Writing From A Prompt #4

The second one for today, as all previous ones comes from Book Club. This was one of my favourites to write and if everything goes to plan, I’d like to go back and write more on this one day.

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You can imagine what I first thought of when I saw the yellow brick road. I tried to extend on this without copying the original story and this is what I came up with.

Susan wondered what on earth had happened. She had woke up as normal this morning to the sound of her alarm. She got dressed, had breakfast and set off on her journey to work. Coming up to Farrington Park, she noticed that the entrance had a strange ethereal feel to it. Something definitely wasn’t the same as it was on her way home yesterday. Upon approach, she started to notice a shimmer from the path. Getting closer, Susan was surprised to see that the bricked path had been painted yellow. Not just your normal, run of the mill yellow but golden. Shiny golden bricks adorned the way to her work place. Looking at her watch and not wanting to be late she ventured warily onto the bricks. The ground didn’t open and she felt that they were as solid as they normally were so she continued on her way. After walking along the golden floor for a while she started to wonder whether she was actually going to end up at work. All of a sudden she noticed a white rabbit in a waistcoat go running past her in the same direction. The rabbit appeared to be talking to himself, but he was moving so fast that she couldn’t tell what he was saying. Confused, but still not wanting to be late, Susan carried on walking. A little further down the path and she noticed she had reached the boating pond. Only now it seemed bigger. More like the sea than a pond. Squinting so she could see properly, in the distance, Susan was absolutely sure there was a ship flying the jolly roger, and a boy flying after it. Shaking her head and pinching herself to see if she was dreaming, she carried on. What a weird day today was turning out to be. After continuing for a while longer, she looked straight ahead, as far as she could see the path seemed to end just a few yards ahead. Reaching the end, she noticed a pair of sparkly red shoes. The shoes didn’t seem to be attached to anyone, just there, in the middle of the path. Susan loved the shoes but really wasn’t sure what was happening. She had seen too many strange things today. Feeling curious, she bent down to inspect the glittery footwear in more detail. They seemed to have a piece of paper underneath the toes of one of the shoes. Lifting the shoe to retrieve the paper, she stood back up and read it out loud “Wear Me” the paper said.

(428 words)

 

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Writing From A Prompt #3

It has been a while since I have attempted any flash fiction or writing from a prompt, but I have lots of short stories backed up from when we ran the “Writing from a Prompt” sessions in Book Club.

I thought it was time to share some more with you.

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I was completely out of my comfort zone with this one. I dislike sport of any kind and I know nothing about American football. However, I managed to come up with something and I am happy with what I created. What do you think?

Standing with the rest of his team Leroy looked up at all the adoring fans. How could he stand here celebrating a win when he knew the only reason he managed to score that winning touchdown. Thank god he had been excluded from this months random drug test due to a medical condition. The previous month he was excluded for some other reason, that he couldn’t remember. And the month before that. In fact, it had been over 6 months since he had been subjected to testing for various reasons and he was glad. He knew that his career would be over as soon as he was tested. He also knew that without the help, he’d never be able to keep playing like he was. Leroy wondered, scanning the sea of faces for relatives, how his downfall would affect his loved ones. The ones that actually bothered to attend his games anyway. Like his nan. She came to every home and away game. Bought all the merchandise, wore the shirts. His nan, Gloria, had raised him since he was 3. His mother passed away when he was 6 from a drug overdose and as Leroy hit his teens he got in with a bad crowd. He was always in trouble, and he was taking drugs. Gloria spent a lot of time and effort trying to get him clean, and just as she thought he was getting there he got drafted into a team. She had always been proud of him even when he was at his worst, but this was definitely a defining moment. She thought he was clean. She thought they’d never let him play if he was still on drugs. She didn’t know he’d simply swapped the drugs he was taking. Six months in a team, six months on performance enhancing drugs. Not quite the same as the weed and cocaine he was used to taking but they pretty much worked the same for him. They enabled him to block out everything that had happened by becoming the teams top player in the shortest amount of time. 

Watching from the sidelines in her blue and yellow jersey, Gloria had never felt more proud of her grandson than she did when he was playing football. If only they could have seen him seven months ago. An absolute mess on a cocktail of drugs, all because he still hadn’t come to terms with his mother’s drug related death and he found a group of people willing to assist his habit. He was clean. That was all that mattered to her. Gloria knew that they carried out random drug tests on the players so she wasn’t worried. She came to every game and bought everything she possibly could so that she could show her support in the only way she knew how. Yet today after this game, when Leroy should’ve been over the moon with his winning touchdown, she could see something different in his face. He was stood with the others and seemed to be celebrating, yet she knew him well enough to know that he had something on his mind.

(521 words)

Sitting on the dank floor outside the stadium Elliott felt a tear roll down his cheek. Wiping his hand across his face, dragging a bucketful of snot all over it, he looked around on the floor for a tissue. Preferably one someone had dropped that hadn’t been used, or at the very least, one that had only been used a little. Not seeing one, he decided to use his sleeve. Again. Elliott was homeless. He’d been homeless since he turned 12. Not wanting to get lost in the system when his only living family member passed away, he felt his only option was to run away. So he took to the streets. Four years later and he was feeling sadder today than any other day. His favourite team were playing. He used to watch the game through the window of the tv shop but that had long since closed down. Nowadays he sat outside the stadium and tried to imagine he was listening to it on the radio. In amongst all the people filing into the stadium he noticed the team bus pull up and park. He was in awe of these guys. He could play football, just a little. As a child, he wanted nothing more than to play football professionally but he never managed to get there. Elliott felt it right to stand as the team passed him. A mark of respect so to speak. Most of them walked right by him without even a glance. Except one. Brian Golant. He noticed the boy but didn’t say anything. Brian saw the dirty clothes, ripped sneakers, red eyes and snotty face. He continued into the ground with the rest of his team after flashing a smile at Elliott. Elliott smiled a little in return. Feeling a bit better than he had been noticed for a change. Then remembering he was sat on a dirty floor he started to cry again. Inside the stadium, Elliott could hear the crowd going wild and the commentators egging them on. Announcing the team coming out. Straining to listen, Elliott didn’t hear Brian’s name. Or he might have missed it. He wasn’t sure. “Hey Kid” he heard a friendly voice. Turning to look who had spoken he noticed it was Brian. “Why you out here and not inside?” Brian asked. Elliott didn’t really know what to say, he could only answer with “I have nowhere else to go” “Well I happen to need an assistant. Are you any good at cleaning boots and kits?” Elliott looked up at Brian. Stared him straight in the eyes and smiled the biggest smile he’d felt in a long time.

(442 words)

Both of these took a long time for me to come up with them and I don’t feel like I am in a position where I would be able to write anything further so will leave this one as it is.

Writing From A Prompt #2

This week’s picture prompt comes from my Book Club’s weekly “Tell Me A Story” post. As with the last one, the picture was chosen by a member of the group.

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I originally wrote this piece as two separate entries but found it worked just as well as one story. Coming in at just under 300 words, this is one of my first official attempts at flash fiction.

Tom was sad. His dad had only been gone for two weeks, the funeral and wake had gone without a hitch the week before. Now he felt empty. Standing outside the building they both worked together in since he was a teenager, part time while at school then full time afterwards, he felt a tug on his heart.  The business was his now. He was “Baker” instead of “Son”. Of course, it was his livelihood; he had every intention of carrying on the company but today was not the day. It was all too raw. He needed more time.  Sighing, he picked up his holdall from the wet ground, erected his umbrella and set off on the walk home.

Just three weeks ago Tom had stood outside this building, his building, and felt sad about the loss of his dad – both from his life and from the company. Today was a different day. He felt much more ready to return to work. He was sure it would be sad but he had to keep the business flowing. He had bills to pay and a home to run. His dad had managed to keep the company going since long before Tom was born. Now it was Tom’s turn. Tom was Baker. He felt much better about that, especially since in recent weeks his life had changed. Looking at the sign on the outside he smiled a little inside. Glancing over the “Son” part made him smile on the outside too, even chuckling a little and getting some strange looks from passers-by. His happiness had been sealed with the news that his wife was expecting a baby boy. “Baker & Son” would continue on.

(281 Words)

The following piece was written on the spur of the moment, just in order to add something new to my post. I like to use previous pieces but also to offer fresh writing to (basically to see if I can still do it).

It was cold today, Jimmy shivered. He wished he had a job that enabled him to work inside but he also knew that he had to go where his talents lay. Unfortunately, being an outdoor painter meant he had to work outside in all kinds of weather. Jimmy thought about taking winter off a couple of years ago but realised that he wouldn’t be able to live off the little money he had saved up during the warmer months.

Grabbing his ladder, Jimmy set it up against the wall. “A little wobbly, but steady enough,” he said out loud to himself while testing the ladder’s balance. Reaching for the white paint, he hooked his arm through the wire handle. Paintbrush in his other hand he ascended the building. Jimmy reached the top of the ladder and started painting over the worn sign. New owners had bought this long since abandoned building and Jimmy was told that he had been highly recommended by locals. They gave him the design they wanted and that was what brought him here.

Interrupted by a commotion coming from a few paces up the street, Jimmy popped his paintbrush onto the top of the ladder while he had a look at what the noise was. Seeing a dog chasing a cat, realising it was nothing exciting or important, he turned and continued with his work. The screeching from the cat was getting louder but Jimmy paid it no mind. Then, the barking of the dog sounded closer. “That damn dog must be chasing the cat this way,” Jimmy thought. “I’d better think about getting down”. No sooner had he started to descend, only making it down one or two rungs, than the dog crashed into the bottom of the ladder. Jimmy had nothing to hold onto other than the ladder. His only option was to fall with it.  

(312 Words)

Writing From A Prompt #1

Here goes, my first of what is hopefully many attempts at Writing From A Prompt. Below is the picture used for this activity and beneath that will be the short pieces of writing that I have come up with from the picture.

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This first two pieces were written (by me) whilst we were running a “Tell me a Story” piece in the Facebook group I am a part of (Book Club)

There is a house in New Orleans, They call the rising sun. This isn’t it. This is a dump. What once belonged to Klaus and the Mikaelson’s was now a shadow of its former self. The great war of 2015, that broke out between the werewolves and the vampires had resulted in every Mikaelson property in the quarter being ravaged. The vampires had finally teamed up with the witches and brought hell to the town. Klaus and Elijah made it out alive and back to Mystic Falls. Just in time to see Matt Donovan and his team of hunters reigning power over the vampires situated there.

Wandering through the front door, Alice shook her head. Whoever lived here had not taken very good care of it. Why she had chosen to buy a house in wonderland she’d never be absolutely certain. Maybe it was the nostalgia from her childhood visits or the fact that she couldn’t wait to move out of her parents house. Either way, this was her new home. Yes, it needed some love and care but with the help of her Wonderland friends and her husband, The Knave, it would soon be perfect.

You may notice, that both of these were generated from a fan fiction point of view. One being a popular TV show and the other a much loved classic story.

The following short piece was written (yes, still by me) right now. As I compiled this post I wanted to add something new to the picture, I tried to come up with an original idea.

Mary was 11 when her parents announced they were getting a divorce. She wasn’t told any real details about what had happened, although she could tell that her mum must have done something to upset her dad. The only reason Mary knew this was because her dad packed all her mum’s belongings and through them out onto the street the day after she had been told of the divorce.
A few days after the suitcase saga, Mary’s dad called her downstairs to announce that they were selling the house and had to move. Mary was not happy. “Why are we the ones that have to move?”
“Because I can’t afford the mortgage on this house on my own, Mary.” Dad replied sadly
“I hate mum. I hate that you made her leave. I hate that we have to sell this house” Shouted Mary.
“I’m sorry Mary, things will work out. I have found a house that I can afford, would you like to come and have a look later today?”
With a huge sigh, Mary resentfully nodded her head. Maybe things will be ok, it might be a really nice house in a nice area.
Later that day, Mary and her dad got into the car. They had been driving for a while, Mary sat staring out of the window as the skies turned darker and the houses around them started to change into trees. The further they drove the denser the trees got. “Oh great!” Mary thought “We’re moving to middle of nowhere.”
After about three hours the trees started to clear. Slowly, but surely Mary began to see houses. Just a few at first, but each couple of minutes more houses came into view. These weren’t any old houses, they were brand spanking new. Big houses. The sort of houses that the rich and famous usually live in. Feeling a bit better about the moving situation Mary started daydreaming about their house. How big it would be, how many rooms, the size of the garden and all the new people she would meet.
As more and more houses came into view, her dad turned around and said “Keep looking to the left Mary. Our house is coming up in about five minutes.” So Mary did as she was advised. When the car rolled to a stop outside a large set of electronic gates Mary smiled. Even the grey skies couldn’t dampen her quickly changing mood. Her dad got out of the car, Mary followed suit. He went and punched in a code to the gate’s security system. “This place is swanky” Mary said with a happy smile.
“I know” Dad replied “Just wait until you see inside. It’s practically untouched so we can decorate and accessorise exactly how we wish.”
Mary squealed with excitement, she had already started dreaming up ideas for colours and things she wanted in her room. Mary couldn’t remember the last time she had felt like this about anything.
“Come on Mary! Let’s go in” Her dad shouted from outside the front door. He was unlocking the door.
Mary quickly ran up to the front door where he was waiting before he pushed it open. Opening onto a big entrance hall, dad looked at Mary with excitement in his eyes. Mary took a few steps forward so she could see the room and her heart sank. It wasn’t just a blank sheet, it was a dilapidated old house.

Thank you for reading. I hope you liked my short stories. Please feel free to leave me any comments.