Writing Challenge 27th April 2020

The reason I’m posting this prompt because I like writing a little flash fiction. It’s something I treat as going to the gym for my writing muscles. If you want to join in, that’s brilliant, but there’s no pressure. If you want to leave a comment with a link, that’s great, but if you don’t feel ready to share yet, that’s also great. Or you could decide that you had a good session at the ‘gym’ and want to submit it somewhere, or use it as the basis for other work, which would be amazing. It’s up to you how you use this prompt. The only thing I would like to insist on is that you enjoy yourself.

Here is a picture and a quotation. The challenge is to write something that is sparked off by one or both of them. It doesn’t have to be directly related to either, just the story you hear when you see them. It’s limited to 500 words (or less, lots less if you need to, or a little more, and I don’t check), and you should try and finish it by next week. It can be prose, poetry, fact or fiction – just have fun.

white ceramic mug beside black iphone 4
Image from Unsplash taken by Sebastian Bednarek

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment

Robert Benchley

If you wish, leave a link in the comments and I will drop in, read and comment, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’ll also be sharing stuff on Facebook and wherever else I can think of. There are no prizes and no end goal, unless it is to have fun writing. I hope I get to see some awesome stuff sparked by this. Good luck!

The Chase

man in black jacket driving car during daytime
Image from Unsplash taken by Aubrey Rose Odom

Marge checked her speed. Fleur was driving at a sensible speed for once, which made it much easier to follow. She was not going to let her get away with her schemes. Marge had rights and she was determined to use them. She would not be distracted by Fleur’s games and schemes. They would not escape this time.

“Fleur did you seriously pay your cousin to drive your car to the next town?” Nick stared at his fiancée.

Fleur grinned. “I told him that there was likely to be issues, and that your mum would follow.”

“And he was okay with that?” Nick asked.

Fleur laughed. “He thought it was hilarious and said he would promise not to lose her. But what choice do we have? If we want to have any chance of choosing a decent wedding venue, we have to find some way of leaving her behind.”

Writing Challenge 20th April 2020

The reason I’m posting this prompt because I like writing a little flash fiction. It’s something I treat as going to the gym for my writing muscles. If you want to join in, that’s brilliant, but there’s no pressure. If you want to leave a comment with a link, that’s great, but if you don’t feel ready to share yet, that’s also great. Or you could decide that you had a good session at the ‘gym’ and want to submit it somewhere, or use it as the basis for other work, which would be amazing. It’s up to you how you use this prompt. The only thing I would like to insist on is that you enjoy yourself.

Here is a picture and a quotation. The challenge is to write something that is sparked off by one or both of them. It doesn’t have to be directly related to either, just the story you hear when you see them. It’s limited to 500 words (or less, lots less if you need to, or a little more, and I don’t check), and you should try and finish it by next week. It can be prose, poetry, fact or fiction – just have fun.

man in black jacket driving car during daytime
Image from Unsplash taken by Aubrey Rose Odom

It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety

Isaac Asimov

If you wish, leave a link in the comments and I will drop in, read and comment, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’ll also be sharing stuff on Facebook and wherever else I can think of. There are no prizes and no end goal, unless it is to have fun writing. I hope I get to see some awesome stuff sparked by this. Good luck!

Pink

white and red striped textile
Image from Unsplash taken by Sincerely Media

“Only you would pick a male saint for your saint’s day.” Martin shook his head and smiled at his wife. “You had the pick of them all and you are so feminine.”

Lady Freydis smiled happily. “But I love this day. I can find violets as well as blossom and the days become brighter.” She hugged her husband. “Thank you for remembering. It has been some years since I celebrated.”

“Why Caradoc?” Martin asked.

“I knew him.” Lady Freydis trailed her hand over the heavy damask cloth set under the pretty pink runner. “He made such sweet music. I visited my cousin, she was at Merlin’s Bridge and we were passing to St Brides and we visited.” She smiled at the memory. “He knew us for what we were and he said some harsh things, but he let us listen to his music and he blessed us as we went.”

“That must have been a special moment.” Martin said. “To be blessed by a saint.”

“And you have made me this wonderful meal.” Lady Freydis sighed. “And it is so very pink.”

“I ordered the cake specially from Adele’s cousin.” Martin waved a hand at the towering confection. “She promised to bake in lots of the glitter.

Lady Freydis sighed. “I never wear pink now.”

“I know.” Martin said.

“I wore it because I thought Lord Ragnar liked it.” Lady Freydis ran a manicured finger over the iced pink tea jug.

“I know.” Martin said again.

Lady Freydis glanced carefully at Martin. “Now he is dead and I wear blue these days, and sometimes green, because it makes me think of you.”

Martin had no idea why blue or green would remind Lady Freydis of him, but he smiled. “I am blessed.”

Lady Freydis bent to catch the scent of the bright pink roses dipped in glitter. “So I hardly ever have anything pink.”

“I know.” Martin smiled.

“But I think I have always secretly liked pink, deep down.” Lady Freydis said as she caressed the vivid pink glass and the bottle of pink champagne. “I think that actually I didn’t wear pink for Lord Ragnar. I think I wore it for me.”

Martin just smiled and dropped a brief kiss on Lady Freydis’ glorious golden hair.

Lady Freydis looked up at him. “And that is why you are the perfect husband.” She reached up to kiss him passionately. “Thank you.”

“Happy Saint’s Day.” And Martin hugged her.

Writing Challenge 13th April 2020

The reason I’m posting this prompt because I like writing a little flash fiction. It’s something I treat as going to the gym for my writing muscles. If you want to join in, that’s brilliant, but there’s no pressure. If you want to leave a comment with a link, that’s great, but if you don’t feel ready to share yet, that’s also great. Or you could decide that you had a good session at the ‘gym’ and want to submit it somewhere, or use it as the basis for other work, which would be amazing. It’s up to you how you use this prompt. The only thing I would like to insist on is that you enjoy yourself.

Here is a picture and a quotation. The challenge is to write something that is sparked off by one or both of them. It doesn’t have to be directly related to either, just the story you hear when you see them. It’s limited to 500 words (or less, lots less if you need to, or a little more, and I don’t check), and you should try and finish it by next week. It can be prose, poetry, fact or fiction – just have fun.

white and red striped textile
Image from Unsplash taken by Sincerely Media

No-one gossips about other people’s secret virtues

Bertrand Russell

If you wish, leave a link in the comments and I will drop in, read and comment, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’ll also be sharing stuff on Facebook and wherever else I can think of. There are no prizes and no end goal, unless it is to have fun writing. I hope I get to see some awesome stuff sparked by this. Good luck!

Music in a Bar

“Why bring me here?” Jess asked her brother. “I don’t understand.”

“I’ve sort of fallen for someone.” Kai answered. “It’s complicated.”

“It’s always complicated with you.” Jess answered. She looked around the dingy bar with the stained tables and dated chairs. The evening sunlight was slanting through the worn blinds but it showed little except the tired houseplants. The place was clean – mercilessly, relentlessly clean, and the glass of house red she was nursing was okay, but it was nothing special. Kai, who knew his wines, had a glass of beer in front of him. “How did you find this place?”

“Jim told me.” Kai said briefly. “See how it’s filling up? Aren’t you glad that you came early?”

Jess looked around the bar and it was indeed filling up. All the chairs were taken and the bar was ringed by young men. There was a hush of expectancy hanging in the air and conversation was falling away. “What is going on? Is this why you are moping around?”

“Shush.” Kai said impatiently and then silence fell.

Jess stared at the woman who came self consciously from behind the bar. Her hair was scraped back and the unflattering dress hung loose around her spare frame and the work roughened hands that brushed down over her skirt were unadorned by rings and her nails were plain. The thin face that looked anxiously around was scrubbed clean and angular. Jess glanced around the bar. Every man there, and it was almost all men, were leaning forward slightly, fixed on the youngish woman who sat at the scarred piano.

“She’s called Cecily.” Kai whispered to Jess, earning him a glare from the nearest men.

Cecily managed a forced, nervous smile and then started to play. Everything changed. Suddenly there was a glow in the air, a sense of wonder. Her unremarkable hands suddenly were enchanted. They danced gracefully over the battered keys, coaxing music that called to the soul. Arpeggios soared over a sublime rhythm, while the themes and counterthemes entwined and raced along the compelling song. Jess was caught, entranced, as Cecily coaxed the music of the gods to ring around the battered bar. You could almost see a golden haze hanging in the room as the glorious performance held everyone in its magical grasp. And in the haze of the music, she was gloriously, wondrously, goddess-like and beyond beautiful, lit from within by the inspiration of her playing.

Then she stopped. Cecily stood, pushed a strand of mousey hair from her face, smiled awkwardly and then scuttled behind the bar, where she started washing glasses. It seemed almost sacrilege to break the spell and clap over the last echoes of the ringing notes, but first one, then several, then the entire bar clapped wildly as Cecily blushed awkwardly and racked up the glasses.

“That’s why we come here.” Kai said, placing another glass of unremarkable red in front of Jess. “She plays most nights. And we are all a little in love with her.”

And Jess understood.

Writing Challenge 6th April 2020

The reason I’m posting this prompt because I like writing a little flash fiction. It’s something I treat as going to the gym for my writing muscles. If you want to join in, that’s brilliant, but there’s no pressure. If you want to leave a comment with a link, that’s great, but if you don’t feel ready to share yet, that’s also great. Or you could decide that you had a good session at the ‘gym’ and want to submit it somewhere, or use it as the basis for other work, which would be amazing. It’s up to you how you use this prompt. The only thing I would like to insist on is that you enjoy yourself.

Here is a picture and a quotation. The challenge is to write something that is sparked off by one or both of them. It doesn’t have to be directly related to either, just the story you hear when you see them. It’s limited to 500 words (or less, lots less if you need to, or a little more, and I don’t check), and you should try and finish it by next week. It can be prose, poetry, fact or fiction – just have fun.

black upright piano near window
Image from Unsplash taken by DeMorris Byrd

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality

Albert Einstein

If you wish, leave a link in the comments and I will drop in, read and comment, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’ll also be sharing stuff on Facebook and wherever else I can think of. There are no prizes and no end goal, unless it is to have fun writing. I hope I get to see some awesome stuff sparked by this. Good luck!

Easy Mistake to Make

person holding green pine tree leaf

Image from Unsplash taken by Dayna Lepp

“So how did you find out where I worked?” Jasmine asked suspiciously.

“I have my ways.” Tyrone said, airily.

“And those ways are?” Jasmine pressed.

“Jay saw you walk in here last week.” Tyrone admitted. “It doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’m here, and so are you.”

“I’m working.” Jasmine said. “Excuse me.”

Tyrone stepped aside to allow Jasmine to ease past as she carried a large box over to the display of herbs. “That looks far too heavy for you.” He smiled at Jasmine. “Let me carry it for you.”

“I’m fine.” Jasmine rolled her eyes and set the box down. “I’m stronger than I look.”

“You had better believe that.” Mrs Tuesday said, grinning happily.

Lady Freydis drifted over. “Jasmine, you have an admirer.”

“It’s okay, Tyrone knows we can only be friends as I have a boyfriend!” Jasmine glared at Tyrone.

“Babe, you should rethink that.” Tyrone said. “I’m good looking, I’ve got a good job lined up, and I bet I could wipe the floor with any pretender to your heart.”

“I think ‘Pretender to Your Heart’ is a very good saying.” Lady Freydis said. “Which book did you find it in?”

“Seriously, Tyrone, I’m happy with Darren.” Jasmine shoved out some packets of fern seed. “I’m sure you’ll find someone else.”

“I can’t sleep at night.” Tyrone said. “I’m dreaming of you all the time.”

“How can you dream if you are not asleep?” Lady Freydis asked.

Jasmine ignored Mrs Tuesday chuckling in the background. “I have a boyfriend. I’m very happy with him. Please, just leave me alone.”

“Never!” Tyrone declared. “I’ll never give up.”

Kadogan strolled in. “I thought I felt some embarrassment.” He looked narrowly at Mrs Tuesday. “What have you done?”

“It’s not me this time.” Mrs Tuesday said. “Jasmine has an admirer.”

“Does Darren know?” Kadogan asked.

Tyrone looked at Jasmine. “You really do have a boyfriend? I thought you were just saying that to put me off.” He shook his head. “Forget him, babe, I could treat you like a queen.”

“I advise against pursuing Jasmine.” Kadogan said. “I do not deny that it is entertaining to watch, but Darren was formerly a Royal Marine and is quite ruthless when he deals with opposition. I do not wish the White Hart to be caught up in anything unsavoury.”

Tyrone snorted. “They all say that they’re ex-army, but they never are. You put me and him against each other in the gym or sparring or whatever, and I’ll show you what a real man…” He trailed off.

Darren walked into the shop and Jasmine’s face lit up with joy at seeing him. Darren’s face relaxed a little and a warm current of love ran between them before Darren looked up. “Just water today, please.”

Tyrone looked at the hard muscled, hard faced, lethal presence that was looking so softly at Jasmine. “I’ll see you in college, Jas.”

Writing Challenge 30th March 2020

The reason I’m posting this prompt because I like writing a little flash fiction. It’s something I treat as going to the gym for my writing muscles. If you want to join in, that’s brilliant, but there’s no pressure. If you want to leave a comment with a link, that’s great, but if you don’t feel ready to share yet, that’s also great. Or you could decide that you had a good session at the ‘gym’ and want to submit it somewhere, or use it as the basis for other work, which would be amazing. It’s up to you how you use this prompt. The only thing I would like to insist on is that you enjoy yourself.

Here is a picture and a quotation. The challenge is to write something that is sparked off by one or both of them. It doesn’t have to be directly related to either, just the story you hear when you see them. It’s limited to 500 words (or less, lots less if you need to, or a little more, and I don’t check), and you should try and finish it by next week. It can be prose, poetry, fact or fiction – just have fun.

person holding green pine tree leaf
Image from Unsplash taken by Dayna Lepp

Mistakes, obviously, show us what needs improving. Without mistakes, how would we know what we had to work on?

Peter McWilliams

If you wish, leave a link in the comments and I will drop in, read and comment, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’ll also be sharing stuff on Facebook and wherever else I can think of. There are no prizes and no end goal, unless it is to have fun writing. I hope I get to see some awesome stuff sparked by this. Good luck!

Human Error

black and silver microphone on brown wooden table
Image from Unsplash, taken by Randy Fath

Steve tentatively opened his eyes and squinted into the lights. As he regained his senses he realised he was strapped to a chair and surrounded by recording equipment. “What?”

“You are half elfen.” A tall man, lean and unshaven, stood at the back of the neglected room. He had a small laptop perched on a barstool next to him. “You are going to tell me everything.”

Steve shook his head and winced. “You hit me over the head when I was getting into my car.”

“You can’t escape.” There was a psychotic flatness in the man’s voice. “I’ve taken all precautions.”

“Yes, my father was elfen.” Steve said. “But I wasn’t raised by him. I was raised by my mother.” The leather straps that loosely held his wrists were scored with arcane symbols and Steve could sense some serious magical power in there.

“But you know your father, and you know other elfen. I need you to tell me everything.” The tall man tapped some keys on his laptop. “I’m starting the recording. Now, tell me about your Queen.”

Steve checked around. He was surrounded by a circle of what looked like iron filings, intertwined with red thread. A second circle of salt surrounded the iron. He narrowed his eyes. The damp patches on the bare boards probably meant a sprinkling of holy water. “Queen Elizabeth II, of the United Kingdom and other places. I don’t know what you want me to say.”

“No, your real Queen, the Winter Queen.” The man insisted. “I have ways of making you uncomfortable.”

“You’ve tied me to a chair.” Steve tested the straps on his wrists. “That’s not comfort.”

“You see the runes on the straps.” The man leant forward. “It took a lot of research to find them.”

“Yeah, the magic is pretty robust.” Steve admitted. He tugged at them again.

“I know!” The man straightened. “Tell me your name.”

“It’s Steve Adderson.” Steve said. “You must know that.”

“No, your secret name, the one you hide.” The man stalked over and leant close. Steve could smell the coffee on his breath. “I can make things very unpleasant. What is your name?”

Steve looked directly into the eyes of the man and then headbutted him. As the man reeled back, Steve kicked his legs from under him and then tugged his hands free of the straps on his wrists. He kicked the circle of iron shavings aside and dragged the terrified man to his feet. “I’m half elfen. I’m also half human, you muppet.” He looked around. “Get this mess cleared up and then we will have a talk.” Steve glared at him. “And uncomfortable is the least of your worries.”