Armed with their sixteenth prompt ‘night’, my tenth short story for online writing group ’Tuesday Tales’ is below. Tuesday Tales provides a new prompt each week, the members write a story inspired by it and post it on our blogs / websites. Then we email the link and first two or three sentences to Jean Joachim. She then posts them on the Tuesday Tales blog (on a Tuesday ), gives us that link then we go out and shout about it. So, without further ado, here is my 258-worder…
Date night has become a weekly tradition you look forward to. Thursdays. When others go out with the lads… the girls… it’s just you and Evelyn. Your French Fancy. You think it’s corny but she still finds it funny – even after all these years.
She acts differently on a Thursday morning. More loving. Like a teenager, even. She becomes your Frisky French Fancy.
You’re a private couple and go somewhere different each time so no-one remembers you but always classy, expensive. You pay cash as if it’s going to impress but the only one who feels differently is you.
A young man with an ice bucket of individual red roses stands at the table and wishes you a Happy Valentine’s then asks if you’d like to buy a flower “for your lady”, which you gladly do, even though you’ve bought her an expensive bracelet.
You order steak, medium-well done, Evelyn has trout, and you talk about everything and nothing; work, the children – you still have plenty to say.
Sharing a caramel roulade takes you back to your first date and you mention it. She stops smiling and you see a tear forming.
“Je suis désolé,” you say, putting down your fork, and signalling for the bill.
You pay and leave the restaurant in silence, remaining so as you walk to the car park.
You kiss her cheek and she smiles briefly.
You open her door and she says a “merci”.
You watch her drive away, back to her family and you get in your car to return to yours.
So, not only can you read these stories but you could also write your own using the prompts given each week. There’s no word count limit. Single-word prompts are something I regularly give my Monday night workshop and it’s amazing how different our stories can be.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called Short Story Saturdays where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.