The Magnolia Bedroom
The Magnolia Bedroom was originally written for Round Nine of the 2009 Whittaker Prize. The prompt used was a video of Annie Lennox performing A Whiter Shade of Pale. It was given a score of 85/100 by the judge, Geoff Nelder, putting it in 2nd place out of 17. The judge commented that it was "truly a colourful story, exuberant in its homage to making readers see more than simple hues. Pity the same can’t be said for aromas and sad to say that although Bianca is a fabulous character, the unnamed MC seems to have none. Maybe it doesn’t matter but we don’t know if the MC was a boyfriend or girlfriend." Still, he did add that it was "technically faultless."
The Magnolia Bedroom was shortlisted in the September 2009 Global Short Story Competition.
The Magnolia Bedroom was published in the anthology resulting from the Whittaker Prize competition, The Rhinocerous and his Thoughts.
I'm not sure about whether it would have been a good idea to give more colour to the protagonist, as Bianca herself is so overpowering that it would have risked overloading the mixture. This was one of those "last round" stories that got written at considerable speed with all caution thrown to the wind, and I kind of think it should probably stay that way. Any attempt to bring it back to reality could have easily wrecked it.