Tag Archive | Write Anything

One Thousand Thursday – The Challenge Begins

Late last night, as I wrote my ROW80 check-in blog, I came up with the idea of One Thousand Thursday. It’s quite easy really, One thousand words written on Thursday. As soon as I had it, I realised how brilliant it is, and that I need to start doing it every week. You know how I love a challenge.

So tonight, I’m attempting to write 1,000 words. It’s not easy: I left work later than I planned to; Then I walked most of the way home; Then I had dinner; Then, once I turned on the laptop, I had to surf Facebook, Twitter, blogs, everything, anything.

Then of course, I had to decide what to write. I’m not writing my novel now, I’m going to read it to decide what direction to take it, so I had to find something else. I remembered Fiction Friday that I used to love (I love writing from prompts, in fact, I can pretty much only write from prompts – except novels, they’re always my ideas), until it stopped. I saw a while ago the ex-owners of Fiction Friday have a new home, Write Anything, and a new prompt type thing, Prompted, so I went there.

I cheated. I looked at a few prompts and decided I couldn’t get anything from them, so moved on. Maybe not cheating, but in my eyes it’s cheating! I shouldn’t have done it, I should have written from the first one I saw.

I got to like the fourth or fifth, and found one I liked: He tied the towel around his neck, a makeshift superhero cape and pulled a pair of red underpants over his jeans. How awesome is that. Especially because I imagine it to be a 5-year-old kid, but actually when I wrote, I made it a 30 odd year old man. Brilliant.

I got to 400 and realised 1,000 words is a lot, I was struggling, but I pushed through. Then, before I knew it, I was at 557. Then I made the mistake of stopping. Tweeting, chatting to my boyfriend, and writing this. I wanted to go to bed at 11pm, but I’ve got another 443 words to write, and it’s 3 miuntes to. And, now this to edit. Ah. Maybe I’ll go to bed by 12.

I’ll update when I finish, because I KNOW I’ll finish. I can’t fail at my own challenge can I?

Do you like the idea of One Thousand Thursday (#OneThouThur on Twitter)? Wanna join in? (if you’ve got time ‘today’ that is – obviously no Aussies, or British can apply) I’m going to have it again next week – that will keep pushing me to write won’t it – so if you want to join in let me know. I’ll give you a push on your blog or twitter…

Oh on a last note, if this blog was the fiction I have to write today, I would have hit 1,000 about 20 words ago. Sigh.

*Add on Alert*

I did it, in fact, once I got back into it, I really did it. I’m the proud owner of 1123 words today. WOOP!

Massive well done too goes out to Laura Parish and Mike Paulson for getting over One Thousand today too! Go us!

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Fiction Friday – 8th July – Aliens and Microwaves

Hi! Remember me? I sometimes do Fiction Friday!

Sorry I’ve been away, life just seems to have been crazy for a while. I’m back with my A Round of Words in 80 Days challenge, and I’m back to write stories.

The prompt for this week from Write Anything (on their snazzy new site – take a look at it here) is:

The government has issued a warning that a particular (and common) household item has begun to have an unusual side effect on pets ( or children, or adults) . You realise that own this item and cannot contact anyone at home to check or warn them. When you arrive, you see…

There’s nothing like a little Sci-Fi on a Friday morning, so here we go… (just remember, I don’t read, or generally write Sci-fi, so I have no idea where this idea came from. Also remember, I follow the rules of Fiction Friday, so this is the 1st – unedited – draft).

Don’t worry. Don’t worry. It’s a hoax. Of course it’s a hoax. I mean, Aliens don’t exist do they? Of course they don’t.

Except I’ve always felt that they do. The universe it huge, and you can’t tell me in something as large as it (which I don’t even understand) there’s no other intelligent life forms. But they’re certainly not coming to earth. The first we hear of them can’t be them walking out of the microwave.

It has to be a hoax. Aliens walking out of microwaves. You couldn’t write about it, it’s so strange. But the BBC reported it. The BBC, one of the most credible news sources in the world reported it. They don’t do hoaxes. Not even on April 1st, and it’s not April 1st.

It’s not, is it? It’s… Of course, it’s May 2nd. It’s Julie’s 10th Birthday tomorrow.

Julie. Julie and Billy. Where are they. Why aren’t they at home with their Dad? He didn’t say they were going out, and it’s only 9am. If they didn’t have any specific plans, they wouldn’t have got out the house this early. Not on a Saturday.

I try the land line again and it rings out. The feeling of dread grows. One of the kids always gets the phone. They race for it. It’s their greatest competition. So why aren’t they answering? They must be up. They can never stay in bed past 7am at the weekend. Ironic when you have to literally drag them out during the week. Those weekend cartoons!

I turn off my phone and throw evil looks at my stereo. Why isn’t it working. Of course I know Billy and his love of putting toast in holes is what’s wrong. God I hope he’s ok. I hope they’re all ok.

Is it me, or is the street quieter than it should be at ten to nine on a Saturday morning? I have no real way of knowing, I’m usually either at work, or still at home watching cartoons at this time, but it feels quieter. The whole way over, I’ve only see about three other cars. That can’t be right can it? Is something wrong? It is isn’t it? Oh no.

Words from the TV report I was watching flood my head as I pull up on our road. ‘Government warnings… Don’t use microwaves… waves are facilitating their descent to earth… Unplug… Do not use.’ Even though I’m less than 500 meters from home, I try the phone again.

Come on, come on. COME ON Tim. Answer the phone. Answer it. Damn.

That’s it. I can see the house. IT looks normal. Except that noise. What is that noise? Shit, it’s my heart. It’s not natural to beat that fast.

The curtains are still drawn. I can tell that the lounge light is on. Why the hell isn’t anyone answering the phone.

I pull up on the drive and am out the seat before I’ve got a chance to turn the ignition off. Sod the car. My hand’s trembling as I put the key in the lock. Shit, stay still hand. Stay still.

‘Kids! Tim!’ I shout as I finally get the door open.

‘MUM!’ I hear from the lounge, along with a scrambling sounds of them getting up and dashing to me.

‘Julie. Billy. My babies. You’re ok. You’re ok.’ They’re ok. Calm down. They’re ok. I want to hold them forever, never let them out of my sight again, but before I know it they’re off, back to whatever show they’re watching.

‘Why didn’t you answer the phone?’ I shout to their retreating backs.

‘Daddy says it’s broken,’ Billy shouts to me from in front of the TV. ‘The man from Bee Teas has to come and fix it.’

Of course. Of course. It’s been on the blink for a few days. OF course. Everyone’s ok.

‘Where’s your dad?’ I ask as I put my bag down on the sofa.

‘In the kitchen. I’m having a strawberry Nesquik.’

 ‘I’m having a chocolate one.’

‘Yes, but my Strawberry one is nicer…’

The sounds of them arguing fades as I realise the implications of what they’re saying. Julie likes it hot. Hot milk means Microwave. NOOOOOOOO.

‘Tim!’ I turn immediately and run down the hall. ‘TIM! TIIIIIMMMMM!’ I hear nothing except the sound of my blood running through my veins and my breathing. The kitchen door is closed. Shit. Why’s the kitchen door closed?

‘Tim?’ I slowly open the door. ‘Tiiiii.’

Tim is standing immediately inside the kitchen. His face freezes me. I’ve never seen such a look of horror on anyone. I’ve never understood what people mean when they say someone’s gone white. Tim is practically translucent. His dark eyes look hollow, and he’s actually trembling. It doesn’t take me long to realise why. Running round the floor are… things. Hundreds and hundreds of things. Not just the floor, the worktop, the table, the chairs. They’re climbing up the cupboards, and… oh god, they’re all over the ceiling. Every surface of the kitchen is covered in white things running about. They’re moving too fast for me to see what they are, but they look like… It sounds crazy but they look like Stigs. One inch high Stigs. Yes, Stigs from TVs Top Gear. I think they look like white one inch men with huge white heads.

I can tell the look on Tim’s face is reflected in mine as they start coming out the kitchen and filling the hall. What the hell? I’m frozen. I’m not even exaggerating. They’ve done something and I can’t move. Nothing. Not my arm, not my legs.

Oh god the kids. I can’t see behind me, but I imagine they’re scrurrying for the lounge. They’re so quiet though.

‘Muuuuuum. Where’s my Nesquik?’ It’s the last thing I hear before I black out.

 

When I come to, everything’s white and cold…

So. What do you think. I wasn’t really sure how to end it, so I thought, so I thought I’d go down the ambiguous route. Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear what you think.

Oh, and if you don’t know what my aliens look like – this is the Stig:

Fiction Friday – 27th May – The End of the World

The prompt from Write Anything for today’s Fiction Friday is:

The end of the world has been penciled in by a number of religions and groups. How is your character preparing for it?

My (unedited) story from that introduces the MC from my novel Italian Infatuation and her best friend who is about to get married…

‘You don’t believe it do you?’ Fiona put her head down and started twirling her spaghetti round her plate. ‘Fiona?’

She looked up at Diane. ‘Noooo…’

‘Fiona?’

Fiona coughed and sat up a little straighter.

‘No, I don’t. Don’t look at me like that, I don’t. It’s just…’

‘Just…?’

‘Well, I’ve waited my whole life to get married and now I’m three weeks away from it and some guy in India is predicting the world is going to end the week before. I know it’s not going to, but what if it does? I’m so close. I can’t die single. Not when I’m so close.’

Diane thought about it. She knew exactly how Fiona felt, the excitement of being just weeks away from becoming married was so exciting. Even if it was different for her – it was only five years ago that she’d got married, although it had been different for her.

Diane and Jim had been together forever, it hadn’t been a matter of ‘’if’’ for them, but ‘’when.’’ Fiona however, had floated from one guy to another, never forming anything deep, because no one was good enough for her, she always felt like there was something missing. Until Peter. Peter came along and filled the void – everyone just knew they were right for each other from the day they met. They completed each other.

Unlike Diane and Jim in the end.

‘If the world ends honey, there’s nothing you can do about it. But I wouldn’t worry about it, you won’t know.’ That made Fiona laugh. ‘Fiona seriously, you’re less than a month away from your wedding. You’re getting married in another country. Do you really need something ELSE to worry about? Surely that’s enough for one person?’

‘You know, you’re right. Although I know everything is sorted, but…’

‘you’re still worrying aren’t you?’

‘Diane you’ve known me for as long as I remember. Of course I’m worrying.’

‘Ok, I’ll tell you what.’ She signalled to the waiter to bring them another bottle of wine. ‘Why don’t we look at the dessert menu and then you can tell me everything you’re still worried about. You know what they say, a problem shared is a problem halved.’ At the exact same moment they both picked up their nearly empty glasses, and chinked them.

Please let me know what you think. Lets hope there are other Fiction Friday players today!

Fiction Friday – 20th May

This week’s prompt from Write Anything is:

Use the word “Orismology” in your fiction this week (its the science of defining or explaining a technical term)

My unedited story is:

Kelly chewed her food in silence and wondered what the hell she was going here. If she’d cared more she would have wondered what the hell Omiso… Orosmo… Orismology was, or meant, but she didn’t, she just wished she’d said no.

She had every other time Dan had suggested it: ‘You’d get on so well with so-and-so,’ ‘I know this guy that is just perfect for you,’ or what seemed to be his favourite ‘You and so-and-so would just click.’ After saying no to his matchmaking for three years, she couldn’t believe she’s said yes this time. And to such a dork.

She laughed a little at her internal use of the word dork – someone had once told her it means whale’s dick. She looked up and realised Kelvin was staring at her.

‘Sorry?’ she asked, he’d obviously asked her a question or something, shit, she should have been paying more attention.

‘I asked why you were laughing. Did you think I was joking? I was being deadly serious about…’ before he could bore her any more she cut him off.

‘No, no. Sorry, I was distracted… The waiter behind you just dropped a plate of food.’ Kelly though it was quite a usable excuse until Kelvin turned round to look. Obiously there was no waiter there. ‘Oh, he’s gone now.’ She smiled sweetly as he turned back to look at her, but wondered why she was bothering.

‘You’ll have to excuse me,’ she said putting her cutlery down, and lifting the crisp white napkin off her lap. ‘I must run to the ladies. No, no, don’t stand up. I’ll only be a second.’ It wouldn’t take long for her to phone Dan and tell them their friendship is over. Maybe he could call Kelvin and tell him she had to go or something. Except her coat. Damn.

‘Excuse me,’ just before she got to the toilet door, a hand touched her arm. Kelly turned back around and was greeted with an object of beauty.

His accent was Australian, and he certainly had the surfer look going on. Long floppy blond hair, that he pushed back out of his eyes as he looked down on her. Kelly was 5’9’’ so he must have been 6’3’’ maybe 4’’. He had electric blue eyes, but long dark eyelashes that framed them. He was dressed in a suit, but had the pale blue shirt undone a button too many, so she could see the tan and muscles pushing through.

‘Um, hi.’

‘Sorry to interrupt as you’re on your way,’ he pointed to the bathroom door, she shrugged. The bathroom could wait. I just had to come and check you’re alright.’ She must have looked at him like he was an alien, as he then started to explain. ‘I’m sat at the table next to yours, and couldn’t help noticing that you’ve not said a word during your meal – and he’s said some very boring ones.’ He grinned at her and her legs felt weak. HE was grinning at HER. Wow, there was a god.

After probably a bit too long pause, she found her words. ‘I… Um…’ But not too well.

Surfer guy looked back into the restaurant nervously, then back at her.

‘Sorry, Yeah, I’m fine. I’m going to kill my mate though for setting this blind date up.’ She wasn’t too happy telling this guy she was on a blind date, but knew she had to explain why she was with him, and so bored.

‘You’re friend’s probably just so jealous of your beauty that she feels you need some punishment.’ That made Kelly laugh. Then she realised he’d said she was beautiful. He had, hadn’t he?

‘He.’

‘Sorry?’

‘It was a male friend that set us up.’

‘Oh.’ He put his hand on his chin and thought about it. ‘Well then he must be so annoyed you won’t go out with him that he feels you need punishing.’ That made Kelly laugh again.

‘Actually, he’s gay.’

‘Oh. Well that blows my theories out the window.’ He turned round to check there was no one around, then moved closer and whispered, ‘I don’t think your friend likes you too much.’ Kelly laughed for a third time, this guy was great.

‘Scott,’ Surfer held his hand out to shake Kelly’s.

‘Kelly,’ she replied taking it and praying he wouldn’t notice the sweat or the shakes – hot men always did that to her. If he did, he didn’t say anything.

‘Look, I know this is really inappropriate, especially as you’re on your way in there, but how about you dump that guy and come for a drink with me? I presume you’ve finished dinner?’ She nodded. ‘Great, how about we pretend I’m a long lost friend from school that you’ve not seen for what, five years?’

‘I left school ten years ago,’ she told him, happy with the compliment of looking younger than she was.

‘Even better. We’ll say we’ve not seen each other since school, because… Um…’

‘Because you moved to Australia…’

‘Exactly. And I’m only back for a week, so we have to catch up.’ He looked at her uncertain face. ‘Ok, I’ll tell you what, you go in there and think about it while you powder your nose, and I’ll wait just here,’ he pointed at the floor, ‘until you’ve made your mind up.’

‘Deal,’ Kelly smiled and turned to walk in the bathroom, realising her phone call to Dan was going to be totally different to how she imagined it.

Please, let me know what you think.

Fiction Friday – 13th May

Your Main Character finds the paperwork on the desk covered in red ink…

‘Frances!FRANCES!’

Fran stirred the casserole quickly, checked Milly was still in her play pen and ran to the hall.

‘Yes, Mrs Johnson-Gray,’ she shouted, hoping she’d hear her from upstairs and she wouldn’t have to run up there.

‘Has Milly been in the office again?’ Mrs Johnson-Gray shouted downstairs.

‘No. Not since the other day when you told me not to let her.’ Fran winced at the memory of the telling off she got on Tuesday. She definitely wouldn’t let Milly out of her sight when running a bath again.

‘Well why is there red ink all over my desk and manuscript?’

‘I’m sorry Mrs Johnson-Gray, I don’t know.’ The older lady moved to the top of the stairs and put her hands on her hips. Although she knew she’d done nothing wrong, Fran started getting nervous. Her voice wavered, her heart started beating faster and her palms got sweaty. She hated the effect this woman was having on her.

‘Well it didn’t get there on its own did it now?’

With perfect timing Milly started crying. Fran looked towards the kitchen, then back at her employer.

‘Go on, go get her,’ Mrs Johnson-Gray said flicking her arm in the direction of the kitchen. ‘But make sure she doesn’t get in there again. That manuscript is very important.’

Fran walked back to the kitchen silently muttering. She was only on day five and already sick of that woman. But as she walked through the door, Milly looked up at her and gave her a huge grin – how could she not love this job when she had a kid as cute as Milly to look after.

Milly was everything you would want in a nineteen month old. She was walking and pretty much talking, so a proper little girl in those regards, but at the same time she was still a baby. She still liked to be carried, and cuddled. She had the cutest brown curls and darkest brown eyes Fran had ever seen that were accentuated amazingly by the longest lashes.

And somehow, even though her mother was that awful woman, she was always smiling.

Maybe it was due to her dad. It was such a cleche, but Fran the nanny, fancied the kid’s father. Luckily though, it wasn’t just her. All the other nannies in the group fancied him too. And the mothers. And no one could believe he was with Mrs Johnson-Gray. No One had a good opinion of her.

Fran hated to admit it, but she knew there was something about her. She’d seen them together once when he’d come home early and she was still in. They’d acted like they had just got together. Kissing and touching each other. Holding hands as they walked to the door. They were obviously very in love. If only she could understand why.

 

Three months later she knew why.

She’d wanted to quit. Mrs Johnson-Gray was in almost every day working on her novel, and she was treating Fran more and more like a skivvy every day. She’d always known she was going to be cooking for Milly and doing small chores around the house,

But this was crazy. Every spare minute she got from when she left her ‘annex’ (the Johnson-Gray’s converted garage) to the moment she left for the day – sometimes as late as 8 or 9pm she was busy: Cooking, cleaning, tidying, washing, ironing. She was sick of it.    

Or she had been. Until Wednesday.

On Wednesday she was cleaning the whole house, top to bottom. Milly was being an angel and either asleep, playing by herself (in her playpen so Fran knew she wouldn’t run off anywhere and get into mischief), or watch children’s TV. Mrs Johnson-Gray had left in a hurry that morning, apparently her editor had called her into his office for an emergency meeting. When Fran entered her employer’s bedroom it was totally different to usual. Gone was the vast emptiness with just a bed and dressing table – now, there were papers everywhere. Literally everywhere – all across the bed, in piles on the floor, and scattered along the dresser. There was even a small stack on the chair.

Fran decided she’d miss out hovering and dusting in there today – it wasn’t worth the risk, but as she was turning a huge pile of papers – literally a foot high – caught her attention.

Screaming out at her were the words: HOW TO GET ANYTHING YOU WANT.

Not wanting to be nosy, but finding she couldn’t help herself, Fran picked up the top few sheets.

The front page was the title page. The next page was a thank you page.

 

The biggest thank you to Jennifer (Fran somehow knew Mrs Johnson-Gray’s name was Jennifer) without showing me how, this book wouldn’t have been possible.

 

Showing her how? Mrs Johnson-Gray had shown the author – Sally Fellows-Hampton – how to get anything she wanted. How weird.

Fran turned to the next page. It was a list.

 

How to get the perfect man and make him fall in love with you forever

How to get a successful publishing deal

How to make anyone like you and do anything for you

How to always look perfect

How to get the perfect nanny and ensure she stays with you

 

Fran stopped at the last one. There was a page, no two pages more of how tos. Something about it sent a chill down Fran’s back. She’d read books on how to get things – but something about this one seemed chillingly different.

She flicked quickly through the other pages she’d picked up. Each page was dedicated to a different ‘how to’ and was filled completely. Half way down on each page there was a smaller list – a list that almost looked like ingredients.

She didn’t get a chance to in any detail as typically Milly started crying just then. It was quite lucky she did, because Mrs Johnson-Gray came home five minutes later. Fran obviously didn’t want to get caught in her employer’s room so was glad Milly had got her attention.

As Mrs Johnson-Gray walked upstairs Fran knew she had to find that pile again, find out what was in that book.

Only strangely, since that day, she was feeling less and less inclined to find it and check. And she was starting to enjoy her job more and more, her workload hadn’t changed, but it just didn’t seem so bad any more. She also started getting on with Mrs Johnson-Gray, to the point where she’d actually say she liked her, and that she’d do anything for her….

I know I’ve done the spell idea before, but it seemed to fit with this story. I actaually had a much better idea, but it would have taken too long and I really don’t have time (I’m talking at least a couple of thousand words!). I hope you like it, but please let me know.

Fiction Friday come from WriteAnything.

Fiction Friday #204

‘Why was Easter Bunny held up with deliveries this year?’

Zoe paced up and down the kitchen. If he wasn’t home in another 10 minutes, that was it. She’d leave him. Acutally, she’d make him leave her. She couldn’t up and take Adam away from his home, especially when he wasn’t settling into school that well.

Nine minutes. Maybe she was just over reacting. Maybe he really was working late all the time. He’d just been promoted to director, she knew it meant more work – evenings, the occasional weekend. It was part of the job. It had to be. But so many evenings? So many late nights? So many weekends? And most of the time with Sharon?

Sharon? What a trampy name. She sounded like a slut. All Essex and Birds of a Feather. Bitch. She hated her. Even though she’d never met her, she found it easy to hate her. Home wrecking cow.

Eight minutes.

Zoe sat back down at the kitchen table and took another slug of wine.

Could she really live without Sam? They’d been together ten years. Ten years. She couldn’t remember life without him. And was it so horrible to take Adam’s dad away from him? Maybe she could put up with Sam’s infidelity for Adam’s sake.

Seven minutes.

Was that the door? Zoe stood up and walked to the sink. She held her breath, and Sandy walked in. Damn cat flap.

Six minutes.

Five Minutes.

Four Minutes.

Three Minutes.

Two Minutes.

One minute.

That’s it. His time was up. As soon as he walked through the door she was going to have it out with him. She couldn’t take the humiliation any more. She wasn’t going to let him do this to her any longer. She’d been letting him get away with it for too long now. She poured the last glass of wine out the bottle as she wiped the tears from her eyes.

Twenty one minutes later she heard Sam’s key in the door. It took him a while to make it to the kitchen and by the time he had she was wavering. She loved him so much…

NO! He was making a fool of her. Zoe made sure she was standing at the sink with her back to him when he opened the kitchen door, she wasn’t sure she could hold the tears back. Just the thought of asking him where he’d been, or telling him to get out made her feel violently sick.

Sam came into the kitchen and without saying a word slowly pulled a chair out from the table and sat down. Maybe he realised he’d pushed it too far. Zoe didn’t think she’d have the strength to say anything without her voice breaking and Sam didn’t say anything. The silence stretched over a minute, two, three.

Eventually, after what felt like 30 minutes, but was probably more like four, Zoe gathered all the strength she had and turned round. Sam was sat upright staring at nothing on the table top. He looked terrible. He was as white as a snowman, his hair was messed up, and his eyes were bloodshot. Had Zoe not known him better, she would have sworn he looked like he had been crying.

‘Sam, what’s wrong?’ she said before she could stop herself. He continued to stare at nothing, then slowly, slowly looked up at Zoe. A solitary tear fell down his cheek. He grabbed Zoe’s hand and pulled her towards him, burring his head in her stomach.

What the hell? Seriously, Sam never ever cried. She put her hand on his head knowing Sam needed her, and whatever she’d been thinking ten minutes before would have to wait. At the back of her head something shouted he was taking her for a fool, but she loved him, she couldn’t see him suffer.

‘Sam, what’s wrong?’ she repeated.

‘I was…’ His voice was muffled from being pressed against her body. He moved his head to the side and she felt him swallow. ‘I was on my way home.’ His voice wobbled a bit. ‘And I hit the… The… God this sounds stupid, but you have to believe me.’ He pulled his head away from Zoe and looked up at her. ‘You have to believe me, ok? OK?’

‘Ok, of course,’ she assured him nodding her head.

‘I hit the Easter Bunny… And killed him.’ Zoe took a second to process that, then burst into hysterics. She quickly recovered.

‘Shit, I’m sorry. I thought that… Shit I’m sorry. You killed him? The actual Easter Bunny?’ Sam nodded his head.

‘Her!’

‘Her?’

‘The Easter Bunny is a girl. Was a girl. Oh god. God, what have I done? I can’t believe it.’ Another tear fell as he told Zoe about the terrible rain that made visibility on the northern bypass horrendous. About the shape he’d seen in the road, but too late. About the yowl as he hit the thing. And about finding it was the Easter Bunny. About not believing it, but other people around that confirmed it.’

Zoe felt terrible. He’d killed the Easter Bunny. Easter would never be the same again, the kids around the world would be devastated, and all she could think was thank god that was why he was late home.

After he’d calmed down and had a brandy for his nerves, he remembered Zoe’s reaction on hearing about the crash.

‘What was that about? You said you thought something?’

‘Oh,’ she laughed, relaxed now. ‘I thought you were having an affair.’ When she turned to face him to pass him another drink, she dropped it. His face was as white as a snowman again. 

‘How did you know?’

This story comes from the prompt at Fiction Friday last week (Friday 22nd April). I’ve been slowly writing it since Saturday, but the idea came to me as soon as I read the prompt. I knew I had to do something and dedicate it to John Pender for giving me the idea. Why? Because of his comment on the last Fiction Friday prompt that used this idea Why Did The Tooth Fairy Fail to Deliver Coins One Evening? Hope you enjoy it.

#FictionFriday – 15th April – Facebook Chest Screen

Bex sat twirling the phone cable round her finger while listening to Mary go on and on about… something. There was a wireless phone upstairs, but Bex liked sitting in the window seat of the study while on the phone. At least until her father got home and turfed her out so he could sit at his huge oak desk and get in another four hours of work before bed.

Mary seemed to get to the end of whatever she was talking about – John that was it.

‘So, what’s going on with you?’

Something twisted in Bex’s stomach. Saying it out loud would make it real and she wasn’t sure she wanted to admit this – especially when she wasn’t sure her permanently single best friend would understand.

When Bex didn’t answer Mary prompted her. ‘How’s work? And Adam?’

‘Work’s…’ She thought about it. How was work? She’d spent so long thinking about the Adam situation, and now the Hugh situation she wasn’t really thinking about work. She was just going through the motions. ‘Work’s fine. Busy. Boring. Rubbish. You know same old.’ She paused.

‘And… Adam. Jeez Bex, what’s up with you tonight? Talking to you is like pulling teeth. And I’d know.’ Mary was working at her father’s dental practice for the summer. She was just doing admin, but liked to pretend she was actually seeing patients.

‘Sorry. I’m a bit distracted.’

‘Adam?’ Bex nodded, and then remembered her friend was on the phone.

‘Yeah. He’s still not changed his status, and it wouldn’t bother me that much, but we talked about it a couple of weeks ago. I want every Tom, Dick and Harry to know we’re a couple. I want us to walk down the street and people see our matching status’ rather than his that says single and mine that is just blank.’

‘Maybe you should talk to him again? Tell him how much it bothers you?’

‘Maybe. That’s not the only problem though. Well it’s caused another problem too.’

‘What his status saying single?

‘Uh… no… Mine. Being blank.’

Mary was silent for a second while she tried to process the information. Bex stood up and stretched her legs, she’d been sat on them the whole 30 minute conversation and they were starting to go numb.

Looking down at her legs she was distracted by a notification on her Facebook Chest Screen. Strange, she hasn’t heard or felt it coming in. She’d just have a look.

‘WHAT? Someone thinks you’re single and asked you out?’ Bex dropped her hand – she’d check the notification later.

‘Not just someone…’ She took a deep breath. ‘Hugh.’

‘Hugh?’ Mary asked. ‘Hugh, Hugh, Hugh?’

‘Uhh huh.’

‘Hugh Griffiths Hugh?’

‘Yep.’ However bad a situation it was, she couldn’t help grinning. Hugh Griffiths had asked her out after all.

‘But… But… What did you say?’

‘What could I say? I’ve got a boyfriend. I had to tell him and say no.’

‘What did he say?’

‘He didn’t believe me. He said that anyone in a relationship would have it branded on their Facebook Chest Screen and the fact that my status was blank meant I didn’t have a boyfriend. He thought it was just an excuse I made up.’

Mary broke into hysterics.

‘What?’ Bex asked, not getting the joke. This was horrible, not funny.

‘Hugh Griffiths – the guy you’re had a crush on since you could walk – thinks you knocked him back,’ she said when the giggles subsided. 

‘It’s not funny!’

‘Oh but it is.’ Mary started laughing again. This time it was infectious and made Bex laugh too. In the middle of her laughing fit, she looked down and again saw the notification that had come in. She pressed the ‘read button.’

Adam Spencer has listed you as his girlfriend.

Well, that solved the problems then.

The prompt from Write Anything for this week’s Fiction Friday is:

Set your story where Facebook institutions have been integrated into the norm. ( perhaps people have ‘like’ and ‘comment’ buttons on them? Maybe everyone has a status update on an LED positioned on their forehead?) This prompt was sparked by a FB discussion – so have fun with it!

As always I’ve left it unedited. I’d love to hear what you think.