of concrete and brick fell down.

Surrounding the concrete and bricks were rocks, a broken umbrella and some deflated balloons, presumably from one of the kids’ birthday parties. Signs of life that I hope I can bring back again.

I’ll have this place looking new and beautiful in no time. Hopefully it’ll stay beautiful for as long as possible.