The twenty-first prompt from online writing group Tuesday Tales (my fifteenth story for them) was ‘daffodils’ and below is the result. You can read the other writers’ stories for that prompt (please do) here.
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 the link then we go out and shout about it. So, without further ado, here is my 454-worder, and strangely this week isn’t second-person viewpoint.
“Daffodils, Eddie! Mum’s favourites are daffodils. What are these?”
“Gerberas, my love,” Eddie replied, deflated. “It’s all the shop had left.”
“I suppose it would make a change,” she conceded.
Eddie looked at the vases of daffodils filling the hospital bedside table and nodded. “How is she?”
My love, Thelma, burst into tears.
“She’ll be fine, my love,” Eddie said reaching out for his wife’s hand, which remained in her lap.
“She won’t! And stop calling me ‘my love’!”
“I’m sorry, my… People come out of comas all the time. I could bring the CD player and her favourite Andre Rieu… might cheer them up too.” Eddie looked at the only other bed in the room; at the other crying relatives, the other silent patient.
“It’s your fault she’s here!” Thelma snapped, bringing his attention back to her.
“If you hadn’t… oh, there’s the doctor.” Thelma leapt to her feet. “Dr Chapada…”
“Chapadandraha, Mrs Boyle.”
“Yes, quite.” Thelma looked at Eddie, who was still seated, and glared at him.
He duly stood and waited for Thelma to continue, not an expert on hospitals but an expert on Thelma.
“Any news, Doctor?”
“The tests have come back negative…”
Thelma yelped and grabbed Eddie’s hand who yelped as she crushed it.
“I’m sorry…” the doctor started.
“No, I mean…”
“Will she be OK?” Eddie chipped in.
“Should be fine, Mr Boyle.”
“Should be?” Thelma eased up on her grip of Eddie’s hand.
“She’s under an induced coma, Mrs Boyle, but her brain activity is normal so in usual circumstances, patients even with her level of crush injuries do go on to make a recovery.”
“Full recovery?” Thelma pressed.
“We’ll know more when she wakes.”
“Thank you,” Thelma said, a little more cheerful.
The doctor nodded and went to the other bed, where an elderly man had had complications after heart surgery.
Thelma returned to her chair and sank slowly, staring at her mother as she lay unconscious, every now and then eyelids twitching.
Eddie watched his wife sit down then joined her. He replayed the events of the previous day in his head; of Thelma driving him back from the supermarket, of her mother coming out of the house to greet them, of the cat dashing across the driveway from under a bush, of Thelma’s confusion between foot pedals and the screaming.
“Thelma,” Eddie started gently. “Thelma,” he repeated, knowing she’d heard but not responded. “What did you mean when you said it was my fault?”
Thelma turned to him, the glare returned. “He’s your cat!”
There was one thing Eddie knew; he was only ever right when Thelma was wrong and he wasn’t going to hold his breath on that one.
The links to the earlier prompts, and resulting stories, and the forthcoming prompts can be found on this blog’s Tuesday Tales page. Do go and check out the Tuesday Tales blog – it’s a wonderful idea supported by talented writers.
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. You can read some of mine (free and otherwise) at Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore and Kobo, and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum and you can follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. Finally, I also now have a new blog creation service especially for writers: http://icanbuildyourwritingblog.wordpress.com.
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.